Monday, March 30, 2009

keep dreaming

So one really awesome side effect of pregnancy are vivid dreams. In my real life, I rarely even remember my dreams. But this life is a whole new ball game. Perhaps it's my hourly treks to the great white throne that give me ample opportunities to remember my dreams, but generally speaking, they are pretty boring. Just real life stuff.

(Oh except for that one time when Jess flew [with his arms] from Salt Lake to Lake Powell [instead of biking, as he's currently planning on and training to do], and I was oh-so-proud of his strong, flapping arms.)

But usually they're more normal. A problem at work. A conversation with Jess.

Last night, I was back home in St. George. I had had the baby, and I was out walking around the block, getting some exercise. It was night time, and the street lamps threw their big circles of light down, just like they did for years during my nightly runs, around and around the block. But this time I was only walking. I said hi to all the neighbors that were out walking too, just as they do in real life. We were all happy about the new baby, pausing to stop and chat every now and then.

And I was happy to be out, using my legs, even if it was just a brisk walk.

I turned the corner where you hit the homestretch to my house and suddenly realized that I could run.


And I did.

And my legs got stronger and stronger. And I kept running. I ran past my house. Past the evenly spaced culs de sac that I've seen so many times before. Through the familiar beams of light that make our neighborhood feel so safe. My legs feeling so at home, like they had taken a deep breath for the first time in a long time.

And it felt so good.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the ironies of pregnancy

(according to mwah)

1. I can exercise all I want, but I only get wider. In fact, if I walk around too much, it's likely that I'll not slim down, but actually swell up, hands made of sausage links, my feet excellent paddles. It is at those times that I'm pretty sure pregnant women would make excellent floatation devices. I can picture it. I'm at the city pool, fingers and toes swollen in the sun. Someone falls in, can't swim. They say, "Grab the pregnant woman." And they toss me in. I float.

Paper reads: "Drowning Child Saved by Clinging to the Swollen Toes of Pregnant Woman."

2. I eat so often these days that food has become unappealing. It's like I'm literally sick of eating. This is something I never thought possible. Food and I go way back. I mean, I give food more attention than I give most people - I'm either saying "No, I will not eat you 53rd piece of chocolate cake," or I'm telling that same piece of cake just how in love I am. In any case, now, I don't even want to have a conversation. Most the time I wish it would just leave me alone.

3. At the time of my life when I probably feel the most tired I have ever felt, I've sworn myself off caffeine. I have never wanted an ice cold Dr Pepper more than I do at about 4 p.m., driving home from work, propping toothpicks in my eyes to keep them open. I think I'll have someone bring a bottle in while I'm giving birth. For motivation. And the doctor will say, "It's a Gender!" And then I'll hold that baby so close.

With one arm.

Because the other will be cradling the Dr Pepper.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

the parenting begins

So Jess and I have decided that brainwashing will definitely be a part of our parenting style. And we've decided it's never too early to start such parenting practices:

This is, of course, assuming that our child is highly developed and can learn by osmosis.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

sweet dreams

So I've figured it out.

The reason babies keep their new parents up all night is not actually because they're hungry, cold, have a diaper they'd prefer be changed, want some extra love, etc. It's actually something that can be blamed on the mother. And the point of blame begins even before the baby is born. Think about it. For nine months, the poor thing is consistently awakened all through the night (at least every fifty three minutes) when Mom gets up to waddle her way into the bathroom. Baby's just trying to get some quality shut eye, but can't even complete a proper REM cycle due to Mommy's new bathroom habits. (Granted, Baby is essentially the reason Mommy's habits have changed, BUT STILL. Where do you expect the poor thing to wedge its foot? It only has so much room to work with.)

Not Baby's fault.

Since this discovery, I've tried to be very discreet in my nighttime treks to the Ladies. I sort of slither out of bed, slide my belly off the side in a nice fluid motion, and glide into the bathroom, thereby keeping Baby's sleep interruptions to a minimum.

Pretty sure that upon its entrance into this world, Green Baby will thank me for my efforts with long nights of uninterrupted sleep.

(A girl can dream.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

jolly green baby

So I'm pretty sure that the little person I'm toting around in my mid region is of the male variety. Why, you ask?

Call it mother's intuition, maybe my gut just says so (it should, after all, have a say, given its size these days). Perhaps you could call it: "I'm convincing myself it's a boy now so that when it doesn't come out with a pink bow on its head, I won't cry."

Whatever the case, I'm pretty sure we have ourselves the fifth Jess Cheney on our hands (the name is handed down - middle name is an ever growing debate). However, because I'm not 100% certain, I've put myself in the predicament of paralyzing my shopping abilities (thereby relieving Jess' wallet from experiencing some of my best skills, those of spending cash on small outfits and tiny accessories that may or may not actually be useful). I can't buy pink or blue, which usually reduces me to a heap of disregard for all things baby merchandise, putting it off until another day when I can embrace the neutral.

(I know what you're thinking - I did this to myself - I know.)

However, when the mama showed up with this little number, my heart started to dance inside. Green is a lovely color. Not boy. Not girl. Not yellow. (Which is way too neutral. And too happy for someone who just loves pregnancy as much as I do.) A lovely, fresh, clean color. So now the baby is referred to as Green Baby. And I'm really loving my little Green Baby, thumping around in my belly.

Grow Green Baby, grow. Like the green things do. Although they're chlorophyll based, and I'd prefer if you had legs, not roots.

P.S. I've already ordered a really cute boy pattern for a blanket. Grow Green Baby Boy, grow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

mommy 'n' me

So as long as it doesn't involve a sewing machine, my mom can do anything. (In our home, the sewing machine is against the Word of Wisdom. We don't eat it. And we don't use it.) It's not that she can't sew, it's that she doesn't like to sew. But really, who cares about sewing when you have Theresa (our friend and seamstress extraordinaire) living two doors down? :) (Seriously. I think the woman could whip up a stack of pancakes with some thread and a needle.) And it doesn't matter that my mom doesn't sew because this is usually how things go in my life:

Upon moving into new apartment and finding my dryer not connected to the wall. Push Mom's speed dial.
Me: "Um, hi. The little accordion like silver thing that is suppose to go into the dryer is not connected. Do I use this other wire thingy to attach it?"

Of course she knew.

When cooking salisbury steak, after realizing I don't actually have that ingredient that I should naturally have in my fridge: horseradish. (Seriously? Who really likes horseradish.)
Me, text: "So I don't have horseradish for my salisbury steak. Go without? Or put in something else."
Mom, text: "Try a 1/2 t of garlic salt."

The salisbury steaks were delish. And my fridge thanks me for the continued absence of a material that received its name when a quadruped had an unfortunate run in with a vegetable.

When looking online at Etsy shops, where they sell cute baby items that I KNOW I could make if I just had a mom to teach me (where could I find one of those...).
Me, email: "So you know that edging crochet thing you do on baby blankets? Does it have a name? Can you teach me? Where do I get the blankets?"
Mom, email: "It's called crocheting. And I can get the blankets here with the little holes punched in them. And yes, I can teach you."

She brought blankets.

And she brought with her a recipe that so closely duplicates Cafe Rio, I began salivating a week ago when I heard about it. (Fresh Mex is not in vogue here.) She also brought cinnamon bunnies (because apparently bears are not in vogue in Utah), as I can't find any gummy cinnamon candies in Durham. She brought my favorite chocolate candies from Brazil. But most importantly, she brought my mommy, she brought home.

She's quite the woman. And this whole about to be a mom thing makes me so highly aware of her, her accomplishments, her commitment to raising four daughters from start to finish. (By the way, she's not finished. As long as we're her babies, she won't be finished, which pretty much means she's stuck with my incessant questions until the end of time. And I love that about her.) She is brilliant, accomplished, loving. She inspires me to be the kind of mom that she was and always will be to me. Always there, always has the answers, always listening. It would be a dream if my babies could love me and look up to me as much as I do her. If I could just be half the mom she is, I'm pretty sure I'll consider myself a rock star.

And thank goodness I don't have to sew to become one.

P.S. Why yes, my face is getting more round. THANKS FOR ASKING.
P.P.S. Why yes, she's my mom, NOT MY SISTER. :)
P.P.P.S. Why yes, I'd love to have her genes

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

steady now

So I realized today that not only would I personally love it if my husband could try this pregnant body on for size, but that actually he would be better at it.

I am a little ball of stress for the most part. Usually, my insides are gnarled up, worrying about a project at work, a family member who is sad, whether or not I'm going to trip down the stairs. I tend to worry, worry, worry. This may be because disaster tends to follow me. If there's something to trip over, I will find myself on my face. Even when I attempt to avoid disaster by stepping over an obstacle in view.

So being pregnant, while it has its physical stresses (HOLY CRUD, I SWEAR MY STOMACH GREW AN INCH - IN AN HOUR), the mental and emotional stress is something that tends to wipe me out. More than once, Jess has found his wife in a heap of sobs, not because I'm feeling particularly irrational, as pregnant women are wont to do, but mostly because I'm worried. When something in my body feels off or hurt, I no longer have the regular stress of thinking about my own needs, but also of a little person. Who I can't see. Who I can't cater to because I have no way to even guess its needs at this point.

Last week I started feeling some strange pain-like feelings in my abdomen. Pain of any sort in any part of one's belly when one is with child is generally a reason to have a STRESS FEST. But I asked my BFF Google what might be wrong and came to the pretty certain conclusion that it was simply round ligament pain. Bothersome, but manageable. But when the pain began to resonate more soundly on the left side of my abdomen, I began to worry. Of course. I mean appendicitis is often indicated by pain in the right, so maybe there's some random problem in pregnancy indicated by left side discomfort?? I tried not to stress, and Jess was good at convincing me I was okay, but after a few days, I called the nurse. She listened to my symptoms and then assured me that she was positive I was dealing with round ligament pain.

It's a relatively common pregnancy side effect, but it still causes me stress (and sometimes severe discomfort). Sometimes I lay on the bed just holding my belly waiting for a nudge, as though Baby might feel me. Just to know that even though my body is under physical strain, Baby is still rolling around. And Jess remains calm through it all. Granted, he doesn't have the growing belly and its accompanying side effects, but he remains steadily confident that my body will be strong, that the baby will keep kicking. He talks to my belly without doubt or question, patient to wait for Baby's arrival.

I'm grateful for the steady nature of my husband and wish I could find a bit of steadiness in my own stressful existence. I'm confident that he'd be amazing at this carrying a child task simply because he is good at removing undue stress from his life, at remaining calm, at not tripping over unseen objects. But I suppose I'll take this job for now, and I'll remain grateful that when Baby is here, Jess will still be steady, a steady husband, a steady dad, the steadiness that I need.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

dear baby cheney:

I know you're still hiding in the comfort of my belly, but already you're teaching me patience. You'll come to find out that your mom is not the patient parent. Your dad is. So waiting for you is like watching the grass grow. I swear the more I wait, the longer it takes. But in the past few days, finally, I've been feeling you kick (I think...could be gas ;) ). I've been waiting 21 weeks to feel you kick. I treasure my otherwise slightly mundane doctor's appointments (stepping on the ever tipping scales and "lab tests" that involve a small cup are really not that thrilling) for one reason: I get to hear your heart beat. The doctor wiggles that wand around my belly, there's a squishy sound, then your pitter patter. And I'm calm. Because I know you're there.

But impatience is not far behind. It's hard to describe how excited I am to meet you. I think I've been waiting for you longer than I ever realized. If you ask your Grandma Christensen, she'll probably tell you that I was a mom before I could properly ride a bike. It's something in my blood. Something in me has been waiting for you for an expanse of time longer than I can comprehend. So when I feel those little nudges, I feel calm. You're there. And people tell me I'll get sick of the kicking, but I like to think that I won't. Because every kick from you is one kick closer to your arrival. It's reassurance to a very impatient mom that you're coming, you're growing.

So I apologize in advance for being so impatient. But for now, just know that my impatience is quite simply a desperate wish to see you. Finally. To wrap you up safe. You may never leave the house until you grow big enough to push your way out, that's how much I'll love you. But you will. You'll grow big and strong, and always know, that even when I might have moments that seem irrational, like when you color on the wall and I'm not so much mad that the wall is colored so much as I am that it doesn't match, that I will try. And I will always be there to wrap you up.

That - that I can be patient enough to do. Always.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

sawing logs

So when I was just a wee one, my tonsils seemed to grow exponentially quicker than the rest of me. When I'd open my mouth for a doctor or dentist, the assessment was generally unanimous: "HOLY CROW!" Apparently they were the "size of apples!" I think that possibly the best part of having tonsils that clog up your head is the fact that you SNORE LIKE AN OLD MAN. My family could hear me sawing logs in any part of the house. And even though my loud snorts would shake me out of slumber at times, this didn't bug me too much until my tonsils became ginormous germ catchers. It's like there was a glowing VACANCY hanging on my tonsils, inviting every homeless germ in. I was slammed with strep throat every other week, prompting the doctor to pronounce an extraction.

And so the apple tonsils (and my adenoids, whatever they are) were promptly removed, along with the audible notice that I was asleep. And when I took my first drink of water following said procedure, the water skipped my esophagus and went out my nose. So I relearned to swallow and rejoiced in my strep free throat.

But I kind of missed the snoring.

Never fear - the husband informs me that his wife has a second career (assuming I had a first one to begin with) as a lumberjack. Apparently the snores are back. And because I can't blame this on my tonsils, I'm stuck either accepting that my ever growing mid region is pressing down on my breathing abilities or perhaps the ever present congestion is my head has something to do with it.

In any case, the husband is gracious enough to pretend that he can sleep through it.

And I'm stuck wishing that I could at least do the drinking trick.

Monday, March 2, 2009

the photog's back

So as of late, Photographer Jess has been replaced by Law Student Jess, and I've been left to my own devices when I need a photo. It's possible that to get the photo in the below post, I wandered around our parking lot this morning in my shorts, a hoody over my big belly, and Ugg boots, pointing the camera in the trees, ignoring the neighbors' strange looks as they scraped their cars with spatulas.

So today, when Duke canceled school to pay due respect to the snow, Jess took the took the opportunity to get out and use his baby.

These pictures make me want the snow to never go away. Also, I want to lick the ice off those blossoms. I'm pregnant. I can want strange things like that.

NOTE: My apologies to any of you who got to experience the music track that voluntarily contributed to my slideshow. My blog should now be the quiet space it once was (and will remain).

i looked out the window, and what did i see?


Perhaps Spring missed the memo that it is indeed March and the popcorn can start popping any day now. Although I do love myself some snow. It's like the world gets a pretty white blanket that wraps up all the ugliness in glistening goodness. Freezing glistening goodness.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

half baked

Gosh, a lot can happen in five weeks.

So I haven't been this excited to be halfway done with something since I ran my marathon. I remember knowing that I only had 13.1 more miles until I could overdose on ibuprofen and drink a big ol' Green Squall Powerade.

This time, I only have twenty more weeks until I get to SQUEEZE A HUMAN OUT OF MY BODY.

Similar, but NOT REALLY.


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