The Final Stretch...

Watching A Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby is not helping my level of patience for the baby to get here. Less than three weeks left, my third-to-last scheduled prenatal appointment, not being able to breathe very well due to someone taking residence in my rib cage, and some slight cramping this morning are not making me any more patient either.

I just reminded Aaron this morning that we need to take a belly shot - it's been a few weeks since the last one and we never know how many days we have left at this point.

The baby has been in the same position for a while now, and she likes to push her feet or some other small body part out at a spot directly below my ribs on my right side quite a bit. A few times she's pushed so hard and suddenly it caused my eyes to water. No matter how painful, it's still pretty cool too. She been feeling pretty tight in there the past couple of days which I'm guessing means that I'll be growing an even bigger belly pretty soon. At least that's the pattern that we've followed so far.

This past weekend I outgrew my rings. My fingers outgrew my wedding ring a few weeks back, but since my engagement ring is a bit bigger I was able to wear it in the meantime. That changed when we were out and about on Saturday, and I could barely get it off. I decided to take it off for good before it got stuck on my finger.

I've finally gotten a few stretch marks across my belly. At first they were just right above my hips, and that's still where they're worst, but now there's a few low across my belly. I can't see them very well, so I asked Aaron to take a look at them. He lied and said that he couldn't see anything except my beautiful belly. He's very sweet, and taking excellent care of me.

There are only three things we need in order to be completely ready to bring her home. Well, two that we absolutely need, and one that we've been waiting on for a while. The first two things are diapers and diaper rash cream, which are pretty essential. We have some g-Diapers and a few sample Huggies that we've gotten from various places, but the g-Diapers may be a little big and the two Huggies won't last us very long. The other thing we need, still, is a video camera. Aaron is still wavering on his choice, but I think that I'm going to have to put my foot down tonight and make him buy one.

I still have a lot of work to do at my job before they're ready for me to leave, but I'm starting to care less. If I thought the baby was distracting before, she's definitely a huge distraction now. I can barely think about anything else (except food) and I just can't wait to meet her. These past few weeks and the few to come are about the most exciting time I've ever experienced.

Seen by Me

I had a weird experience the other day, and I just have to share it with someone. So you lucky people get to hear about it.

I was at a gathering of people, including many people older than me and most of them fairly intelligent and well-known in this particular circle. One older, well-known gentleman (I'll guess he's in his 50s) was sitting near me for one part of the gathering, sort of next to but slightly in front of me. Suddenly, I noticed he was acting kind of weird, glancing from side to side apparently trying to see if anyone was watching him.

Then it happened. He, repeatedly, picked his nose. Then he would inspect what he removed. Then he ate it. This happened multiple times, but the multiple that made me move to another group was about 3 times. And I think that's only because I couldn't believe what I was seeing for the first two times.

It's been a while since I've had an experience like this, where someone is doing something totally bizarre in public and I get to witness it. It used to happen to me all the time. I'm kind of glad that I had a good streak going, and totally grossed out that this is how it was broken.

The Countdown is On

I have a countdown to my due date on my Google homepage, and today it read "25 Days Left!". That's right, days. I realistically know that my time being pregnant is almost up, but the whole reality of it hasn't hit yet. I'm finally getting somewhat better at this whole thing; worrying less if not complaining less. Hey, it's uncomfortable to be this big, and it seems like I've just become ungainly. It kind of snuck up on me.

I find myself doing very typical pregnant lady things: eating ice cream every night, struggling to get up off of whatever I'm sitting on, and I've definitely got the waddle going on. Aaron is being very kind to me, and I appreciate it incredibly much as I've kind of gotten sick of myself not being able to do things and I can't imagine it's any fun for him either. He's even doing my nesting for me. This weekend he vaccuumed for 4 hours straight (the dirt sensor on the new vaccuum has him becoming a little OCD about how clean the carpet is), and is talking about doing even more cleaning tonight.

Since he has cleaned the apartment from top to bottom, save for the room we use as an office, I find myself wanting to nest but not really having anything to do to satisfy that need. We've already washed almost all of the clothes we'll need for her right away. I suppose I could wash some blankets and towels, but I hate laundry so much that not even nesting is creating the urge in me to do that. So, I've taken to trying to get all the final little things we need in order to be completely and totally as ready as we can be before she gets here. The list of things I still need to buy include:

- An extra car seat base for Aaron's car
- A stroller base to use with the car seat
- An umbrella stroller (this one can probably wait)
- A carrier - we're getting the Ergo with the infant insert but now just have to decide between regular and organic versions
- Diapers - this is probably pretty important, huh?
- Diaper rash cream
- A diaper bag
- Some waterproof pads for use on the changing pad and under her bassinet sheet
- A baby tub
- Baby soap/shampoo/lotion
- Baby grooming and health-related gear, including a nasal aspirator, thermometer, nail clippers, brush
- A sun hat
- Socks
- A couple extra sleepers
- Some iron on sheets to print up some designs for onesies (probably not as important)
- Lasinoh
- A bottle-cleaning brush and bottle drying rack

And that's just the stuff I can remember off the top of my head. Crap, this is going to be expensive! Also, how am I going to find room for all this stuff???

For any moms out there reading this, is there anything on this list I'm not going to need? Anything that was essential to you when you had a new baby around? I'm kind of an obsessive planner and not knowing exactly what I'm going to need is driving me a little nuts.

As a reward for dealing with me and my pregnancy neuroses, I think I'm going to have Aaron take a belly shot tonight to share with you all. Plus it has been a couple of weeks and since there are possibly only a couple of weeks left until she's supposed to get here I'm also feeling the need to record everything that's going on. Being full-term is making me a little crazy.


Spring has arrived in Michigan, or rather, spring was here and now it's almost summer because that is what the weather feels like. Mid- to upper-70s and sunny is not my idea of spring, and especially not the idea of spring I had in mind when buying my maternity wardrobe. Needless to say I've been uncomfortable and hot lately. Uncomfortable because I've been trying to squeeze into things I have no business squeezing into, and hot because if I get tired of being uncomfortable it means that I have to wear something too heavy for the weather.

So, yesterday afternoon I broke down and had Aaron take me shopping for a few items of clothing to make it through the next few weeks. I feel kind of bad buying maternity items with theoretically less than four weeks left, but I just couldn't deal with it any more. Plus I bought some items that I can wear for the "4th trimester" (which, I have to say, that term bugs me because there's no such thing as a 4th part of something divided into thirds), you know, when I'm still too big for my regular clothes, but will probably look ridiculous in maternity clothes. That being said, it was incredibly depressing to go shopping at this point, because I am too big for half of the maternity clothes I tried on. Seriously.

Clothing issues aside, I am enjoying the warmer weather. My favorite two things about spring are not having to wear a coat or socks, and I definitely don't need either of those things right now. Wait, there's a third thing: opening the windows. We're shut in for so long that a few days of open windows makes everything feel fresh and new. It's wonderful.

If the bed's a'rockin'...'s because we had an earthquake. Seriously.

Aaron decided to try a new morning routine this morning based on me watching Oprah yesterday. Allow me to explain. The show was about being wasteful and she challenged families to cut their waste with a bunch of rules they had to live by for a week. One of the rules was that they couldn't take showers longer than five minutes in length (totally reasonable to me unless there are legs to be shaved, because that takes me forever). This didn't seem like a reality to Aaron, a.k.a. Mr. I-like-to-take-30-minute-steaming-hot-showers-every-day, but he seemed determined to try it out so he set the alarm 30 minutes earlier than normal so that he had time to wake up a little more before he hopped in the shower. He was thinking that was the issue - he stands there waking up for most of his shower before he gets to the whole cleaning thing. (He just finished the shower and it was very noticeably shorter, but I don't know about 5 minutes.)

So anyway, that meant that our alarm this morning was set for 5:30 this morning. It seems early, but I was up anyway due to baby-induced heartburn. So we're laying there and I'm about to tell Aaron to knock it off with the scratching or whatever he was doing, because he was shaking the whole bed. At the same time he was going to tell me to settle down or get up because I was shaking the bed. Then we both noticed that the things on my dresser were making noise.

"I think we just had an earthquake," I noted, having been through a couple of big ones during a visit to California about 15 years ago. We decided it was either that or the downstairs neighbors doing something weird (it's not outside the realm of possibility either), but whatever it was, we were definitely awake at that point. Flipping on the news confirmed our first theory: sure enough, there was an earthquake in southern Illinois, and we felt it all the way up here in Michigan. What a way to start the day, huh? The local news is getting inundated with calls this morning because this is definitely not something that's expected here in the upper Mid-West.

Quickies for Hump Day

Results of today's baby doctor appointment:

Strep B Test, which I had to perform on myself (is this normal? anyone?)
Told doctor I'm lightheaded and feel like I'm going to faint a lot. Response: normal.
Told doctor I'm ridiculously clumsy. Response: normal.
Told doctor it feels like my brain has left the building. Response: totally normal.
Also normal: being completely uncomfortable all the damn time. And the baby. Everything is completely normal and fine.

In addition: Aaron heard her heart beat for the first time, and was blown away. That was a great experience.

Other quick things:

Make this. Preferably soon. It's incredible.

Also make these chocolate chip cookies using a bag of Nestle milk chocolate and caramel chips and pecan pieces.

As I think I said yesterday (not sure, see: brain is broken, and also too lazy to check) we had to buy a new vacuum cleaner because our old one decided to break and then suck up the broken pieces into the motor rendering it completely useless. We could have gotten it fixed, but since it originally cost about $40, it really wasn't worth it. We didn't get the hot pink one I wanted, but the one we did get is pretty awesome, especially compared to the previous crappy one.

Why yes, Excitment is my middle name

Except I'm totally lying. I've been quiet over here because I've been incredibly busy doing all sorts of non-exciting things, such as finding a daycare and pediatrician for the baby, napping whenever humanly possible, shopping for a vaccuum online, trying to convince Aaron that we really need the hot pink vaccuum, and of course, working as much as humanly possible (which is, admittedly, not a whole because I'm just so tired all the damn time it takes me forever to do anything). So, I'm sure you can see why I've blogged about absolutely zero of these things.

In other news, on Thursday I will be exactly one month shy of my due date! Today I was walking in to my apartment building after a quick run to the grocery store for chocolate and naan (priorities, you know), when I heard someone say hello to me. I looked up, and there was my across-the-hall neighbor who I haven't seen for about a month or so. "You live right there right?" she asked. "I didn't know you were pregnant. When are you due?"

Besides being shocked that someone hadn't noticed my incredible girth which has been noticeable for at least a couple of months now, I was shocked that I actually saw her, because I did not see this woman, who has a little one of her own who is about a year old now, for the entire winter. If I had stayed in my darkened apartment (their windows are never lit up when it's dark outside) with a baby, mostly by myself, for the entire winter, I would have gone nuts! She seems very nice, but strange. Her little boy is adorable and we've been hearing him a lot more recently, if not seeing him.

Her husband is also incredibly strange. I was amazed a few weeks back when, instead of running away from me like usual or trying to get into the building without having to interact with me, he held the door open for me. Then he said hello back when I greeted him. I about fainted from the shock. At least they're quiet unlike the neighbors downstairs (speaking of, I watched the dad walk in last week with the open beer he had been drinking on his drive home, which is so totally classy I can hardly stand it), right?

Aaron wants to move out of this place for the most part because of the neighbors. They're either weird (see: across the hall neighbors) or loud (see: neighbors downstairs, diagonal across the hall, and downstairs and across the hall). I've told him that bad neighbors exist pretty much everywhere, but he thinks that a new place, maybe even our own house, will be much better.

I kind of don't want to move, because it would happen six weeks after the baby is due, but I also don't want to live somewhere that makes Aaron unhappy. So, to appease us both and just for fun, anyone want to share their bad neighbor stories so that I can show him that bad neighbors will happen no matter where we move?

(And how was that for the most disjointed post ever? Can you tell that the baby woke me up kicking in the middle of the night and has been on the move ever since?)

Weekend Baking 1.10

There's a local bakery that I've never been to, but always wondered about. It doesn't look very fancy from the outside, but it's one of the most popular places for wedding cakes in town and is apparently fairly expensive. Lately they've started advertising on TV, and their advertisements are convincing enough that I feel I need to visit.

You see, they're advertising new cupcake flavors: peach cobbler, chocolate peanut butter cup, banana cream pie, boston creme pie, and pecan prailine.

I'm thinking I need to go try a few of these so I can determine if their cake is good enough to buy for Aaron's birthday this year (a week before the due date - I am so not expecting to want to bake a cake at that time).

In case I don't get a chance to visit the store and taste test some cup cakes, I can always make these strawberry cupcakes which look and taste incredible. My mom made these for the shower, along with some plain white cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes, and these were the only ones that were eaten. Plus, they're probably a lot cheaper per dozen than the store-bought kind.

In which I was mistaken for a postal worker

So there I was yesterday at the post office, putting flower stamps I had just purchased on my thank you notes from my baby shower. I was standing at a counter they have in the lobby for doing that type of thing, and I looked pretty much just like this:

you know, minus the "highlighting the belly" pose. (And there's your belly shot for this week.)

All of the sudden this kid (kid as in younger than me, but probably in his early 20s) walks in, walks up to the other side of the counter at which I'm standing, and starts talking about a check he was supposed to get, but he moved and even though he forwarded his mail (which now usually comes with that little orange sticker on it) he didn't get this one check, and did I know if it was there. It was a little more involved and took him a while to get out, all the while I'm just standing there putting my stamps on my envelopes.

Finally he finishes explaining his problem (I didn't have the heart to interrupt him) and I say that I think he has to go ask them at the counter in the main portion of the post office. Then I finish stamping my envelopes, put them in the slot to mail them, and walk out wondering two things: 1) Do I currently look anything like a postal worker (I'm pretty sure the answer to that one is no), and 2) Has this kid ever been to the post office before?

New to the Neighborhood

We have some new neighbors in our apartment building. Quite a few of them, actually, as there were a couple of apartments that were empty for a while that seem to have all filled up at the same time. The new neighbors in question, though, are the ones that live directly below us. We had issues with one of the former tenants of that apartment and the volume of her TV, but she moved out in the fall, and the apartment has been empty until a little less than a month ago.

Now, I try not to be judgy of people, because, you know, to each their own, but from some of the things I saw moving into the apartment (Zippo sales display rack) and some of the things I've seen coming out (three garbage bags full of Busch Light cans, presumably drank in the less-than-a-month they've lived there), I'm feeling kind of, well, judgy about these people. So, they already had a strike on my list. Then one night they woke us up with their television in the middle of the night. Strike two, for me, because I am sensitive about my sleep. I'm not going to be getting it for much longer, I'm not really getting much right now, so I want all of it that I can get. Seems reasonable, right?

Then comes strike three. This strike came in the form of one of their teenagers (they have two, and it could possibly be both of them) bouncing something against the walls and/or ceiling nearly CONSTANTLY. This started on Friday and continued through the whole weekend. It's slightly annoying to say the least.

However, I'm only complaining about it on here instead of directly to them for two reasons: 1) I don't want to cause any discord among neighbors because that doesn't make for a pleasant living environment, and 2) we have the ultimate revenge due in just over 5 weeks (sidenote: EEK! FIVE WEEKS!). I'm nothing if not the queen of Passive Aggressive Land.

Lesson Learned

Scene: Two days ago, on the phone with my mom.

Me: ...and I haven't even had any leg cramps. Thank goodness I'm missing out on those!

Fast forward to Scene: 5:45 this morning

Me: Ow! Ow! Ow!

Aaron: What?!? What's wrong? Are you OK?

Me: Leg cramp! Ow! Ow! Ow!

Aaron: *massages my calf and makes me flex my foot*

Leg cramp: *recedes*

Me: Well that comment about no leg cramps just came back to bite me, huh?

Baby: *Kick! Roll! Kick!*

Me: And now I'm getting up because I apparently scared the crap out of the baby too.

Lesson: Don't open my big fat mouth about whatever symptoms I haven't experienced. (Yeah, because remember when I said I didn't have any stretch marks? Ha! That came back to bite me too.)

Hey Look! Pictures!

Here are a few pictures from the baby shower, including the obligatory belly shot (at 33 weeks exactly):

Guess who went to the bar during the shower! Answer: see below.

He and the guys obviously had a good time, but I did too, especially when I got to open gifts like the adorable white knitted jumper that I will make her wear on a continuous basis.

Oh, that's right!

It's like I keep forgetting I have a blog or something. Life has been thoroughly distracting me, what with the baby being only 6 weeks away (hypothetically), a bunch of work to do at work and home, family stuff, and all kinds of other little things. So I'm going to do my favorite cop-out - a list!

Things I Still Have to Do Before Baby Arrives
  • Find a daycare. I really need to get on this one. I called one place and they never called me back. That's not really moving them up on my list.
  • Find a pediatrician. I've already started on this and have an appointment to meet one in two weeks.
  • Get car seat bases installed and checked. There are two places in town (and it's a pretty big town so I'm a little dumbfounded by this), one which only does checks on Tuesdays from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and one which only does checks on the last Friday of every month. No one does it on weekends. This makes no sense whatsoever to me.
  • Invest in a retirement account for Aaron. It's hard to get the man to separate with his money, even though it's not really separating, it's more putting it away for a little while.
  • Buy a camcorder. We were supposed to have this by this past weekend. I think I'm going to have to start nagging.
  • Get some meals frozen. I still have (hopefully) a little time until I need this, but I'm fully intending to have some ready to go so that we don't have to cook for a little while after she gets here.
  • Finish getting what we need for the baby, including but not limited to: a place for her to sleep (a.k.a. a Pack 'n' Play), diapers, some clothes in newborn sizes (because everyone bought 6 to 12 month sizes for the shower), a stroller, an extra car seat base (important for bullet 3), and lots of other things I can't remember right now. Good thing I have a list!
So those are all the baby-related things I have to do, and would like to do within the next three weeks so I can be ready if she decides to show up a little early.

Also, can we talk about how much it blows my mind that after my next appointment in two weeks they won't stop labor if it starts? Because mind = totally blown.
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