Friday, November 22, 2013

Seven Quick Takes: Vol. 11

More lovely takes over at Conversion Diary:

ONE:

Winter, winter, winter.  This is my front yard:


Today is only -7 Celsius, which is fairly mild, so I might actually venture out for a 4 minute walk with the kids. Wednesday however was -20 in the morning. The morning I had to grocery shop, because we were out of milk, eggs, cheese, bread (even flour), fruit, pasta and basically everything else I needed to make a good quick lunch. I'm thankful for one thing that morning: Command-start on our van.  I'm not grateful for car seats, winter-wear, which takes forever to bundle the kids up in - only to have it all taken off in the van, then put on again to get to the store.  I'm also not grateful to the person who decided to park in the designated "Expectant mothers and parents with children" when she had a teeny baby bump and no kids in tow.

I resisted the urge to roll down the window and yell "Hey! I'm 8 months preggo and have 2 kids here, so you can take your little Audi and your rookie-mom ass and park it over there!"

She was also not wearing a winter coat, which is why I could see her teeny bump - so I guess I can forgive her for not wanting to get frostbite.

Meanwhile, I parked halfway down the humongous lot, bundled up the kids and made the trek,  slowed by little legs and pushing a cart through ice and snow, feeling every bit of bitterness toward this unknowing, lululemon clad woman that I could muster.  Maybe she has 4 more kids at home... but she didn't quite look seasoned enough.  She had that "Woohoo! I can finally exercise my Superstore-given right to a good parking space" look.

TWO:

Christmas is coming. Baby is coming. Our home is filled with so much anticipation.
I've put away some Christmas baking in the freezer already, and have bought many of the gifts on my list.  I don't want Christmas to be a non-event, overshadowed by the baby - especially for Patrick, who has "gotten" the Christmas thing since last year.  Carter just gets excited about whatever Patrick does.

With Patrick coming into a new understanding of the season, I am filled with a sense of urgency around instilling in him the real reason for the season.  I am not one of those anti-Santa people, to be clear. I think believing in Santa Clause was a fun and wonderful experience as a kid.   However, I'd like my kids to know that Christmas is about Christ's birth and augment that with a little Santa magic.

To make it less confusing, and keep the Jesus-message the overarching theme, I decided to follow what Jennifer at Catholic Inspired has done with the Playmobil Wisemen.  I love this idea so much, and I can't wait till the first Sunday of Advent for it to begin! I'm thinking the wise-men will stumble onto some sort of yummy treat each Sunday of Advent to set those days apart from the others.

THREE:

I'm loving Carter these days.  He is 2. He is in no way "terribly two". Come to think of it, neither was Patrick.

Carter is beginning to speak full sentences.  He says prayers with us at night, adding only the words "Fader", "Name", Come", "Done", "Bread", and "Us", to the Our Father, and is fairly convinced that we pray for "Uncle Jenni" when we're mentioning Joseph's sister in our intercessory prayer.

He's gaining some autonomy and wanting to be his own person.  "Me do!" is becoming his latest catchphrase. But he's also still at a point where he's proud of himself when he does tasks for me, like picking up toys and fetching various items I ask for.  AND he's still pretty snuggly, so at least once a day he comes up to me asking for hugs, and then nestles in under my chin for awhile.  I anticipate a bit of a battle when the baby comes for mommy-time, so perhaps I'll spend a couple months where I'm ALWAYS cuddling someone. Oh well... it's winter, right?

I love his sweet squished face. 
FOUR:

My productivity has gone way down, with good reason.
On the advice of my midwives, I'm putting in a little less time on my feet.  Baby 3 is sitting low, head down and in fine form for labour, according to them... only it's about 5 weeks till my due date.  After 2 labour-like episodes (contractions I needed to pause and breathe for, about 5 min. apart for a couple hours) they say I need to take it easy.  Specifically, no more picking up kids, no walking more than around the house and the few places I go, and staying hydrated and well-rested

I'm so exhausted that this is fine with me.

In the words of one of my midwives, "Even tell people you are on bedrest. That way, they won't ask you any favours and you don't have to feel guilty or stressed about not doing things you don't really want to do anyway. Because hello! What idiot asks an 8-month pregnant woman to do anything? But when it's your third baby, they think you're superwoman or something."

I burst out laughing.

FIVE:

I posted about third-baby-itis earlier this week.

SIX:

I love seeing my boys "brother" each other.  When they do things like this, it warms my heart.



SEVEN:

I'm really running out of stuff here. I thought I'd have more to say, but that's what comes from being housebound and preoccupied with just accomplishing sanity and daily tasks.

I've been interrupted anyway by the need to get these boys down for their nap.  I just heard Patrick say to Carter, "I'm sorry I hit you Cart, but you really need to stop looking at me."

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

So um...Number 3...It's still a BIG deal!

I wrote this post, then instead of posting right away, I decided it was best to let it sit for a bit while I mulled over some of my feelings on having a third baby.  I don't want my well-meaning friends who read this blog to think I don't appreciate their support and comments that I do, in fact, recognize as being out of love and support. I try to end on a positive note. Okay? Here we go.




I'm starting to loathe how well-meaning people, friend and stranger alike, ask how I'm feeling.

Here's a short synopsis:

8 months pregnant.
3rd time in 5 years.
2 little boys with endless energy.
Not enough hours in the day.

How do you think I feel?! I'm vaguely aware that one doesn't really know what else to ask, because one doesn't want to just assume that I'm doing well or not so well, but what gets me is the flippant comments after I say how I'm doing:

"Oh, well you know what you're doing. Third time around!"

Uh, no... because I've never experienced a pregnancy quite like this one, with an additional 2 little people in my care.

Or my favourite: "Well, after 2 (insert something here about how my boys weighed over 10 lbs at birth) you'll just sneeze the baby out (or something else about how labour will just be easy-peasy)."

Yes, because my cervix has just stayed dialated for 2 years since my last birth.

I'm going to lay it all out. If you haven't yet sensed it, I have anxiety. Major anxiety. So what if I've birthed and managed to raise 2 babies so far? With birth, you never know exactly what will happen! That uncertainty and the unspoken countdown to D-Day may be familiar, but it is still stressful.

Coupled with this stress is the idea that others seem to think I have it all figured out... which makes me feel like I have to let them think I have it all figured out - because it's a lot easier (and probably more polite) to refrain from shaking the people who say the things above and say,

"NO! B.S.! I feel extreme dread each day about giving birth again. If anything, I feel more dread than I did the first two times, because I know the very painful, horrible aspects of both births that I do not want to touch or get close to again! I'm even less patient this time around because pregnancy has been nausea and aches and pain, and it's no longer a novelty!"

If I am somehow managing to foster the illusion that this is just. so. much. fun, I am sorry.

If I have given the impression that a third pregnancy is no big deal, I am very sorry.

If I have given the impression that since its easier to be pregnant than have the actual infant out and needy, so I'd of course be happy to do whatever activity it is that involves packing up two boys and leaving my nice warm house, I am really really sorry.  (Well, generally if people offer a comfy place to sit, and I just like them, I AM genuinely happy to leave the house.)


I sound so selfish upon re-reading. I feel that way though. My poor Joseph. He has to live with this insanity. Think about that.

Now, after all that negativity... let me shed a little light on the positives of expecting a third child, because though I sincerely feel the things above, another part of me is living in sheer amazement that Joseph and I made another person, who is currently somersaulting and dancing around inside my body.

This person is unique.  This person, our son, will have gifts and talents to be discovered as he learns and grows.  The possibilities of the kind of boy and man he will become are something awesome to think about. And I'd hate to think that because he's the third child, he'll be looked at as just "another one," by anybody.

Because he's the third, it is true that I won't have the first-time-mom anxieties about feeding and changing and sleeping that I did with the first two.  I've lacked sleep and I've heard my share of crying and have seen some gag-worthy diapers.

But he will not live off scraps of love because he's just "another one".  He will live in mostly hand-me-downs, but he won't be less special or less cherished because we've done this twice before.  Growing in love is what families are about, and that is what we're doing here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Seven Quick Takes: Vol. 9

My little musings about graduating, being pregnant in heels, my baby boy's growth, and white poppies + a preview of my favourite holiday movie.

More exciting takes at Jen's.

ONE:

I skipped last week due to being busy getting ready for and attending my convocation (graduation ceremony) from my Bachelor's degree. 
I actually completed the degree in April, but couldn't attend the ceremony then, so I got to be 7.5 months pregnant, walking the perilously narrow strip of stage in heels.  (Ok so I did not HAVE to wear heels...) I am happy to say I achieved some degree of grace, but after all the standing in those shoes, I was ready to burn them.
I'm so happy I went though.  Donning the  midieval garb of academia somehow sealed it. I have closure on a long chapter in my life.


TWO: 

My mom remarried last Saturday, so I wore the heels from the day before so that I could maintain the image of youth and vitality, even though my hips were not thanking me... I managed to sign the register and smile for the cameras one more time, but changed my shoes for the reception. 

I have another wedding this weekend, and I haven't decided whether to put my pregnant self through the foot, hip and back torture to look pretty. 
The offending shoes.

THREE:

One more superficial all-about-me take, then I promise to interest you with something profound and insightful. 

Last week was a fairly crafty one.  Son #1 insisted he be Lightning McQueen for Halloween, so I made him a cardboard version of the car. His brother got to be a construction worker... Far less effort, so I felt kind of bad, but  he didn't seem to care. Their Dad took them out, and has been helping them get through their mountain of candy too.


I had poor luck dress shopping for these weddings (all the dresses that looked decent on were similar to the black maternity dress I already owned), so I took matters into my own hands to add colour and interest to my plain black sack that has passed for a cocktail dress through 2 pregnancies. I pulled out my rusty sewing skills and cut up an ill-fitting shirt to spice up the dress. 

Before:

After:

If I weren't kind of proud of it, I'd never have posted it. 

FOUR:


In all the pregnancy craziness, my little Carter has somehow grown up.  He decided he'd like to potty train about a month ago AND he's started talking a lot more. Rudimentary full sentences are forming! It is such a blessing to be able to communicate, for me, and I think for him too.  

He will be 2 on Monday, so I've been reminiscing about his birth, his newborn days, and his little adventures in his short life.  

He has been a bundle of surprises.  This is partially due to my own misconceived notion that he might be similar to Patrick, his older brother.  But a lot of it is because he is a unique little person.

When he was only 4 months old, I noticed he was a little more sensitive to emotions than Patrick had been.  My mood seemed to affect him a lot, whereas Patrick was always relatively happy-go-lucky no matter how I was feeling.  People scoffed when I called him a sensitive soul, but 2 years on, he has been a little more attuned to feelings than his brother.  He gets upset when Patrick does, or when I am sad, he seem to know just when to come and snuggle.  

I just can't believe that 2 years have flown by with this little sweetie.  

FIVE:

Since my due date is December 24, friends have joked of late about my possibly having a Nativity experience in some capacity. 

I just hope that experience isn't under the adverse conditions Mary endured. Though since my babies have been almost 2 weeks late, maybe a donkey ride wouldn't be a bad idea on Christmas Eve.

I have been thinking of Mary a lot lately though, and often think about the desert journey to Bethlehem, only to find nowhere to birth Jesus. 

Whenever I feel distressed or overwhelmed with this pregnancy's hurdles, it has been a great source of calm to think of Our Lady's trust that God was taking care of her as she awaited the birth of Jesus.  It reminds me that I need to place myself right there, in God's arms, or sometimes just to be thankful that we are much closer to baby's birth location, and we have fairly comfortable vehicles to get us there.

SIX:

Monday is Remembrance Day, and an infuriating movement has been afoot at the University of Ottawa, encouraging people to wear white poppies instead of red ones, claiming that red poppies "glorify war" and stating that the white poppy symbolizes working for peace.

While there is nothing wrong with the idea of "working for peace", what is infuriating is that this group has completely missed the point of Remembrance Day. 

Our reality is that war, though not a desireable thing, has happened.  People have died so that you and I, and all of the white-poppy wearers can live in our country with the freedoms we have.  We remember them on Remembrance Day, not because war is a glorious thing, but because there were people willing to give their lives for us.  

So white poppy wearers, if you don't think the sacrifices our grandfathers, grandmothers, great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers made to maintain the ideologies from which our commonwealth grew is worth remembering, you ironically have the right to that opinion, in part, because of them.  So carry on. 


SEVEN:

It's the kid's naptime, and by some miracle (or maybe just rare morning ambition) I have nothing (pressing) to do but put in a pizza for dinner and whip up a salad. So in the spirit of all this snow, I'm going to watch a little Holiday Inn.

Have a lovely weekend!