Today is Anthony’s birthday and Saturday we hosted an epic D&D-themed birthday party for him which was so much fun but also meant that we spent pretty much all day yesterday cleaning and napping. We figured there’d be napping, at least on my part but we didn’t expect the whole family would nap at the same time for about three hours. We were exhausted. The house isn’t back to normal yet but we got a decent start and by today or tomorrow everything should be put back to normal.
I love that I’m pregnant and what this means for our family but I’m pretty miserable overall. My sleep is extremely disturbed, and my backaches, and my Crohn’s disease means that it is often hard for me to get enough calories. Not that you can really tell, because I’m enormous, but my energy level is certainly affected. I feel uncomfortable on good days, useless and unproductive on bad. I manage my symptoms as well as I can so I can get stuff done around the house and so it doesn’t affect by time with Isobel too severely. I’ve been getting some seriously painful BH contractions, which is the least fun ever. For all these complaints I’m still hanging in there relatively well, I think, and I’m making the most of the time I do have when I’m well. I don’t leave home all that often but fortunately family and friends are willing to come to me so I’m surrounded by great company when I want it. I do get upset by my lack of ability to do things and sometimes the pain makes my mood run sour, but overall I’m being patient with myself and I’ve been changing what it means to me to be “productive” right now and that’s helped. Growing a human being is pretty damn productive, really.
My crazy pregnant lady hormones cause me to dote on Isobel quite a bit and she certainly enjoys the attention. I find even small, everyday things she does miraculous. My time with her won’t last forever as she’ll be starting school this fall. It’s bittersweet – I enjoy the baby phase but find it really challenging so I’m betting school will be a welcome relief. It does signal the end of our time when we were exclusively together hand had no other commitments. That was wonderful, and I’m so glad I have been able to be with her. I have always wanted to be a mother, but as you can probably tell by waiting until almost my 30s to start my family, it took me a long time to actually feel ready to be one. I think waiting has made me a better mother than I would be otherwise. I have no regrets, I don’t feel I’m missing out, and I’m able to take my time and focus on that job. I don’t think it’s at all necessary to wait to start a family, or that young mothers can’t be fantastic mothers, but I think it definitely helped me. I had a lot of baggage from my childhood and teenage years that I’m thankful I was able to (mostly) work through before having a daughter. Everyone’s experience is different, and this is just mine.
Due to a brief increase in my freelance work we were able to do some thrifting (finally! It had been too long!) and in addition to getting some awesome props for Anthony’s party I found a few things with which to start decorating Elias’ nursery. I can’t wait to start putting that together now that I’ve got his closet and the onesie apocalypse under control.
These days Elias is very active and often it looks my belly is suffering from some sort of belly region-specific earthquake. He is very excited about food, loves the sound of his sister’s voice, and so far seems to be quite the night owl. He moves around so much and so often that we frequently try to guess what he’s up to. Drum solo? Gymkata? Interpretive dance?! Sometimes Anthony will lean in for a hug and while we’re cuddling Elias will kick him hard and let his presence be known. Anthony’s reaction is somewhere in between I’m so proud! and Hey, I’m trying to cuddle my wife!
We have an impressive number of friends named “Justin” and three of them attended Anthony’s birthday party. While there our friend Zack turned to me and said, “Hey! I know! You should name the baby Justin.” If we did that we’d have to take each Justin aside and say, “We are secretly naming the baby after you, but don’t tell the other Justins. We don’t want them to get upset.”
Today’s outfit has been one of my favorites to wear lately (along with this one) because it has the benefit of being as comfy as a slubbier outfit while looking cute enough to be seen in the civilized world. I found this shirt on a trip to Costco just a couple weeks after having Isobel. I remember wearing her in the sling as we shopped for cat food and dried mushrooms as I stretched my post-surgery muscles and regained my strength. I remember thinking what a perfect maternity shirt this would have been so we bought it for the next time around though I of course wore it and loved it for the four non-pregnant years in between. Normally I don’t shop for clothes at Costco – it’s more expensive than thrifting and it’s hard to find flattering things in my size, but it was on an aisle end cap and I’m a sucker for embroidery.
I cannot seem to stay warm even though I’m hugely pregnant and in the middle of the warmest winter in five hundred years, so I’m wearing a long-sleeved black tee I thrifted and not one but two pairs of leggings. I’m wearing my much-loved green velvet corduroy blazer to fancy myself up a bit and a necklace I found at an estate sale. I’m making the most of my baby-free time by wearing all the necklaces I can because if baby Isobel taught me anything it’s that jewelry can be weapon when it’s turned against you.
Isobel is wearing her new favorite sweater that she just inherited from her cousin Victoria. It couldn’t possibly be more perfect for Isobel because it is covered in pink squirrels. I thought her head would explode when she saw it. She’s also wearing her favorite tank top (which she likes to pretend is a dress) and stripy thrifted comfy pants. Her shoes used to belong to her cousin Jewel and are her favorite “non-fancy” shoes.