April 6: Elongating

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Between baby hands

And child-like fingers: Maya.

Where has the time gone?

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A to Z Challenge: This month, I will be writing a haiku (sometimes a senryu – same syllables, not marveling at nature) each day save Sundays for the 26 letters of the alphabet as part of the blogosphere’s A to Z Challenge.

 

April 3: Clean

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She calls to the sea:

“These waves are making us clean!”

In all ways, yes, love.

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A to Z Challenge: This month, I will be writing a haiku (sometimes a senryu – same syllables, not marveling at nature) each day save Sundays for the 26 letters of the alphabet as part of the blogosphere’s A to Z Challenge.

April 2: Between days: insomnia

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Black windows reflect –

me. The light, on, shows only

inside. Uncurtained.

A to Z Challenge: This month, I will be writing a haiku (sometimes a senryu – same syllables, not marveling at nature) each day save Sundays for the 26 letters of the alphabet as part of the blogosphere’s A to Z Challenge.

Celestial Lights

When you have a child, you begin to do everything one handed. Best practice or no, everything is a multi-task, like juggling with one hand while doing dishes with the other. I can’t count how many times I have lamented my ignorance about appreciating free time before I had kids. It’s not that I want that back, I just wish I knew what I had when I had it. Now, everything, from switching the laundry to reading a book, only comes into being after negotiating with, or trickily dodging, a toddler.

Now, pregnant with my second baby, the pregnancy itself is taking a backseat to that negotiation. When I was pregnant with Maya, everything about the experience was in sharp, closely examined focus. It was magical; it was scary; it was uncomfortable; it was beautiful. But everything that it was was clearly in front of me at all times. It was the sun that everything else spun around; it colored my days with its new take on how to live, move, breathe, and be.

We have only remembered to take a picture of this pregnancy twice. Once at 17 weeks, then again at 32 weeks!
We have only remembered to take a picture of this pregnancy twice. Once at 17 weeks, then again at 32 weeks!

Now, sometimes, I forget that I am pregnant. And I am pretty far along at seven months. It is another thing that does not get my full attention, just like work, writing, household matters, husband. I do not mean to sound like I am complaining about life with Maya – it is neither unpleasant nor difficult – she is a happy, relatively easy kid who has a good routine and is cooperative, most of the time. But she does need me and her dad and her nana and her gigi, and that’s cool. She is helpful in the way that a windstorm is helpful when folding laundry or sweeping the floor, but the fun, learning, and building of good habits makes it better and not tedious or frustrating (usually).

This morning, I managed to squeeze in some pre-natal yoga before Maya woke up, and the directives of “place one hand on your baby” and “breathe into your baby” snapped me into awareness of how often I am not doing this with this second pregnancy. I am aware of this new life, and I really enjoy that we have reached the stage of big, obvious movements that catch and hold my attention, but being pregnant has become part of our routine and has been swept along in the nuts and bolts of our day. The pregnancy is not a new experience to be marveled, or the sun around which everything else spins. It is more like one of the planets – part of the team, but just another thing in line with everything else in our solar system.

We are not finding out the gender of baby number two, and I think this has contributed to “it” (I hate that) not being a real person yet. But we did, recently, decide on a name for each possibility, and that has made a difference in my perspective. It is evolving from a routine pregnancy, at which I am old hat, to an identifiable baby – my little May baby girl or boy.

I will begin to carve out some time to talk directly to him/her and not just have him/her listening in on the conversations I have with Maya. I realize that very soon, he/she will be here and be swept into our routine. But he/she will also make some big changes, and Maya, the sun, will have to take a backseat and help to warm the new babe. Maya will grow a little and learn to share being the center of the universe, which can only be good for both celestial lights.

So for now, as the weeks wind down, I will place one hand on my belly and breathe into the baby, practice saying each name out loud, and try to appreciate how easy it has been to do everything with only one kid.

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Here We Go!

It is time! The story is changing!

Our house is officially on the market.

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The plan was to do this last May, but as life would have it, things were delayed. And now, today, the house is ready and we are ready.

Maya has had a few meltdown moments of “But I don’t want to sell Green Home” and Sean and I have had our similar moments. This is the first home we have owned; it is where we brought our baby home and she has grown. Sean has never lived in one place as long as we have been in this house. It has been wonderful, and we are not leaving because that has changed.

We look at it and say to each other, “Yeah, I would buy that again.” We were sold on the private neighborhood (the house sits at the end of a street. Not a cul de sac, just the end of the street) and we have three acres. We can’t really see the houses around us, but it is a nice treat when, in the warmer months, my neighbor sits on his back porch and plays his fiddle.

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Sure, with more time and money, there are changes we would make, but the things that sold us four years ago still make me happy every day – the wall of windows on the first floor, the huge windows upstairs, the wooden plank ceilings, the lofts, the deck and screened porch, the creek that runs through the back of our property…

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It has been such a wonderful home for us, and we are leaving it full of love and appreciation and full of hope that the next family to move in will be just as happy here as we were. It’s time for us to move on to the next stage, but Green Home will forever be our first home as a family.

Here is the link to the official listing on Trulia.com

Mountains

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I just read a blog post called “Climbing Mountains” on infertility which spoke to me. Even as I sit here, growing larger with my second bun in the oven, it was written in a way that A) helped me to find empathy on a deeper level than I had before B) felt so universal, and C) opened my eyes to new gratitude.

The writer is Suzy Krause of Suzy Krause and the Skyscrapers and Coffee + Crumbs.

Some of the piece hit a very personal note with me – seemingly articulating my own challenges, though of a very different variety:

If I could tell myself one thing…[i]t would be that no matter how this all turns out, this time of wanting and waiting and hoping is so valuable. That’s all. It’s a life lesson for all stages, no matter if what you’re waiting for is a baby or a partner, or a job, or a train. This is an opportunity to grow, to learn, to experience joy that’s not dependent on life’s circumstances…

I hadn’t known when I started this climb how long it would take, or how hard it would be. Or I how much I would learn and grow and stretch and be changed. Or how beautiful the view would be from up here. But as I sat there, I decided this moment was well worth the journey. That’s the thing about mountains, I guess. People wouldn’t go through all the work to climb them if there wasn’t something amazing at the end.

Transitions

My student teacher started today. I am so grateful.

I was talking with him yesterday about his plans for the week, and he was so full of energy, life, creativity, and ideas. My first reaction was to beat myself up for not bringing that kind of passion lately. Though I don’t think I have been slack or doing a poor job, he is just so full-to-the-brim with vitality and verve.

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Then I realized that I am so grateful that he is here right now to bring that idealism and that creativity to our classroom. I am here to help funnel that energy into productive lessons. He is bringing the newness; I am bringing the experience. It’s a good balance. And one that I need so badly right now.

Maya comes with me to work on the weekends
Maya comes with me to work on the weekends

This is a time for major transition for me, and that’s okay. Spending my outside “free” time working on new ideas for school is just not my truth today. It has been, and maybe it will be again, but it’s not right now. This experience with hosting a student teacher has granted me time: time to take care of all of the necessary, logistical, and professional things that are required of me. The gift of not having to use my outside time to take care of nuts and bolts, which must come before creativity, but often does not!

And if I get those things taken care of, then maybe I can use some of these gifted days to find my creative thought again, though they may be less of the teaching variety and more geared toward the new version of my life. One with two kids, no day job, new ventures, a possible new home.

It’s time to put my creative energy toward this new portrait, and also toward my own writing – in a journal, on the blog, in some stories. Our story is changing and I am so ready and so excited.

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I would like to remember how I built some of my favorite lessons and apply those habits and skills to my new writing life. I have felt proud, energized, and successful in those moments of inspired teaching and planning, and I would like to continue to experience the joy of that kind of satisfaction and productivity.

Inspired by Khaled Hosseini - I wrote a lesson plan on the back of my book mark for "And the Mountains Echoed"
Inspired by Khaled Hosseini – I wrote a lesson plan on the back of my book mark for “And the Mountains Echoed”

I will have about a month of teaching left after my student teacher wraps up his tenure here, and I have no doubt that in these meantime weeks, I will find my most favorite, most cared for, most loved, most thoughtful lessons to share with my classes before I officially exit this building.

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View when I leave work in the winter
My view when I leave work
View when I leave work in the spring

 

Who knows exactly what’s next, but I embrace this changing chapter.