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August 2008

This post brought to you by morphine

They sent me home from the hospital.

Phillip is napping upstairs and my poor sister is sleeping on the couch, except she's not really sleeping because I'm down here with the TV on mute and the lamp on and I'm typing an angsty blog post about how the worst happened and I was sent home from the hospital.

Okay, not the WORST.

Also, if any of this post happens to make sense, you should be super impressed because I am all hopped up on a shot of morphine mixed with something that is making me verrrrrry sleepy.

I had 3 hours of pretty regular though very manageable contractions starting at 5 in the morning. And then... nothing. Maybe 2 or 3 per hour all day. Around 5 in the evening they picked up again, big time, or at least it felt that way to me. I started to get nervous. They were manageable, but getting closer and closer together. After about an hour and a half of that we went to the hospital, because everyone was of the opinion that we should go. And at the hospital things sort of calmed down. And they checked me. And told me I was barely 2 cm dilated. And if there wasn't a change when they came back to check me in an hour, I'd be going home.

So here I am.

It's as horrible a feeling as I thought it would be. A big chunk of Failure mixed with Embarrassment and a large helping of Wuss. When I showed up at the hospital with Jack I was 5-6 cm dilated. Which is no big thing, but a whole lot more progress than Barely 2. But I was worried, you know? Things seemed to be happening much faster this time and I had all the Baby Born 10 Minutes After Arriving At Hospital stories floating around in my brain.

But now I'm home. I was told to sleep, but even though whatever they gave me is lovely and drowsy, when a contraction does hit I have to open my eyes and deal. Perhaps it's taking the edge off, I'm not sure, but I don't see how I'm going to sleep through those. I'm trying not to worry too much about when I am supposed to go back. I think with Jack I assumed it was going to take forever and I would stay at home as long as I could. I don't have that mindset this time- I'm all about knowing when to go to the hospital. So I jumped the gun. How is it possible that I did a better job of handling this the first time?

What if the contractions totally go away and I am not really in labor at all?

While I'm eating my Cheerios

Earlier this morning I thought I might be in Real Live Actual Labor. It's slowed down considerably, so maybe not. Who knows. (Note to God: SICK OF THIS.) But anyway. Earlier, when things were hurting more, I was up watching Meet the Press and wondering if I wanted to have contractions in church and thinking, "Nah! That doesn't sound fun!" But then one of the journalists mentioned that when Sarah Palin went into labor she just finished out a meeting, got on a plane and went back to Alaska. So then I was all, "Well SHOOT."

So I'm going to church. Where I shall be (I can't believe I'm typing this) praying that things kick up again because seriously: SICK OF THIS.

*updated! lucky you!*

It's taken all fricking day, but I do believe there is some kicking up. Maybe? I am still not convinced. If I am up all night with contractions I am going to be Annoyed, and also Totally Irritated that it is happening on LABOR DAY. HAR HAR HAR.

A few unrelated totally random thoughts

The last two nights I haven't had any contractions. On one hand: gee, it's so much nicer going to bed without curling up in pain for an hour before you can fall asleep. On the other: I AM GOING TO BE PREGNANT FOREVER.

Jack woke up an hour and a half earlier than usual and was, as you may guess, a royal pain the entire morning. Phillip even apologized for having to go to work. (I'm not alone!) We managed until lunchtime and then, when I turned around from the stove with a nice hot grilled cheese sandwich, he was asleep in the high chair. He looked like he'd had a little too much to drink. I managed to stuff half the sandwich into him before the puppy dog eyes and fluttering eyelashes did me in and I put him to bed a full hour and a half earlier than usual. Obviously he needs some sleep, but if this nap isn't appropriately long enough he's going to be dealing with one exceptionally grouchy mother.

Of course he was an absolute angel yesterday, when his grandparents were here. Grandparents=Magic.

My old office is having a big party next week. I'm invited. I don't really want to catch up with the boss or anything, and I'm overly self-conscious of my rotundity (see: PREGNANT FOREVER), but it might be fun to be a fly on the wall. The one and only coworker I've ever managed to be friends with has promised to be my "wing girl". What would you do?

I have somehow neglected to stock up on ice cream. I do, however, have three watermelons in my refrigerator.

My mom brought over some pictures of my baby shower. There I am, filling up the entirety of my sister's huge armchair, my arms looking like mutton shanks and the top I thought was as-flattering-as-possible was decidedly, ah, NOT. I thought about weighing myself this morning and couldn't do it. I'm pretty sure I've gained more weight with this baby and I would like to rationalize that by saying I am measuring on track this time and obviously the baby is bigger and THAT must be the reason for the weight gain, but I am getting really depressed about it. I am remembering how long it took me to lose any weight at all, how I didn't lose the the last ten until I stopped breastfeeding, how unhappy I was in that body... I know there are more important (and exciting! and fun!) things to be thinking about and YES IT'S TOTALLY WORTH IT but I am still feeling huge and bummed out. I've decided that one check in the Having A Baby In September Pros Column (and there aren't many, when you are the kind of person who sits in front of light boxes and plots to get her vitamin D levels checked) is that I won't have to fit summer clothes over a post-partum body. Long sleeves! Bulky sweaters! Works for me.

Jack better sleep long enough for MY nap. I now require at least an hour in the afternoons...

I've become addicted to Mad Men.

The right deezignerr went home Wednesday night. Could not stand that guy. Hated his stuff. And still totally cried when he cried at the end. And: how much do you think Korto's coat weighed? I was surprised her little stick model made it down the runway without collapsing.

What am I going to do with Jack this afternoon? Not only am I too tired to do pretty much everything, I don't have any clothes I can wear in public. DILEMMAS.

This doesn't really have an ending

In college I wrote an overwrought and truly awful poem that I called something like 'The Gendered Division of Labor'. (I KNOW.) I blame the women's studies class I was taking at the time, and also the fact that I had just started a Very Important Relationship and maybe I was freaking out a tiny bit. While I had been "into" the Devastatingly Handsome Chinese Man for what felt like centuries, now we were dating and we were the sort who took dating super seriously and holy cow I don't want to get MARRIED?!

(I also wrote a poem about the time Phillip dug his chopsticks into my bowl of pho without asking first. Which made me feel like I was 1) the girlfriend whose boyfriend walked all over her and 2) wasn't supposed to ever appear in public finishing off her own food because girls aren't supposed to eat. Issues much? And when I got angry about it Phillip totally played the Culture Card and was all, "That's how Asian people eat! Family style!" which BALONEY PHILLIP, YOU JUST WANTED TO EAT MY PHO. And now? He always asks. And I never ever give my plate to the server before I have cleared it with him.)

I don't know where I got this idea that marriage was all Man In Charge and Wife Has Babies and Does The Laundry. I mean, the men in my family are their wives' biggest fans. It wasn't like I had bad examples of marriage, by far. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I think my fear was that once you got married you stopped getting to do what you want to do. I had some independent-ish ideas for post-college life and you couldn't do those things if you were DATING let alone MARRIED. GAH.

Obviously that all changed (got married at 23!) (stays home and has babies!) (totally loves it!) but all that stuff rushed back to me last night when I came home after a church meeting.

Well, it wasn't just the church meeting. First I'd left Jack with Phillip so I could see my doctor that afternoon. (1cm dilated! Baby not fully descended! But cervix very low (whatever the hell that means) and, according to my doctor a "very impressive!" exam! And yay, I am all about impressing the people in charge of me. But seriously, what does she mean by "impressive"?) ANYWAY. Jack was being sort of awful yesterday. Random crying jags, incessant whining, total freak outs when made to do something unreasonable, like putting his milk back in the fridge. Whatever. So Phillip was in charge in the afternoon and because I had to wait so long for my appointment, I didn't have a lot of time when I got back before my church meeting. Phillip would be doing dinner and bedtime on his own, but you know? I've done dinner and bedtime on my own plenty of times. He would be fine. I did not need to feel guilty for leaving Phillip with Jack. Right? RIGHT.

When I got home the remnants of dinner were all over the kitchen and table and high chair. Phillip was trying to finish up a work project and about ready to put his fist through the laptop screen. He threw out a, "Jack was HORRIBLE, didn't eat ANYTHING, cried the WHOLE TIME, I don't know what his DEAL IS, I put him down EARLY." And that's when I got angry.

I started slamming around the kitchen, loading the dishwasher, hand washing the big stuff. I cleaned up the table and high chair, all the while fuming that when I take care of Jack I also manage to pick up after him. He whines at ME all day long, but I can still put the food he doesn't eat back in the refrigerator so it doesn't spoil. I still wipe up the counters and pick up the peas that fall on the floor.

Phillip was so frustrated with Real Work and I was feeling like the wife who should have never asked her husband to take care of household things and I stomped upstairs to get away from the whole situation. I mean, this was it, right? This was the Division of Labor.

But really, I think I was mostly mad at the fact that I felt guilty. I wasn't really mad at Phillip. I know exactly how rough it is to deal with a kid who won't eat and won't calm down and you have no idea what's going on with him. And I rarely see him wanting to harm his beloved MacBook so I knew that just doubled his frustration. But I shouldn't feel guilty for asking him to watch Jack for an evening. I shouldn't worry when I go out with friends for a few hours on a Saturday. I shouldn't wonder if it's okay for me to ask Phillip to take care of Jack so I can get my hair cut or return something at Target.

He said as much when he came upstairs an hour later. But I laid there for another hour, wondering why I feel so guilty when I leave the two of them alone. It's not like Phillip can't handle it, or that he does a bad job. (He doesn't ALWAYS leave peas on the floor.) Is it just because I know how much I look forward to when he gets home from work? And having two of us on the weekends?

Then he asked me if he could go to this big gaming convention in town on Saturday and I said of course.

At Parenting today! The obligatory Can We Be Done With This Yet? pregnancy waaahhh.

As if "Please, Mother, stop typing" would be any better

I'm trying to teach Jack the sign for help. I haven't done signing with him, except for a few half-hearted attempts at the high chair. But I'm trying 'help' because I am SICK AND TIRED OF THE WHINING.

He gets stuck in the basket: WHINE!

He can't pull a toy from the shelf: WHINE!

His ball is trapped between the dining room chairs: WHINE!

He can't stuff the little toy people into the little toy bus because he's trying to stuff them in all at the same time: WHINE!

I can't stand it. No, that's not true. Obviously I am standing it. And for the most part I tell myself, "This is what they do. This is what they do. This is what they do." What other way does he have to express frustration? But honestly, sometimes I can't help expressing my own frustration. As in, "DUDE. CALM DOWN. I will get your milk IN A SECOND."

Anyway. Signing is not exactly taking off in the Cheung household. I've tried 'more' and 'all done' and 'cheese' (he likes cheese!) and I have to start with 'please' and 'thank you'. When I sign 'help' he just looks at me like I'm stupid. Signing seems to work really well for some of my friends' babies. Some of my other friends haven't done signing at all, but then again, their kids are talking. Mine? Not so much.

Now he's yelling because he can't put the foam number six back in it's foam frame. SO ANNOYING.

Of course, accompanying the whining is a whole new language of jibber jabber and I will never get tired of listening to jibber jabber. And the noises he makes when he's driving his cars across the floor or when he's singing to himself or when he's making sound effects while I carry him down the stairs.

But this: carries a book up to me PANT PANT PANT WHIIIIIIIIIIIINE. That means "Read this to me NOW!!!!"

And this: sees me even MOVE towards the laptop WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!

It was fun to have my nephews here and see how they communicate. The older one, obviously, never shuts up. And the younger one isn't talking, but gets his point across with a series of grunts and pointing. I guess we're all different.

Perfectly adorable.

Still adorable.

Seconds before the WHIIIIIIIIIIIINE.

Excuse me while I go put the whiner in his crib for some alone time while I take a breather in the shower.

My big sister

When I'm sitting around in a group and we're introducing ourselves and someone has the great idea to "share something no one knows about you!" I often bust out with "I am the oldest of five kids." It's not a particularly fascinating and/or juicy factoid, but I feel like it's one of the most defining things about me. At least, it was the one thing people knew about me when I was growing up and going to small schools with the rest of my siblings- "Oh, Maggie's the oldest of the [Maggie's Highly Google-able Maiden Name] kids!" (And my poor sisters, never to be known as Their Names, but Maggie's Little Sisters. Can I help my awesomeness?) 

Anyway, I've been thinking about this a lot in the last few days. I'm having a new baby, a girl, who will have an older brother, what is that like, I've never had an older sibling, she'll be so different from me, (THANK GOD), will Jack be a good big brother, oh wait I DID have an older sibling...

For a few months? A school year? I can't really remember, but my cousin lived with us when I was six or seven years old. My aunt adopted E from Columbia when she was 9 years old and they lived in a small town close to Oregon, which my six- or seven-year-old brain remembers as being the longest drive in the universe. For whatever reason things weren't going well, and when E was in 5th or 6th grade, she moved into my house for a bit and went to my elementary school.

The biggest thing I would tell you about E is that she. did. not. like. me.

These are all cloudy hazy memories and I honestly can't tell you what it was really like. I was just vaguely aware that an older girl had moved into my house and was not impressed with her litter of much younger cousins. I remember cautiously walking into whatever space was hers and getting roundly scolded and shoved out. I remember walking near the school- she was with a friend and maybe I was a few feet behind?- and they were being sort of vulgar (5th or 6th grade vulgar) and using words I'd never heard. I remember my dad helping her with her math homework. I remember her Older Girl things: her clothes, her shoes and bags, hair brushes, lip glosses. She was often mean and nasty to me, but that didn't prevent me from wanting to dress like her, act like her, use her stuff.

My family moved to an Air Force base in Sicily and not only was I the oldest again, I was beginning to build an understanding of what it was to BE The Oldest. I had chores, the list of things I was not allowed to do was ten feet long, I was convinced my mother didn't like me, etc. etc. And one spring or summer my aunt decided to treat my cousin to a trip to Europe for her 16th birthday. I was eleven. And she still hated me.

We were driving somewhere in the van (probably to one of my dad's beloved ancient ruins) and I think I was humming to myself in the back seat. E turned around and gave me a look that could instantly shrivel a grape. "Could you please stop making that noise?" She whipped her head back around and I have never forgotten the embarrassment. She was in a perpetual sour mood and had no qualms about saying mean and nasty things to me, but I still wanted her to think I was cool. Or, you know, as cool as an eleven-year-old could possibly be.

We would visit my aunt and cousin in the summers and these were the times E seemed to not think I was a piece of lint. As the oldest girl I usually got to sleep in her room and oh, I loved her room. There was a huuuuge poster of Michael J. Fox taped above her bed. We listened to Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper. (One thing about being the oldest- there is no one to influence your musical preferences. Phillip, thanks to his much older brother, recognizes trillions of horrible 80s songs, but I only know the handful of things I heard in my cousin's room.) She had dozens of nail polish bottles lined up on her dresser and it was the most thrilling thing in the world when she did "makeovers" on me with actual real live makeup. For a while she was on some dance team and would perform her routines for me. She had boyfriends and her own phone and a queen-sized bed and OMG SHE WAS SO COOL.

I think, after a while, she liked "impressing" me. The summer I turned 16 my parents let me stay overnight at E's very own apartment. We went to a rodeo (that's how far away she lived, a RODEO) and there were boys there and beer bottles and while we behaved and got home at a reasonable hour, I suspected she was only home because she had her 16-year-old cousin in tow. Whatever, it was super fun.

I wanted her to love me, but I could never quite tell if she hated me, liked me or simply tolerated me. She was awfully busy being angry at lots of people and now that I am Older and Wiser I can certainly understand a lot of what was happening in ways I didn't then.

I am 29 and E is 34 and I see her a few times a year, for holidays and family things. She doesn't seem so much older than me anymore. She got married after I did and had her first baby a few months before I had Jack. She had her second baby a few months ago, and I'm about to have one in the next few weeks. I last saw her at a little family reunion last weekend. She grabbed my elbow and said, "Before you go, I have something for you." Inside a gift bag was one of the cutest baby girl outfits and E was smiling as I fawned all over it. "I'm so excited you're having a girl," she said. "I'm so excited to meet her. It's so fun to have our kids close in age. It's too bad we don't live closer."

She's the closest thing I have to an older sibling. I think she likes me now.

I like to kick off my week with a little paranoia

Did we have a weekend? I'm not sure. Seems like one of us never came home from work and the other was totally worn out from taking care of the boy and suffering numerous meltdowns about IS THE BABY COMING NOW? NOW? WHAT ABOUT NOW?

I've mentioned Phillip and his revolting work ethic before, but this weekend takes the cake. He went to work at 9 on Thursday morning and did not return until 11 on Friday morning. I KNOW. He slept all afternoon AND THEN WENT BACK TO WORK that night. I think he got home around midnight. Yesterday seemed like things were mostly fixed, but he WENT TO THE OFFICE AGAIN that afternoon to help make sure and oh man you guys. I may be okay doing the stay at home mom thing during the week, but I sure look forward to the weekends when there are two of us to manage the whining. He was back that evening because I was going to my Not A Baby Shower (phad thai, Starbucks, chick flick, Red Mango, totally forgetting where we parked the car in the parking garage and telling everyone that if I went into labor in a parking garage and had my baby IN A PARKING GARAGE we were so not going to be friends anymore) and he was required to be at home. Even today he spent an hour on the phone with a coworker and sending a few emails. I'm sure he glad he likes to be the one who pays the mortgage and I have to say I'm a lot better at being an IT Widow (A LOT) but we've both had a rough couple of days and OH MY GOD TOMORROW IS MONDAY.

Last night, the first night we were both actually in bed at the same time, I had my biggest meltdown. I'm still having contractions every night and even though it only lasts about an hour and obviously isn't requiring a trip to the hospital, it's taking a psychological toll. Every night I have to go through my whole, "Okay, if this is labor, what do I do next" plan of attack and it is STRESSING ME OUT. I don't know whether we'll call my parents or Phillip's parents to watch Jack, because I think it will totally depend on the time of day we need to leave. And even though I finally asked my sister to be on call and a friend of mine volunteered to do back up duty if we can't get in touch with my sister for some reason, I feel so unsettled. I think if I wasn't having Fake Contractions every night I could give myself a break with the strategic thinking, but it's hard not to go there when your entire midsection is cramping up.

Even though I'm still not sure what Braxton Hicks contractions are, I would guess a lot of what I'm feeling are BH contractions. I am also sure that some of them are NOT BH contractions. Some of them are painful, super long and make me catch my breath. This isn't at all what going into labor felt like with Jack, but I've been talking to lots of Experienced Moms who tell me that labor with their second was really different from their first. So half of my brain is all, "Would you CALM DOWN, for the love of GOD, these are BRAXTON HICKS you BIG FAT WEENIE" and the other half is all "OMG OMG AM I HAVING THE BABY TONIGHT?"

You see where it would be beneficial for my type of pregnant woman to indulge in the occasional glass of wine.

Anyway, I was telling Phillip all of this last night, how stressed out and tired and WEARY I am of this whole thing and then I realized that a lot of my meltdowniness is there because I haven't exactly opened myself up for input. There's Phillip speaking very rationally about what we'll do when we really have to go to the hospital and my mom is on the phone reminding me how many people are around to help and how it will all work out and suddenly it seems okay. I should not stew for too long in my own brain. (Quoth the Internet: GEE, YA THINK?)

With Jack it was just sort of exciting. Is that a twinge? This could be it! And with this baby... it's not exciting, it's stressful. Compounded by the fact that it's taken me this long to realize Jack is no longer going to be my one and only and while I am guilty of rolling my eyes at everyone who's ever moped about that sort of thing- WAH, MY BAYYYYBYYYYY.

It's time for me to go to bed. OBVIOUSLY. In other news: the portable crib bedding arrived! I like it! And when Liz returned my tupperware today it was filled with YUMMY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES and what I and the rest of the world would like to know is: how does the mother of a 2-week-old baby have time to make COOKIES?  I think she's just trying to make me look bad.

The rant of an IT widow

Yesterday morning Phillip went to work. He went in sort of late because it was going to be a late night. Once a month the fastidious little IT workers hustle about the office after hours taping servers back together and hiding the developers' keyboards. Usually he's home around eleven or midnight, after I'm in bed. But I leave a light on and sometimes the TV and he always wakes me up, even if he tries not to, and then I make sure to get up with Jack in the morning because my poor husband had to work so late.

It's a little after nine today and Phillip is still not home. Which means he's been at work 24 hours. I fell asleep with the lights on, the TV on and a copy of Entertainment Weekly under my chin. I woke up during the night and looked over and didn't see Phillip and wondered about the time. When I found my [old! hateful!] glasses and looked at the television, the news was on. It was 5:30. You should not have to wake up unexpectedly at 5:30 and wonder where your husband is. GAH.

Anyway this morning I am being lax on the whole Eating Takes Place In Your High Chair rule and the Getting Into The Bathroom Cabinet rule and the No Irritating Children's Morning Shows rule. We've had a hard night, you know.

Actually, not that hard. My parents were here most of the day yesterday and when they left I packed up Jack and took him to a friend's house. So it's not like I was working too hard. Oh, except for picking out my new glasses, which I had to do BY MYSELF. The receptionist lady was helping me, but you guys, I am so indecisive. Half of them are too big for my face, half of them are too cool for my face, half of them are freaking expensive, half of them weren't going to work with my GIANT COKE BOTTLE LENSES- anyway, you can see by my brilliant math there that I didn't have many left to choose from. I ended up with what the receptionist called "the little black dress" of eyeglass frames. Plain, black, not too big, not too trendy, but a far cry from the plastic granny glasses I wore back in sixth grade. And cheap enough so that my insurance covered the frames price, which, GOOD THING because do you realize how expensive your glasses are when you are BLIND? So blind the eye doctor gives you a sympathetic smile and then "highly recommends" the "high index" lenses, which, in case you have 20/20 vision on your own (and I hate you), are the THINNEST POSSIBLE LENSES YOU CAN GET. Which are STILL going to be thicker than your frames.


Anyway, one nice thing about roseola (for those of you who haven't experienced this lovely childhood virus) is sleep. Lots and lots of it. Jack's been a sleeping superstar for a few weeks now, but wow, roseola takes it to a whole new level. He's over it now, but the sleep is still good. I was not feeling so hot last night and dreading the Nightly Contractions, but Mr. Jack went to bed EARLY and BY HIMSELF. Whee! Oh, and then there were no contractions. I chalk it up to not going to bed until midnight. If I'm not lying horizontal and obsessing about contractions for hours before I go to sleep, it won't happen. Self fulfilling prophecies and all that. Not that I didn't invite God into my living room last night to discuss the various unfairnesses and indignities in the last weeks of pregnancy. Really, any day now would be nice.

And I didn't even MENTION Project Runway!

You all are brilliant. Well, Elaine was brilliant and Tara was brillianter- Jack has roseola. We spent about 10 minutes in the doctor's office where we learned that 1) he has roseola, 2) there's nothing you do for it, and 3) have fun waiting it out!

Phillip was all, "Oh, I feel SO MUCH BETTER having PEACE OF MIND!"

I was all, "Where is my bottle of Happy Baby Medicine?"

But Jack seemed to morph back into his normal self last night and this morning he is, dare I say it? Downright CHEERFUL. He's even eating! The spots are mostly to all gone so maybe the worst is over. Of course, now that I have written that ON THE INTERNET I'm sure he's going to go ballistic on me as soon as I hit publish. If you want to read about what was going on before The Diagnosis (re: parents who had no idea our kid wasn't feeling well, let alone suffering from a VIRAL DISEASE) you can go to Parenting. See ya!

Today is Phillip's monthly Work Godawfully Late night. Sigh. Thankfully my parents are coming up today to babysit while I get a number of Pre-Baby things done. Which is good because DUDE, I had more contractions last night and I'm starting to think this is going to be a Thing. You know. Painful yet useless contractions every night until the baby arrives two weeks late. SO NOT HAPPY ABOUT THAT. Last night I wasn't freaking out so much because we'd done the doctor thing and Jack was doing better, but I still don't have a bag packed and I don't have newborn diapers and I haven't picked out my new eyeglasses (so they don't fall off my head while I am changing diapers in the middle of the night) and THE LIST GOES ON.

So today I am running errands and packing a bag and getting my eyes checked out. (Poor kids of mine. Little do they know how blind they're going to be.) I have even halfway talked my sister into helping me pick out my glasses. Actually, I just really want the glasses SHE picked out at the SAME PLACE, but then I will be accused of COPYCATTING and it will be JUST LIKE LIVING AT HOME AGAIN. (According to my sisters: not allowed to have the same shoes, same clothes, same anything. Got that?)

You have no idea how excited I am to get new glasses. I wear contacts all day long and only use my glasses for waking up and going to bed and other instances like, oh, childbirth. I have these funky-ish red glasses that LOOK cool but only when they are not on my face. And also, the parts that are supposed to rest on your ears aren't curved at all, so they are constantly falling off my head as soon as I tilt my chin the fewest of degrees down. HATE. Phillip suggested I get Lasik but do you know what they DO when you get Lasik? SHUDDER. So I'm going to get a pair of glasses I won't hate wearing outside of my house and then maybe my eyes won't rot by the time I'm 40. What do you think?

Oh, and for the hospital bag... Gah. I don't remember what I packed last time. I'm not one of those music and scented candle people, although I did bring the first season of Veronica Mars with me when I had Jack. (Didn't watch it. If you are laboring in the middle of the night people keep telling you to sleep and frowning on anything that is Not Sleeping, even though it is impossible to sleep because the stupid blood pressure cuff keeps going off every 10 minutes.) But THIS time... I'm bringing shampoo, because I didn't bring shampoo last time, because I thought the hospital would have some, and when they didn't automatically supply it I was too embarrassed to ask for some (stupid girl who didn't bring her own shampoo!) and I've got the pictures to show for it. Ugh. I am bringing my own robe and my own clothes. I may or may not have the baby in those clothes, but again, I am not posing for New Baby pictures in the Dreaded Hospital Gown. (Can you say VAIN? Guess what! I'm bringing makeup too!) Aaaand the not decided upon Going Home Outfit for New Baby. Aaaand a magazine or two for when Phillip eats dinner in the hospital in front of me and I am not allowed to eat anything. (I'm just going off experience here people!) So what else? I know I am missing 12 zillion things, but someone is QUITE UPSET that I am on the computer and I better get going. Oh wait, before I get 12 zillion comments: THE LANSINOH. IT IS PACKED.

All this is temporary, right?

I'm worried about Jack. I thought it was the heat, all the family functions, not getting enough sleep, not sleeping in his own bed, pretty much anything that can throw your schedule off and make you uncomfortable.

He had a funky skin rash on Friday. I think it may have been hives, although I don't really know what hives look like and I have no idea why he would have them. (Yes, I have combed through our recent history for any indication of allergic reactions!) It went away on its own, but he woke up with another, different, rash yesterday morning- little tiny red dots all over his face and upper torso. My method for dealing with Weird Skin My Baby Inherited From My Husband is to not immediately freak out, see how Jack acts, see if it goes away, maybe call the doctor.

I ended up calling the doctor in the late afternoon yesterday because the rash was still there AND Jack was the whiniest crabbiest most upset baby he's been in a loooong while. And of course no one called me back because it was so close to after hours and I just resolved to call in the morning and take him in because this fretful clingy kid is a bit out of character.

Phillip put him to bed nearly an hour earlier than usual and I spent the rest of the night in front of the television, alternately cursing NBC and feeling ashamed for my Horrible Parenting Skills that day. (Which I am saving for Parenting. Got to scrounge up material somewhere...)

And THEN! I went to bed and started having CONTRACTIONS. OH DEAR GOD.

Okay, so I don't really know if they were contractions. Kind of a systematic seizing up of my whole abdomen, although it didn't always feel better after the muscles released. I got pretty nervous. On one hand I was all gung ho, on the other I was thinking about how Jack would see a doctor if I had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. And oh yeah, I haven't packed a hospital bag and I still haven't figured out what I want to do about someone watching Jack and THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH MY BABY and I can't have New Baby NOW, who is going to take care of JACK?!

I didn't show it, but I was in Total Freak Out Mode. Phillip would ask how I was feeling and I'd say, "Just uncomfortable!" and go back to Freaking Out.

Obviously they went away, or else I would not be sitting here at my dining room table in my pajamas listening to Jack wake up on the monitor. But the frequency of Contraction-Like Aches and Twinges is definitely increasing and either I'm going to have this baby early or I'm going to be confused and in pain until the baby arrives on her due date. (We are not entertaining past due dates, all right? Humor me.)

Anyway. I am worried about Jack. I need to go up there and see if he still has little red dots all over him. I need to see how cranky he is. I feel less and less capable of taking care of him all day, especially when he's in Clingy Mode. I honestly can't hold him for too long, you know? And I don't have the energy to fight over whether he gets to keep his blanket while he sits in his high chair. (NO, NO HE DOESN'T.)