The Last Big Push

Things have been hectic here lately. I seem incapable of stopping myself from scheduling a million things to do each week, which makes perfect sense when you think about how very pregnant I am and how very little energy I have for such grand endeavors.

Nevertheless, the pregnancy hormones will not be ignored. I am swept along on the tide of their demands, crossing items off my to-do lists with one hand while I stifle yawns with the other.

I think we’re nearing the end, though. The two last big looming items on my Big List Of Stuff That Needs to Get Done Before Little Girl Gets Here In July are:

  • Set up her nursery. All the decor has been ordered and is sitting in her room, it just needs to be set up and arranged. I’d like to wait just a litttttle bit longer to do this, because I want to give Aidan time to forget how much he loved his crib before I set it back up again.
  • Potty train Aidan. Oh yes, this is happening. I waffled about whether or not to do this before Little Girl gets here, but I figure he’s ready for the skill and this will be the last time for a long time I’ll have this much time to devote to giving him one-on-one attention.
The potty training is happening on Sunday. I’ve read this book┬áto prepare, taken notes, assembled supplies, and prepped Aidan. Now, all we need is the weekend. It’s so cool to think we’ll be done with diapers soon! At least, done with diapers for the next three months or so. It’s funny. I’m super busy, but with trivial, inconsequential stuff no one really cares about. I talk about my day with Wes and I bore myself, and yet I’m so busy I feel like I should be infinitely more interesting.Maybe when everything is done and I’m finally finished setting Little Girl’s nursery up and Aidan’s potty trained and I’ve finished scouring the house I’ll be interesting…Nah. I reckon by then the weather will be nice again so I’ll probably just be at the park with my son.

This is Your Brain on Pregnancy

I used to be a dependable, reliable person. I used to be the kind of person who could sit down on Saturday, write out a menu for the week, and then faithfully procure the necessary ingredients for said menu at the store.

And then I got pregnant. And had a baby. And then that baby turned into a toddler. And then I got pregnant again.

Now all that’s left of that stalwart groceries-procuring menu warrior is an exhausted-looking woman shuffling her way through the aisles pushing a cart laden with fruit and maybe some cheese.

For the second time in less than a week, I’ve neglected to include a crucial ingredient on my grocery list. Last week I forgot to buy heavy whipping cream to make a recipe titled…Wait for it….Creamy Chicken with Mushrooms. I bought the chicken and mushrooms, but left out the cream.

Where did I think the cream was going to come from? Who knows!

Then this week I forgot to add pasta sauce to my list. What recipe is going to suffer for this lapse? Spaghetti. I have ground beef, an onion, and noodles. What don’t I have? Spaghetti sauce!

What is the point of spaghetti night without pasta sauce? None. There isn’t one.

I mean, at least I haven’t filled the garage with bubbles or anything. Still, it’d sure be swell to avoid extraneous trips to the grocery store to purchase key ingredients my brain magically erased.

It’d also be nice to be able to see my feet or get off the couch without grunting, but that’s just asking for way too much at this point.

Of a Truck and a Toddler

Mondays are a very special day here at Casa de Mitchell. Aidan, who almost never wakes up with a case of the Mondays, springs from his bed every Monday eagerly awaiting the fleet of trucks that will soon invade our neighborhood and abscond with our garbage.

It never seems to get less exciting for him, either. These big blue trucks come rumbling up the block laden with refuse and apparently that is the height of thrilling excitement for a two year old little boy. Wes comes careening down the stairs screaming, “Trucks! TRUCKS!” and then whisks Aidan away to the upstairs window with the best view of the street. There, they stand and watch the truck first go up the street, then back down. It’s an important rite around here.

The weather was nice this morning so I decided to bundle myself and my tiny human so we could go truck hunting. Aidan’s tiny shoes hit the pavement and we struck out, eager to hear the rumble of big engines.

As luck would have it, the recycling truck was right around the corner and we were off! Aidan chased that truck around our block twice, little arms flailed out to either side for balance as he ran to keep up.

Every time the truck driver came within sight, the driver honked the truck’s big horn, smiling and waving to my little son, who stood in abject wonder of the great behemoth with the benevolent driver.

That truck driver really endeared himself to me. There’s just something so unnecessarily nice about a stranger who takes the time to brighten your kid’s day. That guy doesn’t know Aidan, but he still had a smile and a wave to spare my truck-besotten son, and that means a lot to me.

Apathy is kind of a state-sponsored sport here in good ol’ Washington, which makes voluntary caring both noteworthy and appreciated, I think.

Fun With Future Baby: Week 22

I feel kind of bad. I was reading over my pregnancy archives from Aidan’s pregnancy and they’re so much longer and full of my observations about what it felt like to be pregnant. My observations from this pregnancy have been lackluster so far, in my opinion.

To be fair, I was warned this would happen. With all the busyness of running a household and chasing a toddler around, I simply have less time to reflect on what Little Girl’s doing in there.

There’s no denying she’s a mellower kid than her brother, though. She does her fair share of wiggles, but they’re so much gentler than Aidan’s ever were. I’m optimistic that this means she’ll be a cuddler, or at least hopefully the kind of baby who won’t mind napping. Not like her brother, who thinks naps are a personal affront and wants nothing to do with them.

It’s difficult to be pregnant while mothering a toddler. I’m tired a lot, sore a lot, and short on patience more than I’d like to admit. I’m just not at my best. It’s rough.

Not helping this is the fact that Aidan’s in a difficult place in his sweet young life. Defiant, stubborn, and exploratory, he’s more likely to leap first and ask questions later. I love that about him, but I also definitely wish he’d take it easy on me a bit more.

I keep trying to explain to him that Baby Sister’s in my belly, and soon she’ll come out and play with him, but he doesn’t care. If I ask him where the baby is, he continues to point to himself.

I’m trying to wean him off being held and carried everywhere, so hopefully that won’t come as too much of a shock when Little Girl’s here. I do, however, think it’s going to be rough when he realizes I can’t cater to his every whim immediately when there’s a whole new set of needs to address. I think we’re in for a lot of tantrums.

Regardless, I can’t wait for my daughter to get here. I can’t wait to snuffle her head and kiss her chubby little cheeks and hold her in my arms. My boobs feel like they’re already sore and filled with milk, and I’m actually excited to breastfeed again.

My insomnia seems to have let us this week THANK GOODNESS and my appetite is ferocious. My belly is plagued by twinges of round ligament pain and I can’t really tie my shoes anymore, plus I get out of breath just from walking around the block or going up the stairs, but it’s ok. It’s all in service to Little Girl, and the nice thing about your second pregnancy is you know the great reward that comes at the end of it all.

Depraved New World

Wes and I were talking about a series of jokes he’d read on Reddit, making fun of the actress Sarah Jessica Parker by claiming she looks like a horse. I giggled for a second but then I stopped, ashamed.

It felt wrong to laugh at the jokes, even though I’ve never met SJP and I’m sure I never will. There’s just something about laughing at a cruel joke that seems wrong to me.

I don’t know about you, but I got bullied a lot when I was growing up. Extremely tall for my age, overweight, with unfortunate glasses and a propensity for using words most kids my age didn’t understand, I was an easy target. And oh, how it hurt! Sticks and stones and all that, but other kids are so frigging MEAN and it sucks SO HARD to be on the receiving end of it.

Now, with sites like Reddit and 4Chan┬áthriving with millions of members, it’s like bullying has become a free-for-all. Anonymity and the desire to receive attention have given some people license to abandon the decency that prevents most people from actively trying to hurt other people’s feelings, and up-votes and assumed guffaws validate it.

And it’s not just directed toward celebrities, either. There’s an entire set of memes that makes fun of random pictures of strangers, and yes, some of them are funny, but why does no one consider how the people in the those pictures feel? I would be so embarrassed if a picture of me was circulated with gleefully scathing captions, and I have to imagine the people in those photos are no different.

It just scares me that bullying has become so acceptable. I doubt many of the people perpetuating it online wouldn’t even consider it bullying at first.

I think of this world my kids are growing up in, a world where mean kids from school can hijack pictures of them off the Internet and then spread them around with unkind captions, and I shudder. Because bullying sucked when it was face to face, but there are just so many more ways to get hurt now.

I guess the only thing we can do is teach Aidan and Little Girl as much decency and compassion as we can and hope their school years are kind. If not, we’ll do our best to pray for the people who hurt them and encourage our kids to do the same.

Still, it’s scary. Then again, when hasn’t raising children been scary?