• Refreshed*

    Oh, how I needed this week.

    I’m probably going to curse my luck by writing this, but this has been a perfectly uneventful week and it has been marvelous.

    We have gone seven days without sickness, mishap, bad news or bad luck and it has been such a refreshing change after the week we experienced prior to this. It was like the universe threw everything possible at me during my first week of maternity leave, but now it’s (hopefully) behind us and we are enjoying a little reprieve before the baby arrives.

    I sat on my deck, watched an obscene amount of TV, played with my kids, made it out for a girls night and enjoyed an entire day by myself while the kids went to daycare. (*cue angels singing the Hallelujah chorus*)

    I’ve also slowly been whittling down my to-list of things that don’t really need to get done, but things I want to get done before the baby. Every time I knock another item off my list it’s like another little stone gets lifted from my shoulders and I feel that much lighter.

    For example, yesterday I vacuumed my stairs. Not a big thing, but it’s often challenging to do when the kids are around and with the other billion things we have to do to keep our house tidy it’s not usually a huge priority. But I did it, and it feels amaaazing. I am slowly picking away at the mountain of ironing that has amassed in my closet. I reorganized my medicine cabinet and threw out all our expired medicines. Today I ordered some new photos and began updating some of our framed photos around the house. Again, nothing earth shattering, but just little things that have collected on my mental to-do list over the last few months and it feels so good to get a few of them done.

    (My dream this week is to be able to clean my fridge. You know you’re officially an adult when…)

    My due date keeps inching closer, and every day I am grateful that this wee man hasn’t surprised us early. I’m finally beginning to feel ready to welcome him to our family. I was so overwhelmed after work ended and our week of hell began. I’m finally feeling rested and relaxed and excited. It was hard to feel excited about the baby when it still felt like there was 8 billion things to do, no one was sleeping, everyone was sick and life was so stressful. That is all melting away and is quickly being replaced by the anticipation and joy that will come with this little prince’s arrival.

    I had another appointment with my midwife yesterday, and all looks well. By this point in my last pregnancy we were having “the conversation” about giving birth to a big baby. I had appointments at a special ultrasound clinic that had better technology to measure size and weight, and my midwives were trying to mentally prepare me for what was ahead.

    I don’t feel like I’m as big with this baby, so I’m hoping it means I won’t have another almost 10 pounder. My delivery with Hank was fast and relatively easy, but he did have some complications as a result of his size. My iron is still low (as per usual), but my blood pressure and his heart rate are just peachy. So now it’s just riding it out until the end! I’ll be 39 weeks tomorrow–I can hardly believe I’m already here. Didn’t I just announce that I was pregnant?!

    Well, the Hubster just took the toads to the park so I think I might pop some blonde brownies in the oven and put my feet up for a bit. Disaster might strike again tomorrow, but for today?

    Life is good.

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  • Moving Forward*

    Thank you so much for all the messages and love that you sent after I posted about Ruby’s febrile seizure last week. A number of people have asked me how she is now, and I can honestly say that you would never know how unresponsive she was a week ago to see her today… right now we are in the backyard and she is using our little “fishing pool” to wet her feet so she can make foot paintings on our deck. She’s perfect. She has one more day of antibiotics from her ear infection, but she has been fever-free since last Friday.

    I, on the other hand, am still adjusting. I think the experience of finding her in her bed like that has affected me more deeply than I first realized. I can’t quite describe the fear that coursed through my veins when I looked at my child and thought that she was dying. In those first minutes when she was choking and so unresponsive, before my brain kicked in and whispered “febrile seizure”, I don’t think I have ever been so afraid.

    For the first day or two after it happened I must have checked on her 20 times every time I put her to sleep. I would sneak in, rip any covers off of her, check the temperature of her forehead, neck and chest and then watch her breathing for a minute to make sure she had a steady rhythm. Then I would slip out… until I heard her move ever so slightly on the monitor and the process would repeat.

    I know it’s crazy, but I just… it’s been hard. I’m trying not to hover, and every day it gets a little easier. Yesterday was the first day that I forced myself not to check on her during her nap, and sure enough, she woke up completely fine. I may or may not have flown up the stairs last night when I heard her cough on the monitor, but she was fine then too. I know this fear will fade eventually, my struggle now is just not to let her see it until it does.

    Anyway.

    I’ve been so grateful to have a few quiet days at home this week. Last week was such a write off… both the kids were sick (at different times), Ruby had her seizure, the Hubster was dealing with some complications after some dental work, no one was sleeping and a host of other little things that cropped up. It got the point where the Hubster and I looked at each other on the weekend (after being up most of the night with a puking Hank) and said, “What else could possibly go wrong?”

    Thankfully this week has been much, much different. After 7 of the most challenging days I’ve had since becoming a parent, I’ve enjoyed two blissfully quiet, relaxing days with the kids that reminded me why I love being at home. Right now I’m out on my deck  enjoying the sunshine and a gentle breeze, watching my kids laugh and play together. If I could have a few more days like today I think I would actually feel ready for this baby to come.

    Which is why I’ve been doing everything possible to keep this child in my belly for just a few more days. Despite my best efforts thus far, I can definitely tell that things are happening. I’ve felt nauseous and achy, and a little like I have the flu… much like I did in the days before Hank was born. The baby has definitely dropped, and I had some intense pressure and contractions that I thought may have been the real deal late last night.

    Thankfully, after an intense conversation with this wee man in my belly, he quieted down and gave me another day… and hopefully more. I haven’t had any more contractions today, but it’s like I can feel in my gut that my time before he arrives is running short. I’m not actually due until the 26th, but I’m really not convinced that I’m going to make it that far. Keep your fingers crossed for me… this mama could use a few more quiet days before the madness begins anew. :)

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  • Things I’m Looking Forward To*

    Yesterday was a bit of a challenging day for me. It started off so lovely, then Hank had meltdown after meltdown and by 1:30pm I was exhausted and passed out of my bed. I never nap anymore… for the most part I find it just isn’t worth it. When I nap I never sleep well at night, but after three nights of interrupted sleep (Hank’s version of helping me prepare for the bebe) I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

    I paid for it later as I tossed and turned for an hour at bedtime but those glorious, peaceful, meltdown-free 90 minutes I napped were worth it.

    My energy just isn’t what it used to be now that I’m in the “larger-than-life” phase of my pregnancy. I really can’t complain about much–aside from some nausea early on and some other textbook symptoms, I haven’t struggled too much. And I’m well aware that the fact that I’m pregnant at all is a huge blessing, so I try not to complain.

    Much.

    That being said, now that the countdown to baby time is really on (T-20 days to my due date), there are a few things that I am looking forward to again…

    1. Laying down. I mentioned earlier that I had a nap yesterday… it was lovely, but it was not without the assistance of my BFF: Tums. I cannot recline in any way, shape or form without taking them or my heartburn flares and rages. I cannot wait to be able to think, “I feel like laying down for 37 seconds while my children destroy my house” and just be able to DO it. Bliss.
    2. Walking. Like, actual walking. What I’m doing now is more like a slow duck waddle where I have to sway side to side to create enough momentum to propel myself forward.
    3. RUNNING. Once I’ve got that walking thing back, I honestly cannot wait to start running again. I figure it will be October(ish) before I get the all-clear to hit the pavement, but I am so, so excited. It’s been hard seeing all these happy joggers running past my house and car and not being able to throw on my shoes and join them. Right now I’m that creepy lady with my face pressed up against the window watching them run with envy.
    4. On that note, putting on shoes of any kind would be amazing. I’m down to two pairs of sandals that I can sort of slide on my feet without assistance.
    5. Why you ask? Because my feet are SO FAT. I thought I knew feet swelling from my previous two pregnancies, but being pregnant in the summer is a new beast. I long ago lost the ability to touch (and see) my feet, so the Hubster bought me an amazing spa package and I’m off to have a massage and pedicure tonight. I know he bought it because he loves me and knows how stressful the last month of work has been… and also because my feet are large and frightening and maybe this will help? haha (Note: they are not swollen beyond the point of normalcy. I’ve already had this chat with my midwife. Fear not.)
    6. Belts. I cannot wait to be able to wear my non-maternity clothes again… specifically pants that do not need to be pulled up to my chest to stay on.
    7. My energy. Right now I spend a lot of my time feeling so… useless. I know that I’m not, but I can barely complete one task around the house at a time without needing to take a serious break afterward. I tried to clean my bathroom on the weekend and I had to take breaks between cleaning the tub and the sink. How sad is that?! I finally have the time to blitz my house, and have absolutely no energy to do any of it. I’m much better at just letting things go and not beating myself up about it, but it would still be nice to not feel so drained after picking up three toys.
    8. Regular sized bath towels. Lemme just say that my regular towel would be wholly inappropriate (and ineffective) these days. Go beach or go home.
    9. Not having a wet shirt when I wash dishes. I am at the place where I have to put an apron on to wash the dishes. Why, you ask? If I forget and just start cleaning, I eventually notice that the lower half of my belly feels… chilly. And wet. When I go look in the mirror (because I clearly can’t see that region on my own anymore… *sigh*) there will be a great big wet stripe across my belly where it has leaned against the counter. It’s super attractive. It’s even better if I forget to check and leave the house like that. Which may or may not have happened. More than once.
    10. FOOD. All of the food. This baby has parked himself in a place where he severely limits my appetite… I will sit down absolutely starving, and be SO full six bites later. Then of course I’m hungry again in an hour… craving all the things I can’t eat because they will cause my heartburn to rage. It’s a vicious, vicious cycle.

    In the grand scheme of things, these are all small sacrifices in the cause of something much, much greater. More than anything I am excited to meet this tiny ninja that hiccups and roundhouse kicks me all day long.

    I’m just also looking forward to holding him in pants that don’t require an elastic waistband and shoes that I put on my own non-fat feet. ;)

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  • My First Week of Mat Leave*

    I am officially on maternity leave.

    The last three months have been a complete and utter whirlwind. As I write there is a (not-so) small boy kicking away in my belly. Today I am 37 weeks pregnant, and I am so glad to finally have some time to get ready for this baby. Between work and being slightly tired from this pregnancy I haven’t had much time or energy to do a whole heck of a lot. There were moments when I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the end… two weeks ago, when I was buried underneath piles of term marking, two class sets of ISUs with exams and report card comments looming, it all just seemed too much and I’ll admit I had a good cry on the Hubster’s shoulder. It got to a point where I was taking things day by day, then hour by hour just trying to get through.

    When I finally finished marking my last exam and submitted my last set of report card comments, it was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I love my job more than anything, but this semester was a huge challenge for me… I took on more responsibilities than I ever have before, while trying to balance life with my family and this pregnancy. It was a lot. It was all good, but it was definitely a lot, and I felt it when both the madness of June and my third trimester collided at the same time.

    In the end, it’s all been worth it. I built a strong resume for when I eventually return, spent my first two nights away on my own at a leadership camp, found my confidence as a teacher and made some incredible friendships. I know I’ll miss being at work next year, but I’m also really, really happy to be home. As I write I am sitting outside on my deck with my two little toads. Hank has already completely soaked his clothes playing happily at our homemade water table, and Ruby is busy making me some “soup”–a healthy combination of garden soil, grass and leaves.

    (It looks delicious.)

    The sun is shining, and even though it’s not even 10am it’s already promising to be a gorgeous, hot summer day. After all the stress and madness of work, I am thoroughly enjoying this bit of lazy time to do nothing but sit with my kids and watch them play.

    (I say watch because this belly is so large that moving unless necessary just isn’t happening. haha)

    It still feels a little surreal to me that our little family will be growing again so soon… I’m a little nervous that this baby is going to come sooner than I expect. I would really, really love to make it to my due date so that I can have my month off, but I already feel this strong urge to get ready right now. I’m hoping that it has more to do with my need to be organized than my body telling me it’s almost time. haha!

    Well, my battery is dying and my charger is way too far away at the moment so that’s it for now… I’m off to sit in the sun and do… nothing.

    Life is good. :)

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  • Still Figuring Things Out*

    How does everyone do it?

    I have found it incredibly difficult to try and squeeze time in for writing since the arrival of Hank the Tank. It’s not that he has been a difficult baby–quite the opposite, really–but it just feels like I always have something I should be doing. It’s been a challenge to try and keep my house from looking like  a complete disaster, cook meals, play with my kiddos and spend time with the Hubster.

    And yet I follow some amazing women who seem to manage to raise their kids, keep their houses somewhat together and find time to write, so I know it’s possible. I just haven’t figured out how to work it into my new life as a mother of two children.

    It’s been a challenging couple of days. On Sunday we had an amazing day celebrating Hank’s baby blessing. The Hubster gave him a beautiful blessing, and it was wonderful to see some family and friends that were able to be with us. We had a few people back to our home afterward for a little party, and even though it took me two full days to get my house ready for it (and two days to clean up after it… haha) it was so worth it.

    But little Ruby seemed a little under the weather that evening and most of Monday. Sure enough, by Monday night she was running a low fever that she has had intermittently for the last two days. We’ve been able to manage it with some Tylenol and lots of snuggles, but every time we think we have it beat, it rears it’s ugly head one more time. If it persists into this evening I think I may have to go get her checked out. Poor bean.

    So, it’s been a dance of trying to see to her needs while trying my dardnest to keep her and Hank apart. Even though he looks like a six month old, Hank is still just my two month old baby and I don’t want him to catch what she has.

    To sum it up: I’m a little tired.

    But I managed to unload the dishwasher, clean one bathroom, shower AND blog today, so I figure I’m still doing alright. :)

    (And if I’m lucky, maybe those four loads of laundry will fold themselves!)

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