Saturday, September 26, 2009

The One With a Weekend Thought on Motherhood

I love my mom, a lot. She's really an amazing lady. She is generous, kind, funny, hardworking, and a lot of other things that I hope I picked up a little bit of from her (she's also slightly OCD and a clean freak--which, unfortunately and MUCH to her dismay, I did not inherit at all.) But mostly, she loves me. A lot. Not in a "my child can do no wrong" sort of way (my mom is also very honest!) but in a, "you're mine, so never forget how special you are" kind of way. When I was growing up, it was just me and her for the most part, and I never felt like I was missing out (luckily, I did get to see my dad on weekends, so I still had the father figure. Not saying he was absent. Just that the majority of my life growing up was the 2 of us.) My mom worked a full time job--I have no idea what hours she worked. The reason for this is that I have absolutely no recollection of her ever being gone. I cannot recall a single soccer game, tee-ball game, softball game, gymnastics practice, school concert, school field trip, or any other significant event that she wasn't there for. I don't remember ever remember going to bed being tucked in by anyone besides my mom. I remember playing Barbies on the floor (actually playing together. Not me playing and her watching.) I remember sitting in the sandbox together. I remember playing with my dollhouse, singing our Steve Green bible verse songs, dancing to Wee Wing videos, having popcorn with Full House, back when it was a new and exciting show. I remember a home cooked meal nearly every night, and I remember having fish, hamsters, and kittens all during my growing up years. I'm sure there were things she had to miss; I know there were lots of friends and family who pitched in and made my life a wonderful thing. I know that I always had the same clothes all my friends did (and that I was proud my mom knew how to find the same clothes at yard sales instead of department stores!) and I never missed an after school event, summer camp, or youth group trip no matter what the cost was. I didn't notice then that my mom never bought herself new clothes. I probably didn't pay attention to all the things I had, and all the things she did without--probably because she has never brought attention to them. She has never grumbled about the sacrifice it was to put me through an expensive private school because she wanted me to have the best education possible. She's never once reminded me, or even mentioned a single time, the hard times she must have had as a single mother. Rather, she has told me every single day for my entire existence, how loved I am.

My mom told me once that one of the trademarks of people who are truly happy is that every truly happy person knows that they are someone's favorite. The morning of my wedding, she told me I should be the happiest person in the world, because all my life I had been her favorite, and now I was someone else's as well. And how right she is. I never even thought I'd understand how much my mom loves me. But the closer I get to meeting this sweet baby boy thats growing inside me, the more it inspires me to love this child with everything I have.

This week when I was on vacation, I thought I might have a lot of those "this is the last time I'll get to do ::fill in the blank:: before Sam comes!" since it was most likely my last trip without a baby in tow for awhile. Instead, I found myself anxiously awaiting his arrival so I can show him the world. A seagull walked up to my chair and I thought "Wow, Sam would LOVE if a bird came this close to him!" We walked the boardwalk and I thought "Look at that boy playing the arcade games! In a few years, I will get to play them with Sam!" When I was wiggling my toes in the sand I thought, "I wonder what Sam will think of the sand? I guess he will eat it..." Everything I experience now I want to share with him, and I get more excited by the day to meet him and love him in person.

I thought the other day "Man, I should try to think of SOMETHING besides pregnancy to write about on my blog or facebook" but then I realized--for 24 years, my mom has been my mom. I wonder how many times she's been referred to as "Ashley's Mom" instead of by her name. And it makes me smile to think that now, I am "Sam's Mom." My husband is "Sam's Dad." We are beginning a whole new phase of life, and I am thrilled to have been loved so well so that I can pass that onto my son.

And maybe somewhere along the way I'll pick up a little of the cleaning skills, too :)

(For more Weekend Thoughts, check out Life at the Circus)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The One With the Vacation

First off, lest I forget to tell anyone, let's just talk about how My Sister's Keeper is a terrible, terrible book. The ONLY reason I might consider seeing the movie is because I heard they changed the ridiculous ending that the book had. Like for real, I feel like the author invested so much time and energy in the entire novel, and then at the end said "Aw, screw it. I'm tired of writing. I'm just gonna come up with a quick, stupid ending and get on with the next book." I am not impressed. I am also not pleased I wasted so many hours reading the book to begin with. So, that's my book review for the day. I'm more than willing to ruin the ending for anyone who wishes to ask me what happened, in the hopes that you will decide it's not worth reading.

I am tired. Which is weird, since I JUST got home from vacation. But I slept horribly while I was gone, which has made me sleepy and a little grumpy today. Sam has a new favorite game. He curls himself up into a little ball, and then he scoots over to whichever side I happen to be laying on, and presses himself as hard as his little body can muster against the side of my uterus. Result? Mom feels like she is laying on a softball. It's really cute at first. It's not as cute after like, an hour. Or two. Silly boy. (it actually IS still cute. i just don't want him to know....)

Vacation was super, though! My friend Kat had free access to a house a few miles away from Ocean City so we headed out for a little girls getaway. We had an amazing time soaking up the sun, walking the boardwalk, trying an INCREDIBLE donut shop (You must, must, must, find a Fractured Prune. Go order a dozen donuts. You will want to eat them all) watching all 3 of the Anne of Green Gables movies, a whole bunch of Friends DVDs, and mostly just sitting around being pregnant :) It was delightful. However, I've not been married long enough to appreciate ANY time away from my husband, and I missed him like crazy!! I think Sam did, too. I'm so happy to be home with him again. Now I have a few more days off to enjoy before it's back to work. Luckily only a few months til my much longer "break!" I can't wait for 12 weeks of my little guy and I being snuggle buddies at home! (Yes, I am fully aware that being snuggle buddies mostly means changing diapers, cleaning up baby puke, and not sleeping at all....but I don't care. I just wanna meet my son!)

And now I'm supposed to be preparing my information for our store meeting tonight, so I shall be going. Until next time...

Oh, PS, we still haven't heard about the house. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Hoping to hear this week or next week, after the bank has sent out some people to evaluate the house and property. We'll see!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The One With all the Moms

This week, I did something really cool. Actually, I did the same thing that about 60 0ther people also did, and to them it might not have been that significant. But to me, however dramatic this may be, it was a symbol of the changes that are coming, and already happening, in my life.

I went to a MOPS (mothers of pre schoolers) Meeting.

And I loved it. And I think I most of all loved it because it made me feel something that I've known since March, but made me feel it more concretely: I am a mom. I am not a mom-to-be. I am not going to be a mom. I AM a mom. I loved at the meeting when people would ask how many children I had. I always said one (and then pointed to the nametag on my protruding stomach that read "Sam".) Because even if I haven't met him, and I haven't held him, or chased after him, or had him puke on me, or had sleepless nights because of his crying, or gotten his poop all over me, or yelled at him, or laughed with him, or tickled him...he's still my son. Right now. Every time he wiggles and dances and moves and squirms, I get to know him a little bit more and I love him a little bit more. I do understand (or rather, don't understand) that something amazing happens when I DO get to meet him, and see him, and that that moment will be something I cannot comprehend. But for now, I'm just so happy to be his mom.

And I'm so excited about the community of women that I get to be a part of. I am inspired and encouraged and humbled at the opportunity I am getting the join these women (and countless others that I am equally inspired by) on the journey of motherhood.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The One With the House

So. Our househunting story. Many of you know we decided to try to buy a house a few months back, and got an agent and spent many a day and night pouring over internet listings, going out looking, etc. After a little while, we were discouraged at not finding anything nice in our price range (neither of us has any fixer-upper skills...thus making a lot of houses out of option for us, since most of the houses in our range were more "as is" properties.) We recognized the benefits of the tax credit, buyers market, etc....but we just decided for us, with the baby coming, etc, maybe it wasn't the time to buy a house.

Flash forward 3 months.

I got a call from a friend of my families--her mom and my mom are best friends and we've known their family for years. Basic story, she owns two houses. She can't afford both and is facing foreclosure on one, so she asked what the price we could pay for a house was. I told her the top of our budget (which is 150 THOUSAND LESS than what she owes on the house) and she said "Great. Put in an offer. As long as the bank agrees, I'll sell it for that." Ummm. Holy cow.

I can't explain how much we are in love with this house. She gutted the entire thing and has rebuilt everything and it's all custom--crown molding, lighting, custom blinds, new appliances, paint, jacuzzi tub, big backyard, nice neighborhood, finished basement, 3 (possibly 4 bedrooms), 2's so much more than we were ever thinking we could get.

So. We're putting in an offer. And then we have to wait and see if the bank takes it. We're super nervous. The house is at the absolute top of our price range, so it will make our budget a little bit tight, though doable. And there's a lot of details to work out if it does happen--so for now, we're just waiting! Basically we feel like the chances of the bank approving the offer are pretty slim, so if we get it, we want to make it happen. We feel like this opportunity is incredible, and we feel like it coming at this point in time is totally a God thing. We'd completely given up on the idea of buying a house, and this just came out of nowhere.

We're anxious to see what happens and where the coming months take us!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The One Where I Finally Give Ultrasound Details

So, Cape Cod trip came and went; days of work came and went...what I thought would surely be the longest 2 weeks of my life waiting for our ultrasound actually flew by pretty quickly. So on Thursday the 20th, we woke up early for our 8am appointment, I drank my orange juice to wake Nugget up, and we went to the office. Unfortunately, due to a mixup with their office and my doctor and my referral, they told us we couldn't be scanned until my doctor faxed over a new form. Um, it's 8am, and his office doesn't open til 9am, so that meant a new appointment. It also meant that I had a complete and total meltdown (you know, the kind ONLY a pregnant woman can have) in the middle of Advanced Radiology. Not a fun way to start the morning, to say the least. Luckily, they had an appointment that same day later in the afternoon, so I came home and went back to bed until it was time to leave.

When we finally got into the room, our tech was SOOO much nicer! First, she had a little stool for Geoff to sit on (our last tech shrugged and said, "Um, you stand in the corner.") She asked us a few questions about our last appointment, and then we got going! She put the thing on my stomach, and lo and behold, we had a set of spread eagle legs!!! Haha, our tech laughed and said "Well....there's definitely a baby in there--and he is DEFINITELY a boy!!!" Literally, he showed off his goods in the first 3 seconds of our appointment. We've not been shy about our preference for a boy, so needless to say, we were THRILLED! Geoff lept off his stool and pumped his fists in the air, and also yelled "WE WIN!!!" It was SO funny. The thing is, we both thought it was a boy. And we both wanted a boy. So we kinda figured there was no way it would actually be a boy, haha!

Turns out though, Nugget really wanted to be stubborn again. Right after showing us his legs, he wiggled down to the bottom of my uterus and proceeded to press himself as tightly as possible against the uterine wall. My uterus is about even with my belly button right now. Nugget camped out behind my pubic bone for the rest of the ultrasound. There was NOTHING we could do to make him wiggle back up. Our tech was cracking up, because at one point, he just sat down on my cervix and was completely still. Fortunately, she was great at working with him, and got all but one of the measurements we needed.

His name is Samuel Brandon. Mostly we just love the name Sam--we didn't choose it for a particular meaning. However, there are several meanings floating about--the one I love for our baby boy is "God has heard" or "God has answered." His middle name is after my cousin Brandon, who died almost 4 years ago at 20 years of age. I can't wait to be able to share his name with my son.

Sam STILL favors the very bottom half of my uterus. Like, he hasn't ventured anywhere near the top of it. At least not that I can feel. It was really funny the other day at work I was feeling him kick like crazy, so I told one of the girls that I work with. She came right over, stuck her hand on my belly and said, "Maybe I can feel!" I looked back and said "Sure you can. Just move your hand about 8 inches south...." Haha, needless to say, she lost interest at that point! Geoff's gotten to feel though--right in the middle of church! When I sit for too long, Sam gets peeved that I'm invading his space and wiggles up as if to announce that he's still in there. He said hi to Dad, then wiggled back down. And down he remains. Silly kid. I just love him :)