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Fall Cleaning and Two Weeks Of Vacation

It is FINALLY starting to feel like Fall in San Diego! Every year it gets pretty hot and dry in October, and every year I ask my husband why it’s so hot and dry. He reminds me that the Santa Ana’s blow in at the same time every year, and we move on with our lives, destined to relive this same story line in another three to four hundred days.

But it is finally getting cooler, and PSLs are everywhere, which means Halloween is close. We are taking Charlie to his first pumpkin patch next weekend, and I can’t wait. I’m sure he will only be interested for about five minutes, but that’s enough for me! One of the fun things about being a parent is reliving every season through your kid’s experience. Hay rides! Pumpkin carving! Hanukkah bush decorating! Christmas cookies! Mom can barely contain herself.

This weather always gives me energy. After months of feeling like doing nothing in the sticky heat, I am up cleaning, organizing, minimizing, and even sometimes cooking. Not this week, but maybe next week with the cooking…

In other news, I suddenly have a couple weeks off from work, which is so wonderful at this stage of Charlie’s development. He is getting a little clingy, so I’m happy to be here with him full-time for a bit.

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Reflecting

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Some years I am better than others at looking back through the prior twelve months and making observations. I created this space to do more of that, so here goes!

2015 feels like it started back in September 2014, when Matt and I were married. That felt like the most significant new beginning to me last year, so my year absolutely began on a high note. The man of my dreams was now permanently stuck with me no matter how bitchy or annoying I become (I do try not to take advantage), an opportunity opened up which allowed us to finally move into our first real home, debts were paid off, home improvements were begun, and all of a sudden, it was the end of another year. What a crazy fast year 2015 was!

So many changes occurred for the better, both physically and emotionally for me. My job had become a huge source of stress for a few months in the first half of the year, but I pushed through and made it to other side only slightly the worse for wear. Not that hard times ever feel awesome, but somehow going through six or so months of agonizing stress and depression which bled from working hours into my evenings and weekends landed me here, and I’m pretty grateful to be where I am now.

This past year, something changed in me and turned me into a parent; emotionally I mean. I told Matt that I could no longer fight the feeling that I needed to become a mother – a pretty big surprise for both of us since my whole life was pretty much centered around the idea that I would never want to start a family of my own. We obviously talked about it and thought about it a lot before forging ahead, but it felt like a little soul had already chosen us as its parents and there wasn’t anything we could do except move forward in this new adventure. Overall, I think this was our biggest growth spurt, and so many other emotional changes have come out of it.

I already worry about how quickly time is moving; just a few weeks ago, I was camping out in the bathroom half the day and not pregnant enough where we wanted to tell everyone our happy news. Now, we are just a quick three months away from meeting our child for the first time. I actually cried one night picturing my son or daughter graduating from high school and asked myself where the heck time had gone and how am I already forty-six years old?! And then I have to remind myself once again to remain present and just focus on how wonderful this time is right now.

Here’s to another year of adventure and growth in 2016!

 

Christmas and 23 Weeks Pregnant

As a kid, I remember waiting for Christmas for what seemed like forever, and then mourning its passing with such sadness the following day. All that hype and all those songs and commercials leading up to such a fun day, only to have it all pulled out from underneath my little feet by December 26th. Sure, we had all our new stuff to play with and fight over with siblings, but the magic of the Christmas season was over. What I wouldn’t give now to be able to experience that crazy excitement again!

I remember realizing that adulthood was nigh when I could no longer make myself get that worked up over Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I very much look forward to this time of year still – I get excited over spending a cozy few days with my family, and watching them open their gifts that I picked for them in a panic approximately one week before Christmas. But the thought of Santa, cookies, presents, etc. just doesn’t make my adult self hysterically joyful the way it used to. I think they call it maturity, but it can be a small bummer sometimes.

Now that we’re expecting our first child though, I feel like I will be able to relive that excitement through my kids, and that certainly makes up for all the lame maturity I seem to have accumulated.

Now for a pregnancy update – did you know that simply believing that all those common pregnancy symptoms won’t affect you will not actually keep them from affecting you? I don’t know how I keep tricking myself into believing that I won’t get nauseous, cranky, swollen, sore, constipated, fat, etcetera. I have gotten all of those things, and each side effect I accumulate still surprises me.

The nausea subsided around week 17, and I finally felt that 2nd trimester greatness everyone kept telling me about. But now, only six weeks later and five whole weeks away from the 3rd trimester, I am starting to hurt in ways I didn’t know possible. The rib pain can be excruciating some nights, as my whatever pushes out on them relentlessly. The round ligament pain is more challenging than I thought it would be, and it is SO. HARD. TO. GET. OFF. THE. COUCH. Or bed. Or a chair. Or the floor. All of a sudden, I feel like the world’s clumsiest person ever, falling over as I treacherously attempt to stand on the couch to close the curtains, as I have done a hundred times before. I experienced a kidney stone for the first time in my life, and my back hurts so badly by the end of the day, but I can’t roll around on the floor with my foam roller or stretch the way I used to. Apparently I had some rose-colored glasses on when I thought about what my pregnant experience would be like.

I will say that feeling my baby move around inside my belly makes it all completely worth the pain and random irritation. Baby is moving almost all the time now, sometimes taking day or two long breaks to sleep and grow, I assume. Thumb-sucking and bladder jumping really takes it out of you! I like to lay down and “watch” him or her play, practice using their little limbs, and wonder what they are thinking about in there. I make promises to that baby, and tell him/her how loved they are going to be, how much fun we are going to have.

Overall, all the pain and stress really is worth it.

On Gratitude

What better time of year to focus on practicing gratitude than Thanksgiving? I know in the past I have written about my struggles in practicing being grateful for everything I am blessed with, but becoming a mom has really brought me to my knees with gratitude.

We have been so, so dang lucky this year (and just overall in our lives). This year, in particular though, has been a good one. We have had a very successful first year of marriage – minimal arguments about pithy things (usually laundry), and have gotten to do some pretty fun things in the past twelve months. We were able to buy a home, and have steadily been able to afford to make improvements in our home. We have wonderful, loving family and friends who love and support us in everything – without them, I would be lost. We were able to travel quite a bit, and I was able to see each one of my good friends throughout the year. And of course, we were able to become pregnant and have a healthy, happy, squirmy baby in there now, doing all kinds of tricks on the ultrasound for Mom and Dad.

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We had our anatomy scan on Monday this week, and I have just been so in love with our little one since then, I can’t stop thinking about her/him. That’s not to say I didn’t think about little Bdub (our nickname for that baby) many times a day before, or feel super duper happy about their impending arrival; but seeing them move around on that screen, playing with their fingers and lips, stretching out and curling back up again…it just made me feel so much more connected to our child, our BABY! It’s surreal and also very real now, and the amount of gratitude and positivity I feel surrounding this baby is just incredible.