Saturday, April 15, 2006

I am-

in a word... ginormous.

occasionally i look down at my belly and think, hmmm...not too big. and then i catch a glance of my profile in a window and i startle and my expansive girth. I'll post a photo here in the next day or so, because you really can't begin to appreciate it without a true visual.

and i understand now why most of the moms in my online due date club (yeah, yeah...) are way ahead of me in completing the "to do before baby" list- because at this stage, there is barely enough range of motion, let alone energy, to get simple household tasks done. Forget painting baby rooms, washing and putting away baby clothes, etc...and yet, here i am, at just about 37 weeks (out of 40, for those who may be a bit rusty on their gestational knowledge) hunkered over plastic tubs, attempting to sort through baby clothes with my toddler. I have a list of very fine projects in my mind that i would love to accomplish... like finishing the mural i started in raelin's room, felting some shapes and animals to make a mobile for the baby (requires standing at the sink, at which i must do at an angle now), sewing flannel wipes (a possibility, since i get to sit, though again, might have to face the machine at an angle), and planting various seeds in the garden. One of these might actually get done, and it will probably be the sewing. And maybe the gardening which is actually quite a good thing, since leaning over encourages the baby to face in an anterior position, (face down) rather than rolling over to posterior (face up). Posterior labor sucks. I haven't had to do it (thankfully) and don't need to experience it to know i dont' wanna.

So, needless to say, i am eating my contempt at those mom's who had all the baby clothes sorted etc... by 6 months.

The other problem with end of the pregnancy and projects is that this crazy nesting urge kicks a bird building from scratch, i suddenly want to redecorate. I spontaneously need to clean out drawers and cupboards, organize photos, and shop at Target for coordinated organizer bins. This is great and all, but since i walk at 1/4 speed (make that waddle at 1/4 speed) and need to sit down after about 30 minutes or so, it's mostly an exercise in frustration.

So, I admit it. I'm blogging as an outlet to whine.

At least with all of these aches and pains and whines come the unmistakable signs that a baby is on the way- not just the contractions and the fact that my midwife says the baby is so nestled into my pelvis she can barely feel it's head (!!!), but there's a birthing tub in our house!! It's all wrapped up in an orange canvas bag, just waiting for *the* moment when true labor is upon us. There are a few boxes of supplies at the foot of our bed, and a page on our fridge entitled, "when to call the midwife...."

I am so excited to meet this little kicker and roller... in some ways, more excited than i was with Raelin. I had no idea what i was getting into with her- all i saw was the unknown of birth on the horizon; whatever lay beyond in parenting was beyond the curve. This time, i am all the wiser- and my thoughts pause briefly on labor (pain, endorphins...big push! all done!) and then i get to muse on the juicy parts: boy or girl? will it look like Raelin? act like Raelin? active or mellow? the questions are endless.

so, be on the lookout for some email or quick blog or something alerting you that birth is afoot here. Though my due date is still 4 weeks hence and I could go late, babies set their own agenda... we could be a family of 4 any day now.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


"Are we on Old County Road?"
"yes, Raelin, we're on Old County Road."
Where is New County Road?
I don't know sweetie... somewhere in Rockland
Where in Rockland?
In some other part of town.
Are we in a part of town?
yes, we are.
Which part of town?
Um, the Old County part of town
Are we still on Old County Road?

Are we on Old County Road?
yes, we'll be on Old County Road until we turn.
Is we on LakeNew Terrace yet?
have we turned yet?
Then we're still on Old County Road.
*When* will we be on LakeNew Terrace?
When we turn.


Are we on Old County Road?


Wecome to my world...The littany of questions that spread over our hours like thick frosting...always sweet, but too much gives you a headache.

When our midwives met Raelin and her chatter for the first time, Donna said to me, "kelly, I bet you were one of those mums who talked to Raelin constantly when she was a baby...'Look Raelin, mummy is getting ready to do the dishes. lets' put you in your bouncy seat up on the counter so you can see... look here's the soap! now the sponge! Bubbles!'

I sheepishly grinned.

At another appointment, Donna remarked, 'Wow, her voice is at a really interesting decible... it really cuts through all the other conversation and noise in the room, huh?' She observed this with a knowing smile as Kevin and I agreed.
She went on, "Your baby is going to come out and hear Raelin's voice and look up at her and think, "Mommy!!"

This is probably true. No doubt our soon-to-be-named Nutkin will be far more drawn to Raelin's voice than my own, if for no other reason than it has been hearing her voice easily double or triple than mine.

Ahhhh... this is where having a second one becomes easier than the first! Built in entertainment, non-stop action and verbage at our fingertips. This is a lucky baby. Not only does it's big sister know how to ask a question, she can make up stories, sing songs, bring soap suds to life and she makes some mean muffins from baking powder, nutmeg, and beads.

(short tanget story... when we're out in the kitchen before 6:30- and it's often before 6- the routine is that i get raelin some toast, and then i hit the futon to snooze for an hour or so. she is usually pretty good at keeping herself busy and allowing me to rest until she can't stand it any longer. or, she has poop on her finger... but that's another story. anyway, this past friday morning from my recline on the couch i could hear her getting into the drawer where we keep the spices. I decided to stay put and deal with the damage later. About 45 minutes later, i woke up to a baking powder, nutmeg, dill concoction- aka muffin batter- which she continued to busy herself with for another 15 minutes or so. long enough for me to make coffee and my own toast, so i just let her carry on. 45 minutes or so later, it was time to make some real muffins to bring to our knitting playgroup. As we measured the now nutmeg-flavored baking powder into the measuring spoon, i noticed some decidedly un-baking powder like chunks. A probe with my finger determined them to be fimo beads. A stir in the tin proved that in addition to nutmeg, the baking powder was now chunky with many, many beads.

ah well... i emptied the measuring spoon into a larger measuring cup and fished out the beads before allowing her to add the bp to the batter. i thought we got all of them. until later that afternoon i looked down into my half-eaten muffin to find a small red bead nestled quite innnocently next to a blueberry.)

But back to Raelin and her the end of the day, when i am often all questions and listened and answered out, i sit on the couch and check up on email and other internet related tasks while Kevin does the bath with Raelin. The other night, their voices drifted through the door, singing one of Raelin's favorite songs, "The Hammerhead Shark." Their voices wove together, that unique decible of her voice trying to keep up with Kevin and the melody. I paused from my computer tasks and listened, thinking that it's amazing how one thing that can seem so draining at one point, can in another moment, be so fufilling.

What a lucky baby.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Several exciting developments have occured this week.

Yesterday, our neighbor came with his crane and hefted our concrete front steps away- FOREVER!! I've been wanting to rid our house of those crooked, ugly ole steppers from day one, and now they are finally gone. It's nice to live next door to someone who owns expensive, effective, heavy machinery and has the skills to use it. You wouldn't think that living next door to the owner of a commercial concrete business would be so beneficial, but we've reaped the benefits many times... though i did have a few heart stopping moments when 1) the crane boom was mere inches from the power lines that run to the house 2) the aforementioned steps were hanging in the air, being transported toward the truck, often mere inches from windows and walls, which i envisioned caving in were a breeze to come along. But, neither occured. It took all of 15 minutes for them to disappear, easy peasey. Unfortunately, we were not well prepared enough to have grabbed a camera to document the procedure; i'll leave it up to all of your superior inner visioning skills.

Raelin became the proud owner of her own plunger. Bright, primary yellow handle perfectly sized for a toddler at 12 inches long, attached to an equally cheery red rubber plunger bulb (is that what you call it?). I wont' go into the back story of why she has this fascination for the plunger, but needless to say, she's seen it in action a bunch and well- i suppose from a toddler perspective, a tool that magically makes poop go down an otherwise clogged up potty is pretty exciting. We weren't so down with her dragging the working plunger around the house to unclog all of the backing up that apparently is happening wherever you look. So today Kevin came home from a hardware store run with her very own. Definitley a wisely spent 2.60. Talk about encouraging creative and imaginary reality play (does that make sense?)... won't see that in a Toys R Us! (nor a Waldorf store for that matter...)

Speaking of magic and toddlers' perspectives... I took Raelin to a free magic show today at the library. I've taken her to a few events before that required being part of an audience and they didn't go over well. Even if you don't have kids, you probably think it's fairly obvious that taking a 2 year old to a production of the Nutcracker seems a bit dicey but hey, it was Christmas and I"m a total sap. I can't wait until she's old enough to actually sit through something like that, and like it to boot.
Anyway... so the magic show was free and therefore i had nothing to lose but time trying to occupy ourselves around the house, and if we needed to leave, the library has a fabulous kid's room where we can easily free play for a good hour or so, and fat ducks across the street that love to feast on cheap bread. So, all in all, no reason not to go.
The room was packed with kids, some toddlers, but most were in the 5-9 year old set. I noticed a huge percentage of dads in the room, solo with their kids. Can you tell this was a Saturday event?
The magician was young, somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-30. Hip, approachable- none of the slime and cheese of the more well known magicians. He started the show with some music and then did about 10 minutes of continuous tricks. Good ones too and ended his intro producing a dove named Butter out of a scarf. That's just cool. And then Butter took off and flew over toward us, which was even cooler.

But after Butter was escorted back to her small abode in the corner, the magician started talking along with his tricks, and by this time Raelin had finished her cookie that had been keeping her quiet and still in my lap. She stood up next to me and attempted to watch the show with me whispering to her things like, "look- where did the ball go? Wow! did you see him pull that card out of the air?"

She was completely unimpressed because- i realized- that's pretty much her reality anyway. Taking a toddler to a magic show is like bringing Santa Claus to a simulated North Pole- no big deal. Objects appearing, disappearing and transforming with no apparent cause is Raelin's reality. Happens every day, and she has no basis for questioning the plausability of a such a thing.

With that understanding and the fact that she was declaring, 'this is hard!' (which is what i said to her about sitting in an audience for the Nutcracker. Apparently that part of the outing made an impression...) we left for the children's room.

I'm going to be sad when she loses that unconditional acceptance of all things... when skepticism and disbelief become part of the lens through which she views the world. I know it's inevitable, but it certainly dulls life a bit- for all of us. Which is why we make a conscious effort to support and affirm her playmates that we can't see...I don't correct her when she inserts herself as the main character of stories in which she was not a part of (either written stories or about people we know)...or makes up bizarre and impossible stories and situations of her own. I have not qualms about "lying" to her about Santa or the Easter Bunny or any of the other characters that yes, are commercialized parts of childhood, but are also such great vehicles for awe and imagination. I have no doubt that despite my efforts, another point of view will come to her attention- the view that questions and doubts. I'm happy to step back and leave that bit of teaching out of my job description as parent.