Thursday, September 17, 2015

Of backs and pots and frisbees

The title is about as random as you can get, right? Well, when it's Thursday and you're blogging about random stuff from the week, it's what you go with...

On Monday I woke up with a hurting hip. It soon progressed to my lower back, and I've spent the time since realizing how much I used to take walking without pain for granted. Though Ryan wanted to put me on bed rest (though the actuality of how that would work is hard to fathom!) some research showed lower back pain is very common in pregnancy, and it's not good to stop walking or stretching. It's likely I just wasn't careful enough in how I picked up Hadassah (I know too often I just scooped her up without bending my knees, etc.) and with my ever-growing front, I guess the strain was finally too much.

I have been taking it more careful. I pretty much did next-to-none housework for two days, only lift Hadassah when absolutely necessary, and have been slowly moving around. I feel like an old person. But... as I feel our little Ellie squirm around, it's all worth it. I'd endure much more for the sake of this little life. Though, yes, there are times I want to complain too!

Like when my friend let me borrow a back heating pad to help, only to have it work for a minute before (I surmise) shorting out. The plugs on this apartment are pretty horrible - almost every one makes whatever you plug into it fall out unless you wedge something against it.. I felt bad I broke my friend's heating pad, and also really wanted the heat application, as that one minute of it did feel good! So the next day, I made the trek to Auchaun (the closest supermarket). I called a taxi using the app, but he never showed up. After standing by the curb with Hadassah for 5 minutes in the rain (did I mention I didn't have an umbrella, as I didn't think it was supposed to rain that day?), I asked a taxi that just happened to be parked there if he'd take me. It never happens that one is just sitting there, and if they are, they're usually waiting for someone, but he was available!

Hadassah did a great job holding on to the rolling suitcase as we walked into the mall area, so I didn't have to carry her. We made it through the store picking up things accumulated on our list, but there were no heating pads to be found. I called my friend and she told me where she'd found it before at that store, but searching the bedding aisle proved fruitless. Finally I used my limited Chinese and some acting with the broken pad I'd brought along to ask "zài nǎlǐ" (where?). I asked people in 4 different places, following where they pointed but not understanding their directions, before someone finally took me TO the area. Hadassah was losing her patience of being in the cart (and to be fair, it'd be a while!) so I made her laugh, saying "everyone keeps saying go here, go there, go here, but Mommy doesn't know where to go!" which she thought was funny. Finally in the right aisle, there were no heating pads. So I spent time maneuvering a cart all over a store (not exactly good medicine for my back) to no avail...

But a Facebook friend's suggestion to put two cups of rice in an old sock with the end tied off and microwave it for 2 minutes has been wonderful! Did it last night and today, and whether it's that or something else, my back is much better. It's hurting more in my hip again, but seems like progress...

And yes, after 16 months in China, we finally bought a microwave. Ryan kept asking (if he needs to heat up food, he much prefers it to the gas stove!) and I have to admit, for things like this, it's pretty wonderful.

Ryan's back started hurting a little last night (from something he did while running), but I told him there's no way we can BOTH have back pain at the same time. So far, his seems to be cooperating with my warning. But prayers are appreciated for us both, for back strength!

I really miss not being able to scoop up and cuddle Hadassah whenever I want (or carry her where I need her to go if she's throwing a tantrum...) - and there are times I carry her anyway, like when a drill starts right above her bed (renovations on the apartment above) half-way through her nap and scares her awake... you need a mommy's holding and reassurance then! But it's also had a good result on forcing me to work more on teaching her to obey just my word. It's been a challenge. She even told me yesterday "I no like to obey." At least she's honest. But it's important, especially walking everywhere with cars around - and soon traveling across the world! - that she respond to our voice. It also makes me pray even more that God will grant her obedience and work in her heart to want to obey as she grows... Ultimately that she will know and want to obey the Lord's voice as she's learning more to obey ours.

 With Mommy more out of commission, Hadassah is getting more Daddy time, and it's so sweet to see their bond grow even stronger. I know it's good, too, that she get used to him doing more of the stuff I did by default, more potty trips, more changing for bed, more putting her in and out of the high chair, more laying her down in her crib. Because while I miss those opportunities to snuggle, it's good to have a gradual shift before baby comes and my arms have the potential of being more full. And I make sure to snuggle her as much as I can while sitting down, though having her sit ON my lap is proving more difficult!

And it's just so precious to see these two together... Oh how it melts my heart!

Hadassah happened to be right at the level of my belly today, and she gave it a spontaneous hug, and "talked" to little Ellie. She looked up with a huge smile and said "mommy bigger, bigger, pop - and see Hadassah!" She can't wait to meet her little sister and play with her as we talk so much about. Moments like those make me think she really does understand that there's a baby inside soon to come out and see her!

We even have the nursery more set up, and even got some pictures hung on other walls. Our house is getting to be more of a home. Our Chinese teacher spent her whole hour trying to help us pay online, only to get to a step requiring 48 hours verification, but hopefully tonight we'll be able to finally fully figure it out and be able to order the final things for decor. "Nesting" here has to happen sooner rather than later, as we leave in 2 weeks now!

Hadassah's latest craze has been "cook like Mama?" She'll almost always ask for some pans when I'm cooking, and even suggest it at other times too. While it's hard not to trip over her sometimes, I love the closeness it brings and love being the one she wants to copy. :)

And last but not least, on Sunday, Ryan got to play Ultimate Frisbee for the first time in Shanghai! A friend has been organizing times for people to play on campus most weeks, but this is the first time we were able to make it. I loved seeing my man run and jump and smile with the fun of it again, and wished I could get in on the action too! But, seasons of life change... ;) And we all had fun going out for pizza spur-of-the-moment with our friends afterwards, letting the children enjoy a choo choo train ride together at the end.

Thank you, God, for your blessings, and life even amid challenges... You are good.

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