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April 2007

The Eve Before My Last Week

I spent all of last week wondering if I would still be pregnant today, the eve before my last week of work, and I am. The baby rocked his ultrasound on Friday afternoon. Even the twitchy-eyed tech felt comfortable telling us how great things looked and how the fluid had magically increased. (Whoever told me to drink incredibly disgusting amounts of Gatorade, you win a big fat sloppy kiss.) The baby has grown, albeit on his 'small curve'. No one called the doctor or sent me up to Labor and Delivery. Phillip and I went out to dinner instead of spending a trillion dollars on newborn supplies at Target. We did haul the car seat out of the trunk and install it in the back seat, but only because we'd be driving our friends and their baby around later that night. Baby Cheung is still turning somersaults and hiccuping when I'm trying to fall asleep. I'm back to thinking he'll be late, but maybe when I see my doctor tomorrow she'll still be worried and bring up this whole not-making-it-to-my-due-date thing again. At which point I will stick my fingers in my ears and imagine I'm sunning myself at the Fairmont Orchid. (Did I tell you last time I mentioned the Fairmont Orchid I got a very nice email from their PR person? I am gunning for a free trip, people, I have no shame. A trip I won't be able to use until this kid is done with his doctoral thesis and supporting Phillip and me in our old age, but still.)

So anyway. I have made it to my last week of work. Starting tomorrow morning I am going to be one very annoying girl, as I will be making sure everyone knows tomorrow is my Last Monday. That peanut butter and jelly sandwich will be the last time I eat at my desk on a Monday. Those phone calls will be my last Monday phone calls. It will be the last time I drive home on a Monday. All culminating on Friday, when everything I do will be the last time I do ANYTHING. The new girl asked me where I'd be sitting when I come back, as she's going to take over my desk, and I just batted my eyelashes and said, "Oh, but I'm not coming back!" And smiled prettily and made my other coworkers glare at me with the force of a thousand stinkeyes. It's not that I don't like where I work and what I do, but I will like it so much better when they are not requiring me to sit at a desk eight hours a day and talk on the phone and, you know, expect me to do all the stuff I don't like doing. First I will have a cute and delicious baby. Then, a few months later, I will hand off the baby to someone else for a few hours and work on all the stuff I do like doing, which I can do remotely, from home, which is where my pajamas are, and I AM SO PLEASED ABOUT THIS TURN OF EVENTS I CAN BARELY STAND IT.

Tomorrow, when most of you are reading this, I will be shoving off everything I used to do to the new girl, while I read blogs, I mean, learn how to put a drop down box on a website.

I suppose, now that I am 38 weeks, anything goes and I could potentially go into labor at any time. But people, I feel nothing. I'm pretty sure the baby is lodged way up there, if his bothersome little feet are anything to go by. I haven't felt one single contraction, even a Braxton-Hicks, and even though I look ridiculous getting in and out of the car (and bed) I feel pretty good. I don't think this kid is coming out any time soon (without chemical intervention, at least) but who knows. I think I'm okay either way. If he's slow, that's fine, I still have to clean the bathrooms and who knows when I'll get around to doing that. And if he comes tomorrow, at least I have enough onesies.

Phillip is downstairs figuring out how to upload video to the picture gallery website he put up for baby viewing purposes (we are two nerds in a pod) and I've been trying to finish up the random piles of Things To Do on my desk. It's almost eight and it's still light out. How I love daylight savings time. I love spring. I have flowers in my yard, thanks to my sister who did all the dirty work, and we have the windows open. The house is quiet right now. No one wakes us up in the middle of the night, there are no plastic things in our living room, we had salmon and asparagus for dinner, we'll probably watch a lot of TV before we go to bed and we are oh so aware that we should be appreciating these things to the fullest extent possible. But today I wanted to buy the baby a sun hat, because later on this summer I will be out watering the flowers while he's sitting on a blanket in the grass chewing on a rubber spatula. And, I can't believe I'm saying this, but that sounds like way more fun than TV.


I need a nap

No baby today. What he lacks in size he makes up by rocking the non-stress tests.

I'm exhausted. I barely slept last night (third trimester insomnia?) and spent the entire day explaining 400 things to the new girl, which made both our heads spin. There is nothing like trying to train your replacement to make you realize how very complicated your job is, even though complicated is the last word you'd ever use to describe what you do. I called Phillip twice, once because I didn't want to do what I thought I had to do (reinstall Windows) and wanted him to tell me what I should do (which was reinstall Windows) and once to tell him no baby today. And both times he was certain I was in labor, coworkers cheering in the background.

Last night we went to Saxaphone Night at the University of Washington, a bunch of solo performances by undergrad saxaphone students. I can't remember the last time I was on campus and it's been years since I was in the school of music building, even longer since I sat through my last Saxaphone Night, watching my boyfriend play three movements of some concerto I've never heard of. I used to wish he'd play jazz, like any normal person who plays sax, but no, he studied classical saxaphone which meant I had to go to Saxaphone Night and symphonic band concerts and quartet performances and pretend I was enthralled. Phillip reeeeeally wanted to go and I think we're both feeling the "let's do everything we can possibly think of before the baby comes" pressure, so I agreed. As long as we left at intermission.

We sat in the back and made faces at the kids who were just there because they're taking Concert Series, which just means you go to random performances on campuses and write stupid reflection papers. For credit! The musicians were sweaty and nervous and I remembered Phillip being up on stage, with his pony-tailed piano player, his unfamiliar parents sitting across the auditorium. It occurred to me that I am ten years older than the freshmen. At intermission Phillip shook hands with his old saxaphone professor and introduced his wife and mentioned his almost-here baby and the two of them chatted about getting a real job and other students who've graduated and put their saxaphones aside. I wondered what a few of my professors are doing now. I ducked into the bathroom on the first floor and remembered ducking into bathrooms between classes, the cold metal doors installed into old brick walls. I remembered washing my hands and trying not to stare at the other college girls putting on lipstick and adjusting their clothes. I was so in awe of college. I never felt cool enough or urban enough or confident enough. I wanted to be the girls with the funky hair and the thrift store clothes and the bags full of interesting books. By the time I felt I'd arrived, it was time to graduate and now I'm old and married and expecting a baby. How did that happen?

I am so tired today. I passed off everything I know to the new girl. She is totally overwhelmed and I don't blame her. I want to say, "I tried to tell you what you were getting into..."  Then I remember that everyone has a miserable first day, even if the person showing them around tries her hardest to make it easier. I'm suddenly possessive. These are my coworkers. This is my computer. These are my responsibilities. I may even miss a thing or two. I don't want to be replaced.

I've never felt so aware of impending change. Maybe when I got married. Phillip and I are what my neighbor once called "old fashioned". We went from recent college grads with crappy jobs who said goodnight over the phone to married and living together and fighting over how to properly load the dishwasher in one weekend. We had no idea what it would be like, but we were doing it anyway. My dad told me that getting married was one thing, but having me- that was what turned the world upside down. And I feel like, okay, fairly soon the world will be upside down. I'm just waiting.

I still don't want the baby to come early. My brother, father of two, says this is because I am not uncomfortable enough, just wait. I see his point. But I did feel a tiny bit of disappointment when the nurses sent me home tonight. Proud of my baby for acing the test, bummed that I had more ultrasounds and NSTs and furrowed doctor brows in front of me. It's going to happen sometime, right? I'm okay with it happening now.

I should write some thank you notes, but I think I'm going to crawl into bed. Poor Phillip. He must think I'm never going to make him dinner again.


An almost baby-less post

My new hire starts tomorrow and I have no idea what to do with her. Isn't that terrible? I'm flashing back to my first day when I was parked in front of a computer and told to figure things out, but I refuse to do that to my new hire. I'm trying to collect the few bits of work I've got floating around for practicing purposes (not because I am too lazy to do them myself) but since I've spent the last month or two trying to tie up loose ends, there's just not a whole lot for her to do. Just wait till she realizes how much time she can spend on the internet!

But just because there's not much to do right now doesn't mean she won't be utterly swamped come mid-May when things pick up again and I won't be here to tell her what's what. Poor thing. So I've spent the last couple of days making a little How To Do Everything Book, because I am kind and sweet and oh so incredibly anal. Anyway, I am telling you about this book because I got to use the coolest program to make it. Internet friends, meet Snag It.

Mybrowser_2

Oh yes. I AM this nerdy. I've created tutorials of not one, not two, but three built-by-me databases for my new hire using this screen capture program and every little feature it offers. In fact, my new hire may even be offended by my level of detail, thinking to herself, "DUDE, does she think I'm STUPID?" But no, I don't think she's stupid, I am just very excited about my free 30-day trial.

However, it's not like I can give her the book and wave goodbye. I have to think of actual stuff to do. So far I have thought of:

  • Giving her the scoop on her new coworkers
  • Reciting the history of the company
  • Insisting she kiss my ring for convincing my boss to outsource all the crappy parts of this job
  • Going out to lunch

I don't know. What are you supposed to do on your first day? Every first day I've ever had involved sitting in front of a computer and realizing I was on my own. I think that's mean! I'm STILL cranky about no one telling me anything when I started here. Also for how they all called me New Girl for nearly a year. A year! My poor new hire. She has no idea.

Thankfully she has a much friendlier personality than I do. She might actually want to chit chat with her coworkers instead of throwing them the stinkeye for constantly interrupting her blog reading. I'm pretty sure she is not afraid of the phone. She claims to enjoy meeting new people. She smiles. Everyone is going to like her better than me, I know it. Wah.

OH WAIT. I did have that one first day at the cafe on campus where I was supposed to make 47 different espresso drinks at once while my "supervisor", a 20-year-old music major, mixed screwdrivers using swiped food service orange juice and his personal flask. Good times!

Hee. I just took a look at the job description we handed out to potential candidates. "We are looking for an outgoing, intelligent and collaborative individual..." It's like they wanted to make sure they didn't get stuck with another finicky nitpicky neurotic whose most developed skill is the ability to tune out mindless conversation and focus completely on her computer monitor. I swear, the only thing I've got going for me is the steady stream of homemade chocolate chip cookies I deposit on the snack table.

Oh, this is going to be another post I have to delete, huh?

Anyway, thanks for your comments yesterday. I'm sort of embarrassed because I am FINE, REALLY and people were emailing me and calling me to make sure I wasn't about to leap off the nearest bridge or something. But I'm fine, Phillip is fine, we are as ready as we're going to be, but I still have to figure out what I'm doing with my new hire tomorrow. Gah.


Attempting to be zen

I think this small baby thing is what I get for not having any morning sickness. (Although, when you think about it, that makes no sense at all, the baby should be huge. I have gained the equivalent of an American second grader- you'd think the baby would be bigger than 5 pounds. That's right. FIVE POUNDS.)

The NST went fine, but then I saw my doctor and she seemed agitated, furrowed eyebrows and everything. And since she always seems to be the Queen of Zen at my appointments, it was sort of unnerving. The baby, she said over and over, looks fine. Right now. So she's got me scheduled for another NST on Thursday and an ultrasound on Friday. We briefly covered the multitude of things that could go wrong and when I asked her what my chances were of being induced she said, "Oh, pretty good." Then she added that she doesn't see me lasting the full three weeks till my due date and that is when I started to feel depressed.

Depressed is a strange condition for me. Frantic list making, yes. Nervous breakdown, yes. Neurotic weepy email sent to all of my friends, without a doubt. But sitting at home staring out the window for an hour or two? Feeling down and sad? SO NOT ME. Eventually I picked up the phone and called one of my friends to help me decide what level of freak out I should be having. But she wasn't home so I picked up my new issue of The New Republic and read ten different opinions about what to do with a nuclear Iran. Very informative.

It's just not going the way I thought it would, and for all my self-congratulatory "I'm flexible! Go me!" announcements, I'm finding I'm worried and disappointed. I wonder if the notoriously unreliable ultrasound stuff is wrong and they'll induce me for no reason. Then I think about how I've measured small the entire time and how my 7 months pregnant friend practically dwarfs me and maybe I should ask to be induced tomorrow. I worry about taking a five-pound baby home. I'm mad at whatever it is that fell down on the job and is keeping him from fattening up. I wonder what an induction will be like. I'm terrified I'll end up with a c section. And then I find my way back to "He's still kicking, I trust my doctor, I'll get to see my baby soon, la la la" and everything is fine again. I have, like, fourteen personalities this week.

Phillip was working late again and he called to find out if I wanted to drive to our friends' house up north to watch Heroes (Heroes! It is back! It is 100 times better than Lost!) and I said, yes, and could we please stop at the Evil Baby Warehouse on the way, as someone needed a little retail therapy. We bought a rocking chair for the baby's room (a cushy, upholstered, become-one-with-the-cushions kind of rocking chair) and spent half an hour looking for the perfect going home outfit. I found one in a preemie size and Phillip found one in a newborn size and hopefully one of them will fit.

Anyway. Whine whine whine. You know what IS nice? Everything is done. My last chunk of Fussy Church Committee responsibilities. The last minute stuff I was dreading at work. Finding my replacement and scheduling her first day (Thursday, so I have a guaranteed six hours with her before I go off to my next NST!) Our house is fairly clean, thanks to having dinner guests on Saturday. The important things are in the trunk of the car. The baby's future aunts are coming to my house this weekend to pretty up my yard, because I've recently attained un-bendable status and I've promised them ice cream. In the meantime I am crossing my fingers that all those Reese's Pieces I ate last night go straight to the baby's thighs and that he holds out another week until May, when he is SUPPOSED to get here. 


I NEED that week off

There was a bit of an Incident on Friday.

Phillip picked me up at work for our regularly scheduled SMALL BABY ultrasound. We were late, but we ended up sitting in the waiting room for half an hour anyway. At four. On a sunny Friday. Finally they took us into one of those dark little ultrasound rooms and for the first time being flat on my back was agony. I couldn't tilt my head far enough to see the screen, so instead I focused on the little tech lady with the eye twitches and the, "Oh, I don't want to answer THAT question yet," demeanor and it went on forever. I think she took her measurements in triplicate or something.

At the end she still wouldn't tell us anything and scurried out of the room to consult with the radiologist, which was good because I was probably going to kill her if she stuck around much longer. Phillip and I sat on the bed and consoled each other about our baby's apparent lack of initiative.

I should add here that I wasn't worried. The baby was wiggling and squirming and generally letting me know he was still in there the entire time and to be honest, that is really the only thing that matters. I know all sorts of things can happen, but as long as I know there is still a baby- yeah. That's good.

The tech came back to tell us that the baby had grown a little bit, he was still symmetrically small but the amniotic fluid level was even lower this time and the radiologist was going to call our doctor.

Excellent.

We got shuffled into another waiting room because the Women's Imaging department was going home for the day. We sat there long enough to see the girl at the front desk go home five minutes early and for a stream of patients to amble up to the desk afterward and awkwardly wonder if they were supposed to wait or use the phone that said, in giant letters PLEASE DIAL 1 FOR ASSISTANCE. Eventually our little tech lady came out to say that the radiologist had spoken to the doctor on call (of course my doctor wasn't there, it was five thirty on a FRIDAY) and we were to go directly to Labor and Delivery, do not pass go.

So maybe I got a little nervous right then.

Seriously. What is up with the Medical Community not telling you things? It wasn't until we'd made it to the elevator when the tech told us the doctor wanted me to have a non-stress test, that I wasn't actually HAVING THE BABY at this point. Although, I then asked the nurses what we'd do if the baby, you know, failed the test, and they nonchalantly said, "Oh, you'll stay here and we'll induce you."

Super!

They ushered us into one of those rooms where you ACTUALLY HAVE THE BABY and started opening cupboards and turning on machines and Phillip and I were just standing there like UM, WE ARE NOT PREPARED FOR THIS.

"The car seat is at home," I said.

"I have work to do," he said.

"We don't have any diapers," I said. "Or wipes. Or clean sheets. Or a going home outfit."

"I have a lot more work to do," he said. Have I mentioned Phillip and his revolting work ethic?

And then I remembered: "I DON'T HAVE ANY LANSINOH!"

They had me climb into the bed and strapped the monitors around my hardly-as-big-as-it-should-be belly and we waited. Oh, and they offered us tea and juice and water, like I was getting a pedicure or something. And we waited some more.

The nurses were awesome. I had heard excellent things about the nurses at this hospital, but now I can say: IT IS TRUE. They were wonderful. They explained everything. They laughed and joked and made sure to call me Maggie right away instead of going off all the forms that say my name is Margaret. (Which it is. Woe.) And after ten minutes they said, "Oh, your baby is doing great! Everything looks great! You won't be having your baby this weekend!" and we said, with profound relief, "Great!"

I am NOT ready for this baby, Internet. Well. I am. Pretty much. We are dying to know what he looks like. Yesterday we went to a birthday party where loads of Asian and half-Asian babies were crawling around the living room and I spent the whole time deciding which one my baby would look like. I can't wait to hold him and tell him he is all mine, but he is supposed to be born in May. MAY. I am supposed to have an entire week of unemployed bliss, a week when, hopefully, that so-called nesting instinct will kick in and I'll clean my house and do the laundry and nap in front of daytime television. I DESERVE THAT WEEK.

The baby was a champ. The little printed strip thingies looked exactly as they were supposed to- they didn't even see the things they would "normally" see with a baby who is living in "low fluid". (And what does that mean? Is the ultrasound WRONG?) As soon as the nurses let us go, Phillip and I drove straight to Target and bought everything we didn't have. EVERYTHING. Diapers, wipes, burp/barf rags, sheets, the holy tube of Lansinoh. We figured out how to install the car seat and now it is living in the trunk, along with the diaper bag and a half-packed hospital bag. I say "half-packed" because I finally got around to looking at Emily's hospital bag packing list and craaap what was I thinking packing my bag before I consulted the Internet?

I'll be doing non-stress tests twice a week now (I have one today!) and while I feel pretty good about how the baby's doing, I know if something doesn't look right I won't be going back to work that day. Gah. But I have to be okay with this and weirdly enough, I am. My boss is aware. My bags are half-packed. My mom said, "YOUR bed wasn't made when we brought YOU home," and that makes me feel a little better.

But oh dear God I do not want to be induced.


A Friday-caliber post, I'm sorry

So I wrote something vaguely related to the campus shooting. Then I deleted it. I decided that pretty much everything Phillip and I have been discussing in front of our cable news addiction (okay okay, MY cable news addiction) can be found here, with much more information, and without all the hand wringing I tend to do.

And now I have nothing to say because seriously, we haven't talked about much else.

But! I have been tagged for a meme. AREN'T YOU EXCITED? No? What if I told you IT IS ABOUT TELEVISION! I know you people like television. E tagged me with this TV meme thing (AND she called me a TiVo goddess, flattery gets you everywhere with me) and here are the rules:

-Go to IMDB.com and look up 10 TV shows you like(d).
-Post three official IMDB "Plot Keywords" for these 10 picks.
-Have your friends guess the show names.

But I am just going to make up my own keywords otherwise I will get really bored with the IMDB copying/pasting and I'll start looking for more news articles to forward to Phillip instead. And Phillip, I am certain, would much prefer I talk to YOU.

Guess My 10 TV Shows! (And people, this should be REALLY EASY. Especially if your name is REBECCA. Or KATIE.)

1. murder/Backup/"obligatory psychotic jackass" (THIS ONE IS EASY!)
2. Phil/airplanes/"MAY be eliminated" (OH MY GOSH, SO EASY!)
3. eye doctor boyfriend/rent control/"the meaning of the box is threefold" (KILLING ME, SO EASY.)
4. piano/little sister/"hooker thong" (God, I miss this show.)
5. adopted/campaign/"You're not a fighter, but that's ok. The world needs nurses too." (oooh, harder?)
6. car lot/soldier dad/"I'm thinking about starting a Christian speed metal band. Are you in?" (HMMM)
7. Korean/diner/"She named me after herself." (COME ON!)
8. dyed hair/kissing in the stairwell/ "I thought at least by the age of 15 I'd have a love life, but I don't even have a like life." (All right, people. Possibly the best show EVER.)
9. German/draping/"Whatever happened to Andre?" (I am just GIVING it to you.)
10. security system/Australia/"Maggie is going to blind her own self if this show doesn't hurry up and kill Charlie." (Yeah, that one was tough.)

See! Fun! I've already forgotten I woke up at five this morning, due to sore hips and kickboxing baby, and could not go back to sleep due to a husband who snores one inch from my face and, again, the kickboxing baby. Also, totally not thinking about this afternoon's ultrasound to check up on my SMALL (yet ferociously kickboxing) BABY.

If you are not into the whole TV thing (and what is wrong with you?) I'll ask your thoughts on something else: we have made the incredibly idiotic decision to have friends over for dinner tomorrow night. I say "idiotic" because these friends can cook. Like, they make real food. They know how to cook meat. And serve it with vegetables. And I sort of forgot about this before I gaily and unthinkingly invited them to our house. So now we are all, "OHMYGOD what are we going to FEED these people?" because people who know how to roast chickens aren't going to be impressed with macaroni and cheese. PANIC! The Pharmacist, quite the foodie herself, suggested a nice risotto, which I swear I have made before, but I practiced on Monday and it was terrible. Terrible! I've got a chocolate bundt cake recipe in the works, but I'm told people can't survive on cake alone...  ideas?


Obviously I must go shopping

Shoot. Even my brother had an opinion on that one.

Speaking of my brother, it's been a while since I posted gratuitous nephew photos.

Here's Thing One:                                           And here's Thing Two:
Twoyearsold             Max

Thing One is already proving himself to be a first rate oldest child. I'm terribly proud.
Boys

I'd post a picture of their little color-coordinated Easter family portrait, but then I might start wallowing in my inability to color-coordinate my own self, let alone two small children and a husband, and have my hair brushed and makeup (ha! makeup! when's the last time I wore makeup!?) in place, and no one wants that.

Anyway, how I love the Internet for telling me to go shopping.  To which I say: no problem, Internet! Away I go!

I have bought umpteen baby gifts for other babies, but I have not bought a THING for my own child. Well, okay, I bought a bedding set, but we all agree that was for me, not for him. And except for the clothes, pretty much everything on the Things I Have list is used pre-loved stuff unloaded handed down to me by friends. Hence the two bouncy seats. What do I do with two bouncy seats? Anybody need one?

So yes, I'm off to order the Ultimate Crib Sheet and stock up on burp rags and blankets, but I'm really excited about the onesies. You have no idea how thrilled I am to find out I can always use more onesies. Bring on the onesies!

(Not that all of you think I need more onesies. But I am ignoring you people. You don't sound very fun.)

I KNOW I KNOW. I have no idea what kind of baby I'll have and it's silly to think I'll have everything ready, in the correct sizes and amounts. But have you met me? I am doing really well with this whole Dealing With The Unknown thing! So proud of me. And every time I catch myself thinking I'll do something a certain way, I'm sure to give myself a quick little lecture about how I Don't Know Everything. All those ideas are in flux anyway. For the longest time I thought I'd just keep the baby in bed with me, because I am lazy and it seems to work for people who have a hard time getting back to sleep in the middle of the night. But lately I'm thinking that is insane, because all it takes to wake me up these days is daring to breathe in my near vicinity, so how am I going to get any sleep with a BABY next to me!?

So I don't know. Whatever. We'll see. In the meantime I will buy myself some onesies. I mean, I'll buy him some onesies. Him! Oh and a sling. Or three. (And if he doesn't like those, that just means I get to try another one, right?) 

OH. One more thing. Just so you know, all mentions of Lansinoh have been duly noted (oh my, have they been noted) along with the trillion other icky things people keep telling me about, but I don't want to, like, TALK about it. Yet. I'll let you know. At least give me a chance to timidly peek inside the breast pump bag and kick my little brother off the website before we start THAT up. Yeesh. 

 


Panic! At the baby's room

I watched cable news last night until I realized I was watching the sixteenth loop of the exact same footage and Geraldo was showing me the website of a random Asian guy wearing a bunch of guns, knowing that this particular random Asian guy had nothing to do with the shooting. That's when I decided I'd seen enough and went upstairs to the baby's room to fuss over all the things I haven't put away. Like, oh, EVERYTHING.

I was going through the clothes and the blankets and the books and it suddenly occurred to me that I might not have all the things I am supposed to have. For example, I only have eight newborn size onesies. IS THAT ENOUGH ONESIES?

Things I Have: Clothing

  • Eight newborn size short sleeve onesies
  • Five newborn size long sleeve onesies
  • Eight sleepers/creepers/footie pajamas/whatever they're called
  • Four sleep sacks
  • Four hand-me-down swaddling blanket things aka baby straijackets
  • Three newborn size pairs of pants
  • Four unbelievably tiny side snap t-shirts
  • Small mountain of socks
  • Small mountain of hats
  • Miscellaneous piles of three to six month and six to nine month clothing that I'll deal with later, because in case you have not heard, I have a SMALL BABY
  • Four pairs of shoes- church shoes, two pairs of sneakers and a pair of Robeez

Things I Have: Blankets, Sheets

  • Three cheapo receiving blankets
  • Two fancy pants receiving blankets from fancy pants baby stores
  • One bed sheet
  • One gorgeous counted cross stitch blanket that my baby is never ever going to be allowed to pee on
  • One super luxe super soft blanket that, again, my baby will never be allowed to pee on
  • One quilt I will probably hang on the wall


Things I Have: Gear & Stuff

  • One car seat
  • One stroller
  • One swing
  • Two bouncy seats
  • One playmat
  • Two bathtubs
  • Three hooded towels
  • One borrowed breast pump that I am afraid to look at because I am in total denial
  • One shopping bag full of the baby's honorary cousins' outgrown bottles
  • Seven bumGenius 2.0 cloth diapers
  • Two cloth diapers too hilarious to describe; suffice to say if I pin them on my child he will be known as Little Lord Cheungleroy, so remind me to take a picture
  • Large mountain of books
  • Handful of stuffed toys
  • Handful of toys to chew on
  • Phillip's diaper bag
  • My diaper bag
  • Babycare kit, baby soap, Mylicon drops, diaper rash cream

Bored yet? You know I'm really writing this all out for my mother, who told me that the 487 pictures I took of my baby shower were not enough and that she'd like a picture of each gift with a detailed caption emailed to her stat.

Anyway, this seems like a lot of stuff to me. But-

Things I Don't Have That I Think I Probably Need, Right?

  • Baby monitor
  • Place for baby to sleep that is not the crib or my bed
  • More bed sheets
  • Waterproof mattress pad
  • Newborn disposable diapers
  • All the cloth diaper accessories I haven't bothered to research yet
  • A packed hospital bag
  • Nursing clothes
  • A carrier, and now I am leaning more towards a mei tei instead of a pouch. Gah.
  • A mirror to stick on the car seat so I can see the baby's face because the whole backwards facing baby thing really freaks me out
  • Large mountain of Chinese prefolds
  • A Certificate of Successful Completion of a local How To Keep A Newborn Baby Alive Class

Have I forgotten anything? Can I get rid of something on any of my lists? DO I HAVE ENOUGH ONESIES?

Oh, and here is today's parting thought: young ladies of the world, when arriving for a job interview, make sure you can actually walk in your three-inch heels and that the camisole under your Express suit jacket is long enough to cover up your navel ring. Ladies, I'm just trying to help. 


Luck and symmetry

I'm in a rotten mood today, Internet. ROTTEN. Pretty much everyone within a fifty-foot radius of my person is receiving the trademarked stinkeye and the "begin a conversation with me at your own risk" vibes. Luckily for you it would be the height of dumbassery to vent my ire here. So. I have to think of something else to write about.

Yeah, this is not working.

You probably don't want to hear about how I washed every piece of adorable newborn clothing yesterday, carefully folded everything and agonized over how to organize the two empty dresser drawers. But everything size three to six months and up is still hanging off the side of the crib waiting for my nesting instinct to kick in.

Or about how much plain Hershey chocolate I have eaten since Easter, which begs the question: is it possible to poison oneself with excessive antioxidant consumption? (Because you know I am eating it for the antioxidants.)

How about: Our old lady stayed home from church yesterday so we took advantage of our lack of responsibility and hung out at coffee and doughnuts for a while. I met a woman who flat out asked if my baby needed a surrogate grandmother and, shoot, like I am going to turn down a potential highly qualified local babysitter. Then we were doing all the getting-to-know-you questions and when someone asked me what I do, I said, "Oh, I'm quitting and having a baby." And this woman clapped her hands and said, "I am so glad to hear that you're not putting your baby in daycare."

Which, fine. I am also glad I am not putting my baby in daycare, mostly because I think it would kill me. But I qualified this statement with, "Well, I'm quitting as much as I can, I'll still be doing some part time work." I don't know. I don't know why I cared what she thought, but I felt like I had to say something like, "I'm just lucky." And gosh, even saying that makes me a little uncomfortable, because I certainly don't think wanting to go back to work is the worst thing in the world. Some people LIKE going to work and I certainly can't begrudge them that! 

But I am lucky. It would be very difficult for us if I completely quit my job and I will have to go back to work at least part time. But I like what I do, I have an unbelievably flexible employer and my work is the kind you can do from home. If we need someone to watch the baby one or two days a week, it will probably be my inlaws or my mom or the surrograte grandmothers crawling out of the church woodwork. My little sister lives two blocks up the street. Phillip's boss started working one day a week from home after he had a baby and is willing to let Phillip try it out too. My friends with babies have flexible schedules and we've talked about sharing sitters and watching each others' kids if we need to. I haven't even thought about daycare.

Oh, and then I ran into this other woman I know from church. Actually, I met her during those stewardship visits a couple months ago. She'd just had a baby a while back and was sort of shell shocked about the whole thing- a lot how I imagine I might be. Sleep deprived, frustrated with nursing, annoyed with her husband, convinced she was a bad mother, etc. etc. etc. We spent nearly the whole stewardship visit talking about babies and their experience at the hospital and the first few weeks home. I don't think she'd been out of the house in months, let alone pulled her family together to get to church on time. But I've seen her almost every Sunday for the past couple of weeks and she always makes sure to say hello to me. This time she was lying in wait for me, totally excited to tell me about this new book she's reading and how she wishes she'd read it before her baby was born. I think I'm the girl she's going to save, the person she'll tell everything she wishes she'd known ahead of time. And I appreciate it! I'm assuming I'll have a howling hellion, not a perfect sleeping angel, and I'm a lot more interested in honesty than sugarcoating. But as I stood there listening to all of her hard-won tips, I couldn't help but think that this was one woman who could really use the internet. EVERYTHING she was trying to tell me was something I'd already read on the internet. So many people had her same story and I know Ask Moxie has whole categories devoted to her issues. I haven't done it and I don't know what it's like, but the internet has done its best to prepare me.

And to be honest, she made me feel pretty good about where I'm at. At the same time I'm thinking, "Gosh, I need to tell her about Ask Moxie" I'm also thinking, "I am WAY better off than she was." I had another shower on Saturday and people were asking me how I was doing with the Impending Birth of the SMALL BABY and all that, so I gave them the little two-minute "I was freaking out, but then I reached the end of the catastrophe spectrum and now I'm doing okay," spiel. A friend of mine said, "I think it's great that you got it all out of your system so early," and I thought, "Hey! That's EXACTLY what happened!" Not to say I'm not nervous or worried or terrified of mastitis, but I'm okay. I am not expecting everything to go well. I am not expecting to be supermom right off the bat. I know I will need help and I've already been asking for it. I am okay with saying, "I don't know what this will be like, but I'll figure it out when it happens."

I credit anxiety. Anxiety humbles the crap out of you. If I hadn't dealt with anxiety, there's no way I'd be asking my friends to check in on me after the baby is born, or acknowledging that things might not go exactly as I think they will. I am not too proud to grovel for more responses to my bleg!

And before I return to my previously scheduled Funk of Massive Annoyance With The Entire World, and because I know you're all dying to know, here is your SMALL BABY update:

MAGGIE'S DOCTOR: How's everything going?

MAGGIE: Oh fine. Except for the whole SMALL BABY part, of course.

MAGGIE'S DOCTOR: I want you to schedule another ultrasound because we want to keep tabs on his growth. But everything looks great and he's symmetrically small, which is good.

MAGGIE: Oh well then.

PHILLIP: That's a relief.

MAGGIE: At least he's proportionally small.

PHILLIP: I guess he's not going to have my giant head after all.

MAGGIE: Yes, we wouldn't want a tiny baby with a freakishly large head.

PHILLIP: Now when people ask we can just tell them he's symmetrical and leave it at that.

MAGGIE: Right, what more can they want?

PHILLIP: THANK GOD FOR MODERN SCIENCE.


Status of the Flamingoes, and some linky love

Once again I am gazing shamefacedly at my super outdated layout and to justify the shoddiness, I am compelled to tell you I really DID redesign the whole thing. Again. I mean, I pay for this stupid website so I can play with the design. So maybe it was still pink and green and I didn't really add any new content or anything, but there was going to be a new banner image and a background and the 2006 was going to be replaced with 2007 and it was going to be awesome, original tagline and everything. Until I showed Phillip and he was all, "Why is that part so blurry?" And I said, "It's not blurry, it's Art." And then he was like, "Oh, it hurts my eyes." So I couldn't publish it after THAT. Jeez.

Plus I was thinking that I'd probably have to do it all over when the baby comes, because I do have some ideas for doing things differently then, and Lord knows I'm not going to have time to curse at the stylesheet when I have a howling baby to feed. So anyway. There you have the Status of the Flamingoes. Like anyone cares except me. (And I care way too much.) I'm thinking this will be a good project for me when I am unemployed and waiting for my SMALL BABY to make his grand entrance. Especially because I am kind of sort of going to be paid to curse at stylesheets once I go back to work and I need some practice. (Ooh! Exciting!)

In the meantime, I've got nothing. Last night I wrote thank you notes and sniffled my way through the season finale of Friday Night Lights while my husband was working late. It is THAT exciting around here. So exciting I must link to people much more interesting than myself  just to spare you.

You know who HAS been busy? Jennifer. And her baby is due, like, tomorrow. While I was watching TV this woman was moving into a new house and becoming a doctoral candidate. Gah.

In case you were wondering what the cutest child in the universe looks like (well, the cutest one until mine shows up), go visit Laura and turn to goo over her two-year-old. I may have sent Laura an email detailing the beauty and wonders of the Pacific Northwest, just so I can conveniently steal Annslee.

Jenny tried stand up comedy. Jenny will not call a stranger on the phone, but she will stand on a stage and tell jokes in front of strangers. My mind, it is boggled.

Karianne is throwing herself a prom. Not that I am jealous. Or want an excuse to wear my cousin's 1989 pink satin prom dress. Or anything.

My mom reads exactly two blogs- this one and Italian Trivia. A few weeks ago she repeated a whole post pretty much verbatim over the phone, so I had to go googling for it. And the picture that showed up was this one, which made me laugh because DUDE, Italian street signs were a constant source of merriment to my brothers and sisters and me way back when. It's been fun to read because I think she lives pretty close to where I did, only she's, like, really living in Italy whereas I was just drinking cappuccino in between flashing my ID card to get on and off base.

Emily's boy is six months old already and every time she writes something about him, it's like my future flashes before my eyes. Sometimes she makes me wish my kid would hurry up and get here, but sometimes she just reminds me how completely unprepared I am for dealing with, say, breastfeeding nazis who do not appreciate the holy french fry. Stop freaking me out, Emily!

And one of my real life friends actually wrote something on the internet! Remember those wonderful amazing friends I was talking about a few days ago? Go read what one of them has to say about the first year with her  [so heartmeltingly sweet I am going to brave a "game night" party full of nerdy gamer boys just so I can play with him tonight] son with Down Syndrome. This friend was one of the very first people I met when I moved to Seattle and I've been so blessed to keep her in my life. I can't wait till our boys can play together!