February’s Word

I hate waiting.  Well, hate may be a strong term, but it’s pretty close to the truth.  I am sure I’m not alone in this sentiment.  Waiting is part of life we all dislike to some degree, but it is a necessity that pops up everywhere.  Waiting….to be old enough to play outside by myself, to do my own hair, to find a best friend, to get married, to have children, to have more money, or a bigger house…..the list goes on.  We wait for so many things in life, and often – at least in my case! – with not the best of attitudes.  But waiting is actually a precious time.  Especially when you are waiting for a sweet little one to arrive, while surrounded by two other sweet little ones who are about to learn and adopt new roles 🙂

So, my word for the month is:  Content.  I thought about maybe using the word “patience” but I want to do more than just wait.  I want to be content. at peace, fully accepting of the moment I am in, whether that moment by one of cuddles and story time, or one of pregnancy discomforts combined with fussy sick littles and an approaching lunch time dead line.

I’ll be honest, I do struggle with being content.  This strikes me as odd, since I have SO MUCH in my life that makes me happy, and so few complaints.  But, I am the kind of person who craves perfection, and I have a hard time appreciating the process.  I want my dishes clean, my cupboards organized, my laundry folded, my toddler spotless, my schedule on the dot, my hair brushed and looking good.  I get impatient when we eat and…wow, there are so many dirty dishes.  They irritate me.  I can’t rest until they’re done.  Laundry day?  It is stressful because…there are three baskets of unfolded laundry sitting in my living room. Thanks to toddlers, I am learning to relax, and realize that perfection in housework/scheduling only lasts a precious few seconds, but the bulk of life is made up of tackling those dirty dishes and laundry piles, and that I will never have inner peace without learning to enjoy the process, not just the destination.

I hope to never reach a point where I accept dirt and mayhem and don’t try to fix it.  But I do hope to reach the point where I can laugh at the mess, while digging in, and not feel irritated if my efforts are interrupted half way.

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23 weeks of Happiness!

There we are, me and Baby!  I am 23 weeks into this motherhood adventure, and it has been purely a joy so far.  It took awhile for Baby to make his presence visible, but at last, I think he is “out there” for people to see, and while I still get the occasional “Wow, you don’t look pregnant at all” comment, I think people only say so to be polite.

It is amazing how absorbing Baby is!  Jordan and I both find ourselves thinking more and more of this little guy (or girl), although we have never heard his voice or seen his face (or changed one of his smelly diapers!).  As summer nears, and school – for Jordan – ends, we are focusing a lot on home improvements, all of which center around making a better “nest” for this little “birdling”.

The other day, I looked out my living room window, while knitting a tiny baby sweater, and saw some birds in our front yard hopping around, picking at the grass.  At first, I sighed, and thought they were eating our grass seed.  Then, I realized they were picking up pieces of the straw we had laid.  It was so cute!  Each bird would waddle through the grass, tilting his head from side to side, until it came upon a piece that looked just right.  Immediately, he would pick up the piece, weigh it in his beak, then drop it and continue his search until he found one that REALLY WAS PERFECT.  They were building they’re nests, just like we are!  Only, we don’t use straw.  We use Kilz for the smoke stains on the walls, and a fresh coat of paint; we use cloth diapers, and little onsies, freshly washed and neatly stacked; we use hand knit sweaters, and re-conditioned hand-me-down rocking chairs.

The terrible thing is….we have 17 weeks of this left.  If we are preparing so anxiously now, what will it be like in two months?  How in the world do people wait that long? 😉

Taste the Ordinary

Some days are busy, some days are slow…. today is a really weird blend of both of those.  Busy morning, lazy afternoon.  Not that there aren’t things to do, it’s just none of them absolutely have to be done right now.

Some days are smooth-sailing, some days are rough seas….again,today is a weird blend of both.  The morning was stressful, and I burst into a fit of tears for almost an hour (I know, I know.  It’s pathetic.  But sometimes, when  a girl hasn’t cried in a while she just needs to let it all out).  And now?  All is sunny and well, not a care in the world.

I have the rest of the week off work, and am making plans – plans which include graduation invitations for Jordan, a trip to the garden department of WalMart  armed with a gift card and an eye for beautiful flowers, menu planning, marathon sewing, knitting, long walks and more.  Ah, time is such a precious thing!

Baby Hobble has been making his presence known for so long, I’ve almost gotten used to being punched in the gut!  Funny how even the most amazing, incredible, unusual things become normal in a short time.  I had expected perhaps a little more of that feeling of awe to accompany this pregnancy, and while there are such moments, I’ve come to the conclusion that pregnancy can be a little…well….boring.  Some days it feels as though time is standing still.  Nothing unusual is happening.  The 40 weeks tick by so slowly, and my belly grows so gradually that I wonder if August will ever get here????  Every time we hang out with married friends who already have little ones, Jordan comes home and says, “It’s not fair that we still have to wait four months while their’s are crawling around being cute!”  OF course, he’s kidding.

But seriously.  Nine months is a long time to wait.

I feel far, far too blessed!   God is so extra good, it blows me away.

Life is Good

I’m sitting here in the Karate Dojo where my husband and I work.  Just holding down the front desk, ready to greet people with a smile, answer their questions and do the random little things our office manager doesn’t have to time to accomplish.

It’s weird to think that Jordan and I just experienced our first Christmas together, and that next year (Lord willing), and for every year after that, it will no longer be just the two of us (well, considering my entire family was there for the event, we weren’t exactly ‘alone’, but for us, our new little family, it was just two).  That makes me feel that these are precious times.  I will never get them back.  I don’t want to be so impatient with not feeling well, so busy with plans for the future, or so apathetic to the ordinary moments that I reach some point in the future and find I have no memory of these days, that they are a blank.

Pregnancy is becoming so much more of a ‘real’ thing in our minds these days.  We had the extreme pleasure of announcing the good news to all of our family over Christmas, which automatically brought some reality to the situation.  And, for reasons best known to the Lord, my belly decided to pop out two days before Christmas.  Not noticeably, to most people, but to a girl who has always had a flat stomach, it now looks huge!  And a few of my skirts are either uncomfortable, or simply not wearable.  That, and there have been sporadic moments of sickness that I assume is morning sickness… at least, it feels better if I eat a little something, though never a lot, and sometimes food looks and smells like the worst thing in the world to me!  But, I haven’t noticed much of a pattern to these spells, so I don’t feel distinctly in the throes of official morning sickness.

The day after Christmas, Jordan and I decided to go ahead and rearrange the rooms to accommodate a baby crib and various baby paraphenilia.  We’re crazy, I know.  But it is so exciting to know there is a living human being inside of me, a combination of Jordan and I, and exclusively ours.  August seems interminably far away  At the same time, there is so much to do and become before then, that I feel there couldn’t possibly be enough time in which to accomplish it all!  Funny how you immediately want to be a better person when a baby or young child enters the picture.

It is hard not to feel like a failure on a day like today, when I didn’t get out of bed when I’d planned to, didn’t exercise nearly as long as I’d planned to (and for that matter, hadn’t exercised for almost a week), didn’t go ‘above and beyond’ the basics of keeping my bed made, my dishes washed and my laundry under control.  Jordan says I need patience with myself, which is definitely true, but I am also acquainted with an ugly side of myself called “laziness” that likes to maximize on those moments when I don’t feel the best, and turn them into an excuse to simply ‘clock out’ of life for awhile and do nothing, when in my heart, I know I could do better.  The trouble is, there ARE those moments when I can’t do better, and the difficulty for me is discerning between the real thing and the fake thing.  Too often, I err on the side of weakness and self-indulgence.

I read in my Bible today that Jesus was sent to ‘finish the work His Father had given Him” and “not to leave it unfinished” (not exact quotations).  These seem to have special meaning to me today.  If I could narrow my life and my expectations down to the ‘work’ I know my Father wishes me to accomplish, then I could focus on the finish line.  Leaving nothing undone.  No more of these ‘half-efforts’ and hanging goals (translate: the walls in my living room will actually GET WASHED instead of always being on my ‘List of Things To Do”).

On a happier note, I was able to spend some of the money my dear family gave me on some expensive yarn for an adorable baby blanket.  Which is coming along nicely. 🙂 Also, a New Year’s Eve party that Jordan and I hosted at the Karate school gave us a nice lump of money to spend on maternity clothes and baby stuff.  Life is good.

Is it True?

Since this blog is like a little online diary for me….

And since it’s not public yet anyway so no one can read it before they are supposed to know…..

It can’t hurt to say: I TOOK A PREGNANCY TEST THE OTHER DAY AND IT WAS POSITIVE!!!!  Actually, both of them were.  I took two. 🙂  They were pretty faint, but a definite line.

It just seems impossible.  It’s too early for me even to have my suspicions, and after last month’s dramatic failure, I was determined never to test again unless I had definite, un-arguable symptoms.  So, there I stood at the kitchen sink, washing dishes, when it flashed through my mind that I had one pregnancy test left in my dresser drawer.  And I felt an obsessive need to take it.  I felt ridiculous, even while I was doing it, and I walked away from it without a glance, thinking of how silly I was going to feel, throwing away yet another negative (and of course, a $3 sign flashed before my eyes.  Another needless expense!).  I can’t describe what happened in my heart and throat when I came back and saw that faint plus sign.  There, but pale.  I took three pictures of it on my cellphone (terrible picture quality!  But the best I had), tucked it in my purse, then ran back to look at it every five minutes, just to make sure I hadn’t imagined it.  It persisted on being there, light yet visible.  “It’s a mistake,” I told myself.  Hence another trip to Wal-Mart, and an anxious night’s sleep, waiting for that ‘first morning urine’ that is said to be the best for testing.

Fast-forward to 3:48 a.m.  I woke up, again, and realized I needed to go the bathroom.  Instantly, I thought of the test waiting for me, and slipped out of bed as quietly as I could.  Again, I refused to watch the results developing, and chose to just wait the three minutes and face the worst.  In my mind, I kept saying, “It was probably a mistake.  This one will show you.”  But my heart was in my throat again when I looked and saw that faint line.  Faint again.  How worrying.  No pictures that time, since my cell phone was in the bedroom and I didn’t want to wake Jordan up, but I did stay awake for awhile and look at it frequently, to be sure my sleepy mind wasn’t playing tricks on me.  All my negatives had been straight-up negative.  Not even a shade of color.  But, surely a positive would be more definite than a pale line, right?  Two agonizing hours of sleeplessness later, I woke up, showered, and texted my mom.

She has assured me that two positives – faint or otherwise – are still positive, and there is a 99 per cent chance I really am pregnant.  I even sent her the terrible, dark, shadowy picture of that first test, and she said she could see it quite clearly.  So it’s not my imagination.

You can imagine how I felt all of Tuesday morning.  Jordan had his Finals at school, so I didn’t want to tell him right away and distract him.  Besides, I wanted it to be a little more special than just “See the stick?  Two lines!”  I have been praying that this would be the month.  Praying that I would conceive, the baby would be healthy and normal and carry to term, we would have a safe delivery, etc, etc, etc…. I am a very long-term pray-er. 🙂 I feel as though my prayers can’t be answered already!  I mean, after all, I am only 3-4 weeks along, and who finds out that early, unless they are tracking their ovulation?  And what if this will just turn into a miscarriage that I would never have known of, if I had not tested so early?

I don’t want to be overcome with fear and feelings of guilt for not deserving thing great blessing.  I want to sit back and enjoy the answered prayer, love the life God has given me, and take what comes.  If it is a healthy baby or a miscarriage, I have a God who makes no mistakes, so why am I afraid that this is too good to be true?

I told Jordan, in spite of my fears that this is so early, and I might still lose the baby.  I wrote him a letter that went something like this:

“Dear Daddy,

Mommy has been telling me how wonderful you are, how well you take care of us, and how handsome and strong you are, but since I don’t have any ears yet, I guess I’ll just have to wait until September, when I can meet you in person.  I’m looking forward to that.  How about you?

Love,

Your Baby”

Also, I made the letters B-A-B-Y out of the scraps of pie dough leftover from the pumpkin pie I had made.  I didn’t know which he would see first: the letter taped on the bathroom mirror, or those letters in the kitchen on a plate, but either way I knew it would be quite a surprise.  He was under the impression that we wouldn’t know anything for at least two weeks.

So, when he offered to run a hot bath for me when we got home from work last night, I was happy to run into the kitchen and get the plate all ready, in case he over-looked the letter.  I could hear him banging around in there, and all of a sudden it was silent.  Very silent.  For what seemed like an eternity!  Finally, he called, “Hey, Joanna!”  “Yes?” I answered, trying to sound like I was busy, and completely unaware of what he had just discovered.  He came into the kitchen, holding the letter, looking a little confused but with glowing eyes. “Um, what does this mean?  I mean, does it mean what I THINK it means?”  “Weeeell,” I said, “That depends entirely on what you “THINK” it means!”  “Are we, uh, having a baby?”  I nodded, unable to keep from splitting my face with a smile.  He was completely overwhelmed, couldn’t do anything but hug me really hard, and half-cry for about five minutes.  I finally asked him if he was ok?  “Yes, I’m just so happy!  Man!  I’m going to have to start being  a better person!”  I just laughed.  I think he’s good enough to be a Daddy just the way he is.

Am I dreaming?  My husband, a Daddy???  “Lord, let this be true.  Let this be a healthy little baby and a good pregnancy.  There are no words to thank You for this answer to prayer.”