Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To My Former Self

Dear Former Pre-Parent Self,

Hello. I thought I would write you a letter because I have some knowledge to share after being a parent for the past 2.5 years. I would share this knowledge with others who are not yet parents, but would they really listen? No. Why do you ask? Because you wouldn't have listened... and you also wouldn't have "gotten" it either. Why does the world work that way? Why do we learn the lessons AFTER the fact. Why does experience hold such a weight in everything we do? I guess it just goes to show that each phase in life will have its own difficulties, but will also have its own wonderfulness that we should truly embrace. Because if we don't... it will be gone. AND we will be writing our former selves letters.

Ok listen self... the list below is supposed to be comical. I wouldn't change where I am at in my life for a moment. But sometimes I just stop and think... what DID I do before my little pumpkin girl was following me everywhere? How DID it feel to not have someone staring at your while you went the bathroom? How was it that I got to places on time? And how come I took the smallest things for granted?

So I bring you this list of tidbits...

1. Before when you cleaned the kitchen, which I know wasn't a horribly daunting task, you should have ENJOYED it more. Enjoyed the yogurt and crumbs that were not all over the floor. Enjoyed the silence while you rinsed off the plates and placed them in the dishwasher. Enjoyed the fact that you could clean it quite quickly without numerous stops along the way to go color a picture, change a diaper, wipe a nose or try to get a certain little person to stop asking for another snack. EMBRACE the quiet kitchen. EMBRACE the fact that you are not exhausted (at least you may think you are exhausted, but listen YOU AREN'T) and clean those pots with a vengeance!

2. Your body... what can I say? Going through pregnancy is really going to do a number on it. Listen to what our mother told us FOREVER... seriously listen to her and LOVE how your body is now. Because it will never be the same again. Of course you can get back to the size you were before the baby, even smaller, BUT if you are one of the unfortunate souls like us... you will have battle scars. Enough said.

3. WHY are you sitting on the couch!? Get out! Enjoy running out of the house on a whim because you want to eat at the cute Thai place down the road. It is so so much easier now to get out because you don't have to worry about anyone BUT yourself! Ah... what that must feel like. Remind me would you, please?

4. Give Willoughby another hug. Your sweet child-dog is going to turn into an actual dog the moment you have a child. Seriously... I know it is so hard to comprehend, but he will. Don't be such a stickler about who watches him if you go away for the weekend because when you become a parent you won't care as much... you have larger things to worry about.

5. You will have THAT child. Yes I know... you think you will never have "THAT" child, but you will! I am not talking about anything in particular right now, just know that your child will not always be a perfect angel. Yes your child will scream at some point in a store, yes she will have a fit while you are eating in a restaurant, yes she will not sleep very well at times and YES the only vegetable she will like for a year will be peas. My advice? Practice on not sweating the small stuff... it will come in handy.

6. Give you husband a kiss... ok now give him another one. Yes you can still give your husband a kiss now, but you might be too distracted at times or too exhausted to even fathom the idea of getting off of the couch at the end of a long hard day, covered in snot, to walk over to him and give him a kiss. So do it now. Treasure the time that you have alone... again yes you will be alone, at night after bedtime, but now you are alone alone and you will never be young and alone again. So drink it in! And that grocery shopping you do together that seems like a pain? Have FUN because you just have to worry about yourselves and not about the little person that may be yelling "YOGURT" the whole time.

You know, I am sure I could think of some other really silly things to tell you to enjoy now... but I can't think of them right now.  That's because a cute little mini you and Dhrumil is waking up from her nap and talking to herself right now, waiting for her mommy to come get her. The fact is that once you reach this stage in life, you will truly enjoy having your sweet little girl around. You will understand a love that is so different than you have ever felt before and you will marvel at the fact that even though you can't clean the kitchen in peace you feel more blessed than ever before. So now I guess I speak to my future self of tomorrow. ENJOY these moments even though some days may feel to be the hardest you have ever had. Being a mom is tough work, I know that, but guess what? You have had tough days before and in the end what matters is these times... easy or tough...will be gone in an INSTANT so embrace what comes... even if it is tinkle and poop on the floor.

Your wiser-by-the-moment self

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Country Living

So I am not sure if you would consider where I live the "country" per se. BUT it does take me twenty minutes to get anywhere and I live smack in the middle of fields so I say it is the country. Actually I believe this whole county in Pennsylvania is just like this... except for the "city" and so I just need to get used to it. Living in Connecticut and being able to go into New York City anytime I wanted has turned me into one major city mouse. Also a local commented on how we are smack in the middle of Amishville... so that is saying how different this area is from where we just moved.

I NEVER thought my heart would ache so for our former home... I guess most of all it is the friends and also the familiarity that I miss most.

Here is what I have learned so far about living in the "country"

This road is a mile from our house

- If you open the door for a SECOND 10 flies will come in. I have become QUITE the expert in killing them with a wad of newspaper. So much so that Mikayla now says... "mommy will get that with a paper"

- If you sleep with the windows open... be prepared to be awaken by the smell of animal poo. The other night both Dhrumil and I woke up at 3am and said to each other "AHHHH WHAT IS THAT SMELL, IT IS DROWNING ME" we tried to cover our noses with the blankets and that wouldn't even help... not pleasant.

- You have to plan to leave a little early wherever you go least you get stuck behind a... buggy, horse and large wagon, tractor... any kind of farm machinery.

- It is beautiful seeing the scenery here every day... especially the Amish working in the fields or the hot air balloons drifting over our house.

- There is produce at the end of almost every farm's driveway for DIRT cheap... now I just need to carry cash around.

- Following a GPS on country roads is not fun... the turns come quick and I have turned around in many an Amish driveway... or maybe it's called horseway ;-)

That's all I have for now. We are adjusting as much as we can for having been here only 6 weeks. This past weekend we experienced seeing Thomas the Train and also the whoopie pie festival which is where we saw the world's largest whoopie pie... What is a whoopie pie you ask? Pieces of cake with icing in the middle which amish women made "popular" when they created these treats with leftover cake. These people are serious about their whoopie pies and the were leaving the festival with BAGS full of these things.
Excited to be on Thomas!
Mikayla and Dhrumil's favorite thing to do... puzzles!
There he is!
First encounter
And this is why I gained 6 pounds my first month in PA....

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Baby Brother

It is hard to believe that there are only three and half months left before we meet our little man. We still do not have a name for him as Dhrumil and I can not yet agree. :) We have just been calling him baby brother since that is what we refer to him with Mikayla.

I think Mikayla is now used to the idea of there being a baby in mommy's tummy, though I know that she will not understand that magnitude of a new person coming to live with us until the day arrives. This morning Mikayla wanted me to get her ball that fell under the tv hutch... Dhrumil replied that mommy can't get it because of baby brother and she replied "take baby brother out" to which Dhrumil and I replied he can't come out until Christmas time.

My pregnancy is still going much smoother than the last though I am starting to feel very huge. So huge that I feel like my belly is leading me wherever I go. Since I have moved to Pennsylvania I have gained 6 pounds.... yes 6 POUNDS in 4 weeks. The tasty cakes, turkey hill ice cream, pretzels... well let's just say I do not want a huge baby if I can help it and ice cream has been replaced with cottage cheese and berries and the tasty cakes have been replace with celery and peanut butter. Blah.

My last appointment I had an ultrasound to follow up on everything with the rabies shot and I got to see him in 4d. Pretty incredible! He is quite the mover and my stomach is already making strange contortions.

At the moment I am measuring a week and a half ahead and the baby is a little over 2 pounds... in the 80%. I know that these things aren't completely accurate, so I guess we will just see. I am hoping that this birth will go as my first, but I know anything can happen. We just hired a doula and I am starting to realize I need to get moving on preparing my "nest"! I am also trying to prepare my mind once again with re-educating myself on natural birth. I feel like giving birth should be like jumping on a bicycle again, but I want to try to be as ready as possible.
26 Weeks and 2 days
We are so excited to meet baby brother. Now I just need to get moving on getting things that are not pink into our house!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Night Night Story

When Mikayla was nine months old she started going to day care a few hours a day. They had recommended to send along a stuffed animal of sorts that could act as her link to home and be a comfort to her. Up to that point she really hadn't attached herself to anything in particular. I decided to send along a pink bunny from my mom that was half stuffed animal and half blanket. 

Mikayla attached herself to this bunny rather quickly. Soon she had named it... unbeknownst to us. I can't remember how old she was, but I remember she said to me "night night" and I was so impressed that my daughter was asking to go to sleep! After I put her down, she wasn't really into it... I ended up realizing that she was asking for her bunny. And thus "Night Night" was born.

Night Night slept with Mikayla every night tightly clutched in her arms. If Mikayla was upset, she would hold Night Night and all would be ok. Night Night even accompanied her to her adenoid surgery. Such a sweet a special bond was formed between girl and pink bunny.

That is until Night Night was lost...

After Night Night had been SO many different places with us it was hard to fathom it was lost. 

Dhrumil and Mikayla went on a walk around our new neighborhood... something Mikayla loves to do now that she is free to walk alone because we have sidewalks. She always puts her favorite animals in her little stroller and likes to push them around. That day Dhrumil decided they would run for a portion... something I am still not sure how was accomplished... large man, little dog, two year old and doll stroller... all running down the sidewalk. Anyways they ran and Night Night fell out.

We didn't discover it was gone until bedtime... Dhrumil and I looked everywhere. Dhrumil even knocked on the doors of our new neighbors to ask if they had picked it up. But no Night Night to be found. I think I was even more sad than Mikayla... it was the end of her babyhood in my eyes... 

What to do that night!? How would she sleep? Well Dhrumil... having the mind that he has... spun a story. Night Night went to Never Land and would be back in a few days. It went there to get its "magic"... WHAT I said to him later... were you thinking? Why not to some pretty flower field in another country on vacation? Anyways Mikayla bought it and held onto a small pillow for the next few nights. Occasionally she would ask about Night Night and also when it was coming back from Never Land. 

Thank the LORD I found a Night Night replacement on Amazon and it came in the mail three days later. I have never seen such a happy girl when I brought Night Night to her before bed.

I was worried that she would see the pinkness was back and also the fluffiness... something the countless laundry cycles had erased long ago from "original" Night Night. Dhrumil and I both know how smart our little girl is and she said the following after I handed her Night Night...

"Night Night so FUZZY!"
"Night Night from mommy"
"Night Night different... two Night Nights"
"Night Night's face looks funny"
"Mimi SO happy Night Night is here"
And then she giggled uncontrollably... as IF she were saying... "aren't my parents cute, they think they are putting one past me, but they aren't, but I am just going to go along with it because this kinda looks like Night Night and they really tried so I don't want to hurt their feelings"

Maybe she wasn't really saying the last bit... but she knew something was up... though still insanely happy her best friend was back. Dhrumil spurted out... "Night Night got its magic from Never Land and that is what made it so pink and fuzzy!" Gotta love the guy... :)

I am just happy that my little girl is happy and that she still loves her little bunny... a small part of her babyhood is still clinging on!

Such a happy girl playing with her "new" Night Night