lila jane

Meet my baby girl, Lila Jane Strike! She won’t make her public appearance until late August, but here’s a shadowy image to sate you (me?) till then.

The ultrasound tech said, “I’m pretty sure it’s a girl,” and Olive smugly replied, “I told you so.”

And Olive also named her… almost as soon as we told her that she was going to have a little sister or brother she said, “If it’s a girl I want to name it Lila, and if it’s a boy it’s Tiger.” We quickly nixed Tiger Strike (can you imagine?!?) but Lila stuck… I’ve always loved it and Olive brought Jeff around. I’m guessing Miss O will hold that over her sister’s head for her entire life. As an older sister, I would’ve.

And here I would like to throw out a heartfelt thank you to everyone who is math, science & tech gifted and who works to make things like this possible – that I could go into a dim room, have goo & a plastic thingamabob rubbed on my belly and then – as if by magic – see my baby girl wriggle and yawn and live, is absolutely amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the people who make such things happen. You rock.

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leaning into it

An older photo of Olive, relaxed into the moment and yet clutching what she loves

I am today 20 weeks pregnant with Strike 2 (and our ultrasound is Monday… can’t wait to find out if it’s a he or a she that’s been kicking me in the… well, everything!). Exciting!!!

But here’s the thing for me: pregnancy stinks. Notice I said “for me” – I know other women feel amazing, live in constant awe of the process and relish every moment of their babymaking experience. It doesn’t work that way for me. I’m constantly exhausted, ill every day, struggling against depression, and grappling with a myriad of other unsavory side effects of growing this little person. I love it for what it is – the creation of life – and I cannot wait to meet the magnificent little creature coming together as I write. I did choose this, after all, even this time knowing what I would be in for.  I know there are ladies who would kill to be in my position and I honor their desire, their longing, their space – but it doesn’t make it any easier for me when I’m praying to the porcelain god for the fifth time today, feeling as though it will never end and I can’t possibly take care of my family in the midst of it. I’m still wretched, even if it’s laced with happiness.

What I’m doing now is trying to relax into these harder times. I can feel so desperate, so overwhelmingly helpless at times, so clenched-up frustrated – but I’m learning that if I can unclench, if I can lean into it – there’s space. It’s almost like the moment expands to hold me, my darkness, and just a little extra, too – enough extra room that something else can be born and held, too – some peace, some calm, some serenity. Right up there next to the yuck. And then it’s all okay. I can make it through.

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fairy tale day

Her name was Aurora, and she was a princess.

I, myself, was a grump. Certifiable. I came home tired and itchy and allergy riddled, alongside a prolonged problem with my appetite that is driving me nuts (namely, that it is totally unrelated to actual stomach hunger and need for food). Thinking sleep might help I cuddled up with Olive for a nice little nap, but as all 3 year olds do, she napped shorter today when I needed her to nap longer. It’s a superpower they have, I think. I woke up grumpier.

Our crazy, shrill doorbell buzzed and as I grumped, groused and harrumphed Olive spoke out the window with our neighbor about going out to play. Which, of course, meant I would have to go out to play, because a 3 year old cannot be trusted – even in the company of a nine year old. I yanked on her tennies, gathered my keys and a magazine that I intended to torture myself with by staring at and not being able to read for kid-watching, and stomped down the stairs.

Aurora, for her part, was warm and friendly. And while I should have been grateful that this sweet, much-older girl had any interest in spending time with my preschooler, I was short and clipped and stodgy. Like the old hag all wicked witches come disguised as. And this little girl with long, flowing blonde hair convinced me that we should walk to the park – where she then proceeded to play with Olive for the next hour and a half, watching out for her and coming up with games they could play. I, for my part, was left to read my beloved magazine without interruption and only an occasional cursory glance around the playground.
I never even had the chance to pull out any apples, and the ugliness and grumpiness dribbled right on out of me.
And we all lived happily ever after.
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in pictures

The hubs made it safely home with the new automobile on Sunday evening, bringing our weekend o’ girl time to a close. But here are some highlights via photo:

This is the lovely Dutch baby pancake I mentioned earlier… I will not admit to how many of these Olive & I ate over the weekend…. needless to say, they’re addictive.

These little beauties greeted my eyes Saturday morning – tomato plants! One week in the mini greenhouse and here they are, reaching for the dim sunlight of the window.
All the more heartening because it still looks like this outside:

Not too pretty. But hope is coming! In the 40’s this week, to 50 this weekend! Woohoo!
Olive & I hit Como Zoo Sunday afternoon, checking out the monkeys & other favorite friends. The zebras were going nuts (they have less space than I do – poor things! Oh, the cabin fever!). I figured if Olive melted down here – which, since she never regained her sleep after getting 4 hours cut out Friday night, was ever a real possibility – it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Who’d even hear her over the chimps?
Sidelight – why do kids never sleep extra when you need/want/expect them to? She never napped, went to bed late, and woke up at her usual time – on the button – every morning. I was afraid to go anywhere because who knew when she’d spontaneously combust?

She didn’t melt down, thank heavens (partly in thanks to Mommy’s brilliant plan of only going a couple of hours before closing so I didn’t have to wrench her out of there on my own!)

And look, here we are, still smiling after more than 48 hours of just the two of us and not nearly enough sleep. Miracles do occur!
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Olive in the USA

The hubs introduced Miss O & I to Miley Cyrus (I kid you not – he actually thinks this is the best song of the year!) and now the monkey is obsessed. Here’s her version (as much as I could catch on camera, anyway)….

http://www.youtube.com/get_player

She’s been working on her performance constantly and, to be honest, I am SO done with this song. But how do you (how do I, miss choir girl herself) tell her to stop?

Especially when she looks like this?

singing at her friend Svea’s birthday party on Sunday

Personally, I think she looks more like an early Britney Spears with those pigtails (Crazy, anyone?) but I think I’d rather she take after Miley.

Uh, yeah.

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