Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The ungraceful pregnancy club

A couple of weeks ago my friend Claire (who is a couple of weeks further along than I am in her pregnancy) posted to her facebook page that she turned to her husband and told him that maybe she wanted three kids. She then said that she had never seen him laugh so hard.

I read the post to the hubbs and I've been thinking about it ever since and here is what I have decided.  Claire and I are very different kinds of pregnant ladies.  Both the hubbs and I want 3-4 kids (we'll see what we can afford and, as cheesy as it sounds, we'll pray about and figure out how we feel and what is best for our family) but if you asked me today how many kids we want I'd say, "One."

I am not a good pregnant lady.  I wish you could have seen me last night--propped up with 4 pillows behind my back and one between my knees, a million tissues around me because the pharmacy was closed and I couldn't get allergy medicine, penguin shaped humidifier spewing forth at my feet and to top it off I was wearing a breath right strip.  I also may have been crying because I was so uncomfortable and hormonal.

So let's not talk about how many kids we're having right now because at this point 2 might be the max and if I stop to think about labor and what is involved I'll tell you that 1 is the max.  Let's talk in 6 months when I can wear real clothes and I have hips and wrist bones again.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A little excerpt

Me: {leaning over to get Claire out of her carseat}
Claire: Mom, something in you nose.
Me: Oh really?
Claire: It's boogers. And water.

That's right.  Allergy season is upon us.

And here are some pics from our Utah trip.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Best Kind of Surprise

Did you read the comments on the last post?  These made my whole day.

  1. I love this. Your last paragraph especially. I feel like my life before was largely absent of family. I mean, I'd visit my family, but I was always secretly happy to leave and be alone again. And now, I'm never alone. This has made me think about family a lot. What do I really believe about it (husbands presiding and all that???) and how do I balance it with the time I need to be an introvert and how terrified it makes me when I consider losing him (I'm still adjusting to how much I love him. I didn't expect it) even though it feels so much harder/risky this way with all this attachment.

    It's all so weird/tricky/wonderful.
  2. Oh my gosh..."I'm still adjusting to how much I love him. I didn't expect it"...five years in, and I'm still feeling this way. It is terrifying and amazing.

    Love and healing to your family, Sallee.
    1. I'm glad it's possible long term. We're only 7 months in. I keep waiting for it to wear off, and it's not. I'm glad it doesn't have to.

I've been thinking about these ever since.  I love the line "I'm still adjusting to how much I love him.  I didn't expect it."  What I didn't expect and what still takes my breath away is how the hubbs has so fully become my family.  He is the person I turn to for comfort.  He is the person who knows me best of all--I was not expecting that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I carry your heart

My mom told me that two months ago she was talking to her friends and commenting that her life was in a very happy and quiet phase.

That is not the case today.  I haven't mentioned it here yet but last week my sister-in-law was hit by a drunk driver while she was out running at 8 in the morning.  He left her on the side of the road.  Don't worry, that's the most horrific part of the story because after that fate seemed to be heavy in her corner.  A man driving by (we think about 15 min later) saw her.  He used to be an EMT and he pulled over and called an ambulance. While he waited for the ambulance he said a prayer over her (which makes me tear up just thinking about it) blessing her with strength and healing.  All of these incredible things happened (like the mail woman pulling over and when Kari said her name and her street the mail woman ran to go and get my brother because she knew the house and the drunk driver actually being insured) and Kari is very injured but doing well.  She broke both legs, her collar bone, her pelvis and has a crack in her cervical spine.  She is bruised and beat up and in so much pain but she had no internal or brain damage.  We feel very very lucky even though she is looking at 2 months in a recovery center and lots and lots of physical therapy. 

In addition to that in the last two months our family has had a new baby (with another shortly to arrive), questions about jobs and moms and working and staying home, a visit from our dear family that lives in France and an uncle who is dying from cancer who has moved into my parent's house.  My own little family is looking at difficult financial decisions (all trying to be made while 7.5 months pregnant makes for lots of tears) and to add insult to injury I was trying to cut back on diet coke and Claire is suddenly incapable of making decisions but cries like a banshee if you make them for her.  

I was talking to my mom on the phone this morning and as we were hanging up she said, "my heart is with you and Claire and Nathan" and I thought of this poem and started crying again for about the upteenth time this week.

EE Cummings- i carry your heart

 i carry your heart with me(i carry it in 
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere 
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done 
by only me is your doing,my darling) 

 i fear 
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want 
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) 
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you.

here is the deepest secret nobody knows 
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows 
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) 
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

 i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

The greatest blessing and greatest risk of living in families and attaching ourselves to other people in meaningful ways is that we carry each other's hearts.  And when Kari is in the hospital bruised and broken and hurting our hearts we feel it.  When teary financial decisions are being made by family, when new babies won't sleep though the night and have food allergies we ache because the people we love ache.
From all I have found, in the long run, the blessing is so much greater than the risk.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Book Club: The God of Small Things

When I was with pregnant with Claire I started reading "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy.  I have a very distinct memory of being nearly 3/4 of the way through the book.  I was sitting on our bed (the big log bed that the hubbs and I sold when we moved here) with a pillow over my lap and I was sobbing.  Just sobbing.  I called my mom and said, "you just have to tell me how it ends.  I can't finish it."  So she did. 

And here's the kicker.  The part where they are keeping people in the cellar so they can eat them. I made it through that just fine.  It was the part where they were in the bomb shelter (or maybe it was a store--but it was a place where they were safe) and he share's a soda with his son.  That's what I couldn't handle.  Oh pregnancy hormones.

The God of Small Things had a similar affect on me. Imagine me, sitting on the couch with my back to the front windows a pillow on my lap crying my eyes out over this passage. 

[the mom, Ammu, says something nice about a man they have just met]
"So why don't you marry him then?" Rahel said petulantly.
Time stopped on the red staircase.  Estah stopped. Baby Kochamma stopped.
'Rahel,' Ammu said. 
Rahel froze.  She was desperately sorry for what she had said.  She didn't know where those words had come from.  She didn't know that she'd had them in her.  But they were out now, and wouldn't go back in.  They hung about that red staircase like clerks in a government office.  Some stood, some sad and shivered their legs.
'Rahel,' Ammu said, 'do you realize what you have just done?'
Frightened eyes and a fountain looked back at Ammu.
'It's all right.  Don't be scared,' Ammu said. 'Just answer me.  Do you?'
'What?' Rahel said in the smallest voice she had.
'Realize what you've just done?' Ammu said. 
Frightened eyes and a fountain looked back at Ammu.
'D'you know what happens when you hurt people?' Ammu said. 'When you hurt people, they begin to love you less.  that's what careless words do.  they make people love you a little less.'

A cold moth with unusually dense dorsal tufts landed lightly on Rahel's heart.  Where its icy legs touched her, she got goosebumps.  Six goosebumps on her careless heart. 
A little less Ammu loved her.

I can not tell you how many times I have thought of that little girl and the icy cold moth on her heart telling her  that her mother loved her a little less. The good news is that I did actually finish the book.  The bad news is that I didn't love it.

Pretty sure that when I am pregnant I should not read books where children are either loved and protected in horrible circumstances (The Road) or ignore and belittle their children (The God of Small Things).  This book was just so sad and there were only 3 people that I actually liked in it; the twins (when they were kids) and Velutha.

So next month I think we should read this book.

I mean a book about poor southern black women who the medical world takes advantage of?   The women whose cells have been used for everything from developing the polio vaccine to studying the effects of radiation on humans.  You can still buy her cells for $25 a tube. 

This seems right up our alley, doesn't it?  My really smart friend Dana recommended it and I pretty much trust her implicitly.  Let's hope this book produces less hysterical sobbing than the last choice.
I've already started because I made my mom buy it for me (sorry mom, that's what you get when you share a kindle account with me and it's been a hard week)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The wild geese

Last night I was tired,  my feet were swollen and I was ready to get in bed and read. I came into our room and there on the bed was a whole pile of laundry that the hubbs had folded and distributed (bless his heart).  I told myself that I should put the clean clothes away before I went to bed and then the first 3 sentences of this poem came to my mind.

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting  
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things.

And that is true.  After a long day of parks and bike rides and friends and races sometimes you just have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.  And if that happens to be stealing every pillow in the house and tucking them around your body while you read detective novels, so be it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hey Girl

Now that we know Fitzwilliam and Collin both endorse women who read let's talk about The God of Small Things on Friday.  Okay?  Okay.