35 Weeks and Counting

35 Weeks and Counting

I have to say that as I head to the finish line of a fairly tumultuous pregnancy, I am so looking forward to meeting this big boy growing inside of me (and currently stretching and changing positions). I’m also looking forward to my time away from most of my other responsibilities while I just spend time with him, learning to take care of a newborn for the first time. I really can’t wait to his little face!

My house is coming along, very slowly but I think (and hope) surely. Between my cousin and my showers, I think (I’m still inventorying!) I have all the big stuff covered besides the storage things I need to order asap. His nursery has everything it needs besides paint. But back to the showers–I had nothing to do with either one, which was a brand new thing for me, and I appreciate my friends so much for such nice events. Not only were they really nice, but I also got a taste of letting go of control and letting people do nice things for me. Although I’m still not completely on board with being a “surprise” person, I can dig the surprise days of loving on Ranada. ūüôā Here are a couple of pics of me (with straight hair for the first time in two years!!) at my showers, my gracious hostesses, my core group of friends in Atlanta, and my mom and younger brother and Butterbean’s dad.

Atlanta

33 Weeks!
My Fab Hostesses minus one!
The Crew minus two

Jackson

34 Weeks!
My Hostesses and Beautiful Line Sisters
Love my family

The biggest thing I’ve had to learn over this time is that having faith is one thing when your life is moving along without many hiccups and quite another when you’re actually going through the low moments of your life. Having faith has been pretty hard, but I’m learning that although it’s so much easier to believe God knows what He’s doing when the skies are blue and the grass that really pretty shade of green, it’s most important to hold on to that belief when the sky is black in the middle of the day and it’s thundering and lightning and storming and there’s nothing but ugly concrete as far as the eye can see. And I think it’s pretty cool that the worst of my experience was during the “winter” (the little we had) where it was all ugly and rainy outside, and now that I’m so much more optimistic and positive, I see bright skies out my window and walk out into great weather. There are a couple of songs by Greg O’Quin ‘N Joyful Noize that have helped me during this trial as well as others.

I couldn’t find the other one on YouTube so here are some of the lyrics. It’s called “The Conversation”.

If I never had a rainy day,¬†I’d never know You could brighten my day
If I never felt some loneliness,¬†I’d never know of Your friendliness
If I never fell to the ground,¬†I’d never know You could help me rebound

I’d never ever ever ever know You this way

If I never had a broken heart, I would never know You could mend the parts
If I never reached out for Your hand, I would never know You could help me stand
If I never had to shed a tear, I’d never know You are always near

I never knew You could save me, knew You could heal me, mend a broken heart… I never knew You could touch me, knew You could love me, I never knew until the day You showed me. To know You is to love You…

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Things Considered

Things Considered

This week I hit the 50 day mark and am officially less than 2 months away from having a small little human being to take care of and love and hopefully steer onto his life’s true path. I’m more excited than I’ve been throughout this process of realizing how much my life is changing and how much I can’t control or even influence. As he gets bigger and I get more wobbly, he continues more and more to be the source of perspective and gives me literal kicks of reality.

Alonzo Austin
I wish I could find a picture with his longer hair and his crooked grin!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my Uncle Lonzo a lot. And this, I’m sure, is for several reasons. One, he was the one who supported my mom when she was preggo with me, and I just appreciate everything he did for her and for me. Even years after, I still have some misty moments when I think about him being gone because I can only hope that he really knows just how much I loved/love him. He has literally given me the socks off his feet when I needed it. Two, although he’s gone I see so ¬†much of him in his kids, who have really been amazing through my journey. It’s kind of another parallel of my mom’s life and my life. She had Lonzo, and I have his family to reach out at the exact right moments. To make me try to eat when I’m tired of trying (yes, I’m 33 weeks and I still get sick). To come with me to lamaze classes so that I’ll have a support partner. To give me a place to be when I’m really sick and need someone right there to help me if I need it. To just make me laugh and make me lighten up when I’m way too heavy. Record Deal (my cousin Kesha’s nickname for Butterbean) has nothing to worry about in terms of a circle of folks who will love him like my uncle loved me. ūüôā

This week has been super rough because my character has been tested over and over again, and so far I’ve stayed true to who I want to be, but it has been stressful walking the line. And added stress is something I do not need. So let me divert my thoughts to something more pleasant because that’s not even worth the time in my first blog in April (!! I’m slippin!!)–Sunday is my first baby shower!! I don’t know anything about it–not even where the heck it is or what time it starts, but I am excited anyway (but not as much as I might be if I were not in the dark about every single detail imaginable!! Can you believe the girl who has her hands in everything has nothing to do with this!) because I can’t wait to see everybody and see what’s in store because at the end of the day, I don’t have shabby friends so I know it’s going to be great. I have friends from Chi and New York and Charlotte and Richmond and Kentucky (yeah I know that’s not a city, but hey) coming in to show their support and excitement over this big ole bundle of lovin (I love this little alien karate champ so much already!). And so, although I’m constantly making myself steer myself from something that makes me frown to something that makes me feel good and slightly giddy, I’m blessed to have those somethings to steer to.

And so here’s a song I’ve been loving and looking forward to feeling like this more days than not. Because I am so blessed! Through all the trials and issues, I know I am blessed and loved and supported and all that stuff. “Trouble gone happen; it’s just the way it be. Ain’t nothing coming easily in this life; sometimes you gotta work and you gotta grow and it gotta hurt–I’m sure you know; take a look around.”

So you folks that are constantly worried about me, keep on, lol. But not too much because I’ll be a-okay. And so will my baby. I finally believe that (even though sometimes it’s a true matter of faith but that’s what life is about, huh?). It’s amazing how many emotions I can feel in just one day, but I’m sure one day I’ll be grateful for them all. Maybe when my memoir hits the Best-Seller List. LOL Anywho, 7 weeks to go. We’re almost in countdown mode. PRAY FOR US. We got lots to do!

 Pregnancy Ticker

Week 29!

Week 29!

I’m having a much better day than yesterday, and even though my support group probably doesn’t think I always listen to their encouragement, I do. So thanks to all of you. ūüôā Also, my cousin Warren is in town and took me to P.F. Chang’s last night when my student canceled on me at the last minute. So that was a good stress reliever because you can’t not laugh when you’re around him.

And this morning, baby has been back flipping and rolling nonstop. Who can be down in the dumps when there’s a person (literally) dancing inside? I wish I had a transportable sonogram machine so I could see what in the world he’s doing in there. Maybe I would join in!

For my readers who like to ask me on sidebar how big he is, I’ll know for sure tomorrow, but last time I checked he was about 2 lbs. And according to the emails I get from thebump.com and What to Expect, he’s the size of an acorn squash, not that I really know what that looks like. :-/

Also, here are a couple of pics of me with my bump.

you can't see my pants (i'm not completely sexy) but that's one of my fave sweaters because of its buttons at the neck. Luckily my ma taught me not to wear my clothes too tightly so I still have lots of clothes I can still wear.

Anywho, I was a little sad about not being able to vacay (and having to miss my 10-year college reunion) before Lil Man gets here, but now I have two trips home on the calendar and plan to let my brain rest for a couple of days (so if I don’t respond to your email during those trips, let me make it!) and soak up some hometown loving while I’m there. I need to get away and noone (including my wallet) will let me go to Aruba somewhere by myself). I just need some moments to breeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeathe and woosah.

And… I am so excited to go to the doctor tomorrow. The bigger I get, getting my weight measured has become a game of sorts. I’ve been drinking Ensure as if they are mojitos (oh how I miss thee) and eating lots of soup since I can keep that down so fingers crossed that my doc won’t lecture me about the need to gain a little weight tomorrow. And of course I get to hear his heartbeat and get a weight estimate.

Finally, doctor’s appointment means IT’LL BE FRIDAY!! lol. And although I have a couple (ok, few) obligations this weekend, it’ll be a fun weekend because tomorrow night I’m going to see THE HUNGER GAMES (one day I’ll actually write book reviews for the books I’ve read so far in 2012–I’m up to 9 I think–but back to topic, I enjoyed the entire trilogy and am excited to see it on the screen). Saturday night, my group of friends is doing our monthly outing to dinner and to see a high school performance of The Color Purple.

So anyway, lunch break over. Time to get back to it. Hope everyone is doing well! And sending special “please be careful” vibes to Sirobe! Enjoy pursuing your dreams, lovely!

 Pregnancy Ticker

Happy Love Day

Happy Love Day

If you know me or have been reading my blog over the years, you know that I love Love Day. Regardless of your boo status, it’s a day to focus on all kinds of love in your life. This year, it’s a little difficult for me, but hey, that’s what my own words are for, right? So, I went back and read a couple of my own posts, and here are a couple that made me go ok ok ok, I shouldn’t be feeling bad on a day I’ve always enjoyed.

Happy Love Day!

MLM: The Time of My Life

Happily Ever After

 Love Quote of the Day

Showers of Blessings in 2008

And then yesterday, while listening to my fave Whitney songs (I really thought I would wake up today and just post my fave Whitney love songs, but you know I operate on the whim as it relates to this here blog), I heard a song that I hadn’t heard in a while but hadn’t HEARD in even longer. Sometimes lyrics come alive when it’s something you need to hear. This all-time favorite talent show hit seemed to explode on me, and I started crying in the middle of it. Like not a tear here or there, but seriously crying. A song can never be too throwback to send a message.

The greatest love of all is easy to achieve <–[note from Nada Jo: not always]
Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all

And if, by chance, that special place that you’ve been dreaming of leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love

¬†So any of you that may be having rough time in your life, listen to Whitney. Find your strength in love. And if love is part of your issue–maybe a romance gone wrong or a fallout with a friend or family member or something that has made you a little distant in your relationship with the Most High–you have to focus on those people who do give you love and remember who you are and what you’ve already made it through. It’s not always easy. Whatsoever. By any means. But you can’t wallow in the negative or it just keeps getting worse and worse. And the worse it gets, the harder it is to pull yourself back into the pleasant parts of life.

Now, I guess I’ll do something for myself today to show myself some love, which I haven’t been doing much lately. Not sure what. Maybe a manicure or something since my polish is chipping, lol. And maybe some lunch that I hopefully will keep down. And of course I have two special Valentines. One I carry around with me, and one who patiently waits for me to get home every day. Here’s my Valentine for my little sweetheart who’s been a brand new anchor at times.

And here’s my Valentine for my super brave and resilient pooch.

Happy Love Day, all! Focus on the positive and love yourself and appreciate those who love you today. Tootles.

The Newness in 2012

The Newness in 2012

Many of you have been wondering what in the world is this password stuff Nada Jo has been on lately??? Well, I just wasn’t ready to share with everyone yet. Here is my news:

I’m expecting a little boy in June! I have definitely gone (and am going) through a myriad of emotions. This journey has definitely been completely new, but I’m looking forward to seeing my baby’s face in about 4 months. And sometimes when I’m not feeling my best, the amazement from seeing this little Jackie Chan who weighs only one pound make my stomach move makes it a little better. I can’t express enough how great my family is and has been from the beginning. I’ve needed a support system more than ever, and although it’s really really tough living away from my parents, my family has done everything it can to fill my space with love and encouragement. And they have been instrumental in helping me with my focus and perspective, which can be tough but it’s necessary.

So now I’m back. Of course, you will probably get more posts about my pregnancy than current events, but I’ll try to be versatile in my writing. I haven’t gotten my RRR plans for the year together yet, so just stay tuned. I’d like to do a couple conference calls of some sort since I end up talking about the books and films online with folks who don’t live in Atlanta and thus, can’t come to the discussions. I think that would be fun, but of course, I have to explore technology possibilities. I have a couple in mind already, but I have to get the motivation to make it all happen. And I have to get a webcam (yes, in 2012, I do not have a webcam). In case you’re interested, I’m currently reading Catfish Alley¬†by Lynne Bryant. More on that later.

I do hope that you are following me on Twitter¬†or liking me on Facebook! I post lots of articles on there and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. And although I don’t always blog about various topics, I do comment on many of them, particularly on FB.

So I hope all of you are well and that your life is balanced and pleasant. Until  next time!

 Pregnancy Ticker

Aside

Tying Up Loose Ends?

God does things in the most mysterious yet breathtaking ways. This post won’t be as long as it could be because I’m just not up to it physically or emotionally, but I had to log on and say that. Yesterday the phone rang, and my mom who was in the back of the house and I, who was in the front room, both let it ring. Well, thank goodness for an answering machine because I heard: “Yes, hello? This is David <last name here>, and I’m looking for Rickey Robinson, Mary Ann, or Ranada…” I didn’t hear the rest becaues¬†as soon as I heard¬†his last name,¬†I was scrambling out of the blanket on the floor trying to get to the next room so I could pick the phone up before he hung up while yelling “MAMAAAAA, MAMA, it’s David!!!”

Remember when I’ve blogged about my aunt Vernita¬†here and there? Well, David is her son and my cousin who used to come to town to visit growing up. I loved me some David. He was only a few months younger than I was (am), and I always looked forward to him coming to MS. When Vernita¬†passed away, we never heard from or really, about, him again. We didn’t know where his dad moved him to, and we had no idea how to find him. Over the last couple of years (prolly¬†longer than that), I’ve searched for him online, through good ole Facebook, even had a police friend run a search and nothing. Turns out he’s been looking for our contact info too, and persistence pays off because he was just trying¬†another random¬†number last night and of course it worked this time. I can’t begin to express how happy I am to know where he is and how he’s doing and how to keep in contact with him.

Today my granddaddy, P.H. Austin, passed away. He’s had Alzheimer’s and a couple of strokes. He’s been deteriorating lately, and my mom told me last week that she felt he was holding on for some reason. But of course, we didn’t really know why because he hasn’t been able to talk or communicate at all lately. Well, it seems as though maybe he was waiting for all his grandchildren to be accounted for. This morning my mom and I headed to the post office to send David some pics of his mom and to run a couple of other errands, and then we got the call. So just keep me and my family in your prayers. I’ll be on again sooner or later.

Almost Christmas

Almost Christmas

Good news: I finally found my battery charger, so I’ll have my Buenos Aires pics uploaded today. (And no, the charger wasn’t anywhere weird–I’m just a bad searcher.)

Last night, I went to my __th Red Tie Soiree. Had a good time overall as usual, but I started thinking about just how removed I’ve become from my former “socialite” status. No regrets, but it was still interesting to walk in a place and not know half the people there. Much different from two years ago. Heck, maybe even last year. In any case, I looked and felt like hot stuff, and the girls looked fab as well. Some of us went out of tradition, and some went because one of our friends (it’s not public yet so I won’t say who) is moving to another state, probably before we’ll have a chance to see her again after the holidays. So exciting. I love new opportunities and chapter beginnings, especially for people who are open to them and primed and ready. I think she’ll thrive in her new setting. Congrats, you, if you read my blog!

Another thing that happened last night was a guy I dated (and I mean dated–as in we went out on dates, not we were in a relationship) a while back was there and acting really weird. Like exhibiting borderline “bitchassness”–it was quite bizarre, but interestingly not unexpected. LOL It was one of those things where he would see one of my friends, be really extra with them, hug them, and then turn around and walk the other way before the chance to acknowledge my presence appeared. At first, I was just going to hug him to show him there are no hard feelings (that end was a bizarro, strange, weird, unexplained deal but it is what it is, yanno #movingon), but he made it so obvious that he didn’t want to even speak that I didn’t make him suffer through the experience of actually having a brief, friendly convo with me. I will say that that whole thing made me grateful that it never went beyond going out every now and then. Sometimes when things don’t work out and you don’t really know why, you just have to remember that God knows what He’s doing. Last night drove that point home.

Which is a great thing because sometimes you need those reminders that God makes no mistakes. I’m going through an (totally unrelated and different) experience now that I don’t really understand or comprehend well, but I’m trying to keep my focus a song that I used to sing in the choir when I growing up: He knows just how much we can bear. It gets rough, but I know (and sometimes I have to settle for hoping I know) that in the end, things work together for the good.

So enough of that. I’ve been having some food issues lately which is not cool because y’all know I love to eat and it’s the friggin holidays!! So I’ve found a couple of recipes that I plan to try if I have the energy. So I’ll share them if I try them and if they turn out yummy. I will say that all those reports you read about the importance of breakfast and water. HEED THAT. Make it a habit, if it’s not already, asap so that you never have to learn the hard way how important they are!

Well, I got thangs to do before I can head home to spend quality time with my family. So I’ll be back with the BA pics later on, and I may post a couple more times. But until then, I hope all you have productive, positive weeks!!