Thursday, June 23, 2011

The real reason I haven't been posting....

I miss writing blog posts here- they've become a welcomed outlet for me, much like journaling.  I can share what interests me, organize my own thoughts on topics and events in my life, and brag about my gorgeous little girl without feeling guilty.  Most of my posts in the past 19 months have been written while Tye was napping or after she'd fallen asleep for the night, especially more recently, since Tye turned into Tye-nado.  

But for the past few months, I've been needing those quiet times for extra sleep myself.  I'm now 10 1/2 weeks pregnant!  I took a pregnancy test on Mother's Day that turned up positive- a little celebration I'll always remember on future Mother's Days.  
Like my pregnancy with Tye, I've been battling morning sickness- more nausea and gagging than actual vomiting, but I think that's because I spend so much energy willing my food to stay down once it's in.  I was starting to really worry about the weight I've been losing, but at my midwife appointment last week, I was reminded that this isn't quite the same as my pregnancy with Tye.  

This time around, I have more weight to lose (since I never did return to my pre-baby weight completely).  I'm better rested, thanks to my daily naps with Tye.  I'm also under far less stress than the spring and summer I taught while expecting.  As much as I love teaching, staying home with Tye carries fewer concerns and deadlines.  I also discovered that a supplement of Vitamin B6 has helped ease my nausea and at least keep me mobile- and able to run around with Tye.  

Friday of last week, Tye and I visited the midwife office.  Amy, who attended Tye's birth, saw us and we listened to our new babe's heartbeat.  I'll never cease to be amazed by the power of that sound- such reassurance, joy, and gratitude in response to a pattern of rapid thumps.  Until I begin to feel this baby move, those thumps are all I have.  Well, those thumps, the nausea (which I know is a good sign for the pregnancy), and my already-expanding belly.  At 10 weeks now, I look more like I did at 15 weeks with Tye. 

My official due date is January 15, giving us plenty of time to prepare ourselves for our next addition.  I'm thrilled for Tye to be an older sister.  I am blessed to have really wonderful, close relationships with my two younger brothers, and I feel strongly that a sibling is the best gift I could ever give Tye.  Still, sometimes it's hard for me to believe that we're entering our next stage in life, becoming a family with more than one child.  I look forward to the changes that are coming, and to chronicling them all here, just as I did with Tye's arrival.  Just maybe not during nap time for a little while.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

To Tye, at 19 months

Dear Tye,

The number 19 has never sounded so large.  I mean, a 19 month old is almost two.  Having a daughter who is a year and a half sounds right to me- but having a daughter who is almost two is really blowing my mind.  Sometimes, though, I can see the two year old in you showing itself- like when you refuse to let me feed you, insisting that I put down the fork so you can accomplish the entire task of feeding yourself by yourself.  Or when you steal an off-limits item from my purse, then run into the bedroom to hide, closing the door behind you.  

Much like your avoidance techniques, your play is becoming more sophisticated.  One of your favorite games right now is to usher Ziggy into your room, then close the door; then you knock, open the door to see Ziggy staring at you, say brightly, "Hi Ziggy!" and burst into hysterical giggles.  You generally repeat this pattern about 20 times before tiring, I imagine because your stomach hurts from laughing so hard for so long.  You also love to feed your stuffed animals now, whether you offer them a cracker or water or, your new favorite, hold them up to my breast to nurse.  

Over the past month, your canines have grown in, giving you a significantly more grown-up looking smile.  Add to that the sweet ringlets on the back of your head, and you look like you could be two already.  
Last weekend, Gram babysat you while Daddy and I went out for a date.  She couldn't believe how much clearer your words had become in the past two weeks.  Spending every day with you and hearing new words in context, I can almost always understand what you're trying to say, but I think you'll find that communicating with others as easily is extremely rewarding.  If you think I get excited when you point to new items, just wait until your grandmas geek out over it.

As we move into summer, I can't help but remember everything we did together last summer.  Just look at how scrumptiously adorable you were exactly one year ago, taking your first bath sitting up.  Now I can hardly get you to sit down in the tub.  Last year when we went to the playground, you played with the wood chips.  This summer, you run from one attraction to the next, requesting activities by name.  Just last week, you and I had a gorgeous morning at the Green City Market near the lake.  We picked out some delicious, local strawberries, then found shelter from the hot sun in shaded chairs as we listened to the peaceful live flamenco guitar.  As we soaked up the beauty of the morning with all our senses, I was sure I was being shown a little glimpse of Heaven.  It was one of those moments I want to bottle up and take with me forever.  

I'm so looking forward to a wonderfully busy summer exploring Chicago and beyond with you, Tye.  You remind me to look at the world with fresh eyes- to look up at every plane and bird and to literally stop to smell every flower, because we never know which ones will amaze us with their sweetness.  Most of all, you remind me that love is infinite.  Just when I think I can't love you any more, you pucker up to ask for a kiss and I remember that there's no limit to loving you.  Thank you for making me a better person every day of your life.  And yes, that will even be true when you're nine years old and even nineteen years old.  Especially if you pucker up and ask for a kiss then.

Happy 19 month birthday, Tye.  I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Whale Watching

With Chicago's heat index well over 100 today, we decided to take a quick break from the heat and visit the Shedd Aquarium.  We arrived as it opened to take advantage of members-only viewing of their new exhibit, Jellies.  
From there, we walked downstairs to view the beluga whales and dolphins underwater.  We were the only people in that entire portion of the aquarium for almost an hour- precious time to explore before being overwhelmed by hoards of field trip attendees.  

We spent at least half an hour watching, and being watched by, the beluga whales.  Remember my special attachment to the mama beluga with whom I shared months of pregnancy, then months to years of lactating?  It seems Tye feels a special bond with the whales, too.  
As Tye and I watched the belugas swim laps around their pool, they watched us closely, touching the thick glass as they passed.  When we revisited the whales later, they seemed almost to be avoiding the window, perhaps as overwhelmed by the crowd as we were.  I was so thankful for those silent moments of mutual observation.


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