Archive for category This is Us
What possessed me to order a large soda at the CAVS game yesterday is beyond me. I hadn’t had caffeine in over a year, not since I was pregnant, and suddenly, I decide – in some sort of a daze – that WILD CHERRY PEPSI was a fantastic idea to wake me up to witness some Lebron magic.
After scoring CAVS tickets from my friend, Alexis, as a belated birthday gift, Nick and I enjoyed an adults-only afternoon and dinner, courtesy of Alexis who supplied the tickets and my mom who supplied childcare.
The game was unexpectedly thrilling as the Sacramento Kings kept it interesting. Although, the most interesting part of the game had nothing to do with the game. After my bulb of brilliance went off and I slurped down my drink and immediately began to have a headache, I heard a sharp PING! noise from the floor and felt Nick tense up and began looking frantically through the legs and feet of strangers sitting around us.
Hyped from our favorite legal drug of choice, I shouted a caffeinated, “DID YOU JUST DROP YOUR WEDDING RING? HERE? AT THE Q? HERE?! IN THE NOSEBLEED SECTION?!”
The man next to us looked at me. His eyebrows went soaring. The men in front of us sensed troubled and Nick asked them to look down at their feet for his ring. As they fished around for Nick’s half of fidelity, affection, and honor, I muttered obscenities into the popcorn and furiously slurped even faster. The Wild Cherry was wild indeed.
Luckily (for Nick) it was retrieved and returned to his fourth finger. Of course, my motor mouth couldn’t stop running, “JUST PUT IT ON AND KEEP IT ON!”
This would be a hilarious time to mention that I do NOT have my wedding ring on either. I took it off when I was pregnant because my hands were often swollen and I have yet to put it back on.
Caffeinated hypocrite, you could call me.
TweetMy wonderful mama has flown in from Virginia to stay for a weeks with us so she can help out with Isaiah. I never appreciated another set of hands around the house so much in my life. You’d think that between Nick and I, we’d have everything under control.
Shatter those expectations right now. There’s no such thing as control when you’re learning how to be a parent for the first time. Quite the opposite, you’ll find that nearly everything is actually OUT OF CONTROL.
For example – let’s take the bathroom.
Once the pride and joy of our house when we got a few things redone, but since Isaiah has come along, it has evolved into a banished and neglected corner on the second floor. It is in such dire need of a cleaning that even NICK said something about how we need to get control of that thing. By “thing,” we’re talking about the overdue scrubbing of the tub. Our BRAND NEW tub that we’ve neglected for months now.
Control is a funny illusion of life. We THINK we know what’s around the corner because we anticipate problems, we logically hypothesize the risks and factors of every decision and, understandably, wait for the expected outcome.
Remember, though, that an illusion is something that appears to be real. It presents itself as something actual, something tangible, but it is, in fact, not.
It’s like how I believe I have Isaiah’s schedule in control and then, out of nowhere, he decides he’s bored out of his mind and wiggles like crazy for an hour. He’s fed, dry, and not tired. He’s just wiggling. Wiggle, wiggle.
He wiggles out of his bouncer, he wiggles off the blanket on the floor, he wiggles out of my arms, he wiggles to the corner of the couch. And I think, “I can’t control this boy.”
Ah HA! Parenting lesson #827462 – NO CHILD IS UNDER OUR CONTROL, PARTICULARLY CHUBBY NEWBORNS.
And thus Nick and I feel out of control at times. We do our best to stay in routine, not make any plans and be nerdy 30-somethings with no lives outside our jobs and domestic responsibilities that include trips to Home Depot. We have learned that control is, quite frankly, laughable.
I thought I had control of nursing Isaiah and yet, still, every stinking week, something comes up. This week, for example, I developed a low grade fever on Sunday. My leg muscles were achy and my whole body was sore. I couldn’t believe I was sick. Considering how neurotic I’ve been about washing and/or sanitizing my hands every time I touch an unsterilized door knob, I didn’t think I’d catch any bug.
And as it turns out, I was dehydrated. I kept drinking waterbottles full of H20 and didn’t have to pee at all. Miraculously (insert sarcasm there), the next morning my fever broke. I kept drinking and drinking and by the early afternoon, I felt as fine as a shiny new button.
How could I forget to increase my water intake? Nursing, working out, the weather is *just* beginning to warm up…hello? Water? More of it?
Before I admonished myself too harshly, Nick shared a story with me that made me feel oodles better…
The other night Nick woke up in the middle of the night because he heard Isaiah on the monitor. Nick thought Isaiah was just fussing around but he still got up to listen to the monitor more closely. He was alarmed, though, when he realized that Isaiah’s breathing was making an irregular high pitched squeak, like he was having trouble breathing. As he started to move quickly toward the door, concerned that maybe Isaiah was sick or in a bad sleeping position, he noticed that the high pitched noise was moving with him, despite he was growing further and further away from the monitor.
“It was my own breathing,” Nick told me. “It was my own freaking nose that was making those noises. I couldn’t even distinguish my own self from a baby monitor.”
Mhm. That’s bad, babe, I thought.
So, you have a dehydrated and dizzy mom and a dad who can’t hear his own nostrils.
TweetFor those who know us best, the gene that determines competitiveness runs strong in both Factora and Borchers families. It has to. I’ve never met anyone who’s more competitive than I am. That is, not until I met Nick.
Competitiveness comes in many forms. There’s the obvious kind that reveals itself in sports. The Michael Jordan/Tiger Woods (sans sex scandal) kind of competition. This is the “I CANNOT LOSE. EVER.” gene which makes athletes train twice as hard and cultivates a near military discipline that most of us civilians would find unbearable.
Then there’s other genes of competition, more subtle but just as lethal. This competitive gene revolves around the oratory debate stratosphere, aka “I MUST BE RIGHT. I AM RIGHT.” kind of thinking. It’s a gene that makes its way into the most innocuous of situations – bowling, finding a parking space, starting a campfire, any household project, insurance claims…
You think these situations are not competitive? Move in with us for a week, you’ll understand after that.
No matter what the situation, Nick and I often pit ourselves against the opponent, be it a piece of stubborn firewood that will not flame up along with the others or a slow car in the Panera Bread parking lot who is blocking traffic. Everything’s a competition. No dispute too small, no challenge too big. There are two trophy words uttered in our house that carry more weight than anything: I WIN.
Sometimes it’s shouted, sometimes it’s whispered into a billowing pile of laundry. Whatever needs conquering shall be conquered in our house.
So, you can imagine the kind of raised eyebrows and smack talk in our marriage when the competition is between us. It can get ugly, but it’s always entertaining. Many people do not know that Nick is, as Keith Borchers said in his best man speech at our wedding, “an ego maniac who thinks he’s sweet at everything.”
Save opera and any form of dancing, this is true about Nicholas David Borchers. He hates losing. He can’t stand being second. He likes strategy and mind-games during poker. He’s all about focus and readjustment. Don’t be fooled by his calm demeanor. There’s a beast inside him called THE WINNER’S CIRCLE.
And then there’s me. Don’t think that I don’t have my own monster and even according to Nick, I may be more competitive than him. There’s a reason why I have the Rocky IV soundtrack on my iPod. Most people wouldn’t see it coming, kind of like a CATEGORY FIVE HURRICANE that didn’t come up on your weather outlook.
My competitiveness is often stuffed away because of its monstrosity. It can and has ruined moments of friendly game playing. While everyone else shrugs after a loss, I seethe inside. Competitiveness is like a constant search for perfection, which can never be attained. So, the desire to win or be right or dominate knows no rest. But, it’s not always appropriate to be competitive so I, along with Nick, keep it to myself. We’re like two man-eating sharks in a Sea World tank: it’s in our blood and in our nature, but we’re trained to be harmless.
That was a long introduction into the heart of this post, but it’s critical for you to know the background of our competitive edges.
Nick and I have a combined goal to be and become healthier parents. Running around with Isaiah necessitates optimal states of health so we decided to commit to losing a few pounds. I need to shed my pregnancy weight and Nick, many months ago, invented a campaign called, “Don’t Get Fat” because of his fear of rolling into a “fat new dad.”
So we made a deal and the stakes are high.
Beginning Sunday, March 7th, we are having our own personal Biggest Loser competition. We adapted the show to our own lives and here are the ground rules:
Weekly weigh-ins on Sunday
Largest percentage of weight loss wins
Two goal dates: June 4, 2010 (our 5 year anniversary) and September 4, 2010.
Whoever has the largest percentage of weight loss on June 4, 2010 has the intermediate prize – winner gets one evening of their choice every week to go out and do whatever s/he wants while Isaiah is with the other parent.
If you don’t understand the impact of that reward, go back and read it again. This prize is HUGE. This can mean going out with your friends. For Nick it can mean going to play racquetball with Books and Sam or going to the library for a few hours. For me that means extended trips to a coffee shop or taking my time at a farmer’s market.
The ultimate prize, come September 4, will be individualized. Nick has yet to announce what his prize will be if he wins. If I win, I get to go to the conference of my choice in any part of the United States. (I’m such a nerd. I adore conferences on writing, feminism, media, etc…) Beside the fact that I want to shed my preggers weight, that conference-attending prize alone all but guarantees that I will win. Hello? Travel? Hotels? Learning? Meeting new writers and artists? That’s what I was born to do.
This competition is huge and normally, I would not post something like this on our blog, but I figured if our friends and family – and God knows who else on the internet is reading this – is in the know, we are accountable to seeing this through. And we will.
It’s man vs. woman. Focus vs. Passion. Tall vs. Short. Endurance vs. Intervals.
Choose your team now and place your bets. Nick is team blue. I am team green.
Cheers to a healthier Borchers/Factora-Borchers family in 2010.
(And, here’s to ME, cause you know I’m going to lick this thing…)
TweetI am listening to Isaiah gulp down his milk.
He is in the other room with Nick. The strains of the television are loud, but they still cannot drown out the long sighs and squirms and squeaks of our little one. As I write this, though I cannot see him, I know he is draining his bottle, staring at the intricate patterns of the ceiling, and kicking his legs into the air.
Isaiah is 9 weeks old. Nick and I can scarcely believe it. I cannot imagine the level of disbelief I will be in when he is 9 months, 9 years or 19 years old. Those days will come, but for now, I just watch and observe my big little guy, chasing the winter blues away – which are so common for Clevelanders – with his rainbow wide smile and fat rolls on his wrists and ankles.
My father recently commented that from the photos I have taken of him, it’s obvious that Isaiah is the love of my life. And I couldn’t agree more. He’s the love of OUR lives – Nick and mine. Every little thing he does evokes a reaction from us that reminds me how I was when I was falling in love with Nick. All the tiny details of your beloved’s existence seem to burn into your memory. Nothing seems as interesting or intriguing as what is happening in their world. Life seems more exciting when you know you are going to see this person and when you see their smile…ahhhh, it’s like the world was just reborn, everything’s new and beautiful again.
Isaiah has moved the furniture in our hearts and has promptly and decidedly plopped his round little bottom into the middle of it. He takes up every inch we have of energy and attention, laughter and frustration, sleep and concern. This is the transition of parenthood, I assume. You begin to learn to live outside yourself. Love of self still continues, obviously (and necessarily), but the center of well-being shifts. It’s no longer contained in my life, it exists in this chubby 22 inch body who cannot do anything but need, cry, and wiggle. And somehow, incredibly, this person also delivers immeasurable joy.
Sweet Isaiah, these 9 weeks have been life-changing. Your father and I will never be able to adequately explain how nuts we are about you. I hope you know that you have introduced us to a new and deeper kind of love that we never knew before. Not only have you brought this love out of us for you, but it has also further deepened our love for one another.
TweetYesterday was a normal day for most people. A typical fall day with Halloween costume chatting, and leaf raking commencing…a very normal day indeed.
And yet, a raging two month mental battle also ended yesterday with my wondering over whether or not to get the h1n1 shot.
I’m fairly knowledgeable about the issue. Research is one of my specialties and I spared no pamphlet or website when absorbing the pros and cons of vaccinations for pregnant women. Despite my insides telling me that regardless what I choose, I will likely be fine, my housemate seems to be a magnet for all local and national news reporting bad news about the swine flu. Steeped in worry, Nick passes the information along to me as if I need more momentum to swing me back and forth in my decision.
To get or not to get the h1n1 flu shot is risky. It’s risky either way, I saw it, and in the end, seeing how slow my body was recovering from a simple, albeit nasty, cold and cough, convinced me that I probably should go ahead and get stuck by the needle.
So, after work yesterday Nick and I made plans to get to the middle school where they were administering round #2 of the vaccine. I imagined it was going to take hours, Nick disagreed. Of course I was right.
But before I took the shot in my arm, I felt like I had to confess something to Nick. A deep, dark secret welling inside me like a balloon. I looked up at him in the kitchen over chopping Bok Choy and green beans for dinner and announced,”I realized today I have been stalling to get the shot because I think if anything goes wrong with the vaccination and hurts Isaiah, I’m afraid I’m going to blame you for the rest of our lives.”
There. I said it.
Nick had a confession as well. “Last week, when you were sick, all I kept thinking was that if you had the flu and something happened to Isaiah, I was going to blame you for not getting the shot for the rest of our lives, too.”
Immediately, I brightened, “Really? We were ready to blame each other for the rest of our lives? This sounds demented, but I feel SO much better!”
Now that our confessions were confessed, we headed to the middle school and saw the lines wrapping around the building. It took several minutes to find parking and finally got in line. It felt something like a combination of the lines at Cedar Point, a huge pediatrician’s office with a million kids running around, and a gigantic holiday sale where they haven’t opened the doors yet and make you wait outside.
In other words, it was hell.
Immoveable and inflexible situations are prime time conversation periods for me and Nick. The possibilities were endless. We had hours to wait, so talked about numerous things:
Nick’s Topics: the lack of efficiency when it came to setting up the lines (half the people were waiting outside when the whole middle school could have been utilized), his brainfart that he did not bring a heavier coat, how people were supposed to “prove” if you were on the priority list (pregnant people are kind of obvious, but healthcare workers? ), and other issues relating to orderliness and publicity.
I was fairly single-issue minded: WHY ISN’T THERE A SEPARATE LINE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN?
No chairs. Standing out in the chilly air with children running amok.
A thought occured to me and I shared it with Nick, “Do you think that it’s slightly ironic and even more slightly idiotic that they make us stand outside in the cold with a bunch of screaming children with no heat or chairs so we can get vaccinated for the FLU?”
The women behind me had a stroller for her perfectly big 6 or 7 year old. She was not careful with the wheels and kept rolling over the back of my foot. I was feeling a bit snappy but bit my tongue countless times. After all, she’d be right behind me for God knows how long.
We make it inside only to wait another hour or so. A volunteer took pity on my very pregnant state and asked if I wanted a chair. I nodded gratefully.
So, Nick held my place in line while I sat for about 20 minutes, giving my back and feet a rest. Watching Nick, I just shook my head while he made friends in line – chatting with people in front and behind him – and even helping a stranger get their stroller down the stairs. What a good samaritan. All I kept thinking of was how much I wanted a Twix bar.
I got back in line with Nick and discovered he’d made his own h1n1 support group in line. Everyone was offering us advice on birthing, breastfeeding, sleeping, pain meds, and Hillcrest Hospital where we’d be deliverying Isaiah. It was nice to be talking, inside the building and shielded from the cold, but my energy had depleted and I just wanted to get it over with.
Surprisingly, Nick was able to get a shot as well, thanks to Isaiah’s due date of 1.1.10, Nick qualified as a parent with a child less than 6 months.
Then came the time to decide whether to get nasal mist or the needle.
Another decision. Not my specialty.
The nasal mist is the activated vaccine. It has no mercury.
The needle is the inactivated vaccine with mercury to keep it germ free.
My only question was, “So where’s the INACTIVATED vaccine with NO MERCURY?”
One of the volunteers replied, “They are just starting to make that now, but we have no idea if or when those will ever come to the Cleveland area.”
So, loaded with all different kids of information pamphlets on brightly colored paper, we got in line – Nick in the nasal line, me in the needle line.
And within 3 minutes, it was over.
How can one seemingly simple decison be so complicated and anxiety-ridden?
As someone said to me, “Welcome to parenting.”
TweetHave you heard that tea is our newest rage in the house?
Warm drinks have always been high on my radar, especially this time of year. I drink coffee as a dessert, a special treat from time to time. I would probably drink it more if I did not have such drastic and noticeable effects from the caffeine.
When I drink coffee, if feels like there is a special vein that is activated in my body that filters out the milk, sugar, coffee bean, and whatever flavored syrup has been added, and sends the caffeine to my brain like an express train. Within minutes of a few gulps, my heart starts beating more quickly, my thoughts begin racing, and my mouth starts yapping at even FASTER levels than normal.
On road trips with Nick, pre-preggers state, Nick would watch the evolution first hand. First, I’d be quietly content watching the trees out the window and then we’d exit to get food and if I was tired, I’d get a nice small coffee. By the time we’re on the ramp heading back on the highway, my head is bopping toward the car roof and I’m playing 20 questions, laughing, and talking a mile a minute.
So, it’s natural for me to look for substitues now that cooler weather has arrived and I yearn for something warm to drink. I’ve always loved tea as well. It’s better for you anyway.
So I began drinking herbal tea, non-caffeinated. Then I began hearing that herbal tea can be bad for you during pregnancy. I don’t drink gallons of it, an occassional raspberry leaf treat in the evening is just enough to settle me in for the evening. Getting over this cold has been rough and tea smoothes the road just a bit more for me.
But you can imagine my surprise when Nick and venture to Giant Eagle to grab groceries for the week and while I am elbow deep in the produce section, notice he has wandered away. He normally does this when he remembers we need practical things like toilet paper, his Pert Plus shampoo stock is low, or wants more granola bars in the house. I was even more shocked when I found him in the tea section, peering closely at the labels and, after finally deciding on something, tosses it in the cart.
“I’m really getting into tea,” he confides.
“I noticed. It’s really good for you. I’m going to start drinking it more once I’ve popped our son out.”
“I just realize that I feel like drinking it when I’m reading,” he muses.
Nick has this, like, tendency to pick really amazing books to read. You know, some people choose New York Times best sellers or the latest from David Sedaris. No, Nick chooses Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. This book is something like 1300 pages long. Meanwhile, I am trying to balance reading my pregnancy books, online articles, links, research, and one fiction Wally Lamb book and then find my forehead falling backward because I fall asleep so easily these days. Pathetic.
Champion Nick is over halfway through Atlas Shrugged. And it was this book, apparently, where he heard his tea calling.
“Maybe we should get a tea kettle,” I offered.
“I can’t imagine they’d be that much,” of course Nick thinks of the cost vs. benefit relationship.
“No, they’re not expensive at all. And you can have a lot of hot water waiting for you in case you want another cup. You don’t have to use the microwave or anything. It might be worth it.” I, of course, get excited at any prospect to buy something for our kitchen, even if it’s just a tea pot.
“Mhm, yeah. That’s probably a good idea.”
When Nick says “that’s probably a good idea,” that means his eyes turn from a yellow to a green light. It’s the go ahead sign.
So, Nick has been experimenting with his new vice while I enviously sniff the fresh aroma from the next room. Last night he picked up the box and said, “I hope I’m going to look like this guy when I’m done drinking it.” The tea box had an adorable and huge brown bear, tucked away in a couch by a fireplace, a red-striped frock for pjs and a matching hat. The tea was called SLEEPY BEAR.
I studied the picture, “I think this is what you’re going to look like in about 50 years.”
Nick hollered from the kitchen, “50 years? Try 15 minutes.”
TweetIt’s Friday and I can’t emphasize enough how grateful I am to the calendar for making another Friday appear so quickly. Lately, I have been fighting droopy eyes and the deep urge to crawl into anything that resembles a chair and let my head rest and fall asleep.
Nick can attest that the passenger seat in our car has seen many hours of my dozing off like I’m a baby and the Accord is my crib.
As the third trimester begins, I can hear the trumpets blaring in the sky and the archangels singing that THE END IS NEAR! The final months of bun-in-the-oven are coming to a close.
not so fast.
It’s still a little over 2.5 months away. That’s still a lot of pregnancy left in my life.
So I find myself making lists of what needs to get done and, believe it or not, have no problems with Christmas and the holidays coming early this year. YES. Christmas. It’s already on my mind.
Because up the street there was a case of swine flu. And small little outbreaks of it are surfacing here in Shaker Heights, making me more nervous than Nick feels before the Michigan game. And while I’m probably going to end up getting the vaccine, I’m not completely confident that pumping a small dose of God only knows what into my body, permeating the environment of Isaiah’s little world, is 100% safe. But, going out into crowds is not 100% safe either.
As much as I love ambling around commerical stores in November and December – elbowing small children in my haste to grab the last toy for my nephews or peering for hours into holiday decorated windows at the mall – I don’t think it’s that safe for me to be around local crowds. Not when the swine flu is suspiciously active in this area. I considered buying a medical mask and drawing little holiday berries and holly on it, Nick adamantly said NO.
So, I’m looking for Christmas to come early for me this year. As in, I’m going to start shopping right after Halloween. Yes, I am that person this year.
I don’t care what people think. If you were beginning to waddle around, keep one hand on your belly, and just getting in and around the Giant Eagle was beginning to make you a wee bit tired, you’d want to be ahead of the holidays this year as well.
Plus, the percentage of clothes that fit me is dwindling. I think I’m down to 20% of my wardrobe is wearable, decent, and public safe. By November, I don’t know if I’ll have any clothes left that will fit me. I don’t want to look like a eggroll, tightly wrapped in clothes that won’t let me breathe. I seem to have forgotten what it feels like to actually zip something up, or wear anything that is not bandy, elastic, or blows like a flag with the fall wind. There are days where I feel like a cow wrapped in huge poncho.
Nick and I met with an insurance guy yesterday. We now have life insurance. There was something about that meeting that was midly depressing. It’s not like the idea of dying brings me comfort or the thought of being a widow makes me jump for joy. I was quiet, signed at all the x’s and then shook Mr. Insurance’s hand. After he left, I looked at Nick who was as happy as a clam because L-O-V-E-S getting things done and crossing one more thing off of his TO DO list. He was humming and yelled over his shoulder, “Now we can die!”
Awesome, I replied morosely.
I hate when he says things like that. Must he always look on the bright side of everything?
The beginning of October marks the beginning of the third trimester and baby showers. This weekend was one big fiesta in Cleveland that took care of all the requests from my family, our friends and co-workers in Cleveland, and old friends who live or have easy access to NE Ohio.
Welcoming Isaiah was no small task. My sister and Mom took the reins for this event and deleted the word “simple” from the vocabulary. For days, they cooked, shopped, and brainstormed on the best way to welcome Isaiah.
The guest list knew few regrets and I was delightfully surprised at how many folks turned up — nearly 50 friends and family!
It was kinda huge.
Like Isaiah’s feet measurements.
Nick’s family, minus Kelly and Tim, all came Saturday and stayed at the house. My dear friend, Claire Mugavin, drove 6 hours from Louisville, KY Friday night. One of my best friends, Tricia, flew in from California for a Saturday wedding in Columbus and then drove up Sunday as well. And that’s just a few traveling stories. My parents came in from Virginia and many made roadtrips from Columbus and Youngstown.
Nick and I were in awe, once again, of how many people showed up to support us and celebrate this new chapter in our lives. It’s really hard to describe when I’m overwhelmed like that. I just smile a lot and don’t know what to say. Everyone is just so generous and positive. Bringing new life in the world really brings out the best in people.
So many people pulled together to make this fiesta possible and we could not even BEGIN to articulate how grateful we are to our families for being there for us and for our friends who see us through everything.
To add icing on the cake, the rain held off and cooperated so we could have seating outside! (Thank God! At one point, I almost considered opening up the bedrooms so people had a place to eat.) It was beautiful.
There are numerous pics that I’m sifting through, but the two above are some of my favorites. The one picture of me is with three of my oldest friends who I’ve known for over 20 years. I grew up with them and they somehow manage to always rally around me whenever a huge transition is taking place in life. I was so happy they were there. (L to R — Christy, me, Tricia, and Jen)
And, of course, the love of my life, opening the biggest present. Only appropriate that Big Daddy himself would open the big gift for his son.
It was an awesome weekend!
Next weekend we get to do it all over again in the ROOOOOOOSHHHHH! (aka Russia, Ohio) with Nick’s side of the family. So excited for the fiestas to continue!
TweetI was just looking through some old things and organizing our office when I realized that one year, I had just returned from my 2 month trip to the Philippines.
So much has changed in one year as Nick and I have settled into jobs, our first house, our 4th year of marriage, and, now, our first pregnancy.
These were the roses that Nick bought and greeted me with when I returned home. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how wonderful those months were, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget how dreadful it was to be separated for that long, too.
Looking back, I am so grateful that I went on that trip that was so much more than a trip. It taught me so many things about interdependence, family, culture, and belonging. It was worth every sacrifice made to bring it to fruition. It also sweetened our marriage in ways that I never expected. Never again since I have returned home have I taken Nick for granted. Not once, not one day.
If I, or we, ever seem cheesy or overly happy, it’s because, frankly, we are and after being on the other side of the earth for 9 weeks without him, it taught me a thing or two about gratitude and love.
TweetI’m officially at the halfway point of my pregnancy.
After yesterday, and finding out the news that “it” is now a “him,” or (preferably) now Isaiah, I feel a certain solidness about life. Not that Nick and I haven’t been fully aware of the baby before, but, as I predicted it would for us, knowing the baby’s sex has personalized this whole mind-blowing experience for us.
It’s also lit something fierce under Nick.
Nick had yesterday off from work. I took the morning off but went in to work in the afternoon and when I came home, the house was gleaming from the inside out. Nick had been working his tail off reorganizing closets, making space in cluttered areas, cleaning, doing laundry, folding and stacking bedware and towels. Any miscellaneous items (usually things like my jewelry, my camera equipment, my chicken scratches on post it notes about appointments and meetings and random ideas) were all placed in a pile in my closet.
“I just feel better when the house is clean,” he says.
Not that we live in a pigsty, but our home is fairly tidy. Nick likes tidy. I like disinfectant. It’s a good combo.
But I wasn’t sure if he said “I just feel better when the house is clean” or “I just feel better when the house GLEAMS.”
Because everything is ridiculously tidy and everytime I look at my loving spouse, he’s sweating from moving something or bending over into a closet trying to clear out anything that can be thrown away.
Is that Nesting syndrome supposed to happen to the mother? Or is it the father?
I think he’s ready to be a Dad…whereas I am just feeling more and more pregnancy-tired with each passing week. My right leg is starting to cramp and my appetite is back on some form of mysterious fluctuation. Monday – Thursday afternoon, I could barely eat a whole meal without feeling like I needed to manually rolled into the living room. I ate three nuggets of cantelope and a glass of milk and feel like I ate a Thanksgiving dinner. Today, I’ve eaten more than the entire week combined and now I feel like I could do some serious damage at Old Country Buffet.
Week 20 is the halfway point, and not that we ever were thinking of “turning back,” it truly is the point of no return. Emotionally, we are just so flipping excited for this kid, we’re borderline obnoxious. I can’t believe we still have friends sometimes. How can they stand us when we’re talking and giddy all the time, thinking about our future like it’s a philosophical puzzle to figure out, talking about parenting techniques, thinking about our own childhood – what worked, what we think our parents did right…etc, etc. In sum, we are SATURATED IN THE GLOW OF IMPENDING PARENTHOOD AND WE LOVE IT AND DON’T CARE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK OF US AND OUR OBNOXIOUSLY HAPPY AND GLORIOUS STATE.
You KNOW things are seriously different when father of Big Foot himself says to me yesterday, “What do you think of this? It came in the mail.” Nick hands me a turquoise and delicately decorated piece of paper with suggestions of things to buy before the baby’s arrival.
Like an up-scale shopping list. In cute fonts.
Nick puts in on my dresser, “I think this might be a good guide of things we’ll need to buy, don’t you think?”
I just nodded wordlessly, my eyes big and unblinking as I watch him. In my brain, I hear the strains of the Twilight Zone.
Anytime the love of my life, the man who gets a headache from walking into a department store, suggests using a shopping list and actually looks excited about its futility is testament to the transformative power of Baby Isaiah.