I’m in that stage of pregnancy that serves as a training period for what’s to come–night after night of working out my sleep-deprivation muscles, readying for the marathon of newborn nights. They will start (oh so) soon and be followed by groggy and irritable days. The kind where I will fight off impatience and dig more deeply for the energy to say “yes, I will.” And I’ll even do a pretty good job of it. Sometimes. I need the Jillian Michaels of the postpartum period to prepare me with lots of shouting because I’m pretty sure I’ve forgotten how seriously hard it is to sleep so little. But I guess there’s no way to be totally ready for such things. I’m just grateful for the sort of perspective I have through my foggy memory, the lessons learned through two other children–it really will pass and it really is beautifully hard. ::: These nights, [...]
It was pretty ironic that on a day when I really needed a mental health break, I got an email saying that The Extraordinary Ordinary has been nominated on Circle of Moms for the Top 25 Mental Wellness Blogs Written By Moms. I’ll admit, I chuckled. I said something to myself about my own current mental health and I chuckled. Don’t get me wrong, it’s truly an honor to be nominated…I’m just being honest. I mean, after all, I did leave Ellie a message yesterday that said that I was sitting on the couch eating marshmallows and had absolutely no desire to move. Then I asked her voicemail, Is that so bad? I was simply practicing self-care, of course. Having a rest. And some sugar. My boys and I have had a solo week and I’m really pregnant, what can I say? (I am always thinking of single parents when Ryan is gone [...]
Pictures can’t really do the torpedo belly justice. It’s just so much pointy-er in real life. But you get the idea. I’m tired, friends. I hit a wall this week. An end of pregnancy wall I had forgotten was coming. (It blows my mind how we can forget exactly what this feels like.) (I suppose we have to or we may be less likely to do it more than once, huh?) My belly has droooped waaaay down and I have this sense of urgency, to get things done, all the nesting things. But my energy level is completely not allowing the nesting things to be done and Ryan is out of town for work and I’m tired. Just call me whine-y whinerton. My family and friends are convinced I’m going early this time. I don’t know. We can’t know these things. I know I look different, but I attribute that to my stretched [...]
If the weather is perfect for sitting outside at night around a fire making s’mores, then it’s pretty perfect, huh? I will call this photo “MMMMgooooo” This one? “Happy” This one? “Who Cares About S’mores Just Look at Those Lashes” Lastly, I am calling this photo “Peek-aaaah-BOOM” photo credit: husband By the way, this baby girl is very very busy at certain times of the day. She takes a spin class, I swear. I had a dream last night that she was about one and she was all.over.the.place. We’ll see… Last night when we were eating s’mores, I turned to Ryan and said a first and middle name for our girl. It felt like The One. He thought so too. We’ve known for a long time that we like a few names, but we were having trouble feeling sure. We still won’t feel entirely sure until we see her, but [...]
I sit out in the sun with my boys and I love the sun and my boys so much and wasps start to dive-bomb us. We run in the house. They are playing so well together with coins and coins and more coins, pushing them across the hardwood floors, there are coins everywhere, scattered. When they’re done I ask them to pick up the coins and they listen the very first time. Then they get distracted and leave half the coins and I’m standing and saying it again like a record broken. I get up the gumption to take them to the park and not far into the sliding and swinging I can tell my biggest boy isn’t feeling well. We go home. I worry. I get out a snack, some veggies and dip and they eat them and I let myself think for a moment Look. I have boys that eat veggies. [...]
The torpedo belly has taken to jutting out so far that it’s entirely possible I may yell at a staring-directly-at-my-protruding-belly-button-for-far-too-long stranger in public. I’ll just string all my usual responses together rapid-fire-torpedo style, like this: No-I’m-not-having-twins-and-no-I’m-not-due-any-day-this-is-just-how-I-carry-babies-speaking-of-babies-I-make-really-big-ones-and-yes-a-belly-button-CAN-stick-out-that-far!!!! Then the gawking strangers will look all apologetic and scamper away. At least that’s how it goes down in my head. 34 weeks Five-ish weeks to go, my friends. And I’m getting SUPER excited. It hasn’t always been that way for me, with pregnancy. I can get kind of distant from it, like it’s something foreign that’s happening to me that may or may not result in a person being added to our family. That sounds weird, but it’s just the truth. Sometimes things just aren’t really really real to me until they are actually happening. But this time, I’m just more connected and aware and anticipating. These five weeks are going to go fast-slow. When I [...]
The always dirty little feet. Eating outside…or not eating, if you’re Asher. Which is the way it goes most of the time. Miles eats ravenously while Asher remains terribly distracted. Don’t worry, he’s still growing. The climbing of the apple trees. (Apples coming soon.) And um…yeah…happy small people. Last night we were eating outside and I looked around and said to my three people, Pretty soon there will be another one of us out here. Then she started hiccuping, shaking both of our bellies, as if to say I’m already here! Spring is good.
The thing about me is that I can be very very ambivalent. “am·biv·a·lent adjective /amˈbivələnt/ Having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.” Lately I think this is The Thing about me. I want to write but I don’t want to write. I want to have this baby but I’m scared to have this baby. I want to keep us busy and productive but I want to do nothing. I want to change the world but I don’t want to do anything. I want to be more patient with my boys but I don’t care. I want to be kinder to my husband but I don’t care. I want to think but I just want to stop thinking. I feel so connected and then a moment later I feel so disconnected. I am trying to write this without too much hesitation and it’s freeing but then I hate that [...]
Mother’s Day gifts. We went out in the pouring rain. It’s Mother’s Day. One should not miss being brunched. My mood was trying to fit the weather, even though I was telling it to dig under, like an earthworm. It wouldn’t. Melancholy, I guess. It just happens. We passed the cemetery on the way home and there stood a man, alone in the graveyard, hands in his pockets and hood pulled up, drenched. His head was down, toward a gravestone, and his shoulders spoke of grief. My heart ached for him and my own sadness suddenly seemed much less. I wanted to pull in the narrow driveway, hug him close and then leave him to his thoughts, his feelings. But I didn’t want to scare him. I have these gifts in skin and bone and a glass-gone-vase for treasures on my counter. I am sometimes sad but always with an undercurrent of [...]
Today I have the honor of sharing some words with you that are not mine. Words that tell the story of what it feels like to helplessly witness the spinning despair of a loved one that is also an alcoholic. This post was written by one of my favorites: anymommy ::::: May he turned twenty-one on the base at Fort Bliss “Just a day,” he said down to the flask in his fist, “Ain’t been sober since maybe October of last year.” Here in town you can tell he’s been down for a while, But, my god, it’s so beautiful when the boy smiles, Wanna hold him. Maybe I’ll just sing about it. ——–Anna Nalick We want it to be someone else’s cousin. Someone else’s sister. Father. Brother. Husband. Wife. But there’s a great big target on all of our backs and it comes home to us eventually. It has to. The odds [...]
Yes. I am very very tall. Also. This… They are feeling the buds on the new little leaves. They said Wow, they’re soft. I say, Thank you Minnesota, for finally pulling off some spring. We’re reveling in it.
This post was written about a week ago, during Jen’s final days. ::::: There is a fuss. My Asher, he doesn’t want to “sweep” when it comes time for a nap and so I tell him he needs sleep because I can see how tired he is in his face, and anyway, his “fins must be awfully tired from all the swimming at the Y.” He calms down and turns toward me, curling himself as close as he can around my belly, both of us on our sides on the bed. His sister grows restless with my stillness and starts to roll and turn and bump and kick inside me. Asher’s face crumples with one last attempt to fight the nap and then he calms and starts to doze, his little fists holding tightly to his “maps” (directions for Legos). Our breathing starts to match and I stare at his suddenly closed and [...]
My heart gets all swelly, looking at these photos. So I had to show you. We’re doing a lot of relaxing and hanging out and chillin’ like villains over here. My contractions are normal again, for this stage in pregnancy, and everything is…calm, which is encouraging us to believe that everything is going to be okay with this whole pre-term labor thing. Color me overly thankful. I’m 32 weeks pregnant now and it’s May. Can you believe it’s May? Me either. April flew by in a way that sort of freaks me out. Ryan and I both have birthdays in May. For my birthday this year, we’re taking the boys and their cousins to Lego Kidsfest in Minneapolis. I’m seriously excited about this. The boys are going to be in building and creating heaven and I get to watch. (There are still tickets available, so if you’re a [...]