[from the front of a journal]
a birthday gift from my mothership
I’ve received a few requests to post the stupid owl painting referenced in Preggo Confession No. 6.
Here it is in all its putrid glory.
I painted it on a sheet of watercolor paper. It was a trial run. As a result, I’ve decided to NOT paint owls for The Baby Cave.
I’ve got a few other ideas, but I’m open to suggestions. My next class is TOMORROW.
(Note: suggestions must be elementary and cartoonish. As you can see, I suck.)
[My husband keeps me sane.]
I've heard that some women can't stand their husbands when they're pregnant. Not this woman. As independent as I think I am. As strong. As determined. As tenacious and scrappy. I'm afraid I'd be a tragic mess without Joe. I don't tell him enough. How happy I am that I married him. That I chose to have a baby with him. That he chose to marry me. Have a baby with me. How grateful I am for his unconditional love. Because believe me, there are moments when I wouldn't love me. But he does. And he tells me. Over and over. How grateful I am for his kindness. His compliments. That he tells me I'm beautiful. Even as I get bigger and crankier and dismiss every ounce of his flattery and crinkle my nose at the mention of beauty. Still he tells me I'm beautiful. And in moments of solitude, I think of that. And in moments of frustration, I think of that. And I think Damn girl, you're lucky to be so loved. And I think about my son. How lucky he is to have a father who sets his head on my stomach and says "Hello in there. How you doing? If you can hear me, kick me in the face. It's the only time I'll allow it, so do it while you can."
I rarely use this space to complain. I hate complaining. At least in print anyway.
But I’ve been having a rough few days.
I’m exhausted. Mentally and physically. Creatively spent and physically taxed. Torn between two halves of my brain. Stretched, literally and figuratively, to the point where I fear I might pop.
I came down with a seriously awful cold this week and as a pregnant chick there’s very little I can do to alleviate it, pharmaceutically-speaking.
So tonight I decided to do something I rarely do when Joe isn’t home. I turned on the TV.
PS. Yes, I hit rewind on my DVR to transcribe this. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
(Because I share a birthday with Joseph Pulitzer, that muckraking genius.)
Today is my birthday.
And what am I doing for it?
Well, right now I’m sitting in my backyard in my green sky chair.
Drinking an iced tea and listening to the sound of church bells four blocks away signal the 12 o’clock hour.
My next door neighbors are swimming in their pool. I can hear kids cannon-balling and screeching over who gets what pool floatie.
Henry is doing his own restricted version of water aerobics.
As I type this, my stomach is undulating. His little arms and little legs are stretching like he’s doing baby yoga. Like he’s trying to break the surface. Like a scene from Aliens.
I’ve always adored Russian nesting dolls.
Now I feel like I am one.
Last year at this time I had completed my first triathlon. The simultaneous euphoria and exhaustion I experienced during that race was like a drug I could get used to.
Now I’m 25 pounds heavier and seven weeks away from having my first baby.
Bring on the simultaneous euphoria and exhaustion!
People keep asking me how I feel and lately the answer has been, thus far, great.
I feel great.
Most of the time anyway.
Yesterday I felt like shit, but yesterday I was especially hot, exhausted and sleep-deprived.
Today I feel grand.
Joe and Sir Pugalot are taking me on a picnic in the park.
We’re going to eat giant sandwiches on Cuban bread with Muenster cheese and shredded lettuce.
We’re going to spread a blanket out in the grass, read books and lounge in the sun.
It’s 84 degrees out with no chance of rain.
When I woke up this morning, the pug was on my head, Joe was at my side and Henry was kicking my ribs.
By 9 a.m. I got everything I wanted for my birthday.
Happy birthday to me.
PS. Pulitzer illustration from Life magazine, Nov. 1897, Vol. 30: 459.
There is (of course) a story behind the salt shaker on my kitchen counter.
It was an unintentional wedding gift, given to me on my wedding night inside a carton of french fries.
After our wedding was through, and the band had packed up, and nearly every guest had been carried away by pumpkin at midnight, Joe and I looked around the ski lodge where our reception had just taken place in a stardust swirl of bliss and we realized, we had no ride back to our hotel.
My cousin Cory and his wife Krystle, always the last to leave a party, were still milling around as we packed up leftover favors and the last of my mother’s centerpieces.
They offered to drive us in their Hummer.
So, around midnight we piled into our off-road chariot and set about a short ride to the hotel.
I was starving.
This used to be The Man Cave. It’s now The Baby Cave since the word nursery is kind of weak. I realize that “cave” implies that our child has fangs and bat wings, but in our current vampire-obsessed culture I think he’ll blend just fine.
The room is 90 percent finished. When my dad comes down in June, he’ll install white chair rail between the beige and green walls.
The crib was a gift from my parents. There’s (of course) a ridiculous story behind the purchasing of the crib, but I’ll save that tale for another day. The rug is from Ikea. I LOVE IKEA. And yes, I always think of Ed Norton’s IKEA rant in Fight Club when I’m aimlessly wandering the store’s tidy/handsome apartment displays.
I still need to replace the mini blinds with white cordless shades. I haven’t decided if I’m keeping the green valances. My mom made them for The Man Cave a couple years ago and they seem to match the room’s current reincarnation, so we’ll see.
I take zero credit for the paint job and crib assembly. Last month, I escaped to my Oma and Opa’s place in South Sarasota County for a weekend away with my sister. When I returned two days later to a freshly painted cave and expertly assembled crib, I got all weepy and sentimental.
With each new step I take with Joe, I fall deeper and deeper in love. I’m a lucky lady.