Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where's the baby?

I’ve really been making a conscious effort to involve Piper as much as possible in this pregnancy…hoping that when the tiny, wrinkled, screaming baby-who-mommy-will-have-to-pay-attention-to is finally here, Piper will have some clue as to what is going on. I think about that day at least once daily…not only because I’m hoping this baby will look at least a little like me so people believe me when I say, yes, this is my child, but because I’m a little bit (okay, a lot a bit) anxious about Piper becoming an older sister.

Not that she’s spoiled or anything; she’s a fantastic kid and sometimes I can’t even believe how lucky I am to have her. It’s just that “Mommy and Piper” have had so much time together these past three years and played so many games of Candyland and went to Target so many times that I wonder what is going to happen when it’s “Mommy and Piper and Baby” going to McDonald’s or walking to the playground or painting our fingernails or baking cookies.

Piper was the first person I told when that pregnancy test read “Pregnant”. She didn’t understand, of course, and I’m not sure she really understands now, but she’s been to every doctor’s appointment with me so far and has seen the ultrasound pictures and has walked to the Shoppette willingly with me whenever I’m craving peach iced tea. I’ve told her the baby is in my tummy, and every week I hold my hands apart to show her how big the baby is now, to which she invariably replies, “It’s so tiny!”

Last weekend we were at a BBQ (one of three we went to…I only had to cook once all weekend!) with a bunch of our friends, and someone asked Piper if she was excited about becoming a big sister.

She looked at them blankly, so I decided to show them our little trick and said, “Piper, where’s the baby at?” She hesitated for a second, then grinned her mischievous little I-look-so-much-like-Daddy-right-now-it’s-ridiculous grin, pointed to my left boob and said, “Right here?”

The room erupted in laughter, which only egged her on, because when I asked her again, she just pointed to my right boob and said between giggles, “Here, Mommy?”

My daughter, the comedian.


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Saturday, May 16, 2009

16 weeks down, 24 to go.

People keep asking me how I feel (which is, THE question to ask a pregnant woman..right along with “How far along are you?” and “What are you having?”), and honestly, I feel fantastic. Sure, some afternoons I feel so sleep deprived I feel like I’ve already had the baby. Sure, my ‘girls’ are still super sensitive and I want to die when even the shower water hits them. Sure, I’ve lost every ounce of patience I ever had and last week had such a horrible day I spent half an hour at bedtime cuddling and apologizing to Piper for being so angry all day.

But honestly, I feel fantastic.

I’m in my 16th week now, and will be four months along in a week. I’m thrilled that I’ve only gained about 3-4 pounds, considering the fact that somedays I look 6-7 months pregnant already. I can feel the baby moving, especially after a big glass of juice or a piece of fruit. I’ve really only been craving drinks (iced tea, root beer, gatorade, etc.), and rarely does fast food appeal to me. I can’t even really handle sweets…I can only eat one or two oreos or half a cupcake before I feel like I’m going to puke.

It’s crazy how very different this pregnancy is from Piper’s. Really, it’s the exact opposite. I can’t even remember the last time I cried; I was lucky to go two days without crying with Piper. I actually had to go back on anti-depressants while pregnant with Piper. A lot of that probably has to do with the circumstances, though: I was unmarried, her father and I had only been dating for a couple months, I had just quit going to church a few months prior, and was forced to deal with a ridiculous amount of judgement and negativity from people I thought would be my friends for life. This time around, everyone is just thrilled when I tell them the news…which, honestly, makes me a bit sad.

I’ve found myself wishing Piper’s pregnancy was like this one, in that aspect. I wish everyone was as excited to meet her as they are to meet her brother/sister. I wish I would have felt as elated as I did when I saw this baby’s positive pregnancy test…instead of curling up into a ball and feeling like my life was over, as I did with Piper. It took me a long time to get to the point where deep down I felt like I WANTED Piper. I spent so much time and energy convincing everyone else it was going to be okay that I really never took the time to convince myself.

I think part of me will always feel a little guilty for not taking the time to really grow to love Piper while she was growing inside me. Of course I loved her the second I saw her…I still love her more than life itself.

I just wish I had been happier about her pregnancy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So big like a diamond!

I’m not sure where she got it from, but around the time Piper learned all the words to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star she started describing things by saying, “It’s So Big Like a DIAMOND,” with enough enthusiasm to suggest not only that DIAMOND deserves to be in all caps, but every other word in the sentence needs a capital letter as well.

Yesterday Piper and I went on a tour of the local playgrounds with my friend Manda and her darling baby girl Bianca. We’d walk to one playground, let Piper play until she decided she was too cool to be seen playing here, and then walk to another playground. It’s probably my favorite thing about where we live…the abundance of playgrounds within walking distance.

We reference said playgrounds by their predominant color; the one in front of our house is the yellow playground, the one by the shoppette is the red playground, the one by Manda’s house is the green playground, etc.

Anyway, over the course of this two hour walk, we found a playground which Piper dubbed the “Rocket Ship playground”, which was basically two large jungle gyms that were somewhat the shape of a rocket ship. She ran around inspecting every square inch of the jungle gyms, stopped dead in her tracks, turned around, ran up to me, and in her most concerned voice said, “Mommy, there’s no slide.” It was almost as if someone had just told her all the cows in the world died and there would no longer be cheddar cheese.

In a calm voice (in order to avoid hysterics), I agreed that there was no slide here, but if she’d like to, we could walk to the orange playground which does have a slide. She thought for a second, then said, “Okay,” and set off in the direction of the orange playground. A few steps down the sidewalk Piper stopped and said, “OHHHH! I tink-a the orange playgwound has a slide!”

Manda and I both burst out laughing, and then she said to me, “Sophie, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but sometimes your daughter sounds like an old Asian woman learning to speak English.”

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sunshine...glorious sunshine.

Alaska has decided to give us a nice summer this year…and I am beyond thrilled. Granted, it’s still only 50 degrees outside, but it’s 50 degrees IN MAY!!! We were lucky to get 65 degrees in July last year.

Piper face and I have definately been taking advantage of the sunny sunshine…playing outside a couple hours a day every day for the last week (except for yesterday and the day before when Alaska remembered it’s Alaska and decided to be cloudy and windy and rainy). All this running around various playgrounds and kicking soccer balls and drawing with chalk and learning to ride her bike has had an unexpected effect: My daughter is no longer the spawn of satan.

Now, I love my daughter more than life itself. I’d gladly give my life for her without even a second thought. But these past few months have been…how do I say this without being over-dramatic…WORSE THAN THE FIERY PITS OF HELL.

Piper screaming in the middle of the grocery store because I can’t find an airplane shopping cart.

Piper throwing herself onto the floor kicking and screaming because it’s time to leave wherever we are.

Me dragging a screaming Piper out the door of the BX because I commited the unforgivable sin of saying, “No.”

Piper glaring at me like I’m the worst excuse for a mother because I refused to let her eat a cupcake for breakfast.

Piper throwing a temper tantrum at 7PM every night for a week because Brandon and I want to watch a show on TV that won’t teach us the alphabet or how to share or what to do if we’re scared.

I don’t know if it’s the sunshine or the exercise, but whatever it is, it’s given me back my darling daughter that I missed so very much. I can leave the house without wondering whether I have the energy to drag a 42 lb 3 year old out of wherever we are. I don’t have to put up with rude stares from strangers (I’m sure none of whom are thinking, “Oh what a cute little girl!”). I don’t have to cross my fingers hoping we’ll be able to accomplish whatever it is I was to do on the day I managed to steal the car from Brandon.

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I’m glad you’re back, Piper. I missed you.