Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Maternity Tour

I was really excited to tour the hospital. I believed the tour would enable me to get more excited about the birthing process and envision the event more clearly knowing how the room and the area looked. Last night we took a tour of the Labor & Delivery and Maternity wing of the hospital. And I feel… nothing. It’s so weird; I walked out of there thinking nothing. Except how surprised I am there isn’t a specific place for us to park and we just show up, ring the nurses desk and say ‘I’m in labor, let me in’. I understand labor is hard work. I know it is very painful. I know it can take a long time. But I feel no differently after the tour of the hospital than I did before it. I'm still not really looking forward to it.

I am, however, looking forward to the results of the labor. There were itty bitty babies in the nursery and they looked so beautiful. I remember when my first nephew was born, I was amazed at how much happiness his arrival brought to me and to so many other people.- not just his mom and dad. And every baby born since him has brought another bit of love, happiness and beauty into my world. Knowing that our baby will be bringing an overwhelming amount of happiness, not only into our lives, but into the lives of all the people who know and love us is so incredibly beautiful.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Basement Before and After

The basement has been finished for several weeks, I've just been lazy to write this post. And since the basement isn't REALLY finished, the 'work' is complete. Dave painted the walls and we still need to have the carpeting replaced. While I believe the 'after' photos will be even better with new carpeting, I did want to show off the goods on the blog. So here are the before and after photos. Isn't the color (and the sign) fantastic?

I have to say, I am more than pleased with how it looks and the progress of the work. We went with Gene Sampson at Handyman Connection (860-533-3225). You might recall the post about this contractor and his assistant, Igor. I can't put into words what a pleasure (yes, I said pleasure) it was to work with Gene and his team. I felt he offered a very fair proposal, he was very upfront with costs, showed receipts, returned supplies that weren't used on this project and overall did great work. I would highly recommend Gene for any of your small or large projects (we called Gene for a plumbers name when our toilet needed to be replaced and he made it happen at a very reasonable price).

Oh, and they ran into some significant snags such as a crack in our foundation and mold and the ways to fix those new complications that were fair and reasonable. They kept great hours, similar to working hours but they were often still at our house when I got home from work. He almost daily gave me an update with the project and any changes or situations he felt I should know about.

Seriously, consider calling Gene if you have any jobs to do in and around your house. He's fantastic and just an all around really nice guy. His number is 860-533-3225. If you call, please tell him I referred you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting stuff done

This weekend I made a list of things I/we need to accomplish. Some were serious, like assembling the crib and others were less serious, like eat pancakes (I forgot to do it last weekend). But with all that I wanted to get accomplished, the list was necessary. After 2 weeks of Dave working straight through the weekends and some nights until midnight, poor thing, I felt badly asking him to tackle the list with me, but many of the items on the list are things I shouldn't be doing- like change the lightbulb in the garage.

We discuss the list on Wednesday night and decide to start doing some of it on Thursday and Friday evenings. Thursday we cleaned and straightened up. Friday we had two items on the list: install a shelf in the baby room closet and assemble the crib we were generously given. I got home first and decided the shelf in the closet was a one-person job. The closet is small and the task itself wasn't too tedious. However, one just never knows how something so simple would be.

After drilling the holes and installing the wall anchors I discovered that I can't drill one of the screws all the way into the hole I drilled. So I drill some more, but I'm hitting something behind the wall. Since the bathroom is directly behind the closet, I stop and attempt a different approach. Nothing is working but I have the screw mostly drilled and the shelf seems secure so I move to the final, and seemlingly easy step. But I am boiling up. It is hot in the little closet and I'm breathing heavy just trying to get in position, kneeling on what feels like grains of rice, not a new carpet. So I get to the final screw, the wall anchor goes in perfectly, I screw the bracket on and whaddya know? The screw goes RIGHT THROUGH the hole on the bracket and the bracket falls off the shelf, not securing the shelf, mind you. So now I have a screw, all the way in a wall anchor securing nothing. I try to take the screw out but whatever I do, the wall anchor and screw just spins. I am pissed. And I take advantage of no one being home and yell loud enough to hurt my throat, the F word. I take a deep breath in and then yell a tarzan yell again. Who makes a shelf with screw heads that are smaller than the hole it is designed to secure?! WTF? So I do what feels natural, I take my pants off. I'm DYING of heat in the closet and fuming with fury. And what happens next? Oh Dave comes home. Yep, so I'm kneeling in the closet with no pants on and a nice display of tools at my knees. I beg him not to laugh at me. But he eventually does. I'm exhausted. But with the help of some needlenosed pliers and a screwdriver, I eventually solve this disaster.

Next up, assemble the crib. After dinner. And putting my pants back on. The assembly doesn't go so badly but after we think we can cross that off the list we discover the crib is actually damaged in a way that weakens the stablity of the crib. We can't use it.

Defeated by my two tasks on the list, we add to the list- 'find new crib' and 'assemble new crib'. Later that night we also have to add 'replace leaking toilet'. And at 3:30 on Saturday morning what am I doing? Oh, I'm walking around the first floor to see if the toilet has leaked throughout the whole house and shopping for a crib online. But thankfully my brother/sister-in-law have a crib we can have. So Saturday we pick up the second generously gifted crib (and a ton of gender neutral early baby clothes- thank you!) and a new toilet.

In the end we got everything on our list done, even the items we had to add to it. I guess that's how life is- no matter how hard I plan and arrange, stuff slows me down and things get added to the list. As a planner, this realization is a difficult one. Perhaps it's a lesson to learn about being a mom. No matter what I plan for the day, it may or may not happen. And that's ok. There is always tomorrow. And much of the stuff planned for this weekend had the arbitrary deadline set by me. It could have waited until next weekend. But I suspect there will be more on the list of 'to do's for next week.

Hmmm, is this nesting?

Monday, January 11, 2010

32.5 weeks photo and hiccups

It's funny how some days I look and feel giant, other days I look and feel not so giant and other days I feel great but look giant. I know I'll be getting bigger, much bigger, but here is a belly photo from today- I look giant, but feel great. Look at that belly! My goodness! And I have to say, I just LOVE IT!
Today during a boring meeting it was flopping around all over the place. I wasn't sure if I should stop the meeting and point it out to people or just try to pretend it by whole belly wasn't moving. I pretended it wasn't moving. But later when the baby got the hiccups I couldn't help but giggle.
I was told the hiccups are because it's practicing to breath and accidentally swallowed some fluid. Keep on practicing, little baby. You've got time to get it right, but keep on practicing.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Truth

Ok, so here’s the truth. I have had a terribly easy pregnancy. I didn’t experience the sickies, the tiredness, the back pain. I haven’t had cravings, only minor food aversions and weird symptoms. Aside from the emotional ups and downs I experienced (and they were fierce), I am lucky. Now I’m 32 weeks pregnant. And I feel great. Well, ok, I feel good. Sort of. I feel ok but better than most at this point in a pregnancy, I suspect. I’m really exhausted. I think my body temperature has gone up a good 5 degrees starting this week and my hands and feet are slightly swollen. In particular my right hand feels like it’s asleep for most of the day and I can’t seem to grip things as strongly as I could last week.

But, all in all, I still feel good. Those are minor irritants and not really significant in the grand scheme of things. The baby is growing perfectly and I am so excited about the next few weeks of my life. I have some minor plans but am not overbooked. I have a shower being hosted for me in a few weeks that I am super excited about. I have some baby items to pick up from various generous households and I have some post-shower shopping to do and a car seat to install. With my free time I think I’ll just sit and play with my belly. Poor little one seems to be running out of room so it’s funny when it tries to roll over, I can feel it on one side on my belly, then on the other after a flurry of shifting.

I wonder when that ‘nesting’ instinct will kick in… the books assure me this will happen and will gift me with the energy to do all the remaining tasks. This is the first week I really feel really tired. Zonked. When I wake up in the morning I’m already exhausted. The day goes on and I wonder if I can sneak home and lay down. Then I get home and get into my pjs and zone out on the couch until 9, a reasonable bedtime, then head to bed. Maybe I should alter my ‘reasonable bedtime’ to 8…

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Getting Ready...

It's an exciting time in our house. Today is January 5th. What that means is I am due in two months. AND February is a short month. That's crazy.

This year I was very excited to get our Christmas stuff put away and over with. I think because I am so excited about the baby being the next big event in our life. And to prepare for that, we have a long list of minor stuff to do. And already so much is done!

Dave painted the ceiling in the baby's room (please note the reference to where the baby will sleep, not where our guests will sleep... even though it's the same room for now). Dave painted the basement, which is practically finished, new photos to come shortly. The carpet isn't installed yet and we need to have a minor additional piece of 'work' done in the basement but otherwise, for all intents and purposes, it's done and looks great! And the light fixtures (that we bought about 3 months ago) were installed today! Along with a dimmer in the baby's room. We rearranged the living room and the baby's room (the guest bed will remain in the room but we needed to make room for the crib too...). I am hoping to pick up the crib this weekend.

So now that much of the house stuff is done, I've begun to prepare for the baby's arrival
mentally. What that really means is I have been reading. A lot. There is no limit to the amount of books you can read on how to take care of a baby. I'm reading The Happiest Baby on the Block which talks a lot of swaddling. Our friend Jenna loaned us some swaddleme blankets which make the art of swaddling easier and less freeing, kind of like a little velcro straight jacket. So I had to try it out, especially after reading this book which seems to make a lot of sense and is wonderfully easy to read. Here is my attempt at swaddling... they look happy in there, don't they?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Resolutions- 2010

What a big year 2010 will be! A baby in early March will certainly change my life in many ways. One of them seems to be that I have no idea or expectation of what 2010 will bring and therefore can't seem to make any resolutions.

I tend to make resolutions every year and a list of things I want to do- projects, trips, events. But this year is different. This year the only goal, not resolution, I have is to run the Hartford Marathon 5k race in November. I think that is a reasonable and reachable goal, that gives me 8 months to go from give-birth to run-race.

In 2010 I also vow to ask for help more often. I'm not all that good at it and most of the time I don't need help, I just need a shorter list of arbitrary things to do with unnecessary deadlines. See, I have this constantly growing list of to-do items in my head and often times that list can feel overwhelming. In reality it isn't overwhelming, but it just feels that way. So maybe I need to make more lists to help prioritize my goals and be more efficient with my time... hmmm... I sense a resolution list growing:

2010 New Years Resolutions
1. Make lists on paper to free up mental space.
2. Allow for others to know what is on that list and show them the pen to use when they are ready to cross it off.
3. Ask for help more often.
4. Don't expect to be perfect.
5. Do not overbook.

Baby Resolutions
1. Shower daily, preferably in the morning
2. Walk, weather permitting, daily
3. Lessen my expectations of myself as a mom.

That last one is pathetic, I know, but lately it seem to me there are many impressive/over-achiever moms. Ones who strive to do everything perfectly and seem to do it effortlessly. I don't remember if my mom did things perfectly or effortlessly. I turned out ok. I think highly of her.

Well, lookie there, I guess I do have some resolutions.