Nesters Anonymous

My name is Quirky, and I have a problem. I've become an Extreme Nester.

Normally, pregnancy nesting is a good thing. You set up the nursery, you clean out a closet or two, maybe you even wipe down a counter. Not me. Apparently, I am an Extreme Nester. The Bear Grylls of nesting. I'm drawing up blueprints to add a a 15oo square foot extension to the house. I'm terracing the back yard. I'm renting a backhoe to put in a pond with three-tiered waterfall feature and meditation bridge.

Never mind that I can't see my feet...what we really need now is an Old World style tumbled stone driveway! Lead me to the quarry! I'll dig the stones out myself!

It started out innocently enough. A little laundry, a little vacuuming. Then I borrowed Mom's Shark streamer and steam sanitized every room in the house. (I'm not sure how Baby Girl will be able to get to the top of the kitchen cabinets, but if she does, she'll find them cleaned with the sanitizing power of steam! And then wiped down with a Lysol wipe! And then steamed again!)

But it turns out that the steamer was just the beginning. A gateway cleaner, if you will. After that, I started mixing the hard stuff: baby hormones and HGTV.

Don't get me wrong. I love HGTV. They're wonderful at giving you great ideas and showing you how to do stuff around your home and garden. The problem is, they give you ideas and show you how to do stuff around your home and garden. And combined with the potent baby hormones and too much free time on your hands, suddenly you find yourself going, "The baby needs a herringbone brick patterned outdoor pizza oven on the patio and SHE NEEDS IT NOW!"

Poor Tony. He can't keep up. In an effort to keep me from overdoing, he's trying to do all the projects for me. I've already had him digging holes and transplanting bushes and raking leaves and building a raised flowerbed and dragging off downed tree limbs. (And that was just the little stuff!) I thought he was going to cry when he came home to discover that they were building a two story gazebo on the latest episode of Outdoor Spaces.

Tony's only saving grace is that this can't go on much longer. First, I only have a few weeks left, and second, we're running out of room in the backyard. Then the baby will come and the fever will break. And I'll be too sleep deprived to even remember how to turn the TV on, much less try to duplicate my own dream yard.

In the mean time, they're putting in a zen garden on Curb Appeal! Oh! Baby Girl will love it! (And after dragging in 500 pounds of sand and decorative stones, poor Tony could probably use a little more zen too.) I'll put it on the nesting list.

A Plea For My Ribs

Dearest sweet Baby Girl,

We've been together 35 weeks now, and Mommy adores you, heart of my heart, flesh of my flesh, but we really need to discuss this desire of yours to constantly hang out inside my rib cage.

I know that space is a little limited in there, and there's not exactly a view, so you may be a little bored. I get that. But to use Mommy's rib cage as a jungle gym? Not feeling so good for me, sweetheart. Mommy feels like she's gone 12 rounds with a professional boxer (the kind who delights in crushing body blows...not the ear biting. Ear biting might actually be a nice change) and her ribs are more than a little bruised.

And I know my lungs make a fabulous bouncy castle, and you enjoy jumping on them all hours of the day and night, but if you don't let Mommy breathe every now and then, she's not going to make it this last month. (In fact, Mommy can't even remember what a nice deep breath feels like. She has heard of heart attack patients describing the whole "elephant on the chest" sensation, but she thinks this is nothing compared to the "elephant IN the chest" that you insist upon).

I promise that there are all kinds of fun toys waiting for you when you come out. You have a swing and a bouncy seat and a fun floor activity mat, and I'm not above using them as bribery if you'll just scoot down just a few inches and give Mommy a break. Pretty, pretty please?

In fact, why don't we climb off of Mommy's lungs right now and practice kicking Daddy for a while? I know this is your favorite thing, since putting "your" tummy up against Daddy's back is the only thing that sends you racing out of your rib cage fort and down to where Daddy's kidneys wait for you to attack. (Good thing Daddy is such a good sport- trying to sleep on his side while you kick him in the lower back all night long). Really, I'm not sure why you love this game so much. Is it because his back is warm? Or because he's in "your" space? Or is this just a fun way to play with Daddy? No matter. Kicking Daddy gets you out of my ribs for a few precious moments so attack away, my darling.

We only have a few more weeks left like this, so try to cut Mommy some slack. If you do, I promise I will build you a real fort as soon as you come out. And you can use it to ambush Daddy all you want.

Much love,
Your battered mother.

Cue the Twilight Theme Song (With Cello)

So I just came across this video randomly the other day, and I probably would have shared it with you anyway because it's cool and I like it, but there's something a little freaky about it too:

I've been dreaming about the long haired guy in the video.

Seriously. This is the first time I've ever seen or heard of Stjepan Hauser, but I swear that for the last 6 months or so, I've been having reoccurring dreams that he's been teaching me the cello. (Although in my dream we were playing House of the Rising Sun instead of Smooth Criminal, and his hair was a little shorter, but whatever). Is that not bizarre? I had chalked it up to my Low Strung CD that I sometimes listen to in the car, but then how do you explain how I came up with this exact face? Never even knew this guy existed, but as soon as I saw him in the video, I was all, "Holy Crap! That's my cello instructor!"

I wonder if he dreams about me. Somehow I have my doubts.

Another Baby Update? Well If You Insist...

I know, I've been AWOL. First, the weather became unexpectedly nice this week (72 degrees yesterday!) so I've been playing outside, and secondly, there was a nasty incident where Blogger cruelly and inexplicably ate a post that I had worked hours and hours on, and it takes some time to heal after that kind of crushing technological blow. (And more than a couple inventive references regarding Blogger, Blogger's mother, and the sexual preferences of Blogger's entire family tree). Maybe one day I'll sit down and try to write that post again, but for right now, you get the infinitely easier bloggy cop-out: the bullet point update on Baby Girl. Enjoy!

  • We've officially graduated Teddybear U, our baby care class. They gave us a little diploma and everything! And while I admit that it was a little touch and go there with the birthing video, and the "is this color of baby poop healthy" presentation (which probably wouldn't have been so bad had it not been shown the night of the class pizza party), and the c-section video (learned my lesson on that one...for the love of all that's holy, LOOK AWAY!), we actually really enjoyed the class. We spent the last evening on newborn care, and I'm proud to say that Tony diapered and swaddled our baby doll like a pro. (He was totally serious about it too. The concentration on his face while he held the doll's feet up to switch out diapers was epic! You'd think he was performing open heart surgery on the President or something). He wants to take the diploma and hang it up on his bulletin board at work. I told him to go for it...he's earned it.
  • In another act of parental maturity, we have a pediatrician now. On the last night of Teddybear U, they told us that we would need to have a pediatrician's name to put down on one of the bazillion forms that you fill out when babies are born. Then they gave us a helpful list of three typed sheets of local pediatricians in the area. I cross-checked the sheet with who took our insurance, where they were located, and if any had online reviews about how good they were. Then I called the office of the closest doctor who met all those criteria and told them Baby Girl would like to be a new patient. Technically, the online message boards say you're supposed to actually meet and interview potential pediatricians before your baby is born, but seeing how this guy had a couple of good online reviews and there were no screaming and chainsaw noises in the background while I was on the phone with the receptionist, I'm going to mark this down as officially taken care of.
  • I guess I've started nesting, but instead of taking the form of scrubbing baseboards like I had hoped, it's taking the form of project planning. The other day I caught myself eyeballing the bathroom wall, going, "If I knock out part of this drywall here and here, then I could probably install a laundry chute down to the washer and dryer in the basement!". Yesterday I built and installed my own rolling pull-out shelving in one of the kitchen cabinets so I could store Baby Girl's bottles and sippy cups and whatnot. Today I was looking at those same cabinets, just sure that it was vitally important to sand and re-stain them before the baby arrives. (I'd do it too if I was allowed around the stain fumes. As it is, I may just end up pulling off all the hardware and steam cleaning them instead). Tony keeps telling me to knock it off or I'll overdo it, but I'm not sure if he's concerned about over-exerting Baby Girl or if he just caught a glimpse of the intricate (read: expensive) hardscape plans that I was sketching out for the backyard.
  • I go to the doctor twice a week now for fetal monitoring check-ups. Baby Girl has been measuring small, so they do these non-stress tests to make sure that her low growth is just because she's a small baby and not because she's stressed or not getting enough nutrition or anything. I'm not really worried though, because she's always been very active, and she certainly doesn't disappoint whenever they monitor her. (In fact, she makes a special effort to kick at the monitor to let them know that she doesn't appreciate something sitting on "her" tummy space. She's very territorial like that).

I suppose that about covers the 34 week and change update. Everything looks really good with me and Baby Girl (despite her being a featherweight), and we're just clicking right along, counting down the days. The due date they've given me is March 29th, but there's a full moon on March 20th, so I'm shooting for somewhere around there. I guess we'll see!

33 Week Baby Update

Just got back from the 33 week checkup. We did another growth check today, and she did exactly as much growing as they expected her to do. (She's still in the 6th percentile, so she's considered small, but clinging to the "normal" range). The good news is that she's maintaining her growth rate, so the doctors are happy. She weighs 3 lbs, 10 oz and her little thigh bone measures 2 2/4" long. She has lots and lots of hair.
They also did a test where they test to see if the "glue" that holds her in the womb is dissolving. If it is, then she could be born in the next two weeks. Luckily, my test came back negative, so Baby Girl has a 98% chance of staying put for at least another fortnight.

So everything looks good. She likes to keep her head up under my ribs, but we did manage to get a partial photo of her face peeking out. (The ultrasound tech tried to jostle her to get her to move around some, but Baby Girl just stuck her tongue out at her. It was pretty funny. This little one definitely has a mind of her own).

And in case you're one of those people who think that ultrasounds look like ink blot tests, here's a cheat sheet:

Savannah Baby Shower

I know I promised that I'd share my baby shower pictures from Savannah forever and a day ago, but it took me a while to optimize all the pictures so that it wouldn't take a bazillion years to load. That said, here's the baby shower that my Dad's side of the family threw for me, in picture form.

It was a ton of fun, and Baby Girl scored quite the haul.

Baby Girl will love this!

Thanks to Cousin Shelly for keeping track of who gave what to make thank you cards easier!

The food was fabulous! There's just something about miniature pink cakes and cookies and whatnot that tastes delicious!Aunt Kathy. She and Aunt Debi threw the party for me. Thanks guys!

Aunt Claudia and her pink balloons

A really fabulous Jungle Baby quilt that my mom made for Tummy Time.

Aunt Debi and Cousin Tracy. (It turns out that Aunt Debi is super competitive when it comes to Baby Bingo. I can still hear her yelling, "Come on, yellow rattle! Call the yellow rattle!")

Aunt Beth, who has a few funny birth stories of her own.

Cousin Tracy and her new baby, Vanessa.

Serious baby loot.

My grandmother (Baby Girl's great-grandmother).

Baby Girl giving a hello kick to Baby Vanessa.

My mom and Baby Vanessa. (If there's a baby in the room, my mother will be holding it).

There's roughly a million other pictures from the shower, but I figured this would give you the highlights. (Although if we're facebook pals, you can see more pictures in my baby shower album). I am crazy blessed to have such a loving and generous family, and it was fun to get together and see how excited they are to welcome Baby Girl when she arrives!

You Gonna Eat That?

You always hear about weird food combinations that pregnant women go through, and up until now, I figured that was pretty much a myth because while I was eating in phases - the everything garlic phase, the grilled cheese sandwich phase, the chicken sandwich from Burger King phase (don't mock me...Baby Girl got sucked into those buy one, get one free commercials EVERY SINGLE TIME)- I was never really combining things like pickles and ice cream with anchovies.

That is, until Tuesday.

Mom and I were having lunch and I ordered a cup of crab bisque, a Philly cheese steak, broccoli, and a bunch of pickles. The waitress thought I was nuts, but let me tell you, the crabby-steaky-broccoli-pickle combo is FABULOUS!

(Write that down, Rachel Ray. FABULOUS! A taste explosion in your mouth!)

(As a matter of fact, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it).

(Oh who am I kidding? I'm hungry all the time now, no matter what I'm thinking about).

Last night Tony and I went out for Mexican, and I ate my entire rather large meal of bean and chicken chalupas, plus half of Tony's chicken chimichanga and a 1/3 of some guy's fried ice cream dessert. (To be fair, it was not just some random stranger that I was pilfering food from...he's the husband of a friend of ours, and he did offer. Although that might have been because I was staring holes at his plate and making whimpering sounds, so he might have felt just a little obligated. But whatever. The point is he offered and Baby Girl likes fried ice cream.)

Oh! Epiphany! How delicious would fried ice cream be with the crabby-steaky-broccoli-pickle combo from above?!? Like heaven on a plate, that's how.


It'll be the newest taste sensation to sweep the nation. There will be franchises. Cooking shows. Me and Wolfgang Puck on Good Morning America. And before you go, "I'd never order something like that!", keep in mind that chances are at some point you might be sitting at a table with a pregnant woman, and you'll have to order it just so you'll have something to distract her with when she looks at your real entree and goes, "Ohhh, Baby Girl loves (fill in whatever you ordered) you mind if I have a bite of that?"

I'm just saying that it happens.