Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Transitioning the Blog

Truth be told, I'm not sure why I ever started a blog, and why I started it when I did. It probably had something to do with Metta the graduate student desperately needing a creative writing outlet, as a break from the highly formulated papers I was forced to write for my course work. But that's just my guess. I really can't remember.

But now I find myself at a crossroads. It is the crossroads of a graduate student gone mom, trying to figure out how to transition into the mom phase of life without making her blog into an immediate display of baby photos and milestones and firsts and everything adorable that comes along with being a parent. There will be plenty of time for that later (or sooner, as the case may be), but I know that at least one of my readers is requiring a slower progression into the world of mommy blogging. That one reader is definitely me.

Sometimes I just don't know if I can do it.

When I started out writing this blog, I found it challenging not only to find a blogging "voice" (this is an ongoing process), but also to think of things that I found interesting and that I thought other people might care about. I know that I failed on numerous occasions in the "other people might care about" area, but there was also a point at which I decided that in the eternal scheme of things, these posts are really a record of my life, and that I owed it to myself to write what I cared about. So I wrote long entries about the sad state of education in America, and tips for enhancing marriages, and my surprise encounters with living breathing racism in the south, and my experiences teaching parenting, and perspectives on the War in Iraq. As a student that is where I was. And I was really happy there.

And I'm happy here too, on the cusp of being a full-fledged mom, but whoa horsey! Transitioning my blog to be primarily about a baby (and let's not even mention transitioning my LIFE to be primarily about a baby...) is a real jump.

So bear with me... you may be along for a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Piece by piece...

Piece by piece, Giovanna's corner is coming together. It's a bit motley, but those of you who have been to our home know that motley is just the name of the game here.

The elephants were a gift from my friend Kristi who has her own etsy store. I love how she personalized the tags for "Gigi"... so cute. The new wire line addition to the wall was courtesy of IKEA; I mounted 8x10 photographs from our maternity session onto cardstock, and cut out hearts from Rebecca's old calendar, and laced them down the line. Frankly, I dig the temporary nature of the line... someday there will be pictures of Giovanna hanging, and then someday even later her own drawings will grace the room.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lovely Weather for a Picnic Together

Yesterday was the warmest day we've had since 2009. It was nearly 80 degrees, and the pool deck at our apartment complex suddenly spawned a college-aged cast straight from Bay Watch. We had friends over for dinner, and although I had been planning a beef roast with root veggies, in the end, making a winter meal seemed like no way to welcome in the spring...

So pesto pasta salad it was, with marinaded chicken and rice, sweet cold cantaloupe, and pink lemonade with star-shaped ice cubes! It was so worth the sore feet from standing two hours in the kitchen preparing food. When Bay Watch filed home after the heat of the sun had passed, and it was quiet and peaceful, we took our dinner out to the pool deck and enjoyed our meal in the balmy evening warmth. North Carolina, can we keep you?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Getting closer every day

Today we had our 38-week appointment with the midwives (for those of you out of the pregnancy circle, the human gestation period lasts about 40 weeks, so we're getting close...). We ran out of questions for the midwives about three weeks ago, so our appointments are usually brief and to the point: they weigh me (I've gained about 35 lbs. total), take my blood pressure, and we put the Doppler on my belly to listen to Giovanna's heartbeat, which has always been strong and happy.

Today we were given the option of having an exam to see if I am dilating or if anything is going on downstairs, but we opted not to do it. Since centimeters dilated has absolutely no bearing on determining the number of hours/days/weeks until birth, we decided to spare ourselves the emotional rollercoaster of getting excited about a 2, only to wait three more weeks for the 2 to become a 10. We've also got guesses going for when Giovanna will be born, and most of them fall safely a week or so after April 1st, which is her due date. We have been pretty good about setting our sights on a few weeks out, so that we can bypass the anxiety and mental anguish of watching each day pass. The fact that I feel well physically really helps a lot to put the constant hope for labor on the back burner. Recently, I have felt Giovanna putting pressure on areas lower in my pelvic region than ever before as she wiggles down, she has hiccups nearly every day, and I have more heartburn than I had before, but other than that, I am still sleeping well, and I can walk and move around comfortably. Two days ago I cleaned the baseboards in our apartment in my effort to slowly get our home ready for visitors, and being on my hands and knees was actually a nice stretch.

But our having our sights set far out doesn't mean we haven't been working hard to get a lot of things done! I feel like we're constantly working to check off items on our list of things to do before Giovanna arrives. Taxes were completed this week; we found a pediatrician; I finished reading "Mountains Beyond Mountains" for my book club; we've been to IKEA to buy the dresser we needed and little tiny clothes are now washed in Dreft, folded and are waiting in little piles in the drawers; the carpets have been professionally cleaned; the oil in the car was changed; we have had the carseat properly installed at the fire station; the thank yous from the shower are nearly done, and tonight I spent some time doing the initial packing of our hospital bag. Whew!

At this point, I would just love her to wait until at least March 28th to come, because that's the point at which our social calendar has it's first break in over a month. These have been some of the most busy, happy, fun, and social weeks of my entire pregnancy. It's really nice being in such a happy place as we anticipate the birth of our little one...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Your Fan Club

There are places in my life where I wish I could return briefly because I felt so appreciated. You know those superstar points in your life, when you are surrounded by people who can truly see you, like the real kind of seeing, and then communicate their appreciation or what they love about you? Well, I don't know about you, but sometimes I think this being a full-fledged adult thing really kills the fan club.

So I've decided to become the fan club for other people, because well, I can't be in this boat alone. In the past few weeks I've had the completely onerous task of writing thank you notes for the people who attended Giovanna's baby shower. When I first looked at the list, it seemed endless: I was so grateful for everyone's generosity, but the idea of writing individual thank you cards to every single person was frankly wreaking havoc on my resolve to send them out before Giovanna is born. That was until it dawned on me that I had a really amazing chance to tell a good number of people what I love about them individually and how they add to my life. The task is still endless, but with the new element of appreciating and labeling the amazing qualities and attributes of my friends, I have started to love writing the cards.

Vote me for President of your fan club!

A Big Phony with a Name Tag on

Every once in a while, I have a sudden urge to see a movie that I've already seen. The urges usually fall into one of the following options: About a Boy, Sliding Doors, The Holiday, Dan in Real Life, or the Bourne trilogy.

Today was an About A Boy kind of day. On the schedule for tonight was my first time checking out a meeting of the local La Leche League chapter, and so the entire day I kept having visions of the movie scene where Hugh Grant attends a SPAT ("Single Parents Alone Together") meeting for the first time. He invents a fictitious child, and introduces himself as a single father in order to connect with the single mothers and broaden the potential of his dating pool. A big phony with a name tag on.

And that's about how I thought I would feel tonight: like a big phony with a name tag on. But you know what? It went much better than I had imagined. The topic for tonight was babies and sleeping, and although as the childless one I don't think I added much to the conversation, I feel like I walked out with a whole tool kit of new information and ideas. Little by little, the information is sinking in.

Thanks Chapel Hill, for keeping me learning!