Wednesday, November 30, 2011

22 months going on 16

Laura sits on the toilet lid while I finish my hair. She rummages through my make-up bag till she finds the compact I use for foundation.

Hee-ya, Mommy! she pipes up.  I take the compact from her and find the round pad in its hidden compartment.  I swipe the powder across my cheeks, nose, chin, forehead.

Waura's turn! calls the voice next to me.  I gently dab the pad twice on each cheery cheek.  Laura rummages some more.  Out comes my favorite brown eyeliner. 

Waura's eyes, Mommy!  I hold the pencil near Laura's face as she squeezes her eyes impossibly shut.  Two quick swishing sound effects later, Mommy's turn! pipes up from the voice beside me.  Before I can finish lining my own eyes (for real), a small hand holds out the mascara.

Ok, Laura! Your turn! I quickly swoop the wand in front of Laura's wide-open, beautiful blue eyes. Her lashes are so long without mascara. It's funny to think someday she'll insist on wearing it for real.  I quickly finish my eyes and put the powder, eyeliner and mascara back in my make-up bag.

And so it begins, I hear from a bemused fatherly voice in the bathroom doorframe.  I look up to find Nate has watched this whole morning ritual unfold.  Indeed. So it begins.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

24 days

Yesterday was a big day.  I got the referral to call the radiology lab to schedule the Anatomy Scan.  The BIG one.  The ultrasound where we can find out just a little bit more about the tiny passenger I carry.

Boy or girl?  I honestly have no idea one way or the other.  And unlike last time, I don't care. 

A second little girl would be so sweet.  A built-in best friend (and nemesis) for Laura.  The sort of sister relationship I always wanted, and only recently found with my 10-years-younger sister.

A boy would round out our family.  One of each.  A younger brother to pester (and secretly protect) the older sister.  A rough and tumbler to counter the girly girl.  My mommy's boy to counter Nate's daddy's girl.

December 22nd.  We'll know.  December 22nd.  It's like my own Advent calendar.  Twenty-four days from now, at 8:30 in the morning.  The anticipation is wonderful.  Just like seeing the Christmas tree on Christmas morning (a mere twenty-seven days from now).  Let the countdown begin!

Monday, November 28, 2011

And We Ate

What a great Thanksgiving.  I finally got to meet my niece, lovingly nicknamed "Bit" by Laura.  Bit is absolutely adorable in all her fussy two-month-old ways.  I didn't want to stop holding her, she's just so little and baby!  If I weren't already pregnant, I probably would have caught a bad case of baby fever.

Laura got to play with aunts, uncles and trains.  Lots of trains.  My brother hauled out half of our childhood stash of Brio's, and covered the living room floor with an elaborate track set-up.  Laura loved it.

Laura also loved the paper bag turkey filled with popcorn.  Pinterest comes through again.  After gorging on popcorn, Laura slept through Thanksgiving dinner.  Which was a blessing, since she's not her best self at the dinner table.  The rest of us devoured a 14 pound turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (my favorite!), butternut squash lasagna (couldn't bring myself to try that), green bean casserole a la French's, stuffing, corn pudding, and rutabaga, with pumpkin pie, apple pie and homemade ice cream for dessert.  It was a delicious spread.  I'm so glad I didn't have to prepare a single morsel of it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a lot to be thankful for.  My family.  My health.  My fantastic job.  Good friends who welcome us into their home at 3am the day before Thanksgiving to break up our drive.  Five days off from work.  Bountiful food on the table.  Laura.  Laura's sense of humor.  Nate.  Nate's extreme patience through all my tears.  Random phone calls the Tuesday before Thanksgiving from a very distant cousin who works one block away.  Tylenol.  Craft hour with great coworkers.  I am thankful.

I am mostly thankful for the wonderful food I will share with my family on Thursday.  All of it seasonal and delicious.  All of it prepared by anyone but me.

I hope everyone shares a wonderfully thankful day with loved ones on Thursday.  Enjoy your delicious food as you reflect on all the things we should be thankful for every day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Runner

I spent much of my childhood ignoring my little brother.  I have many fond memories, but for the most part he was just in the background of the house.  I adored my older brother and was overjoyed, at the age nine, to finally have the baby sister I had wanted for all those years.  I guess I just didn’t have much time for T-bird.  Ironically, I didn’t really start to pay attention to him till I was out of the house. 

I remember coming home for summer break after my sophomore year.  T-bird, who had never been much of an athlete, was having a great season on the track team as a freshman in high school.  My father took great delight in watching T-bird’s races whenever he could.  And since I had nothing better to do on my summer break, I tagged along to the DCL Championship.  I watched my quiet, un-athletic little brother kick some serious track butt.  I screamed his name as he rounded the corners of the track and my father noted his splits.  I was hooked.

For the past ten years, I have been to as many track and cross country meets as I could make.  I went to every DCL Championship for the four years T-bird was in high school.  I followed him, standing alongside my father, at States. 

I stood in the driving rain as T-bird ran his first college cross country meet.  My phone got so wet, reporting times to my father back home, it shorted out and never worked quite right again.  I drove to small colleges throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania to watch my brother – often with my father in the passenger seat. 

I watched in agony as T-bird lost his last college cross country meet, one shoe lost on the course, coming in second place.  A second place finish that was lost to the other runner, not won.  I hugged him at the finish, sweaty and streaked with mud, feeling his silent tears at the loss. 

Yesterday, I watched one last race.  After so many years of training for so many races, T-bird announced earlier this year that the Philadelphia Marathon would be his last race.  I had to be there.  I held up a poster, Laura on my shoulders, as T-bird approached the first mile.  I screamed and cheered at the six mile mark.  I marked the splits received by text messages at 10K, halfway mark, 30K.  I waited at the finish, waited, got nervous, and finally saw him.  I saw my little brother, my brother with the quiet strength, cross the finish line in his last race.

In the next few weeks, T-bird will complete his Master’s Degree and start a new career in New York City.  I am so proud of my little brother.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pinterest: I did it!

We all love Pinterest.  I love pinning all the things.  As I've explained before, I don't have Pinterest linked to the name "Mrs. MidAtlantic," because I wanted something I could do as a real person, to share with people in my real life... like my mom.  So I'm on there, pinning away.  Pinning ideas for home decor I'll never do.  Pinning recipes that I might try, but maybe won't.  Pinning ideas for crafts while convincing myself I'm crafty (I'm not). 

I got really into pinning felt crafty things this fall.  I was asked to decorate a Christmas tree for a local museum back home, based on a children's book.  And while looking for felt crafty tree ornament ideas, I came across this:

So cute for a grandparent gift, right?  And totally do-able?  All I needed was one toddler hand, some cloth, some embroidery floss, and an embroidery hoop.  I needed every supply but the toddler hand for my tree anyway, and I have two toddler hands at the ready most evenings.  So I actually sat down and did a Pinterest craft!

And of course, now I can't actually pin my creation until Christmas is over.  Because my mom follows my pins.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Victory is Mine!

It's Friday!  I have three working days till Turkey.  I just got a fantastic haircut and color.  I made it to the gym all three designated mornings this week.  I managed to feed myself (carbs) without too much drama.  Laura is adorable.  My husband is the best. 

And the first trimester is over!!!  See you in h-e-double-hockey-sticks, first tri! 

I totally beat the first tri.  I mean, I wanted to die of nausea for part of it.  I battled a really embarassing and painful bacterial infection for much of it.  I may be suffering from scurvy or rickets, since I haven't eaten a fruit or vegetable in nearly two months.  I'm exhausted all the time, weepy, and about to wet my pants.  My boobs are bursting through my shirts like the bust on a Cowboys cheerleader.  I skipped the gym every week until this one.  I'm out of breath and already rocking maternity clothes.  And my bump?  Very noticeable and commented upon. 

But I made it!  Woohoo!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mommy's Tummy

The way I see it, Laura isn't going to know what hits her when the new baby comes home in May.  She'll be two years and four months old, with the thought of sharing her mommy and daddy a completely foreign concept.  Should we try to get her used to the idea?  Probably... but I don't think it'll help much with the shock to her system.

Nate is very excited to talk to Laura about the new baby.  He brings it up with her all the time.  He remarks on her baby doll handling skills, and how great she'll be at carrying around the new baby.  (Um... I don't plan on having my two-year-old carrying around our newborn...)

Last night, Nate tells Laura, "There is a baby growing in Mommy's tummy!"  Laura marches over to me, throws up my shirt, and starts looking for the baby. 

So sweet my heart almost burst, Laura kissed my tummy all over.
Not so sweet, but hilarious beyond belief, Laura tried to peer into my belly button to find the baby.

Laura was a little disappointed with her findings, and went back to rocking her baby doll to sleep.  I have a feeling that Laura is going to be a great big sister.  No matter how big the shock.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

FB Official

My stomach lurched.   My father-in-law posted on Facebook, announcing to the world at large the pregnancies of his DIL (me) and daughter.  I was not ready to have my pregnancy on Facebook.  I still had very close friends and family I needed to tell - and I did not want them finding out secondhand on Facebook of all places.

I was furious.  Thankfully, my FIL respectfully removed the post minutes after I asked him.  But lord almighty.  I just can't understand sharing someone else'e good news!  I know he's excited, but I'm only just 12 weeks.  My sister-in-law is so early, she hasn't even been to the doctor yet!  Leave that information off the interwebs!

Ok, I figured it was probably a kick in the pants for a mass email to those close friends and family.  I sent out a nice, private email with a picture of the happy big sister to be, which I planned post on FB under my own terms the next day.

This plan was great, with emails galore from loved ones, till 3pm.  A facebook post from a cousin congratulating me on the pregnancy.   But since nearly half a day had passed since the inital email, I decided to stop caring.  I posted the good news on Facebook.  It's official.  Facebook official.  I'm pregnant!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Best

I have this page-a-day calendar on my desk at work, "365 Tips for Parents."  It's not the most exciting page-a-day.  It's no Gary Larson.  But it gives me something to tear off and read each weekday.  A lot of the "tips" are common sense, and a lot are aimed at parents to older children.  But every now and then, I get something that really lifts my heart.

So to all the moms out there who have ever doubted themselves (hello, all of us!), you are the best.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In all honesty

Last week was a hard week for me.  I felt disgusting, thank you bacterial infection.  I couldn't eat, thank you little baby.  I was stressed with work, and stressed with the work that faced me at home.  Laura and I were sick.  Then the dog was sick.  I wasn't very nice.  I yelled at Nate and snapped at Laura and Ries.  I wasn't very pleasant to be around.

This week was equally difficult.  I still felt disgusting.  I was still afraid of trying to plan dinner for all of us.  But I wasn't nearly as mean.  I was incredibly tired and sad, but not mean.  I managed to get through each day and to complete each task.

The difference between last week and this?  Honesty. 

This week I was honest with myself and with Nate about my feelings.  I told both of us that I'm having a hard time.  I don't feel good.  My stomach always hurts... and if it's not hurting I'm hungry and can't feed myself.  This week I gave myself more leeway to make decisions.  Laura and I ate mac and cheese, Stouffers, pasta.  And while none of these were great dinners, they were all quickly and easily prepared with little thought.

Because honestly?  I need to make things easier for myself.  I'm having a hard time getting simple things done.  Difficult tasks just aren't worth it.  I know I'll be feeling better again soon.  I just need to be honest that right now really sucks.  Right now I'm really tired.  Right now I'm really weepy.  Now that I've admitted that to myself, I can move on.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Prego Eats: Mac N Cheese

Feeding myself has been difficult.  Nothing ever sounds remotely tasty.  And the hungrier I am, the harder it is to choose something to eat.  The cafeteria at work is failing me lately; I don't even want their fresh-made grilled cheese.  And at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is plan dinner for a toddler. 

Laura has been fending for herself lately, which means she's eating a lot of cheese, yogurt and bananas.  To be honest, she's a toddler.  That's probably the extent of her menu, even if I were interested in food.  I wouldn't call her picky... but she definitely has a limited palette.

Last night, she and I were at the grocery store (goosey stoh!), which is one of my least favorite places on earth.  We were there and we needed to find something for dinner. 

We walked past the hot dogs: 
"Lar-lar, should we have hot dogs for dinner?"
"Yes! Mm hmm!"

We walked past the macaroni and cheese:
"Lar-lar, should we also have mac and cheese for dinner?"
"Yes!  Mm hmm!"




Monday, November 7, 2011

Little Old Lady

You have seen them out before.  They cram their nineteen purses and a cat or two into their cars.  They are wearing tacky costume jewelry and they may have forgotten to take out their curlers.  Little old ladies that you think are cute... until they turn on the engine and you realize they are actually going to drive on the road with other people.  Scary.

Equally scary?  Realizing that I'm only minutes a few years away from having my own little old lady terrorizing the highways:

With curlers, purses, cats and all.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's been a week

Has it ever.  I'm sure I'm not the only one, but I swear this has been a week. 

Our family has seen a large number of antibiotics this week.  I'm on two at the moment, for conflicting pregnancy-related crappy things, having just finished a round of a third type last week.  Laura is on amoxicillin for an ear infection + eye drops + butt cream.  The DOG woke up this morning with a flaming red ear, and now has her own Rx.

Nate is convinced his girls are falling apart.  CVS loves us.

It's been a week.  I'm really hoping that Laura's eyes stay goop-free through the weekend.  That Riesling's ear feels better fast.  That my... whatever the mother effing eff is going on clears up immediately.  I am uncomfortable, to say the least.  Happy camper, I am not.  It's been a week.  I'm ready for the weekend in a fresh start.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One last Halloween Post

She wore it!  Laura wore the Boots the Monkey costume!  We got it on her in record time, with no tantrums at all. 

Laura really, really enjoyed Trick or Treating.  She got to hold a basket.  Even better, she got to put things into the basket.  And even better, the things she put in the basket were CANDY!!!  Laura loved walking up to our neighbors houses.  She said "Tick teet!" and some version of "Happy Halloween," which got a bit garbled and tongue twisterish. 

She had a great night.  And she made out like a bandit.  See those M&M's?  Those are for MOMMY.