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*Ah-choo*

Please excuse me a moment while I dust off these keys…

So, apparently having a baby is everything everyone ever told me it would be: time-consuming, stressful, sleep-depriving, busy, really busy, scary, confusing, messy…

And absolutely wonderful!

In the past five months, my whole world has been turned upside down, shaken senseless, and re-prioritized. Some parts have been downright painful (like labor, delivery, nursing, and hormonally-driven emotional surges), but there are other parts that have been just…amazing. Completely, breathtakingly amazing.

Before the birth of my son, nothing and no one would make me understand what it’s like to be the mother a chubby, toothless wonder that has stolen your heart away by doing nothing else but simply existing. Or that I’ll actually be OK with being pooped on, peed on, vomited on, drooled on, chewed on, and bit by him, because he’s got the most beautiful toothless smile you’ve ever seen. I’ve heard at least two people describe motherhood as “watching your heart walk around outside your body,” which I have personally found to be true.

Of course, it’s not all lollipops and rainbows over at my house – don’t get me wrong. My laundry has piled up, the floors need to be scrubbed, my bed hasn’t been made since…yeah, let’s not go there, and you probably shouldn’t turn on the light if you want to use my bathroom. My husband and I haven’t fought this much in a five-month time span since we were engaged while living 1,300 miles apart. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life, and don’t get me started on the list of things that nobody tells you about when you’re pregnant.

But, I am surviving and, dare I say, thriving by the grace of God. His grace keeps me going. It allows me to soothe the crying baby when all I want is for someone to hold me so I can have my own good cry. It helps me get dinner on the table when I want to just crawl under the covers and hope my messy house will just go away. It shows me how to love and respect my husband when we’re both sleep-deprived and cranky. It lets me be OK with the fact that there is no manual for being a parent.

I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of space on this blog processing what I’m going through and learning, now that I’m a mother. Some people may find it to be just another mom blog, but I hope that for some it will be an encouragement. Maybe you’ll relate, maybe you’ll get some insight, maybe you’ll even have some advice for me. However it happens, my life is forever changed because five months ago my son was born, and there’s no going back. So here I go…

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Since we first found out that I am pregnant, Hubby and I have agreed to when and how the two extra bedrooms in our house need to be re-arranged.  Currently, we have a guest room and an office/man-cave/extra guest room (it’s basically where the office “stuff”, Hubby’s man “stuff” and the futon are kept).  So, The Plan has always been as follows:

I, as Project Manager, will take on, as a summer project, the re-arrangement of the Guest Room and Office/Man-Cave/Extra Guest Room in order to create a New Guest Room and Baby Room by executing the following tasks:

  • Complete all backed-up filing that has accumulated since we sold our house (before we moved here…in November).
  • Purge all office “stuff” and divide into categories of “trash”, “sell”, “keep”, and “storage”.
  • Sell all office furniture.
  • Separate baby “stuff” from guest room “stuff”
  • Notify Hubby when he is to move all guest room furniture into now-empty office/man-cave.
  • Arrange and organize new guest room.
  • Clean now-empty old guest room and set up/organize baby “stuff”.

It sounded like a pretty clear-cut plan when we verbalized it 6 months ago…but now, I’m looking at these rooms…

Man Cave/Office/Extra Guest Room to be emptied.

Guest Room, full of baby "stuff"

Ummmm….GULP!  (The office/man cave picture doesn’t do it complete justice – there is an entire bookshelf, a wall and a half of pictures/decor, and a full-to-the-brim closet that are not shown here.)  So…if you don’t hear from me for a few days, you might want to send a search party, because I’ll probably be buried somewhere under a landslide in one of these two rooms!  Maybe I should tie a safety rope around my waist before I start…then again, it’s probably somewhere in the office/man cave…

In anticipation of our firstborn’s arrival, I have grown to appreciate the experience that Hubby and I have had in raising two wonderful pets.  Really, they’re like our first “kids” – the sort-of-practice-run for things like keeping another living being alive, establishing routines (sort of), and learning that training and disciplining doesn’t mean creating perfect little soldiers/robots.

Also, if you need to practice patience and grace, offer to dog-sit a puppy that’s in the middle of potty training (I wouldn’t recommend diving right into ownership unless you’re really committed).  You’ll also learn humility, because there’s nothing like cleaning up someone else’s…um, mess…especially when they can’t do it themselves and haven’t really gotten the hang of what else to do about the situation.  All good things to practice for having children…or so I’m told. 🙂

But seriously, we love our doggies!  And I think I should brag on them a little.  Our “oldest” is Baily – she’s a gangly dog with funny-looking ears that flop up and to the side, rather than straight down.  As far as we can tell, she’s a Labrador-Whippet mix…she came from a “whoops” litter and the mama’s owners had no idea where their dog had been before she came home knocked up.

We got Baily when she was only about 6 weeks old and could practically fit in my hand.  Actually, Hubby was the one who went to pick her out before he picked me up from work.  He said there were only two puppies left – one that liked to snuggle and sleep a lot, and one that liked to run and pounce and play.  I like to joke that he picked “the crazy sister.”

Baily can run and jump like nobody’s business (she once cleared a 6-foot privacy fence), loves to wrestle with Hubby, and absolutely ADORES kids and babies.  She turns into a totally docile dog when there’s a baby in the room.  Melts my heart.  In fact, I’m betting that our baby will have her wrapped around his tiny little pinky finger as soon as he comes home from the hospital.  🙂

Baily

Our second dog is Molly.  We adopted her from another family a year and half ago, and she is exactly one year younger than Baily.  She’s a Maltipoo and weighs about 10 pounds right after a good meal.

We never thought of ourselves as small-dog-people.  In fact, we were hoping Baily would be as big as a Lab when we adopted her, and were planning to get something like a Retriever or German Shepherd for our second dog.  However, it turns out that Baily only seems to find puppies and small dogs agreeable.  She’s gotten much better at tolerating other dogs that are her size and bigger, but overall, she’s a small-dog-dog.

Enter Molly!  It was actually love at first sight for these two.  The previous owner brought Molly over to meet Baily, to make sure we were all a good match for each other, and they instantly sniffed nose to nose and took off running circles around the yard together!  They pretty much haven’t stopped, either.  They’re completely inseparable – they freak out if only one of them gets taken somewhere and the other has to stay.  Sometimes they even share Baily’s bed.  Anything Baily does, Molly has to do it too!

Molly is an expert snuggler and is not afraid to play with the big dogs (in fact, we’re pretty sure she thinks she’s huge).  She is also good with children, and is a real trooper when they try to pick her up and carry her, which really turns into putting her in a half-Nelson and dragging her around.  She’s got a go-with-the-flow personality…either that, or she really doesn’t know what’s going on…we can’t tell, but either way, she’s a sweetie! 🙂

Molly

Oh!  And I just realized I never officially announced it, but we are having a baby BOY!  We’re all very excited (of course, we would’ve been excited either way – we’re just happy to know more about him)! 🙂  And it’ll be good for Hubby, too, because with all these girls in the house, he’s been pretty outnumbered for the past few years… 🙂

So, there’s this blog called The Daybook that does a feature called “Awkward and Awesome Thursdays.”  Several other people have joined in the fun, and I find their posts quite entertaining!  I’m gonna give it a shot, but I’m just going to sum up the month of April so far (events will be listed in the order I remember them, not chronologically…let’s not put too much pressure on a brain that I have to share with a growing baby).  For the record, today is Thursday. 🙂

Awkward

– Filing taxes on your own, well technically with the Hubby, during the tax year when all the experts are saying this was the most confusing year for tax laws.  (For the record, interpreting your real estate documents to figure out what you owe on your tax credit will probably make you want to shoot someone/something.  Just sayin’…)

– Sweating in April.  Southerners call 82 degrees “a nice Spring day,” but the land I hail from just got 3 inches of snow, and despite complaints of annoyance, nobody there thought that was strange.  So yes, sweating in April is awkward for me.

– Planning a trip to visit said home state in a few weeks and realizing that most of the clothes that fit my growing frame are summer clothes…hmm…

– Even though I am the one that is pregnant, due to circumstances beyond our control (like tendonitis and allergies), Hubby has had more doctors appointments than I have! 

– Not being able to open any windows because of Hubby’s allergies to all things Nature.

– Feeling pregnant without looking very pregnant.  I can’t keep more than one thought straight in my head, and I get tired a heck of a lot quicker than I used to, but unless I pointed out the ultrasound picture on our refrigerator, you’d probably just think I had too much to eat for lunch.  Which I probably did.  But whatever…

– Trying to compensate my forgetful, pregnancy-hormone-filled brain by putting reminders in the calendar on my phone…but forgetting to set the alarms so that I would actually be reminded…doh!

– Having the neighbor who never speaks to anyone shouting and banging on your door at 7:00 a.m. to ask you for a jump or jumper cables because she left her headlights on all night and her battery died.

– Continuing to be ignored by the neighbor whose car you jumped at 7:00 a.m.

– The overflowing baskets of clean laundry that I have yet to fold.  No really, that’s clean…it’s just…a little wrinkley…  I am so in trouble when this baby comes…

Awesome

– Despite the frustrations with taxes themselves, TurboTax is pretty awesome.  I would recommend them.

– Being surprised by Hubby with a trip to home state to visit my family.  I heart him!  A lot! 😉

– Getting a part-time, at-home job that allows me freedom to run errands, clean house and cook dinner during the day, leaving my evenings free to hang out with Hubby.

– Making new friends through our new small group from church.  We all seem to like each other, which is awesome.

– Having a neighbor (different than the awkward one) who refers to me as “Little Mama” and habitually brings us desserts. 🙂  Miss Pruney is awesome.

– My new-found LOVE for raw fruits and veggies.  So far, this baby has pretty good taste in cravings (no pun intended).

– Getting ready to plant a veggie garden next week! 🙂

– Getting our second dog spayed, which means I will only have to change one little being’s diapers from now on, and it will be a human being.  (Seriously, dogs in heat are awk. ward.)

– Exercising my dogs by blowing bubbles for them in the backyard.  They do all the running, I do all the laughing.  Totally.  Awesome. 🙂

– Looking forward to the 5 year anniversary with Hubby.  Again, I heart him.  He’s my best friend, my hero, and my dearest love.  And he’s planning a big surprise for that day.  Surprises are awesome. 🙂

– Also looking forward to finding out whether this baby is gonna be a boy or a girl.  No, I don’t have any instinct about it.  I just want him/her to be healthy!  Again, surprises are awesome. 🙂

There you have it – my awkward and awesome life so far this month!  Good stuff. 🙂

Don’t forget, this post is brought to you by The Daybook.

So, it’s been some of those days…  Not just one of those days, but two, actually.  Yesterday, I had my first ultrasound appointment, so Hubby came with me to see the baby.  This should be a happy day, right?

I picked him up from work, and he was already having a rough day.  He was a little grumpy about having to leave work early and said he’d have to go back in the evening to finish some things up.  My hormones took the opportunity to take personal offense at the situation, which was a great start.

We got about 5 minutes down the freeway when we realized that I forgot to grab the CD and DVD that we wanted to bring with, just in case they’d burn us some extra pictures and/or a video of the ultrasound!  Dangit.  So, we checked the GPS for the nearest office supply store.  There was one 2.3 miles from where we were, sort of still on the way to the hospital.  But it turned out to be all back roads and school zones.  Great.  It would’ve been faster to turn around and go home.

At the store, Hubby ran in and got a DVD, and we got back on the road.  By this time, we were seriously pushing the 20 minute window of grace for the appointment.  Hubby dropped me off at the door of the hospital, and I booked it up to the 9th floor to check in – 17 minutes late (but still within the 20 minute window!).  We were then told that they had to do a “procedure” and all the ultrasound rooms were full, so we had to wait 30 minutes.  Also, they won’t burn a CD or DVD for patient privacy reasons.  Super.  I cried a little, or maybe the hormones did.

We got to see our baby on the ultrasound screen, which was really great.  S/he loves the camera!  As soon as that thing touched my stomach, it was showtime – commence wiggling, head-bobbing, kicking, and showing off your good side, baby!  I think the ultrasound technician said “That’s a NICE shot!” about 3 times. 🙂  At least that went well.  And my nurse said everything looks great, so that was good to hear.

But then tried to leave.  We got to elevators when Hubby realized he forgot where he parked the car (he was running to meet me in the waiting room, after all).  We searched 3 or 4 levels of the parking garage before we finally found it.  By this time, we were obviously on cloud 9 and thoroughly enjoying each other’s company.  (Please tell me you’re picking up on the sarcasm here.) 

We got back on the freeway, and then Hubby couldn’t find his sunglasses (and by sunglasses, I mean freaking-expensive sunglasses).  So we had another breakdown.  I tried to call the doctor’s office to see if anyone found them there, but they had closed by then.  Awesome!  By the grace of God, we actually found them, slipped into the crack of the seat, where the bottom meets the back (so at least I wasn’t sitting directly on them).  It was like a silver speck in our cloud.

At home, I managed to make homemade pizzas for dinner without breaking or burning down anything (I was pretty impressed with myself).  AND the pizzas came out of the oven right when Hubby walked in the door.  Although I forgot to add diced tomatoes to the toppings, we decided we’d live without them and settled down to an evening of watching American Pickers before hitting the hay early.

This morning, I woke up early to throw a few pieces of laundry in the dryer because I was pretty sure Hubby was out of socks.  I gave myself points for starting the day off with a solution instead of a problem (how self-help of me, right?).  Then I thought, hey, as long as I’m up, I might as well make Hubby some breakfast.

But the road to 2 cups of spilled oatmeal on the floor and sauteed burned apples was paved with good intentions.  Also, Hubby didn’t need the socks – he had one clean pair left.  Thankfully, he gave me a huge hug before I had the chance to cry about anything, thanked me for everything and told me he loves me.  He also ate the oatmeal that made it into the pot and got cooked, along with the apples, and declared it was the best breakfast he’d had in a long time.  I don’t know if it was totally true, but it made me feel a whole lot better.

I’m still apprehensive about leaving the house today.  I think I’ll just stay right here on my couch.  The garbage truck came, so our bin needs to be pulled back up to the house, but I think it can wait until Hubby gets home from work.  And I’m thinking leftover pizza for dinner.  Just in case.

Heeeeey…and we’re back from commercial break!  Sorry for that moment…er…month…of silence.  The thing is, I really only had one thing to talk about, but I couldn’t share anything yet.  What is this big news?

I’M PREGNANT!!! 🙂

Yep, that’s right.  By October, we’re expecting a little bundle of Spanish-American joy. 🙂  Obviously, going through first trimester gloriousness, all I’ve had to talk about is feeling sick, tired, or cravings.  Not the greatest blog material, but I think from here on out we’ll be alright.  Although, I have found some of my cravings amusing, especially when they come on so randomly.  Like the time I woke up and said, “Pancakes!”  That’s all I wanted.  Right away.  Yikes…

And for those of you who might be wondering, no, we weren’t exactly trying.  It actually went something like this, “Wow, things are going really well.  Yeah, maybe in a few months we could…oh, are those two pink lines?  Nevermind!” 🙂  We are SUPER excited, and my husband has already started looking for baby-sized futbol (soccer) jerseys.  My brother texts me about once a week, wondering if we know whether it’s a boy or a girl yet.  And I’m pretty sure none of our parents have stopped grinning since our announcement. 🙂

And here’s baby’s first picture, at 9 weeks:

It's kinda fuzzy, but you can see the head, torso, and a little hand! Baby was a little wiggly, so it was hard to get a clearer pic.

So, other than that, I’m still housewifing, although I have begun a job search, mainly focusing on at-home opportunities.  The flexibility seems to fit well with our current “long term goals.” 😉  I had to take an “assessment” to find out whether I can…I don’t know…follow directions?  We’ll see how it goes, I haven’t gotten the results back yet. 

As for what I’m not doing: jury duty!  I got a letter from my old city, summoning me to yonder East Coast.  But one phone call and an email with a scanned copy of my new driver’s license later, I was excused.  Apparently, they’re not up for reimbursing 10-hour road trips or authorizing Skype in their courtrooms…yet.  The sad thing is, I am one of like 10 other people in the U.S. who would actually enjoy reporting for jury duty!  Call me a nerd, but I think it would be interesting.  So, there’s a bit of pre-Friday irony for you to savor: me, of all people, getting out of jury duty, no hassle! 🙂  Sorry for those of you who will be dragging your feet to the courthouses.  Maybe some day I’ll get to. 🙂