It all started with the simple task of cleaning out the closets...
As you know, we are in the throes of Baby House. As of today, the sellers accepted the appraisal price (!!!) AND they completed all of the necessary repairs, minus one big one. The Whippersnapper is on it and is assuring us that the house will be ready by this weekend. The lender has all of our finances in order and we have transferred all necessary monies to complete the deal...in other words, our bags are packed, we know where the hospital is, we are just waiting for those first few contractions to really kick in (or our housing 'water' to break, so to speak) and then WE ARE BUYING A HOUSE!!!!!!!!!! ::squeal::
I've only felt this level of excitement during several other moments in my life...leaving for Ireland caused this feeling of butterflies. When Brian proposed. The weeks before our wedding (not the actual week of the wedding; no, that was a trainwreck-filled disaster of seven days that started with a broken water heater and ended with...well, you know what.) The weekend before Scotty's arrival, I had this feeling. And now, my toes are a little tingly, my stomach is a little queasy, and I'm probably talking faster than normal.
I've been quizzing the Whippersnapper about our closing date much in the same manner I quizzed George for my due date. "Do you think it will happen soon?" "What else needs to happen?" "What can we do to make this happen sooner?" "Does everything look okay?" I actually told the Whippersnapper about my ob/realtor analogy, and she loved it. I'm really starting to like her -- she is amazingly good at her job and is just a really nice, fun person. I feel like we've entrusted her with a job so important (and essential to our physical and mental well-being) and she has just been a super star. I think she is definitely making the list for Christmas cards this year.
So, with our move just weeks away, I started to clean out our cabinets. My goal was to use up - not throw out - all of the stuff we've collected over the years. Do I really need 4 different kinds of shampoo? Why do I keep buying more? Ditto for body lotion, bath soap, etc. Even our kitchen cabinets are packed to the gills with cans of food, coffee, tuna. We would likely survive nuclear war based on my preparations. Anyways, this has spurred my creativity to figure out how to use up all of this before we move. And, as we know, thinking about new uses for old things (just like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand) actually strengthens your brain. Poor Brian has had to endure all kinds of creative meals in the last few weeks, but it has made my mood brighten and dinner time has become a fun challenge, not the boring task it has been in months past.
Also, in my cleaning frenzy, I stumbled across a small sample of face tanner. I had likely ripped this out of a magazine in months past, threw it under the bathroom cabinet and promptly forgot about it. Now, you also have to know that I stopped tanning cold turkey about three years ago. I'm not sure if I fit the definition of a tan-o-rexic, but I certainly loved indoor tanning (and outdoor!). I felt better when I was tan. I gave it when we started trying to have a baby, not because it is nearly toxic for your health. It was a hard thing to give up, but I'm glad I did it. I had a bad experience with self-tanner about eight years ago (that prompted Brian to hold up an orange near my leg, and declare my leg to be the winner) so I felt resigned to just figure out how to embrace my fleshy white self.
Cue the facial tanner. In my mission to use up everything in our house, I decided to slather a little on. My face brightened! It was tan...kind of. It was tan enough for me, at least, and I did it in a safe manner. I was so excited I ran out to buy body lotion with self-tanner. I guess things have really improved in eight years.
Looking at my lovely bronzed legs inspired me to think about what is underneath that skin...which lead me to the gym. I'm happy to report that since February started, I've managed to hit the treadmill, elliptical several times AND attend one (horribly painful) body pump class. I don't think I've lost any weight, but I cannot state how wonderful it feels to actually use my body again and to use it for non-incubator purposes. I feel like me again. I think I might have underestimated the extent that bed rest took on my body; not only could I not do a lunge with weight, I could barely do the damn lunge at all. Wow. I hadn't lifted a weight since 2008. I'm fairly certain my abs haven't even come together yet, since if you poke me in the middle of my tummy, it's still really squishy. So yes, I have a lot of work to do but I feel so excited to be able to run, walk, lunge (kind of) and break a sweat without worrying about how I'm affecting my baby. Hooray!
(also, this gym commitment was spurred on by a recent wardrobe reduction. I was collecting clothing to give to charity when I stumbled upon several old skirts and shirts. "Look at how teeny-tiny this skirt is!" I cried to Brian one night. He nodded appreciatively. "I wore this to Jen's bachelorette party! That was only four years ago!" Brian nodded again. "I was a saucy little thing, wasn't I?" I asked him. He agreed again. (poor guy. He could only nod at this point. We were headed into dangerous territory.) "Now, I'm not saucy; I'm just sauce," I told him. "Gravy. I'm like gravy." And at this point, he started snickering. At least he thinks I'm funny, despite the current size of my waist.)
I have just had tons of energy since my recent gym visits (minus the few days after Body Pump; I can barely walk up and down the stairs). Scotty and I have gone to the park (facing forward in the stroller!) to enjoy the lovely Vegas weather. We attended a Valentine's Day party last Saturday and on Friday night, I sat at our kitchen table, happily cutting out paper hearts for cards that we planned to distribute to the other children. My oatmeal cookies were cooling on the counter and I thought to myself, "Is this motherhood? Because if it is, this rocks." THIS is how I picture motherhood - sunny days in the park, crafts, cookies, happy baby babbling in the high chair. I know that I've vacillated between staying at home and possibly going back to work, but I am so happy I chose to stay home. This lifestyle is really fun, not to mention incredibly rewarding. We have finally moved past sleep-deprivation and SwaddleGate and are really hitting our stride.
So yeah, after all of that, I am feeling great. Cleaning out the closets lead to me using my brain in new and creative ways. Which then prompted me to tan safely, hit the gym, start some craft projects and actually enjoy my choices. It only took us six months, but we got there. We got there.