Lately it has felt just a little bit like I’m sinking. Not quite totally sinking, but not freely swimming either. More like very slow and tedious dog paddling in a pool of Jello. Luckily, I love Jello, and this pool is most certainly many things of my own making, many commitments that are pressing right now and good, but they are still thick and difficult to navigate nonetheless. Someday, maybe, after I turn in this dissertation but before kid number 2 makes our lives even crazier – I’ll go back to semi-coherent blog posts on a regular basis. For now, more scattered updates. Because typing out the scattered bits and gathering together makes them feel more like an eclectic mosaic and less like disorganized chaos.
Speaking of that old dissertation, the one you are so tired of hearing about, the one that I said I would finish within four years, and then again by the end of 2017, it! Is! Almost! Done! The full draft was submitted to my advisor Saturday night and once I get his last round of comments, I will roll that final draft out to my whole committee. This meant that Saturday night I had endless nightmares that Henry was taken away from me because I didn’t correctly cite my sources and used commas instead of periods in my bibliography. Of course, finishing the dissertation means… that I don’t fully know what comes next. This spring has lots of uncertainty and hope in it, all tied up together in a messy knot of “what if’s” for next fall.
One of which is of course, should we move? I love our little apartment, love it. All 960 square feet are precious and known to me. And while it is a small space to imagine putting another kid, it’s not impossible. But the logistics of our building, the total lack of a yard, the hauling a toddler and a baby up a flight of narrow stars and storing a double stroller in the trunk of our car where a single stroller only kind of fits- that is giving me pause. I don’t want the difficult of getting out of our home start to make us feel like prisoners in it. Still, anything bigger or more house-like is just so expensive that it feels impossible.
We have been feebly attempting a Whole30 this month. Honestly, we have mostly failed, in the sense that there have been many cheat instances and the Whole30 is kind of an all-or-nothing thing. But I’m still counting our Mostly Whole, Maybe 30 as a victory because it has forced me back into the kitchen, put vegetables back on our plate, and left me feeling like I am no gaining weight with this baby at a normal, rather than terrifyingly breakneck, speed.
Speaking of that baby, we can’t wait to meet HER! James has been positive that this was a girl the entire time, but I just didn’t have a gut feeling. With Henry, I was positive that it was a boy, but this time- nothing. I loved the idea of a posse of boys running wild around our house, but a girl sounded so fun too. Now of course, I am thrilled at the idea of Henry and his sister being close in age like my older brother and me. I also made sure to invest in some ruffle-butt tights ASAP. I plan to reuse a lot of Henry’s more gender neutral clothes… but at least a couple ruffles need to disrupt things.
This pregnancy hasn’t really gotten better. After the nausea, the exhaustion, the bleeding and fear, now I have crippling sciatic pain that frequently and increasingly makes it difficult to walk. One night at the grocery store I sat on a fruit display until I could walk again and I can’t make it to the park 2 blocks away without a couple stops. I’m not a wimp about pain, but this has been rough. Before we knew the gender, people would smile and pat my shoulder and say, “must be a girl!” as if that was a consolation for the constant pain. No, I felt like saying, preferably as I punched them swiftly in a gut, let’s not get in the habit of teaching that daughters are consolation for misery.
That’s a little bit of lately. The successes, the joys, the failures, the trials. A thick pool of Jello that sometimes makes swimming hard, but nowhere else I’d rather be.