Tuesday, September 23, 2008

FAL days

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my FAL days - as in, Free At Last!

Yes, for the first time in almost five years, I have a few hours to myself those two mornings while the kids are in school (unless they're home sick, like they were last week, and my husband is conveniently out of town, so it's AKATT - All Kids, All The Time. How the fuck do homeschool parents DO it??).

Let me tell you how my first FAL day went down. David walked Sawyer to pre-k and I took Sage to her preschool - yes, I have two kids going to schools in two towns at exactly the same time. I dropped her off, she shed not a tear, and I hustled back to my car, knocking over two mothers with their babies in strollers.

I got into the car. Shut the door, and let out a primal yell that sounded something like "AHAHAHAHA! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

I then went to...wait for it...Target! I had to shop for Sage's birthday, which was the next day. I ran into the mother of one of Sawyer's former preschool classmates. She was there with her daughter and her 2 year-old son, who has some "issues" and basically screamed and yelled the entire time.

I did my happy dance right in her face. OH YES I DID!

Sorry that YOU'RE with your two crazy kids and I'm free to stroll around, filling my cart with such necessary items as a Hello Kitty Toothbrush and mallowcreme pumpkins without anyone demanding a new Transformer or a 5,000 piece puzzle.


Ahem. Anyway, it's not been all fun and games. I did get myself to the gym one time and jogged for 25 minutes. At a pace slower than my last two miles of my marathon. Today it was exchanging clothes at Old Navy and going to the grocery store.

I had more envisioned mornings of pedicures and Starbucks. But I've found there are too many errands to run and stuff to get done.

But you know, it's still early. I'm sure I'll figure out how to really make the time my own - probably right around the beginning of March, when No. 3 arrives and it starts al over again.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yeah, hello?

Excuse me, Second Trimester?

I'm wondering if perhaps you didn't get the message that, at just about 15 weeks, I'm in your realm.

I know you're busy, gestating the creature and all that, but if you could spare a moment or two, it'd be sooooo great if you could possibly remember to give me that, you know, burst of energy? Because I'm still so exhausted I need a nap to recover from my nap. And I'm not clear that the Wild Cherry Pepsi I've been guzzling is really all that good for a developing fetus.

Also, and I don't mean to be a nag or anything, but I could REALLY do without the nausea, like the kind you dropped on me for the entire day of Sage's birthday party. Maybe it was your way of telling me to back away from the cupcakes. Next time, could you be a little more subtle?

I am really trying to get on board with this whole pregnancy thing. Frankly, it would be a whole lot easier if you would work with me.


I'll even promise to smile next time I tell someone I'm preggers.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.


Your Gracious Host

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Speaking of three..

Somehow, my baby is 3. THREE!

Why does it seem so much older than, say, 2? If I'm kvelling now, just wait til Sawyer turns 5 in December. That's a WHOLE HAND.

Two was a such a huge year for Sage. She went from only a handful of words to singing long involved songs about ballerinas in the sky that she invents. She learned the potty is to pee and poop on, not a place to wash her dolls. Her hair grew long enough for pony tails - and now she doesn't even cry when I put them in.

She likes to read her own books. Pick out her own clothes. Play with the trains while everyone else is playing with the cars.

She also really loves to snuggle with Daddy, to the point of shoving me or shouting "Mommy, get out of the way!" And she especially likes to tell Daddy "You're my honeybear, right Daddy? NOT Mommy!"

There were no tears when I dropped her off for her first day of preschool this summer - that is, not until the class was over. "I miss Mommy," she told her teacher. For the first few classes, she would tear up and look for me. But now she heads off like a champ. "I didn't even cry, Mommy!" she told me proudly Tuesday.

Tap and ballet class is her new passion (even more than Hello Kitty!). She smiles the whole time, like the teacher is holding a great big pink frosted cupcake in front of her. She's just waiting to be a "yittle bit bigger" so that she can play soccer like her big brother.

For now, I am very proud that she dances to her own beat.

Happy birthday, Sweet Loo. I love you.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Best Things in Life are Three. Right?

I thought I was in perimenopause. I really did. I googled. I read. I matched symptoms.

I mean, really, what else could it be?

This is what I told my friend on the phone over 4th of July weekend. Maybe I also mentioned that I had a tough time getting through my 8 miler a few days before, and that a three miler almost killed me that morning.

I'm sure I told her I was six days late, but after being five days late the month before, surely this meant I was, you know, getting old?

That's when she suggested the P word to me. I believe I said something profound in return, possibly Fuck Off.

But I did drive down the street to the store to pick up a pregnancy test. The kind that says Pregnant or Not Pregnant. I waited until Sage was down for her nap and David took Sawyer to the park to learn to ride his bike without training wheels.

Who knew I'd be the one unable to keep my balance.

I peed. I laughed to myself. Then I looked at the stick.


GAAH! Yes. That was my exact word.

No more denial. I was almost six weeks pregnant. With my third.

I had to sit down. This was not supposed to happen. I mean, I know HOW it happened, but the timing...let's just say it didn't seem possible. But there I was.

Happy? Not at all. I was in, possibly, the best shape of my life. I had just run my second marathon the month before. I was going to run my third in December.

I turn 40 soon after that race. I was going to enter the next decade strong and fit and ready to go back to the Cayman Islands for a little child-free R&R with David to celebrate.

That was my vision.

So let's just say it's taking me awhile to wrap my head around the change in plans.

Everything was turned upside down.

Sawyer and Sage are finally at the age where they don't need me so much. They play together. They can get dressed. They're potty trained.

I'm SO done with the baby phase. I had no interest in entering it again.

Then there's the issue of logistics. Where would we put the baby in our tiny house? We'd already outgrown it with the four of us. How would we afford another college tuition? Forget retirement. David will be 62 when this kid is 18.

It just didn't seem real. Soon the relentless nausea and fatigue set in. As did the worry; once you've had a miscarriage, you never really feel comfortable that the pregnancy will stick.

I went in for an ultrasound a couple days after the positive test and, to my surprise, saw a strong, fast heartbeat.

The weeks went on. My training partners started to increase their distances. I couldn't keep up. I watched them, through tears, as they ran ahead of me, til they were out of sight. Soon, they decided to run near their homes. I haven't run since.

A big part of my life for the past couple years, the thing that had finally made me feel like more than "just a mom," had ended.

Now what?

A couple weeks ago I took the kids with my to my 12-week checkup. I had just told them that I had a baby in my tummy. They were beyond excited. So we went, and their eyes widened when they heard that distinctive "wockawockawocka" of the heartbeat.

They have been astonishingly sweet. Sage kisses my belly and, when she fell off our bed the other day, she cried and fearfully asked "Did I scare the baby?" Sawyer talks to it and asks if he can hold the baby when it's born.

He also asked whether my stomach would crack in half for the baby to come out. Imagine his expression when I told him exactly frow where it would enter the world.

So I will live though their wonder. I will remember that the creation of life is a miracle and a blessing. I will remind myself that soon we will not be able to imagine our family without No. 3.

Another journey. Not the one I had planned, but sometimes, those are the best trips of all.
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