The last time I posted, I was wondering whether we should leave our 1902 Victorian and move to “a new McMansion, surrounded by fabulous closets and walls that meet at 90-degree angles.” I wondered if I could be happier in town, or at least have an easier, simpler life, less stress, more grocery stores in close proximity.

Now I know the answer to that question. We moved last Thanksgiving, almost a year ago, to a house built in 1992. It’s all brick and walk-in closets and gloriously excessive cabinetry. It’s not beautiful or mysterious, but it’s nice. And life IS easier, simpler, less stressful. We live two minutes from a Publix. Ruby just started at a wonderful pre-school 12 minutes away. I know where she’ll go to school when she’s older. D’s drive to work is only 20 minutes instead of 50. I miss my old friends in Eutaw, but we still see them some, and I’ve made new ones here, too.

More than anything, I think what’s made us happier is not living surrounded by constant projects we never had time to finish. Everywhere we look, there’s not something needing to be done, something making us feel guilty or just “not enough.” It’s easier to keep this house clean. It’s easier to REST here. And before we moved, I went on a major decluttering spree and only brought things into this new house that we actually want/need, so there’s less STUFF annoying me.

That said, we were very happy at the 1902 Victorian, too. So happy that we can’t quite let it go, partly because we’ve been working on finishing up projects to get it ready to put on the market, partly because every time we go back we don’t WANT to put it on the market. We still love it. I still have the dream of my children running down the halls and playing hide and seek in the Harry Potter closet. We are surviving monetarily better than we thought, so resolving it isn’t as urgent as we expected, and making a decision keeps getting kicked down the road.

We will probably sell it eventually. My fantasy of keeping it as a weekend place where we go and don’t watch TV and putter around with projects and let the kids explore really works better if said kids are older. There’s only so much freedom I can give to a reckless 2.5-year-old obsessed with staircases.

And then there’s the other kid. All this relaxing (and the fact that I lost 50 pounds last year) led to an unexpected addition, another girl due next week. We always planned to try for another baby someday, but I was decidedly NOT ready to deal with fertility treatments again. I was going around telling people we were going to wait till Ruby was 3 to try.

Then I woke up one fine March morning in a panic, convinced I was pregnant. It took three weeks of taking pregnancy tests for one to come back positive. Though I didn’t think I was ready for it, when I saw that positive test, I had the same reaction as when I found out I was pregnant with Ruby – a lightness in my chest, a smile that wouldn’t quit, tears, awe, amazement. I hugged Ruby and told her she was going to be a big sister, and we called D at work, and he was thrilled, too.

Of course, it hasn’t been all sunshine. This has been a rough pregnancy. Right before I got pregnant, I was at my lowest weight in 10 years; I was running and loving it; and I hadn’t felt so awesome and confident and happy maybe in my whole life. But all that was immediately replaced with utter exhaustion, irritability, vomiting, headaches, backaches, and outright fear. I’ve had regular moments of panic – How on earth am I going to manage TWO kids? How is Ruby going to handle sharing Mama with a new baby? I think I cried every day of the first and second trimesters, to the point that Ruby learned to put her hands on my cheeks and sweetly say, “Be okay, Mama?” She is still a mama’s girl, and holding and carrying and fighting her tooth and nail just to get her diaper changed a million times a day has taken a toll me.

Now that we’re quickly approaching the end (though not quickly enough, in my opinion), most of my anxiety about having a new baby has disappeared, replaced with determined, obsessive eagerness to meet her AND to be done being pregnant forever! I want to get back to losing weight and having the energy and ability to get in the floor and play with my child. I feel like I’ve spent the past nine months being a shadow of myself and a shadow of Ruby’s mom, and I can’t wait to be my whole self again, for me, for D, for my girls.

We had our final ultrasound yesterday to check the baby’s size, and she’s an estimated 8 lbs. 12 oz. at 38 weeks gestation – on track to be Ruby’s size or a little bigger at birth. We scheduled an induction for one week from today, though I’m still holding out hope the new baby will decide to make her appearance before then.

I can still hardly believe I’m thisclose to being a mom of two, just the way I always imagined it. I think I won’t really believe it until I meet her. All the 4D ultrasound photos in the world can’t even hint at the miracle of seeing my baby in person for the first time. And this time Ruby will get to meet her little sister for the first time, the beginning of a lifetime friendship and rivalry forged in one moment. I can’t wait!

posted by K | filed under Family, House, Pregnancy, Simplify | 7 Comments

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