hunger for the great light

What did I do this Saturday night? I stayed home and baked my dog some treats. Haha. It was very rewarding. I love cooking and baking, and it's one of the most relaxing things I can think of. Tonight I'm procrastinating some laundry and homework. Maybe I'll just work on the homework and leave the laundry for tomorrow night. 
Good news. I felt the baby move for sure the other night. I was laying in bed, pressing my abdomen to feel where the baby was curled up. I was praying out loud, whispering, praying to feel the baby, or to know for sure the next time it moved. I lay still and quiet, and then there it was, like a tiny punch from the inside. Pow! I laughed and felt joyful and reassured. 
I know many first time moms don't feel the baby until 20 weeks or later, or they do feel it but can't differentiate between that movement and gas or intestinal movement. So I've been trying to concentrate a little more on the uterine region, to try to feel the baby. 
Last night, when Scott got home from work, he walked into the kitchen, looked at me, and said "You're having a girl". He put his hands on my belly and said, "Yep, I think it's a girl". I asked him if he'd been thinking about it all day, and he said that he had not, but that when he walked in and saw me, he felt like he just knew. So now my husband and my best friend think it's a girl. I still don't have any strong intuition either way, and a healthy baby is a healthy baby, and that's what I want. We have an appointment coming up for the ultrasound, and besides finding out the sex, it will just be wonderful to see the baby. Maybe it will make this more real. For now it just seems there's something in there, but not really a human baby. Sometimes I'm also afraid that I'm growing a five armed, two headed creature, but I'm sure I'm not. Just some of those weird pregnant thoughts. 
I'm also happy to say that I weeded the flower bed today, not the whole thing, but 3/4ths of the biggest bed. The bed on the other side of the front door is much smaller, probably just half of the size of the big one, and it has some mint growing in there and I'm trying to figure out how to keep it from taking over. Turns out it's invasive, and I don't want just peppermint growing there, I want to plant some basil there, too. The bed that I worked on today, the big one, is the one where we'll plant tomatoes on one side of the irises that are already growing, and wildflowers on the other side. I think Sean may want to plant some other stuff, but I don't know. On the side with the mint, besides basil, maybe I'll also plant some other herbs. I'd really like some lavender over there, and cilantro. They had oregano there last summer and it did pretty well. 
The hardest part was getting all those wild onions dug up. I read that the best ways to get rid of them are to either just dig them all up, or to put some kind of killer on them, but I don't want chemicals in that flower bed, so I chose the time and labor intensive method. It went by pretty quickly, and the weather was the best it's been all day. 
I have 11 days to start and finish my 10 page research paper. I've done some research, but not enough. I'm intimidated to start writing it, but I know it will be easier than it seems. I've written a 14 page paper before, so I know I can do 10 on a much more interesting topic. I'll probably start writing the first body paragraph, because I think the most intimidating and often over-ambitious part to write is the introduction. I might write that last, that way I won't overshoot my actual research with broad terms and over ambition. 
The last thing I'm going to ramble about tonight is the church we attend. Whenever another Sunday rolls around, and I sit there listening to our pastor speak, I become frustrated with him and want to go to another church. I know Scott feels the same, we've spoken about it before, and it's the community of the church that keeps us there. We LOVE the people we've met there, I mean we truly love them, and we love the pro-active stance the church has regarding serving the city, and there's so many exciting things going on right now, like the non-profit store and the community garden. But the pastor is just . . .  he seems defensive when he preaches, as if he's constantly explaining why our church, or christians in general, or the way he preaches, etc., is the correct, or best thing, compared to others. He seems arrogant when he's doing this, and he comes across as a little boy trying to prove himself. It's not becoming. Some of his views are on the conservative side, well I guess all of them, and that's okay, but Scott and I know that if we expressed our exact beliefs about certain topics (abortion, homosexuality, etc.), that we would probably be told that we were flat out wrong. But we stay there, because of the community. We could go to another church with teaching that was different, but no other church in this area has the community and the outreach that this church has. We discuss this often, and are committed to staying in our community, and we try to give the pastor grace because he is new at preaching, and always asks for feedback, so it's not like he isn't trying. I think that part of it is that he grew up in the church, so he's coming from a much different place than I come from, and to me his preaching is a lot of assumptions, that a non-believer would never understand, or be able to take at face value. That's all, just needed to vent. 
Gotta get some belly pictures up. I can't believe how pregnant I look! But to do that I've gotta get some batteries for the camera. 


where i end and you begin

I've been doing homework and working for two days straight, which is tiring, but at least I've finally gotten some things done. I've done the article review journal for my reading class, and I have the presentation for it on Tuesday. I've done the last response paper for my film class. I've written an artist's statement for my ceramics class. I still have to make five mugs, three pitchers, and seven bowls. The last wet clay day is Tuesday, so we'll see how that goes. I still have to do the ten page research paper for my film class, but I've started the research and done an annotated bibliography for that. 
I don't want to jinx us, not that I necessarily think life works that way, but Scott and I have been getting along really well lately. Maybe we're just getting more comfortable in our marriage. Our house is a complete wreck right now, with both of us scrambling at the end of the semester, but soon it will be over and I'll be able to see the coffee table and kitchen table again. At least we've managed to stay on top of dishes. 
For baby stuff, the good news is that I've finally gained some weight. I plateaued for a few months, but I'm at 128 (in all my clothes and with shoes) now. That's compared to my pre-pregnancy weight of 116, so I'm doing alright. I have thrown abandon to the wind when it comes to what I eat now, but surprisingly people are still saying that I look thin, except for my belly. Oh who cares. Body image is just so deeply engraved in all of us, that it's hard to shake, even when you know it doesn't matter, because what matters now is that the baby is healthy. Anyhow. 
I'm totally in love with my husband, more every day. And we find out if it's a boy or a girl on May 7th.  


someone told me you're still pretty

Taking a break from homework . . .  
My dreams have been vivid, and detailed. When I wake up I feel I've lived an extra three weeks. No baby dreams, just weird, intricately detailed, long dreams. 
I still don't comprehend that we're having a baby. A real, live human baby. That will grow into an adult one day. I just hope I can have a good relationship with my children. Is that too much to ask? It seems that most adults still feel misunderstood by or estranged from their own parents. Maybe it's just the way of things. At least I have Scott to grow old with, and that's an incredible blessing. I get excited thinking about our lives together, growing old, raising kids, sharing experiences. Marriage is a really special bond, that becomes more appealing and precious the longer I spend married. Scott is also a great husband, which makes loving marriage and loving him easy. 

I've been worrying about the semester a lot lately, but I really don't have that much to do, it just seems to be looming. A few projects, some papers, a number of mugs and pitchers. It will be over with before I know it, as per usual. This summer is the last of my time living without children. I wonder if I will look back on this time and have completely different thoughts. 
I hope to paint the living room, and maybe our room, and possibly the bathroom this summer. We'll be arranging and rearranging furniture, to get ready for the baby. I'll be working, and he'll be working and going to full-time summer school, so it may be hard for us to have much time together. I hope I can just be a content wife, to help how I can, and not demand too much from him. It's easy for me to have a discontent mindset, and feel self-pitying, thinking that "I do it all", when it's clear that we're both just young and overly busy. Well, Scott seems to thrive on stress. He's definitely in a much better place than that first semester here. I just pray that after he graduates, and I finish my last bit of school, that we can leave Missouri. It's not that Missouri is terrible - it's not, but I am afraid of getting stuck here. That's the plain truth. 

Had the top right wisdom tooth removed. I absolutely love my dentist. He's never weird, he's just nice, and gentle. I couldn't have an IV or gas, since I'm pregnant, he just had to numb it locally, which meant that I couldn't feel pain, but I felt the pressure and was wide awake for the procedure. Then I spent a day and a half eating soft foods, and my stomach was upset from too much dairy. Yogurt, ice cream, mac and cheese, etc. Most soft things seem to be dairy related. Scott served my soft-scrambled eggs with applesauce. I think it's healing well, and luckily it hasn't hurt very much, since I can only take tylenol to alleviate the pain. 
I'll be 19 weeks along on Tuesday. 
It still doesn't really feel like I'm growing a baby inside of me. It just seems like sleeping on my stomach is beginning to feel weird, and that I have to wear stretchy pants all the time. I am still waiting to feel baby move. Scott's begun saying things to the baby. Sometimes he jokes around and tells the baby it's grounded, but sometimes he's really sweet and says he loves the baby and tells the baby goodnight or something. 

Even though I have an amazing community here, and I love the friends I've made, it's still sad that I can't be around the tribe while going through pregnancy for the first time. I just wish they could see me, and I could be with them, and the baby could hear their voices. 
I guess we'll try to make it to GA in the winter to visit my entire family, Scott's family, and the tribe, etc. So much for my annual post-Christmas party in Atlanta. I wonder what the boys will think, with a baby in the family now. I can't wait to see them all hold the baby. And my grandmom will meet her first great-grandchild. All of my aunts and uncles will be great-aunts and uncles. And my mom will be a grandmother. It's so weird, that having a baby will change so many lives. What a special little baby. Sometimes I think about this pre-baby life, and I can't wait to share my thoughts and experiences with my child. Other times I am hesitant as to what will be appropriate to share or not. I wonder how Scott will be as a father. I know he'll be a wonderful one, I'm just curious to see how he will respond and interact with a child. I guess our lives are changing forever. 


the late great libido

17 weeks

Please realize that I'm not jaundiced, it's simply the bathroom lighting. So there I am, belly sticking out more every day. Plus I just ate a bowl of pasta before these pictures, so it might be a tad bit exaggerated.

I talked to the birth center today, they don't do ultrasounds (b/c they're all hippie/natural/etc), but they set up an appointment for me with their preferred radiologist. I'll go at 22 weeks, so that's a month and a week from now. Damn. Well in the meantime, I'll just try to feel for the baby's movement. 

It's weird - when I lay down at night, and lay on my back very still, and press my lower abdomen with my hands, I can feel my uterus. It feels different than the rest of whatever else is down there. I still haven't felt the baby move, but I've been reading that at 17 weeks the baby begins to hear, which is pretty cool. And it's neat to feel where the baby is, though right now it doesn't feel like much more than a different-feeling place in my body. 

So all of my titles of journals are song lyrics, this is something I started back in high school when I had open diary, then live journal, etc. and now it's something I can't not do. I cannot NOT put lyrics for my journal titles, I just can't. I have to. It's the one compulsion/obsession that I'm aware that I have. The song lyrics don't have to apply to how I'm feeling, I usually just think of a song I have stuck in my head, and pick out a line from it, but today my title applies. What they say about the second trimester - the upped libido - is true for me. It's just a little different than I imagined. I pictured me not being able to stop jumping my husband, and if he were around a little more, that might be what it would look like. But more than anything, my dreams have become so steamy! They are so real and so arousing. It's weird to wake up from a nap feeling like I've been fooling around instead of sleeping. 

In other news, I spend my free time these days reading magazines called Gourmet and Bon Appetit, and devouring blogs such as (my current favorite) Orangette. What this means is that my passion for food keeps growing, and my desire to bake is overwhelming. I love, love, love baking. I love everything about it, except maybe yeast, but Orangette (Molly) has a cinnamon roll recipe that might help cure me of that - it uses rapid rise yeast, which sounds much more manageable. And, thanks to the inspiration of all these good reads about good eats, I whipped up some sauteed brussels sprouts with ground coriander, slivered garlic, and mustard seed, and they were fabulous. Scott said they were the best brussels sprouts I've made yet, though he usually says that. It's one vegetable he can't get enough of. 

Tonight I spent a relaxing evening grocery shopping, then making a great pasta dish with lots of vegetables and a creamy sauce, topped with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Not my own recipe, but I followed it exactly and it turned out really delicious. 

Now, regrettably, the dishes await me.