Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer's End

Summer is almost over. School starts for Luke in three days. We have been doing our school clothes shopping, following our usual pattern of dropping big bucks for Stride Rite shoes and thrifting the rest. I don’t know what happened to Luke, because in the past he couldn’t care less about what he wore, and now all of a sudden he has opinions on his wardrobe. Imagine that! I’m all for letting kids find their own style, but I’m a little worried about Luke’s particular vision for himself. As he was trying on the plain jeans and khakis that I bought him at Ohio Thrift, he looked down at himself and said, “I look like a dork.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “You are just wearing plain old jeans. Everyone wears jeans!”

“I want to wear ripped pants and a sleeveless jersey,” he said.

Later, when trying on the plain green cotton shorts I had chosen for him, he groaned, “Mommmmm, I look like a jerk! I want shorts with flames and cougars on them!”

Craig needed to buy a few things for work at a department store over the weekend, so I let Luke pick a few things to spice up the boring wardrobe that I had chosen for him. He wound up with some sporty cotton pants, a GI Joe t-shirt, a “jersey” that I told him he can only wear over another shirt, and a typical boys sports-themed shirt. Not bad. We didn’t wind up with the “I love death” shirt that Luke also said he wanted to look for. I’m not sure that they carry this particular shirt in the boy’s department. (FYI, in case you are worried about Luke’s mental health, which I was upon hearing this request, Luke saw this logo on a skateboard and thought it looked cool.)

As fall nears, I’m gestating along nicely. I feel good, am sleeping well, and finally, finally, that nesting thing where I actually want to clean and organize has kicked in. I also am starting to feel like a stuffed sausage. I think my insides are straining against my skin. I have gained twenty pounds, which, for me, is right on track with my usual weight gain, but I don’t remember feeling this full before.

Henry continues to be particularly excited for the baby’s arrival. The other day he was telling me what he wanted for Christmas—being the ever-prepared child that he is—and after listing a few toys he added, “Our baby is going to be the best Christmas present ever!”

“You are right, Henry!” I said, feeling my heart melt a little.

“I mean,” he clarified, “The best present that comes out of your vagina.”

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I’m feeling overwhelmed by all that I haven’t posted in the last month. July began with Craig going out of town. As soon as he returned, we moved, had out of town guests (just for one night, but I’m pregnant, so it counts as busy-making), went on vacation, and returned to much unpacking. We welcomed August with a pool party out at my friend’s parents’ lake house, complete with hours of swimming, boat rides and jet skiing. Since then we’ve attended three other parties and hosted Luke’s birthday swimming bash. The summer is nearly gone and here we are sitting in a pile of unpacked boxes. I know the house will be in order eventually, but it is feeling like it is taking so, so long. I plan to post pictures of the new house at some point, but right now it would be rather mortifying.

Through all of the chaos and activity of this summer, there was one date that I focused on: August 6. That was the day of our big ultrasound and the day we would find out if our baby is of the boy or girl variety. We didn’t find out with Henry, and it was a fun surprise. But Craig prefers to know, and I felt like I wanted some time to adjust to the idea of either three boys or an only girl.

While I knew that I would like to have a girl, I thought that I didn’t care too much one way or another. But the thing is, I thought that it was a girl. I really believed that it was a girl, due to some combination of my severe nausea, the timing of conception, and my intuition, which was correct with both of the boys. And Craig KNEW, he told me, he KNEW that it was a girl.

But . . . we have a Scratch. Or a Ryujin, which is what the boys want to name him now, after a Japanese dragon god. Luke tells me that if we won’t agree to Ryujin, he could possibly accept Norwegian Ridgeback as an alternative. And last night, Henry asked me if we could nickname him Hell Assassin. Ahh, life with boys.

And here’s the kind of embarrassing part: I cried when we found out that we are having another boy. I’m telling you, I really believed that I didn’t care one way or another. But I was in shock. And, while I love this baby that is growing inside of me and wouldn’t change him, healthy and wonderful and unique, I have been mourning that fact that I will not be the parent of a girl. But I think I’m mostly over it now. I looked at some pictures of some really cute baby boys in a magazine at the gym yesterday, and that got my baby boy hormones flowing. And I bought him some fleece lined brown leather booties that are so, so cute. Those booties alone are helping a lot.

Scratch Ryujin Norwegian Ridgeback, aka Hell Assassin, I love you. You have been simply full of surprises.