I am being induced on Thursday, after once again going past my due date for this pregnancy. Adriyanna, if you don't recall, was also two weeks overdue. Apparently babies like it in there. Little Jay, according to the ultrasound (which can e off, but is pretty accurate) is approaching 9 pounds now, so it's time for him to be finished "marinating" as my mom likes to say.
I'm feeling the 9-month mark of exhaustion pretty strongly. The baby saps all your energy, you're big as a house, and during your first pregnancy, that's OK, but doing that while chasing around a toddler and working full-time can get tiring, I admit.
To help ease that a bit, my parents took Adriyanna for the last few days. While that has made it immeasurably easier for me to take naps when needed, relax a little more and put my (swollen) feet up on the couch, it's also been VERY difficult. I've never been away from her for more than 36 hours (Friday night to Sunday morning is the longest) since she was born nearly two years ago now.
I've been talking to her on the phone every night (as much as you can talk to a toddler) and she says "Mama?" "Mama Bsby"... (she loves her little brother already, and he's not even here yet) and it's hard for me not to cry, but I don't want to upset her, so I choke it back and tell her how much I love her, miss her, and that I'm just working hard this week, and I'll see her soon. ("Soon?" she says, hopefully, just killing me inside.) I'm going to see her tomorrow, and I'm just counting the hours until she's back with me.
As hard as it's been on me, I know it's the right thing for her. I've been pretty tired, sometimes crabby, and she doesn't deserve that. My mom's taken a few days off work to spend the extra time with her. She spent a day on the boat, a day in the pool, a day with her cousins, who I've really wanted her to be closer with, and lots of trips to the ice cream store and park and more, so I know this has just been such a treat for her.
Still, I'm ready to have my baby back. I'm ready to come home again to a big smile, and wake up earlier in the morning than I want to because I hear little giggles coming from her bedroom. I'm ready for my big sliding glass door, which as been clean for six whole days, to be covered with little handprints on the bottom three feet. I'm ready to have Cheerios down my bra and big open-mouthed kisses before bedtime. I'm ready for the 13th rendition of "Where the WIld Things Are" in a day (Sarah, she LOVES that, by the way, thank you so much) and to chastise her away from kitchen utensils. Six days of quiet, sleeping in, trips to the mall andd movies and life the way it was before Adriyanna was here... except now an always-clean apartment-- has made me realize whow much my life has changed in the past two years.
Ha. I'm so sorry about the last few cryptic posts. It seems like either I don't post at all, or I only have time to write these short little posts that tell about 1 percent of the story. BUT, despite my last little post (which was mostly just my dark sense of humor coming through) I'm fine... this pregnancy has caused me to develop gestational diabetes, so I'll get to experience .0000001 percent of what stellablue3682 goes through for the next couple months. So far, it involved me in the hospital for four hours of needle poking and testing and then being held for "observation" a good while after that when I didn't react well to the pokes. ha. Next step is changing my lifestyle until baby comes, which is really nothing to complain about because I don't have to change my lifestyle for the rest of my life, thankfully. He's also made me severely anemic and therefore, extremely tired, which is another lame excuse for the lack of postings. Once I finish working, I muster up all my strength to play with Adriyanna and once she's in bed, I'm lucky if I can keep my eyes open to 10 for Grey's Anatomy, ha. I feel horrible for my being tired infringing on her time, but she is such a sweet girl, it's almost like she genuinely understands. Instead of our usual park outings, she seems OK with curling up on my lap and watching "Wheel of Fortune" and reading books together. She's so sweet. I'm a little worried about her feeling left out when the new baby comes, but she loves babies so much, I'm thinking she'll fall right into the big sister role. I try to talk to her a lot about the baby coming and how much mama and papa love her and how that won't change at all.
I also realize the post that ANNOUNCED my pregnancy to most of you was also lackluster... again, due mostly to the fact that I'm too tired at night to get it out!! But, I'm due in July (beginning or end depending on who you ask, haha) and SO excited. I'm a little nervous about dealing with a boy, they scare me! But infinitely grateful to be expanding my family with another one to love!
It didn't take me long to realize that with Adriyanna, fun doesn't have to make any sense at all. In fact, some of the most fun sense is nonsense. For instance, I just invented a game. I'm brilliant like that. It's called Wadded Little Pieces of Paper. We take scrap pieces of paper and wad them up into little balls. The most fun thing in the world to do with these balls, of course (duh!) is stick them into the necks of our shirts. I stick it in Adriyanna's shirt, and she digs it back out, bringing it up triumphantly with a giant grin, giggling like a madwoman. She knows it's silly, but it's fun! She puts it down my shirt, waiting for my reaction. I fake shock and then immediately go in search of my own little wadded up piece of paper, holding it up like a trophy when I find it. She giggles even harder, and the game continues. This can go on for minutes! And minutes, let me tell you, is a long time in the attention span of a toddler. :)
These games do have funny little side effects. For instance, one morning last week, I was undressing Adriyanna out of her pajamas and out fell at least three little wadded up pieces of paper. I just laughed.
So, I was on the phone chatting with my mom yesterday while Adriyanna was playing in her room. I was standing in the kitchen making spaghetti for her dinner when I noticed it was very quiet in her room (this often indicates something is wrong), so I peek in to see what's going on. No Adriyanna to be found.
I start walking around the apartment -- which, while it's a good-sized two-bedroom place, is still AN APARTMENT -- looking for the headful of dark, curly hair bobbing around. The apartment is 99.9 percent Adriyanna-safe, so I'm more curious than worried. She's not in the kitchen, she didn't sneak into my bedroom and she's not in the living room or the dining room. The bathroom doors are all tightly shut. I peer around the hallway to see if she tried to make a break for it (she recently figured out how to open the apartment door and escape into the real world. This has caused a few panic attacks, but I've learned to keep it deadbolted. She's way too damn smart for her own good.) Nope, the door is safely locked. Hmm. Now I'm starting to worry a little.
"Adriyannnnnna," I call out, expecting her to answer me my bounding toward me, as she usually does. No luck. "Adriyaaaaaaaannna," I try again. "Where are you??"
I hear a little giggle, but I'm not sure where it's coming from. I turn around in circles like a goofy puppy searching for my little sweetie.
I hear another giggle.
Following her tiny little laugh, I finally see the culprit's hiding place. She's hidden herself under a blanket in the hall closet and is peering out at me from underneath, grinning ferociously.
Once discovered, she stopped trying to hold in her giggles and erupted in one of those deep, from-the-belly laughs that can't be stopped.
She is so pleased with herself she can barely contain it -- she has fooled mom! Mom didn't know where she was! She has discovered her very own hiding place, and there she sat, peeking out from the tiny crack in the door and giggling like a madwoman.
I get down on the floor at her level and kiss her soft, sweet little cheeks. "Yup, you fooled mama," I tell her, and she nods proudly.
As Adriyanna gets older and older -- she just passed the 18-month mark two weeks ago! -- her language skills are really starting to develop. She babbles in a foreign language to herself and anyone who'll listen, and, in a sure sign of genius, can even string together a few words to create short little sentences. For three days, we worked on "All done" as a replacement to whining when she wants out of her high chair after dinner. Now she says it on an hourly basis. This is the downfall of teaching your children things... they inevitably end up using it against you. Every time Adriyanna is doing something she doesn't want to be doing anymore, it's "All Done." Like when she's sitting in her car seat, 15 minutes into the 3-hour drive to Grandma's house, it's "All Done." And the more she has to say it, the louder and more demanding she becomes. Still, it's progress. And there's something simply unexplainable about watching the human brain develop. She learns more in an hour than we adults take in over the course of weeks.
She also learns things I don't INTEND necessarily to teach her. (This is why Sammy and I have to be especially careful to start being more diligent about nixing the four-letter words). Like, when she's doing something naughty, I say to her, "no-no-no-no-no-no." So she quickly picked up what THAT meant and now, I'm often told the same. She's quite a bossy little thing, I tell you. I frequently tell her "Adriyanna, we don't boss around adults." And she gives me this nasty look I thought only teenagers were capable of delivering. ::sigh:: And so it begins.
But as bossy and demanding as she is, she's also got the heart of an angel. At daycare, she strokes the newborn baby's forehead with one soft little finger, caressing her and saying "Baby -- gentle; Baby -- gentle" over and over again. And me, being mom, I get to receive the most dirty looks, but also the most gentle caresses.
I taught her something else unintentionally, too. It must be a million times a day that I scoop her into my arms, rub her back and tell her "Mama loves you." Since the day she was born I've been doing this, so I never really thought that last week, when she ran into my arms and patted my back and said "Wuv-wu" that's what she was saying.
There are no words to describe the feeling of a tiny person in your arms -- a person who did not exist before you created them, before they came from your body, but more importantly, a person you have fed and bathed and hugged and loved every day of her life and soothed every owie and cried millions of tears for -- telling you she loves you.
No words could do that justice.
P.S. -- She said the same thing to Grandpa when he was cradling her in his arms the other weekend during our visit. His face lit up with a million-watt smile when he realized she was professing her undying love to him. I don't think I've ever seen a man so happy. I didn't have the heart -- although I thought it smugly to myself -- to let him know she said it to me first.
Adriyanna isn’t too much of a talker yet. She’s right on par as far as the developmental books tell you (I know, because I obsessively read them), but I’m dying to know what’s going on in that little brain of hers. She can say mama and papa and kitty and puppy and no... you know, all life’s most important words. But mostly she just talks in her own little language, babbling away in a foreign tongue that I’m positive other 1-year-olds understand perfectly.
But just as I wished she would walk and now I just wish she would sit down, I know I’ll be dying for a moment’s peace when she starts talking. Although I’m not sure I could get sick of that sweet little voice and hearing what she has to say.
And I know I’m impatient, but I also know it’s going to come soon enough. I can tell because she is understanding more and more of what I am saying to her. She got one of those magnetic drawing boards for Christmas, and she loves to sit in my lap and draw pretty pictures.
“Is that a pretty picture for mama? Did you make that for mama?” I asked her, kissing her soft cheek and thanking her for her devotion to her beloved mommy.
Then she lets me know what’s what. She shakes her head violently no and points at the door — the same door she runs to as soon as she hears the deadbolt unlocking every evening when Sammy comes back from work.
“Papa,” she says. “Papa.”
OK, I get it. The pretty picture is not for me.
I think there must be something to the whole notion of “playing hard to get.” I am available to Adriyanna every second I am home, giving her my undivided attention while I prepare dinner, feed her, bathe her, change her, brush her hair, read her books, play with her and live devoid of TV or adult entertainment until her head hits the pillow. I sit cross-legged on the floor so I am on her level, and she backs her little diapered tushy onto my lap, her own personal armchair, showing me her latest find or bringing over her beloved monkey book for me to read to her.
Sammy, on the other hand, is daddy. She looks at him with starry eyes, watching his every move. She loves the challenge of earning his attention while he’s sleeping, pulling the blankets away from his face and bestowing precious kisses all over his face. I have to beg for kisses, and even then, she only delivers them on her own terms. She prances in front of him when he watches TV, dancing for his entertainment and bringing him presents. When I try to tickle her, she lets out a high-pitched wail and wriggles away. When he wrestles with her, she giggles and wraps her chubby arms around his neck.
And I’m not going to pretend I’m not a little bitter that he’s earned her undying love when I’m the one who does most of the butt-wiping, face-stuffing and book-reading. But there’s nothing more beautiful than the sight of them cuddled up in bed together, drawing a picture of three little stick figures holding hands.