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In addition to my last post, I should note that I had a baby in September. The ninth to be exact. Somehow I managed to never write that. He is lovely. Graham Thomas Smith. You all should friend me on facebook, cause I am a posting fiend over there.

A new year

I can't believe it is January already. My baby is 4 months old next Monday. Not allowed! My goals in the new year:

1- Post more, keep track of all the little milestones the kids are hitting. My goal is to write something at least every other day. Probably a lot of them will be short, status-y updates, cause it is hard to fit more in, with the kids.
2- Bake our own bread. I am using the Artisan 5 minute bread method, and it's pretty good. We can save lots and lots of money by not paying 3-5 dollars a loaf for mediocre organic whole wheat.
3- Cook more, get back into shape. We are going on an awesome, outdoorsy vacation in June, and I want to be fit enough to enjoy the various activities available. I am trying so hard to make peace with my post baby body, but I definitely need to work on eating better and moving more.

On that topic, a couple of my facebook friends with young children recently posted pictures of themselves pre-kids, and I would hazard a guess, in the 20-25 year old range. And said their goal was to get that body back. Both of these woman are seriously gorgeous women, who pregnancy has treated well, in my opinion. Curvy, buxom, in all the right places, the way a woman who has born children and is 30 *should* look, biologically. I get that age and pregnancy makes us all uncomfortable with how he we look naked, (oh trust me, I get it), but these are beautiful women, and it kind of pisses me off that society's ideal of beauty tells them that they need to look like angular, gangly teenagers. I don't know how to actually say that to them, so I am saying it here. You all are gorgeous. Let's be healthy and not aspire to a standard of beauty that makes no sense whatsoever for adult women.

I really just want to go back to bed.

I fail at posting.  We know this by now.  But can I just whine a little bit about how today is kicking my butt and it is only 9 am?  37 weeks pregnant on Monday, I can't really sleep anymore, Nell has decided to be a disaster with sleep as well all of a sudden and the minutia of being a stay at home mom is way too overwhelming for me to cope with today.  I am amazingly fortunate in a variety of ways, and really should quit my bitching.  But I seriously suck at managing my time, being organized and staying on task.  So obviously my choice of lifestyle with vast swathes of undefined time every day, varied and endless tasks that need to be done and no one to hold me accountable for how I spend my time was an excellent one.  Also, not sleeping makes me a crazy person.  Like for real crazy, not just theoretically so.  Anyway, the cleaners are comign at 10 (at least my wonderful husband is willing to accomodate my weaknesses) and normally I pick up, but this morning I just can't even figure out where to begin.  So the house is going to look like a disaster when they get here, and they will leave it clean and lovely, but with everything I didn't pick up put away in strange and unfindable places.  I need to leave in 15 minutes to get my car door fixed, and neither of us is dressed yet.  Have I mentioned my time managent problems?  Why am I on the computer right now?  Also I am having a baby in the next month, and I can't even begin to imagine how that all is going to work.  *deep breath*
Can I just say, this baby *never stops moving*.  I am somewhat terrified about what he will be like on the outside.  Nell was super chill and pretty much stayed in the same position my entire pregnancy, I didn't feel movement at all, until 22 or 23 weeks, and from then on it was mostly hiccups and kicks in my pelvis or bladder.  This is more like something out of Alien.  Limbs moving across my abdomen, hard pokey bits rolling around.  I am only 25 weeks and it basically feels like he is filling every single inch of space in there and trying to do some renovations to make more room.  Ack.

Long Over due

Update, per usual.

My child is astonishingly still asleep, so I can use the time to post to LJ.  I am nothing if not productive ;-)

Thing 1- Potty Training.  We started *sloooooowly* being more consistent with the potty training about 3 months ago, because she was taking herself to the potty for pees when naked and very occasionally asking to go when I went, in public restrooms.  We did the naked at home thing, and she figured that out very quickly (1 or 2 gross poop incidents, but now she always runs herself to the potty if she is naked and catches it in time, phew).  In the last week we have switched to training pants when out of the house, and are still mostly taking her to the potty every hour while she is wearing them, rather than relying on her to tell us.  But she has been dry during the day and for naps for several days.  So exciting!  Last night I decided to start putting her on the potty when she wakes up at night, and after her 6 am wake she went back asleep until now (still sleeping, 8:20am!).  So now of course I am making myself guilty wondering if she was waking up and peeing and then not falling back asleep because she was uncomfortable, previously.  Guilt!  But it's probably just that it is grey and horrible outside.

Thing 2- Nell, in general.  She continues to be an amazing kid.  I should upload some pictures, because she suddenly seems so grown up to me.  She talks in sentences, and repeats and remembers everything she hears.  She has memorized a bazillion of her books, which she demands we read all the time.  She is suddenly into pretend play, and will cook in her kitchen and take care of her doll, which melts my heart every time.  Ummm, she taught herself the alphabet song from her very annoying leap frog fridge phonics toy, and will sing that and many other songs from start to finish (or demand that I sing them to her, over and over and over).  She somehow learned her colors, and most of her shapes.  Toddlers are amazing, I swear they absorb this stuff from the air or something.  I think she takes after Tom with the scary memory thing.  It's definitely not from me!

Thing 3- Pregnancy.  24 weeks today!  I feel way more pregnant than that.  This baby is a gymnast and my right hip is royally screwed up.  I am somewhat terrified of how I am going to feel by the third trimester.  My midwife offered to refer me for PT or massage therapy for my hip, but I can't figure out how I could possibly fit that into my schedule, and I really don't like stranger touching me.  If it doesn't go away after the baby comes, I'll deal with it, but I think it will.  I also chopped off about a foot of my hair, which is becoming a pregnancy tradition.  I like this haircut a lot, it requires very little maintenance and doesn't look painfully momish.  I should post a picture, but I hate how my skin freaks out when I am pregnant, and thus have hated every picture taken of me lately.  I am excited that I found a local salon that seems to know what they are doing, and charges an amount we can actually afford.  Perhaps I will get my next haircut before this kids first birthday party.

Thing 4- Summer plans.  Everything is crazy busy already.  My sisters wedding is in 2 weeks, we have a baptism in Maine at the end of June, I need to find a weekend to fit in visiting NJ, or Tom's mother is going to make us feel guilty for the rest of time, we are camping for a week in July (can't wait!) and of course soon we will be doing those every 2 week prenatal appointments.  I don't mind the busy because it keeps me from getting bored and depressed, but I have a feeling that the fall will be here shockingly fast.  And then everything changes.  I am sure we will roll with it, and I am mostly excited, but still.  A bit anxious about how we are going to cope.  Hopefully the things that were really hard last time (mostly breastfeeding) will go more smoothly this time.  And Nell won't turn into an evil demon child. 
Going to try to post more, just to have somewhere to ramble about what we are up to, and hold myself accountable for the basic home management stuff which I am so, so very terrible at.

Nell and I had a nice morning, we went and dropped off a painfully large check at the car dealership for our new van and then went to family swim at the Y.  I am 99% sure this is my last pregnancy and maybe 50% sure our family is done after this.  We have bounced around the idea of doing foster care in the future, and would be open to adoption in that scenario.  But our house is tiny, so really we would need more space and that is 5-7 years down the road.  We got the van anyway.  The car seats fit easily, we can cart Nell's friends around, we can take one car when we have company in town, and we can fit all the camping gear in the back, without having to hum the tune to Tetris.  It's probably overkill, but thanks to the magic of Japanese Engineering the fuel economy is pretty comparable to midsized wagons and SUVs, and anything smaller than that would cause the same problems with lack of passenger space that we currently have.  So, van! 

Nell is obsessed with the water (and kind of always has been) so she was super excited to go swimming today.  I strapped on the bubble floaties they provide at the Y, and she kept trying to swim away from me.  It was very adorable.  She is also a fan of pulling herself up on the side, and jumping back in.  We stayed in the water for 45 minutes, until my back started to hurt, and I thought I might die if I didn't pee.  Her lips were purple, but she still complained when it was time to go.  Kid is a fish.  I intended to stop at the park on the way home, but 57 degrees and windy is not quite warm enough for outdoor play without coats.  Poor planning on my part (story of my life).  I always forget something.

Tonight for dinner "Tamale pie" from the vegetarian mother's cookbook (a polenta-ish crust, with beans, onions, tomatoes and corn, some cheese on top).  Hopefully it is good, and maybe if I am lucky I can get Nell to eat a bit.  Although I am not counting on that last bit.  We have company coming into town tomorrow, so of course I am also stressing about the state of the house (when am I not?).  Hopefully we can tackle it tonight.  Tomorrow, grocery shopping, possibly visiting Nell's buddy Connor and dropping off a loaner carseat and setting up the guest room for company.  It's a long weekend in MA, so yay for that!

Also- for anyone who is not on Facebook:  It's a boy!  I still need to scan in the couple of profile shots we have.  I am so glad my wonderful mama friends were able to watch Nell for me yesterday, because getting in and out of the city is a nightmare, and it was like 4 hours all told.  She had way more fun at playgroup :-)

I should probably do this more often.

I am 12 weeks and some change, as of right now.  I have already reached that "fat or pregnant?" stage of pregnancy which blows my mind because people were still looking at me disbelievingly, when I told them I was pregnant, at 20 weeks last time.  I still feel *gross*, but I am puking less often.  I think I have done a better job managing it this time, really focusing on eating every two hours, and drinking enough water.  I am just at the point where I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Nothing *ever* looks good, and I feel like the constant meals are torture.  The worst is when I actually do start to feel hungry, which always brings barfy along for the ride, and I can't think of a single thing in the universe that I would want to eat.  Oh man, I really was not planning on turning this into a pregnancy whine.  Oops.  So anyway, 12 weeks, I really should start to feel better in the next month right?  Someday food will again seem appetizing? 

Next week we see the midwife again, and at 13w4d, I am very hopeful we will hear a heartbeat.  If not I will probably consent to a quick ultrasound, just because I would like some confirmation other than my constant barfing that there is actually a baby in there and not some sort of horrible parasitic worm.  I am waiting until after the anatomy scan at 20ish weeks to make any plans about clothing/diaper purchases etc.  I think we have quite a bit for the early months already and my playgroup is currently chock full of babies, so I may be able to make up the difference in hand me downs.

In other news, I have basically done *nothing* for the past two months. Tom has been a super hero, taking on baby duty when he is home, keeping the house picked up and keeping us fed, all while dealing with an exceptionally busy few weeks at work.  I feel bad to put so much on him, hopefully soon things will be able to balance out a little more again.  He really is an amazing partner and father.  Nell is talking a *lot*.  Like sentences, phrases, words I don't even remember saying to her.  She is also clearly remembering things that happened in the past (even months ago sometimes) and talking about them.  It is so amazing to see her open up and become this little person.  Her grandparents (Tom's parents) were here this weekend through this morning, and she has been going, going, going, chasing them around and wearing them out.  She got up at 6 am this morning, so she is currently having a very early nap, and then we will see about plans for the afternoon.  Life!
Today I:
  • Took the baby outside for 20 minutes or so to enjoy the snow
  • Shoveled the Driveway (!)
  • Fed us breakfast and lunch
  • Washed a load of clothes and a load of diapers
  • Nursed a few times (fewer and fewer these days, kiddo is getting so big!)
  • Put the girl down for a nap at a reasonable hour
  • Took pictures and remembered to post them online

I am working on feeling good about the things I do get done, rather than overwhelmed by everything I haven't.  So far so good.  And obviously I could *always* be more productive, but why?  Good enough is good enough.

A link to today's snow pictures, because they are just so darn cute:  http://nell365.blogspot.com/2010/12/nells-snowy-day.html

About Religion

I had a fairly religious upbringing.  I was raised in an evangelical leaning Presbyterian Church where we spent a *lot* of time.  Sundays were Sunday School, church, youth group in the evenings in high school.  Wednesdays after school until dinner time there was various youth programming.  There were pot luck dinners, Sedar Suppers, picnics, Christian summer camps, youth evangelism conferences.  Despite all of this, or perhaps because of it, I emerged fairly unclear in my beliefs.  I was angry and outspoken in my atheism for a time, then quieter and more uncertain, deciding it was impossible to know or to prove either way.  I read about Buddhism, Hinduism, attended a Quaker Meeting for a while.  Silence, for those of you who have met me, is a not a particular skill of mine.  Meditation , quiet reflection, prayer, none of these things come easily for me.  I find faith fascinating, but I Do Not Get It.  I have really bright, thoughtful, introspective friends who have deep and genuine faith and to me it is like my science teacher confessing that he believes in Santa Claus. 

I have a facebook friend who works for Campus Crusade, and other friends who post about how God is a deep and integral part of their life, gives them comfort and peace, etc and it sort of blows my mind.  These are people who had the same religious upbringing as I did, some even in the same church and I am not sure what happened to lead us to such different conclusions.  I think the truth is that I really *want* to believe, but I seem to be lacking whatever organ it is in the human brain that gains comfort from such things. 

I don't know why I am writing about this, except that it has been on my mind.  My husband, who considers himself Catholic but wavers a bit on what that means exactly about God and Faith, and I have found a home in the local Unitarian Church.  It is a good place to be if you are a seeker, a believer in things unseen or an unabashed Atheist.  It is a wonderful community and I know my child will have a thorough education in comparative religion and basic decency at the very least, but I have to confess that we don't talk much about God.  It comes up in the sermon on occasion and our minister is particularly good at discussing Him/Her/It in an inclusive and inoffensive way, but outside of the sanctuary in personal conversation I feel like we skirt the topic.  I am always curious, where people stand on this issue, how they got there, how it makes them feel.  So perhaps I am looking to start a conversation. 

Tell me- what do you believe about God and/or spirituality?  Am I broken because I don't get it?  What makes it more believable for you than say, fairies and invisible unicorns?  :-P 

I don't mean to offend, so hopefully I haven't.  I just genuinely want to understand the people I know, and on this particular topic, I fall short.

I kind of fail at today.

Nell slept like crap last night, and then decided to sleep in until 10:30.  And the house is covered in folded laundry that needs to be put away, a load of unfolded diapers, a needing to be emptied dishwasher and my general lack of motivation to exist.  But rather than complaining about that (well, complaining *more* about that*) I am going to post one of the 8 million examples of why I am grateful for the life I live.  A husband who loves me unconditionally and appreciates what I do, even when I am not feeling very skilled at it.

(2:07:01 PM) dragonamoeba: I think we are just gonna go run some errands and maybe play at the library
(2:07:18 PM) dragonamoeba: since nap is most likely canceled and I don't want to sit here feeling like I am drowning in housework for the next 3 hours
(2:07:25 PM) Tom Work: sounds good to me
(2:07:34 PM) dragonamoeba: sorry in advance for the messy house and lack of dinner
(2:07:41 PM) dragonamoeba: I am sorry you didn't marry someone who was more wifely
(2:07:50 PM) Tom Work: nothing to be sorry about
(2:07:56 PM) Tom Work: i know you do your best, and it's really hard
(2:08:12 PM) Tom Work: i love you and i consider myself very fortunate to be married to you :)
(2:08:31 PM) Tom Work: i can't imagine having a family with anyone else

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3