This weekend, we’re expecting a foot of snow. Sadly, Chris won’t be here. He’s going skiing with friends in Jackson Hole. Poor Chris. But Catherine and I will be here, and Catherine has been asking for snow since before Christmas. I rush-ordered the sled, snow boots, and snow mittens I’d been meaning to have ready for her. They should be in today. She’s already got a snow bib. I’m going to go to the grocery store with her on Friday night to stock up on goodies for the week. So Saturday morning, all we have to do is wait for snow, grab our gear, and beeline to Central Park to get first dibs.

Chris is so much better at this sort of thing than me, especially with me being pregnant. But I’m determined to step up my game in his absence.

It is 11am on a Wednesday morning. This very moment, I just discovered a rather large piece of a blackberry from my breakfast has remained lodged in my teeth undetected for the entirety of the morning. I’m trying to remember everyone I’ve smiled at today.

Also this morning, as I was packing Catherine’s lunch, I paused to give her breakfast. She requested cheerios with coconut milk. I gave her the cereal. She took a few bites and pushed it aside. She wanted cow’s milk. I understood because I’d found the coconut milk a bit thick myself. So I made her another bowl of cereal, this time with honey and cinnamon. She ate a bite then hopped down from her stool and ran away yelling “I Elsa! I Elsa!”  I finished packing her lunch. Homemade zucchini pizza, grapes, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, string cheese, and vanilla wafer cookies.

And last night, Chris and I watched three episodes of the Netflix docu-series Making a Murderer. It was actually very romantic until, having had a bit too much whiskey, Chris got the munchies and proceeded to chew an entire bag of peanuts loudly – which caused me to lift my head from his lap – which interrupted my shoulder massage. Oddly, the night before we’d watched four episodes of Making a Murderer, and he had a little too much whiskey then too, and upon taking a five-minute break from our show, I found him in the bathroom munching a large chunk of cheddar cheese. Normally I am in bed by 10pm, but this show has had me riveted, so I’ve been staying up late. Is this what he always does after I go to bed?

In other news, I’m five and a half months pregnant. And my cheese-munching hubby, our cereal-shunning preschooler, and I (with blackberries in my teeth), are pretty excited and happy about that. :)

What’s up with us:

Exciting things are happening! Obviously, we’re expecting our precious baby girl on or around May 7. This little girl was so carefully planned, and we almost can’t believe it’s happening just like we dreamed.

Naturally, we’ll need more space with two girls, so we’re moving! Hoping to stay in the same neighborhood if we can find something, but if not, we won’t go far. After living with a “home office” as Catherine’s bedroom, I’m excited to decorate and enjoy a true, sun-drenched bedroom for the girls with windows and a closet just for them. The things you sacrifice to live in New York.

Catherine will be starting public pre-k in the Fall, if all goes as planned! We have loved her wonderful little school she’s been in since I began working full time. They’ve taught her so, so, so much. But it will be nice to take advantage of the free public school system. The schools in our neighborhood are supposed to be good, and I’m hoping we’ll see equal quality. I never expected I’d get so excited about something like an elementary school.  But I’m hoping the school will be a community for us, with involved parents and extracurricular activities.

In other news, this summer we’re taking Catherine to Macon for two weeks to take swim lessons from the same woman who taught me. Then in the Fall, Catherine will start ballet. I guess our new little baby girl will be the tag-a-long. I remember the days of the baby k’tan well, and can’t wait to have my little snuggly bundle on my chest and carry her around with me everywhere.

I’m absolutely loving being a mommy.

Some pregnancy stuff:

Total weight gain: 15 lbs.

Pregnancy symptoms: I get a little tired still, pee frequently, and have some odd random pains. But the last of the morning sickness and exhaustion have finally left me, so I’m feeling amazing!!!

How big is baby: about a pound. She’s definitely getting stronger, I can tell you that from her kicks!

Sex: GIRL!

Maternity clothes. Yep. Nothing but. Rosie Pope maternity jeans are the best thing to happen to pregnancy since epidurals.

Movement: Lots of moving and kicks. I love it. It’s my favorite part of pregnancy.

Food cravings: Hmm. None really. The aversions are mostly gone, and I’ve been in the mood for clean foods like vegetable soup and berry smoothies.

What I miss: Running. Because I have marginal placenta previa and have experienced some spotting, I’ve been advised not to run right now.

What I’m looking forward to: Moving into a bigger apartment and decorating the girls’ room! Finding out what school Catherine will be going to in the fall (we find out in May). Being home with my two girls. Finally going to the hospital and meeting our new daughter.

Best moment of the week:  I didn’t go back to work from the holidays until Wednesday, so Tuesday morning Catherine and I braved the 18-degree weather and walked to Barnes and Noble. She brought me books and snuggled up in my lap and I read them to her. Then we went to the grocery store, and came home and I made pot roast. Sounds so simple, but those mornings together hanging out in our neighborhood are my favorite thing.

I’m just returning to work after a nice, long two and a half week break. It’s a bit painful, as such returns can be, but there’s still so much to look forward, so I’m comforting myself with these thoughts. Like the first snow, which we’re still waiting for and which will prove difficult to commute in with a big belly and a three-year old, but which will delight Catherine and make it especially cozy to snuggle up indoors.

Plus, the holidays behind us and the first trimester sickness increasingly so, I am only just now getting my healthy eating mojo back – just in time for New Year’s Resolutions. I have lots of resolutions that I didn’t bother to tie to the New Year. I won’t bore you with my list, but everyone knows healthier eating and January go hand in hand. Today, I took a green smoothie and leftover homemade pot roast to work. I feel good. I’m hoping processed Starbucks breakfast sandwiches and gummy candy are behind me for a while.

The bump.  It’s big.  I can’t believe I have 4 months of jeans and bras and this belly ahead of me. So after wearing worn black leggings literally every single day for two weeks over my break, I exchanged a maternity sweater Chris bought me for Christmas for a very expensive and very comfy pair of Rosie Pope jeans. Let’s just say they made my first day back at work soooooooo much better!

Our baby.  She is moving plenty. And I love it. It’s the best part of pregnancy, for sure. Supposedly, she’s the size of a butternut squash, but I think those produce comparisons are silly. Her kicks are getting stronger and stronger. At night, sometimes I wake up to her kicks, and I just lie there drifting back to sleep with my hand on my belly. She seems to kick where I place my hand.

Chris.  He’s very excited. Just like last pregnancy, the second trimester has provided some much-needed relief for us both, and we’re enjoying life to the fullest. The holidays were wonderful. He gave me a sweet card that I wanted to read over and over again because it made me happy, because I could have written what he wrote. Of course with Catherine in the mix, we don’t have near the time to spend together that we did last pregnancy, lest I sound too sappy. But we both know life is good and we’re enjoying it together. I feel grateful for him.

Catherine.  She’s busy looking forward to her new role as big sister, and delighting Chris and me to the ends of the earth. We adore her. To us, she’s a perfect child. Her antics are so funny and touching and frequent that I feel overwhelmed when I set out to write about them.

I’ll stop here. Well, okay, a couple more things. Chris’s insurance changed (for the better), and thus so did our doctor! We will now be seeing the obgyn and delivering in the hospital I originally wanted.

Tata for now.

This morning, Chris, Catherine and I walked down Broadway to the hospital together for the baby’s anatomy scan. The technician spent almost an hour slowly examining every part of the baby’s body. Its brain and organs, face, belly, limbs, and of course – its bottom. It was the most amazing ultrasound by far, and the baby was moving around and sucking its thumb and even gave us a peace sign. Everything is developing perfectly. And we found out that she is a girl, and Catherine will be getting a baby sister. :-)

Our newest daughter is kicking away in my belly. And I’m taking some time to let this amazing news sink in.

I’m envisioning things like: two little girls in snuggly nightgowns running downstairs on future Christmas mornings to find dollies under the tree.

This is our first Christmas with two daughters, and also our last with just one!

photo 3I was 15 weeks pregnant on Saturday. The last time I posted, I talked about feeling better. A day or two after I wrote that post, my symptoms came back full force, plus additional ones. No runs along the Hudson have happened. This pregnancy is not like the last.

The exciting news it that I have a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, and though the baby’s anatomy scan isn’t until December 5, I’m wondering if I can convince my doctor to take a peek and see if this baby is a girl or a boy!

In other news, I’m just making it through work one day at a time and looking forward to every weekend and the upcoming holidays which will allow me to escape for a little while.

This is definitely my favorite time of year.

A few highlights from the weekend…

Saturday morning, Chris, Catherine, and I did our usual Laughing Man coffee run followed by the playground. Cat and I sat next to Keira Knightly and her baby Edie while we waited for our coffee, and Catherine and the baby had a little chat. Any time we go out and about in our neighborhood, we’re almost guaranteed to see them. I think this is neat, and being relatively new to New York, I’m very dorky about it, and I try to be the right balance of friendly and not intrusive and appear cool, despite the fact that, as you can surely perceive right now, I’m not.

Later we did a little Christmas window shopping, and bought Catherine a new tiny stuffed mouse to replace the one that fell out of her pocket on the way to the train, and a new Christmas ornament for the tree.

photoOn Sunday, despite feeling like my every move was an enormous effort, and wanting to collapse on the sofa for the rest of the day, I remained focused on the end desired results and managed to produce a big pot of the best chicken soup I’ve ever made, and an applesauce cake with caramel glaze.

So overall, it was a very nice weekend.

I keep thinking about names. I suppose I should make it easier on myself and wait until we know the baby’s sex. But I actually enjoy thinking about names, and I think about names even when I’m not pregnant and there’s no one to name. I’ve thought about names since I was a little girl. I think that is probably the writer in me.

When I was around ten years old, I remember watching the Can’t Buy Me Love over and over again. And so when we played pretend, my name was always Cindy – the super-trendy, super-popular girl in the movie. Another favorite was inspired by my teenage neighbor’s girlfriend – Lisa.

Now that I’m older, I’ve come to love the name my mom gave me. Even with the current trend of giving “old lady” names like Hattie, Hazel, and Frances new life, Helen is still rare, and I’m not sure why because I think it’s a pretty name, and I always loved that I rarely come across other Helens.

And now when I think about naming my kids, I’m careful to distinguish between those enticing names that I enjoy at the moment – the way I enjoy a clothing trend…if I did enjoy clothing trends…because it turns out I’m not the trendiest in that regard either – and the ones I simply love, regardless of what’s in fashion.

What makes me love a name? I’m glad I asked. I like names that have meaning. Maybe someone very special to me, or to our family, fictional or real, bears the name.

I like “real” names, with long literary histories. I find them more interesting and substantial that way.

I like whole names that can be shortened to nicknames if chosen, but I like the birth certificate to contain the original, long form of the name. It just feels proper. I think it’s the OCD in me that can’t handle a part of a name on a birth certificate. Others don’t share hang up.

For my hypothetical son, I’d like his name to feel just alpha enough, so that if he isn’t super macho, he doesn’t feel awkward in his name, but if he is, he has a name with command.

For a girl, I like feminine names.

In my opinion, the last name is crucial to consider when naming children. In our case, we have Cobb to work with. Like my maiden name, it is short and blunt – but with even harder consonants. So some of the lovely, ultra-delicate girl names I’d otherwise consider are out – because the first name must be feminine but also sturdy enough to stand up to Cobb. Which narrows our selection considerably.

Well. The bump arrived a bit earlier this go round. I guess that’s the way second pregnancies sometimes go!

I’m officially in the second trimester. Right on schedule, I’m feeling much better. Still don’t like the smell of food, have an iffy stomach, and am in fact struggling to keep from lying my head on my desk right now – and it’s only 12:40. But…I know things will only continue to get better from here.

In fact, I’m hoping that this weekend I can go on my first run since I got pregnant. I’ll take Catherine in the running stroller Saturday morning, and we’ll run along the Hudson together and say hello to all the yachts, and then go get coffee and hot chocolate when we’re done.

Not much else has changed. We took Catherine trick or treating this weekend. She was so grateful and delighted the entire time. She’s been impossibly affectionate and sweet and wonderful these days. It’s hard to believe a creature can be so pure and perfect; she is truly ours to mess up. It’s fun to think about this next baby, and wonder how they’ll be alike and how they’ll be different. I feel like I love this baby unconditionally already. I’m excited to introduce her…him?…to our routines, adventures, traditions, and basically our world – and of course, I suppose the baby will shake things up a good bit. Six more months.

12-week ultrasound!

Yesterday morning, Catherine and I went to the hospital for my 12-week ultrasound. Everything looked great!  The baby is measuring perfectly according to my due date – May 7 – and it’s heart rate is just right. It was very active, jumping around and kicking and rolling. I loved seeing that.

Catherine was super in to the whole thing. She watched the screen intently, asking so many questions and excitedly pointing out when the baby moved. The ultrasound technician gave her five photos of the baby, and Catherine took them to school for the day and showed everyone “her baby.”

Later that evening, on the train ride home, she told a stranger “I’m gonna be a big sister!” and pointed at my belly and said “The baby is in there, growing and growing and growing!”

First Trimester Sickness

I’m thrilled the baby is healthy. But I am at my breaking point with the morning all-day sickness. Being at work all day has become so difficult I want to cry. You know that kind of sick where you wanna crawl under the covers and shake? That’s how I feel almost 24-7. And I’ve gotten increasingly desperate for a break from it.

The really awesome thing

Now that I think about it, it is a VERY good think I’m getting this first trimester over now. That means I will be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and all the fun activities and food that goes with it! I mean, I can’t imagine being this sick over the holidays! I wouldn’t even get to enjoy them at all! Instead, this will all be behind me and I can have fun with our families, play with my nieces and nephews and Catherine, make holiday crafts, go shopping and wrap gifts, see Santa, bake cookies, and feast all winter long because I’ll be in my second trimester and feeling amazing. I can do this.

Hi Baby,

We’re 11 weeks tomorrow. I’m still not feeling well. But as far as I know, you’re still hanging on strong – which makes it beyond worth it.

I feel in awe of you already for being so strong and resilient and growing despite all my fears.

You’re due the day before Mother’s Day. Catherine was born the morning after her due date. Maybe you will be too. You’ll be the ultimate gift!

Until next week – when your dad, sister, and I get to see you on the ultrasound,

Love,

Your Mommy

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