Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yes, We're All Still Okay

Oh, how I wish I had the energy to blog more often.  Please understand, I am not complaining.  (Well, maybe I am, but...)  I am willing to sacrifice all sorts of things (feeling well, my physical shape, my sanity) for the sake of having one more little peanut to call my own. I am just missing my old levels of energy.

The fatigue and nausea are relentless.

After preschool today, Jillson's teacher pulled me aside to tell me that Jillson has been really slow to get her things accomplished at school.  Everything from coloring a page to walking across the playground is taking her forever.  Apparently, she is staring into space, contentedly smiling at her friends, or just getting lost in her own imagination a bit too much.  The teacher asked me if I had any idea why Jillson might be acting this way.  All I could think of (but did not say) was that she is just imitating her mother's recent space cadet behavior.*

At the moment, going to the gym is my priority, and that's sometimes all I can handle in a day.  The rest of the day I seem to have very little to show for my efforts, and this is frustrating for someone who (a) loves to get things done and (b) chose the word MOTIVATE to get her through the year.  Let me tell you, there is no amount of motivation that can get my exhausted butt off the couch some days.

I am just about 16 weeks along, and I am desperately hoping that by 20 weeks I will experience some of that fabled "second trimester energizer bunny" stuff.

Enough whining.

Our Spring Break car trip extravaganza was, on many levels, successful.  The kids were pretty awesome with the long days in the car.  My parents were pretty awesome with their long days watching the kids.  And our real estate agent also turned out to be pretty awesome.  I am ready for some coastal living, sun dresses, sun hats, flip flops, and sweet tea.

And for the unapologetic return of the term y'all to my vocabulary.

With no elegant segue whatsoever, I now present to you a few photographic highlights from Spring Break. (Click on any photo to see a larger, properly framed version. For some reason, Blogger is chopping these off.)

Helping water the plants at Meme and Kiki's:

A trip to the Salty Dog:

A few shots of our soon-to-be (if all goes well at the closing) home:

And, finally, the gratuitous beach shots:

Much love & sunshine,
The Gutsy Mom.

*I did speak with Jillson about her recent "slowness" at preschool, and Jillson explained that she tries to get her brain to do things more quickly, but that her brain is just so bossy sometimes and it tells her to do things slowly. We talked about how to overcome this for a little bit, but the conversation was pretty surreal.  I asked her if there were other things on her mind that were bothering her, and she said she was just sad to be moving away from all her friends, and that she does not want to make new friends in Georgia because she will just have to move again. This makes me so sad. I know how she feels.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Gutsy Dad's Dream Car

Ladies & Gentlemen,

I hereby announce that I will have to eat crow.  For years I have teased and derided my mommy friends who, one by one, have caved to the minivan craze.  Never!  I told them.  I will never drive a minivan.  I cannot be that person.  I will never be THAT MOM.  Well.  Just goes to show you that you should never say never.

For years I have been saying that we don't need a minivan.  There's nothing it could do for a family of four that our trusty Outback couldn't handle.  Until now, that has been absolutely true.  Faced with the prospect of becoming a family of five (seven if you count the fur children) and faced with the prospect of roadtripping from Kansas to Savannah several times in the next few months, not to mention the future roadtrips all up and down the east coast... it didn't take me very long to see the writing on the wall.

Yes, it IS possible to fit three car seats across in many vehicles, including the ones we own, and yes, we could have done that.  But then add in the dogs and the luggage and the grownups and the desire to be able to pick up other people's children from school or have everyone fit into one car when visitors are in town, and you are left with very few options.

I briefly considered getting an SUV or, as they now seem to be called, a crossover just so I wouldn't have to say I drive a minivan.  But on all fronts, the minivans rate better:  better fuel economy, better safety ratings, and they are much cheaper.  I couldn't forego all that just for the sake of my pride.

So, last week, it happened.  My husband got his "second wish," as getting something you really, really want is called in our family.  (I'll have to tell you that story another time.)  For well over eight years the man has been secretly and not-so-secretly lusting after the minivans.  I tell you it takes a man who has a deeply rooted sense of his own manhood to lust after a minivan.  Every time we would borrow my parents' minivan or on the occasions when we had to rent one The Gutsy Dad has been eager for me to love it as much as he does, grinning over at me in the passenger's seat, his hands proudly on the steering wheel as if to say, Now isn't this just sooooo nice?

When I gave him the green light, it happened quickly.  There was market research conducted amongst our minivan driving friends, in parking lots at the gym and the preschool, over lunch with colleagues, before and after seminars, with complete strangers at the grocery store.  There were late night surfing sessions devoted to Consumer Reports and Carmax and Edmunds.  And then, within days, there was a brand, spanking, new minivan sitting in our garage.

It appeared over night.  In the morning, the Gutsy Dad took the kids out into the garage to show them the new wheels.  The first words out of Madelyn's mouth? "Oh, Mommy, you got dore Mommy-Van." (dore=your.)  This immediately harkened back to the day when I was shopping with Jillson when she was two and she cried out, "Oh, look, Mommy!  Vacuums!  Your favorite!"

Nevertheless, I tried not to cringe (especially because I already liked the damn thing) and I just responded with a "Yes.  Mommy got a van."

Yours in all humbleness,
The Gutsy Mom

PS:  There is nothing mini about a minivan.  The thing is a boat, no matter how sexy my husband thinks it is.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Telling

On Saturday morning, the Gutsy Dad and I were snuggling in bed with the girls.  We decided the time was right to share some big news with them.  It went a little something like this:

Gutsy Dad: Well, girls, guess what?
Jillson: What?
GD, after a dramatic pause: There is a new baby growing inside Mommy!
J, immediately in squeal mode: A REAL BABY?!
Gutsy Mom: Yes, a real one.
J, turning to her sister and throwing her arms around her: Oh, Maddie!  Now you can be a big sister, too!
Maddie, leaning forward and patting my belly: Zit twins?
GM: No, there's only one.
J: Are you SURE?
GM: Yes, the doctor told Mommy there is only one baby in there.
J: Mommy!  So that's why your belly is so big!
GD stifles laughter; GM makes mental note for future sensitivity training.
GM: Yes, that's right.

My favorite part is that Jillson (after her brief fact-checking moment) thought immediately of her sister.  And I think Maddie's inquiry stems from the fact that, in anticipation of this conversation, "Big Sister Dora" has been in pretty heavy rotation around here.  (In that episode, Dora'a mami gives birth to twins.)

We've been wondering whether Madelyn, being only two, would really comprehend the news.  But she was thrilled to share the week's highlights with her buddies at church, saying "We gotta baby in Mommy's belly, and I gotta new sippy cup!"  (I think I should be pleased that the baby news took top billing on Sunday, because the new sippy cup has completely eclipsed the new baby in the last few days.)

So there you have it, folks.  One more Gutsy Kiddo is on the way... set to arrive in early September.

Glowing & exhausted,
The GM