Tuesday, August 27, 2013

endings, beginnings, beginnings.

Ha. Remember back in May when I was all, "Wow, when summer camp ends this year, an external baby will be imminent"? Yeah. Camp ends in two days. TWO DAYS. Then it's four weeks to go, give or take - but hopefully right around four weeks, because two weeks sounds terrifying and six weeks sounds never-ending.

The days are slipping away, marked only by perfunctory task achievements, new bodily discomforts, and a creeping sense that I ought to start preparing for an actual baby. I mean, sure, we've been preparing: the nursery is coming along, we're stockpiling essentials (thanks mostly to ridiculously generous family and friends), we even went to a breastfeeding class last weekend. Still, there are some glaring omissions. Like maybe we should buy some diapers. And solidify my maternity leave. And decide on a name, or at least a short list of names. And learn a little about newborns?

Bah. I'm doing best functioning hour by hour, tidbit by tidbit, list by list. In that vein, here's where I am these days.

  • 35 weeks. Had one of my once-every-four-weeks spells of crushing exhaustion this past weekend. I think they coincide with Baby's growth spurts. This time, I was smart about it and gave into it more quickly, allowing myself to rest and chill. I'm finally figuring this pregnancy thing out! ...Now that it's almost done, anyway.
  • Trusting that my body is preparing for the birth. The sensation that my pubic bone is splitting apart every time I (a) bend over, (b) turn over in bed, or (c) walk - that's normal, right? And it won't actually split...right? Okay, so "trust" is a strong word.
  • Not trusting that I know my own dimensions anymore. Because I don't. My magical innards better be durable, so as to help Baby withstand the constant pokes, scrapes, and bumps against my belly as I run into things. Chairs. Bathroom stall doors. My own arms. Also, what the hell - maternity shirts don't always cover the underside of my belly anymore? If they don't, what does?! (Answer: muumuus. Why aren't those in fashion anymore?)
  • Clumsiness, best evidenced by the huge bruises on my left arm and the fetus-sized bump on my shin from slipping and falling as I (drum roll, please) walked through a doorway. Thankfully, my shin took the brunt of the fall, as opposed to my belly. Felt quite sure for about 20 minutes that an epidural might come in handy during pregnancy as well as labor.
  • Survived the summer, heat waves, cold fronts, extra job responsibilities and all. Also made it through camp without outgrowing the maternity bathing suit I wear almost every afternoon...holla! I even beat some 10-year-olds playing Categories in the deep end of the pool yesterday (and then had some Braxton Hickseseses to pay for it. Totally worth it).
  • Anxiety: Kept in check...minus one episode a couple nights ago, when I woke up at 4 a.m. and couldn't fall back asleep because of All The Thoughts. I can't even remember what most of them were, other than "I think the baby is breech" and "I need more stamps," but apparently, they were fascinating enough to eat away an hour and a half of precious sleep. Had to reinstate my rule of No Thinking In the Middle of the Night, Cathy.
  • Getting it done. Namely, my ever-growing list of general things I want/need to get done before the baby comes - order new glasses (did you know some hospitals won't let you wear contacts during labor...and my glasses broke awhile back?), get my oil changed four months ago, finish the back yard fence, sign up for a birthing class, stockpile stamps, order nursery fabrics, get the bathroom fan installed, fix the stupid kitchen trash can, install the car seat bases, finish the baby's bookshelves, do a load of baby laundry (crib sheets, some blankets, the going-home outfit), recycle all those stupid CFLs that burned out after we moved in....Just gotta take it one by one. I guess.

At least some things are off the lists now. Pictures/posts to come about my door-painting project, nursery progress, back yard plans, and our third anniversary (slash, our maternity photo shoot). And there are only about five more of these to post after tonight:

32 weeks, 4 days
33 weeks, 2 days
34 weeks, 4 days

Now off to watch this week's "Newsroom" episode. Again, remember a few months ago when I was all, "Wow, when this season of 'Newsroom' and 'Dexter' end, it'll be time to pop out a child"? YEAH. Endings, leading to beginnings, leading to who knows what...

Monday, August 5, 2013

the little things.

Know what's totally beautiful, jam-packed with spirit, and pretty much magical? Beaver Island, Michigan. Know who went there for five days and took zero (0) pictures? Yeah, me. But in my (weak) defense, I'd never been so focused on...not focusing. On doing nothing. On being present with myself, with J.J., and with our friends and their kids who were there with us. On soaking up these last weeks before Baby comes.

Part of the magic was in the fact that it was about 60 degrees and cloudy/rainy nearly every day we were there. Yep, for our beach vacation, a.k.a. our last kid-free vacation together. Oops. Really, though, once we added a few layers of clothing? The magic revealed itself in the simple things. In a secluded, pristine beach house with lake access and a hammock. In the local toy museum. In afternoon naps. In rounding the street corner on your bike and being slapped with a full-frontal view of Lake Michigan sparkling in the evanescent sunlight. In nicknaming our baby girl, whom I sat around watching move all over my belly. In roasting marshmallows and hot dogs ("not-dogs" for me) over a fire that was also necessary for warmth. In speeding back to the house from the ice cream shop to beat a vicious thunderstorm. In my favorite sandwich ever - garden veggies, hummus, artichokes, and gouda on dill bread - available daily at one of the (two?) restaurants on the island. In shave ice eaten on the dock. In board games and snack-bingeing after the kids were in bed. In swings on the beach. In everyone pitching in with the cooking and the cleaning and the kid-wrangling. And, of course, in the fact that I made it through a four-hour car ride, a two-hour ferry ride, and a three-mile bike ride while almost eight months pregnant without wanting to die and sleep and get an epidural for upper back/butt pain. The little things...

When the forecast called for sunshine and 75 degrees the day we were supposed to leave, we spontaneously decided to stay an extra day. I'm so glad we did! We soaked up the sun, played outside, and hiked some sand dunes. Unbeknownst to me, J.J. snapped a faraway photo of me on top of the dunes - one that will have to suffice as my bump silhouette of the week, since I wasn't home to take my usual picture.

Grainy, but it's there! 31 weeks, 2 days.

So, inspired by our laid-back vacay, this post is dedicated to a few little things - namely, the little things happening around the house. You know all that crap you want to get done, but never really get around to? Well, apparently nesting inspires a now-or-never attitude that may be defeatist, in a way (considering that yes, you CAN actually get stuff done after you have a baby), but hey, whatever works.

For example...

:: I finally got around to adding a softer edge to the hearth in the family room. The black tile is pretty, but the edge was deadly sharp, especially adjacent to slippery hardwood floors (that have no rug because I can't. Make. Rug. Choices.). Plus, the corner of the tile always dug into the back of the couch. I actually had an old canvas frame propped there as a buffer for years - YEARS - because I was too lazy to find rubber edges to soften it up. Well, when J.J. and I went to register for baby schtuff, I saw this black rubber childproofing edging that seemed perfect. And it is! It blends right in and hasn't fallen off yet. We'll see how it holds up to prying mobile-infant hands, but for now, it's a win.

:: Also in the family room, and also on my to-do list for literally years, and ALSO a hazard of not having a rug - I bought better pads for the chair legs. I'd had to double up on the ones pictured below because they always found a way to slip off after a few chair uses. I thought there was no other solution and had resigned myself to nasty, ineffective pads that harbored dust and hairballs. Enter new pads that fit right over the end of the leg, which look miles better and will hopefully hold up over time without attracting quite so much disgusting debris.


:: I'm replacing the knobs on our changing table with some cute ones I found on Etsy. Unfortunately, the knobs didn't come threaded - meaning I had to use full force to drive the screws in for the first time. Most of the screws cooperated, but I may or may not have a Phillips-head-shaped puncture wound in my hand from a little slip.

Hint: I do. I do have a Phillips-head-shaped puncture wound in my hand.

:: Okay, not a home improvement project, but this guy deserves a shout-out in a post about recognizing the little things. It's the water bottle my sister gave me on our trip to Chicago that we took two days after I discovered I was pregnant. I'm not generally a huge water drinker, but during my first trimester, I was constantly thirsty. As both my pregnancy and the summer progress, it's super important to stay hydrated. This water bottle is BPA-free, fits in my car cup holder and my backpack's side pocket, has a handy straw so I don't have to tip it upside down to drink, and helps me keep track of how much water I've had throughout the day. Nothing but love. (I believe it's from a three-pack of identical water bottles from Costco.)

:: I don't have pictures yet, and it's NOT a little project, but J.J. and his dad have been hard at work installing a fence in our back yard. We're not really fence people, but once our natural border was chopped down in an attempt to minimize the invasive species in our neighboring park, we figured it was time. Plus, it'll be helpful to keep tiny offspring corralled in the yard - and random pooping dogs out of the yard. So picture this scene with a wooden fence behind the shed:

:: Lastly, I woke up this past Saturday morning with a wide-open weekend stretching in front of me and randomly thought, "Hey! Why not take on a project that I've wanted to do forever, but have been procrastinating?" I'll save the full rundown for a future post, but here's a sneak peek of before and after in the upstairs hallway...

So, yeah! Those are just a few of the things happening chez moi these days. I also have a handyman coming over on Thursday to tackle some other long-needed little fixes:
  • Adjusting our pull-out kitchen garbage can, which doesn't close properly
  • Re-caulking the bathtub, which I could totally do on my own, but I figure eight months pregnant is not the time to be spending a few hours around mold and caulk fumes
  • Tightening the outlets in the nursery, which I can't seem to fix on my own
  • And a biggie - installing fans in both of our bathrooms - woot!!

It feels damn good to get these things taken care of, and to cross things off an ever-expanding to-do list. Now, if someone could just get my oil changed and find new glasses for me...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...