We have some goals as a family that we would like to accomplish before our new addition arrives. For me, I want to prepare for and pass the bar exam with a minimum amount of stress. Partner needs to get some papers out for consideration to be published and finish his binder of materials to submit for tenure consideration. We are both working with the Little One on toilet training, transition to big girl bed, and moving from Toddlers to Preschool at her day care. We may also get a new car that can more easily accommodate the four (!!) of us and the extra luggage we will require when we take road trips.
As I am getting bigger, it is getting harder to take the Little One in and out of the crib. We have been late for day care a few times because she is not in the mood to leave the crib and I have to convince her to stand up so that I can grab her. We decided to take the plunge and get a big girl bed over the weekend; I felt a little bit nervous, but also relieved. The bed arrived on Wednesday. We decided to go for a basic twin bed with no headboard or footboard; we can add those things later. Partner put up the guard rails and we made the bed with some dinosaur sheets we had ordered. The Little One is really into animals and we wanted to do everything we could to make this an exciting event.
When she saw the bed, she got really excited and immediately said, "Look at that!" She climbed on the bed and starting talking to the dinosaurs. She was very excited to sleep in the bed that night, but also hyper. She did not sleep until 11 p.m. and the same thing happened last night. Hopefully, we can figure out a way for her to calm down and get to sleep sooner. So far (knock on wood), she has been staying in the bed once she falls asleep.
The kids are going to share a room and we had been trying to figure out the best layout for everything to fit and not feel cramped. When the bed arrived, we moved furniture around and got everything in place in a way that works. As we looked around, we both felt so excited and were struck by the fact that there is now a physical space for our new addition to sleep when he/she arrives!! We did not do much nesting with the Little One because our house flooded about a month before she arrived and my water broke the day I was able to move back into the house. I was not sure how I would like the nesting process, but I am enjoying the process of preparing and physically making space. We still need to organize their closet, but we are certainly making progress.
Partner and I are still working on a name and I thought this poem captured the process beautifully:
Naming the Baby
When you are dreaming of the name
you are also dreaming of who they
might be. They are invented in darkness —
under cloak of skin — and, for the better
part of a year, are a swelling
or a set of symptoms. The name
books are like a box of chocolates
and when you open them you see
how many kinds there really are.
There are names of people you
have known and disliked and names
that make the wrong sounds and names
that suggest your child will be
like everyone else's. There are names
that turn your child into a character
in a novel and names that recall
the time when your great grandmother
was young. Naming the baby is a way
of dreaming about a creature who is
almost but not quite. It is a way of
imagining the soul of a person you
are making but have not made.
The name is the first way you see
the baby: their title, the syllables
that conjure a shape from the lantern.
On Monday, I had another ultrasound because Bud was not cooperating at our last session and the doctors needed some new views. The Little One has swimming lessons on Monday and I asked Partner to get into the water with her and then come with me to the appointment. She had a rough lesson with non-stop crying, so we ended up leaving early. She said that she was sleepy and seemed lethargic. We dropped her off at a day care and told them to call us if they needed anything. He and I got a quick lunch, then called to make sure she was okay. The teachers said that she was fine. He and I decided to go to the hospital for the ultrasound; it is about a half hour drive. As we were pulling into the parking lot, we got a call from the day care and found out that the Little One had a fever.
We were not sure what to do, so asked if they could keep her until after our appointment. We thought we would be back there in about an hour. Instead, we found out that the ultrasound people were running late. We both were anxious and worried about the Little One; we realized that maybe we should have taken two cars and were trying to figure out different logistics. Fortunately, our day care provider was understanding and said we could take our time. It also helped that the Little One was napping.
When we finally got into the exam room and got to see Bud, it was incredible. However, we both felt guilty and worried about the Little One. The ultrasound technician told us that the baby was having a great time and showed us all the ways Bud was moving. I am so glad that Bud is thriving, but could not shake the guilt at not being there for the Little One. The doctor came in and made us laugh while showing us how well Bud was growing. We got pictures printed out and there is one pose very similar to the Little One where it appears that Bud is saying hello.
On the car ride home, Partner and I talked about the doctor appointment and wondered how we were going to manage two. Up until now, it has been all the Little One, all the time which is wonderful. We want her to have a sibling for many reasons, including learning to share. Other parents had warned us about the guilt that comes when another child arrives and up until this week, I had not given it much thought. I know that we are going to do the best we can and are lucky to have family support, but the task just became more daunting.
I am into preparing for the bar exam earnestly and with some anxiety. I struggle to focus and trust the preparation process with my review course which is different than what I have done before. Knowing that I need to do something new is so different from embracing it.
I struggle to stay awake as growing Bud requires a lot of energy. We are at the 22 week mark and I find myself craving whatever food he/she is the size of; now I want some roasted spaghetti squash :) My newish cravings are toasted everything bagels with honey walnut cream cheese and spring rolls.
On Tuesday, I went to my second prenatal yoga class. I started them earlier with the Little One and these classes are much harder. My legs were shaking and I was sweating with the effort. I still want to incorporate other cardio into my routine. Hopefully, this process will make labor easier.
After spending some months commuting and then being in an office surrounded by people, being myself most of the day feels strange and a bit isolating. The quiet is broken up by the sound of bells from the church which mark the hour, the patter of my fingers typing on the keyboard, or the hush of a pen/pencil writing responses to questions. Most of the time, I enjoy the solitude. I resist (sometimes without success) the urge to nap.
Questions which have take me down a rabbit hole that I would love some insight on:
1. How to ease the transition from one to two children?
2. What is the best way to set up and decorate a room for an infant and toddler?
3. How should we arrange the closet in the kid's room so that it can accommodate everything?
4. When I start my job search again, what is the best way to explain what happened with the last job?
5. How can I manage another potentially long working-outside-the-home for pay sabbatical?
6. I would love to have a job where I write or speak about social justice issues; however, these positions often require journalism and writing experience that I do not have. How can I get in the door at a salary that works for our family?
Finally, here is one of my favorite poems from Mary Oliver: