Monday, April 22, 2013

17w2d I'm never alone

What a pleasure it is, in the middle of a stress hurricane, to remember that a baby is with me every moment of the day and night. I am never alone, not even for a second. What a beautiful miracle it is having baby with me, a part of me, for these months.

Last night was a first -- baby was particularly kicky so I placed my hand over the spot where I know he is. Thump! Against my hand, he kicked twice. No matter how ugly or crabby I am, that little greeting wipes everything out.

It's fantastic that I didn't have to wait until 20w3d, like I had to with Fletcher. Everything's happening fast with this one.

I felt another kick against my hand this morning, another just now, and like an addict I can't wait for the next.

Feeling nostalgic, I'm listening to Mariah Carey circa early 1990s. I listened to this a hundred times on my cassette tape...

Lying beside you, this joy is so deep
I reach out and touch you tenderly
Looking inside you, my world is complete
I struggled to find you, now I'm free
Precious love, burning so deeply
Shining completely for you

So blessed, amazingly
Touching you now awakens me
You are my heart, my everything
Feeling you now is all I need

Adrift in the moment, so sacred and pure
Alive for you only, I am yours
As you touch me so sweetly
And you whisper my name
I feel how you love me, we are the same
Precious one, don't ever leave me
Forever need me this way

Stay with me beyond the end
I'll treasure you 'cause you made me whole again

So Blessed by Mariah Carey

Friday, April 19, 2013

16w6d this week's food analogy

At least five inches from head to butt, baby is now the size of a red onion. Between this week and next week, baby will start to hear muffled sounds like my heart beating and stomach rumbling but probably won't discern voices. He's working hard on the basic reflexes of sucking and swallowing. Skinny baby is taking on some baby fat now, so this is a time of tremendous growth (he could quickly reach six or seven inches). A handful of people have suggested that my bump has really "popped." His boy or lady bits have taken shape, so we look forward to sneaking a peak in three weeks.

Baby's kicks never fail to brighten my mood.

Seventeen weeks down already. It's going lightning fast.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Trying to sell our condo and buy a house has been a long, painful process, full of high highs and low lows. A lot of it is waiting. Now we're waiting to hear back from a potential buyer who is teasing us with his interest in our place.

Part of me doesn't want to leave, not only because of memories but also because of conveniences. I'm close to work. Fletcher loves his home. When the weather behaves, we can step out our door and walk down to a fun jungle gym, a set of basketball hoops, and even a pool. We can walk to the grocery store, the gas station, the dollar store, the park, and a few fast food restaurants. We have a lovely view of a pond, which is what attracted me here to begin with.

But something about a condo says "impermanence." It's a step up from renting, but it's not where I want to be...

This condo isn't the place where I want to lay in the grass with my children and look at the clouds.

It isn't the right place for us to wake up every Christmas morning.

It isn't where my kids will bring groups of friends over to hang out.

It isn't where my son will sleep the night before his wedding day.

It isn't where my children and grandchildren will come to feast every Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday.

This isn't the place where we want to make the greatest memories, the memories that will make Fletcher and his little brother or sister nostalgic when they think of us someday.

I want a home with enough space for homemade living room tents and pajama parties, enough space for teenage movie nights and sleepovers. I want a backyard that's only ours for playing football, so I can watch as Andy slowly begins to lose speed against his ever-growing son. I want a kitchen where we can together make the birthday cakes and Christmas cookies and Thanksgiving turkeys. I want my home to be a part of why my family's memories will be big, warm, cozy, funny, heartbreaking and complete. I want my home to be loved as a cornerstone of our family rather than a resting place.

From the beginning we knew our condo wasn't where we would spend the rest of our lives. And maybe the next won't be either, because no one seems to stay in one place anymore. But I'd like it to be. I'd like my children to search the attic one day when I'm gone and find the memories that we're just starting to make now. I want to paint the kitchen the color it will always be and buy the flower-print plates that we'll still be using in fifty years.

I want to start building the rest of my life.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

15w5d punch in

Baby is a 4.5-inch avocado now. (Why do they always compare to food?) Very soon baby could be able to hear me, and bones and facial features are all straightening out and firming up. A big growth spurt is on the way.

I heard baby's heartbeat yesterday, but I'm at the point in the pregnancy now where these appointments are rushed through. No ultrasound, no conversation, just "yup, that's the heartbeat, see you next month." The clinic becomes a pregnant woman's assembly line. Punch in, punch out.

I know I've read that things are different with the second pregnancy as far as how much you think or focus on the baby-to-come because you're already focused on the kid that's here. I haven't really found that. I guess my brain has the Cullen-clan capacity to multitask because most of the time at least part of my concentration is centered on this little person. It will probably be more so when kicks become a regular thing rather than a quiet-time-only surprise.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An interesting time

I'm licking the frosting off my doughnut wrapper and thinking this is what desperation tastes like. Pregnancy has turned me into Homer Simpson. I would do nearly anything to obtain my daily doughnut, because it seems to be what gets me through the day.

In the process of trying to make life better I keep making life worse, at least for myself. Is this what parenting is? Is this what living is?

There's no time for anything. In fact, I don't have time to make this blog post, but I am, because I'm a stupid twat. That's the essence of the problem--every time I take something for myself, it's a bad idea because it's at the expense of something important, like one of my jobs, or my family members, or my home, etc.

It's rough when the guilt you feel for "me time" is justifiable. It's not just the "I'm being too hard on myself" guilt. I've worked myself into a tiny corner, and now I have to figure out how to live here. The word "sacrifice" bounces regularly through my head, and my opinion on it varies.

Our home finally goes up for sale today. Fletcher is starting daycare next week. This week, I need to get to the doctor to pick up his daycare paperwork, to the pharmacy to get his epi pen, and to the clinic for his allergy blood draw (fun). I need to coordinate around Andy's work training. I'm completely out of personal time at work, so every minute off the clock takes away from my maternity leave. I have a huge editing project due in two weeks that I've barely started. I have another prenatal doctor appointment tomorrow. And every other fricking day there's another therapy session, evaluation, or meeting regarding Fletcher's speech delay.

So, yeah. The good news is that Fletcher is starting to talk a little. He remains the bright shining light that illuminates my tiny corner. His favorite thing to say lately is "fell down." So he (and all his toys) regularly fall down. It's like living with a drunk.

His favorite foods right now are ice cream (cream!), cookies (coo-kie!), poptarts (tart!) and golden crisp/honey smacks (cereal!). Mac 'n cheese (noodle!) and apples are also popular. He says open (owen), mommy, daddy, blankie, play, sock, shoes, coat, in, out, no no no, no way, milk, up up up, toot, burp, car, tractor, plane, flower, ball, run, water, tree, stick, lion king, and several animals--his favorites being turtle, cow, bunny, monkey, sheep, horse, pig, duck, and kitty. Other words we've heard include "thank you" (although he says it when he expects you to say it to him), farm, grandma, movie, sweep, orange, apple, arm, ear, nose, hair, eyes, teeth, belly, toes, foot, sand, home, push, pull, santa, baby, diaper, pretzel, toast, corn, fries, sit, guitar, roar, light, stool, clean, dirty, wipe, where are you, remote (ote), mine, turn, set go (won't say "ready" though), icky, ni-night, sky, pillow, uh-oh, sun, spoon, refill, kick, high-ya!, happy, sad, ow, cord, meow, moo, bzzzz....sting, and I can't think of the rest but there's a lot. He might say "I'll get it" or "I got it," I'm not sure.

My goal is to get him to the point, soon, where I can ask him a question that isn't "yes or no" and he answers. Right now, if you ask him if he wants this or that, he just whines.

We're on the edge of many changes. With no cover on his doorknob anymore (for potty training purposes), Fletcher has the most freedom he's ever had. Next week, he will for the first time in his life spend a few hours without any family members. Andy's work hours are changing. We may have showings coming up soon and if we're lucky, we'll be moving. And oh yeah, there's a squirmy baby inside me that we have no clue how we're going to fit into our schedule.

It's an interesting time.