Thursday, May 31, 2012

more pregnancy brain

i've always been a big water-drinker.  there aren't a lot of things i love more than a big tall glass of cold water.

my first few days in zambia, i felt like i just could not get enough to drink.  i would wake up with my tongue clinging to the roof of my mouth, absolutely parched.  for the first few weeks, i lived with the world's sweetest person, and although she didn't know about my raging thirst, she woke me every morning with a cup of water.  God bless her!

before i go upstairs at night, i always make sure i have a cup with me.  last night, i made a few trips up and down the stairs, realizing i hadn't locked the door once, and another time grabbing some lozenges for my throat.  before i turned out the light, i looked at my shelf and laughed.

each time i went downstairs, i must have taken a new glass.

there, awaiting my nighttime thirst: not one, not two, but three glasses.

and last night, probably for the first time since i got pregnant, i didn't even wake up once.  at least i was prepared ;).

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ahh yes. that's you. i love you.

to know or not to know: apparently, that is the question!

patrick and i would like to find out our baby's sex during an ultrasound, if it's possible.  we had an ultrasound yesterday, but baby wasn't in a good viewing position, and didn't move, even with lots of prodding and hoping :)  however, we'll be going back for another ultrasound next month, and hopefully we'll get to find out then!

a lot of people think it's a shame to find out before the birth, because they like being surprised, and that's cool for them, but it's not something i value.  the idea of being surprised in the delivery room isn't a huge motivator for me.  i want to know in advance, to dream about this baby as he or she is, to imagine him or her in all the detail possible.  i was thrilled to read the measurements on the screen yesterday - the baby's femur, for example, is 3cm long.  and i love that femur more now, because i know something about it :).

for me, knowing the baby's sex is one more way to bond, to feel like the baby is more real somehow. 

i think it's kind of like when i fell in love.  we had only met once in person, but it was a pretty blurry memory.  i completely fell for patrick, though, when we started chatting on msn.  head over heels.  we spent hours online talking and getting to know each other.  i read his poetry and laughed at his jokes and saved our conversations to read and reread.  every word was magic and special because it was his.  but the screen wasn't enough.  long before we met again, i wanted to know how tall patrick was, the colour of his eyes, the way he did his hair.  not because i wasn't going to meet him in person, but because i was.  the wonder of seeing him in person was no less because i knew these things in advance - it was more like a feeling of



that's you.  

i love you.

it's a delicious, familiar, run-into-your-arms kind of feeling, and that's the reason i want to know every single thing i can about our baby before we meet.  for me, being surprised couldn't compare with that feeling at all. 

or, you know, it might just be shameless curiosity and an unrestrained appetite for instant gratification.  just kidding.  but honestly, i'm pumped to be able to write 'he' or 'she' instead of the gargantuan he-or-she that i have to use now.  did you see how many times i wrote 'the baby' in this blog?  it's not like you don't know what i'm talking about.  but i can't say 'it' - the ungendered pronoun is too cold for my precious bundle of mystery.  but once we know, i can even use his or her name ...

Friday, May 25, 2012

for peach

say hello to my little friend!

the bump at 20 weeks

(haha sorry i thought your goons might get a kick out of that.)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

the pinions and plumage of love

i came across a beautiful little verse today.

'the wings of the ostrich wave proudly, but are they the pinions and plumage of love?' -job 39:13  the rest of the section talks about how the ostrich leaves her eggs on the ground, and doesn't warm or protect them, and she treats the eggs as if they were not hers.

i love it.

it just struck me really hard that there is no reason to be proud of pinions and plumage if there is no love.

love is the valuable thing, not proud wings.  the ostrich runs with horses, is strong and full-feathered ... 'but are they the pinions and plumage of love?'

and don't we love people who love us, and see them as beautiful?  not because of their svelte appearance but because of their smile lines and warm hugs?  i realize that my mother is magazine-cover beautiful, but her exquisite beauty is not my favourite thing about her.  i love her for the compassionate tears that spring to her eyes when her heart is touched, for the happy lines that appear so readily around her eyes when she smiles at me, for the hands that have worked so hard to care for me my whole entire life.  oh yes - my mother is most gorgeously arrayed in the pinions and plumage of love. 

but i love this verse for more than that.

i love it because of Jesus. 

Jesus did not come to us with proud wings. 

the creator of the universe could have come with raw and radiant power, in a blaze of beauty and impenetrable majesty.  but he didn't.  he came in the humble, broken, oh-so-ordinary plumage of love.

every scar and wound he bears, a record of his love.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

moon talk me?

do you ever wonder what God is like?  

she asked me that question this weekend and it set a star bursting in my heart.  i didn't have time to answer - the conversation current hurried on - but my answer is yes and yes!

i always wonder what God is like.

that's what keeps me reading and keeps me noticing and keeps me praying and hoping and living.  it's the best part of anything, the smallest delight and the achingest joy: getting little glimpses - or big ones - of what God is like.

she seemed to think it was an unanswerable question, that we can wonder but never know what God is like.

but i know (o delicious reality!) we can.

not all at once, in big huge bites - not here - not now, while our hearts are small and new and just beginning to think about being able to hold the delight and mouthfuls of joy that is God -

but tastes and hints and previews of Him are everywhere for the having.

it is, i know, a ridiculous claim to make.

one evening, when my little niece was 2, she was fussing and crying in the dark living room.  papa was at work, and mama was giving the other kids a bath.  she was lonely and refused to be cheered up.

so i hid behind the curtains and talked to her in a silly voice.

"lolo," i said, "i am the mooooooon!  what's wroooong?  why are you cryyyyying?  i want to be your friend!"

she stopped crying, and looked out at the moon with wonder in her eyes.

"moon?" she asked, "moon talk me?"

i feel like my claim must be as outrageous.  God reveals himself to us?

and yet ... He does.

when i read His word - i mean, really read it with an open heart, not just looking for whatever i expect to see there - He shows up.  when i hold sam and know that nothing could alter my love for him, i see a little bit of His heart.  when patrick goes to work tirelessly, day after day, just out of love for us, i see a little bit of God's blessed faithfulness.

the whole gorgeous universe is pregnant with the weight of His glory.

moon talk me.  yes.  it does.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

something ugly

i realized what is making me cringe when i look in the mirror and see my bulge-ish self.

and it's not pretty.

it isn't the gorgeous pregnancy acne or the ballooning belly.

it's ... pride.

i was praying about my ugly feelings - feelings of ugliness, guilt, and unhappiness about both.  and God showed me something really cool.

just a little verse in Job, about God "in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind" (Job 12:10).

God holds our life, our breath, in His hand.  kind of like my body holds the life, and the breath, of my baby.

in a little, wonderful way, i get to be like Him.

in carrying this baby, i get to be a little tiny picture of Him and His nourishing, constant care.  and He didn't count it shameful, what happened to His hands, when carrying me.
He bears marks in His body of the cost of bearing my sin.
without shame.
without pride.

i'm not trying to say i'm Jesus to this baby.  or that a few stretchmarks or pounds are equivalent to the cost of salvation.

but i think that if He can look upon me and count me worth it, i can be a little bit like Him and look past the cost to the sweet life thriving within.

and that kind of makes it not about me anymore.
and not about what's happening to me.
but about what i get to do.
and Who i get to (oh-so-distantly) reflect.
which is something i'd much rather see in the mirror anyway.

i was a weird kid

well, i was.

my sisters & brother & i used to dip plain chips in salty vinegar to pretend we were eating salt and vinegar chips.  (that's not the weird part.  that's delicious.  try it.)

last night the postscript to that came into my mind.

i always wanted to drink the leftover vinegar when we were done because it seemed yummy ... but i didn't, because i thought it might be blasphemous.

(yes, that's the weird part.  i'm going to take a moment to let you consider if you still want to be my friend.

still here?


apparently, somewhere along the line, i got over that fear. 

and the vinegar?  it's as yummy as i'd expected.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

more mystery gifts!

last night, i was making supper and sam and patrick were playing with toy cars in the living room.  the patio doors were open, and a warm breeze was blowing in.  sam & i spent most of the day outside in the sunshine, eating watermelon and throwing a ball around.

i dashed upstairs while the chicken was sizzling away to make a quick visit to the washroom (*sigh* like the other million times in the day), and when i came down 2 minutes later, there was a little tykes car peering in the screen door.

i thought maybe it was a surprise from patrick, but when i asked him about it, he looked puzzled.  he & sam came into the kitchen, and we all stood staring at the car in happy confusion.

i ran into the backyard, and patrick popped out to the front, to see if we could thank our generous friend ... but we found no-one. 

sam played on it all evening.  he cried and cried when he had to go to bed, and this morning it was the first thing he wanted to see.  he likes riding in it, pushing it around, and putting his toys inside.  he's definitely in love :)

dear thoughtful friend, thank you for your sweet gift! 

sam can't tear himself away :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

thank you for not.

dear God:

do you ever want to just lie down on your couch and flip open your laptop and browse through funny websites and close your ears to the incessant cries?

do you ever want to let the dirty dishes pile up and ignore the laundry for about a month and let us see what life would really be like without your constant care?

do you ever get tired of wrestling with babies who won't relax into your arms no matter what goodness you're trying to give them?

thank you for not.

thank you for not.

thank you for not.

Monday, May 7, 2012

ice cream

tonight for dessert, we broke out the vanilla ice cream.  yum-o.  patrick had his with blueberries, i had mine with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. 

i tried a bite and knew patrick would love it, so i popped a taste into his mouth.

he sits down beside me and tells me he wants to have a bowl of ice cream with cinnamon sugar. 

"pop yours in the freezer and grab a new one," i suggest, "we can eat that one tomorrow."

"uh, no," he shakes his head.  takes a bite.  mulls it over.  then continues: "i just want you to know i'm totally okay with having two bowls of ice cream for dessert."


best. husband. ever.

menu of awesomeness

i have a confession to make.

i used to read organizey advice blogs, parenting blogs, whatever blogs, and laugh at the idea of making a weekly menu.

pfft. too much hassle - i just throw together whatever i have, i thought, feeling smugly free-spirited.  (is that even possible?  whatever.  it's pretty much how i felt.)

then patrick and i decided to try a different eating plan, and suddenly i was at a loss.  all of my go-to meals were un-go-to-able, and i would stand frustrated in my kitchen every afternoon, trying to imagine what i could possibly make from the random groceries we'd purchased.

after a week of eating the same thing too often, we decided it was time for that oft-scoffed menu. 

so we sat down and made a list of all the things we liked to eat that also fit our new requirements.  then we planned some meals.  then we made a budget and a grocery list and went shopping.

monday rolled around.  the dreaded 3:30 meal-stump-slump hit, and i opened the cupboard door and found my menu, taped up and waiting for me.

i goggled at it for a minute.  wait.  does this mean i don't have to figure anything out?  and i already have all the groceries i need?  i didn't quite understand what was happening, because all of a sudden, all the ingredients for my supper were on the counter, and finding their way onto the stove, without any engagement of the brain at all.

then it happened the next night - and the next - and the next -

it's been a week and a half of menu-y bliss.  i adore not having to decide what's for supper, and i love knowing that my cupboards are ready for it. 

so that's what all those menu-lovers were talking about.  eliminating stress with a little dose of planning.

it tastes delicious.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

maternity clothes

last time i posted, i was feeling all bummed about my awkward phase ... i really appreciate your comments and sympathy, by the way!  i'm glad to know i'm not alone :).

since my belly popped, my jeans have been getting tighter and my shirts too short.  so i've been looking around at maternity clothes, but haven't bought anything.

until today.

at the advice of a smart friend, i went on kijiji to look for second-hand clothes.  i wasn't sure what kind of things i would find, but after a few minutes, i found a mom in my size selling her entire maternity wardrobe.  from new-bump clothes to the elephantine 40-week clothes.  two garbage bags stuffed full.  for a hundred bucks.

i went to check them out, loved them, bought them.

i have been trying them on for an hour and still have an entire bag to go.  so far, only 4 pieces don't suit me.

i now have more maternity clothes than i have regular clothes.
i didn't have to break the bank.
i didn't have the hassle of dressing rooms and a tired & bored sam.
just a few minutes prowling online and a drive across town.
isn't God amazing?

and since i now have cute clothes to put on it, i'm even getting kind of excited about the bump.

kind of ;)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

baby bump and the g-word

this is an entirely girly and hormonal post.  feel free to stop reading here  :)

i'm showing.
i mean, you can tell, when you look at me, that i'm expecting.

i was excited about that - when my belly popped out overnight, i thought it was great.  whee!  now, not only my friends and family will talk to me about the baby, but strangers will too!  fun!  i could talk about this kid all day long, and haven't even met him or her yet :)

and then someone asked when i was due and raised her eyebrows and looked at my belly again and sighed you sure have a long way to go.  for someone as big as you are  was the implied rest of the sentence.


i know i'm probably being pregnant-lady-hormonal, but that snooty little observation got me where it hurts.

i don't want to be shallow, but all of my friend have the cutest little baby-bump pictures.  they have tiny arms and legs and the sweetest big round bellies.  they look like kids playing dress-up with balloons under their shirts.

and i'm sad because i know i won't look like that.  because i don't look like that.  i'm already big.  i could have been taking 4-month-bump pictures for years.  people tell me to take pictures of my baby belly and my mind squirms ugh!  why?  and now when people happily squeal oooh you're showing, i have to discipline my cringing.  

i think pregnancy is beautiful and awesome.  and it makes me sad that i'm feeling this way about my own body and my own baby bump.  and yes, it even makes me feel the dreaded g-word ...


haven't i wanted this for years?  am i not glad that this unexpected miracle and blessing is literally blossoming before my eyes?

yes and yes, of course, a thousand times yes.

but there you have it.  i still feel massive and awkward and unhappy about my baby bump ... and doubly unhappy that i'm unhappy about it.


i searched some pregnancy sites to see if anyone else struggles with this - and they do!  and i even found a blog post with some sympathetic advice. 

so, if any of you are feeling the same way, take a look at this letter and its response.  it kind of cheered me up a little bit, and helped with the guilt.