Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Waiting Week

My creative genius seems to have been crowded out by this baby right alongside my stomach and my bladder. Days go by when I actually have the time to write in my blog and I can't think of anything to write. I'm sure the kids say and do funny and memorable things--if only I could remember them. People talk about the "fog of pregnancy" and the incredible focus of a pregnant mother on her impeding arrival as the due date draws nearer, and it is all true. I tell myself that I need to enjoy these last few days or weeks before I have a newborn sapping away all of my time and energy, but all I can think is, "Get this baby out!" I remember when I was pregnant with Hannah, how Matt tried to convince me that the longer she stayed in the better--she would be easier to care for when she did come out. But after days of me not being able to think about or talk about anything else, even he was ready to have Hannah arrive so that we could move on with our lives.

There have been some funny moments, but when they happen I am so unmotivated to put in the effort to write them in my blog that they just become short facebook posts instead. Then I sit down to write in my blog, and I've already used up all my funny stories. Ah, well, I'm sure that once this baby comes I'll have tons of new material to blabber on about. Until then, here's a brief update on Eby household happenings.

Matt is out of town again this week for more training. This new job has a ridiculous amount of training overkill. He is staying (all expenses paid) in a nice hotel and eating three restaurant meals a day. I am staying at home with all four and a half children and eating beef stew from a can, because when Matt's not coming home to dinner all my ambition to spend the afternoon cooking quickly disappears. The kids have been enjoying continuing their bedtime routine with Daddy via video conference over the Internet. Apparently The Hardy Boys are just as riveting over Google Chat as they are in person because all three girls sit stone still and listen for half-an-hour to their virtual dad reading, and I get a nice little break.

Naomi continues to be healthy and extremely helpful, and I continue to be amazed and thankful. She often helps to get Toby dressed and fed. She folds laundry, empties the dishwasher, and just pitches in graciously when asked. Today at lunch she did admit that she wished there was a "reading land" where she could just read all she wants to. I said I couldn't imagine her reading much more than she already does. Hannah offered that maybe in reading land Naomi would even be able to read while she eats and sleeps.

Hannah has been following in Naomi's footsteps with a love a reading. How could she not learn to love reading with such an example? At the age of five, when public school would have her learning her letters, she is reading 2nd grade chapter books with great comprehension. She has also taken up reading to Emma and Toby, which makes everybody happy! Unfortunately, Hannah has also taken a turn for the unstable again. She goes through phases of emotional upheaval unlike any of my other kids. Lately everything sets her in tears, and it seems that the more individual attention I give her, the more she craves. I instinctively back away from this bottomless-pit of neediness, but I'm trying to overcome my fear of being sucked in and give her the extra time and attention she obviously needs right now.

Emma has been blossoming quite beautifully lately. She's finally taken off with learning to recognize and write letters and numbers. She's become quite the artist with stick figures and smiley faces, and she's so very proud. She should be. Special speech preschool has been good for her self-esteem, even if her actual speech hasn't improved much at all. While Hannah seems to burst into tears over everything lately, Emma seems more content and confident than ever--which is good for me, because two bottomless pits of neediness might just consume me completely.

Toby doesn't understand why Emma won't talk properly, and he's begun either correcting her or making fun of her regularly. He means it all in good fun, and she seems to take it well, but I'm a little at a loss as to how to answer him when Emma tries to say "Okay" and Toby asks me, "Why does Emma say 'Ogay'?"  He has also begun experimenting with substituing a "g" for every other consonant the way Emma does, which amuses him greatly and irritates me to no end. I don't need two people speaking Emma's dialect around here.

Toby cares nothing for using the potty, unless it's bedtime, of course. Suddenly, the boy who hasn't voluntarily sat on the potty all day has to sit and dribble out a half-ounce every ten minutes, but I hate to discourage him. It's win-win for him. He gets to get out of bed, and Mommy has no choice but to praise him for it. He then milks his advantage further by asking with all sincerity, "Do you know where my bed went? I can't find it." Somehow my assurance that it's likely right where he left it, doesn't satisfy him. So up the stairs we go and I tuck him in again, for another 10 minutes.

Toby is also antsy. All Mommy wants to do is stay home and rest. All Toby wants to do is go--somewhere, anywhere! Just say the word and he's putting on his own shoes and coat now, ready to break out of this prison cell. Unfortunately, Hannah suddenly doesn't want to go anywhere. She burst into tears at the same time that Toby started celebrating when I told them they were going to a friend's house tomorrow while I'm at a doctor appointment. Hannah likes this friend's house, but she says she just wants to lay in bed, for a long time. She does have a nagging cough and a stomach ache, but I suspect that all the changes coming have her longing for security beyond physical rest. I know she is excited for the holidays and the new baby, but sometimes we can be excited and apprehensive at the same time, and I think she's caught in the middle of it all.

I am convinced that I will go into labor any minute now, and I will probably remain so convinced for another three or four weeks, but don't tell me that, or I may punch you. I am thankful that I have family visiting this weekend and my parents coming for Thanksgiving next week. I need to be kept busy and distracted right now. If all looks normal at my OB appointment tomorrow I'll be settling in for another week of waiting. If not, well, at least I'll have something more exciting to write about.

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