Thursday, January 24, 2008

Week 35: Quick Update

Yesterday marked the official one-month-away date. Truth be told, I'm still not in a big hurry at the moment to jump off the high dive and take the plunge. I recognize that the greatest reward at the end of everything is that I will be to hold our little guy. A precious new life. But since I've never done this before, it's hard for me to really and truly know and appreciate with every atom of my being how this ultimate reward will compensate for all of the other things that come along with it. So, I'm focusing now on positive things that I *do* understand.

I put together this small list of things that I can look forward to post-pregnancy. While they don't dramatically alter my reservations and alleviate my fears, they help me move ever closer to the end of that high dive.

Getting through it all means that I will:

1. be able to wear a belt again. It seems like a small thing, but I am sick and tired of constantly pulling up my pants. If I find a pair that accommodates my circumference, it's too large in the legs. As a result, they're always falling down and I'm always hiking them back up. I have never appreciated how much critical an accessory the belt is.

2. get up from the couch in under 3 minutes without the use of a winch or other mechanical devices.
In the last month I have gone from just having to give myself and extra oommph to get up to needing a lever and fulcrum... or the strong arm of Joe. Either way, it's embarrassing and demoralizing.

3. have a single chin
, as opposed to extra one that I've gained along with jowls.

4. close up ALL the buttons on my coat, as opposed to the single one at the top. I'm not exaggerating--it looks ridiculous.

5. walk around the block without getting lapped by a slow moving neighbor and her 3-legged dog. climb a flight of stairs without getting winded.
no further elaboration needed.

6. reach my feet well enough to clip and file my own nails. these days I can just barely reach, even sitting on the floor, but I have to hold my breath and get to work as quickly as possible before I need to "come up for air" again.

7. enjoy a fully functioning digestive system.
no one likes to talk about this, but it is a reality. no more burping or bloating, re-gained ability to eat more than 5 bites of food at one time, and the glorious return of peristalsis

8. wear underwear that has a letter other than "L" on the tag. the "L" does not stand for Liz. cute as it may be, none of my garments have my initials in them.

9. recognize my legs as legs and not summer sausages.

10. shed the baboon breast syndrome,
meaning that my breasts will once again be supported by a flattering, shapely bra instead of permanently resting on my basketball sized stomach like a baboon's.

Here's to getting through the next four weeks and leaping off that board with anticipation, courage and overwhelming excitement.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What's *YOUR* favorite children's story?

The baby has been given some beautiful books for his library from several friends, colleagues and family members. It doesn't rival the J.P. Morgan, but it could... someday.

It's been fun for me because some of the "favorites" that people gave us I had never read as a child. I save these books for a quiet moment, snuggle up on the sofa or bed, and read through them with relish. I've read Corduroy, Jamberry, Polar Express, The Giving Tree, Guess How Much I Love You, The Glorious Flight, Curious George Rides a Bike, and Good Night Moon.

I have such fond memories of reading together with my mom and sister. As my mom gave voice to each of the characters, my eyes lingered on the illustrations, creating wild and vivid fantasies in my mind. We always read before bed. It was a ritual. If we were really good, we might each get to select a second book for the night. That's four books. My poor mom. She got to do all of this before heading back downstairs and digging into the reams of papers that she had to grade for the next several hours.

My dad was a "guest speaker" reader. He read to us only on specific occasions, like when my mom was away on a trip or a few times when she was hospitalized. He read from a volume--quite literally--of Uncle Remus stories. It was several hundred pages long and smelled a bit musty. It had a faded yellow book jacket with edges that had curled over the years. If it had any pictures, I never saw them. But we didn't need to. He was masterful at impersonating all the lively characters in the stories. You'd have to know my dad to appreciate how out of character it was (or it appeared to us, anyway) for him to break away from his Mr. Serious persona.

These are a few of my memories about reading. How about yours? What were your favorite books?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Week 34: Quick update

Eeek! Can you believe it? Well, you're probably not in as much disbelief as I am, but we are only 5 weeks away from the magical date of February 23. Ooooo, so exciting and yet scary at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, I know that Feb. 23 is an arbitrary date. He could arrive early or a week and a half later. Ugh, and all this uncertainty! It's enough to drive the obsessive planner crazy!

Actually, we are in a pretty decent place now. We have a car seat, just needs to be installed. Hospital bags are half-packed. The baby's room is for the most part ready to go, although I think that Baby will be camped out with us--just the four of us (in case it's not obvious, Ginger makes 4)--in our room. We even have a bassinet for his "satellite bed" for our room.

The emotional readiness is the next focus. Even with all the classes (we've taken 4 different ones now!), it's still nerve wracking. I can't look at the grapefruit on our kitchen counter anymore, without a grimace. I am counting on us never being "ready". That said, the frequent trips to the the restroom during the day and late into the night, and, the interrupted sleep are getting old. I can see reaching a point where one day, I say, "That's it! I don't care what it takes, or how nervous I am, let's get this show on the road!"

Now, I am well aware that after the baby comes I'll probably get NO sleep (really, you don't need to write me and inform me of this). The difference, in my mind anyway, is that right now I have to actually think at work. I need to be able to string together coherent sentences and emails. And, I'm trying to get as much done at work as I can so as to not create an enormous burden for my team, but it's hard when all I want to do is nap between trips to the restroom to empty what feels like the Hoover Dam and is really just a teaspoon's worth.

But, for now I'm sitting tight. I'm not desperate, yet...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Welcome to Baby V's Room

All done! Well almost...

We still need to put up border on two walls. We held off on those two walls specifically because we are having the windows replaced at the end of the month. Aside from that, most things are in place now which is a huge relief and we're really pleased with how well the room has come together.

Here's a close up of the wall paper border. We wanted to get something that was appropriate not only for a baby, but also for a young child, as we have no plans on re-doing the room in a year or two. And, if we ever had another child, we wanted the room's decor to be suitable for a boy or a girl.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the camera doesn't quite capture the wall color. It's a creamy color on top and a milky cappuccino on the bottom.

Once we put up the wall paper border, my mom and I went out on a shopping trip to pick up a few things that we needed to organize the room. We don't have a dresser for the baby, partly by design. I decided to go with this cubicle apparatus thinking that we could use it as the child gets older to store toys and other goodies. We'll see how it works. Who knows, maybe we'll end up having to get a dresser. But in the meantime this will do.

The high chair next to the case has been in my family for generations. My great grand-father used it. We have photos of my sister and me sitting in it, too, as toddlers. I have fond memories of that chair.

The crib and the changing table also have sentimental value. They were my brother's. I remember when my dad and step-mom brought them home. My dad couldn't stop talking about how expensive baby furniture was. Now, I understand! I have lots of wonderful memories of Andy as a baby, and this crib.

I was 15 when Andy was born. Now he's a freshman in college and is going to be an uncle.

The last thing that remains to be done is to finish off this bed. The baby's room has this odd little nook that is spacious enough to accomodate a dresser, and not much more, or so I thought. When I measured the bed, I found that it would fit perfectly into this little space. We're going to use it as a day bed, where we can read or play. I suspect it may also come in handy on those nights when the baby is up every half hour.

Creating a space for Baby - phase 2

With the walls freshly painted (thank you Joe!) phase 2 began bright and early last Saturday morning. My mom and I were ready to hang the wall paper border. It's not hard to do, but quite a messy affair. The wall paper adhesive oozes out and drips all over the place. Definitely a two person job!

Joe wanted to replace all the electrical sockets in the room and the light switch. The old ones were all cracked, some even broken. It sure pays to have an engineer in the house.

My mom worked for hours cleaning up an antique rope bed that we brought back from Ohio last summer. I hadn't used it since high school. After sitting in storage for nearly 15 years it needed a lot of elbow grease and Murphy's Oil Soap. My mom's a pro, though. She did a great job and it looks beautiful now!

Now it's time to clean up this place!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Creating a space for Baby - phase 1

My mom came to visit New Year's weekend. We had a great, albeit short, visit. Together, the three of us accomplished major things, at the top of the list is the progress that we made on the baby's room.

I've always liked this room because it gets so much sunlight. It used to be a guest room, but we never really completed it (with paint, curtains, etc.) because we knew it wouldn't remain a guest room forever.

Joe painted the walls last week, while he was on vacation. We found a great paint that has zero VOCs at Sherwin Williams. I would highly recommend it, if you're considering a painting project. There were virtually no fumes!

He painted the top half of the wall a light cream color, "travertine", and the lower half a tan color. It's the color of cappuccino, I'd say. All this, he did in advance of my mom's visit so that we could move on to phase 2 on Saturday.

What a guy!