Yesterday Pea and I received a package in the mail. It couldn't have come on a better day. The notes inside (one to Penelope, the about-to-be Big Sister, and one to me) made me cry, the words and thoughts were so beautiful. And then there was a present for Pea.
This was Pea's face when I told her that something had come for her in the mail
Thank you, Jessica, and thanks especially for being such a true, honest, and real friend. We love you and Jordan so much. I wish it was July for TWO big reasons now...
The rain is coming down in sheets and spluttering against the windows.
The wind is whistling around the corners of the roof.
The half-grown tulips are bent double.
We sat in nasty traffic for 20 minutes before discovering that a wreck was blocking the bridge home.
Pea cried most of the way home.
She's had the flu since Saturday morning.
We actually had a very nice Easter and photos will be coming shortly, when I have the mental capacity.
I got her bug Monday night but I've quickly recovered.
Pea was herself for a whole 48 hours before throwing up again this morning.
The baby has kicked all morning and afternoon.
Five days of sickness means that all yesterday and today have been an exercise in re-communicating basic expectations of behavior.
There is a small river pouring down our sloping street.
A pot of black beans, onions, and the bone from the Easter ham is bubbling away on the stove.
If I haven't answered your email or phone call yet, I will tonight. Or tomorrow.
We have laid in a good supply of soup, juice, and probiotics and now we wait it out.
Posted by Annagrace at 4:33 PM
I first saw this one last summer and it STILL makes me laugh (thanks to Kim for the reminder...)
And this one a friend forwarded me last night...so hilarious and good.
Posted by Annagrace at 4:25 PM
Things I'm currently in love with:
Six-Word Memoirs. Perfect.
Biokleen's Bac-Out Stain and Odor Eliminator Smells like lime candy. Spot-cleans carpets better than anything and doesn't leave residue behind. Chemical-free and completely safe for children and pets.
Biokleen's Citrus Laundry Liquid Not really any more expensive than name brand detergent and phosphate and chemical-free. And you know what? My clean laundry smells better with this than when I was using heavily-scented Tide. Just 2 tablespoons for a large load, too, so less plastic packaging is necessary or used.
*Bonus laundry tip: NEVER use fabric softener--it leaves a plastic coating on your laundry and is corrosive and bad for fabric (and probably skin, too!) Instead, use a big cup-full of baking soda dissolved into the running water at the beginning of the wash cycle. Your towels and clothes will smell completely fresh and clean! (I buy baking soda in bulk at my local discount grocery store--it's something like $0.67/lb)
Foyle's War This series is incredible--well-written, well-shot, and always intriguing, never predictable. I've been fascinated by WWII since I was little and I've read a LOT about it, but I've never heard stories told from this particular perspective. And I secretly want Michael Kitchen to be my grandfather, he's so handsome and perceptive and thoughtful. Okay, maybe I really want to marry him...
Mychelle's Blueberry Antioxident Mask This amazing stuff is literally saving my pregnant face and it's not expensive, which is pretty amazing considering that it has almost no "filler" ingredients and is really pure and natural.
Charlie Parker Played Be Bop Penelope knows this book by heart and I love, love, love hearing her recite it in her sweet little voice. She says saxophone "sackacone". When she wants to listen to jazz, she will ask me for "Be bop on radio!"
Pandora internet radio. Because no matter how much music we can collect onto itunes it's never really enough and normal FM radio has commericals. Also a great way to hear new or different artists without the risk of purchasing. If I'm not listening to NPR, then this is probably what's on.
Citra Dish dish soap in mango-tangerine. Smells better than anything else and works really, really well without drying out my hands. Once again, it's all natural and it's just not that much more than Palmolive or whatever you're used to grabbing at Target.
Adeleine. The name of this new little baby (yes, we decided on a different spelling). It was really hard to find something that we not only liked but stood up to Penelope and our connection to both of her names. Adeleine means noble and kind, and the root Adel also means justice in Arabic. Madeleine L'Engle is a writer whose books have meant a lot to me this past year, especially her books on god and belief and art, and she was a really feisty, creative, strong person--I like thinking that my daughter will bear a name similar to a woman like her. I'm so glad to finally be able to talk to this baby by name. Now to find the perfect middle name...
Posted by Annagrace at 4:39 PM
It's hard to tell from these particular photos, but I was actually much larger with Pea already--completely filling out pregnancy clothes and already gaining a good 12-15 lbs. This time I've only gained about 5 lbs so far and though I'm starting to need longer shirts, I can still wear most of my pre-pregnancy pants. Also, since I'm not sitting all day for work I'm a lot less stiff in my joints and having much less trouble with my sciatic nerves and back. As much as being pregnant while chasing a toddler for 12 hours a day can really suck, I think I like certain things MUCH better this time around. I'm also sooo much less stressed about the birth and the new-baby adjustment.
Now if I could only sleep like I did with Pea...
Posted by Annagrace at 2:53 PM
Pea lifts up my shirt, holds her face close to my belly and says, "Hello, Baby".
Lays her head on my stomach and declares quite firmly that the baby is hiccuping.
Walks into the bathroom as I am using it, looks at me searchingly, and then opens the cupboard door, declaring that she is looking for more toilet paper. Apparently I'm going to need it.
Sits with me in front of the computer while I show her pictures of some of her friends. She picks up the whisk she's been playing with, pretends to brush her teeth for a while, then spits onto the desk.
Dances around the living room in only a diaper and fleece mittens singing made-up songs that all end in loud exclamations of "Elmo's worrrrrrrllld!"
Walks around and around only on her tip-toes, pretending to play basketball and laughing at the made-up jokes she's jabbering to herself.
Lifts up Jeffrey's shirt and rubs his belly, telling him that she's putting "keem" (cream) on the baby.
Freshly bathed with hair newly dried. Looks just like both her grandmothers did at the same age, at the same time.
Posted by Annagrace at 9:05 PM
Cleaned out the fridge. Now I really and truly have no idea what smells so badly. I'm going to wipe down the insides tomorrow and if that doesn't help, I give up.
Attacked the kitchen disaster. I clean it almost every single night as part of my post-dinner/pre-bedtime routine, but the last couple of days I just haven't cared. I've been too tired. Till this afternoon when it was bad, bad, very bad news. Two dishwasher loads and there's still some pots soaking.
Did some laundry. I'm so very good at keeping the basket emptied and caught up, but so very bad at folding it and putting it away. Or I'll stay up one night and get it all folded while I watch TV and then the next morning I don't have time to put it all away, and before I know it there's more thrown on top. I think it's the endlessness of it that gets to me.
Got Pea some new craft and coloring supplies. Her first glue sticks, construction paper, scissors, and finger paints. She's not really interested in much more than coloring just yet, but I can't wait.
Had such a fun playtime/mama time with Karli, Samuel and Juniper, and Andrea, Ian and Sawyer. Good conversation, pretty babies, sweet and funny children, yummy snacks...it was a wonderful time and I can't wait to do it again! It's so nice now that Pea is getting to the age where other children are actually fun to play with, instead of just momentarily observing them before demanding my whole, undivided attention. And she's slowly but surely becoming less of a Miss Grabby Hands with toys--she only did one (small) Angry Dance today and that was a huge improvement (huge!)on our last playdate. It was so good to have adult conversation. You don't realize, before you have children, just how hard you'll have to fight for those precious hours and that you'll literally soak it up like sunshine for the next cloudy (or emotionally and physically trying) day, but that's exactly what it feels like.
I broke down and bought a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs. I've been eating very well this pregnancy and the last two years and the last two years everywhere I've looked they've been sold out when I went to indulge myself in my favorite yearly (very naughty)treat. So I decided that the one bag left on the shelf at Target was definitely a sign. I'm sure the sugar content will do me in, but for a couple of hours it will totally be worth it.
Hopefully feeling much more rested tomorrow...
Posted by Annagrace at 11:23 PM
Said to me the other afternoon as I exited the library, by an approx. 45 yr old man:
"Wow, I didn't know red-haired supermodels frequented this library--you must have missed your photo shoot!"
I am so not kidding.
And I nearly turned around and asked him to please show up again in my 10th month of pregnancy, when it's the beginning of August and I look like a sweaty, bloated sausage...
Posted by Annagrace at 4:30 PM
When the ultrasound technician announced that she was pretty sure we were looking at a baby girl, I started crying. Right after I caught my breath.
Everything about this pregnancy has been so completely different than with Penelope. I'm carrying this baby much lower, I was sick in different ways and more intensely, my skin is completely dry and breaking out this time (as opposed to shiny, healthy, and the best skin ever, like with Pea!), I'm having a hard time sleeping (with Pea I would fall asleep the moment I hit the sheets), my hormone levels have felt completely different, I'm craving completely different things... everything just feels so different. And by all logic, lore, and legend, this means that I'm carrying the other gender this time-- a boy. But I've had such a hard time feeling like I'm really connecting to this baby, and I've felt kind of guilty. With Pea I was already having very clear, intense dreams about her--what she looked like, who she was, who she was meant to be.
I've had dreams, but they're all about me holding a baby girl. I assumed that I was just re-dreaming Pea. Until the technician spoke.
I started crying because I had been dreaming about this baby all along. The intuition was there--I was just so caught up in what the details looked like on paper and to everyone else who seemed to know that I didn't let myself believe what I guess I knew all along. I did want a Baby Oliver. But I want this baby even more.
And now we go back to the drawing board, for I really hate the thought of this child not having a name yet and I am not completely convinced of what it's supposed to be...
Posted by Annagrace at 11:15 PM
If this next one is half as funny and beautiful and smart as Penelope is, things are sure going to be interesting around here (though we probably won't have to pay a lick for college!)
Via Dooce, some helpful baby instructions I'm brushing up on. You should too...
Posted by Annagrace at 3:39 PM
That most of the bulbs I planted in November seem to have escaped the local squirrel gangs.
For such good, kind neighbors, especially the ones with the empty but beautifully kept lot who have informed me that Penelope and I are welcome to use it anytime she needs somewhere big and flat to run (our yard won't be finished till next year). The same neighbors have also said that once their enormous garden starts producing, we are more than welcome to help ourselves as long as we help with the weeding.
For sunshine and two hours at the park today.
The house cleaners, who came again (again!) today as my friend is still in the throes of renovation. The house smells like lilacs and fresh air.
For a few hours all to myself tonight.
For a partner/husband/best friend who is not only handsome and smart but works exceptionally hard to make possible everything that we have and have been able to accomplish the last 4.5 years. We've come through a LOT.
All the movement I've felt the past 24 hours. Maybe now I can stop worrying about this baby really and truly being ok.
For my crazy, little church (as Anne Lamott says) and all of the wonderful, creative, thoughtful, questioning people we are comprised of. I love that my children will have them as part of their tribe.
For grace, even on days when I feel exhausted and empty and wish I could just go to bed for a few (or several) hours.
For the rewards I see in Pea of consistent, loving boundaries. I'm realizing all over again that happy children are created as well as born.
An ultrasound in 2 days.
Posted by Annagrace at 4:22 PM
To the person from Germany who, according to Sitemeter, found my blog today by typing something along the lines of "very pregnant porn" into your search engine:
I can say with some level of certainty that you've come to the wrong place.
Maybe I should blog more about the exploitation of women and my thoughts on the subjects of, oh I don't know, child-trafficking demands at an all-time high thanks to American business men traveling overseas (and no doubt going home to innocent wives and children), pregnant prostitution as much more lucrative even though it's victimization of the child-to-be, the plight of the street-dwelling women in India and elsewhere and about birth violence in general? You know that normal people are actually bothered by this sort of thing, and don't go trolling the internet for pictures of naked pregnant strangers about to give birth so they can anonymously victimize them, right? You are a sick, sick man. "Man" might be an assumption on my part but it's a fair one, I think.
Therapy would be a good start. And staying away from women (and children!) a plus.
Of course now I'll pop up on all kinds of searches, but at least I've had my say.
In funnier news, someone else found my blog by typing, "rich person wanting a new friend" into Google. It's only an odd combo of words from various posts that took them to me, but I think it's hilarious. Maybe I will let them be my friend--since they just put their financial status out there, I've got a yard that still needs construction recovery, landscaping, and a nice fence and I wouldn't mind a new car while they're at it. Deal? Did the mail-order bride not work out so well?
Okay. I'm done.
Posted by Annagrace at 8:29 AM