Thursday, March 26, 2015

Transverse

Well hello nearly defunct blog.  It's been a while.

Mostly it's been a while because every time I sit down and write I end up complaining about something.  And really, my life is quite cushy and I have no reasons to complain, so therein lies the conundrum of personal blogging.

Objectively, I look at the past few weeks and things have been pretty awesome:

Maybe Baby is almost here.
Maybe Baby is healthy.
We're getting a brand new bathroom and fixing other issues in our house that have long been on our list.

I'll admit, we're pretty spoiled.

But then there are the little things like our renovations dragging out a week later than expected because of the awful March ice storms we've had, and the cabinetry orders getting messed up and costing us more time and money.

And the bigger things, like this baby being stubbornly transverse.  I had no idea that was even a thing until the ultrasound tech told us that baby girl is laying with her head on my left, her bum on my right, and her feet dangling down and around "like a little doughnut."  Her positioning makes things fairly uncomfortable for me (my ribs feel like a hot poker is being pushed up against them at all times..hooray!), but mostly what it means is an automatic c-section.

We're crossing our fingers that she'll surprise us and flip into position, but we've scheduled a date just in case she is just as stubborn as I am.  It was surreal to schedule with the hospital the exact date and time for baby's arrival (April 15th at 12:45 p.m. in case you're wondering - Best tax day ever!).

I know it's ridiculous to complain about not getting the birth experience I was hoping for when the baby is healthy and c-sections are so safe, but it's been a hard mental/emotional adjustment to make.  I think what's been hardest is that the entire pregnancy process has been so, for lack of a better word, medicalized.

A doctor created the baby in a petri dish.  A doctor put the baby in me.  A doctor is going to cut the baby out of me.

Some good friends of ours used to joke that they were working on a new invention called the "Incu-baby" that would gestate a baby for you so that you didn't have to be pregnant.  A sort of gestational carrier that you could set up in your living room and dump feed into every once in a while like a fish tank.  Well, I've been joking with them lately that the Incubaby (TM) already exists.  It's me!  Put an embryo in.  Feed it anti-nausea pills and the occasional milkshake.  Take the baby out when it's ready.   Voila!

All joking aside, I've been surprised at how difficult it has been emotionally.  To feel like a gestational carrier instead of a mother.  I'm sure that'll change the moment the baby makes her debut, but man, am I ready to have that day come.

I vow to get my writing mojo back soon so that I can share all about the fabulous baby shower that my friends put on for us last weekend, and the finished product bathroom (if it ever gets to that point), but until then, this is the Incubaby (TM) signing off.  I need a nap. And maybe a milkshake.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Six Years

Blake and I celebrated our six year anniversary this past Saturday.  It's hard to believe that it's been six years since we got married, and over seven years since we started dating.  Time truly does fly.

Before I regale you with tales of our anniversary celebration, let me was mushy for just a moment.  Blake is a truly wonderful human being.  Anyone who knows him will heartily agree that he is one of the nicest people they've ever met.  You know how some people have resting grumpy face (always with a frown)?, well, Blake has resting happy face. There are very few times when I've ever seen him without a smile.  He is incredibly socially gifted and is able to talk with anyone and make them feel at ease.  He makes up for my awkwardness (and all my other shortcomings) in spades and has helped temper my anxious nature.  He puts up with my constant projects and odd ideas and the fact that I never laugh out loud (I only shake and occasionally giggle/snort).  He gallantly survived the past couple years when my hormones would have made most people head for the hills.  In short: he's the best.  There's no denying it.  He's just the best.

But before I bore you all with more declarations of my affections...

Because I'm rarely making it past 9 p.m. these days and because Blake was recovering from a cold, we decided to do our celebrating during the day rather than the evening.  Neither of us had done much adventuring in National Harbor, so we made reservations at Redstone American Grill and had a late lunch.  The food was good (our favorite was the complimentary "morning bread" that they bring you, which was more like an entire blueberry poundcake with frosting - yum!), the service was great, and it was right on the water, so the view was beautiful.  It was a gray and icy day, but that made it all the more peaceful to look out at the boats and the snow in the marina.

After lunch we rode the Capital Wheel, from which you can see more of Alexandria and the Potomac than you can of the Capital...but it was still fun.  Of course the only picture we took together that day was the promotional one that the folks at the Capital Wheels try to make you buy for some outlandish price.  Let me tell you, that was not our best photo.  Not even close.  Needless to say, we did not purchase it.

So here's a photo of us from this fall where we are not bundled up to the gills, and where we actually look somewhat normal.  I further resolve to take more photos this year - I'm hoping that once Maybe arrives we'll have more of an incentive to document our lives and I'll worry less about how un-photogenic I am.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Abominable Snow Dog

DC is pretty much at a standstill today because of the massive snow storm we're getting.  The Federal Government is closed (exceptionally bad timing seeing as Blake is down in Texas for work and doesn't get to take the time off), schools are out, and no one is on the roads.

I've taken bear on a couple of off-leash walks today and let him play with all his muppet friends in the park.  Each time we come back inside he has to spend 20 minutes thawing out in the bath (the snowballs he collects on his legs and stomach are outrageous with this heavy, wet snow!) and then another 20 minutes drying off, but it's worth it.  He is just so darn happy outside exploring and romping with his neighborhood pals.

Off-leash walks are really lovely for me right now, too, as I'm fairly slow and cumbersome in the snow.  Bear runs circles around me and checks back every few feet to make sure I'm coming, so he gets even more exercise than I'd be able to give him on a normal walk.  And I get to waddle along at my own pace.  It's a win-win.

Our neighbors have been ridiculously nice to us all winter - shoveling our walks, clearing our car, helping us lift heavy things.  What with my carry restrictions and Blake's back being on the fritz, we've been like a couple of 85 year olds around here.  I've been baking lots of cookies and delivering lots of flowers to say thank you, but I'm still feeling guilty.   All of our direct neighbors are quite a bit older than we are, so I feel like we should be the ones helping with their walks (and most years we do).  Let's just add this to the list of many reasons why I'm excited to almost be done with pregnancy. Only six weeks left!

We're probably going to come down to the wire time-wise with our bathroom renovation.  The horrible weather (ice and snow storms for the past week and a half) have made the progress on our bathroom slow and it looks like our timeline will be pushed back a week.

Unless Maybe is born super early, that should work out fine.  I'm just ready to be living without the dust...and without a bathtub hanging out in the study.  Though, if those are the worst of my worries, it's fairly obvious that life is pretty darn good right now.







Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Getting there

At almost 33 weeks along, I'm getting to the point in my pregnancy where I want to schedule my doctors appointments for first thing in the morning, wear my lightest clothing, and make sure to shave my legs. All of this in preparation, of course, for stepping on that scary metal scale.  While the nurse keeps moving the balance further and further to the right, my eyes get bigger and bigger.

I've never considered myself an incredibly vain person, but the bi-weekly weigh-ins have made it fairly clear that I'm a little more prideful than I thought.  

I'll tell myself that it's just Maybe's gigantic head (thanks Blake...) but it's probably my diet of grapefruit, cheese, triscuts, and cookies. 

Anyway...

I'm also at the point in my pregnancy where I've apparently decided that it's a good idea to take on big home projects.  Right now there's a crew jack hammering the bejeebers out of our upstairs bathroom while I wear a surgical mask and earplugs and hide out in the family room.  Did you know that in 1951 bathroom tile is securely fastened in about three inches of pure concrete (both the walls, the shower and the floor)?  That's a whole lot of concrete...a whole lots of dust...and a whole lot of extra weight that our trusty floors won't have to hold up anymore.  

Blake and I have spent the past two weeks stewing over finishes and seeing the dollar signs fly as we've ordered all of the supplies.  The UPS guy and I have become quite close (he has generously carried things into the house for me since I can't lift them from the porch and Blake is still recovering from a back injury).  Our living room looks like a Home Depot exploded and there is a tub filling up the majority of our study.  Like Blake says, it's like we are camping in our own home.  It's awesome...and awesomely hilarious.

We have been dreaming of this bathroom renovation for years and finally felt like we should pull the trigger before Maybe gets here.  It's madness to be sure, but at least it's fun madness and it comes with an end date.  

I can't wait to post the before and after photos.  No more five by five bathroom!  No more knees touching the tub when you're on the toilet.  Such luxury! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Year of the Sheep(adoodle)

Oh, Mr. Bear.  How I love thee. Let me count the ways.

Oh, Baby Bear.  How I get frustrated with thee. Let me multiply the ways.

My goal for the past several months has been to keep Bear mat-free so that we can keep his fur long.  We prefer the sheepdog look to the poodle look, but his dense fur is pretty high maintenance, so it takes eom real doing. 

Blake built me a laundry/craft table in the unfinished portion of our basement and I've found that it works really well as a grooming table.  It's high enough that when I put Bear on it he doesn't try to jump off.  In fact, he just stands there in utter dejection while I brush him and tell him what a good dog he is.  It makes me feel bad that he's scared to be up so high, but it's the only way to brush him without him thinking it's a game. Everything is a game to this little guy.

I gave myself a big pat on the back when I picked Bear up at the groomer a week ago.  He came out looking great and had maintained most of his fluff.  This is a first.  Usually he has to get a short cut because his matting is out of control. But this time. This time was different.  This time he came out with a serious swagger to his fluffy walk.

Blake and I marked the occasion by pulling out the nice camera and getting some glamour shots of our main man.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I felt like squealing "it's so fluffy I'm going to die!" every few seconds.  Yes, he's a soft as he looks.





Lest you think he's all fluff and sweetness. Here are some other Bear anecdotes for your comedic enjoyment:

1.  A couple days before he was groomed, there was a day where I had to give Bear three baths. Twice because he had been playing in the snow and was covered in snowballs (dingleberries, we like to call them), and once because he had a stow-away cling-on.

I'm usually pretty good at spotting cling-ons.  In fact, I'm usually meticulous about keeping his "poop-shoot" shaved (oh the ways your dignity leaves you when you get a puppy).  But this one he got past me.  Well, he got it past me until he decided to jump up on the couch and drag his bum across my lap, leaving a very unpleasant-smelling skid mark in his wake.

Needless to say, bath number three included the use of surgical gloves and a plethora of gagging.

2.  I made the mistake of letting Bear run around on the neighborhood tennis court with his friends for over an hour.  The poor guy ran down his paw pads and got blisters.  I felt like the worst dog-owner in history as Bear spent the next day carefully licking his paws.  Uhg.  The poor guy didn't understand why he wasn't allowed to go on walks the next couple days.

When I finally took him out on a short walk, he made it three blocks before he sat down and refused to go any further.

Of course this was the one time I'd forgotten to bring my phone, so I couldn't call Blake to come pick us up.

Three blocks doesn't sound like much, but I'm 7 months pregnant, waddly in the extreme, and not supposed to pick up things over 25 pounds (Bear weighs in at a heafty 32 pounds).  But I couldn't let the poor guy suffer and didn't want to drag him home on his sore feet.

So I picked him up.  And he was in so much pain that he started head butting me and crying.  And I started the heavy, stuttery breathing that precedes crying.  I waddled three blocks home with a head-butting dog and a determination not to have a breakdown before entering my home.

I made it through the door, but just barely...I started crying so hard I almost fell over.  Blake, who was on a conference call on the couch, looked at me with panic in his eyes.  Hormones. I tell ya.  They make a girl do the strangest things.

Alls well that ends well, though.  Bear's paws are just fine.  And I used enough crying power to get me through the next year.  Go team.