Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Are You About to Pop Soon?"

One of our male student workers apparently hasn't had a lot of mentoring in how to speak to pregnant women, because he asked me "Are you about to pop soon?" this week.  It was said in such an innocent and silly way that I just had to laugh.  He spent the rest of the week apologizing, and I gave him some friendly suggestions of how to better inquire of those of us who are with child (and permission to ask again in those exact words if he sees me again in August when I truly should be "about to pop"). 

But I must look really pregnant these days (sorry, I don't have any pictures), because I caught my supervisor half-smiling/half-laughing (kindly, of course) as she observed me talking to another colleague outside her office.  When I asked, she said that I look really pregnant.  I think that perhaps my belly was peaking out from below my shirt.  Since I'm all torso, this Baby Girl has plenty of room to move around (and she's quite a wiggler!), and leaves me feeling rather comfortable (no heartburn ever with Ella, and not so far with this pregnancy either).  But I do struggle to find clothes that will leave me totally covered.

I've also had plenty of people tell me--for a couple of weeks now--that it looks like she's dropped.  While my doctor confirmed that she is indeed head-down, I know that she hasn't truly "dropped" into my pelvic area.  Again, the long torso just gives that illusion, but the truth is, I just seem to carry low.  This also, apparently, goes against the old wives tale that it will be a boy if you are carrying low.

I don't "feel" like I'm that big, but I do know that I now weigh more--with six weeks to go--than I did when I gave birth to Ella.  I admit--I was about five pounds heavier at the time of conception, and I have indulged in ice cream and chocolate-covered-you-name-it throughout this pregnancy (though I've held myself to to the rule that I can only eat ice cream on days when I run...hence another reason why I keep running).  So perhaps I do truly look like I'm about to pop, in comparison to my previous pregnancy. 

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to go out to dinner with my dad.  He is in town for part of his sabbatical, and has been able to meet up with us from time to time.  We got to enjoy Ella's last day of swim lessons (she has come so far!), and finished the evening with frozen yogurt (yes, I ran yesterday morning...before it hit triple digits).  My family lives in California, and while I'm perfectly fine with living far away from them, it is still always such a blessing to be able to spend time with them.  We'll see him again tomorrow for church, and then he'll hike the Grand Canyon, and then return to stay with us for a few days next weekend. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ella-isms (Vol. 8)

As we get ready to welcome our second baby in just a couple of weeks, I want to take a minute to stop and remember what Ella is like these days. I also recognize that our lives are about to drastically change!

On your mark, Get set, Go!!!

My child clearly has my competitive genes. She always wants to race--and I'm not just talking about running races in the backyard. If I ever need to get her to hurry up and hustle, I just need to tell her that I'm going to win, and she's racing down the hallway to the bathroom or the bedroom or wherever it is that I need her to go. I'm sure that a child development expert would discourage this behavior, but for now, it works!

Imaginary Baby
So by now, everyone knows the story of how Ella told me that I had a growing in my tummy. Super sweet story, right? Well, now she tells me that she has a baby growing in her tummy. Again, perhaps a child psychologist would encourage me to correct her, but if this is her way of being involved in my pregnancy with me, I'm going to accept it. She has even named her baby "Kickie", and invites me to feel her kicks and talk to her tummy, the same way we encourage her to do with our new baby. And biologically-speaking, she's not "wrong", since she does indeed have eggs already. So as crazy as it sounds, I just envision myself speaking to my future grandchild--God willing--years and years and years from now.

Party Planner
My supervisor often asks what we played or pretended to be as a child, as this often correlates with the career choices that we ultimately pick. I played a lot of school, and sure enough, ended up working in Education. If the same holds true for Ella, she is going to be a party planner. She is constantly telling us that it is her birthday, or daddy's birthday, or my birthday, or her baby's birthday. She make-believe makes a cake, serves it, lights make-believe candles, and insists that we sing "Happy Birthday" to the guest of honor. It's rather endearing, and I do look forward to her excitement about her own birthday in September.

We are participating in swim lessons again this year. Ella had an awesome first day--she even acted as the model for the teacher for some of the activities. But when it came to jumping in--complete with the Humpty-Dumpty rhyme--she absolutely refused, claiming "I'm not ready!" whenever she got close. I'm proud of myself for finding what seemed to be the right balance between "encouraging" her without "pushing" her. She then spent the whole weekend practicing jumping into the water by jumping off our couch onto a blanket, wearing her swimsuit and reciting the rhyme each time. But it worked! Because she returned the next week with a brand new confidence and jumped right on in!

Would a Cookie Help?

My husband threw out his back a couple nights ago, and has been pretty uncomfortable ever since. The morning after it happened, I responded to Ella's request to snuggle with her in her bed. Remembering that Daddy had hurt his back the night before, she asked me how he was feeling. I told her that it still hurt him, and told her that we could ask him if he needed anything to help it. She jumped out of bed, tiptoed to our room, climbed up and asked him, in a whisper, what he needed. He responded that he would take some medicine when he got up, but that wasn't an acceptable answer for her. She then suggested, "Would a cookie help? I think Daddy, Mommy, and Ella should all eat a cookie to help Daddy feel better". Well okay, my sweet-toothed child, it's hard to say "no" to that sort of compassion--I guess we'll have cookies before breakfast!

That's just the tip of the iceberg. We were on vacation with my husband's family this week, and I swear that even her sentence structure improved during the time we were there! She's putting together complex thoughts and stories, and getting to be so brave and independent. It's truly remarkable to see. Even my mother-in-law assures me thar we are doing something right!

Today's blessing is being back in Arizona after a nice, but very tiring, week with my husband's family in Wisconsin. We really did have a nice time, and Ella loved playing with her cousins, but things are always a little tough with fourteen people in one house. Our flight got in late last night, so we spent the night and will take a nice, slos morning before our two-hour drive home. I'm also blessed that my dad is in town as part of his sabbatical, so we'll get to visit with him along the way.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Going Public

I "came out" on facebook today about my pregnancy.  My colleague and friend kindly pointed out that I "came out" in person a while ago, but our world operates as though nothing is official until it's "facebook official". 

So I shared this picture:

And shared the following:

Back in December, Ella very genuinely and tenderly told me "Mommy has a baby growing in her tummy". It still amazes me that she somehow knew before me--sure enough, she was right (and is going to be an amazing big sister--as you can see, she's already practicing changing diapers!). God works in amazing ways and has an awesome sense of humor, and has blessed us once again on this journey of building a family. We are excited to share that we are expecting another baby girl in early August.

As I shared previously when we announced our joy of welcoming Ella nearly three years ago, I recognize that pregnancy announcements can bring plenty of joy, but can also bring pain to those who struggle with fertility complications and loss, as we have. Please know that if you are struggling, I've been there before and would love to encourage you in your journey.

Please continue to pray for us in these last couple of weeks as we look forward to the joys and struggles of raising two kids!
Some probably think that it's silly that I waited this long.  I was going to post something last week after my appointment, but a friend just had a baby that day, and I didn't want to "steal her thunder".  I felt a bit more confident this time than last time, so perhaps I could have/should have said something weeks ago--but it was trying to come up with the right words that convey our joy, and yet also recognize our past and the challenging journeys of others who may see my picture and read my words.  I pray that what I shared doesn't bring any additional pain to anyone out there--whether through this blog, facebook, casual conversation, or simply just passing on the street.

Today's blessing is the chance to participate in swim lessons with Ella.  I'm a little self conscious that I'm too big to fit into any of my one-piece swim suits, and I'm too cheap to buy a maternity suit, so I'm the big pregnant lady in the bikini in the Parent/Toddler swim lessons.  But once you're splashing around in the water, you can't see much...right?  Ella does awesome with most of the activities...but is still terrified to jump in.  It's been amazing to talk to her about her experiences, and to see her grow in her confidence around the water. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I spent the day yesterday, once again, setting up the nursery.  Ella has been sleeping in her big-girl bed in her big-girl room since the day we found out that we were expecting a baby sister for her, but she wasn't fully moved in until her new dresser arrived last weekend (it had been on back-order).  Now that all her clothes and personal belongings are moved into her new room, it's about that time to start getting the nursery put back together.  

What was once a toddler daybed has been reverted back to a crib, complete with a raised mattress and bumpers.

What was once a toddler dresser has been reverted back to a changing table, complete with pad and wipes warmer and diaper stacker.

What was once a closet holding 3T and 4T dresses and outfits has been reverted back to that of a newborn, complete with onesies and side-snap shirts with fold-over cuffs.

It was surreal to pull out those tiny little outfits that I cherished so dearly over two years ago.  So many memories of this tiny new life that took over our home, our lives, and our hearts.  Sure, some of these hand-me-downs have stains, but I'm sure that she'll be making adding some new stains of her own in no time.  But don't worry--she's gotten a few new outfits of her own.  But I might as well put Ella's hand-me-downs to good use since we have them.  I took weekly pictures of Ella during her first year; I wonder if I'll end up having pictures of this new Baby Girl in the same outfit during the same week.  I wonder if they'll even look alike.  

As for me, I'm approaching the single-digit week countdown and things continue to go well.  To everyone's surprise, I'm still running first thing in the morning.  It's weird--I don't even feel pregnant when I'm running.  I guess I can feel that I'm carrying an extra 30(+) pounds along with me which means I end up working harder, but my body feels good.  Granted, I feel like I'm waddling by the end of the day, and I admit that it's getting harder and harder to get my running shoes on, but other than that, I feel good--and I'm so grateful.  

June should fly by for us.  Not only are we in to our Orientation time at work, but we've also go Ella signed up for parent-toddler swim lessons again for the month.  It's just a half-hour after work, but it will make for some later evenings.  We head to Wisconsin in a couple of weeks to spend time with my husband's family.  I admit that I'm looking forward to the time off; but I'm really not looking forward to the flights and the swollen ankles that come with them!  When we return, my dad will be spending some time in town on his sabbatical, and will then truly vacation with us for a couple of days.  He's graciously agreed to watch Ella for a night or two so that my husband and I can get away for a bit.  And then comes July...when we can truly try to get ready for this baby.

I know that I haven't written a lot lately, but please know that I still follow various journeys and am always excited to hear updates.  I still value this community more that I can express, and it seems like many of us have found what we were looking for.  I know that there are others out there who continue to search, and I don't feel like I'm ready to close this chapter quite yet.  So even though I may write less, please know that I still care just as much.

My most recent blessing came earlier this week when Ella looked me straight in the eye and said "you're a good mom".  Oh!  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it again!  I've gotten some kind compliments in my life, but that one tops the list.  I know I'm not perfect; I know that I could be more patient and probably should drop what I'm doing to pay more attention to her sometimes; but I sure try to be a good mom to this precious gift that God gave me.  I know there will be times in the future when I embarrass her or she hates my decisions, but I hope that she'll always be able to see that I'm trying to be a good mom to her.