A strange phenomenon occurs every week when Rob and I step outside to take pictures. The natural light conspires with the camera to make me look completely ghostly. The first round of today's photos were so washed out that my face disappeared entirely. Tweaking the camera settings helps a little, but a "good" shot is mostly a matter of luck. And sometimes luck strikes when I'm scowling.
Last week I came down with a cold that really took the wind out of my sails. As opposed to one of those newfangled, invigorating colds. I've said it before, but there ought to be some law of the Universe ensuring that anyone caring for babies and young children would be immune to all illness. Like how pregnant and nursing women are excused from fasting during Lent.
There has been one positive aspect to this minor illness, however. Since I can't simply mask my cold symptoms with drugs, I have to tune in more closely to my body's signals regarding nutrition. When I feel my blood sugar levels starting to wane, I have to stop and ask, What would my body most like to eat? The answer often turns out to be something immunity-boosting: muesli, a fresh orange, miso soup with lots of garlic, a baked sweet potato, mushrooms. On Friday, my body asked for a pound of raw tomatoes for lunch. That meal and a mug of chamomile tea got me through a couple hours of yard work! This cold is giving me a crash-course in mindful eating.
Westley continues to be a very enthusiastic about his future role, assuring us that he "won't mess with the baby when she comes." He wants to carry her, and has asked several times if he can give her a bottle. He also desperately wants to be able to put his hand on my belly and feel her kick, but it's too soon for that. In fact, I'm not even sure the little movements I notice from time to time are the baby. (I assume they are, though I rarely get "kicked." The movement is more like the pulling you feel when the person sleeping next to you stretches or rolls over and takes the blankets with her.)
I also came down with the Spring Cleaning bug this week, which has manifested primarily as the intense desire to throw things away NOW! Yesterday Rob and I bagged up about a half-ton of unused clothing to be donated. I scrutinize the objects cluttering up our living space and wonder, Why do we even have this? If doing so were more trivial and completely up to me, I would replace our decrepit couch with a truckload of colorful floor pillows.
In the early stages of throwing away and donating, I discovered a box of clothes from my pregnancy with Westley. (I'm always tempted to say "Westley's pregnancy," but that sounds wrong.) Most of it was awful: button-front shirts and black maternity dress slacks that I'd worn to my office job, and cheap, teeny-boppery T-shirts I'd worn on weekends. Those things went directly into the "donate" pile, but I also unearthed the two maternity dresses that saw me through right up 'til the end. I cringed a little at the idea of wearing them again—especially the blue one, which, along with a pair of size Large tights and a sweater I stole from Rob, was the only thing that fit by 39 weeks. (I'm wearing that dress it in one of the few pictures I have of myself pregnant with Westley. I also wore it postpartum, and even slept in it a few times.)
Even though I wasn't excited by the sight of them, I washed the dresses and added them to my closet and assessed my wardrobe. As much as I like the idea of a brand-new pregnancy wardrobe, I already have quite a few stretchy and flowy things at my disposal. The budget-conscious part of me was especially intrigued by the possibility of making it through the rest of this pregnancy without buying anything else for myself.
I still haven't purchased anything for the baby, but I just started knitting a little cotton blanket.