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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

June 23, 2011 (11 Weeks, 2 days)

This is the last one of my rambly boring first-trimester posts.  Look for my quick updates below!

We heard our baby’s heartbeat last week! Such relief to have some proof that baby is still healthy in there. Obviously that means we finally had my first appointment with the midwife, and I am in love with her all over again. I wish more women would seek out prenatal care from midwives, regardless of whether or not they’re looking to have an unmedicated birth. I am just in awe of their model of care for women and their passion for what they do. We sat with her for more than 40 minutes, just talking. It wasn’t her talking at us, rather a real conversation, driven by our questions, our concerns, our wishes. She is an amazing listener, and she has a knack for understanding what I might be anxious about, reading between the lines, and she cuts right to that. There were a few instances during which I did that thing I do where I get all self-deprecating and make a joke at my own expense in order to mask my insecurity. Anyway, she looked me in the eyes, and said very simply, “You are a good mother, Alicia. Pregnant women have enough to deal with; don’t let yourself get caught up in that mother’s guilt crap. You’re a good mother.” Yeah. She’s amazing.

We have now told most extended family, and a few close friends. I really badly want to just be out with it, but there are a few girlfriends who I haven’t seen in a while, and since we’re doing a ladies weekend in just two short weeks, I’m thinking I should wait so I can tell them in person. Also I still haven’t told my boss and coworkers. The plan is to do that today, but I’ve been saying that for a few days now, and I have backed out each day. Why am I so awkward about this? I would really like to get things out in the open because I am majorly showing (I know! Already at just 11 weeks, it is ridiculous. The only thing keeping me from going full neurotic pregnant lady is that there hasn’t really been any corresponding weight gain.) So I’m thinking at this point people either suspect, or they think I have really started to go crazy with the cheeseburgers. Or maybe I’m paranoid and no one really pays attention to what I look like or how I dress? Who knows. Whatever. Point is, I want to tell them today. There’s about a 50-50 chance I’ll actually follow through. 

I finally told my boss that day, after I instant messaged my coworker asking if she wanted to be let in on a little secret.  She immediately guessed my news, and ran down to my office and insisted that I go tell my boss that very moment and stop being such an idiot.  WHY AM I SO AWKWARD?!

I am really tired this week. More than usual. Gus has even been sleeping uncharacteristically well lately, so it’s strange. I’m finally getting more sleep, but I feel like even more of a zombie. Nice timing baby!

I am leaning towards wanting to find out the sex of the baby this time, but Dan is adamantly against it. Being pregnant the second time is just different, I feel like doing the practical thing. The surprise was awesome with Gus, but I guess I keep thinking about how like life is about to get much more insane and little tasks that seem difficult now with just Gus, will feel impossible with Gus plus newborn. If we’re having a girl, I want to be able to go shopping for adorable little girlie clothes while I still only have one child to haul through the mall! If we’re having another little boy, I want to get all of Gus’s old clothes washed and ready and organized! Gosh, I don’t know. But I do know that this is a decision that Dan and I need to make together, and if we can’t agree, then I will respect his right to not find out. So I guess that means I have about 8 and 1/2 weeks to make my case!

Pretty sure we will not be finding out the sex.  I don't want to force Dan into something he doesn't want to do, and now I am even questioning if it really matters.  I made my appointment today for our ultrasound a month from now, so there's a 5% chance we'll actually both change our minds before that, but it's unlikely. 

Also today, I got to do an early screening (at 16 weeks) for gestational diabetes, which is something I guess they force on ladies these days who have had big babies.  So really, that means they think I could have been borderline GD with Gus, since he was so massive (9 lb, 11 oz.). 

I do not like this test.  Chugging that nasty orange drink on an empty stomach.  Sitting in the waiting room of the clinic for two hours.  Having my blood drawn three separate times, the final time being super painful as she jabs around with the needle in my poor abused vein only to have to eventually give up and hit up the other arm for the good stuff. 

No I do not like this test one bit. 

And I do not like the implication that I may have had gestational diabetes just because I had a big baby.  Lots of people have big babies, and the whole thing just makes me feel super insecure.  Also, pretty sure that I'm going to have to do the standard screening at 28 weeks as well, provided this all comes out fine.  Ugh.  Cross your fingers that everything comes back fine. 

June 8, 2011 (Jinxed Myself)

Another quick oldie...

I am such an idiot. The morning after writing all about how mild my first trimester symptoms have been with this pregnancy, I find myself running to the toilet for a lovely little vomit fest.

Doing the puke thing this time around is distinctly different, because for some reason, I really don’t want Gus to see me do it. I just really don’t want him to be scared, to see his mommy feeling so terrible, and so, while back in the day I might have lay on the bathroom floor for ten minutes after such a session, feeling sorry for myself, this morning I had to rally. My little toddler was at the top of the stairs yelling “Mommy!?”

And sure enough, he had a massive poopy diaper that needed to be changed.

Yup, things will definitely be different this time.

So I will no longer be talking about the morning sickness stuff, I’ve learned my lesson.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

June 7, 2011 (9 Weeks)

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Look for my little updates throughout the post below, because without realizing it, we've actually accomplished quite a bit in the last 6 weeks!

I just can’t imagine writing here and not talking about the baby, so I guess I’m going to keep on writing without actually posting until after I have finally seen my midwife (next week!) and heard those lovely little “thump thump” sounds of a healthy heartbeat.

So it seems this baby is going to be a little gentler with me during the first trimester than his or her older brother was two and a half years ago. A very lovely surprise, I had really prepared myself for the worst! I’m 9 weeks today, and yeah, there’s been some reflux , exhaustion, and tinges of nausea (usually when I’m hungry), but I am just so thankful that most of my symptoms have been really mild.  (Does this mean I'm having a girl?!)

What I really was afraid of was a wasted summer in which I neglected my little rambunctious toddler and was forced to choose the couch over the park, or television over the backyard for that matter. I saw myself wallowing in my own misery instead of living in the present, enjoying life with a delightful and thriving little boy who is currently talking up a storm and demanding hilarious dance parties multiple times a day.  (Dance parties these days are usually only initiated when he's hit a manic tired stage because we've kept him up past bedtime.  Manic tired Gus is pretty freaking hilarious.)

When I first wrote after finding out I was pregnant, I was clearly a little freaked. Good freaked, but yeah, freaked none-the-less. The sleep issues we’ve had with Gus just remain a dark cloud on my mind, and I was initially terrified and frankly overwhelmed with the progress that would HAVE to be made before the baby was born, just in order to survive.

It just seemed so daunting, as big changes always do, but what I have been able to remind myself of is that everything is so gradual. Gus will do so much growing up before next January. So much. When I think of how much he’s changed just in the last six months, how much better he’s sleeping included, it’s monumental. But it happened slowly, and didn’t feel monumental as we were living it.

Weaning is something that immediately became a big bold TO DO item as soon as I saw that second line, and it is so entwined with all the sleep stuff, of course, so yeah, just… so daunting. Also, though I never wanted to push it on him, I have come to the realization that it might not ever happen if I don’t push a little bit.

Good news is that it’s been not even a month and I already feel like we’ve made significant strides. I’ve stepped up my game with the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” strategy, and Gus has been completely fine with things. We were still basically nursing at nap time, bedtime, night-wakings, and in the morning, it all was such a routine that I realized I was just doing it out of habit, whether or not he really “asked” for it.

Well I haven’t nursed him at nap time for an entire week, and he has gone down just fine and has been consistently taking 3 hour naps when he’s at home. Victory! The past few nights have gone fine with just a bottle, when before we were doing a little of both. (Yeah, I’m admitting it; he still takes a bottle at night and usually before his nap. Judge if you’d like, but we pick our battles, and this one just seems so, well, low on the list of things that actually matter in raising a child, so we have simply chosen not to get ourselves riled up about it.)

I find that setbacks in the weaning process usually have to do with me and my laziness. He was up at 6:00 AM yesterday, and so even though I hadn’t nursed him all night long, which is a pretty huge feat, I was so tired that I grabbed him from his crib and brought him to bed with me for a lazy morning nursing session, simply to give me another 20 minutes of rest. I did this without even thinking, it was like my brain was on auto-set.

Ah well, setbacks are inevitable, and overall I feel like I can actually see a future not too far out where I am not nursing my toddler. So yeah, I’m feeling much more zen about the situation now, and am blaming my little helpless baby less and less for it, because really. I am READY TO BE DONE nursing Gus. Really I am. This time was coming, whether I had a baby in my uterus or not.

A little update on the weaning thing, yeah, I think we are officially DONE.  It's been many many weeks since we've nursed, actually, can't even remember the last time.  Oh, that's sort of sad isn't it?  Ahh well, not really, that just means it was time.  So glad and lucky we had such a great breastfeeding relationship for so long, and so thankful that it ended slowly, quietly, painlessly, just like I always hoped.  (Boosh.  Told you so Dan.) 

Also on the "big changes are coming to this household" front, we have started setting a plan for our family of four living situation. I know the baby will probably be in our bedroom for a while at the beginning, so it’s not completely necessary, but the idea of him or her not having their own space, for their little baby things, their clothes and toys, and a crib all ready to go when we decide the time is right for that… well I’ve realized that not getting all those logistics figured out before the baby is born just is not an option for me. I thought I could be laid back about it, but I really can’t. Mostly because I’m guessing that I’ll have even less time for big projects like that when I have to take care of both a baby and a 2 ½ year old.

So a tentative plan is at least set. The nursery will pretty much stay the same, one of the benefits of decorating it gender-neutral. We’ll get rid of the stupid toddler bed that’s set up in there (failed experiment), shift furniture back around, take the changing table back out of the closet, throw Gus’s hand-me-down drop-side crib out with the trash, and purchase a new one that isn’t a death trap.

New baby will take up residence there, and Gus will be moving on to bigger and better things across the hall: his big-boy bedroom, a.k.a. our current bedroom! I found some beautiful Danish modern furniture at an estate sale this weekend, an entire bedroom set for $180 that looks like it came straight out of the Dania catalog. Pretty pumped about this furniture, despite the fact that we have a garage/house full of unwanted furniture for which that we need to find homes. I think this new (to us) stuff will be perfect for Gus’s room, and I’m excited to put my energy towards creating a great space for him there. The nursery was my nesting project during pregnancy #1, and a little boy’s room will be my nesting project during pregnancy #2. This time around will be a little different, and mostly I’m excited to actually get to design a room based on a little person’s personality, his likes and dislikes, not just for some imaginary baby/child that I don’t really know yet.

This past weekend we actually made hard-core progress here!  My dad came over and in 100+ degree heat indexes, he and Dan shuffled around furniture for two hours.  This little project involved taking our mattress and box spring out through the roof access because they don't fit down the stairs.  And moving a huge bulky desk outside to the garage that we literally just moved downstairs a year ago.  And moving Gus's new dressers from the garage to his new bedroom on the second floor, and my dresser from the second floor to its new home in the first floor bedroom, and Dan's dresser from the second floor to the basement bedroom.  Good Lord.  My dad definitely didn't know what he was getting himself into when I casually asked if he'd come over and help Dan move around some furniture. 

So each piece of furniture is in its respective new home and we are one step closer to Gus's big move across the hall.  Dan and I are in the first floor bedroom now, and while I don't love trudging up the stairs in the middle of the night when the little guy wakes up, it's not that big of a deal.  It's actually quite lovely to pee without having to tiptoe past his room. 

We bought a new bed frame from IKEA that is low to the ground and more baby-friendly (going to try to avoid having new baby fall out of our bed in the middle of the night, OMG that was traumatizing).  So we are no longer sleeping on just our mattress on the floor, all co-ed like.  By purchasing the bed from IKEA though, we were able to hold on to our twenty-something roots a little longer.  ;)

Moving to his big-boy bedroom will involve transitioning Gus from his crib into a bed, i.e. a full size mattress on the floor. There’s no pressure there, but I would think it will have to happen before the baby is born. A few weeks ago he started climbing out of pack and plays, but he still hasn’t attempted the crib. I worry it’s only a matter of time though, ugh. Inevitable, I suppose. But again, no pressure, when we move him into our bedroom, we might even set up both the bed and his crib, make it a slower, smoother transition, so it’s not all, No More Crib! New Bedroom! New Baby Brother or Sister! All. At. The. Same. Time.

Can't wait for this transition.  YAY.

The piece of this plan I’m not super happy about is that Dan and I will be moving our bedroom to the main level of the house. A whole level away from my babies! The idea of it makes me a bit sick to my stomach, but I’m sure we’ll manage, others out there do. We will be getting a video monitor though, this time around, we’ve both decided that they offer a convenience and peace of mind that are most definitely worth the price tag. Funny that some things that seemed so extravagant or ridiculously unnecessary the first time around now seem like no-brainers, and some things we blindly put on our registry (like a bumbo, multiple boppy covers, tiny receiving blankets, bottle warmer [ok this one is so dumb, and not just because I planned to and did exclusively breastfeed]) were found to be just, well a huge waste of other people’s money.

Gotta say, it is nice to have a somewhat “seasoned” perspective going into baby number two. I’m hoping that it will help me avoid getting all riled up about things that don’t matter.

Nah. I’m sure I’ll find plenty to get riled up about this time around. That is my way after all.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

May 24, 2011 (7 Weeks)

More of my ramblings, when we weren't yet telling anyone I was pregnant.  I'm pretty lame, clearly I really wanted to talk to someone about it, thus the typing and blathering about nothing.  Dork.  And yes, still can't believe how quickly I showed with this baby.  I am currently 15 weeks and I just look so darn pregnant, and I'm of course now gaining weight like a champion, nearly 10 pounds at this point.  It's weird.  Last time I barely wore maternity clothes before 18 weeks.  I'm sure it's nothing to worry about, I haven't really changed my eating habits or activity level, other than needing something small every once in a while to curb the slight nausea I sometimes still get, but I just don't like it.  I thought I'd know what to expect the second time around, but I guess not, and that is unnerving.  Ahh well, here we go with the blathering about nothing...     

So it’s been a few weeks since we found out I’m pregnant, and I’m going a little insane not telling anyone. I feel like this huge walking imposter, I have literally nothing to say to anyone because my whole life revolves around feeling nauseous and being so bloated that I already, at 7 weeks, cannot fit comfortably into most of my pants. But I can’t talk about any of that with anyone, so I don’t have anything to talk about.

Anyway, you read that correctly, already I’m having trouble finding things that fit me. Clearly I’m not ready to jump into wearing maternity clothes already, especially since NO ONE KNOWS I’M PREGNANT, but most of my spring/summer stuff from last year makes me look like a stuffed sausage. The bloat is insane, it started the week before I took the test, and it has gotten worse with each passing day. Funny thing is that I gained about 4 pounds that week before I peed on the stick, and I had total fit. Nearly 5 pounds in one week? What is going on with my body? Ha.

And now two weeks later, I weighed myself and I am down a pound and a half. But I have this massive bloated belly. So massive, I found myself Googling all weekend about showing early with your second pregnancy, how early is normal? Could I be pregnant with twins? Ahhhh, pregnancy. 1st trimester. My old friend. I forgot about what a serious mind-f$#% you are.

The nausea and reflux is going strong, but no vomiting yet. I need to be eating or drinking something pretty much constantly, or I feel nauseous, but then half the things I try to eat leave me feeling just as terrible. With my first pregnancy, I started getting pretty heavy duty morning sickness around week 7, to the point where I threw up every single morning before work, at least once, and then would often have to pull over on my commute to dry heave/vomit. The rest of the day was just torturous nausea. So I’m nervous, to say the least, that things are about to get a lot worse. Knowing what may be to come is just torture, but then I am, at the same time, too superstitious to even consider or hope for one second that it might not be that bad this time.

We’re planning on telling family this weekend, really there will be no hiding it, we’ll be at Dan’s family’s cabin for the holiday weekend, confined in a tiny little house with nearly 20 people, surely there will be drinking, of which I would normally partake, and quite honestly, I look and act like a pregnant chick, and I am a terrible liar. Keeping up the charade just seems so pointless.

I am feeling so much more cautious the second time around, I’ve known a number of people, friends, acquaintances, who have lost a baby in the first trimester over the past year, and I guess it’s just hit close to home. I’m irrationally scared of sharing our excitement with others, of talking about the future, of seeing the smiles on their faces. None of those things are going to cause me to miscarry, so what am I afraid of? It’s not as if I wouldn’t need the support of my family if we lost our child. Ugh. And now I’ve thought and written about this way more than I would like.

So yeah, telling family. YAY! I can’t wait to not feel like Dan and I are in this little bubble that no one can actually see but makes me feel sort of lonely and claustrophobic. I need to talk to people! I made a call to my midwife last week and it was strangely comforting to actually acknowledge this pregnancy with someone in the outside world. She said, “Another January baby, how exciting!” and my heart sort of skipped a beat.

A baby. My baby. Another baby. Whoa.

Don’t even get me started on the idea of having a baby in January. Right now, it sounds like the worst idea imaginable, but I guess that’s our reality right? I know Dan gets all annoyed with me when I rant on and on about it, but honestly, the idea of my maternity leave being in the middle of the three most horrible months of the year (come on admit it, January and February suck, and March is just barely tolerable), well I get sort of panicked thinking about it, and annoyed at myself for not “planning things” a little better. I craved the outdoors those first couple months with a newborn. I needed to be around humans, at least a little, or I went crazy. And now we’ll have a second baby, and a cooped up toddler in the middle of a Minnesota winter. Yeah, well, I’m sort of a downer about it. But maybe? Maybe a new baby will be what makes January and February not suck? Maybe we’ll have our breezeway project completed by then and we can hang out in that sunny little space and feel like we’re out doors? Maybe Gus can play in the snow in the backyard and I can supervise whilst sipping cocoa safely inside our cozy, warm little porch, cuddling and nursing my snuggly little newbie?

That is the image of my future life I will just have to believe in.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

May 12, 2011 (5 Weeks, 2 days)

So, my first secret pregnancy post.  My goodness, it is awkward reading this stuff, I was really laying it all out there, mostly because I knew I wasn't going to post it, at least right away, and now, it's just embarrassing.  Like reading an old diary from when I was fourteen.  Ha, those are gems let me tell you, I love the teenage angst! 

(I must add that when I first wrote that, pre-spell check, I spelled it jem, rather than gem, as in Jem (and the Holograms), my all time favorite 80's Saturday morning cartoon.  If you're a fan of Jem, and I know you are, you HAVE to go read the Plot summary on that Wikipedia link.  Priceless!  So many awesome and ridiculous things I forgot about... like Synergy, the holographic computer that made the Jem alter-ego possible, and how Jerrica became Jem with just a touch of her awesome starlight earrings!)

(Picture from Wikipedia)

If that wasn't a random digression I don't know what is, goodness.  Anyway, as I was saying, I didn't realize I'd feel so awkward about this writing I did only a few months ago, but whatever.  I promised I'd post them.  So without further ado... here's something I wrote two days after I found out I was pregnant.

Okay.

Whoa.

The test was positive. That really really faint second line that I had to convince Dan was there, yeah, that means we’re having another baby.

A family of four.

Two kids and a dog.

A 2 ½ year old and a newborn.

In the middle of winter. (Ugh.)

Holy mother.

So I took a test two days ago, the Tuesday after Mother’s Day. I had a feeling. And by feeling, I mean that quite literally. That morning at work I felt horribly nauseous, so that, combined with the fact that I’ve been feeling like a bloated rhinoceros for about a week… yeah. I had a bit of a realization, like, whoa, seriously, get with the program Alicia, you better take a test tonight, at least then you’ll know one way or another.

I’ve been nonchalant about the possibility that I could be pregnant, which I’m sure sounds sort of crazy, but it’s true. I couldn’t remember when exactly was the last time that I had, ahem, taken my monthly trip to the drug store, and we sort of decided a few months ago to just throw caution to the wind and see how quickly it happens without really trying.

That was our way of just dipping our toes into the waters of going for number two, because I don’t think either of us were really willing to say out loud, “Yeah, I’m totally ready for this, I can’t wait to have another baby!” It’s such a different mindset the second time around, I can’t really explain it. Of course we want more than one child, maybe even more than two, but now that we’re sort of finally getting into the groove of this whole parenting a toddler thing, and we kinda-sorta know what we’re getting ourselves into by willingly inviting a newborn into our lives again, but not really, because we’ve never had to care for a newborn AND a toddler at the SAME TIME… I don’t know. It’s scary. Exciting. Unreal. But yeah, that’s why we had to just sort of ease ourselves into it. Nothing like last time, which involved obsessing and taking my temperature every morning and charting and examining cervical mucus and completely refraining from any alcoholic beverages.

Shit though. It still only took like, two months. Ridiculous. Ease ourselves into it my ass.

It’s been two days, and it definitely doesn’t feel real yet.

Of course with everything I do, I’m thinking about how different it will be when we have another baby. When I nurse Gus I start to panic a little that now I REALLY need to get serious about weaning him, because no way am I going to tandem nurse a tiny baby and a two and a half year old. Now I feel like, in a weird way, I’m leading him on every time we nurse, and it feels mean, and it makes me sad that now there’s this deadline for his babyhood and he doesn’t even realize it. Or get a say in it. I know, it’s stupid, but it makes me really sad.

On top of all that weighty stuff, I feel like I’m just waiting for the 1st trimester agony to hit, the anticipation (dread) is killing me. I was sick almost every day until about 18 weeks when I was pregnant with Gus, and I remember what a baby I was about it, and I am really worried that I’m just going to be wishing away the next three months, and missing out on a fun summer with my son.

Oh, and yesterday I stopped for my morning coffee on the way to work, and just as I was about to order, it hit me. Oh yeah. Decaf it is. Blergh.

Of course I’m also nervous, cautious, because it’s still so early, haven’t even called my midwife yet, so many things could go wrong, and have gone wrong for so many other women before me. But yeah. THIS IS HAPPENING.

So anyway, that’s where I’m at, two days later. Believe me, even if it doesn’t sound like it, I am happy about this baby, it’s what we wanted. I’m so excited about growing our family, I look forward to what’s next, I can’t wait to see the belly grow, and to bring more giggles and smiles, and yes cries into our home. All of those shiny happy butterflies are there, they’re just surrounded by a little bit of shock and panic.

We’ve got quite the adventure ahead of us.

And because it's awesome, and "truly outrageous!"  For your viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gus has a secret...

...and he'd like to let you in on it!

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It’s a good thing he’s got such a great best friend in his doggy, because life will be changing around our household in about 6 months.  

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NO NO NO Gus!  We don’t ride Bella!  She’s not a horse, she’s your puppy.  GENTLE Gus!

Wait, what’s that say?

You’re going to be a big brother, in 2012?

Whoa. 

How do you feel about this news?

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Yeah, we’re all pretty excited. 

Little guy, you’re going to be a great big brother. 

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We can’t wait to see if your brother or sister has that same bright smile.  It has just been the light of our life these last, well nearly two years.  The greatest joy we’ve ever known has been watching you grow into the silly, charming, precocious little boy that you are and we get to spend every day with you!  How lucky are we, to be your parents?       

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Okay, we said NO GUS!  Get off the dog, we’re serious about this!

Goodness, people keep telling me that he’ll do a lot of growing up between now and January.  Are they just being nice? 

Probably. 

But I’m still going to hold them to it.  ;)

(I've been blogging since we found out I was pregnant, but have been waiting to post them until friends and family were all in on the secret.  So over the next week or so I'll be publishing some of those "flashback" posts.  Warning: I was very neurotic and frazzled at the beginning, I'm happy to say I've calmed down a bit since then, though I'm sure all my worrying and fears about being a mom of two will only intensify as my belly grows.  Truly though, we're so so excited, and feeling incredibly blessed to be adding to our family!)      

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Until I have the real ones...

So I promised pictures, but my sister-in-law stopped by last night after dinner (which was lovely and it was so nice to catch up with her) and then the rest of the evening sorta got away from me.  Bath. Books. Snuggles. Rocking. Laundry.  It was almost 10:00 by the time I finally sat down.  I only got as far as getting the pictures off my camera, didn't even go through them, let alone get them uploaded.   

Instead, you get the two pictures I took with my phone this weekend. 

The fourth

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You're welcome.  ;)

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Fourth

We headed up to the cabin this past weekend, like we do every year on the 4th of July. The weekend started out crazy sauce on Friday night with some insane weather, and things got a little better the next morning when the sun came up, and then it got a LOT better when FINALLY we got power back after about 22 hours of flushing toilets with buckets and opening the refrigerator only when absolutely necessary and running to the store to buy more flashlights. Eff.

So yeah, Friday night at around 8:00 we were hanging out in the cabin, just having finished doing the bath and jammies thing for the little ones, getting them all ready for bed, when all of a sudden the weather turned… weird. Dan and his brother were roaming around outside, I think putting away all of the crap as thunderstorms were supposed to be rolling in shortly. And then the lights started flickering and the trees started dancing (seriously, it looked like the Lost smoke monster might be coming for us from the woods) and all of a sudden John (my brother-in Law, not John Locke) burst into the cabin screaming, “I think there’s a tornado coming, A TORNADO! Everyone RUN! To the shower house! QUICK! MOVE! RUN!” And that very moment the power went out and children were screaming and people were tripping all over each other, and I held on to my baby as tight as I could and raced outside toward the cement shower house with him in my arms.

Dan was the last one in the shower house, and we did a little headcount. Four children, three dogs, six adults, everyone was accounted for. The door was closed, and along with the wind howling we heard cracking outside and tree branches falling on the roof. It was dope scary people. Bella hid under the bench we were sitting on and was probably the last one to come out when it was all over. Poor little pup.

I wish I would have taken a picture of the sky over the lake; it was the freakiest thing ever, this huge dark foreboding wall cloud just hanging there. The stuff on the roof that we heard coming down on us were just a handful of small branches, no big deal, but just 150 feet down the road there were huge trees down blocking the road and on top of cabins.

Wow.

I guess the same storm ripped through the greater area of Wisconsin that we were in, power was out all over vacation-land, and though there were no actual tornadoes, the wind caused a lot of damage.

Thank God we were all safe, yes, I am thankful for that. But seriously… we were out of power after that until the next evening. UGH. And I was SO WHINY about it. Mother Nature is so inconvenient! I wanted to go home.

First of all, already we have this notoriously horrible (adorable) little sleeper. When we were at the cabin for Memorial Day Weekend, we had one terrible night where he screamed inconsolably for almost a full hour and a half in the middle of the night. We could do nothing to calm him, he didn’t want to be held, but if we put him down he’d just aimlessly stumble around and bash his head against the bedside table. If we put him in the pack-n-play he’d climb right out and stumble around and bash his head against the bed. Milk? NO! Boob? NO! Book? NO!

So was it night terrors? Scared to wake up in a strange place? We have no idea what his deal was, but it was just the worst thing I have ever experienced and everything I have done since in my life has been in an effort to avoid a repeat middle-of-the-night screaming scenario.

As an aside, I have to give the kid props, he’s sleeping so much better these days, which means we’re all getting much more sleep and the bags I’ve had under my eyes since he was a newborn are starting to fade slightly. But of course, all bets are off at the cabin. AND THEN Mother Nature has to throw a curveball at us, take away our blessed electricity so that it’s dark and scary. We were night-light-less and worst of all, without our beloved fan for white noise.

Gus wouldn’t go to sleep at first, he was understandably freaked out, and those walls are so thin, he could hear everyone loud and clear in the next room. We finally resigned to just hang out with him until he passed out. Reading books on the couch, chatting with my brother and his wife. After 10:00 we finally went to bed, mostly out of boredom, and of course the night went better than expected. I freely admit that I tend to overreact, anticipate the worst, and blow things out of proportion in my mind. I can be a real peach to live with sometimes.

Anyway, we remembered that we had brought this battery-powered portable ipod docking station, so we put Jack Johnson’s Curious George album on repeat and prayed for the batteries to magically never die. What’s amazing? They didn’t until 6:00 AM. Of course I barely got any sleep, because I would wake up every hour, look at the time on my phone, and be amazed that an hour had passed and the music was still going. Then I would convince myself that it was about to die… any second now, and Gus would be awake screaming, and he would NEVER go back to sleep with the deafening silence! Surely we were doomed! So I would just lay there, waiting, listening, afraid to even move and cause the bed to creak. Surely then he would wake up and we would be doomed!

Freak.

We were not doomed. The sun came up, and life seemed much more manageable.

Still, I was pissed and annoyed that the $130 of food I had purchased the day before was busy going bad in the refrigerator, and all of our phones were nearly dead so we couldn’t sit on hold with the power company to find out when we might have electricity again. We went into town for breakfast and it was crazy packed, because seemingly everyone outside of town was out of power, and there was talk that it could be anywhere between 3-5 days.

I was ready to pack up the car and head home the second I heard that, but cooler heads prevailed, and instead we ran some errands. We bought a power adapter thing for the car to charge our phones, a battery-powered radio to play static while Gus took his nap, more batteries for the flashlights, ice so we could save some of our food in coolers, and gallons of water to do dishes with (the water at the cabin is from a well, which is pumped by electricity, thus, I was not even able to wash my face that morning).

And we managed, and it wasn’t a bad day at all. And I read half of my book that afternoon lying out in the sun. In hindsight it was actually beyond lovely. The worst was just in the not knowing how long we’d be without power. My brother says it’s because I’m a woman and we worry about things that are out of our control. Yes, it’s insulting that he’s making a broad stereotype about women like that, but seriously, OF COURSE I worry about things that are beyond my control! I want to control everything! Everything would spiral out of control if I couldn’t, well, control it!

He may have me pegged.

Well as I alluded to at the beginning of all this, power was back on by the time we had dinner on the table. A few hours before we saw a couple trucks from the electric company drive past, and I did a little happy dance, and relented my earlier stance that if we didn’t have power by evening we were packing up and heading back to the city. Clearly they were working on it, and it was only a matter of time, and my need to control the situation in the only way that was possible started to subside.

The rest of the weekend was just perfection… beautiful weather, a happy little swimming toddler, blowing bubbles, tranquil boat rides, laughs around the camp fire, card games, sitting in the water with a good book for two hours. Funny how none of those things involve electricity, but still I let myself get so worked up about being forced to go without it.

Was this weekend just one big lesson about going with the flow, making the best of things, not sweating the small stuff, and all of those kinds of clich├ęs?

Hmmm… maybe. Cruel lesson Mother Nature. Not. Cool.

(I'll be back tomorrow with pictures, still have to get them off my camera.)