"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Feels Like Summer

For so many reasons, I'm having difficulty convincing myself it's only May.

For one, the temperature has been in the nineties for the last few days, something that seems entirely out of context to me until at least mid-July. Milo has shed what appears to be a completely new cat onto my clothes.

Secondly, I've been having contractions-- real ones-- meaning that my summer baby will be joining us soon! So far I'm not dilated at all, but I am effaced and looking ready to go. The baby is VERY low, and the midwife thinks she'll be arriving on or before her due date. I am thrilled. These last couple of weeks have been quite uncomfortable, and now I've actually started going into false labor! I'll be getting pretty businesslike contractions regularly for an hour... or two... or three... and then they'll suddenly stop. It's driving me crazy, and I think it's even worse for Avery because he gets so excited each time. Oh well, every day the odds improve that this time it will be the "real thing."

Thirdly, and on a related note, I am not going to be going back to work tomorrow! Yep folks, as of now I am a stay-at-home parent. The midwife determined that my false labor is being caused by stress, and so my summer vacation has started about a week and a half earlier than anticipated.

I have such mixed feelings about this new world I'm entering into... I always knew it would be a possibility that I would not finish the school year, but I kind of pushed that possibility to the back of my mind whenever I thought about the kids I work with. I wanted so badly to get to see them off as they devoured end-of-the-year cupcakes and planned their summer adventures. I've watched so many of them grow and develop in wonderful, surprising ways throughout the year. I wish I could have known that the last day I spent working with them would be my last day.

On the other hand, I am getting more excited every day about life as a mom. I keep thinking of things I can't wait to share with my daughter, like snacking on melon slices at the farmer's market or taking a (very short) ride on Yakima's streetcar. We'll water the garden and walk to the children's museum and visit the library! Of course, I imagine that in the early weeks and months we'll also spend a lot of time at home, where I can clean up after her various bodily functions in privacy and crash on the couch when I'm exhausted... but the world is such a big and beautiful place that my head actually spins when I think of how wonderful it will be to share it with my baby girl. That's the sort of thing makes me love teaching so much, a job that I will miss and know I'll return to someday in some form or another. I suppose in a lot of ways I'll get to continue doing the job that I adore, only instead of having a whole class I'll just have a very special One.


Today I attempted to make myself useful by "helping" to wash the Element. Mostly I was in charge of operating the hose and pointing out missed spots, but it sure felt nice to get wet. Avery did all of the actual legwork. We also installed the carseat-- hooray!-- where I helped even less. My job was basically to sit behind the driver's seat and occasionally inspect the seat base to make sure it was at the right level. I spent the time between inspections making "I'm uncomfortable" noises and handing Avery the installation guide. Thank goodness I was there, right? Time for this baby to come out.

Align Center

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

As promised....

...pictures of the nursery! 

Call the fire department...

I never thought I'd be one of those people who freak out about their pets, but that was before I acquired Milo, a cat who doesn't seem to have two brain cells to rub together. I honestly worry about him walking headfirst down the laundry chute and breaking his neck. When we found him he was half-dead in the Old Navy parking lot, and we honestly didn't expect him to make it through the night. Fortunately he's grown into a nice healthy cat, but I think he might have brain damage from when he was little. So, whenever a feline mishap occurs I'm concerned but not surprised.

Here's the latest event in the saga: yesterday our adorable dumb-ass cat got stuck up a tree. How cliche can you get?

We were having a picnic dinner outside when it occurred to me that I hadn't seen Milo around for a while. I mentioned this to Avery and we had a little chuckle imagining what kind of trouble he had gotten into. Then, not five minutes later, I spotted a furry blob in our birch tree about 25 feet off the ground. It was Milo, clearly freaked out, panting and howling. Avery left his dinner to scale the tree and try to get Milo down, but Milo was having none of that-- he clung to the branch with all four paws AND his tail! It was really windy, the sun was going down, and Avery was starting to get nervous being so high in the tree. Milo wouldn't budge. Crap.

Our first plan was to lower the cat down in a basket, but that idea died pretty quickly when Milo refused to get into the basket. Luckily, we are geniuses. Avery climbed down and found a nice long plank in the garage left over from building our planter boxes, and with some (minimal) help from me managed to hoist the plank all the way back up to our terrified kitty. Both of my boys were happily reunited with the ground, and now I'm "that" person: the lady who freaks out when her cat gets stuck up a tree.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jamaica and I have had a busy morning planting our new garden for the first time. She's wiped out having a nice nap on the couch right now, so I'll post a few pictures. I went to take a few snapshots and realized the whole memory was full of picures of Milo when he was a kitten and, seeing a potential pattern, I realized I'm going to need a few hundred more GB of storage sometime soon. For those of you keeping track, Jamaica's starting to show some definite signs of labor coming sooner rather than later, so I'd say it's a good bet we'll be meeting Geneva before the garden sprouts! 

For now, enjoy a couple pictures. We're hoping to finish up the nursery this afternoon (I think I've said this a few dozen times by now), so I may post some pictures of Ginny's room tonight.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Home Alone

Sometimes I wonder what I missed out on by never having lived alone. It seems like something every adult should do at some point, but then again I've never been one of those people who needs a lot of "alone time" so the experience might be more miserable than beneficial for me. Anyway, I get to thinking about the subject when I find myself home alone. Avery is at a conference in Vancouver this week so it's just me, the cat and the bump, fending for ourselves. Today I went to Kiki's for dinner and read an entire National Geographic magazine from cover to cover as I slowly enjoyed my hot and sour soup. On Wednesday I worked for eleven hours straight. Tonight I'm watching a movie Avery doesn't particularly enjoy, but that I really like. I'm enoying these little moments, and the flexibility of choosing my own insomnia-driven schedule, but in the spaces between I'm lonely. I miss my husband. I am also finding that without someone to laugh with, it's much easier to cry over things like my outrageously puffy feet. Living by my own rules is nice, but nice in the same way as going on a trip somewhere: it's new, it's fun, and no matter what it's just not home.

P.S. Jen, oh my gosh!!! Congratulations!!! I've been rooting for more St. Hilaire babies, so YAY :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Last Haircut

I absolutely love getting haircuts, and tonight's was a humdinger. I could feel the stylist's scissors pressed right up against the nape of my neck, followed by the soft velcro sensation of hair being clipped away. Yes! Finally, someone who wasn't afraid to give me a REAL haircut, as opposed to the lovely one-inch trims I've often received from more timid stylists. This cut is short, rendering ponytails out of the question, and I just love it.

Why am I writing about my haircut? I don't really know... I suppose it's simply because it put me in a wonderful mood. It is also just one more thing that I'll never do again in my pre-parenthood life. From now on, I will receive all of my haircuts as a mother. Not that this is somehow earth-shattering to contemplate, but it's just interesting. I wonder how many other things I've done for the last time before becoming someone's mom... buy shampoo, go for a jog, shop for a bathing suit, attend a wedding could all make the list. It makes me more appreciative of the time I have left before she's born-- a measely five weeks-- and has also piqued an intense curiosity about all of the things I'll do for the "first" time once she gets here.

It's hard for me to believe sometimes, but I really will miss being pregnant. I won't miss the heartburn, the exhaustion, or the waddle, but it has been so special getting to carry my little girl with me everywhere I go, feeling her wiggles and flips as I go about my day. Right now she is balled up on my left-hand side. I think it's because I was laughing at Avery threatening to spike the cat like a volleyball. Yes, we are a ridiculously content little family.

I'm not sure I have the hang of this blogging thing, but I imagine I'll improve as I have more interesting things to blog about. We'll call this Take One.