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Yesterday my office threw me a baby shower. It was my first shower (not counting the non-shower that Chris threw me a few weeks ago) and it was awesome. I usually love showers anyways, even if they aren’t for me. I love picking out a gift and having it wrapped. I love eating bite-sized food on little plates. I love games where adults are encouraged to dress like babies in diapers. Its all one big ball of fun to me. But when the shower is for YOU? Well, that just takes it to a whole new level of fun!
It was kind of strange though to be at a baby shower and look around and think, “Oh my gosh. All of this is because I’M the one whose going to have the baby this time! This is for MY baby!” It was a little surreal, I have to say.
But I moved past that nostalgia real quick when the bruschetta was served. Food can move me through many emotions.
This is me at the gift table, taking The Seat of Honor. Let the present opening begin, Ladies!
(NOTE: When I sit down, I look a little more like Jabba the Hut than I do a pregnant lady. Everything compacts when you sit down. Like a fat suit that gets squished up around your neck. Its really attractive. Just squint your eyes a little and you can kind of see the pregnant thing…)
I got a million Johnson & Johnson bath sets, which prompted me to ask the group, “So babies are pretty dirty, huh?” I swear, all the ladies in my office think I know nothing about raising a baby. Geez. A girl can’t identify one box of bottle liners and suddenly everyone fears for the baby’s life…
Only at a baby shower would something like a SuperMan Wee Wee Tee Pee be acceptable to hold up in front of a bunch of women that you work with. For those of you who don’t know, a Wee Wee Tee Pee is this little hat for the baby’s…well…wee wee. You cover him up when you’re changing his diaper so that you don’t get peed on. Which apparently is a fairly common occurrence. These are grown, professional women who walk up to you in all seriousness and say things like, “I just can’t live without my Wee Wee Tee Pee.”
When I got home, I spent the night surrounded in baby things. It was awesome. I had towels, washcloths, soap (I told you babies are messy…), blankets, outfits, toys, bottles, stuffed monkeys, and the all important butt paste. I think the fat lady can sing when the butt paste comes out at an office party.
This morning I was checking in over at Archives of Our Lives, like I do every morning. Camille posted pictures of this incredibly cute diaper bag by this company called Yummy Mummy. Being a soon-to-be Yummy Mummy, I had to have it. It is adorable.
As luck would have it, Yummy Mummy is having a give away right now. And if I tell you all about their give away and I put that cute little button over there on the side of my blog, then I get entered TWICE to win! So, if you were checking in to Marriage Confessions today hoping to find a cute little story, or a delightful antidote, you’re up a creek. Cause I want that bag. Deal with it.
And go visit Yummy Mummy, if you’re in the motherly way. Or if you know someone who is in the motherly way. Or if you want to be in the motherly way. Or if you were recently in the motherly way. All motherly way associates should check it out.
(…and tell them that Camille and Katie sent you. Maybe we’ll get extra bonus points!)
I think I have finally answered the age-old question: How long can the husband of an expectant wife keep his sanity? The answer would be seven and a half months.
Chris is revolting against my pregnancy. Its not a problem with me or with the Bean, I think he has just finally had his limit of fetching, caring, and empathizing. I’ve noticed that there have been less foot rubs in the past couple weeks. And where he used to tuck me in bed every night, helping me strategically place each of my 1,000 pillows, he now just shoves the pillows here and there, tosses a kiss in my direction, and heads downstairs to the television.
I don’t blame him for this. Not at all. In case you hadn’t guessed, I am not exactly the strong and silent type. I’m more the hurl myself on the floor, yelling “WHY DOES GOD HATE ME” type. Chris has put up with his fair amount of complaining and moaning and crying, so I’m not surprised that he has hit his breaking point. I’m just surprised at what it was the pushed him over the edge.
This morning I woke up earlier than him, like always. I took the dogs downstairs, like always. I fed them and had a bowl of cereal myself, like always. And then I settled in with a good book, like always.
About an hour later Chris wakes up and comes downstairs, seemlingly happy. Until he goes into the kitchen. And we are out of bread. And I thought the world was going to end.
“Where’s the bread?!?!?!” he frantically shouted.
“I think we’re out,” I replied, distracted by my book.
“WHAT??!?!!” he screeched. “HOW COULD WE BE OUT OF BREAD? HOW AM I GOING TO HAVE MY TWO SLICES OF PEANUT BUTTER TOAST? YOU CAN’T MAKE TOAST WITHOUT BREAD! WHERE’S THE BREAD? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?”
Hearing the hysteria in his voice, I suggested that he throw on some shoes and run up to the gas station to get a loaf of bread to make his beloved peanut butter toast. To which he snapped back, “You go get it!” (Note: He said this laughingly, but he was 100% serious.)
Now, I love Chris, but I’m not about to drag my pregnant, pajama’d belly up to the gas station for him when he is perfectly capable of going himself. If he were impaired – say unconscious or trapped under a large bookshelf – I may had offered my assistance. But this was not the case.
“I would do it for you!” he insisted. “Go get me bread!”
“No!” I yelled.
“Why not?!?!” he demanded.
And then I uttered the line that pushed him over the edge. “Because I’m pregnant!”
“You’re not THAT pregnant!” he responded. “Go get me bread!”
At this point, I looked down at the book I was holding. It is a book on the No-Cry Method of parenting, which teaches you different ways to soothe a crying baby. Chris was sitting next to me on the couch – whining uncontrollably for no apparent reason and didn’t seem to be able to calm himself. All symptoms of colic.
So, I calmly and confidently lean over and take him in my arms, firmly yet gently, as the book instructs. And I begin to rock him back and forth in a repetitious manner which simulates the lulls of the womb. And lastly, I start making “swishing” noises.
And wonder of all wonders, he stops moaning! Just like the baby book said he would!
So, we sit there for a minute rocking back and forth and then from somewhere within my arms, I hear him whimper quietly, “Please go get me bread.”
I knew parenting books were a crock of crap.
I have spring fever. Bad. New England has the best spring ever, I think. But waiting for it is like waiting for Christmas morning. Some days its warm, but rainy so you can’t enjoy it. Some days its sunny, but freezing cold so you can’t enjoy it then either. And then there are those rare, illusive March days where the stars align and it is miraculously sunny AND warm at the same time. And you have to go to work. So, you sit in your office, pressed against your window, wishing you were in a field of posies somewhere wearing gingham and toting a picnic basket.
Because I’m pregnant and any kind of movement at this point takes an enormous amount of planning and energy, I have been laying low at my house for the past few weeks. I lay on my couch on my little heating pad, watching television, and, you know, growing a child. But I’m over that. Totally over it. I came home yesterday and when I walked into my house, it just smelled dark and dingy and so inside-ish. Sort of like what I imagine a bear’s cave smells like after a long winter. So, I threw open the blinds and the windows and let some fresh air in. And then Chris came home.
“What the heck are you doing?” he asked, immediately beginning to close the windows.
“I’m airing out the house,” I said.
“Yeah, but its 30 degrees outside!”
Minor technicality. It didn’t feel that cold to me. And if Chris would just adjust his hormone levels to mine right now like a decent husband would do, I’m sure he wouldn’t think it was that cold either.
I’m also ready to go somewhere. Somewhere other than my living room. Somewhere where shoes and pants with zippers are required. Somewhere warm.
“Let’s move,” I told Chris.
“Somewhere warm,” I replied.
“Why don’t we just take a daytrip instead of, you know, selling our house…”
“That works, too.”
Yep. I’m ready for something drastic. I’m ready for shorts and t-shirts and ponytails and margaritas. I’ve been listening to Kenny Chesney again, and if he tells me one more time that no shirt and no shoes are no problem, I may be forced to just up and walk out on my job and find the nearest beach where whaling has not been outlawed and throw my huge self down on a towel.
But, until that happens, I’m going to have to find some other way to celebrate spring. Maybe I’ll do something crazy. Maybe I’ll change my screensaver…
Chris: Maybe you should think about limiting your Girl Scout cookie in take.
Me: Maybe we should get a divorce.
THINGS I MISS ABOUT MY PRE-PREGNANCY LIFE
1. Diet Coke – I’m sure that I could have some in moderation, but I read somewhere a long time ago that they didn’t know how the sweetener in diet drinks effected babies and so I have steered clear. But, oh how I miss them. I think they miss me, too.
2. My feet – I know they are still down there, but its been a while since I’ve seen them. I hope they are doing okay.
3. Spicy tuna rolls – I have been eating sushi while I’m pregnant, but only the vegetarian kind or the shrimp tempora, since the shrimp is cooked. But my absolute favorite are spicy tuna rolls. I miss them terribly. I usually sneak one bite when we are having sushi (sure, I’m deathly afraid of drinking Diet Coke, but I’ll down raw fish in a millisecond. I know, it makes no sense…), but I long for a big roll all to myself.
4. My big chunky jewelry – I love big jewelry. Necklaces, earrings. All of it. But when you are huge, the last thing you want to do is add MORE big, chunky things to your appearance.
5. Shoelaces – I can’t get down to them, so I’ve been wearing slip on shoes instead. But I miss my tennis shoes. And their laces.
6. Sleeping on my stomach – Ahhh….. Let me just relish that thought for a minute…. So good….
7. Pants with buttons – My maternity pants keep falling down because of that stupid elastic waistband. I can’t wait to put on a pair of my real jeans with real buttons and real zippers. Sometimes I catch myself staring at women’s crotches in total jealousy of their buttons. I’m really making an effort to stop doing that.
8. Clothes sizes – Normal clothes are measured in numbers (4, 6, 10, 12…). Maternity clothes are measured in statements (medium, large, X-large, you-are-freaking-huge-large). I’m ready for the non-judgmental numbers again.
THINGS I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT DURING MY PREGNANCY
1. Tummy Butter – As big as I am, I do not have ONE stretch mark yet. Not one. And I owe it all to Palmer’s Tummy Butter. I hate the way it smells (like sour vanilla, if you ask me), but it does wonders on the belly.
2. A heating pad – You aren’t really supposed to get your body temperature too high when you’re preggo, but nothing soothes my sore back like a heating pad. I keep it on low and I don’t use it for very long. But when you stretch out in bed at the end of the day (that’s when my back hurts the most), nothing feels better than a little bit of heat to soothe those muscles.
3. My Boppy Pregnancy Wedge Pillow – This pillow wedges under your belly and helps keep it level while you are sleeping. It is so helpful and keeps me from hurting my back even more. Although, its kind of hard when you roll over in the middle of the night because you have to drag your wedge pillow with you. I’ve knocked Chris with it so many times…
4. Strawberries – I eat ’em every day, all day, in everything. And if its not an actual strawberry I’m eating, its a strawberry flavored something. I so wish I had craved chocolate or something decadent, but I’m all about the strawberries.
5. Chris – Everyone should have a Chris when they are pregnant. He’s a foot rubber, back rubber, heating pad adjuster, dinner cooker, trash taker outer, clean upper, dish washer, heavy things carrier, compliment giver, and stud muffin all rolled into one.
In the past few weeks my hands have started to swell pretty badly and almost every day. Its gotten to the point now where if it happens and I am still wearing my wedding and engagement rings, they get stuck. Chris keeps getting on to me saying that I need to stop wearing the rings or else he’s going to have to cut them off of me one day. I compromised and am now only wearing my wedding band.
I love my wedding band. It wasn’t actually the one I picked out when we got engaged. The one I picked out was much cheaper. Just a band. But on the night before our wedding, Chris gave me a small box and inside was this beautiful platnum band with small diamonds. It matched my engagement ring and it was gorgeous.
So, I love my wedding band. No question about it. But more than the band, I adore my engagement ring. It isn’t big. It isn’t something flashy. It won’t stop traffic. It is just a single solitare square cut diamond, small but beautiful. I love that ring because I know that Chris saved money for it while he was a poor college student. He kept the money hidden in a picture frame behind a picture of me. I love that. And I love that ring because of the day that he gave it to me.
Have I told you about how we got engaged? Its a pretty great story. When we were juniors in college, Chris and I went on a trip to New York together at Christmastime. I had begged the entire trip for us to go ice skating in Rockefellar Center, right in front of the big tree. But Chris kept putting it off and putting it off. One night after we went to see the Rockettes in Radio City, Chris asked if I wanted to walk over to Rockefellar Center and finally go ice skating.
So, we’re skating around in front of the big tree and the lights are twinkling and Christmas music is playing and there are a million people milling around, and all of a sudden Chris stops skating. Right there in front of the big tree. And he gets down on one knee. And I cry. And he asks if I’ll marry him. And I say yes. And we both cry. And then I fall down (cause I’m on ice skates, remember…).
I loved my ring from that moment on. We went back to our hotel room that night with a case of beer and a bag of pretzels, and we stayed up all night talking about weddings and marriage and, of course, my ring.
(This is a picture of me telling Chris that from now on, my ring will be front and center in pictures.)
The very next day, I bought my first wedding magazine and began plotting planning our wedding. And, once again, my ring was front and center.
And that was the beginning of my love affair with my engagement ring. I was hooked from then. But its not the ring itself that hooked me. I’m not bummed right now because I can’t wear a diamond ring on my finger. It was more about what that ring meant at the time that Chris gave it to me.
When we got engaged, I was waiting to hear from law schools, he was floating around trying to decide what to do after graduation. We didn’t know where we’d end up or even if we’d end up there together. There were so many questions out there, so many obstacles, and it probably would have been easier for us to figure out our paths separately. But when Chris gave me that ring, things just clicked into place for us. We still had a million unanswered questions about how it would practically work out, but we knew that however things ended up, we’d be together. And that’s why I love that ring.
And that’s why it is so hard for me to not wear it right now. Because we are sort of back in that limbo phase. Now, we are waiting for a baby, waiting on job opportunities, waiting to see how our lives will change yet again. And being able to look down at that ring and just know that everything will click into place exactly how it is meant to be was very comforting to me.
I’ve been without my ring for about a week now. And you know what? I don’t need it. I’m doing fine without it. I guess its because I just know things are working out how they are supposed to – whether I’m wearing that ring or not. And that’s a pretty good feeling.
But I can guarantee you that the minute that baby is out of my belly, I’m putting my pretty diamond back on my finger. Every girl loves a little sparkle…
So, apparently a lot of people had trouble viewing the fourth Bellycast that I posted this weekend. In the Bellycast, I finally unveiled the nursery. So exciting! So exciting that I thought I’d post pictures for anyone who wasn’t able to view the video.
Here is the view from the nursery doorway. The room is actually a very small bedroom. Its the perfect size for a very small person. Everything fits, but just barely, so some of the pictures are hard to see.
This is the crib and the bedding set. We went with a sports theme, but we are using the theme loosely. Its cute though…
This is the changing table. I bought the softest most adorable terrycloth cover for the mattress pad. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the fact that it is WHITE and that the things I will be cleaning up on that changing table are definitely NOT white. No worries. I bought bleach, too. The baskets underneath the changing table are full of things like rattles and hand toys, receiving blankets, and bottles.
These sit on top of the dresser. The lamp matches the bedding set, and my Mom made the adorable Humpty Dumpty nighlight.
These are the books that start Michael’s little collection. You have to have Peter Rabbit. You just have to. And the second is a book on etiquette. I have a fascination with etiquette. I may not always use my manners, but I like knowing what I should be doing. When I was about 8 years old, my Dad bought me an old volume of Amy Vanderbilt’s Book of Etiquette at a garage sale. He bought it as a joke, but I became obsessed with it, reading all 500-something pages over the weekend. That’s when my fascination began. Now, I collect etiquette books. So, its only fitting that my baby should have his own etiquette book! My Mom found it in a bookstore. It’s perfect!
When Chris was growing up, he says that Winnie the Pooh was his favorite. He actually wanted to do the entire nursery in Winnie the Pooh at first. I compromised and instead we have a cuddly Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal and a honey pot with finger puppets that sits front and center in the room.
These are the shelves we hung in the nursery, and a few pictures of the things sitting on them now. The picture of the book called What’s Wrong Little Pookey is significant because Chris and I have called each other Pookey since we were in high school. Now, we have a little Pookey in our family!
So, that’s about it. The little nursery for my little Beanie. There’s just one thing missing…
Our friends, Matt and Mary, had their second baby three weeks ago so last night Chris and I ventured over to say hello and meet their newest addition. She’s beautiful. And she smells good. And she slept the whole time. All very good things for a new mom-to-be to see. Matt and Mary told us all about the baby – how she was adjusting and how the family was doing adjusting to her. Mary took me into the baby’s room and showed me some of the tricks of the trade that she was using to make life easier.
And you know what? I KNEW EVERYTHING ALREADY!!!
She showed me how to take two towels and roll them up with a blanket draped over them to create little bumpers so the baby felt secure and didn’t roll over on accident – I ALREADY KNEW THAT!!
She showed me how to swaddle the baby and told me that the swaddling kept the baby from flailing around and waking herself up – I ALREADY KNEW THAT, TOO!!
She showed me how to hold the baby when she had gas (flip her legs up a little bit to bend her at the waist) and how to hold her when she was bored (facing outward so she could see) and how to hold her when you’re just carrying her around the house (pretty much however you want) – AND I ALREADY KNEW ALL OF THAT, TOO!!
She and Matt told Chris and I that sometimes babies will just cry for no reason. They have a clean diaper, a full tummy, they’ve been burped, they’ve napped, and yet they’ll just sometimes cry it out for a while, and it doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong. Its just how they react to things – AND I KNEW THAT, TOO!!
And then they asked us if we had any questions about the pregnancy, delivery, or the first few days of having the baby home, and I sat there and thought for a second…and I thought…and I thought…and I thought. And I came up with nothing. Nadda. I had no questions. Now, I’m sure that questions will arise when the baby is here and I’m not planning to always be this smart, but last night when I was pushed for a question and couldn’t come up with one, I felt really proud of myself. And I felt ready. And in control. And – more important than any of that – I wasn’t scared.
I’m not pointing out how baby-smart I am to say that I know it all. I’m pointing it out and documenting this moment right now because I know that in a few months when the Beaner is here and its 4:00 AM and I’m crying because he’s crying and I can’t get him to stop wiggling so that I can swaddle him, dangit, I know that in that moment, I’m going to doubt that I know anything about being a parent. And now, I can look back at this post and say to myself, “See? At one point, you DID know it all and you’ll know it all again soon, so just hang in there.”
Self-proclamation is big with me. My ego needs a boost every now and then. Doesn’t yours?