It is a blessing that my 27th week of pregnancy begins on Thanksgiving Day. As I have been struggling a lot lately with emotions and physical discomforts, I wanted to be sure that this week’s update included much more positivity than the last few.
So in honor of this grand holiday and the 26 weeks of pregnancy I have now completed, I wanted to make a list of the 26 things I’m most thankful for right now.
In no particular order:
1. I am thankful that I have an amazing partner in Mark. He is so accepting and caring when I am having issues, going that extra mile to be sure that I get the extra rest and relaxation I need. He is wonderful.
2. I am thankful that I have an amazing son in Dexter. He might be a royal terror these days with his constant throwing things, screaming and being up several times a night, but he also gives me the most amazing hugs, kisses and cuddles all day long and makes me feel like the best mommy in the world.
3. I am thankful for sunshine. While I do not enjoy it when the temperature goes up and I feel like I’m melting in the Florida heat, I know that I am in a good place. As I struggle each year with Seasonal Affective Disorder, the constant sunshine means that it is much easier this year, and I am not getting as bogged down in the sadness as in previous years.
4. I am thankful we are “home.” While both Mark and I are still very far from our families, we are in our own country, which is amazing. After my 11 years and his 5 years in England, I often feel like a stranger in my own homeland. But that is getting less and less as the days go by.
5. I am thankful for PBS. I never wanted to be a mom who let the TV babysit her kid, but I have NO problem letting Dexter watch these educational and wonderful shows each day. He loves his friends at Sesame Street, his pet monkey, Curious George, and Barney brings the biggest smile to his face as he dances and marches along with him.
6. I am thankful for constant kicks in my belly. As we are still undecided on a name, I’ve taken to just referring to him as “Buddy,” and every time I feel him kick or somersault, I smile. I know that there might be problems with his health, but I feel his strength from the inside, and it gives me hope!
7. I am thankful for coffee. I gave up all caffeine in my first pregnancy, and it felt right to do so. But this time around, I have allowed myself a very reserved two small cups a day, and I have no idea how I’d survive without them! Having given up soft drinks more than a year ago, this small allowance feels good.
8. I am thankful for my family. I love my parents, siblings and extended family more than they probably realise, and it makes me obscenely happy to think that I can see them so much more easily now that we’re not so far away.
9. I am thankful for Mark’s family. Since day 1, they have made me feel so welcome and wanted as part of their family, and I couldn’t ask for more. We might be from very different backgrounds, and we don’t always hold the same beliefs. But our values are the same, and I can’t wait until next month when we get to go and see them, and I can get to know them all better.
10. I am thankful that Mark gets to work from home. While he is very vigilant at all times about making sure to do a great job for the people he works with, doing extra hours when necessary and giving them no reason to doubt his loyalty to his job, he’s also vigilant at all times to make sure that he’s there to help if we need him.
11. I am thankful for my new rocking chair. Mark bought me a rocker/recliner from the charity shop last weekend, and I have not left it since! It is exactly what I’ve wanted for ages, and it will be a godsend when the new little man is here. Dexter loves to sit and rock with me, and it makes us both very happy.
12. I am thankful for this blog. Some people don’t really “get” why I would want to share everything online. But it’s not about getting attention or payment or free stuff. It’s about real people interacting from all over the world, offering advice, support and kind words. It’s learning new things and meeting new people and finding new friends.
13. I am thankful for music. Not only does it lift my spirits hugely to hear a favorite song on the radio, but watching my son develop his own musical tastes is extraordinary. And seeing him dance and sing all day long would make anyone thankful.
14. I’m thankful for our car. Mark, in his usual fashion, went against his own desires and bought us a wonderful minivan this summer so that I would have a car that could transport our kids and stuff more easily. That is true love there, folks.
15. I’m thankful that I’ve started to make friends here in Florida. I often feel very cut off because I don’t make the extra effort to get to know people. But lucky for me, others don’t have that problem, and the friendly folk in our area have started reaching out to me.
16. I am thankful that Obama won the election. I don’t agree with everything he says and does, nor all of his plans. But I am looking forward to a rehaul in the medical system in this country, most of which isn’t fully appreciated by those who have never lived outside the US.
17. I am thankful we have a place to live. It is not my ideal situation, living in a small two bedroom apartment with loud neighbors and no space of my own. But we are lucky to live in a nice community, in a good area and have a roof over our heads. There are much worse situations to be in, and after all, it is only temporary.
18. I am thankful (again) for having a partner who does everything in his power at all times to make me happy. There has not yet been a promise that he’s made to me that he’s not kept. He makes it his mission to single-handedly make all of my dreams come true, whether he shares them or not. Because my happiness is his happiness.
19. I am (weirdly) thankful that our wedding was cancelled earlier this year. It made me realise for the first time just how much the idea of being married to Mark means to me. Even as we planned it all out, I was not doing it for the right reasons at the time. So having the government turn us down at the last second was a blessing in disguise, as it made me much more determined to walk down the aisle toward the man I will spend the rest of my life with.
20. I am thankful that Dexter is such a healthy kid. In nearly two years, we’ve only had to worry about him once. That was New Years Day this past year when we spent the day in the hospital worried about his fever and cold. Luckily, there was nothing seriously wrong, and he bounced back very quickly. He is so special, and I love that I don’t have to worry too much about him.
21. I am thankful that Mark is such a healthy guy. I’m sure that’s where Dexter gets his hearty constitution. Since I’ve known him, Mark’s barely been ill a single day. And even when he is, he doesn’t sit around and moan like most men I’ve known. He works through it, still does chores and has to be told to sit still. I hope all of my kids take after their daddy.
22. I am thankful that we are fairly comfortable, money wise. We are not by any means well off, and I would love it if we had a bit more of a buffer. We still have to budget and be very careful about what we buy. But we don’t live paycheck to paycheck, and we can afford the occasional treat for ourselves. This is all down to Mark, of course, but our partnership means we both do our best to keep our money safe.
23. I am thankful to have so many happy memories. To be able to share reminiscences with friends and family and to be able to bring a smile to my face with just a thought.
24. I am thankful for the lovely dinner we’re going to have to celebrate the holiday today. While I’m far too exhausted to cook a big dinner from scratch, we are going to have a yummy meal from boxes and freezer that will be just wonderful for our little family.
25. I am thankful for everything I’ve been through in the past. It has not been easy, but it has made me appreciate what I have now all the more. You can only recognise the good in this world because you have seen the bad. And I’ve had my share of bad. But I have so much good in my life now that I can’t ever take it for granted.
26. And finally, I am thankful for this. The best illustration of everything I have in my life. My perfect family.