Ode to the belly table

by Rebecca on May 29, 2014

I’m so tired. I’ve had mono before, and I feel like I’m walking around with double the mono I had. My husband tells me I felt this way with my other pregnancies as well, but I think he’s full of it. Nobody could forget this amount of tired.

The other night, my husband was gone and I put the girls to bed early. I’m not even sure the numbers on the clock had reached 7:00 yet. I just needed them in their beds and quiet. And I needed to be in my bed and quiet. I wanted to sleep, but I wanted to relax before I slept.

So I fixed myself a plate of apple slices and peanut butter and went to bed with a book. Our bed is enormous. I think it comes up to my hips – and I’m tall. My 6-year-old has to get a running start if she is going to succeed at entering the bed. I could potentially deliver this baby in two weeks, and it’s becoming a monumental task to get my own body and my unborn baby’s body into bed each night.

It’s a difficult enough task on its own, but that night I was also clumsily carrying a precarious plate of apples and peanut butter, sure to tip at any moment. Our ever-watchful cat eyed me, ready to pounce upon the plate and its contents. Then there were the pillows that needed to be arranged for optimal comfort. And if one of them should slip out of the perfect position — which it did, so help me — the whole routine had to be started again.

And where on earth were my Tums? The sweet, soothing salvation to my esophagus and to my soul — they were downstairs in my purse, I realized as soon as the pillow situation was under control.

With a groan, I carried my apples close to my body to protect them from the cat’s curiosity and retrieved the medication that would surely be needed at my 3:00 am bathroom wakeup call.

Finally, the acrobatic routine performed semi-successfully (for the second time), I was back in bed and completely comfortable.

Except, I was having a devil of a time trying to scoop my apple slices into the peanut butter while holding the plate with one hand and holding my book with the other.

Misery. Pure misery.

But then — oh, the sweet joy! — I remembered I have a table attached to my body: my sweet, blessed baby bump which I loathe at all other hours of the day. Oh, how perfectly the plate rested atop my belly while I read with one hand and scooped up peanut butter for my apple slices with the other.

While I blissfully ate and read, I thought how there really is no way to describe the usefulness of the pregnant belly table. It defies words, which is probably why I don’t ever come across sweet sonnets written to the belly table. I would attempt my own sonnet, but let’s face it: its greatness could never be summed up. I was beginning to feel that it would almost — almost — be worth keeping this baby inside permanently.

And then, the baby — a rising soccer star, I’m sure — chose that moment to practice its strongest kick.

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The giraffe looked at me funny

by Rebecca on May 2, 2014

The quirks of my children are reward for every hard part of parenting. They’re also the reason for the hard parts of parenting, but they’re oh-so-fun.

2-year-old Emma is decisive and bold. When we pulled up to the dentist the other day, she announced, “Mom, I’m not going to open my mouth.” Thankfully, her big sister convinced her otherwise.

When she gets in bed each night, she assesses her stuffed animals. She has two dinosaurs and an elephant who always receive preferential treatment. Their spot in the hierarchy of crib animals is never called into question as they are always in her arms. But the zebra and giraffe? Well, their worth is carefully evaluated each night.

“I don’t like Giraffe tonight!” she’ll angrily shout at us as she plucks the offending mammal by its long neck and hurls it to the foot of her crib. Then she’ll sweetly snuggle in next to one of her dinosaurs and whisper sweet nothings, happy as can be. We slowly back out of the room, pitying the giraffe, but glad we aren’t him.

“I like Zebra today!” she’ll announce with her hands in the air some mornings when I retrieve her from the crib.

“Oh, that’s good,” I’ll sing-songy say to her, acting as if her madness makes complete sense to me.

We’ve started asking her opinion of the giraffe and zebra before we lay her down each night, so as to avoid the angry hurling of African beasts.

“Do you like the giraffe tonight?” I asked the other night.

“Yes,” she decisively said, and I slowly picked him up to place him near her head.

“Ummm… I don’t fink I like Giraffe anymore,” she quickly changed her mind.

Back down to her feet he went. The poor, dejected giraffe. At least there was no shouting.

“It’s a good thing she’s cute,” I say at least 10 times a day.

Emma, 2014 (7)

Then there are the new quirks emerging in our 6-year-old. These quirks are more indicative of personality traits than of silly, fickle 2-year-old behavior. (Because the 2-year-old’s strange and angry preference for certain stuffed animals is just silly, fickle 2-year-old behavior, right? We’re counting on that.)

The 6-year-old left this note for Dad the other night.

Lydia's note to Dad, April 2014

I’ll translate: “Dear Dad, I love you Thank you for remembering to give me letters. I… love you!

But notice, she’s edited herself. It looks like she was trying her hand at cursive, but feared Dad wouldn’t be able to read what she had written. So she used parentheses and arrows to indicate her message. We laughed ourselves silly when we saw the note, and then realized the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I’ve been editing myself since I could write. Here, in this journal entry, I went back with blue pen and “corrected” my 1st grade spelling.

“She’s definitely your daughter,” my husband said as we read her edited note. This is a saying we find ourselves using frequently lately. When the 6-year-old studies a contraption and figures out how it works, she’s definitely her dad’s daughter. When she takes pleasure in writing lists and keeping track of the days on the calendar by checking them off, she’s definitely my daughter.

So the question is: When the 2-year-old has a fit of epic proportions about an offensive stuffed giraffe, who’s daughter is she?

I’m blaming my husband. But only because he isn’t here to defend himself.

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A first soccer game

April 18, 2014

Lydia (6) had her first game of soccer, or as my mother in law suggests — “bunch ball.” If you’ve ever watched eight 6-year-olds attempt to play soccer, “bunch ball” is a most appropriate term for what the children are actually doing – bunching together around the ball and moving up and down the field, oblivious to […]

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Pregnancy is responsible for this too?

April 3, 2014

This morning, I felt sympathy for fire-breathing dragons. As little chalky Tum after little chalky Tum made its way down my throat with no relief for my pregnancy-induced heartburn, I decided fire-breathing dragons need to be given a little credit. I’d snatch up some flighty, singing princess if she wandered near my dragon lair too. And […]

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Twelve Stones to Remember Him, by Teresa Hirst — a review

March 26, 2014

I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled onto Teresa Hirst’s blog six or so years ago, but she has proven to be a blessing to me time and time again. She is insightful and deliberate in her thoughts — no wishy-washy business coming from her. As I have followed her blog over the years, it seems like […]

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Q&A with Teresa Hirst, author of Twelve Stones to Remember Him

March 26, 2014

Q&A with Teresa Hirst, author of Twelve Stones to Remember Him, available here. To read a bit more about the book, and to read my impressions of the book, scroll up or click here. What inspired you to begin this project? In studying the Old Testament of the Bible, the story of the twelve stones memorial […]

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Happy anniversary

March 18, 2014

  I hear lots of unsolicited downer ”facts” about the future. Don’t you? “You’ll never sleep again,” said to every expectant parent. “You may be the homeowner, but the house will own you,” said to every first-time homebuyer. And “The butterflies go away after a few years,” said to every giddy engaged couple. Why do people […]

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March 11, 2014

Rose passed away two weeks ago. The only reason I knew her was because I was her visiting teacher. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a visiting teacher is a woman assigned to watch over and help specific women in her congregation. Typically, a visiting teacher will have a partner, and they […]

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Every-Day-Dress-Up by Selina Alko

March 7, 2014

Every now and then, when things are really bad, things go really right — right where I need them to. When I’m pregnant, I get something my doctor shrugged off as migraines. I feel bad claiming entrance into the migraine club, though, because what I experience isn’t nearly as bad as what I hear described by those I […]

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I love the tooth fairy

February 24, 2014

Whoever came up with the tooth fairy is a genius. Have you ever thought about it? If there was no tooth fairy, losing a tooth would be a horribly traumatic experience. But thanks to that trusty tooth fairy and her propensity for creepily buying parts of our children’s bodies, losing a tooth is something almost every kid […]

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