Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Well, that was pretty cryptic, eh? A series of pictures of a random, dilapidated green house?

In case it isn't completely obvious, that random, dilapidated (mint) green house is to be Mat's, Claire Helen's, Figgy's and mine two short weeks. Of course, the dilapidation means we won't actually live in it until 2006 (here is where I solicit suggestions on how to be a general contractor, as I suddenly find myself comparing electrical panel replacement bids and scheduling plaster wall repair around floor refinishing), but we are very excited. It has five whole bedrooms, room for our piano, and a kitchen larger than a postage stamp. And oooh charm! It has charm up the wazoo. As much as we love our current home, doubling the occupancy in 18 months has it bulging at the seams a bit. The kids need a playroom, the adults need an office, and we all just need a little more space. Let us all hope real estate stays right where it is for approximately 10 more weeks, till we can get ourselves together and on the market!

I haven't updated in a while, but this time I think I really can claim to have been busy. After all, there is Claire Helen's busy social calendar, my 38 weeks pregnant self, 80 billion volunteer obligations for Claire Helen's preschool, as well as our mint green manse. We just put an offer on this house a week or so ago, so Claire Helen and I have been trooping over there most mornings to meet with contractors, which at 37 (now 38) weeks pregnant involves a little more resting than your average trooper on my part. But we are a flurry of activity, as we realize that this could all very shortly come to a screeching halt. The OB says not to count on still being pregnant December 1 (I'm 3 cm dilated, nearly fully effaced, and fully engaged, the last of which is apparently unusual in second time mothers), but a)giving birth prior to then would be rather inconvenient for all the home related projects we have going on, and my children are generally genial, go with the flow kiddos, I expect nothing less with regard to their birthdate choosing and b) I hate being pregnant,* so Murphy's Law dictates it's going to last as long as it possibly can, yes? Actually, I am not sure of the proper interpretation of Murphy's Law in this case, but anyway last time I got myself all excited from some early faux labor signs we had, and then got all bored with all the waiting, so for now let's just expect Figgy some time in early to mid December, and that way nobody gets bored waiting.

I mentioned Claire Helen had a busy social calendar, and oh, she does. She's got two playgroups a week, preschool, gymboree, occasional swim lessons, and maybe music class after Figgy is born. I think she likes it all. At least she very much enjoys the songs at the more organized of these activities. When we are at home, she will sometimes start doing the motions to her favorites so that I will sing them, at which point she tries valiantly to sing along. She can carry a tune, but she can't speak as fast as the songs go, so "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands" goes something like "iii...hhaaa...knowit...CLAP CLAP!"

She is such a sweet girl, good at giving spontaneous hugs and smiling coyly when she can tell you are happy with her. When her little friends come over, she always shares her toys, and even will break off a piece of graham cracker for them (as soon as I have acknowledged that there are TWWWOOOOOOO cookies once she has broken it. TWO is her favorite thing, possibly tied with OUT-side. She is forever bringing me shoes so that we can go OUT-side.), and today I had no fewer than 3 people tell me that no matter how mellow Figgy turns out to be, I will surely be in for a surprise as it is simply not physically possible to create another human as mellow as this one. I think it's because they don't see her in her natural environment. Here, she is a little chatterbox who screeches at Betty for being out of her "place" and has a positively uncanny ability to hide my keys when I mean to go somewhere, but in the outside world (or here if someone she doesn't know comes into the house), she is the ninja toddler, stealthy and quiet as the night.

A couple weeks ago she got hit with her first two serious illnesses. She had a cold last Christmas, and roseola just before we went to her aunt's wedding, but nothing particularly bothered her until 3 Wednesdays ago when she woke up barking like a seal. It's called the croup, and I hope none of you have ever had the misfortune of nursing a child through this. I apparently never had it, so I had to turn to actual outside sources than my mother to figure out what to do. Mostly we just sat in various humid places with Claire Helen clinging to my chest like a rhesus monkey for about 48 hours. She was so sad when she'd get a cough attack, and couldn't understand how to stop crying to ease her breathing.

We felt like we deserved a medal for surviving the evil evil croup, but apparently this was only some underling illness. The next week we ran into the Big Boss, a stomach virus. I have been describing it as apocalyptic. The thing about toddlers you may not know is that they don't know how to run to the bathroom to throw up. If they are in the middle of the dining room and feel ill, that's where the cookie is going to crumble, so to speak. We went through every item of clothing either one of us owned as well as our entire towel collection in the 3 hours between the onset of symptoms and Mat's arrival home. She laid listlessly between us in our bed for most of the night, and cried and cried for being so thirsty when we were trying to slowly reintroduce fluids the way the doctor told us to.

I am hoping we just got our winter viruses out of the way, and this isn't just the beginning of an extremely rough winter.

I have high hopes that it will in fact be a great winter. We have a lot going on, but it's all the good stuff- home and babies and holiday parties. If Figgy just stays put a little bit longer(and truthfully even if he doesn't) things are going to go very well.

*Just the nausea. Everything else is fine and not bad at all, but you know, nausea can suck the fun out of pretty much anything.

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