Pregnancy Low-Down

Two major topics I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post:

* Despite the fact that we waited for what feels like AGES for this baby, the timing with my new job could be better. For those of you keeping track, I applied for this job back in August (before I got pregnant), and I found out that I was pregnant sometime around my third interview. Then they waited another five weeks to actually hire me. So I started working here when I was already 10 weeks pregnant. And I’ve been praying that nobody would figure it out right away, and that they’d think I’m chubby with an unfortunate way of carrying my extra weight around my mid-section. But I’m already mostly in maternity clothes, so I think it’s going to be really obvious very soon.

(This is the burden of having a short torso. Nowhere to expand except outward.)

I mean, I just didn’t want to walk in here on Day One and be like, “Hey, thanks for the job and all, but BTW I’m gonna need some maternity leave in a few months.” It seemed… tacky. I wanted to establish myself as a valuable employee first. So, I’m working on trying to figure out a graceful way to handle that one. Obviously, this is not my first time at this particular rodeo, so it’s not like I’m going to be quitting when the baby arrives. I know that I still want to (need to) work, so I just need to make sure I explain that very clearly to my manager when I tell him.

(Oh, that’s the other weird part. My manager is based in the Colorado office, so he has no idea what I look like. I could theoretically wait until a week before my due date to say anything. I mean, I won’t do that, because that would be horrible. But I probably could get away with it.)


* Catie is pretty aware of what’s going on now. We’ve talked about how she’s going to be a big sister “someday,” since it’s hard to explain timelines to an almost-4 year-old. I tried telling her it’ll be next summer, but I don’t know if she understands that or not.

I showed her the ultrasound pictures from yesterday and explained that it was her baby sister and that the doctor took a picture of her in my tummy (she found her own ultrasound pics once and I explained to her that it was a picture of her before she was born, so she’s familiar with that). I told her that it’s going to be a long time before the baby is here, and my tummy is going to get reeeeeally big in the meantime. She said, “Wow, I’m so excited to see a picture of my baby sister! [3-second pause] Mommy, can I play with Daddy’s iPad?” So… yeah. I’m not sure how much she really understands about this whole thing.

But she IS excited to help me decorate the spare room. So there’s that.

Oh, also? Now I really, really, REALLY want my parents to hurry up and sell their house to move up here. I’m going to need their help more than ever, no doubt. Anybody need to buy a 4-bedroom/2-bath house in Ridgeland, Mississippi? Anyone?

Working Me Over

Conversation last night…

Me: Hey, Catie-bug, who’d you play with at school today?

Catie: Nobody. I didn’t play with anybody.

Me: Really? Not even Isabelle?

C: No. I don’t have any friends at school. You’re my only friend.

Me: I’m your ONLY friend? What about Daddy?

C: No. Just you. I just wanna stay with you all day.
[Side note: Dave was sitting a few feet away when this conversation took place. It got a raised eyebrow and a “gee, thanks a lot!” when informed that he wasn’t her friend.]

Me: What about Tracy? Is Tracy your friend?

C: (pause) Yes.

Me: What about Mimi?

C: (probably realizing that I had her on a slippery slope to admitting that she has more than 1 friend) NO! Not Mimi. Just you and Tracy and that’s all. And I only love you.

Me: Well, sweetie, I love you too, more than just about anything in the world. But I love other people too, you know.

C: You do?

Me: Sure. I love Daddy, and Mimi and Pop-Pop, and Tracy and Chris, and [list of basically our entire family tree]. You can love more than one person, and you can have lots of friends, there’s nothing wrong with that.

C: But I don’t want lots of friends, I just want you.

That’s around the point where I gave up. I decided I was going to talk to her teacher today to see if Catie’s acting a little reclusive and sad at daycare, or if she’s just saving it all up to work a guilt trip on me at home. I also think that if Catie knows that both her mommy and her teacher are onto her act, that might put an end to it.

Of course, today when I walked her in, we found out that it’s her teacher’s day off, so there was a fill-in daycare teacher instead. So that conversation will have to wait until tomorrow. (But, one plus: the fill-in teacher is someone who Catie knows and absolutely adores, so I know that if she whines about school when she gets home this evening, she’s full of horse puckey.)

But the thing is, yes, Catie whines about getting dressed for school in the morning, and she talks about hating it when we’re home at night. But as soon as we get there every day, she skips down the hall and is happy and excited to see her friends. She barely even takes two seconds to run over and kiss me good-bye. And on Sunday, she cried when I told her that it was the weekend and she COULDN’T go to school. (“But where are my friends???” *sob*sob*)

So what the hell, kiddo? What on earth are we going to do with you?

getting in the game

I’ve noticed a shift in the past few weeks since Catie has started full-time daycare. I mean, of course there’s an obvious shift in her. She comes home every day spouting some new random thing. A couple of weeks ago she was telling me about Obama and George Madison (I guess they were studying U.S. Presidents for President’s Day; she apparently confused George Washington & James Madison, but I like the mash-up of their names), and then this past week she pointed at her stuffed cow (which is supposed to look like the one from Mr. Brown Can Moo) and said, “That’s from Dr. Seuss. It’s his birfday. He’s 1-oh-2 old.” So I looked it up, and sure enough, that day was Dr. Seuss’s birthday. He would’ve been 106, not 102, but she was still damn close.

Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh right, changes in behavior.

No, some of the biggest changes are in me. I think I was probably like a lot of stay-at-home moms for a while, and I was guilty of often phoning it in with regards to childcare. During the day, the TV was usually tuned into a cartoon channel (regardless of whether or not she was watching it), I spent too much time goofing off on my computer, and we just didn’t do very much together for fun. The functional stuff, sure. Mealtimes, bedtimes, grocery shopping, whatever. But playing games and that type of thing? Those things tended to fall by the wayside. Often.

But now that she’s gone so much during the week, my time with her feels more precious. So this past weekend, we (FINALLY!) had some really gorgeous, sunny, semi-warm weather, and we took advantage of it by spending a lot of time outside.

at the playground

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I am that mom who you see on her iPhone at the playground, usually playing Words with Friends or goofing around on Twitter while my kid runs around playing. But this weekend, I made the conscious effort to not do that. I checked my iPhone once, when she sat down to drink some juice, but the rest of the time, I played with her, instead of being a bystander.

And it’s probably no big surprise, but we’ve had a truly fantastic weekend. We went to three different playgrounds in two days, we played with some neighborhood kids, our lunches were backyard picnics, we drew pictures in the driveway with sidewalk chalk, we blew bubbles, and we had long talks about birds and airplanes and fire hydrants and a million other things that you see every day but never really notice. It’s been a blast.

static hair

Normally when Catie goes to sleep, I’m so exhausted that all I can feel is a wave of relief that she’s finally asleep, because it means that I can finally go to bed myself. This weekend, though? I felt sort of sad because I missed my sidekick.

It’s strange how something like a fun weekend goofing off with my kid can validate my gut instinct that going back to work full-time was absolutely the right thing for me to do. It was the kick to the head that I needed to make me realize exactly how fleeting these childhood years are, and just how much I don’t want to miss any of it.