Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Back from Texas

I made it back from a wonderful week in Texas Sunday afternoon. Typically, I would have posted sooner, but my parents stayed through Monday, and I spent yesterday playing catch-up with house work. I think life should resume at a more normal pace starting today.

I plan on posting pictures later of my week in Texas, but for now, here are a few of my favorite moments from the week:

1. Flying to Dallas. It is interesting being a pregnant lady in a place as public as an airport. I got a lot of grins and one lady even asked me when I am due.

2. Seeing Emerald and Lily. Emerald couldn't come to the baby shower that was later in the week due to a wedding, so she came Monday morning with her 10-month old daughter, Lily, and spent the entire day with us. We had so much fun playing with Lily, and Emerald, having gone through pregnancy so recently, was full of invaluable knowledge.

3. Dad's brisket and apple cake. Mom and Dad decided to make a feast for the night Emerald was down. These too particular items at the feast may have made my week.

4. Buying flannel fabrics for our clothe diapers. I've always planned on using clothe diapers, and I've now also decided to make most of them to save money. Mom and I had way to much fun picking out the fabrics at Hobby Lobby for them. This kid will be pooping in fashion.

5. Mom talking to my belly. Mom would get over my belly and say, "This is your grandma. Kick for me." And without fail, every time, he moved for her.

6. The baby shower. It was a beautiful party, and we received so many wonderful gifts to help us set up house. The best part, though, was seeing people I haven't seen in a long time. My Fat Tuesday buddy, Erin, was able to come up from San Antonio, and I had so much fun catching up with her. Theresa was one of the hostesses, and I was also able to spend time with her throughout the week. Also, most of my aunts and a few cousins made it. Since I live too far away for family reunions, I hadn't seen some of them in ages.

7. Going through all of the baby stuff again and again and again. I could look at those little clothes all day long.

8. Shopping for clothes for my little guy. We got two of the same outfit at the shower, so we exchanged one. It was the first time I had ever picked out clothes for my son. I had so much fun. And somehow, I don't have a clue how, I came out with five outfits instead of one.

9. The ride back with Mom and Dad. We took our time, mainly because I had to stop about every hour, but I had so much fun talking in the car and just spending time with them. Also, at the end of the day, we were able to compare who's feet had swollen the most. Being pregnant is so weird.

10. Getting my rocking chair and high chair. While I was at work on Monday, BJ, Mom, and Dad went to the Amish village north of Farmington and got the rocking chair and high chair we had been wanting for the baby. Dad had promised me an Amish rocking chair if I gave them a grandchild, so now you know the reason we got pregnant. And BJ and I loved the beautiful high chairs they had, so we used some of the money we had received at the Menard shower to by one.

As you can see, it was a wonderful week. Pictures will soon follow!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Four Years

Today is our four year wedding anniversary. Life is really busy this week, so our anniversary is in danger of being totally overlooked. But because it was such a beautiful day four years and because it's been such a blessed four years, and because last night our son kick me so hard while I was hugging BJ that he felt it on his own stomach, I can't let that happen. I don't have the time or energy to write a long sappy post about us, so I'm going to let a poet do it for me. Here is a poem that reminds me of you, BJ, and on the second to last line, replace "Carol" with your own name.

Neponset Circle
by Jack McCarthy

for my wife Carol

The Quincy Group liked to let Charlie drive
on their commitments. He was a careful driver
who stayed a mile or two under the speed limit,
and he liked to leave a little earlier
than other people would. But he never
missed a turn or had to ask for directions,
and he always got the group to the meeting on time.

Sometimes a newcomer would ask
why they had gone from Quincy to Brockton
by way of Neponset Circle—
there are back roads into Brockton, short cuts.
An old-timer would whisper, “Shhhh.
We know that there are quicker ways.
But Charlie likes to drive.
And he can get us anywhere in the world—
as long as he starts from Neponset Circle.”

Most of us see the world as spiderweb,
all sorts of intricate connections,
alternate routes. A good sense of direction
and a roadmap and we’ll always find our way.
Charlie saw the world as a bicycle tire,
spokes crossing each other here and there,
but all of them running straight
to and from one heart.

Over the years a lot of people got
too impatient to put up with Charlie’s ways—
he wouldn’t even take the Squantum Street cutoff,
they’d complain, and you could almost
see Neponset Circle from both ends.
Sometimes they’d maneuver themselves
into the front seat to make suggestions:
“Charlie, this right goes straight to Hancock Street.”

“Yup, I know,” he’d reply, and cruise right by
while the oldtimers puffed serenely in the back.
“Insane,” the dissidents called Charlie, or “anal,”
if they’d had Psych 101; “compulsive.” As though
we all weren’t. But he drove them crazy.
Eventually they’d take their own cars,
thank you, trust their own internal compasses.

And for awhile, they would look good.
They’d leave a little later and be
sipping coffee smugly when Charlie’s cadre
of oldtimers and newcomers sauntered in.
But sooner or later they’d get lost
and a commitment would go by the boards, unmet,
and if it was a prison or a hospital,
there’d be no meeting there at all that night

and that was serious. The oldtimers
knew that it would happen because all
the alternate routers had to go on
was their own sense of direction.
Charlie had Neponset Circle.
Carol, my love,
you’re my Neponset Circle.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nesting, Artist Style

It is safe to say that as the third trimester is only a week away, my nesting instinct has fully set in. Mom is rapidly quilting, and I will be picking up the leftover scraps next week so that I can start making some of the accessory pieces. But until the sewing starts, I am working on art to hang around the crib. Since we are doing a dog theme, I've decided to do watercolor and ink paintings of two or three dogs. I'm hoping that they will be artworks that can grow with our son and be treasures later in life. I just completed the first painting. Keeping in mind that it will (hopefully) look better after being matted and framed, here's a look at the Great Dane I finished this weekend:

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


This Fourth of July weekend turned out to have a few twist and turns we weren't expecting. The plan for the weekend was to work around the house and make a quick trip to Target in Marion to register for baby items. Friday night and Saturday pretty much went according to plan. BJ set up the baby crib (which was super exciting), and we got registered at Target Saturday afternoon. However, when we returned, we got a call from BJ's family. His grandmother, who had been visiting his parents in Alton, was having discomfort in her chest and was in the hospital. Thankfully, all has gone very smoothly, and this morning she had a stint put in, but Sunday evening and Monday ended up being a little excursion for us. We decided to go see her on those days before the procedure was scheduled since we did not have to work. Although we were all worried, it was a blessing to get to see family on the 4th when we had expected to spend it alone. We were able to see most of the Gensic clan and spend some time in the hospital with BJ's grandmother. Now that everything has turned out well, we can simply be happy for the unexpected time to spend with family.

Also unexpected was a nice moment we had with the baby Sunday night. I have noticed for several days that I can now see the baby's movements. Unfortunately, everytime I'd tell BJ to watch because the baby was moving, he would get shy and stop moving. However, Sunday night before we went to sleep, he finally started moving for his dad, and once he got started, he was really going. BJ thought the movement would be slow and gentle. He was shocked to discover that our son is kicking and punching me in rapid, pretty powerful movements. Seriously, this kid can kick. And it is wonderful. He's been keeping me up at night with his aerobics, and I couldn't be happier. After all, what could possible be better than knowing you have a baby growing inside of you who is healthy enough to pack a punch?