Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Like . . . Christmas and a Baby--All Rolled Into One

Let me just say . . . I may just have a problem when Christmas is over.  I might, potentially, may be addicted to online shopping.  Why have I never online Christmas shopped before?  I mean, I've ordered an occasional gift or two, but whoah.  This year takes the cake.  Today is NOVEMBER 28 and most of my Christmas shopping is done.  Me.  The one who is out shopping like a maniac on Christmas Eve every year.  It's still November, for crying out loud.  In a way, I am beyond impressed with myself for having so much of it done so far.  Not only have I scored some pretty amazing deals, but I am also having fun *cough* opening every package that is delivered to my door.  It's like Christmas already, and the gifts aren't even for me!  It's thrilling!

Knowing that I will be 37 and a half weeks pregnant by Christmas, I think that my inner "preservation mode" has clicked on.  Anything that can be done now, I'm working on accomplishing.  If I have almost zero energy right now, I can be almost certain that I will have even less in just a few weeks.

Christmas aside, I am also finding that I am much more prepared for this little one than I was for Natalie.  I have my second freezer well-stocked with frozen meals that will end up being life-savers later down the road.  I don't think I even had frozen CHICKEN PATTIES when Natalie came.  This time, though, I have soups, chili, and all manner of yummy eats just waiting for the day when I am too tired to cook.

We're pushing along our "get the house ready to sell" to-do list, and I am pretty excited.  Our windows should be good as new in a few weeks, we'll put in a new stove, and I've procured the use of a carpet cleaner to make our two carpeted rooms look AMAZING.  After that, all we have to do is storage.  It's still a lot, and I will definitely need help with packing things, but we're getting CLOSER.  I can almost SMELL it.  Lord willing, I won't have to call Patrick with my "I loaded the groceries on the belt, separated the perishables from the non-perishables, had TWO FEET between the groups, BEGGED the cashier to please keep them separate when she bagged them because 'I live on a third floor condo and have to get my pregnant self, my 17 month old, and the groceries up the steps and I'd like to leave the non-refrigerated stuff in the car until I have the energy for another trip' and I STILL had to separate out my groceries in the FREEZING RAIN" rant (yes, this just happened again yesterday, and I was less than thrilled). 

People keep telling me, "Oh, you've got time left" regarding the length of time until the baby comes, but, thankfully, I have realized that I do NOT "have time."  Christmas is in a few weeks: cookies, shopping, parties, time with family . . . and then right after Christmas I will be 38 weeks.  38 WEEKS.  Natalie came at 39.  Soooo, I am learning to make the most of my time and to work hard now so that I'm not "killing" myself later.  My how time does fly.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy and Blessed

The last several months have flown by, probably due in part to my sister's wedding in October.  As tired as I am, especially as I anticipate the holidays, I sit here feeling quite satisfied with myself because I have gotten a LOT accomplished over the last few weeks.

Were you to have come over to my home three weeks ago and then to come again tonight, you would be totally shocked at the appearance.  I finally hired a painter to come and finish our main room as well as paint the bathroom.  After that, I found us some "new" (*cough* matching *cough*) furniture on Craigslist.  We had three different companies come to give us estimates on repairing our windows, and I researched new stoves to replace our ancient, half-functioning one.  On Saturday, Patrick and I (mostly Patrick) cleared the music room of a bunch of junk, rearranged it it so that it is "livable" again, and stacked all the boxes of packed items that need to go into storage.  Today, I vacuumed, mopped the parquet floors, and painted all of the electrical and light-switch covers that were still split-pea green, along with all the other regular day-to-day things that needed to be done.

Through all this, Natalie has become more and more vocal, active, and . . . destructive.  The child is BUSY.  What can I say.  Whether it's helping me empty the dishwasher by trying to put all the spoons in her mouth (don't worry, I rewash them when she gets them) or attempting to wash the floor with all of my clean dishrags or cooking with a measuring cup and a spoon that she's pulled out of my kitchen drawers (along with everything else), Natalie wants to be just like Mommy.  Which is great now, despite all of the extra work it makes, but I shudder to think of when we actually get this house on the market--which is now looking like it will be SOON!!!.  When she isn't taking things out and putting them down, she is running after me yelling "UP!", "COOKIE!" or "JUICE!", trying to ride on the vacuum cleaner while I use it because it makes her hair fly into her face, or she is begging to have a "bookie" read to her.  I have learned that the Sesame Street station on Pandora radio is my best friend because it keeps her dancing, excited, and happy while I sing along with it while I work.

Our lives are so full right now, but we are happy and blessed.  I still laugh when people intimate that I, as a stay-at-home mom, have a lot of free time . . . because I don't . . . and I'm often not home . . . and my schedule is pretty full most of the time.  However, I am so grateful that God has worked it so that I am able to stay "home" with my daughter.

This past week, I received an invite to join a "Professional Women" sort of association that promotes being the best you can be and helps women rise to the top.  It made me laugh because obviously this group has no idea who I am or what I do.  In the eyes of many, I am an unfulfilled woman who is wasting my talents and gifts by staying at home, taking care of my children, husband and home, etc.  However, I feel that I am "at the top" because there is no job that I would rather have and nowhere else that I would rather be.  Through my being at home, I have found ways to serve others that would otherwise be impossible.  I am able to minister to my family (both immediate and extended), my church, and my friends.  Why would I trade this for anything else?