Totally preggers

We were out with my in-laws a few weeks ago looking at houses when suddenly I turned and caught my side profile in the mirror and gasped. I was pregnant.  They asked me what was wrong and I told them. I’m pregnant. No… really?!

Obviously I’m pregnant. I’m 26 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I’m due in three months. 92 days to go according to my Glow Nurture app. But I finally realized how I look to other people. Up until about two weeks ago I felt pregnant, I felt Alexandra moving and kicking and even seeing my belly move when she gave a particularly energetic jab. I saw the numbers on the scale going up (slowly thankfully). But I didn’t realize just how pregnant I looked.

From the front, if I’m wearing a cardigan that falls just right, there’s still the initial thought of, “She had too many cheeseburgers,” which has been my joke all along. Especially around month 4, there was the look you would get from students and others on campus we hadn’t told yet where they were trying to figure out of if you were gluttonous or knocked up. Now it’s real.

Things in Alexandra’s room are pretty well set. The crib has been together for a while now, the room painted, the closet cleaned out and prepared, and the dresser refinished. I can tell you I hate spray painting pregnant. YES, I wore a heavy duty respirator mask – don’t yell at me. Now we’re just trying to settle the rest of the house. The bathroom is done. The center hall ceiling and mold taken down, new ceilings and moldings put up, and now we have to peel the wall paper.

But now, I actually feel pregnant too. I can’t work on the wall paper removal for more than an hour without feeling discomfort. The bajillion trips up and down the stairs while trying to clean are unmanageable now. I can do it, but if I don’t take breaks, I end up in a lot of pain by the end of the day. Maybe it’s because I’m carrying all out front. Maybe it’s because I’m too stupid to know I should slow down.

But you know what? I’m not angry or sad about any of the limitations. I’m happy. I have been lucky. I feel good. I dare say I look good. And I can’t wait to have this little girl here.

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warming trend

Sometimes it’s hard for me to admit when I’m stressed or depressed. I think it’s hard for everyone. But recently, I had to. Not because I need an intervention, but because I needed the people around me to understand that I’m not myself. That I’m getting emotional over small things. That I need a shoulder.

And somehow it always starts to ease in the spring. Suddenly, I’m not so worried about all the things to do that have piled up over the lazy, winter months. Now I’m looking forward to all the long hours that I need to put into the yard to get it in shape for the veggie growing season. And the door that still needs to be painted? Now that it’s light out longer and it’s warmer, it will get done.

Finally, I admitted to the Man that I’m overwhelmed and need some more help with stuff around the house. That I’ve been indecisive and sad and need him to be patient. And he has been. Sometimes you just need to ask for help, wait for the warmth, and breathe. It will be okay.

Another year…

This month is just flying by and I can’t believe it is only *gasp* ten days until Christmas! My to do list keeps getting longer and the days seem to miraculously grow shorter.
The beginning of the month went by so fast that I almost forgot to tell you that I am another year older – 33 to be exact. My birthday weekend was spent with my mom who thankfully watched the crazy puppy while I did a bit of Christmas shopping (and spoiled me with some amazing sweaters and directive to buy some things for myself while shopping for others!) I also got to replace my four year old cell phone because I dropped it in water.
While I was really upset because it was a careless accident I was overdue for an upgrade. Thankfully I only had to spend $30 for a brand new phone. So, as I type this, I am on my fancy New LG G3 which is AMAZING. I’m not one to spend hours on my phone. Quite the opposite, I actually tend to stay off my phone once I’m out of work. This new phone has spoiled me, though. Easier to use and a bigger screen, I may just have to start updating my blog more often just for an excuse to play with it!
Now I’m off to do some much overdue holiday crocheting. Hope everyone is having a good time getting ready for the holidays!

a day to be thankful

There are so many things to be bitter or sad or resentful about that sometimes it’s hard to be thankful. But today, among all other days, is a time to reflect on what we do have that makes life so beautiful and amazing.

I have a loving and supportive family and friends who I can turn to. I have a roof over my head. I have a goofball dog and cranky cat to keep life interesting. I have a husband who (tries to) keep me sane and loves me. I have so many little things and little encounters in my life that keep me happy and grounded and make me feel blessed.

No turkey is being cooked in this house today. The Man is at work and a Black Friday Feast is planned with friends for tomorrow so we’ll be sitting around the table giving thanks a little late. Even though I’m not with family today, I have everything I need in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Abby dreaming of the turkey to come tomorrow.

past life

It’s National Poetry Month which, in my life, used to be a huge deal. It was a morning just like this one – gray, somewhat warm, and raining – that Cat, Erin and I set out for a day in the city. After a 45 minute ride on the Long Island Rail Road, a few subway stops, and a handful of blocks, we walked into a lecture hall at Cooper Union to hear Robert Pinsky speak. It was 2000, just around the time that he Released Americans’ Favorite Poems as part of his tenure as Poet Laureate.

I can remember like yesterday how my coat and backpack were drenched, my hair sticking to my back, as we sat, mesmerized but his rich voice and subtle lisp. It was the kind of day that I loved. I was in awe of his craft, his knowledge.

I lived in the world of poetry in high school. The Dodge Poetry Festival and Mr. Van Zant’s poetry class and readings at the Barn and poetry club and the Literary Magazine and celebrating National Poetry month with posters and trips to the Poets House to sit among the stacks and photocopy page after page of poem that spoke to me. They all seem so far away. But if I close my eyes, I can take myself back to that room with Cat and Erin like it was yesterday. But life is so different now. As much as I long to find her, I have no idea where Cat is. And as much as I’d love to just sit down on the spur of the moment and grab coffee with Erin, she’s almost 100 miles away.

There’s a post-it note, faded, in one of the pages of my Pinsky anthology. I don’t know why I marked it or the meaning it had at the time, but it’s still there. Remnant.

 

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.

Nor for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Not for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

-Dylan Thomas

 

 

My writing life seems so far away now.

happy?

According to what I heard today on NPR while I was driving to work, today is the International Day of Happiness! Funny that this coincides with the first day of spring, which ordinarily would make me very happy. But for the past few days I’ve been fighting the much dreaded seasonal sinus infection that has been going around the office.

Despite that, armed with my amoxicillin, steroid nasal spray, Mucinex, and box of Puffs Plus, I donned my brightest, lime green cashmere sweater, threw on a paisley scarf, and embarked on my day of work filled with the stress and crazy tight schedule that is interviewing candidates and giving a campus tour. And you know what?

I AM HAPPY.

Sure, I feel miserable. And I can’t ethically do any crocheting for my Etsy shop because “Snot Covered Amigurumi Turtle” just doesn’t have a great ring to it. But we had fabulous candidates today, and our current students took pity on my bright red nose and helped me out with the hectic schedule. And I have a job. And my daffodils are peaking their heads above the soil. And both cars are running. And the cats are healthy (if not crazy and overprotective). And I have an awesome Kohl’s coupon I’m going to use Saturday. And I get to play outside this weekend (assuming I can breathe through both nostrils). And The Man is healthy (despite the fact he refuses to let me sleep in the other room while I’m sick). And spending last weekend with my mom was overdue but AWESOME (even though she screwed up her back – hi Mom! sorry!) And I found a brand of coffee that I absolutely love. And my new side job doing transcription is fun and I learn random shit. And I found a way to dye my hair using teabags from Pinterest (which I’ll be doing this weekend – eek!)

Those may be weird or stupid reasons to be happy. But I am. Despite all the crap that goes on day to day, I’m going to start looking past all the bad things and realize that if searching for puns on Pinterest makes me happy? So be it. And if crocheting turtles keeps me sane? Fine. And if painting my nails to coordinate with my outfits gives me my jollies? That’s fine too.

I am happy.

Are you?

lacking cheer

The holidays this year were full of simple things.  From the decorations to the presents that the Man and I gave, we tried to keep all the pandemonium that usually comes with the holidays to a minimum.  The presents we gave this year were “cheer” baskets that included something crocheted by me, homemade jams from my friend Michele at Pickled Sweet, and some sweet goodies like hot chocolate and candies. And I honestly enjoyed doing that a lot more than things I’ve done in years past.

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holiday cheer in baskets

I can honestly say that as I finished taking the ornaments off my Christmas tree this year I teared up.  I didn’t full out cry, but I was emotional.  During the long, cold months it’s hard to cheer up the house after all the lights and garlands and decorations come down.  While my tree has been down since a week after Christmas, I left my nativity up on the mantel until just after the 6th – “Little Christmas”.  And I have yet to redecorate my mantel.

You’ve probably noticed a distinct void of house projects on my blog recently, and that’s because there aren’t many going on other than the usual cleaning, laundry, and attempt at organizing. Just as much as my house is lacking cheer right now, so am I.  But I’m ever hopeful that things are going to get better as 2014 progresses.

Don’t worry – no tragedies or awful things have happened, just a distinct, ever present stress that comes with trying to balance work, the Man’s horrible schedule, and the day to day goings on of life. Like bills. Those ever present bills. Wouldn’t it be nice if they went on vacation along with the rest of us during the holidays??

So for now, instead of focusing on the hole in our main hall ceiling (more about that some other time) and all the things I can’t change in my life, I’m trying to focus on the things I can change, like making the dollars streeeeeeeetch to their limit without sacrificing happiness, starting to make hearty and creative meals again (as cooking anything fun has taken a back burner recently), and starting to make new & fun things to stock my Etsy shop for the spring.

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spring bunny

And maybe as the months warm up, I’ll get my restoration groove back on and this post holiday/winter depression will melt away. But for now, I’m just going to focus on restoring me and the Man.