Closer and Closer, but Still Waiting

I’m pretty sure that every single piece of baby clothing, blanket, sheet, washcloth, whatever that is in the house has been through the laundry in the last week.

The nursery is painted and has a crib, a changing table, and a diaper pail in it. There is a bassinet in our bedroom. There is a Pack-n-Play in our office.

There are car seat bases in each of our cars (Dan had the actual car seat, since I’m not planning to drive myself to the hospital). We have a packed hospital bag, and a list of last-minute additions (pillows, laptop, contact solution, that kind of thing).

We’re ready.

I’m ready, or as ready as I can be.

All we can do now is wait for Sprout to be ready!

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It must be getting close.

The nesting urge has hit full force. The timing is excellent, though, because I’m home alone today and tomorrow and will have lots of time to get things done. Poor Dan has to work overtime today (though, I’m not complaining about the extra on his paycheck!) and the museum is closed tomorrow because the construction requires that the electricity be shut off.

So far this morning I’ve already folded and put away all but the last of the grown-up laundry, given Lira a good brushing, and even managed to shave in the shower this morning! I also ran a vinegar cycle through my coffee pot. Now I’m working on baby laundry.

At the moment, though, I’m finishing up some lunch and uploading some photos.

I’ve got a long list of tasks I want to have done by the time Dan gets home from work tomorrow, but for once I’m feeling like I might actually have the energy to get it all done. And, I’ve got some excellent inspiration to keep me going:

Take a look at the beautiful paint job in the nursery!

The tape is still up, but in this photo you can see all three colors: a forest green, a light blue, and a dark brown for the trim. It worked out great!

Oh, and here’s the floor, now that the carpet is up and it’s been sealed.

It’s a small, narrow room. Here’s the right side.

And here’s the left, including the closet door!

The inside of the entry door is also brown now, instead of the awful pink that all of the woodwork was when we started.

Everything looks so much better now! Dan wants to put one more coat on the walls, then we’ll get the furniture moved in. I’m so excited!

Alright, back to work! There’s lots more laundry to do!

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Car Crash Story

I was involved in a hit-and-run crash today on my way to work. It was fairly minor – at first, I thought I had run over an exposed man hole cover (there is ongoing construction on this particular road, which has been stripped and not fully repaved yet). Then I realized that there’s no way I was going fast enough to have caused that size of a bump from just a man hole cover. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that a large white van had decided to pull out of a parking spot on the side of the road, right where I’d felt the jolt. He’d hit me! By that time I was in an intersection, and feeling pretty shocked, so I pulled through and slowed down, ready to pull over and talk to the van driver. But when I looked into my mirror again, he was gone – he must have turned onto the cross road.

I was horrified, kind of confused, and more than a little shocked, but I was also within several feet of the parking lot at work, so I pulled in. When I checked the damage, I found that my side view mirror was damaged, there was a dent just in front of my passenger door, and there was a big black mark all along both doors on the passenger side.

I started bawling and called Dan. He advised me to call the police to tell them what happened. I went inside, did just that, and was told I’d have to go to the Public Safety Building to file a report, but that I could wait until after work if I wanted to. After talking to Dan again, I called my OB’s office and was told to go to the hospital immediately to be checked out, even though it had been a small, low-speed impact.

I started crying again, but went and told my boss what had happened. She refused to let me drive myself to the hospital, so our accountant brought me in and waited with me for almost two hours. First they checked me out in the ER, then they moved me up to the Labor and Delivery floor and put me on a fetal monitor.

Sprout’s heartbeat was fine, but I was having some contractions. Not strong enough for me to feel – or, at least, to really distinguish from baby movements – but regular enough that the doctor decided I needed to stay on the monitor for six hours.

At that point I sent my coworker back to work and received a cervical exam. I was dilated to 1 cm, and my cervix was still very long. The nurse did not give me an effacement percentage.

After a few phone calls, Dan decided to come back to town to be with me, and in the meantime, my Mom decided to come up to the hospital to sit with me while I waited for him to get there.

I enjoyed chatting with Mom, and then was very grateful to have Dan with me. And I did in fact do some knitting. But it was basically six hours of reclining in an uncomfortable hospital bed, listening to the baby’s heartbeat, and being surprised when Mom or Dan would tell me the monitor said I was having a contraction. I eventually started to figure out what they felt like, though.

At the end of the six hours I had another exam. I’m still at 1 cm, but 50% effaced. The doctor agreed to discharge me, and didn’t put me on any restrictions, but the nurse and I agreed that it wasn’t a good idea for me to work the booth at the fair tomorrow, so she wrote a note for me to that effect.

I’m to keep drinking plenty of fluids, rest when I need to, and keep an eye on myself to see if my labor progresses. I’m still preterm – not quite 36 weeks – but she said that they wouldn’t do anything to stop full labor should it come on at this point. However, they are also not going to do anything to encourage it at this point.

Hopefully I won’t have anything new to report until after my regularly scheduled appointment on Thursday afternoon. I’ve had a few (noticeable) contractions since I left the hospital about four hours ago, but only one strong one.

They didn’t let me eat while I was on the monitor, so Dan took me out to dinner before taking me to the Public Safety Building to fill out my report. Now I’m home, safe, and will be going to bed early.

I just wanted to let everyone know what had happened and how I am doing. We’d appreciate any good thoughts, prayers, or love you would like to send our way. I’d really prefer that Sprout stay put for at least a couple more weeks!

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My baby is due to arrive one month from today. One month. 31 days.

I can’t decide if I feel ready or not. I really just don’t know quite what to expect. I mean, I’ve taken classes, I’ve read books, I’ve talked with some new moms, but I still just don’t know.

I’m nervous, and kind of scared, but I’m also pretty excited about starting this new part of our lives. I know it’s going to be hard, but I have no doubt that it will be completely worth it.

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Ready for the Weekend

Well, as close as I’m going to get for now.

I had to give up my nap to do it, but all of the dishes are washed, dried, and put away. The first floor is vacuumed. The last load of laundry is in the washing machine.

When Dan gets home, he’ll have to haul the vacuum upstairs – I’m hoping he’ll offer to vacuum the guest room for me. He will also have to take care of the kitchen floor and probably the counters. I might be able to manage the counters, but not yet. And I haven’t cleaned the coffee pot yet because the vinegar is in the laundry room in the basement. It’ll just have to wait until I go down there again.

I’m sure that was an extremely boring read for anyone who bothered, but at this point I feel the need to chronicle and celebrate even the smallest of victories.

Speaking of which, I won a second $5 gift card for Barnes and Noble for selling the most museum memberships again last week. So, that’s fun! Now I just have to pick out a book to buy. Fiction? Knitting patterns? Parenting? What would you choose?

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Braxton Hicks!

Today I had my very first Braxton Hicks contractions. Pretty exciting! I had two, maybe three of them at work this morning between 9 and 10 am. I’m not sure if that middle one really counted, though.

Only five weeks to go until my due date! And, I’ve got baby showers coming up the next two Saturdays. Those should be fun. I’m really looking forward to them. Some of my friends are coming in from out of town, which will be lovely!

Major things that aren’t done yet – painting the nursery, finding a changing table, assembling the crib (not that big I guess!).

Wow, that’s a shorter list than I thought! Maybe we’ll make it after all.

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Anderson Japanese Gardens: A Photo Tour (pt. 1)

I’m a volunteer docent at Anderson Gardens, the top-rated Japanese garden in North America. My first shift of the season happened to fall on my birthday this year. And since a beautiful new Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS was my birthday gift from my husband (and mine to him), I took the camera out to the Gardens with me. Which means that you all get a photo tour!

I didn’t photograph the Garden of Reflection, because it’s not strictly a Japanese garden and doesn’t contain very much that you won’t have seen before. Perhaps I’ll do that next week. For today, we’ll tour the Pond Strolling Garden, the oldest of the three gardens both in actual age and in style.

This beautiful tree and boulder set are located just before the main bridge to the Pond Strolling Garden and the Tea Garden. There is a little path just beyond the largest boulder here that takes you to a couple of secluded chairs in the trees from which you can watch the creek flow.

Continue reading

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