Monday, August 30, 2010

So you're saying I just look fat ...

I had a very strange experience the other day. Someone came up and started asking me questions about the baby. Apparently this person had seen the advertisement my sisters placed in the newspaper about my open house baby shower in a couple of weeks. I realized almost instantly that something was strange based on the questions I was being asked ... "I see you're getting a baby," "when is she supposed to get here?" I got the idea that this person somehow thought I was adopting a baby, not having one. Sure enough, I was asked, "Where is she coming from?" Uh ... "Right here," I replied, placing a hand on my belly. The poor person was horribly embarrassed, of course. Apparently, even though this person sees me regularly, it was not obvious that I was pregnant.
This isn't the first amusing incident with someone who couldn't tell I was pregnant. One person asked me if I'd already had the baby. I've had several people express surprise when they learn that I'm pregnant. Others are just beginning to notice and I get a lot of "... hey, you're expecting!"
Really, I don't know how it couldn't be obvious by now. At almost eight months along, I've got a definite protruding belly that I most certainly did not have before. Although, to be fair, I have seen women whose non-pregnant bellies certainly rival mine. I guess it's better to be safe than sorry when making comments about someone being pregnant. And at least I'm not getting the other end of the spectrum ... "You're huge!" "You look like you're going to pop any minute!" "Are you sure it's not twins?" Yes, I'm definitely glad not to be getting those comments. However, it makes me wonder just how many people out there think I've just gotten really fat since January. At least it will be evident very soon when I'm carrying around an actual baby.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Six weeks to go!

I hit the 34-week mark today. Unbelievable! That means I only have six weeks left to go, give or take. In two weeks I'll be enjoying my baby shower.
It might sounds strange to some, but I'm honestly not ready for this to be over.
Maybe I'll feel differently in a month, but I do not have the urge to evict her that many women seem to get at about this time. I'll readily admit that I'm a selfish person by nature, and I'm not ready to share this baby with the world yet. I like her how she is now: all mine. While I'm extremely excited for her to be here, to be able to feed her, play with her, dress her, and cuddle with her, I'm fully aware that from the moment she leaves me, she'll be growing away from me. That's tough to think about. I'm also pretty sure this will be my only child, so it's kind of sad to think that I'll never have this experience again. I'm sure all of these thoughts will be secondary once she's here.
I'm excited to do more baby projects this weekend. I wouldn't say I'm nesting (I still have absolutely no desire to clean—will that ever change?), but I do have a few things I want to tackle. We bought some plastic drawers for the baby's closet, so I can wash a few more of her clothes and put them away. I've washed the newborn and 0-3 month sizes and put them away already. Thanks to a friend, we've got enough clothes to keep this baby well dressed for at least the first few months of her life. Hand-me-downs are awesome!
Speaking of hand-me-downs, my husband went to pick up a stroller, car seat, and pack 'n' play from another friend last weekend. All of these are in great shape and we are so lucky to have them. It also means that we have absolutely all of the BIG stuff ready to go for baby's arrival. That's a great feeling. It also proves that you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on baby stuff. We've gotten so many nice items, either at garage sales or loaned from friends and family.
I think it's also time to start doing some decorating in the nursery. I have some pictures, wall hangings, and a shelf I'd like to hang. Not a big project, but it will be fun.
The last project I want to start is packing my hospital bag. It's early yet, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared. I've already got several things to put in it. I'm not 100 percent positive what I'll put on the baby to bring her home yet, but I have a few ideas. I will probably wait until after the shower to decide for sure. I do have my going-home outfit bought. I bought a pair of yoga pants, nursing tank, nursing bra, and a sweatshirt. I felt a little guilty about buying new clothes for myself, but I figure I'll be practically living in those clothes in the first few weeks after the baby arrives. I also bought matching pjs for us. Mine are nursing pjs and there is a matching gown and cap for the baby. So cute! I can't wait to use them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

In our right minds?

The old saying goes that left-handed people are the only ones who are in their right minds. We have to have something going for us. Most righties just don't realize how much of a struggle it can be to be left-handed. The world is geared toward right-handedness. I once read that not only are left-handed people more clumsy, they generally die at a younger age than people who are right-handed.
We were discussing being left-handed at work last week, and I couldn't resist pointing out that many brilliant people in the world have been left-handed, including many Nobel Prize winners. I also had heard that there have been several left-handed presidents, and decided to do some research. (I'll also point out that another left-handed co-worker and I got accused of "thinking we were better than everyone else" because we're left-handed. Why yes ... yes, we do. So there.)
On to the presidents. There have only been eight left-handed U.S. presidents. Disappointing, yes, but I like to think that there likely would have been more if not for the tendency to force people to learn how to write right-handed even though they were left-inclined. I know this happened. It happened to my mother.
The eight left-handed U.S. presidents are James A. Garfield (ambidextrous and could reportedly write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other), Herbert Hoover, Harry S Truman (little piece of trivia ... Truman's middle name was actually just "S," which is why there is no period used after the letter), Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan (actually ambidextrous—one of those forced to learn to write right-handed), George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Notice a trend here? Four of the last five presidents have been left-handed. Very interesting. But it gets even more interesting. In 1992, all three presidential candidates—Clinton, Bob Dole, and Ross Perot—were left-handed. Al Gore is left-handed. So is John McCain. I'm willing to bet that Sarah Palin is not. Or maybe it's just that I don't want to claim her as one of "my people."
I'm ambidextrous myself. No one tried to turn me into a right-hander. I did it all myself. As a child living on a farm, I loved going out in the tractor with dad or our hired man, and would become angry when they left me behind. One day I was determined not to miss out on my tractor ride, and ran out to get in the tractor and wait. I shut the tractor door directly on my left thumb. Ouch. This resulted in stitches and a large bandage. The whole time I had to wear the bandage I refused to use my left hand for anything. This was how I learned to eat and do many other things right-handed. I write left-handed, but eat with my right. I bat left and throw right, hit a volleyball right, shoot a basketball right, and golf (if you can call it that) left. I think there is a definite advantage to being ambidextrous. No need to seek out left-handed scissors for me! I think most people, left or right-handed, would benefit from learning to develop their weaker hand a bit. I just don't recommend my method of doing so.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

10 years ago ...

Ten years ago today, I married my best friend. The love of my life. My soul mate. The Romeo to my Juliet. The Kip to my LaFawnduh. The Sid to my Nancy. The Bobby to my Whitney. Okay, maybe those last two weren't such great examples.
We got married on a beautiful, if hot, day. For some reason people still like to complain about how hot it was that day, 10 years later, as if it was my idea to begin with.
The 10 years since have truly flown past. There have been ups and downs, of course, but for the most part it has been wonderful. We both have our flaws, but somehow as the years go by those seem to matter less and less. Why sweat the small stuff when we could just relax, be happy, and enjoy one another? I think the strongest part of our marriage is that we're more than just husband and wife, we're friends. I can honestly say that there is no one in this world I'd rather spend time with. It doesn't get much better than that.
Yesterday my husband asked if we were buying presents for one another. I said no, going out for dinner would be enough for me. He said he felt as though 10 years was a big anniversary, a time when other men would buy extravagant gifts for their wives. I shrugged it off, and told him that at this point in my life, I'm pretty much over that. I don't need lavish gifts to prove to me that he loves me, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't either. He bought me a bookshelf for Mother's Day, which is enough of a gift to last me for years. Besides, we'll be getting another pretty big gift in about two months. So that's what I told him. "We're getting a baby. That's enough of a gift for me."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What I love about her ...

I love it that, for now, I get to hold her all day long and take her everywhere I go. Part of me wishes it would stay that way forever.

I love that she's half me, half my husband. We're already so great together I don't see how it would be possible that she wouldn't be great, too.

I love it when she wakes up from a nap and stretches and rolls around. I love it when she totally freaks out and goes crazy with the kicks and movements.

I love greeting her every morning to start the day, and our little talks in the shower. I can't wait to see if she responds to the same words when I say them to her after she is born.

I love the thought of her and all the fun we are going to have together.

I love it that there are so many people out here waiting to meet her and love her too.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The attack of Frankenfeet

How can a long weekend be so short? My husband and I left Friday evening for a three-day weekend at my family's cabin on Marion Lake in northern Minnesota. By the time we left, I was more than ready for a few days of rest and relaxation. Getting my test results on Friday made me realize that I really did need a few days off. The humidity on Friday did not help the situation. I didn't think it felt that hot, so I didn't turn the air conditioning on in my area of hte office that day. No one else was in the "back room" where I work, so no one else turned it on, either. I had an appointment to do an interview at 2:30, and when I came back, I looked down and was shocked to see that my ankles and feet had swelled considerably. They looked like someone else's feet, or rather feet belonging to Frankenstein's monster. I was terrified that I'd be stuck with them for the next two months.
I went home and we loaded up the car. Sitting in the air-conditioned vehicle must have helped, because by the time we arrived at the cabin my feet were improving already.
It was the first time we had been to the cabin since it was completely remodeled, and I just have to say, it is gorgeous. The old breezeway and garage were torn off and a new breezeway/great room, garage, and two additional bedrooms were built. The old section of the cabin was remodeled as well, including an updated kitchen with an island and even a dishwasher! It was truly luxurious.
On Saturday I did basically ... well, nothing. I sat with my feet up and read, put my feet in the water, watched the dog swim, took a nap, and went out for pizza. We did go into town for a few snacks and other supplies (we brought most of our food from home), and ended up buying mostly fruit. In two days we demolished a bag of grapes, a bag of cherries, and a whole pineapple. We were going to go swimming in the afternoon, but the lake was turning that day and it was disgusting. Dead fish and unidentified floaties that looked suspiciously like poop were enough to keep me out of the water.
On Sunday it was cloudy and rainy in the morning. My aunt stopped by late morning and we visited with her for a while. We had lunch and Tim had a nap, and then we went over to my aunt and uncle's cabin. Two of my cousins and my cousin's husband were there. We enjoyed a pontoon ride and then headed home, went for a swim, made a nice dinner, and relaxed for the rest of the evening. We got two inches of rain that day, so I was grateful that we got to spend any time at all outside.
On Monday it was time to head home already. We generally don't like to get home too late, so we spent the morning cleaning and headed out by noon. We also thought we might find something interesting to do on the way home. We stopped in Battle Lake for lunch at "The Shoreline." This has been a family favorite since my grandpa's time, and I had not been there for years. The food is still excellent, and my husband is still raving about the burger he had there. Afterward we stopped at Prospect House, a new museum in Battle Lake. The gentleman who owns it inherited the house and its contents from his mother. He has spent endless hours going through everything and has arranged it beautifully. During his work he discovered 200 Civil War letters, and has devoted the basement of the house into a Civil War Museum. It is still a work in progress, but is definitely worth the stop. I can't wait to stop in again when it is completed.
We finally made it home that evening and reality set in. The good news was that it was already Monday, meaning a short work week following a long weekend. What could be better? The fact that the Frankenfeet are gone. Yes, my relaxing weekend did the trick and the swelling has gone almost completely down. I'm very relieved and hope there's no sequel to that horror movie.