I spotted the first red leaves of the season on a tree on my way to work yesterday–it’s really almost fall. I’m 24 weeks and 2 days pregnant. That feels kind of amazing to write. I know we’re technically approaching viability, but I’ll feel a lot more confident in a few more weeks. For me, reaching 29 weeks will feel like an important milestone. My little brother was born at 29 weeks. He spent quite a while in the NICU, but knowing that he turned out just fine (6 feet tall, and starting a challenging graduate school program next week!) is reassuring.
It feels like my belly has gone from “cute” to “ginormous” in just the last week. I started having some Braxton Hicks contractions a few weeks ago. They’re not terribly uncomfortable, but they do freak me out. And then there have been a few times when I couldn’t quite tell if I was having contractions, Sprout was doing back-flips, or my belly was just stretching. It happened for a while yesterday, which led to some more freaking out, but both my anxiety and the weird sensations have calmed down today.
Our Maine trip was really good. We stayed at a rustic cabin that belongs to my parents. It’s on an island on a lake, and I grew up going there most summers, starting when I was about 8. It’s a beautiful area, and we had perfect weather. Tad loved riding in the kayak and the canoe, and I loved sharing some of my favorite activities with him. The water was chilly, but we all still went swimming a lot. We went on a hike and marveled that Tad was big enough to walk the whole way independently. Roo and I spent most evenings sitting on the dock by the water after Tad was in bed, looking at the zillions of stars, enjoying the absence of traffic noise, and talking about issues large and small. We’re so lucky to have access to this place!
The drive up and back wasn’t as bad as I had feared. Tad was a very patient traveler for 95% of the trip. The 5% that he wasn’t involved some ear-splitting screaming, but we all got through it. I had checked out some books on CD from the library for the drive, and Tad loved them. He particularly enjoyed Pippi Longstocking, which was a book that I loved as a kid, so it was fun to share that with him. And it’s impressive to me how much he could follow of what was going on.
We got back home on Sunday afternoon. Tad went back to his preschool on Monday, and I went back to work. Roo did some work at school and home during the first few days back (including waiting for the refrigerator repair person because our fridge had helpfully died just before we left!). She started official meetings at work yesterday. The transition from trip on Sunday to work/school on Monday (especially without a working fridge) was rough. I feel like I’m still catching up on lots of things. There’s still 200+ unread posts in my blog reader, there’s still baskets of laundry from the trip that have been washed but haven’t gotten put away, the kitchen is a mess. And I owe a post and a much-belated thank you to the lovely folks at Two Mommies and a Baby, who nominated me for a Liebtster. Thanks a bunch!
I’m sad about the end of the summer but also looking forward to the fall. Our summer was wonderful, but crazy-busy. It felt like we were away more than we were home! It was great to have Tad and Roo around more over the summer, but every week (and often every day) had a different schedule. Which meant each night having to discuss with Roo who was getting up at what time, who was helping Tad with which parts of his morning routine, what time he needed to be picked up from which location, etc. I’m not looking forward to getting up at 6:20 every morning, but it will be nice to fall back into our regular routine and not have to negotiate everything.
Being gone a lot also made for a stressful summer at work, especially since there has been a lot going on at my job (hiring new staff, preparations for the new school year, an upcoming audit from a major funder, etc.). Plus, between my travel and my clients’ summer schedules, it has been a while since I saw many of them regularly. I miss the consistency of seeing folks week after week, and it will be good to get back to that (at least for a few months, before I disappear for 12 weeks…).
Tad has been very happy to be back at school. I hadn’t been sure how the transition would go since he hasn’t been there all summer and is starting in a new classroom. But he ran off to play with his friends with hardly a backward glance. He’s starting pre-K. There’s moments when that seems impossible to believe. But then I look at this long, lean, confident kiddo and it seems like he’s totally ready. This week his class has been talking about the Wizard of Oz, and they performed a “play” this morning. Apparently their initial Tin Man backed out, and Tad jumped at the opportunity to have the role. All of yesterday evening he was full of information about his costume, his cue to come onstage, the set, etc. I got to go see it today (yay for Fridays off!), and it was adorable. It was a very home-made affair (Tad’s costume included an aluminum pie plate tied onto his head), but the teachers had done a great job creating a
play that 4-year-olds could manage. Tad took his part very seriously, and especially got into using a funny voice and stiff motions before Dorothy oiled him. I’m glad that, in the midst of the changes that Sprout will bring, Tad will continue to have the community of kids and teachers at his preschool.
This fall will also need to include some time to take care of the preparations for Sprout’s arrival. Fortunately, we still have lots of the baby gear we accumulated for Tadpole (though much of it has been handed down between several friends in the meantime). But we need to get a new infant car seat, and figure out how to fit both it and Tad’s car seat in our tiny cars. We need to sort through the baby clothes that we’ve saved. We need to get Tad’s new room ready so that he can move into it so that we can set up his current room for the baby. We also need to find a daycare! There is a lovely one at Roo’s work, where Sprout can go starting next fall. But they don’t have space in the spring, so we’ll need to find something to cover the few months between when I go back to work in March and when Roo gets out of school in June.
In addition to the logistics of preparing for Sprout, there’s all of our concerns about starting over with a newborn, helping Tad adjust to having a sibling, etc. Little Sprout is a very wanted baby, but we’re starting to freak out about the changes that will come with her arrival. So I’m also hoping to find some time this fall to savor the life that we have right now. There’s lots of things that I really like about our regular day-to-day life together. We have lots of little rituals and routines that are familiar and comfortable–Tuesday evening trips to our neighborhood farmers’ market, Friday night dinners out at one of our favorite restaurants, Sunday nights watching TV on the couch after Tad is in bed, etc. I’m hoping to spend this fall getting ready for our new adventures, but also enjoying our life as a family of three.