A blah thing:

My company lost a big account and so announced impending layoffs of pretty much everyone I work with. And yeah, they have no qualms about laying off an eight-months pregnant lady.

I’ve got some angry feelings about that, and some ideas about what to do about it, but what I really ought to do is see it for what it is – nothing personal, just a company looking out for itself and its bottom line, as companies do. And I can do the same. All we did was write spam emails anyway. Frankly, that experience wasn’t worth the money or time away from Catherine. Though, as with all experiences, it did teach me – and Catherine – some things and so was valuable in its own way.

I’m lucky to have Chris who has always been successful at his career, and allows me to spend so much precious time with my babies that, sadly, many women in this country don’t get to enjoy.

And on that note, here are some more good things:

  • We’re moving into our new, sunny, lovely apartment right on the water in a week.
  • Spring is arriving.
  • Shopping for fun new furniture and baby things is in progress.
  • My mom will be coming up soon to hang out and help me do last minute things before the baby arrives.
  • Catherine is about to be a big sister.
  • Chris and I are very close to meeting our precious new baby girl!

One thing I’ve learned from our wedding and this second pregnancy – both of which were SO carefully planned – is that the things you plan the most seem to go the least according to plan! I need to learn to roll with the punches and not ruminate so much. Life is short. I want to focus on the fun things and stop trying to anticipate every possible thing that could go wrong. It won’t change anything.

Well…more later!

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So you know how I just said we found a home in that previous post? Well, right before we signed the lease, we found a different home. A better home, zoned for the same great elementary school. It’s a sunny corner apartment with big windows, plentiful closets, its own washer and dryer, a pretty kitchen, and a great view of the water where the East and Hudson Rivers merge. We’re at the very tip of lower Manhattan, slightly more removed (5 minutes walking) than the Wall Street location (but it’s worth it). Here’s a picture of the kitchen.

kitchenIt’s going to be tricky to figure out sleeping arrangements, but we’ll do it. And the living room is large, so it shouldn’t be a problem fitting all of our stuff and the kids larger toys, like their play kitchen and craft table.

The building itself is super nice! There’s a roof top deck with grass that overlooks the water. They show kids’ movies during the summer with a projector on the wall and serve popcorn. We get a free membership to a health center next door with a lap pool! So I have no excuse to not get back in shape after the baby.

We really love it, and I can’t wait to move in and start making it home. I’ve been dying to nest and get everything prepared to welcome our new baby, and haven’t been able to do that. So it’ll be great to finally start. We move in March 30. What an awesome end to a grueling search!

I’ll post more pictures once we move in.

So, we got an apartment! And while it is tiny (many would balk, especially those accustomed to living anywhere but New York), and definitely not fancy, it is located right above the Tiffany & Co. on Wall Street. Not the one from the movie – that one’s on 5th Avenue – but still, not too shabby. It’s also nice that our street and others surrounding the New York Stock Exchange are cobblestoned and closed to through traffic, if you don’t count tourists, of which there are hoards (but it’s always something you have to contend with in NY).

And…it’s zoned for what I hear is a truly wonderful elementary school. We got it just in time for the pre-k application deadline. So now hopefully I can sleep at night.

Now we just have to figure out how we’re going to fit two grown-ups, an almost-four-year old, a newborn, and a miniature schnauzer into…a one-bedroom apartment. Are we nuts?

We’ll find out. 🙂

I will be 30 weeks pregnant on Saturday. And boy have things changed since my last post.

I want to start by saying that I think right now I am at my very happiest in the middle of the night or early in the morning, when I wake up for no reason, am able to still my brain – it doesn’t always happen that way – and snuggle down warm in the covers while everything is quiet, with my hands on my belly feeling my baby’s strong kicks in response.

The baby is growing and so am I. This pregnancy has passed differently than my first one. Last pregnancy, Chris and I spent most of our time preparing our home and our minds for our baby’s arrival. But this time, we’ve been consumed with finding a new home for our family of five. I’m including Meeks here because he very much counts, since he’s the reason we didn’t get our dream apartment. It didn’t allow pets.

All that talk two posts ago about a sunny two-bedroom apartment in lower Manhattan? Let’s just say we have lowered our standards. Sure, we could move to another neighborhood and find it, probably, but to stay in lower Manhattan where Chris works and we know our way around and, most importantly, we know the schools, we’re sacrificing what we thought we needed and considering one bedrooms. It isn’t that we can’t afford a two bedroom, but that we can’t find an affordable two bedroom we agree on. Chris wants it to be new. I want natural light. What we are willing to give up in square footage, we apparently won’t give up in sunshine and amenities. Chris says he didn’t know he married a plant. But he did. He absolutely did. I’ll wither up and die in a dark place. I crave the sun, even from behind the clouds, with the deepest part of my soul. It’s a physical reaction that I don’t choose. It’s just who I am.

So these are the choices we’re making. And somehow, I think our babies will look back on these days, what they’ll remember of them, with joy. I doubt they’ll care they shared a bedroom with Mommy and Daddy; in fact, I’m pretty sure they prefer it.

All this searching and all these tough choices, though, have taken their toll on me. Coupled with the cold and overcast winter weather, it’s put me in a bit of a negative rut. I snap at Chris and Catherine and Meeks, then apologize, over and over again. And this is the time when Catherine needs me to be my best! After all, she’s going through lots of BIG changes, too.

I complain too much and feel sorry for myself too much and wake up in the middle of the night, those times when I am not able to still my mind, and can’t go back to sleep for hours.

Instead, I want to be dreaming of baby names and picking out crib bedding and – most importantly – savoring the last months as a family of three and contemplating my new role as a mother of two.

This weekend, we’re making a final push to find a suitable apartment so I can apply to the right schools for Catherine with our new address, and then enjoy the rest of my pregnancy with some peace of mind, and though there will be packing and unpacking to do, at least it can be done. And with just ten weeks to go, that’s what I feel the need to do – the doing.

The sun is just around the corner!

And with that off my chest, let’s so some stats.

Weight: I think I’ve gained about 20-25 lbs. Hoping it levels off now.

Sleep: Not great, but should get better after I stop stressing about our apt search.

Baby’s size: She’s a large cabbage!

Baby’s sex: She’s a sweet little girl who kicks like a boy.

Cravings: None. I wish they would arrive! Food doesn’t taste like I want it to.

Aversions: I don’t like the spicy things that I used to love.

What I miss: Running.

What I’m looking forward to: Being settled in a new home that we all love.

Best moment of the week: Besides those quiet, peaceful nighttime bonding sessions with baby…I really enjoyed Saturday, because it was sunny and mild, and we spent it outside together at various playgrounds with Catherine. It was a happy day.

More soon.

This weekend, we’re expecting a foot of snow. Sadly, Chris won’t be here. He’s going skiing with friends in Jackson Hole. Poor Chris. But Catherine and I will be here, and Catherine has been asking for snow since before Christmas. I rush-ordered the sled, snow boots, and snow mittens I’d been meaning to have ready for her. They should be in today. She’s already got a snow bib. I’m going to go to the grocery store with her on Friday night to stock up on goodies for the week. So Saturday morning, all we have to do is wait for snow, grab our gear, and beeline to Central Park to get first dibs.

Chris is so much better at this sort of thing than me, especially with me being pregnant. But I’m determined to step up my game in his absence.

It is 11am on a Wednesday morning. This very moment, I just discovered a rather large piece of a blackberry from my breakfast has remained lodged in my teeth undetected for the entirety of the morning. I’m trying to remember everyone I’ve smiled at today.

Also this morning, as I was packing Catherine’s lunch, I paused to give her breakfast. She requested cheerios with coconut milk. I gave her the cereal. She took a few bites and pushed it aside. She wanted cow’s milk. I understood because I’d found the coconut milk a bit thick myself. So I made her another bowl of cereal, this time with honey and cinnamon. She ate a bite then hopped down from her stool and ran away yelling “I Elsa! I Elsa!”  I finished packing her lunch. Homemade zucchini pizza, grapes, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, string cheese, and vanilla wafer cookies.

And last night, Chris and I watched three episodes of the Netflix docu-series Making a Murderer. It was actually very romantic until, having had a bit too much whiskey, Chris got the munchies and proceeded to chew an entire bag of peanuts loudly – which caused me to lift my head from his lap – which interrupted my shoulder massage. Oddly, the night before we’d watched four episodes of Making a Murderer, and he had a little too much whiskey then too, and upon taking a five-minute break from our show, I found him in the bathroom munching a large chunk of cheddar cheese. Normally I am in bed by 10pm, but this show has had me riveted, so I’ve been staying up late. Is this what he always does after I go to bed?

In other news, I’m five and a half months pregnant. And my cheese-munching hubby, our cereal-shunning preschooler, and I (with blackberries in my teeth), are pretty excited and happy about that. 🙂

What’s up with us:

Exciting things are happening! Obviously, we’re expecting our precious baby girl on or around May 7. This little girl was so carefully planned, and we almost can’t believe it’s happening just like we dreamed.

Naturally, we’ll need more space with two girls, so we’re moving! Hoping to stay in the same neighborhood if we can find something, but if not, we won’t go far. After living with a “home office” as Catherine’s bedroom, I’m excited to decorate and enjoy a true, sun-drenched bedroom for the girls with windows and a closet just for them. The things you sacrifice to live in New York.

Catherine will be starting public pre-k in the Fall, if all goes as planned! We have loved her wonderful little school she’s been in since I began working full time. They’ve taught her so, so, so much. But it will be nice to take advantage of the free public school system. The schools in our neighborhood are supposed to be good, and I’m hoping we’ll see equal quality. I never expected I’d get so excited about something like an elementary school.  But I’m hoping the school will be a community for us, with involved parents and extracurricular activities.

In other news, this summer we’re taking Catherine to Macon for two weeks to take swim lessons from the same woman who taught me. Then in the Fall, Catherine will start ballet. I guess our new little baby girl will be the tag-a-long. I remember the days of the baby k’tan well, and can’t wait to have my little snuggly bundle on my chest and carry her around with me everywhere.

I’m absolutely loving being a mommy.

Some pregnancy stuff:

Total weight gain: 15 lbs.

Pregnancy symptoms: I get a little tired still, pee frequently, and have some odd random pains. But the last of the morning sickness and exhaustion have finally left me, so I’m feeling amazing!!!

How big is baby: about a pound. She’s definitely getting stronger, I can tell you that from her kicks!

Sex: GIRL!

Maternity clothes. Yep. Nothing but. Rosie Pope maternity jeans are the best thing to happen to pregnancy since epidurals.

Movement: Lots of moving and kicks. I love it. It’s my favorite part of pregnancy.

Food cravings: Hmm. None really. The aversions are mostly gone, and I’ve been in the mood for clean foods like vegetable soup and berry smoothies.

What I miss: Running. Because I have marginal placenta previa and have experienced some spotting, I’ve been advised not to run right now.

What I’m looking forward to: Moving into a bigger apartment and decorating the girls’ room! Finding out what school Catherine will be going to in the fall (we find out in May). Being home with my two girls. Finally going to the hospital and meeting our new daughter.

Best moment of the week:  I didn’t go back to work from the holidays until Wednesday, so Tuesday morning Catherine and I braved the 18-degree weather and walked to Barnes and Noble. She brought me books and snuggled up in my lap and I read them to her. Then we went to the grocery store, and came home and I made pot roast. Sounds so simple, but those mornings together hanging out in our neighborhood are my favorite thing.

I’m just returning to work after a nice, long two and a half week break. It’s a bit painful, as such returns can be, but there’s still so much to look forward, so I’m comforting myself with these thoughts. Like the first snow, which we’re still waiting for and which will prove difficult to commute in with a big belly and a three-year old, but which will delight Catherine and make it especially cozy to snuggle up indoors.

Plus, the holidays behind us and the first trimester sickness increasingly so, I am only just now getting my healthy eating mojo back – just in time for New Year’s Resolutions. I have lots of resolutions that I didn’t bother to tie to the New Year. I won’t bore you with my list, but everyone knows healthier eating and January go hand in hand. Today, I took a green smoothie and leftover homemade pot roast to work. I feel good. I’m hoping processed Starbucks breakfast sandwiches and gummy candy are behind me for a while.

The bump.  It’s big.  I can’t believe I have 4 months of jeans and bras and this belly ahead of me. So after wearing worn black leggings literally every single day for two weeks over my break, I exchanged a maternity sweater Chris bought me for Christmas for a very expensive and very comfy pair of Rosie Pope jeans. Let’s just say they made my first day back at work soooooooo much better!

Our baby.  She is moving plenty. And I love it. It’s the best part of pregnancy, for sure. Supposedly, she’s the size of a butternut squash, but I think those produce comparisons are silly. Her kicks are getting stronger and stronger. At night, sometimes I wake up to her kicks, and I just lie there drifting back to sleep with my hand on my belly. She seems to kick where I place my hand.

Chris.  He’s very excited. Just like last pregnancy, the second trimester has provided some much-needed relief for us both, and we’re enjoying life to the fullest. The holidays were wonderful. He gave me a sweet card that I wanted to read over and over again because it made me happy, because I could have written what he wrote. Of course with Catherine in the mix, we don’t have near the time to spend together that we did last pregnancy, lest I sound too sappy. But we both know life is good and we’re enjoying it together. I feel grateful for him.

Catherine.  She’s busy looking forward to her new role as big sister, and delighting Chris and me to the ends of the earth. We adore her. To us, she’s a perfect child. Her antics are so funny and touching and frequent that I feel overwhelmed when I set out to write about them.

I’ll stop here. Well, okay, a couple more things. Chris’s insurance changed (for the better), and thus so did our doctor! We will now be seeing the obgyn and delivering in the hospital I originally wanted.

Tata for now.

This morning, Chris, Catherine and I walked down Broadway to the hospital together for the baby’s anatomy scan. The technician spent almost an hour slowly examining every part of the baby’s body. Its brain and organs, face, belly, limbs, and of course – its bottom. It was the most amazing ultrasound by far, and the baby was moving around and sucking its thumb and even gave us a peace sign. Everything is developing perfectly. And we found out that she is a girl, and Catherine will be getting a baby sister. 🙂

Our newest daughter is kicking away in my belly. And I’m taking some time to let this amazing news sink in.

I’m envisioning things like: two little girls in snuggly nightgowns running downstairs on future Christmas mornings to find dollies under the tree.

This is our first Christmas with two daughters, and also our last with just one!