Thursdays: my day

Ever since after my ectopic pregnancy last summer, my husband started staying home with Alice once a week. Prior to that, I had been taking her to work every day, and I had reached a breaking point–it was too hard.

Having that one day a week was a miracle. A revelation. And it continues to be! My day this year has been Thursday. I try to schedule any doctor’s appointments for that morning. Then I head to work–by myself. I pray in the car and enjoy every minute of it. I get to the office, take my time getting my coffee and getting situated. There’s no need to rush, because no one’s clock is ticking (for those of you without kids, I should explain that toddlers can feel like ticking clocks–it’s a countdown to their next need: attention, help with a task, a snack, snuggles, you name it).

Then I work. And this is no small thing: I love Alice–it’s been a privilege and a blessing to be able to bring her with me to the office for over two years now–but friends, let me tell you how glorious it is to work without a little voice pleading, “Mommy all done work?” and “Applesauce!” and “Read a book!” To be able to guiltlessly actually focus on what I’m doing instead of keeping one eye here and one eye there–it’s almost like a vacation. Even though it’s work.

Then I buy myself lunch. Recently it’s been tacos from Tony’s Burrito Mex.

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Let me tell you about these tacos.

Really, what’s not to tell you about these tacos?

Wait, that didn’t make any sense.

Then again, the deliciousness of these tacos doesn’t make any sense either.

HOW CAN IT BE?

The picture speaks louder than my words can right now.

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Tacos al pastor with onions and cilantro.

A side of fries with mayo and ketchup.

And then I go write. I query agents, work on my novel, usually at Starbucks while sipping something with way too many calories in it for one small beverage and telling myself, ‘it’s okay. You can jiggle them off later as you waddle to the car.’

Finally, I run errands–get gas, go to the grocery store–and when I get home, it’s dinner time and there is food (a bean and barley slow cooker soup tonight) and I can’t believe how easy my day has been.

I wonder how other moms do it, moms who don’t get a day off, a day to pursue things they are passionate about independently of the home. Maybe that will be me someday, depending on what happens this fall and which one of us is working, but for now, I’m just soaking it up. On Thursdays, I remember that I’m not just a mommy or wife, but Jenna.

You may have noticed that on the rare occasions I blog, it happens to be on Thursdays.

Yep.

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The pregnancy journey . . . boy versus girl, or #2 versus #1?

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This pregnancy has been so different from my pregnancy with Alice. I’ve been wondering how much of that is my slightly different lifestyle (less walking and more driving, less–read “no”–yoga classes, more Kraft macaroni and cheese), how much is because I’m pregnant with a boy instead of a girl, and how much is just part of a second (as opposed to a first) pregnancy.

What are these differences, you may ask? Lemme give you the skinny.

-MORE WEIGHT. I just had to put that in caps, because it’s really affecting how I feel. As of my appointment today–at 27 weeks, the cusp of the third trimester–I’ve gained 21 pounds. That’s reasonable and fine, I realize this, but it’s also more than I gained in my entire pregnancy with Alice (20 pounds). The mirror tells me I look fine, but I just feel heavy, large, gross, and generally unattractive.

When I was pregnant with Alice I heard other pregnant women say things like, “I feel so ugly,” or “I don’t feel sexy at all.” Huh, I thought. Poor things. I guess I got the magical pregnancy gene. Because I felt great–beautiful, sexy, and (at least after the first trimester) plenty energetic.

This is not the same.

I am a whale. In my mind. Which is where it counts. And whales, though endearing, endangered, and graceful in their own balloon-like way, are not sexy.

-More Kraft macaroni and cheese.

-Less documenting. Alas for the days when I had time and energy to blog and blog and blog . . . it was fun. And I love looking back on each week of my pregnancy with Alice. But what with work, writing novels, taking care of an energetic, galloping almost two-and-a-half year old who has been cooped up inside for far too long and a myriad of other things, little Benjamin just isn’t getting the same type of thorough analysis.

(Yes! His name is Benjamin!)

-Back to the whale part–this really hit me when my sister Heidi mailed me a box full of maternity jeans, that both she and my sister Erica had used throughout their pregnancies. Still living under the delusion that my sisters and I all have the same body (regardless of what our adult experience has taught us), I joyously stripped down and pulled on the first pair.

“Pulled on” is a misnomer–it implies I was actually able to, well, pull them on. To my body.

Let me give you the short version:

I couldn’t get into a single pair. And I was only halfway through my pregnancy at the time.

Hmm. I can’t fit into any of these jeans at 20 weeks, and both my sisters wore them through 40 weeks, I thought.

Weird.

My conclusion? My sisters and I all totally have the same body.

Can’t stop believin’.

-More indigestion. Evenings of stomach-related misery, though a recent purchase of almond milk may have been the ticket–it seems to calm things down. I love the Califia vanilla stuff–not too sweet, and it makes me feel like maybe my stomach isn’t trying to grow up to be The Hulk anymore.

-More Kraft macaroni and cheese. Did I mention that yet?

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-Less energy. I’m not romping about at 8pm anymore–I’m looking at the clock and thinking, “hmmm, is it embarrassingly early to go to bed?” Then I realize that I don’t have the energy to even ponder that question, at which point I pass out on the couch.

Anyway, that’s the short version. The long version also includes what makes this an emotionally different journey: a Downs syndrome scare that turned out to be a false alarm, a lot of uncertainty about what we’ll be doing and where we’ll be living this fall, and all kinds of intense tear-inducing stuff like that. But you know what? Tonight, friends are coming over to our apartment, we’re eating an Indian feast from our favorite restaurant, and then we get to go to bed (isn’t it amazing that we get to do that every night??? I LOVE BEDTIME). So . . . hurray!

 

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