He was sleeping. Our sheets soft and cool, our room exactly the perfect temperature. He came home from work and immediately started working from home, grading quizzes and reading essays until finally he had checked enough off his to-do list to earn his reward: a few short hours of sweet, blissful sleep.
It couldn’t have been long after he came to bed that he was jolted awake. By his wife. Who had clearly lost her mind.
I blinked my eyes groggily and looked over at Josh, sleeping so sweetly beside me. I wondered for a second why I was awake, but my thoughts were interrupted by a soft scratching noise. Confused, I struggled to focus — and then I saw it. It was big, and it was green, and it was crawling just inches from my beloved’s face. I sprang into action.
I sat straight up in bed and threw the covers off of both of us. I scrambled for the light, knocking things around on the night stand until I finally found the lamp’s pull-chain. Josh blinked, bleary eyed and half asleep, as I threw my pillows off the bed and then started clawing at his, grabbing at his shoulders and shaking to try and move him out of my way.
“Corley, you’re dreaming!” he tried to tell me. “This is a dream!”
But I wasn’t dreaming. I was wide awake and chock-full of adrenaline and sure of one thing: there was a praying mantis somewhere in our bed.
“It’s REAL this time!” I kept shouting. “This time it’s not a dream! This time it’s REAL!”
All he could do was try and talk me back to rational consciousness. He tried to grab my shoulders, but I dodged, busy running my hands over the fitted sheet as if I had lost a contact. Only I hadn’t lost a contact. I had lost a praying mantis, and I needed to find it NOW.
I know why I kept telling him “It’s real this time!” — because crazy dream Corley is self-aware. She knows that her testimony is shaky in these situations. Since we’ve been married, I have done this to Josh no less than ten times. I have dreamed about our bed being infiltrated by spiders, snakes, mice, birds and (my personal favorite) a lobster. Each time, of course, I have been proven wrong by logic and a thorough search of the bed. Bt this time. THIS TIME. All those other times were just drills for this time, because THIS was the real deal. Code green with big front claws and skinny legs and an alien face. Initiate PRAYING MANTIS PROTOCOL.
I remember my frantic search, but I don’t remember coming to my senses. Eventually, I guess, Josh got through to me and convinced me that there probably wasn’t really a praying mantis lurking beneath our pillows. Reason must have won out in the end, because we did fall back asleep, giggling this morning over my crazy mantis-hunting nocturnal adventure.
Honestly, I’m still giggling. It’s pretty ridiculous, right? A praying mantis in my bed. Of all the random nightmares.
I’m sleeping with a flashlight and a flip flop tonight, though. Just in case. Provided Josh doesn’t banish me and my nighttime extermination gig to the guest room.
Friday could not come soon enough this week! J and I both crashed before 9:00 last night – they do say you should get as much sleep as possible before the baby comes, but I think last night’s toddler bedtime was pushing it just a little. For some reason, this week has just sucked the life out of me – I’m so ready for a weekend of fun and relaxing (and plenty of napping, let’s be real).
This week’s Favorite Things make up a fun list – starting with the sweet puppy pictured here. I know animals are hyper-intuitive, but I was still skeptical when I first read in my pregnancy book that our dogs can likely sense that I’ve got a bun in the oven. We’ve got a dog who can’t tell the difference between a real threat and her own reflection; how could she possibly have the intuition to know that I’m going to have a baby?
And yet Reno, our hound dog, has changed a LOT in the past few months. She’s still a clumsy, crazy, thunderbolt of a dog, but she’s gotten really attached to me – walking right by my side whenever I move through the house, crying by the door to get to where I am, snuggling up to me every morning and every night, resting her head right on my belly. It’s so sweet, and I love all the extra snuggles.
More Favorite Things for this week:
• I love everything about this reddit thread, in which a 9-year-old girl gets a bunch of microscope slide suggestions from some really kind scientists.
• In addiction-feeding news, this Little Women tote bag would make a fantastic addition to my collection!
• This cat who loves his vacuum cleaner is guaranteed to make you giggle, provided you have a heart and a sense of humor.
• My multi-talented hero Felicia Day is just showing off now in this dreamy Maroon 5 – Snow White mashup collaboration with LuieLand:
• And if you didn’t already know about Miranda Sings…well…you’re welcome:
My name is Miranda you can call me Miranda.
If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed I took a fall last week:
Just wiped out in public, which is not a new thing for me. But this time, I’m pregnant, which makes running away unnoticed WAY tougher.
— Corley (@corleymay) April 24, 2013
Heading home now to take care of my bruised knees. And ego. Can you ice your pride?
— Corley (@corleymay) April 24, 2013
I deserve a milkshake.
— Corley (@corleymay) April 24, 2013
When I say I fell, I mean I FELL. All the way down. The bags I was carrying flew through the air. There was a nightmarishly loud THUD as I hit the ground – knees, then elbows, then the rest of me. I heard a ringing in my ears. I felt my pulse in my face. I thought I might vomit. It was humiliating. It was painful. I gathered myself up from the cold tile floor, assuring people (and there were so many people) as I left that I was FINE and the baby was FINE and I just wanted to GO HOME, PLEASE. I limped to my car. I called Josh to tell him what happened. He left work right away. I did not cry.
I stopped for a milkshake on the way home, which I ate with a spoon on the back porch, my leg propped up on a chair, mom on the phone. I told her the whole terrible story. I still did not cry.
Josh got home and sprang into action. He got me ice for my knee, set me up on the couch, propped a pillow behind my back, started cooking dinner. He let me vent about how embarrassed I was, he was appropriately sympathetic to my already swelling and bruising knee. I told him the whole story again. And still, not a tear.
Eventually, Josh headed back into the kitchen to finish dinner.
He called to me from the stove – “What do you want on your pasta?”
“Butter and parmesan cheese,” I answered. “Lots of parmesan cheese.”
“You got it,” he said. I heard him open the fridge. And then there was a terrible pause.
“…Corley? Did you buy parmesan cheese?” he asked.
I should clarify something here: I didn’t ask him to buy parmesan cheese. I hadn’t mentioned that we needed any cheese. Short of reading my mind, Josh would have had absolutely NO WAY of knowing we needed parmesan cheese for dinner.
“I thought YOU bought it,” I replied.
There was another pause, and I could tell Josh was choosing his next words very carefully.
“I don’t think we have any, babe,” he said gently.
You guys, this next part is not an exaggeration. When I heard that we were out of parmesan, I threw my arm over my eyes like an overwhelmed debutante from the early 1900s and cried out “I CAN’T BELIEEEEVE IT.” And then I burst into tears.
And here’s what a champion my husband is. He calmly walked over to the side of the couch. He sweetly gazed down at me, a sniveling, roly-poly mess of tears and matted hair and smeared mascara. He tenderly placed his hand on the side of my face. And he said this:
“I know your knee hurts really bad, and that’s why you’re crying.”
HE GAVE ME AN OUT. He could have called me on the absolute craziness that is crying over cheese. He could have laughed at me. He could have told me to suck it up. He could have pointed out that healthy, responsible grown-ups shouldn’t eat pasta with butter and cheese for dinner. And instead, he gave me the chance to pretend I wasn’t crying over the cheese at all – that I was in the throes of injury, a warrior whose pain was simply too much to bear any longer.
“Stay there,” he told me. “I’ll be right back.”
“Where are you going?” I sniffled. And then Josh, my darling hero of a husband, stood up straight and said the most beautiful words I have ever heard.
“I’m going to get you some cheese.”
[eggplant watercolor source]
Somehow it has been 10 weeks since my last update. I always thought I would be the type of pregnant lady who documents every symptom, every twinge, every kick. Who takes weekly belly photos and updates her blog obsessively to keep a well-catalogued and exhaustive record of her pregnancy.
And yet, here I am. 10 weeks between updates, just floating along, not sure of when my belly “popped” or when I went from bloated to bumped. I think it’s that I have had such an easy time of it all – there really hasn’t been much going on, except for the fact that I seem to get bigger every single day. Sometimes several times a day.
So how are things going at 26 weeks?
How big is baby?
According to The Bump, I’ve got a baby the size of a head of lettuce, or an eggplant, depending on your preference. I was shocked to see such big vegetables at first, but considering how often I’m getting kicked and shoved from inside my own stomach, I can buy it. Baby Cole is growing, and he’s growing fast.
How big am I?
I’m up 15 lbs from the day we found out, which my doctor says is right on track. It took me a while to start gaining – I lost some at first, and then it was like I stayed at the same weight for a few weeks while everything shifted around to my belly. There’s no denying that I have a baby belly, which I love. I’m trying to stock up on cute, lightweight maternity dresses to get me and my growing belly through the coming Carolina summer.
How am I feeling?
Wonderful. I hear horror stories from women who were sick for months on end, and I know I am so lucky to have skipped that part. I have plenty of energy, my spirits are high, and I’m sleeping like a rock. Now that I’m bigger, I am starting to experience some of the back pain I knew was coming. To combat, I bought a hemorrhoid pillow to sit on at work, and I’m icing my back and tailbone pretty much every evening. A few weeks ago, I talked with a woman on a message board who said she spends her day sitting on bags of frozen peas, rotating them as they thaw. I giggled at the idea when I read it, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider scooping up a few bags from the Trader Joe’s frozen aisle yesterday. My own frozen pea time is probably coming soon.
What am I eating?
I’m still maintaining a fairly well- balanced diet, but my main cravings have been pretty steady throughout: Strawberries, Bananas, Avocados, and Ice Cream. At about 20 weeks, my doctor told me I was coming in a little under my target weight, which I took as an excuse to go a little crazy ordering and eating whatever I want. Now that I’m back up to speed, it’s time to show a little restraint and climb back on the healthy choices wagon – or at least cut back my milkshake intake from daily to every-other-daily.
As I mentioned at 13 weeks, my Sjogren’s Syndrome/Lupus puts me at an elevated risk for congenital heart block. The risk is highest in the second trimester, which is why we’ve been monitoring baby closely for signs of a block. Since 17 weeks, I’ve been going in for weekly fetal echocardiograms, which are essentially ultrasounds where we pay attention to the baby’s heart, veins, and general cardiac function. Luckily, my baby is a cardiological all-star who has, and I quote, a “beautiful heart.” The doctors and nurses and techs at the fetal echo lab have been so sweet to me every week as we check on his heart, and I love the reassurance of seeing him wiggle around on the ultrasound screen once a week.
I know it’s time now to buckle my seatbelt for the bumpy ride that is the third trimester. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that things keep going as smoothly and happily as they have been. I am so happy to be living this part of my life – I laugh all the time, and I’m just trying to soak in all of this anticipation before our lives really get flipped upside down in the best way possible.
Did I tell you or did I tell you? You can make an interrupting knock-knock joke out of anything.
I catch myself saying “That’s Awesome!” about far too many non-awesome things. Do you have an inaccurate catchphrase, too?
The triumphant return of Ukulele Wednesday!
Those are mine – now it’s your turn! What books can you read again and again? Let me know in the comments, if you’re into that kind of thing.
On Day 7 of Video Every Day April, I made a quick vlog with seven facts about me, from crossed eyes to bumblebees to ghost stories. Check it out below!
On Day 8, I was plum tuckered, so I took the easy way out and showed you a clip of sweet Rocky being adorable as he relaxed after a long afternoon of chasing his BFF/arch-nemesis Reno through the backyard.
Dogs are the best, aren’t they?