I just want a Baby Bump

I am not a patient person. So this pregnancy and I are not getting along. I am barely into my second tri and just impatient for my baby belly to get here. I have actually started wearing maternity clothes even though I don’t need to. I just like that I am pregnant and celebrate the fact by wearing maternity clothes. I cannot get enough information about the baby’s development and growth and of course have read well beyond my time in the pregnancy. This just means I am continuously anticipating what’s going to happen next.

I am savoring every part of my pregnancy, but so far I just feel normal. What’s the point? I don’t get any of the perks of pregnancy (like people giving up their seats on the CTA) and, even though I talk to Baby, I can’t feel Baby respond yet (but Baby is already moving arms and legs!). So Baby, come on and grow my stomach already! Mom’s ready.

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13 Weeks

I enjoy the number 13. I think it is a delightful number. It is the number of children my parents have. It is the date I was married on. I also enjoy that it freaks people out. So I revel in my enjoyment.

I am 13 weeks along with my first baby (hopefully with many more to come). In many ways Baby doesn’t feel real yet. She (no we don’t know the gender, but it is easier to pick on and go) is the size of a peach this week. My mom wanted to know why the size of the baby referred to food. I thought about it and agree with her. All the comparisons do is make me yearn for peaches (or plums or whatever the size is for the week). I guess most people have a pretty good understanding of what a peach looks like though and can better conceptualize the size.

Anyway, she is the size of a peach and is starting to reach exact proportions. Still, my stomach only looks bloated which just makes me feel fat, not pregnant. Aside from other signs (occasional morning sickness, heightened smell, and explosive breasts) I just don’t feel pregnant yet.

Matt and I are eagerly anticipating our baby already though. I cannot even imagine how surreal it must be for him. At least at some point I will feel the life growing inside me and begin to connect with her better. For Matt, he has to wait until she comes out before he really gets it (at least, I would have to wait until she came out if I wasn’t pregnant).

We talk to baby a lot and sing her songs. I think she will fit well into my loud rambunctious family because, let’s face it, I am probably the loudest and most rambunctious of the lot. In fact, though are household numbers three (we have a dog), we could make a reasonable run for loudest family in the apartment complex and possible loudest family of the block. But it’s a good loud, at least, I think it’s a good loud.

oh crap…is this baby entering hell??

HICKEYS!

Oh yes, this dear reader will hopefully turn into a delightfully entertaining post about hickeys. It has come to my attention that some of my friends have recently acquired hickeys from their partners. Yet, instead of owning the love marks, embarrassing and unbelievable excuses were made to explain away the neck bruises. So I thought how delightful, an opportunity to create a list of lame explanations for bruises of the neck.

So here it is, in no particular order and please feel free to add:

That Bruise isn’t a Hickey, I got it from…

curling my hair (who knew hot irons could suck?)
an allergic reaction to my new face lotion…that I rubbed all over my collar bones and neck line… and cleavage
an allergic reaction to my new make-up (no one told me where to apply it)
a spider bite (well it did happen at night, and I was laying in my bed)
a sport injury ( I guess men need excuses too, but really?):
I got hit in the neck by a baseball/golf ball/basketball/football/tennis ball/etc.
trying to unplug my vacuum (I guess I forgot to shut it off)
And my person favorite
his chin hair rubbing against my neck, I have sensitive skin. (true excuse)

Ode to Refugee and Immigrant Community Services

Today was the last day at my internship. For those of you who don’t religiously read my blog, I interned from August to today at Heartland Human Care Services (HHCS), a partner of Heartland Alliance. Specifically I worked in Youth and Family Services (YFS) a sub-department in Refugee and Immigrant Community Services (RICS). Is that enough acronyms for you yet? Non-profits are almost as good as the government at creating useless jargon slang.

Anyway, my time at Heartland was so amazing that I could barely bring myself to say goodbye. In fact, I didn’t, I am volunteering to help out with summer programming (yes, I did sign up for beach day). Heartland, and RICS in particular, is such a unique and amazing place to work. Members of my cohort are traumatized by some of their internships and more than a few have reconsidered their career choice as a result. Everyday I went into my internship was a good day. It was such an amazing atmosphere to work in and I dread leaving it knowing that so few places manage to balance friendliness and professionalism.

Not only was it a great place to work because of the environment and staff, but every person who works there is a valued member of the team. I never felt critiqued when I offered suggestions in a situation and was surprised when a few of my thoughts actually were helpful and implemented.

Probably the greatest part of my internship were the participants. From the department names I hope you gathered that I worked with Refugee and Immigrant Youths and their families (this also includes asylees). I cannot put into words the impact the participants had on my life. I really feel like I learned so much from them and that they offered me opportunities to see the world in a unique way. From humor to food to language to gender roles and beyond, the participants showed me how many styles exist. I adore the people I met and am sad that I won’t see them .

However, I cannot seem to find an urge to frown or express my sadness and loss. The program I left has so much going for it and so many new and exciting ideas constantly being added to it’s already stellar calendar. It is a place of progress and pushing limits. It is a place where new ideas or welcomed and all the voices are heard.

Baby Trueblood

So I have been holding in the good news since April 2nd, but I can FINALLY let it out! Matt and I are expecting our first child November 30th!!! Basically, this is why I have not been writing ANYTHING on my blog. I am the WORST with secrets. I just can’t keep the good news to myself. I have to just tell it. So, in order to tell all the people we wanted to tell before it went on the internet, I cut myself off from writing, facebooking, and texting. I’ve gone underground!! But now I can tell all everyone: I am having a baby– which is so amazing and feels like a miracle (probably because it is a miracle). So expect a lot of baby posts. And now for your viewing entertainment:

More on Dyzio

Okay so I promised myself I would not turn into one of those crazy people who treats her dog like a person and talks about it to EVERYONE, but then I realized I have nothing else to write about and at least my dog offers some entertainment.

His recent caper: destruction of his new toy for the ball. We just bought him this toy that had two tennis balls on it, one on either side of a rope. He went nuts when he got it. He was rolling around with it in his mouth and acting very dog, but alas, the dog-like behavior was not meant to last. He suddenly stopped chewing on the ball and playing tug-of-war with himself. He starts munching on the rope tying the ball to the toy. Felt and strings are flying and all I can think is: great, now he’s going to throw up again. There is no way he managed to chew the rope without swallowing some of it, just not a possibility; he was shredding it.

At first I just thought it was another one of his weird quirks. He chews everything. He chewed my travel neck pillow over his rawhide. This is why we got the toy, because we thought he would enjoy chewing the main part of the rope. I was getting my panic on when suddenly he popped a ball off one end. Our dog loves balls. Currently he has three squeaky balls rolling around our apartment and now a holey ball from his toy. I am pretty sure he is a ball horder. Sometimes we come home and he is sitting on the couch with all his ball surrounding him; like he is king of apartment.

So our dog destroyed his toy for a ball. I guess it teaches us a valuable lesson. Just give him balls don’t waste our money on chew toys. On a side note, does anyone know if you can give a dog a racquet ball? His mouth is a little too small for a tennis ball and a racquet ball would fit perfectly.

Happy Birthday Dear ____

Tomorrow I am faced with another birthday. It’s not that I don’t like aging and all the glories that come with it (slower metabolism, bad knees, etc.), I actually love each year of my life and I have never wanted to “turn back the clock”. Granted, I will be turning twenty-two, not a real “where has my life gone” birthday, but I am satisfied with my life, more than satisfied, and very eager for what the future will bring.

No, the reason I am not looking forward to my birthday is because there will be a lot of attention focused on me. I hate having the spotlight on me. I don’t like when people say nice things about me or point out what I am doing. I like to deflect when that happens. When people tell me I dress nice, usually when I am wearing a skirt or dress, I say “Thanks, I couldn’t find any pants this morning.” When people compliment a shirt “I like that color” I say “me too, it’s very bright”. My goal is to keep the focus away from me. I have a hard time listening to praise for a job well done. I don’t think I should get kudos for doing the tasks assigned to me at my internship.

Which leads to my birthday. I don’t like the idea of a whole day focused on me. Maybe growing up in a big family has something to do with it, but I am not used to standing alone in the limelight. I shared all of my birthday’s with my older sister Theresa and that suited me just fine. Even my surprise sweet sixteen party I shared with T (she turned 18), and it was excellent. I would rather be baking cakes and throwing parties for my friends then having people do that for me. Luckily, as you get older, fewer people give you presents or call you or even remember it is your big day. Still, with Facebook around, a lot more people than I feel comfortable with wish me happy.

It’s not that I think I don’t deserve to have attention on my birthday. I just don’t know why I must have so much attention. Can’t everyone just wish me happy birthday all at once and get it over? This year my birthday will drag over at least two days. The staff at my internship found out it is my birthday and want me to find some way to celebrate (go out to lunch, or get treats, or something). I just don’t know how to politely say yes, but I also don’t know how to graciously accept.

It’s something I have always struggled with. It reminds me of when Jesus washes the feet of his disciples and Simon Peter declares that Jesus will never wash his feet. Can you imagine how uncomfortable it must have been for these men to have their leader kneeling before them performing the role of a servant? It would be unbearably agonizing. And that is how I feel when people focus on me. I should be the server, not the served. One of my greatest struggles is accepting that at different times I need to be both the served and the server. So this year on my birthday, I am going to pray for a little extra grace and humility to humbly accept all the unearned well wishes.