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An Update, Because I Have Nothing Better to Discuss

Why, hello there.

It’s been a while. Or at least, it feels like it has. I’ve been so busy lately and I just haven’t had the energy, ability, or desire to write something worthwhile. At least not here, in this venue. But I’m feeding Poppy right now while binge-watching Army Wives, and I thought it would be a good time to pop in for a quick update on all the happenings in the Dash home.

So, here we go…

ME:

  • My mom left on Monday after spending eleven days with us. It was a glorious visit filled with lots of fun and laughter and very little strife, but I was on the go every second she was here. There were days I was only at home to sleep. I am exhausted. And lonely once again now that she is gone. Getting back into our old routine is always a little hard.
  • Breastfeeding continues and I donate hundreds of ounces every month to a set of twins who were born just a week after Poppy. Have I mentioned that before? I’m glad my body does this one thing right. And thankful that is has helped me to reach my goal weight earlier than I ever have postpartum, despite the copious amounts of sugar I’ve been eating. Breastfeeding cravings are seriously no joke!
  • Another essay of mine will be published on Scary Mommy on June 15th. This one will be published under “Anonymous” (to protect my kids) and is a bit more controversial than the last. I’m nervous about some of the hate it will surely get, but plan to brush it off and embrace the moment.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. This is really another post for another day, but I’m getting the itch to start “trying” again. We’ll be waiting until next spring, but I feel hopeful and scared and anxious for it all at once. I’m ready for it. But I’m not. But I am. But I’m not. And on and on it goes and always, at the back of my mind, there’s the question of whether I’ll ever even have the chance to have a fourth, ready or not.

HONEY:

  • We should hear any day or minute about what kind of raise or promotion he will or will not be getting. He recently retained a mega-million-dollar account for his company and worked his ass off to do it, so we’re hopeful they will compensate him accordingly and we will be deeply disappointed if they decide not to.
  • He’s always and ever an incredible husband and father. Hard-working. Jovial. Steady. The rock of our family. I’m the one who stays at home and yet he does so much to help me. Every day, I am reminded how lucky I am.

CUPCAKE:

  • She is about to graduate from preschool and I feel excited and a teensy sad to be staring kindergarten straight in the face. She looks forward to school every day, though, and I really, really hope that continues. It reminds me so much of myself.
  • That Scary Mommy essay I mentioned earlier? It’s about her. About how difficult it can be to be her mother, with the amount of attitude and grief that she throws at me on a daily basis. I really hope I don’t regret being so very honest in such a public format. Mom-guilt is real and constant and I’m already feeling it over this. Especially considering that, since writing this, she hasn’t given me many problems at all. I’m thankful for that, but it’s also very…curious. Could she be outgrowing it, after all? Or am I just immune to it after all these years?
  • The other day, she said to me out of the blue, “Mommy, I know you want another baby, but if you can’t have one, I’ll let you play with some of my dolls.” If only it were that easy, sweetheart. If only. And also…please don’t let this be some sign of what is — or is not — to come.

SKITTLE:

  • We just embarked on potty-training not long ago. We haven’t had many successes yet, but not many accidents either. Apparently, this kid has a bladder of steel.
  • She’s starting to talk, act, look, and walk more like a little girl than a baby. It breaks my heart, but I am enjoying every minute of this age with her. Everything she does is adorable. My favorite is when she dramatically throws herself onto the floor and says, “It’s no fair!” Any guesses where she learned that from?

POPPY:

  • Still no teeth. Still screaming in the middle of some nights and at random times during the day as if they will be arriving any moment. And he’s also taken to clamping down — hard — while nursing. This period of teething is so fun.
  • In the last week, he has gone from rolling around and getting stuck in odd places and then screaming for help to efficiently army crawling and getting to exactly what he wants. The dog food & water bowls now remain on the countertop during Poppy’s waking hours.
  • He had a prolonged cough and wheeze for months and there was talk of asthma, but the cough and wheeze are now almost entirely gone. Fingers crossed they stay that way!

WHAT ELSE:

  • We have started the home selling/buying process. At three bedrooms and 1500 square feet, we are maxed out on space here. I feel sentimental over leaving the only home our three children have ever known, a home that has seen me through some of my best and worst life moments, but we desperately need more space. I’m excited for what is to come, but I feel overwhelmed and stressed about the whole process. There’s so much to do! And how does anyone accomplish all of it with KIDS?!
  • Poppy and I will be flying to Idaho in a few weeks to visit my mom for a long weekend. And, later in the summer, we have two short beach getaways planned. We really should be spending our weekends and money getting our house ready to be put on the market, but quality family time is important. Or at least that’s what I tell myself every time I start to feel guilty about it.

So with all of that going on, I’m not really sure when I’ll be returning here. It may be in a week, or a month, or a year. I want this to be a place I can turn to, a release, a diary, but not an obligation. I’ll be back, maybe at the peak of craziness when I crave a shoulder to lean on, or maybe once the dust settles. This summer is going to be a whirlwind. And no matter what yours has in store for you, I hope you all are able to take a few minutes to enjoy a mojito and the sun on your face. Life is beautiful. Even when it’s hard, it’s beautiful.

Be well, friends. I’ll see you again soon. xo

#MicroblogMondays: Dateversary

It was this day, ten years ago, that my husband and I went on our first date. We shared two classes that semester, my final one, at college and he chased me down after History & Structure of the English Language to ask me to Starbucks. I was not looking for love — and in fact, was actively trying to avoid it — and had spent nearly every day for the last two weeks (or more?), attempting to find alternative ways to walk to/from class so that I wouldn’t have to talk to him, who was nothing if not blatantly obvious in his intentions. But he was bold and he was persistent and I was too nice to say no, so I obliged. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It’s been quite a decade. We have gotten engaged, gotten married, adopted a dog, suffered through months of infertility treatments, moved to another state, bought a house, brought three new lives into the world, and said good-bye to a tiny embryo that never got the chance to live. We have traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, California, London, and Australia. We have graduated college, ended old friendships, began new ones, lived through week-long power outages, told my mother about the abuse I suffered as a child, paid off our student loans, quit jobs and started new ones (many, many new ones), and purchased two new vehicles.

I’m thankful for it all, the good and bad and most of all that my husband saw my value and worth — my potential — all those years ago, long before I ever saw it myself.

Single Parenting

Four hours ago, Honey left for his first business trip since Poppy’s arrival. All weekend, he worked on laundry so that I would have very little to do while he’s away and, last night, he picked up groceries that would be easy for me to make for the kids — and a few “comfort foods” (i.e. ice cream) to ease my pain. This morning, he woke early to get me coffee and breakfast, showered, changed and dressed Skittle, helped get breakfast for both girls, and accompanied me as I dropped Cupcake off at preschool. Then he kissed Skittle, and Poppy, even the dog, before he came to stand before me. There were tears in my eyes as I said good-bye. We hugged. We kissed, and kissed again. And with his duffel bag in hand and a small smile on his lips, he waved and went on his way.

I watched him through the window, trying to catch one final glimpse of him through the low-hanging tree branches, memorizing the flip of his hair on his forehead, how he opened his door and slid into the driver’s seat in one smooth motion. I saw him look back at the house, but he must not have seen me standing there beyond the blinds because he drove off without acknowledging me in any way. The way I stood there, watching his car drive out of sight, you would have thought he was going off to war, with the threat of being gone for a long, long time or never returning at all.

I’ve known this day was coming for a few weeks and I have been counting down the days, then the hours and minutes, until the very moment when we said good-bye. Counting down as though I’m counting down to my very own death. Which is silly, I know. I feel stupid for feeling such dread over something that women (and men) have to do every day. But, still. These feelings are real.

And here’s the truth — these days will be hard. Honey is not at war. And he will be home by the end of the week. And as far as I know, my death is still a long time away. But these days will be hard.

Partly because I have three kids under the age of six who still require a lot of me. I am TIRED and need HELP by the end of a normal day, when my husband is home by 5pm. Right now, Poppy has the hiccups (which he hates) and is fussing in a bouncer that he has been in for less than five minutes after being held for an hour and I just want to cry because the thought of having to hold him nonstop until 10pm tonight when he goes to bed feels overwhelming.

And partly because Honey is my best friend and I miss him dearly when he is gone. He brings so much laughter and silliness into our home, so much strength and confidence and fun that we are missing when he isn’t here. I want another adult, my very favorite adult, to talk to over dinner, to watch Netflix with tonight. Don’t get me wrong — I’m an introvert. I grew up as an only child. I know how to value my time alone.  But I also crave  companionship. Especially his.

And also? This is partly so hard because my imagination run wilds and I start to worry about what-if scenarios. What if his plane crashes? What if someone opens fire at the conference he’s attending? What if, while we’re home alone at night, there’s a house fire or an intruder? Cupcake was crying this morning because she didn’t want her daddy to go and I started thinking, what if I have to tell her that he’s dead? What if we never see him again? It’s not an ideal place to be in as I embark on my sojourn into single parenting.

I know I can do this. I’ve done it before  (albeit, with one less kid). It’s not fun. The days are long and lonely and the nights are creepy. But I know I can do it. There are many single parents around the world who have to do this day in and day out. It’s not always easy, but it’s possible.

So I will do it.

I will make it through.

But thank God for the pint of Haagen Dazs waiting for me in the freezer.

 

 

Honey: He Just Gets Better and Better

Well, since I’ve already written posts about Cupcake and Skittle this summer, it seems only fair that I pay tribute to my incredible husband as well.

Honey.

He’s kind, patient, thoughtful. He’s confident, genuine, and strong. He’s accepting of everyone. He’s hard-working and funny. In fact, he prides himself on his sense of humor and the jokes he tells (think: Chandler from Friends). He has no desire to actually make a living as a comedian, but he seems to be constantly working on a stand-up routine. He loves to brag about his amazing head of hair (and that’s not just ego talking; he really does have great hair!) and he’s smarter than just about anyone else I know. The amount of knowledge and information in that brain of his is astounding. And the facts that he remembers, even if he learned them long ago! He’s a sponge. Really. And I feel stupid on a daily basis because he just out-thinks me all the time. And I love him for it.

But that’s not really the purpose of this post. I don’t want so much to talk about who he is, but about the kind of devoted father he has evolved into over these last few years, and the wonderful man and husband he has been to me, always wonderful since the day we met nine-and-a-half years ago but especially so since the start of this pregnancy.

Honey really has been a gift to me, since our first coffee date in 2006, always and ever understanding of my insecurities and mood swings, gently guarding my easily-wounded heart, validating all of my irrational feelings and emotions, encouraging me to follow my passions and dreams, allowing me to be who I am without asking me to be anything more, and never shaming me for my infertility or miscarriage or all the pain and grief that it has caused me. In that, he has been amazing and everything I needed at all the right times. But when Cupcake was born in 2010, it was as though he lost all confidence. He’d never spent much time with children and he didn’t know what to do or what I needed from him. It took him a loooooong time to bond with Cupcake and, in the meantime, I think he maybe changed two or three diapers in the first two months of her life. He only held her when I essentially asked him or required him to. And he went to bed every night at 10 or 11pm and slept through until his alarm went off in the morning, while I got up to breastfeed frequently and then sometimes spent hours holding a baby who just wouldn’t sleep in the bassinet. I remember feeling so dang alone (and tired!) in those first few months. (For all of you first-time expectant moms who worry this could be you in just a short time, I promise it doesn’t stay that way forever! I think it maybe took us six months to find our groove and get back to some version of “normal.”)

Flash forward five years and everything is different. The Change started as soon as he and Cupcake made a connection in her later infancy, but it was especially noticeable years later, in the delivery room before Cupcake’s little sister Skittle was born. Instead of napping for three hours while I was in labor like he did with Cupcake, he stayed awake the whole time I was laboring with Skittle. And he was engaged and asked questions of the nurses (lots and lots of questions) and seemed happy and excited, rather than indifferent, unsure, or scared. And when our Skittle was born, he cried hard and whispered “I love you” and, every time I think of that moment, I fall in love with him all over again. Like, madly, deeply, I’m-so-giddy-I-could-sing in love. It still took a while for him to form a significant bond with Skittle, but he never hesitated to change her diaper, or give her a bottle, or hold and rock and snuggle her.

And now he is the father whose face lights up whenever he sees his children. And the father who spends nearly every second, from the time he walks in the door at the end of the work day until the time he tucks his children into bed, playing and reading to them. The father who stands at one of his girl’s bedroom door when she is asleep and says, “I just want to wake her up and hold her.” And the father who patiently takes Cupcake to her bed over and over again when she gets up multiple times before falling asleep with multiple lame excuses about why she’s up (“my blankets are twisted, Daddy,” and “I need someone to tuck me in better, Daddy” and “I want some more water, Daddy”). He’s the father who slowly and in the greatest detail explains how digestion works or what a sewer system is whenever his curious preschooler asks. The father who insists on calling the nurse about a low-grade fever. The father who feels guilty when he goes to a movie with a friend or on an out-of-state father-son expedition in search of meteorites, because he is not spending it with his girls. And praise the LORD, he’s the father who insists on sitting beside Skittle’s crib on the endless nights of teething when she is crying out for us, just sitting there in the dark with his Smartphone, sometimes for an hour or more, until she falls asleep. And never once seeming to mind doing it or making me feel guilty because I never handle that part of parenthood anymore. He’s that incredible.

But there’s more.

This pregnancy has been a hard one for me. Not only do I have two kids to wrangle now, rather than one or none, but the nausea and vomiting continued into the start of my third trimester. (I think we’re finally past it now. Woot woot!) There have been days — many, many days — where I was just too tired or sick when he came home to make dinner, pick up the toys, and do any other expected parenting duties. And so he would (and sometimes still does) handle it all. And I mean, all of it. My husband has never had much confidence in the kitchen, but he has learned how to cook and blend and bake anyways. He’s become the Smoothie Master in this household and has tweaked many a cookie recipe in an effort to create something that Skittle could eat with all of her allergies. And when he’s done cooking dinner or baking cookies, he’s gone on to mopping the kitchen floors, putting away the mess of toys spread from one end of the house to the other, bathing our girls, and putting them both to bed all on his own. And then he does the dishes, cleans the kitchen, empties the trash, and does whatever else I have put on his list for that day. There have been days in this pregnancy when he has worked, either for his employer or at home, from the time he woke up until the time he crash-landed in bed at night. And though I know he’s tired, rarely has he ever complained. And rarely has he made me feel like I’m not doing enough. And still, in between all of the chores and work and exhaustion that plague his day, he finds a way to make me feel extra-special, with an unexpected foot rub or a surprise treat brought home at the end of the day. He’s always thinking of and working for me and his family, never of and for himself.

The truth is, I don’t deserve him. Because he is every cliche in every epic love story. He’s not perfect, but he is my knight in shining armor. A hero. My rock. Bigger than life and always there, always strong and dependable. Always saving me, in one way or another. And I am not worthy of it. I am often tired, and cranky, at the end of my days, unable to give much of myself to anyone at that point. And he just gives and gives and gives. And somehow, he chose me and he sees that this is exactly how it should be and, as far as I know, doesn’t wish for anything else. Except maybe a bigger house. 🙂 Yes, I’m unfathomably lucky.

In fact, I often look at my Honey, and my two beautiful daughters, and this expanding belly, and I can’t believe how lucky I am. It’s not that infertility and my miscarriage and all of the junk that goes along with it is forgotten. I remember. But I it doesn’t rule my life any more. Or at least, not right this minute. Right now, there is no bitterness, or jealousy, or anger, or despair that I had to go through that. Just gratitude for what I have. Gratitude and love.

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Sticky and Stuck

I’m feeling stuck. I can’t decide what to write here, or if I should write nothing or everything. Should I give pregnancy updates? Talk about my day-to-day with Cupcake and Skittle? Get philosophical on what it means to be a mother, or infertile? Get sentimental and remember the baby I lost, but haven’t forgotten? I sometimes think I should participate in Microblog Mondays, but I usually don’t even think of it until Monday night and then it just seems like too much work.

I think part of the problem is that I want to write something meaningful — something that matters — and I’m not sure this is the right place for that, or if what matters to me matters to anyone else. And honestly, I don’t even know what matters to me right now. I have two kids and another on the way, and I’m just tired and rushed and a bit overwhelmed, and writing anything coherent seems like a daunting task. And it’s really hot here in the Pacific NW, where A/C is not really the norm inside homes (including ours), so I’m not just stuck, I’m sticky. With sweat. And unmotivated to do much of anything because of it.

See, I have a lot of excuses for my lack of content, but none of them really mean anything, do they? So just please bear with me as I try to figure this out. I’m not sure if I’ll be writing more or less in the coming weeks, but I promise you I will continue writing as I feel inspired to do so. And many thanks to all of you who have stuck around. Whether you lurk in the shadows or comment on every post, I feel your love and appreciate your support.

While I’m here, let me give a brief(-ish) pregnancy update in an easy-peasy bullet point format:

  • I just began my third trimester (depending on who you ask). I’m 27 weeks as of yesterday.
  • I’m still struggling with “morning sickness.” It’s better than it was in the first trimester, but I suffer through periods of nausea several times a week still. I vomited just tonight, right after dinner, per my usual once-a-week meet and greet with the porcelain throne. It kind of blows my mind since it was never like this in my last pregnancies. I hardly had any sickness with Skittle and, though I often felt very nauseous with Cupcake, it was gone by 13 weeks. And yet here I am, at 27 weeks, with vivid memories of what the inside of our toilet looks like. Crazy.
  • Besides the nausea AND my severe seasonal allergies, I’m feeling pretty good. Tired, but not terribly so. The headaches that I was having for a good few weeks are gone now. I don’t have the same shortness of breath or leaky bladder that I did in my last pregnancy, and no blood pressure spikes or hemorrhoid flare-ups yet (though I am fully expecting both of those to come knocking at my door down the road).
  • Emotionally, I’m feeling pretty strong and serene. I have my moments certainly, and I can feel my anxiety creep from my stomach to my chest to my throat when this baby has been too quiet for too long, but I’m managing to keep it mostly under control. Hourly kick counts help. And by “hourly,” I mean every hour that I’m awake of every day, I keep a tally sheet of how many times Poppy kicks, and I have been for the last seven weeks. I know it’s a bit insane — proof that I’m by no means “normal” when it comes to pregnancy — but it really does help to keep the crazies under wraps.
  • We’ve chosen a name! Just tonight. We had it narrowed to two and I told Honey to make the final decision because I just couldn’t. I love them both too much. The name we’ve chosen is a bit unusual and, though used exclusively for boys in the U.K. (where it originates), it’s become trendy to use it for girls here in the U.S. That worries me some, as well as the fact that his initials sort of allude to a swear word, but all in all, I adore the name we’ll be giving this little boy and am excited to reveal it to our friends and family (and on this blog!) after his birth.
  • I’m whittling away at my pregnancy “to do” list. So far, I have asked my friend Leigh to be my doula again, hired a birth photographer (sooooo excited for this one!), hired a maternity and newborn photographer, started stocking our deep freeze with freezer meals, and done lots and lots of shopping for our little man. But I still have more shopping to do, plus preparing the nursery, making more freezer meals, and moving Skittle into Cupcake’s room (which I am beyond terrified for).

And an update on the rest of my life:

  • I’ve been feeling a bit isolated and lonely these days. With Cupcake out of preschool for the summer and me having so much I want to accomplish at home, I’m finding that we don’t get out of the house as much as we should. We’ve had a few playdates and I’ve gone out with Leigh several times, but most of my days are primarily spent with a 1- and 4-year-old. They make me laugh, but it’s not the same as having the company of an adult. It’s times like this when I really miss Lillian and the rest of my mom’s group (which has essentially fallen apart over the last two years). So I’m painfully aware that my social life is in the crapper right now. But I’m thankful for my one good local friend, Leigh, and the support and comedy that she adds to my life. We spent all of this past Saturday making homemade strawberry jam and we have other fun things planned for this summer, too.
  • Though Honey is gone most of the day, working hard on a project at work that is finally nearing its end (thank GOD!), he comes home and somehow finds it in himself to have a good chunk of quality time with his girls and to help me around the house. Right now, I’m typing this post up and he’s sweeping the kitchen floor (after having already done the dishes and going to fill my car up with gas), that’s how amazing he is. I hope to write a blog post on him soon, but suffice it to say, I am so, so, so lucky this man is mine.
  • Cupcake is four-and-a-half now and still has one year of preschool ahead of her before entering “big kid school.” She’s about to have her very first haircut and I’m nervous but ready for the change. This girl continues to challenge me with her strong-willed ways, but we are now past the worst of the toddler power battles and every day with her is becoming more and more fun. She’s thrilled to bits to have a baby brother on the way.
  • Skittle is 20 months and every day with her is a joy. Her two-year molars are considering their entrance and so there’s a lot of drool in our house and a few difficult nights here and there, but overall, this girl just amazes me with her fearless, determined, playful, and loving spirit. I don’t want this stage to end! But more on that later. I hope to write a post on each of my girls sometime over the summer.

So that’s where we’re at in a nutshell. Up next for us:

  • Getting the results to my one-hour glucose test. I’m really, really nervous for this since I failed last time (but then passed the the 3-hour test). I just want to be able to eat all.the.ice.cream, you know? It’s hot here!
  • A road trip to Idaho to visit family. Not sure how it will go being trapped in a car for four or five hours, but I’ve done it before in pregnancy. I can do it again!
  • Massages and attending a painting party with my friend Leigh. I’ll also be taking boudoir photos for her later this summer since the last time we made an attempt, she came down with strep throat.
  • My maternity photos at the end of this month. I’m paying an obscene amount of money for this photographer, but having her take my maternity photos has been my dream for a while. She’s a-mazing!
  • My 32nd birthday in just a few more weeks.
  • A visit to my sister in August. She’s going through a divorce and is really in need of the extra support these days.
  • A final litttle hurrah as a family of four over Labor Day weekend, when we go stay at a rented house on Puget Sound. Sounds relaxing…I really hope it is!

There’s a lot on the horizon for us and, as summer turns to fall, the crowning glory will be this baby’s birth. It’s crazy, and incredible, to imagine.

The Change

Last year, I wrote a post about my husband as a father and I mentioned how hard it was for him to bond with Cupcake in the beginning. Honey is not the type of man who loves someone on principle alone. He does not love you because he has to, because he is supposed to, or because you share the same blood. This might explain why the dissolution of his relationship with his big brother has caused him no great grief. He does not feel obligated to maintain a relationship with him just because they have the same parents.

Likewise, it also makes sense why the birth of his daughter did not immediately make his heart swell with love and affection. Honey had to get to know her first. And that takes time. Of course, even though he assured me that he knew his feelings would eventually change, those two months of un-bondedness when Cupcake was a newborn were hard. At least, hard for me. I was hormonal and exhausted and worried that my husband may never love his little girl like I did. Or at all. But all the worry was for naught, because he was right and I was wrong. Thankfully. As Cupcake grew, so did Honey. He became more comfortable in his fatherhood. His face would light up when he saw his daughter. And now, you would never know that, once, he hadn’t even wanted children. Or that there was a time less than three years ago, when his baby girl was no different than any other stranger to him. He is now undeniably in love with Cupcake and with being Cupcake’s father and he is a different man altogether. Softer. Gentler. More responsible. More mature. More selfless. And I am so lucky that his is the father of my children.

But of course, with another baby on the way, I have been thinking of Cupcake’s early months all over again. And wondering if things will be different. Wondering how Honey will adjust. While I don’t know if the bonding will be instantaneous with Skittle, I do think it will happen sooner this time. Honey has even said so himself. Already, he seems more ready and more excited to welcome this second baby than he ever did the first. He talks about Skittle a lot. He touches my belly. When I first told him I was pregnant, he seemed happy instead of terrified. And he now knows what to do as a father. He knows how to change a diaper, how to hold a newborn. He knows that they are blobs in the beginning and get their personalities some time later. He is more prepared for what is to come.

And so am I. Because I know that, no matter how Honey feels in those first few weeks, there will come a day when his second daughter joins Cupcake as the center of his universe. She will melt his heart, become the apple of his eye, bring him glee and laughter every day. I don’t know when that will be, but it will happen sooner rather than later and I cannot wait for it. Because watching my husband parent is one of the greatest joys in my life.

Lucky

I am so lucky. Lucky because:

  • My husband goes out of his way to make me feel special and beautiful and valued. For my birthday, he made me a necklace that must have taken forever to create.
  • Cupcake is more than I ever even dared to hope for. She makes me laugh every day, often every hour. This week, she’s been marching around the living room, repeating “Plus sign, Minus sign” over and over — for no reason at all. And today, she asked, “Where’s Burger King?” The only thing is, we have no idea where she came up with that because we never go to BK. Like, never ever.
  • Skittle has been kicking away for days, giving me very little reason to worry about her well-being.
  • Right now, I have a precious puppy dog licking my swollen feet and it feels like an at-home pedicure.
  • When I took a spill on the sidewalk over the weekend, I landed on my hands and knees and not any other precious body parts. The worst that happened was a skinned and bruised knee. Skittle immediately did a few somersaults to let me know that she was okay.
  • My mom just made an appointment for a prenatal massage for me. Her treat.
  • I have some really good friends, one (Leigh) of whom is willing to act as my doula at Skittle’s birth and another (Lillian) whom is my back-up sitter for Cupcake if my sis doesn’t arrive in time when I’m in labor. Us three girls have one last weekend getaway planned for this weekend!
  • So many of my worries end up being unfounded. Worries about Cupcake. About Skittle. About never again conceiving. About our financial security. About my husband’s job security. About my health. I now only pray that my worries about a breech baby, Honey being successful in Sales, and changes that I’ve seen in a mole on my neck (dermatology appointment tomorrow) all prove to be in vain as well.
  • I know God. When I have nothing else, at least I have my faith.
  • My husband was able to find a minivan in great condition at a really good price, and I suddenly have stopped caring that I’m going to be one of those moms. You know…the kind who drives a minivan.
  • My mama is amazing. She has spent the last eleven days with us and, in that time, she cleaned my house, made every meal every day, bathed Cupcake multiple times, let my husband and I have a date night, did five loads of laundry, put away all the groceries I bought, and stocked our freezer with four loaves of bread and countless homemade muffins, cookies, snack bars, and pancakes to enjoy for after Skittle arrives. We also did a number of fun activities together, like the zoo and an amazing little farm and a day trip to a city on the sea, and she paid for it all. I was sad to drop her off at the airport this evening, but am excited for her return in two months or so. It is crazy to think that, the next time I see her, Skittle’s birth will be imminent. As in, I will be nearing my due date, in labor, or our second baby girl will already have arrived. Wow!
  • We have a home that somehow always seems to expand to accommodate new family members and new toys, clothes, and other baby paraphernalia.
  • There always seems to be just enough money to buy what we need to and often even what we want to. Can we be sure money doesn’t grow on trees?

If I was so inclined, I could also tell you all the ways in which I am unlucky. Because many times, in many ways, I feel exactly that. Unlucky. But not today. Not now. Not lately. These days, I am just constantly overcome with a sense of gratitude for my blessings and good fortune. It leaves me feeling very emotional, very unworthy, and very fearful for what might be around the corner. I mean, things can’t stay this good forever, right? But right now, I will just thank my lucky stars and enjoy these days and these gifts and rest assured in knowing that life is full of ups and downs. And even if we do crash and burn, we will rise again.

And if you’re interested, a new bump photo has been posted here.