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There is so much unknown during a pregnancy.  What will the labor/birth/baby/nursing/sleeping/routine/marriage, etc. be like?  One unknown that I’ve been thinking about a lot is being a working mom.  I’m pretty sure I’ll want to work part-time once our baby comes, and financially, I’ll need to work.  But my questions have more to do with when I will be ready to go back and how much I will want (and need) to work.  Gregg will most likely be the one to be taking care of our baby on the days that I’m working, so I’m comforted that he will at home with our boy.  I’m also thankful that they’ll have this time just the two of them, but I think I’m also a little jealous.  He’ll be there and I won’t.  What if something amazing happens and I miss it?

Sometimes when I have questions like these, I’ll google what other bloggers have to say.  I went on a search yesterday, and came across a Norwegian mom who was ranting about the difference between American maternity leave and Norwegian maternity leave.  In Norway, moms get a year’s worth of paid maternity leave.  Shut up.  Not what I want to hear.  Their taxes are exponentially higher than ours, right?  I’ll tell myself that they are.  I need to ask my friends about going back to work, but I know that every mom, baby, and situation is so different.  The question is what’s right for us, and I don’t know.  And I won’t know until we’re there and he’s here.  That’s it.  But I want to know now, please.

I feel God being really stern with me on this questions.  Trust me, child.  Weird and cool that I’m still His child even as I’m learning/preparing to be/becoming a mom.

I keep accidentally spelling the name of this store wrong, so I’m just going to let it fly.  (Disclaimer: I know that the plural form of baby is babies and not babys.)

Gregg and I went to register over the weekend at Babies R Us, and we didn’t get in a fight.  Victory.  I tried to pick a fight, but Gregg stopped me in my tracks by making a joke.  Very clever, that one.  Registering for wedding gifts was a different story.  I like shopping with Gregg, because he says things like, “Let’s register for more practical things.”  And then, when we get to the bottles, he says, “Ok, which ones are the best?”  He even said, “Aren’t there some new pacifiers that all are the rage?”  Where and how does he even get all this information?  He knows we need stuff, and he wants to get the good stuff, but he doesn’t want a lot of it.

I know this baby is going to need some stuff when he comes.  Clothes, diapers, a place to sleep.  But, does he really need a plastic “weather” shield cover to put over his $500 backroading stroller?

Weather Shield

Weather Shield

Does he need a baby spa/bathtub/shower especially for him?

Luxury Whirlpool

Luxury Baby Whirlpool

These are actual items on sale at Babies R Us.  I know that there will be some things that we “must-have,” I’m just not exactly sure what they are yet.  I have some great mom-friends tat have been super helpful in telling me what the “must-haves” are.  Some of them seem to be true for everyone and others seem to vary from mom to mom and baby to baby.  I hope I’m not offending anyone, but its just fun to be a bit cynical sometimes.

My mother-in-law, already told us she was getting us this.  Definitely not a necessity, but pretty stinking cute.

Lion mane car seat cover

Lion mane car seat cover

See, I’m not completely cold-hearted when it comes to baby stuff.  Just trying to find the balance.

I wonder when I’ll have to change the title of my blog: “This Circle of Quiet.”  I assumed that country living/rural life was quiet, and it is compared to living in the city.  But, we have 5 pets and a baby on the way.  Its already not very quiet at our house, and I suppose its only going to get louder.  The animals have been more of a handful lately.  Pooping inside, for example.  And, integrating our huge white, polar bear dog with our two medium-sized herding dogs has been an event.  There’s been lots of growling and snarling.  Max got body-slammed by Aspen at one point for getting in her face (I don’t know how else to explain these fights besides making them sound like 13 year old girls in the lunch room.  I went to a ghetto middle school, ok?).

But, I’ve been loving them.  Even when I’m cleaning up their poop (I never realized how amazing Resolve was!), I’m thankful for them.  I’ve been comparing them to kids a lot.  Like, “Okay, its time for everyone to go outside, so I can get some stuff done around the house,” and “I need to give ____ some attention because I haven’t in awhile.”

Aspen is starved for love and attention.  She’s still a working dog.  She’s protecting our sheep and our chickens.  But she won’t stay in the fenced-in area where the sheep are.  She also won’t leave our property (unless she sees us leave), so I think she’s still doing her job pretty well.  She reminds me so much of Max.  We got Max from a shelter and Aspen from a rescue group.  They both have separation anxiety (or some other psychological diagnosis that our human feelings have projected on them), so they need a lot of love.  Even our cats, that were found on the side of the road, are extra affectionate.  I don’t think I would love them all so much if they weren’t so loveable.  Roo, who was the pick of the litter, knows that she’s loved.  She thinks that she’s hot stuff, and she can be sweet and affectionate at times, but she’s also a snob.

As I’m writing, Aspen literally just threw up on the couch that we are cuddling on together.  Its like she knew what I was writing thinking about.  Okay, apologies to all the weak-stomached out there.  I’ll try to limit my bodily fluids talk in the future.

Its a BOY, not a GIRL!  Its BLUE and not PINK!  So, scratch the this post from the record, as well as my mother’s intuition that prompted me to buy a leopard print coat for a 6 month old.  Apparently the umbilical cord was covering the Oh-so-important boy part on our ultrasound.

So…bring on the toy trucks and barnyard animals and big appetites and sore arms that come from carrying the heavy load of a baby boy.

I promise that all my posts from here on out won’t be devoted to pregnancy, but I’ve typed up a couple thoughts that I had during my first trimester and want to share them….

Pregnancy seems similar to engagement to me in so many ways.  One major difference between engagement and pregnancy is that, for me, the first trimester is one long drawn out proposal.  For 2 months, I have felt like Gregg has been slowly putting a ring on my finger, and I have been thinking things like, I want to be excited, but can I be yet?  Is this for real?  I imagined both periods of waiting (engagement and pregnancy) to be blissful and fun and exciting.  And, so far, pregnancy has been more fun than being engaged (sorry, Gregg, but I’m sure you agree with me).  But, of course, parts of it have been hard.  My complaints are not different than any other woman’s, so I won’t go into the specifics.  But, the hardest thing for me, I think, has been not feeling like myself.  Not having the energy to do the things that I normally like to do, like reading or knitting.  Sometimes I just sit (weird).

I’m writing this smack in the middle of my first trimester, but I’m going to wait to actually post it.  I read this wonderfully encouraging post about “First trimester woes.”  (I actually googled this phrase.)  I had been having this internal battle between listening to my body and resting when I needed to VERSUS putting aside how I feel and doing the things that I don’t feel like doing. What I am learning is that I can do more than I think I can.  Sometimes I just need to rest, but sometimes doing things that I don’t want to do takes precedent.

And, knowing that other women have had/are having much worse first trimesters than me, makes me want to pick myself up by the boot straps.

The Happy Couple

I cried when he told me that he was going to boot camp, I really cried when he told me that he was going to be deployed, and I cried when he came home.  He’s home!

He’s always wanted to be a soldier, ever since he was a little boy.  I think every little boy goes through that obsession with guns and camo.  That makes it hard for us, the softer, feminine gender.  We don’t get it.

If the not getting it is hard.  The not knowing is even harder.  As in, what are you doing over there?  Are you safe?

He sacrificed, as they say.  Time away from family and friends and comforts.  But so did his wife (big time) and so did my mom and the rest of my family.  9 months, he was gone.   But, he’s back.  Woo Hoo!  And just in time for the Olympics.