On Wednesday, my friend Katie posted her “alphabet of right now,” sharing snippets of her daily life through the vehicle of an alphabet. Then she invited her readers to do the same. I loved the idea, and although my alphabet is probably a bit prosier than Katie’s lovely one, I’m sharing it anyway. These are the ABCs of my current day-to-day.
A is for air. I’m feeling a lack of it lately. It’s been too darn cold to venture outside for much of the month. I’m hoping that this weekend will be a little bit warmer and less windy, so we can go for a walk. Even a short one. I need big gulps of fresh air.
B is for bedtime, battles and bedsharing. Battles are what we have at bedtime most every night – battles with a toddler who doesn’t want to settle down. And bedsharing is what we have been doing as a result. Usually starting at around 1:00 a.m. when Peanut wakes up and realizes that we’re no longer sitting next to her crib or standing over her, rubbing her back. But lately it’s been as early as 9:00 or so, when we’re tired enough that we want to go to bed too. It’s just a phase, it’s just a phase, it’s just a phase…
C is for countdown. Four weeks to go until my due date! I can’t believe I’ve actually gotten this far. I expect to go a bit early, just based on my last pregnancy and how things are going with this one; my goal is to get to 37 weeks, which is one week from today. Nugget has done a great job baking away and while I would like him to stay in until he’s really fully cooked, every day feels a little bit safer. Every day I breathe a little easier and allow myself to hope, just a little more, that we will avoid the NICU this time. And every day is, of course, one day closer to meeting our newest little love.
D is for dragging. Which I am. I’m constantly exhausted. Between pregnancy, being mom to a toddler and being swamped at work, it’s all I can do to get through the day sometimes.
E is for excited. It took awhile for me to get past the anxiety about having another preemie, but I’m genuinely excited to hold Nugget in my arms and to experience the next phase of parenthood… in a few weeks! I might be excited to meet him, but I’d still like him to stay put until full term.
F is for frigid, which is what this weather has been recently. We’ve scrapped entire weekends full of plans because it’s been too cold to leave the house. Temperatures at -9*F, with windchill up to -30*F? This is just ridiculous.
G is for girl time, which is necessary for my sanity. Lunches and friend dates with Zan have been a lifeline in a season of stress. I always leave a lunch with her feeling lighter. I’m also trying to cultivate some friendships with some of the moms of other kids in Peanut’s class. We have a nice group of families in our class and I’d love to turn some of those friendly acquaintances into real friends. I’m working on it.
H is for homesick. Which I have been, particularly, of late. Just when I think I’ve cried every tear I have to cry over leaving D.C., I find that there are more. Moving was the right thing for our family, and there’s plenty of good to be said for our current living situation, but… it’s hard when I wish I could be having lunch with my girlfriends, snuggling their new babies (so! many! new! babies!) and still living in a place I loved so deeply for so long.
I is for Ithaca, my college town, which won at winter humor when the local tourism board updated their website to encourage people to visit the Florida Keys instead, due to this “ridiculously stupid winter” we’re all having. I got a good laugh out of this article, which my alma mater shared on Facebook.
J is for jokes. I’m endlessly grateful to be married to a guy that I laugh with on a daily basis. Lately, most of our jokes have revolved around certain of Peanut’s favorite books and TV shows – especially Curious George. We refer to the Man with the Yellow Hat as “Ross,” make up hilarious stories about his love life, and crack each other up with impressions of the other characters. It’s good to laugh like that with someone.
K is for karma. Our city rental from our first year here is up for sale after our landlords were unable to re-rent it. I’m not proud of this, but I feel the tiniest bit gleeful about that. We had a lot of issues there, especially shortly before we left, which I didn’t get into then and won’t go into great detail about now, because I try to keep this space positive. The major issues, though, were pretty serious, especially at the end – a flagrant breach of the lease and a flat refusal to let us take on a month-to-month arrangement or a short-term lease extension – we were told to either renew our lease for a year or get out. It wasn’t a healthy living situation for any of us, but especially Peanut, and we knew we couldn’t stay another year, but the rigid stance they took on our short-term proposal contributed in a major way to the debilitating stress we felt over our housing hunt. I don’t wish ill on anyone, but after the shabby way in which we were treated, a small part of me got a bit of a smile out of the fact that they lost out on a lot of rental income when they refused to work with us, and that they are now trying to unload the place. I’m not proud of it, but hey, I’m human.
L is for lists. Gosh, I’m making so many of them lately. Work projects that must be completed before I head out on maternity leave. Work projects that are ongoing and will need to be passed off temporarily. Tasks that need to be done in the nursery. Activities to do with Peanut before the new little guy arrives. And so many more. So far, it’s been mostly lists, and not many check marks. I have a lot to do.
M is for monkey. And not just any monkey: Curious George. Peanut is really into George lately – always wanting to watch the cartoon and read the books, and she loved visiting the special George exhibit at the Buffalo Science Museum. I can’t wait for our next visit!
N is for Nugget! He’s on my mind all the time these days. Who will he look like? (I’m predicting hubby, because Peanut is my mini-me, and Nugget’s sonogram pictures don’t look anything like hers.) What will his personality be like? What will be his favorite food, sport, book? I’m loving speculating about who my boy will turn out to be.
O is for Ollie. That’s what I named my new (well, new as of this fall) car. Lately, every time I get in the car, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to have it. Ollie is an SUV and happens to be particularly good in snowy and icy conditions (even among other SUVs). When I imagine what it would have been like to try to navigate this winter with my old car, I am genuinely frightened. I feel so safe in the new car and so thankful that I didn’t have to face this hideous winter slipping around in an unreliable fourteen-year-old sedan. Honestly, I don’t know how we would have gotten to the store or to work, some days, without Ollie.
P is for Peanut, and soaking up every minute of time we can with her while she’s still an only child. And brainstorming ways to help her adjust to the new arrival, and to make sure she knows that she is still loved and cherished just as much as ever.
Q is for quiet, which is sort of lacking at the moment. Work is crazy – I’m trying to transition and wrap up a bunch of projects because I’m getting the feeling that I’ll be going out early again (although not as early as last time, obviously, which is a relief) and I’m also moving offices. I come home wiped out at the end of the day, but with a two-and-a-half-year-old in the house, there’s no quiet refuge to be found. I have to find some way to get even five minutes of peace into my day.
R is for reading. Reading to Peanut, which I do every single day, and reading to myself, which I am finally making more space to do. I’ve finished some very good books lately, and it feels good to be excited to turn pages again.
S is for snow. It snowed the other day and I was actually happy to see the flakes, because that meant it was getting warmer. That’s right. For the past week or so it’s been too cold to snow. Let me repeat that: too cold to snow. That’s when you know winter has defeated you. When you’re actually glad it’s snowing because that means the temperature is on the upswing.
T is for trades, which everyone in Buffalo has been talking about – specifically, the major trades the Buffalo Sabres have concluded recently. I was sad to see some of my favorite players leave, but happy that the team got some really talented guys in return. I hope it works out and that next year they have an exciting season.
U is for understanding, which I am trying to be when it comes to some of Peanut’s current phases. We’re dealing not only with the bedtime battles I mentioned above, but also with food-throwing and general disobedience. Yesterday found me cleaning the kitchen floor on my hands and knees (36 week baby bump and all) after she threw her entire dinner plate. (And before you get up in arms, hubby had a late work call and wasn’t home, or he totally would have taken one for the team and done the cleanup.) No meal is complete without at least three time-outs for throwing food. She just seems to enjoy pushing our buttons right now. We’re a pretty lax household without many rules (no playing with sharp objects, fire, cleaning supplies or anything that could kill you; don’t climb up your slide because you could fall and hit your head; treat books with respect; no throwing food – that’s about it) but she takes pleasure in breaking the few rules we do have and then laughing gleefully as we carry her to time-out. I think the mealtime shenanigans have a lot to do with teething – she’s cutting molars and it’s been beastly – so that’s what I’m trying to be understanding about. But there’s a lot of general toddler disobedience going on right now and I am running out of patience for some of those antics. Deep breaths. I’m trying.
V is for vacation, which is not actually happening right now, but sure is on my mind lately. The more the temperature plummets, the more I look forward to burying my toes in the warm sand of the Outer Banks this summer.
W is for wiggles. Also kicks, and stretches, and pushes, and rolls, all of which Nugget has been doing. (He’s wiggling as I type this). I love every single movement I feel from him, because they let me know he’s still okay. And many of the kicks and pushes and stretches have been strong enough for Daddy to feel, which is new and fun for both of us. Peanut was never strong enough for Daddy to feel a kick from outside, but busy little Nugget has more than made up for that. I love the amazed look on hubby’s face every time Nugget wallops him in the hand.
X is for xylophone. Peanut recently unearthed hers in the playroom and has been having a fabulously noisy time banging on it.
Y is for year, and this past one has kind of been rough. Lately I keep looking back over the past twelve months and cringing. I’ve been a ball of stress pretty much since this time last year. First there was the stressful housing hunt that we started last March (and that stretched into June), followed by a really difficult move in my first trimester of pregnancy, then an entire season in which everything broke, and now toddler antics and the impending arrival of a newborn. It has been a year-long onslaught of stress events. I really hope that things ease up soon, but somehow I don’t think they will.
Z is for zingers. I’ve been coming up with some good ones lately, because I’ve been so frustrated with so many situations. Of course I’ll never be able to share any of them.
Thanks for the idea, Katie! Friends – what’s your alphabet of right now? Share in comments or let’s keep the posts going.