Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Game of Life

Lately Jon and I have enjoyed our lazy evenings together playing games such as LIFE Twists and Turns, Scattergories, and Trivial Pursuit Digital Choice. It's been such a fun way to relax and laugh together, to enjoy our time as husband and wife before our lives change forever in a mere eight or nine weeks. Eight or nine weeks! I can't believe it. The other night Benjamin moved in such a way that I could feel the wholeness of the little person that he is....and I just panicked! "Jon, this is a real baby!" I cried. "I don't know what to do when he's born! I know nothing about being a mom!" Now, I don't know how you all will judge me for such an outburst of honesty, but I really know NOTHING about being a mom. Jon calmed me down sufficiently and helped me organize my thoughts and my growing list of things to do in order to prepare for baby. But it caused some reflection.

I think I was playing a game, playing house or The Game of Life, and suddenly I woke up and realized I was in real life with a real marriage and a baby on the way and no idea what to do. (Are you all horrified? I can't help it....my church has taught me to be forthcoming with my shortcomings.) In Life Twists and Turns, you accumulate "Life points" by getting married and having babies, getting promotions, drawing good cards. It's all very clean and easy. The other night I ended the game as a military captain with a Phd and eight children, having won the lottery thrice and taken a much needed vacation in Tahiti. I also had a midsized ($500,000) home but I was still riding around the board on a skateboard (I just couldn't land on a car space!). My net worth was just over $3million. Jon and I laughed over the absurdity of the game. Eight children and no labor and delivery, no mention of diapers or breastfeeding, no lamaze class, no searching for a pediatrician, no shopping for health insurance for any of the babies, no pregnancy symptoms whatsoever, no fear of the future, no insecurities over being the best mom...or at least a good mom...or just an okay mom.

But, you know what else? No joy in announcing a grandbaby to your parents, no watching him grow from .32 cm to his current impressive size, no fun in wondering if it's a boy or a girl, no joy in naming him, no feeling that first little movement, no enjoying almost every part of life growing within. And without the mess, where is the satisfaction? Without the insecurity, where is the opportunity for faith?

Real life is messy and hard work and scary at times. But it is full of joy and the whole range of human emotion that makes life and family worthwhile. And I am reminded again that my very real life is not left up to chance...there is no mere roll of the dice...but it is held most securely in the grasp of the Almighty hand. And it's a lot more fun than any game!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Warning: Long post!

Wow! What a week I've had! I had the great pleasure of going to Nashville for Anne's wedding this past weekend and it was truly wonderful. I got to see friends that I haven't seen in a while and Anne was an absolutely stunning bride (I'm sure I've never been to a more beautiful wedding in my life). It was really nice to catch up with all my girls from high school. We've all been friends for at least a decade now and it's such an exciting time in all of our lives with weddings and babies and big moves and job searches. I'm so glad we've stayed together all these years, even though our visits are few and far between. Trish and Erin didn't make it to the wedding, but Christy and I got to spend time with them last night and it was equally great to catch up with those girls. I was constantly amazed at how much energy I had this weekend for all the wedding festivities and I attribute much of it to the pure joy of being with my girls.

That's not to say it didn't take it's toll!!! I was quite fatigued by the time I arrived home on Sunday night and I think all of the movement and emotion of the weekend hit me at once. I cried for a while and slept really hard! When I look back at the pictures from the weekend, I can see how swollen I really was in my face (I could feel it in my feet by Saturday night, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been), no really surprising effect of traveling and being on one's feet in the third trimster. My feet and ankles were still a little swollen at my dr. appointment on Monday afternoon. It was a short appointment in which he just took my vitals and a few measurements, listened to Benjamin's heartbeat and sent me on my way. He said we're right on track with everything and he expects Benjamin to be between 7 and 8 pounds at birth. I have three more two week appointments and then we'll start going every week until D-day!

On a final note, the wedding and the holidays have served as eye-opening reminders of the joy and also the sorrow that so many can experience at the same time. My sister-in-law Amber lost her daddy just about two weeks ago to a brain tumor. A lady in our school district lost her son in a gun accident just before Thanksgiving. I talked to people this weekend who are going through heartbreaking things within their families....divorce, sick children, mental illness, trials of all kinds. And yet, I saw so much joy as well. Including Anne, three of my close girlfriends have gotten married in 2008. We have so many friends and family expecting babies and two who have already welcomed their little bundles of joy into the world this month! We are so excited as things continue to go well with little Benjamin and I really believe he's going to be a healthy little baby boy for us to welcome in the spring! The last of our little group of girlfriends told us she is getting married in September of next year. Kelly is living it up in Japan (that is both joy and sorrow, as we miss her so much but cheer her on as she lives one of her dreams).One of Jon's best friends is getting married in June and Jon will have the extreme honor of serving as best man. At such a joyful time in our own lives, it can be easy to overlook the pain in another's eyes. And even within the joyful times, people can experience such loss and fear. I can't imagine, for instance, what it must be like to say goodbye to your children as they start new lives as married people, or leave a job you've had for sixteen years even if it is something you want. Let us remember to pray for the people who have no joy in this holiday season, and the ones for whom the joy is tempered by grief or fear of the future. And for those of you who fall into that category this year, please know that our prayers are with you and that we love you. Remember that a new year is coming and it may hold joy you have never known. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Tired Stories

I would like to thank all of my friends out there for enjoying a good laugh at my expense. And I would especially like to thank Trish for sending me an extension cord with a foot switch, so I can turn the Christmas tree on and off without bending down. The ability to laugh at oneself is indispensable. Here are a few more tired stories (Jon read my blog and said I forgot a few....probably because I was asleep).

Apparently, I told Jon I was "tired as a weasel." Now, I'm not really sure what I was trying to say or what I meant by that, but that's what came out.

Another day, I told him I had started the day off "on the wrong toe." Again, I'm not sure what I meant to say, but probably either "wrong side of the bed" or "wrong foot."

Today I very nearly fell asleep at a red light on the way home from Chilies. Thank God for the really annoying version of "Jingle Bell Rock" that came on to wake me up.

And, the crowning glory of all fatigue stories....I hesitate even to tell you, but when I confided in a coworker she said it happened to her too, so I know I'm not alone....see how I justify?....OK, here it goes:
Yesterday afternoon, I fell asleep ON THE TOILET!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We had a doctor's appointment today, our last before we start going every two weeks. The doctor said that Benjamin is about 29cm long and should be between seven and eight pounds at birth (probably closer to seven, he said). I have no idea how they do these calculations, but there you have it. He did say that the baby is growing just on schedule (what a good, prompt, and efficient little baby!). Benjamin's hearbeat was 136, which is normal. He gave me the final go-ahead to fly to Nashville for Anniebobba's wedding next week!!! And I received a shot in the hip to protect Benjamin from my negative bloodtype in case he has a positive rh. Our next appointment is Decemer 22nd. I know the next couple of months will just fly by and then our little bundle will be here!
Last week we got the crib put together and the nursery is starting to look more like a real baby's room now! I love to look down the hall and see the crib all set up. I even put Curious George in the middle to show where the baby will go! I did the same thing in the little baby bathtub. Jon makes fun of me, but I'm sure you all think I'm precious.
Last week, we also took breastfeeding class. It was very helpful and enlightening. I was so glad we went! I was a little intimidated at first by the woman I have heard referred to as "the nipple nazi" but she seemed nice to me and gave a lot of great advice. No nazi-like tendencies that I could see. We will take childbirth preparation class starting the first week in January. In other news, we decorated our Christmas tree in all blue to celebrate our baby boy! I ordered a maternity coat off of ebay (I love being pregnant in the 21st century!). We are WAY behind on ordering Christmas presents this year, but it's okay because we are now members of AmazonPrime, which means we get free two-day shipping (a great thing since we're going to be ordering most of our diapers from amazon.com next year!). I still need to watch the "epidural video" and pay my deposit, so I can have relief when I need it. I finally finished my baby registries, and my shower invitation list is almost complete. My house is still a train-wreck. My husband is still the best ever. And we're still praying for lots of other expecting moms! We found out this week that our friend Joy (from high school) is having a boy as well! It struck me that his due date is April 30, the same due date we had for our little April Baby. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Many congrats to Joy and Philip and lots of prayers for their little London Andrew on the way!
Anyway, that's the update! I hope all is well out there in your world!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

You know you're tired when....

You throw a pile of clean laundry on the bed, then shove it over and sleep beside it for two hours.

You pick up your cell phone and call your husband (who is in the next room) to order sesame chicken and fried rice. You are extremely confused when he answers instead of the Chinese restaurant.

You fall asleep at the doctor's office while waiting for the doctor to come in and when he does come in, it startles you awake.

You lay in bed for a ridiculously long time, trying to decide if you have to go to the bathroom badly enough to make it worth getting up. You finally realize that it is, in fact, an emergency and you better get up NOW!!!

You lay in bed until exactly twenty minutes before you have to be at work, thinking that you can still be on time if you put on makeup and eat breakfast at your desk.

Your husband hands you a glass of grape juice in bed. He tells you to be careful with it and you say, "Oh, it's not sharp."

You leave your Christmas tree lights on constantly for four days and nights because you just don't have the energy to bend down and turn them off.

This is the fatigue of pregnancy. This is what no one ever told me about. This is worth every sleepy, stupid minute, because it means he is growing. Because no matter how tired I am, he can wake me up smiling with a gentle kick.