My little bag of sugar

Our unborn child weighs about 5 pounds, and I can feel each one of them. His movements are so strong lately- not forceful, but weighty. I think this experience of feeling him writhe inside of me will be the main thing I miss about pregnancy...the rolls and quivers and hiccups are comforting, ethereal, and breathtaking, yet still at times uncomfortable & surprising, when it seems he's trying to remind me that he's there. (but who is forgetting?)

What a change it will be to have him on the outside, in a world where he'll no longer be safely tucked inside my body- the only home he'll have known. I can't imagine the harshness of the contrast between the inside and the outside; experiencing hunger and cold; bright lights and unmuffled sounds for the first time. I hope I have the ability to soften that transitional state. I'm preparing myself to go into a sort of winter hibernation, where I'll have no plans other than hazily drifting from one period of wakefulness to the next as I learn how to take care of this new little boy. It will be a transition for both of us- all of us. I waver between feeling terrified and questioning, and thrilled and confident and capable. The fear that I'm fooling myself if I start feeling too confident or capable. It seems that babies are something you shouldn't assume you know anything about until you have one of your own. And so I wait- wondering about the unknown and ready to see for myself- and mostly- ready for change. (I only hope the wait isn't too long; at 35 weeks I'm already feeling like an impatient child at Christmastime; filled with anticipation yet it's only December 1st...)




I am definitely staying in tonight

I am so introverted that when I spend more than 2 to 3 consecutive hours at work interacting directly with people (e.g. today), it's like I hear alarm bells in my head telling me to retreat from battle. And then I go into my office and shut the door and pretend I'm really busy when I really just need time away from co-workers (who are the nicest people in the midwest, so it's hardly personal).  This is pretty much the case for all people, except close family members...I can be with family for probably 3 days at a time before needing time apart. I think Aaron is the only one I could be with for 24 hours a day, 100 days in a row, and not feel a need to withdraw. I'm so curious to see what category my future children fit into???  Crossing my fingers for the 100 days one....but perhaps it will depend on whether their personalities are introverted or extroverted?  Is it possible for two introvert-leaning people to produce an extroverted child?  My parents are an interesting example- my dad was pretty much full extrovert, and my mom is about 80% introvert/20% extrovert.  Out of their 3 children, I am 95% introverted (from age 5 onward, I was completely content spending entire days in my room reading and writing in my journal), Matt is about 50/50%, and George is 100% extrovert. So based on that extremely small sample size, I would posit that genetics plays a role.  However, I cannot be certain (I think birth order is also hugely influential- in several families I knew growing up, the youngest child was the most social, while the oldest tended to be more quiet and studious). It will prove interesting to see what type of people we create someday.  (Is it wrong to hope they want to stay in every night? :) 


(*An excerpt from my google doc journal- i should try to post on here more often)
Today I caught a glance at my sideways self in the mirror at work. I looked so pregnant at that moment and felt so happy about that fact that I almost skipped back to my office. Yes, I'm a little nutty. I think the craziest thing for me about both being pregnant and bringing this child into the world is how it all tends to feel so huge, exciting, important, awe-inspiring, etc. etc., yet at the same time it is such a common and universal experience. And I feel like I have to keep myself in check, like, "Woman, calm down. Everyone does it. It's not that big of a deal, right?" But then I'm like, "OH, BUT IT IS! (to me!)"  I am so delighted and intrigued when I think about this little person who will be some random mix of Aaron's and my genes. Which chromosomes of ours did he inherit? He could be anybody! (Will he seem familiar, or a stranger I must get to know? Will he be the type of person that I would want to hang out with if he weren't mine?) I am so curious to find out--  even if I don't get most of the answers until many years down the road. 



I have this theory that most of life's problems can be made to look ridiculous, manageable, or insignificant if you envision that you're looking down at them from the top of the world's highest mountain.  For years now that's been my modus operandi. I think I figured that out when I was learning how to ski. The mountains somehow changed my life...

Aaron's been working from home a bit lately.  Even though I only work 1.9 miles away, it's been really hard not to bombard him with demands knowing he is so close, just sitting at the kitchen table (not 'just' sitting of course)-- "BRING ME FOOD".  "Do the dishes if you have a chance? :)"  (always an emoticon for good measure :)  "Meet me for lunch, ASAP".  "The weather says strong rainstorms and I forgot my raincoat...help!!!!!!!"   (That one is actually from today- there's even a tornado watch, my favorite! *Only my favorite if a tornado doesn't actually occur!)

I ordered this hot cereal in bulk from Amazon, after eating it at my grandmother's house last month. For the first time in 4 years I eat breakfast at home now. It only takes 3 minutes to cook! Normally I oppose 'instant' foods but not in this case. I want to eat it all the time. Steel cut oats are a thing of my past. (I mean- 30 minutes vs 3 minutes...there's not even a choice here)

The craziest rain just occurred outside my window- it was like the rain was trying to flood the earth in one minute's time. I only caught the tail-end of it on this video. You'll notice that I have a green thumb. (figuratively) (nay, sarcastically).

Good bye for today.


Twenty-Three Birthdays, age 3-26.

1990: Age 3. Wearing a favorite dress, at my grandparents' house. Last birthday in Massachusetts.
1991-2004. No photos but: Cake, the clothespin game, the golf ball game, my family, and probably Jessica. 
2005: 18. Unknown. Last birthday in PA. No photo evidence and therefore no memories. I looked like this.
2006: 19. Also unknown. First birthday in Utah. No photos. But here is me that month.
2007: 20. Liberty Square apartment with roommates. And Coldstone cake.
2008: 21. Dinner with roommates at Cheesecake Factory. Homemade cake by Meagan. Aaron came too.
2009: 22. First married birthday, at our apartment. Flowers & cake. (and friends!)
2010: 23. Unknown??? Again, no photos = no memory.  This photo is from that month.
2011: 24. A big present wrapped in a blanket. And finally taking advantage of free birthday treats in Ann Arbor.
2012: 25.  More free birthday treats. A U-M hockey game with my lover. And a gift basket from my mom.
2013: 26.  I made Jamaican rice. Aaron made me a cake. We ate it all. (in one week.)

(Inspired on a whim by my 2009 Thanksgiving post)


All I think about during the day...

...is what I'm cooking for dinner that night.  And what will need to be chopped. And also: what Aaron and I should watch on Netflix (though with two episodes of Downton Abbey series 3 left, that's not really a question). The question is more-- where? (couch, love-sac, or under the covers?) (and, popcorn?) And if we should exercise before or after. And if I can fit in some reading time. (in bed? Will my book light keep him awake if I try to read when I should be sleeping?)  And when is the earliest I can leave work to make it home and start (finally! oh the agony!) chopping the vegetables? (Will they notice if I leave at 5:30 when really I should leave at 6 because I got in late?)  What else is there to think about, really?*

*Ok fine, there's also babies. (ones that don't exist but yet invade my thoughts) And the burdens of others. But on the surface, is the paragraph above ^


That time the gate attendant made me grin

It was midnight after New Year's Day and we were catching the red-eye out of SLC. I was busy trying to hide my massive carry-on suitcase from the gate attendants.*

(*on every 1 out of 3 flights, give or take, they will yell at me and make me try to fit it into the carry-on size-checker [example] and it never fits, and then they make me check it, even though it easily fits in the space above the seats on the plane. grumble. I should insert a funny story here about the time Aaron grabbed the suitcase from the sizer, and ran away down the tunnel with the lady yelling after him, but you get the picture).  

Anyway, this time around, I handed my boarding pass to the attendant to scan (while using my body to shield my over-sized luggage), and he said,

"Ohhhhhhh Jennifer!  You look just like an ice cream cone!  How very sweet for the New Year!  Good bye Jennifer!"

And that was all it took, I smiled for like 6 minutes straight.
(and, p.s., made it on the plane with my luggage intact)