It is a clear, sunny fall morning in Mississippi. I've had one cup of very good tea, I slept well, the dogs are walked, and the bebe in the belly is good. K got off to work on time with a packed lunch, looking all cute since he's decded to grow his annual scruff-beard. I've got a big goal today for the novel, and time to complete it in.
I've had this sense of having to put everything in order, to line all my ducks up, in these (less than 5!) weeks before Christmas.
Because after all, a baby is coming, whether I'm ready or not; no matter if my doctor supports natural child birth, or the house is clean, or the room is ready, or the novel is finished... a baby is coming, and I'm very conscious that I've got work to do to make sure she arrives into a happy and peaceful world.
So enough whining from me about Northern Mississippi's backward birthing model (I deleted my old rant, but let's just say that man, they make it hard to just have a baby down here). Enough complaining about the doctor I don't really like very much. Enough anxiety over whether I'm prepared for labor. Because when it comes down to it, the baby is coming, and I can choose to help her get here in a peaceful manner despite the ridiculousness of an external fetal monitor, or I can freak out and accuse everyone of not helping me enough.
For about five minutes of every day, I think about things not related to the baby.
Sometimes I even discuss politics with K.. It's kind of pointless, since we usually end up agreeing that anyone in the running had to sell their soul to get there, but nonetheless, it makes me feel like a very smart person who discusses important issues.
As opposed to the woman in pajamas who shouts out info like this as he makes me spaghetti at eleven o'clock at night: "The book was discussing the 3 methods of diapering..." (disposable, cloth diapers delivered via delivery, and home laundered cloth diapers, obviously) "and it said that home-laundered cloth diapers are the CLEAR LOSER!"
indignant hand waves.
Me: "Yeah! It said that studies showed they don't get adequately sanitized and cause diaper rash! But what I want to know--" fingers waving, voice rising-- "who paid for those studies? No one's making money off of people doing their own work!" Triumphant finger jab.
K. and I have no real idea how to deal with this, and so in true American fashion, we've bought stuff: Yesterday, we went to Costco, Wild Oats, Michal's, and Target, in our first-ever shopping spree in Memphis. We now have an IMMENSE amount of food, canned goods, bottled juices, and dog food; we also bought more diapers, creams for various body parts (lanolin for me, Boudreau's Butt paste for the bebe), as well as things I have never ever in my whole life thought about. Like nipple pads.
"What kind of bottles do we need?" K. asked, staring at the 9000 different kinds in the baby section of Target.
I know nothing about babies. I did not babysit them, have a scarcity of cousins, and recall only that my sister was small and red.
"How would I know?" And so K. picked one that has won a gold medal. Onto thermometers and tiny nail scissors and crib sheets.
She moves a lot now, all the time in fact, and I've started having what I assume are Braxton-Hicks contractions and not very pleasant. I'm sporting only my wedding ring now, as my fingers and feet are a bit plumper than usual, and honestly? It's kind of nice when K. pulls me from a sitting position or laces up my Nanook boots:
If the man looks strained, it's because I weigh roughly what a third-rate linebacker might. When you start out as a solid-boned 5-ft-10+ girl, there's not a whole lot of room before the scale starts getting scary.
On the upside, I love walking. It feels awesome, and so the dogs are getting treated to a half-hour loop every am and sometimes in the afternoon too, depending on the work schedule.
We ate our own broccoli for dinner Saturday night:
Holy kersnook, Thansgiving is next week. Which means my current novel crisis needs to get resolved-- fast.
In other news, K. left on Monday for yet another Vegas trip and is due back in time for dinner tonight.
I'd like to say that the dogs have kept me good company while he was gone, but considering that I've woken to "accidents" (I'm trying very hard to believe they're accidents) in the living room for the last TWO mornings and Shadow ran away last night, not to mention the development of wanting to go out 2-3x a night, even though I'm taking them on long lovely morning and evening walks...well, not so much.
I fixed them with an eagle eye this morning and said, I don't know who messed the living room this morning, but if it happens again, you're both getting beaten.
On the upside, baby poop is SO not going to phase me. I know poop, ladies and gentlemen. Indeed I do.
On a more pleasant topic, I was out on the front porch last night and saw our little buddy, a green tree frog. We've got a long history with this frog; he likes to hang out on the porch and eat bugs attracted by our lights.
But it was when I moved my fern inside away from the fall evenings that I snapped this:
He wouldn't let us catch him for a day or two, but finally he realized that he's less likely to starve on the outside.
It was nice to see him last night, hanging out on the wall. Apparently, frogs don't hold grudges.
Despite the fact that K. and I did not want to decorate a baby's room, and swore off giraffes and all cutesy nursery stuff, the small 9 by 12 foot room adjoining ours ended up being redecorated.
But it wasn't our fault, I swear; the dogs had ruined the carpet, so that had to be replaced. And a friend offered to paint the room any color of my choosing while I was in VA, so I picked out a shade online and returned home to find it done; talk about the coolest baby present ever!
Throw in my old crib, clean out the top drawer of the dresser for tiny onesies and clothe diapers, and hang a print of a faerie princess that was my grandmother's, and:
Note the uber-cool child gate. We are not concerned about the child. We bought these so our dogs will never EVER enter the baby's room and wreak havoc on the carpet. It's exhilerating; you step on this pedal with your foot, nudge the swinging gate open with your knee, and let it click shut behind you without ever using your hands. So awesome.
We've still got some stuff to do. The lamp behind the rocking chair lacks a shade (and so I'm not posting a pic of that corner of the room, so there!), K's going to hang shelves over the dresser for changing supplies, and we need to buy more diapers, crib sheets, and the like. But for the most part, L.P. has a place to come home to-- and a basket to be ferried in:
In my ongoing travels across the southern states, I drove to Tupelo yesterday for a check-up on the baby girl.
She's good. I'm good. It's time to make a birth plan and meet with a pediatrician, so that we're allowed to have the baby sleep in our room at the hospital (incredibly progressive for Mississippi, and requiring a doctor's approval).
I washed my first load of onesies and cloth diapers last night, with seventh generation baby detergent; no doubt completely unnecessary, but hey, it's exciting. 7 weeks doesn't seem very long at all.
In other news, John and Christy came for a visit! There was much eating, walking, and free shows on NBC-viewing, not to mention the boys' incessant plotting TO.BUILD.A.GLOBAL.EMPIRE.
In between, we walked around Rowan Oak (Faulkner's house, and a neat place to have around).
I had a mighty good time posing for K.
He had a lot of fun too.
Note the lollipop. The man bought 4x the amount of Halloween candy we needed, and then refused to give the children more than "two pieces, and one small". He also tried to bribe me into shutting our lights off and refusing to open the door, so he could have it ALL.
I refused, as it was my first time living in a place where there are trick-or-treaters, and I subsequently angsted over whther or not they'd come to our door and if we had the "right" candy". When the first tricker-treaters arrived, I began waving maniacally at them.
John and Christy come tonight, and I have a feeling my VA pics will get lost in the sands of time. SO:
I was the first child of Wall Street finance people, and thus I was spoiled in my first 3 years of life-- that was before them "Appalachian" days. So, my parents asked a 2-yr-old me to design a sweather they would then have knitten, and I said I wanted to look like a taxi cab.
Eliza got me the belly cream that "all the stars use" because she is the cutest sister ever (and indeed, it's really refreshing. I'll keep you posted on stretch marks):
My great-grandmother was the only crafty person in my family lineage. She made this quilt for my mother-- isn't it neat?:
I went out for cider Saturday morning and came home to find family and friends-- a surprise mini-shower!
Me looking like a knocked-up 12yrold, just for fun: A shot OF Lexington-- I love how if you took out the cars, it'd look like an antique photograph-- putting the powerlines underground in the '60s paid off for them:
And then everything began... interviews, deadlines, proofing, novel, CRAZY amounts of unpacking, plus trying to squeeze some pampering in for my sweetie since he took such excellent care of both the house and the girls while I was gone, going as far as to mop the house so my brain wouldn't explode out of my ears when I got home... he did neglect taking care of HIMSELF, though, and worked like crazy while I was gone, meaning that I've been trying to stuff vegetables into him and send him off with good lunches and generally resuscitate him from 9 days of work/work/lots of cheese and deli meats/and, of course, work.
Not to mention that the Little Princess grows ever bigger. K. saw my belly jiggle like a bowlful of jelly last night, which was satisfying for me (since I'd been telling him about this new phenomenon) and frightening for him. I'm at 32 weeks! 8 more and we should/could have a baby in this house!
But the girls need to be walked, the novel needs to be written, and I've got to convince a couple toughies to let me interview them.
Happy Thursday, and welcome to November.
Some pics from VA:
Calico, the mentally retarded but very happy cat: Eliza and Mum: Soco, the crazy dog: And the three of us (taking this shot meant my camrea was perched on a fence post, I was sprinting through a corral, and the horses got out, so enjoy):