Thursday, May 31, 2012


It's the end of another school year.  It's the beginning of another life.  There are a lot of things happening for us right now, and I'm not sure where to dock my emotional rowboat.  What pier will harbor me best through this tumultuous time?

After Sunday afternoon (graduation), I will officially be done with work until January.  I'm taking a shorter maternity leave this time around, and I'm not 100% sure why other than it seems like it makes sense for us.  I haven't yet fully grasped that I'm done with school for a few months rather than a few weeks. 

I was given the "um, it will be any day now" speech a couple of days ago at my last check-up, so of course, this has really elevated thoughts of Baby Cox predominantly to the forefront of my mind for the first time throughout this entire pregnancy.  I wonder what I would talk about with people if not for the debatable dropped/not dropped position of my big belly.  It seems like any more all anyone wants to say is "Wow, you're still working?" and "You're looking pretty low today" as well as the gem "I didn't think you'd be back after Memorial Day!"  It's kind of awkward to have conversations with people where their eye contact focuses on your belly.  Maybe they're intimidated by my incredible genius; I do have 2 brains right now.  (haha...bad joke) 

I just finished what has been, by far, the hardest year of my teaching career.  It started with us having 1 child and me having a mediocre student teacher and ended with me at a different school, teaching a different grade level, with 2 children (more or less).  It has been nothing short of interesting--no stagnation this year! 

Lots to be excited about but lots to be nervous about as well.  It's like I told my mom this past weekend: Yeah, I know that people manage with 2 young children all of the time.  Flourish even!  Yet until I'm in that situation and figuring it out for myself, I'm just having trouble mentally fathoming all that it will be.  A big part of it is that I more or less remember what it was like 3 years ago, and it's going to be pretty intense with an active 3-year old in the mix, too.  Two comments on that: 1.  Abby turned 3 a week ago--whoa!  (And, we received confirmation just a few days ago that she is going to start a 3-year old's pre-school class next fall--whoa again!!  2.  Ben's mom was at our house last night and at one point said, "She [Abby] doesn't just walk anywhere, does she?"  Ha, not when she's a wound up little spitfire who revels in the limelight.

Our bigger little girl is so very attached to Mommy and (especially) Daddy; how will she transition?  Throw out the anxiety anchor with my extended metaphor.  It's starting to drag me down a little and somewhat rub the happy! excited! thrilled! luster off of what I might otherwise be feeling.  I'm sure that we'll all make it, I'm sure that we'll all learn a lot and adjust quickly, but I'm also already missing my alone time with Abby.  What a discordant bunch of stuff is going on in my mind right now!  I think that I wrote on something similar to this not too long ago, but it feels good to throw some of these thoughts down here in a forum that I control. 

I just want to be able to sleep on my back again.  That sounds pretty fantastic right now.  Soon...???!!! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Toddler Radio

My daughter is something of a songstress.  From her perspective, one of the best times to flex her vocal repertoire is bedtime.  I'm sitting on the other side of her wall, listening to the concert while I'm trying to focus on some homework.  Tonight, Abby's Greatest Hits have included something completely unknown to me and then "Sing Hosana" which segued into "Jingle Bells."  Talk about stream of consciousness!  You know the motivational piece of advice to dance like no one is watching?  That seems to be my child's motto just slightly altered: sing like no one is listening.  What a way to enjoy life! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Placing my bet

I'd say that I have average luck.  Sometimes the ball bounces my way, and sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes I guess right, and sometimes I'm just nowhere close.  But on this topic, I'm pretty sure that I've got this one.  Our due date is June 14th.  But, my money is 90% on June 3rd for this next one to appear, with May 28th and June 4th as my other 2 not-as-likely guesses.  Before I explain my rationale on this one, I need to do a quick reminder about Miss Abby.

*Abby's due date was June 3rd.
*Abby came 9 days early on May 25th.
*Abby was born on Memorial Day.
*The last day that I worked (Friday, May 22nd), I definitely told a colleague that "I'm pretty sure it's going to happen this weekend."  I was right.
*I had an idea that Abby would come a little early, so I received permission to give all of my finals the week before finals week.  I gave my last final on Friday, May 22nd and didn't return for finals week (other than for about an hour at the end of the week so that I could submit grades).

There was some amount of perfect timing that went into the first child, and this one seems destined for more of the same.

*I found out that we were going to have another one an hour before I was offered a new job.
*Again, my due date is June 14th...perfect timing.  It was pretty wonderful to spend the entire first 2 months of Abby's life with both of us home and sharing the craziness that is a newborn.  We're looking forward to doing this again.
*I'm pretty big and definitely feel it.  The second one "always" comes early, don't they (yeah, I know this isn't true always, but often)?
*June 3rd is 11 days before my due date.  If Abby came a few days early, surely this other one will as well, right?
*And because I think that there is some amount of humor in all of this and seriously perfect timing: June 3rd is graduation.  I'm a senior class sponsor, and the biggest part of my duties involves graduation (I'm share the reading of the names duties with the other sponsor, for example).  Wouldn't it be fun to spend my afternoon in a hot, crowded gym and then deliver that night?
*The last day of school is May 31st, which gives me one day off to have a little birthday/end-of-school party for Abby with her 2 little friends and one last day to spend only with Abby before June 3rd (Ben's out of town, theoretically, June 1st & 2nd).
*I would get no true days off for the summer if I delivered June 3rd.  Ah well.
*AND--there's a full moon on June 4th. 

Hence, I'm basically planning on June 3rd while holding my breath on May 28th (Memorial Day...wouldn't that be funny?) and June 4th.  As if I can decide any of this!  What I should be spending more time thinking about is how to get our office converted into the little sprout's room and how to get a dresser painted and a crib & mattress purchased.  Why's only less than a month away  (WHAT, already?!?).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My tri-annual exasperation rant

I'm not going back three years in time to see if I have already ranted about this, but it seems pretty familiar, so chances are that I have.  Humor me.  It's getting harder and harder to be patient with any semblance of tolerance for what is (frankly) often downright rudeness. 

The deal is that I'm pregnant right now, very much so in fact.  I stick out in a crowded hallway (as a colleague of mine unwittingly pointed out once before).  I am sporting a large tummy and have gained many pounds.  About all of this I am already aware.  YOU (the collective individual whom I happen upon in many a public place) don't really need to point any of this out to me. 

And the worst part is that YOU are inevitably a woman. 

C'mon ladies; let's stick together on this one and stick with the ever-so-wonderful to hear (if for no other reason than it's so infrequently stated...around me, at least) "You look great!!" 

I'm fairly tired of being asked "How many days do you have left?"  Good grief...I'm not nearly close enough to that point yet to be thinking days; I'm going on 34 weeks.

I'm never fond of being told "You look like you don't have much longer!"  Again, I'm 34 weeks; yeah, that's "not much longer," but it's also not THAT close.  Assumptions are not really welcome.  This was equally true 2 months ago when the teenager/young 20-something at the grocery store was much, much too enthusiastic about how I was "almost due." 

I abhor the pseudo touching of my belly region and the constant staring at it.  Do I do that to others??  Please, please let it not be so.

I very much dislike having to repeat my due date every week to the same small handful of individuals.  I know that I'm not the focus of your life, but haven't we figured out a rough timeline on this yet?

I, frankly, hate being asked whether I'm having a girl/boy/don't know in the most inopportune moments.  If I'm chasing my kid through a crowded place or trying to exit a public restroom (who wants a pleasant chat there?), and in the middle of the passing of the peace in church; please don't blatantly stop me and try to strike up a conversation about this.

I'm never thrilled when I get the inevitable "You look huge!!" comments.  These also seem to be followed by the inevitable "Are you going to make it?"  Well, I've no idea.  I will, however, gladly let you know when I've no longer "made it."

Ah, society.  You treat the preggos among us so bizarrely--we're fragile yet we're doing some amazing things that the strongest, most healthful individual may not be able to do.  We're doing good things, and there's no need to reduce us to being called "Mama" or "Mother."  Though we have an adorable little parasite attached to us, there's no need to reduce our individuality to this singular role among many that we are performing every day.  Unless you're a precocious little 2-year old, there's absolutely no need to ever replace my given name with a motherly nickname.  Though we mummies sometimes lose our individual personalities in the many blessings of the job, if YOU also erase my individuality, then where's the hope for us to remember?  Whereas I enjoy a break from my pregnant realities in my outside-the-house life, it seems to be difficult for others to let me have that mental relief.  I do enjoy my roundness, but there IS a time and a place for it.

And to wrap up this otherwise somber, dour and gripey post, Abby's latest funnies:
1.  She's very insistent in "pri-va-cee" when using the potty and brushing her teeth.  When did she turn into such a big girl?
2.  She politely gets my (and Ben's) attention, extends her hand and gladly states "Peace be wiff you!" during the passing of the peace during church.  And then sometimes, she does this for no apparent reason at home--like during lunch.
3.  (This one requires some background info.)  We drive separately to church because Ben is in the choir and has practice long before church actually starts.  Our Sunday School begins after the "coffee hour" break immediately following the service.  Abby gets her snack and heads off to a toddler class, and I usually take off to head home for a few minutes of quiet while Ben stays behind and waits for her (and chats it up with the old guys).  Ben's a bit of a softie, and lets her play a bit before coming home when the church is largely empty and a few stragglers are nursing the dregs of their coffee and their wives are trying to clean up.  Sometimes, they play on the baby grand "pianio" in the sanctuary with permission from our music director, who is one of Abby's favorite people at church.  Sometimes, they play the bongos if they're out.  Once in a while, Abby gets to run a few laps between the pews.  This past Sunday, Ben and Abby were finishing up their 5-minute giggle fest, and Abby took Ben up to the altar and pretended to give him the sacrament (our church does this every week, so she's been around it a lot).  But according to him, not only did she "know" what to do with it, but she also recited the lines with the bread and the wine ("Body of Christ, given for you!"  and "Blood of Christ, shed for you!").  Now that's a true blessing.  :-)