Friday, December 22, 2006

You Know You're Behind the Eight Ball When...

It's December 22nd, and for your own immediate family, you only have one set of people shopped and done. (Brother K and Sister-in-Law W-- at the very least you'll have some presents to open on Christmas day.)

For the first time in your life, you consider getting people gift cards for Christmas. (Never mind gift cards sound great to you, especially if they are from someplace, like, oh, let's say Borders...)

You already have to take back gifts you bought. Because they are the wrong color. Growl.

You want to wring someone's neck who suggests you can get a set of queen sheets, at least 400 count, for less than fifty dollars. Yeah. Right. (Ha, but you did end up finding them for not much more! Dancing in the aisle of Costco with your partner is appropriate at this point.)

You have been desperate to be in the kitchen and make cookies all day, but you can't stand the thought of making the kitchen dirty, because invariably, your real estate agent will call you and someone will want to see the house in fifteen minutes. Because you know, your damn house is still for sale.

And the final reason you know that you are behind the eight ball and/or totally out of it: You will be talking to your friend about her upcoming trip to Chicago, and how her plans for Monday have been skewed, because the friends she was planning on hanging out with will have to be out of town for a bris. You will say to her, "Yeah, and all the museums are usually closed on Monday, so what will you do with the kids? Monday is a hard day in the city."

And then she will say to you, "And especially since it's Christmas too."

Then you will say, "Oh my GOD! Is MONDAY Christmas?" She will drawl, "Yes, it is..." And you realize that your Orthodox Jewish best friend schooled you on when Christmas is.

So you better get your ass into gear. And stop blogging, for the love of God, and get yourself to the mall!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Night Noises

Thursday night we were flipping through the channels and I heard it-- the eerie sounds of the foxes in the distance. We muted the TV and listened to them yip. They sounded far off, far off enough that the cats were not bothered at all and continued to snooze.

I remember when we moved into this house. It was July and we were exhausted. We had set up the family room before returning to the old house to collect the cats. We figured both we and the kitties would like to find something familiar when we came "home." We when came back with the cats, we slouched sweaty on the furniture, the back slider doors wide open to let in the faint breeze, and that's the first time we heard the foxes. Their yelps were like sounds from a specter-- I sat up straight, the cats' tails bushed out, and Partner asked in a whisper, "What in the hell is that?"

"I don't know," I told her, "but it is sure is creepy." I closed the sliding glass doors, took the cats out of the windows, and soon after that we went to bed, unsure of whether we loved or hated the new house and neighborhood. We were closer to downtown (a mere seven minutes away!), but we were in the country at the same time. Later in the autumn when a landscaper came to give us a bid on putting in yard, he exclaimed at the size of the coyote footprint in the mud. And by this time we were both nonchalant enough about our new wild neighbors, we shrugged.

How quickly we acclimate ourselves.

This weekend we were at my parents house, and I found myself wide awake this morning after my 4:00 am trip to the bathroom. I was awake for about an hour, solving world problems, finishing my BSN (in my head), writing the blog, doing all the Christmas cards, shopping and cooking, and writing a best selling novel, all without moving out of the bed.

The night noises, which at one time would have been background to my life, were so different. First of all there was dog, whimpering at our door, sniffing around, hoping to get into our room. My parents' bedroom door opening and closing, a silent beckoning of the dog. A pipe running. About 4:30, the sound of a car, starting and stopping all down the street, each stop punctuated by a "ffffff-plop" as the paper was tossed from a car window to land on the driveway. The bed was hard. Partner, dare I say it, was snoring.

I longed for our saggy bed in our too large master bedroom and some cats sleeping at my feet. The only noise I really deal with now in the night is the humidifier, if I choose to run it. Maybe the cats will get up and walk around, but it's pretty silent. Even the foxes stop their whelps after a certain time of night.

Ironically, last night what finally lulled me back to sleep was the flip-flopping of Cricket rumbling around in pre-dawn gymnastics. And I thought about Cricket crying in the middle of the night, how jarring the sound will be in the middle of our silent nights.

How jarring, how beautifully, wonderfully jarring. And then I fell right back to sleep, with the sweetest dreams of the whole night.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


We've been checking the mailbox with a religious regularity to see if there's any news from The Program. Especially after I had the interview and was told that decisions were being made by that Friday (which was 1 December). While gratifying to receive Christmas cards and not so gratifying to get bills, the mailbox was a black hole of disappointment. What in world could be taking them so long to get the letters of rejection or acceptance out?

So, Monday I headed into the Pharmacology (class from hell), and another woman who applied for the same program asked if I had heard anything. Nope. Nothing. "Why, have you?" I asked, paranoia seeping in. "Yup," she told me, "I got an email."

"An email?"

"Yes, an email. I've been waitlisted. I'm 13 on the list."

I didn't get an email. I asked the other woman who applied and she too got an email-- 20th on the waitlist. I didn't get a damn email. Or maybe I did? Because it suddenly dawned on me that I gave my alternate "permanent" email address to this school. And I check that email sporadically at best. I held out until the end of class and then hightailed it over to the computer lab, found Partner, told her the story, and we signed into my other email. Nothing was there, but there was one message in my junk mail box, telling me to reactivate my old email monniker (since this was school I had attended as an undergrad.) The email looked suspiciously like I had been accepted, but perhaps I was also on the waitlist? If I did get an email, then it seems it went into the junkmail, and since that is automatically deleted every five days, I had no way of knowing.

We decided to drive home and see if there was anything in the regular mail--- and there wasn't. So I called the admissions department, told the (very young sounding) girl who took my call my whole tale of woe.

"I'm on tenterhooks," I told her.

"I can't help you," she replied.

She transferred me to the school I had applied to, and no one there could help either. Apparently the woman who would be able help was out of the office. "She should be back tomorrow," I was told.

Thwarted. I don't like being thwarted.

I called again this morning to get no love at all. As soon as the I heard the purr of the mail truck, I was out the door to the mailboxes like a flash. Or okay, not so much like a flash these days, but if it's possible to waddle like a flash down the driveway in the drizzle, still in my pajamas, then that's what I did. And there was a little with a little gold M in the upper corner, and "admissions" somewhere on the envelope. It was a small envelope. I wasn't feeling so good about it. A small letter. Don't you remember the conventional wisdom that if you were accepted to a program, it was a big letter chock full o' important information about the school and the upcoming year? Well, I remember that, so the small envelope...

We tore it open standing in the road. It congratulated me. On my admission.

I'm floored. I never really ever thought I'd get into this program, but I did. And I start next September. And then one year from that time, I'll have a second bachelors degree. In nursing. And then, imagine, a degree that one can actually use to get a job. That pays.

I was pretty excited for about five minutes, but now I think I'm mostly scared shitless.

They let me in. Our lives are changing in huge ways.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

And So What Else is New with You?

1. For some reason, I am having problems commenting on TypePad blogs. If you have a typepad blog, I bet I've tried to comment and have been denied. I have things to say to you, you typepad people. And I've been thwarted. If you know me at all (and friends who've met/know me in the flesh can attest to this) I do not like being thwarted when I have something to say. Frustration abounds.

2. The new house, which I am trying to not fall in love with, has a promising new framing crew working on it. I can survey the progress from the upstairs bedrooms. Tuesday, the decking for the first floor went down. Here's a shot of the action:

The house will be on the home tour in the spring, and I've already bought Cricket a homeshow outfit. As the kid of the builders, it's important he/she look the part. At the appropriate time (!!), there will be a photo of this too. I am trying to not fall in love with the new house because it's highly likely that the new house will generate more buyer interest than our current home. I love our house right now, but since it's the first house off the corner, this makes potential buyers nervous. We've had more lookers than we have a right to in this crazy-bad market, but no one with an offer. Sometimes I wake in a panic worrying that we'll end up carrying both houses, but we just wave away such black thoughts for now. There will be no black thoughts.

3. Countdown to the end of the semester. It will be hard to not to finish out microbiology and chemistry without A's. I'm pleased by this, as Chemistry previously appeared in my imaginings as my arch-nemesis. I've tamed the beast, but will go on in the spring to take Organic BioChem. It's the last pre-req I have for any program, but one newly formed program a university near us has stated that applying students must have all pre-reqs finished before applying. The application deadline? 15 May. For one brief moment I considered registering for the course in the winter semester. How hard, I thought, could one measly class be? I can have a baby and take this course! By the time I had walked to my car from the classroom, I reconsidered this folly. I'm not doing it. I don't want to be in labor be worried about missing Biochem lab. Of course, Partner herself will be taking the class next semester, but still... Since I'm the food source, I'm opting out. If I can't apply, then I guess that wasn't meant to be.

4. I had a phone interview with the program I would very much like to be admitted to. There were near or over 400 applicants for 48 spots. Even if I don't get in, I'm pleased I was interviewed. We were supposed to hear from this particular program before Thanksgiving, so we could either please or disappoint our families with the news. Unfortunately, they are behind, probably because of the influx of applicants (which is probably because of the shitty Michigan economy). The latest scuttlebutt is that we'll hear by next week at the latest. The 14th is the current date I've heard bandied about, but never mind every day I'm checking the mailbox for non-existent news. I'll probably get waitlisted. Limbo.

5. Somehow I went from gaining nearly no weight at all (even losing a pound at my last appointment) to gaining 7 at today's appointment. I knew it was feeling harder to get in and out of my chair at night. Cricket's heartbeat is still in the 150s. The midwife today confirmed the old-wives tale our other midwife told us: a higher heartbeat could equal girl-baby. Good God. A baby with a gender? She also told us anytime past 37 weeks, as we know, is full term. That's only five weeks away. Of course, I'm quite sure I'll go late. I think I'm a late bloomer in general; why should actually having the baby be any different?

6. I promise as soon as the semester is over, I'll post more. I really will. I've missed blogging with regularity, and I've missed commenting on blogs too. I try to keep up, and read what's going on with everyone, and then I see the stupid Pharmacology book and feel guilty and end up not commenting. Or I have that stupid TypePad problem.

Sorry about that random disjointed post. I just wanted to get caught up a little.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What Can Happen in Eight Weeks

Last year during Advent, I really thought a lot about waiting for a particular baby to be born. Advent felt sad and hopeful all at the same time. I revisited some of my entries from then and could feel the sadness we had around that time. I remember that first cycle failing as winter was setting in. Somehow as the cycle fails and the nights get darker and colder, it really helps you feel the melancholy.

And yet even as I wrote those entries, I thought we'd already have a baby by this time, and even as I know I thought that, I can only feel glee about Cricket dancing around inside me right now. Because really, that's what Cricket does-- Dance around inside me. I'm talking figuratively and literally, people.

Eight weeks is nothing. Eight weeks is 56 days. A short semester. Two little tiny months.

I feel like it's all the time in the world, but it's tomorrow.

I can't wait to meet this kid. I'm full of prayer and feeling pretty gentle with a lot of people-- strangers, family, friends. I'm exhausted from peeing so much during the night and the stress of the end of a semester and still waiting to hear if I got into the program I want into, but I'm so full of life at the same time. I cry, literally, at the drop of a hat. With no provocation. And then laugh about what a cry baby I am. I can't imagine how our lives will change, but I try anyway. We both walk into the closet that will be Cricket's and pinch the clothes and blankets between our fingers, awed by generosity that has come from our families and friends. And it's not even over! We have another shower! Next weekend! We're some lucky girls. In about eight weeks, more or less, hopefully, this kid will be here tucked up into this winter house with us.