Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Enjoying the last few days as two...

Well, I have been officially "full term" (reached at the 37 week mark) for about a week now, so they say that we can start to expect it "any day". Of course, my due date is still 16 days away, so we're not exactly calling in family yet, but we are definitely working on packing our bags, and watching for signs. About 20 weeks ago, at our last ultrasound, they told us that it could be as early as February 2nd. Yes, that is Monday. WHAT?!

Still, I don't really feel like it will be next week. Maybe the next week. Of course, what do I know? This is all new to me, too. I'm just focusing on knowing when I am truly in labor.

While talking to a recent girlfriend, Meg, who has a two year old and is due to deliver #2 in early March, she told me how she and her husband went to a coffee shop before their first was born and just sat and read the paper. Something simple that we really wouldn't be able to do quite the same again for a long time. I mentioned this idea to Jason and he thought it sounded great. So, we headed to Starbucks on Sunday and sat for HOURS. Jason did work, and I read the paper cover to cover just about, plus caught up on some of my favorite decorating magazines. It was nice. There is something about passing the paper back and forth (a la- "can you believe what our governor did now?!") that is so soothing and almost ritualistic.

The irony, of course, is that the Starbucks by our house was loaded with children and their parents. And I couldn't help but peek up from my newspaper every once in a while to listen to their adorable dialogues with their parents and ooh and ahh over the sweetness of their little faces tucked between winter hats and big puffy coats with the mittens hanging down. One little girl reminded me of something that my mom (always on the lookout for a good spot) would appreciate. She was with her grandma and she saw an open table. The little girl swooped in, sat down right away and yelled across the way, "Look Grandma, I found a table!!" Another little darling was singing "Ring around the Rosie" in between sips of her chocolate milk. I can't believe we are going to have one of those in just a few weeks.

Of course, we're not literally getting one of the children in the Starbucks, and ours won't speak or sing for a long time... but we are going to have a child in a few weeks. Something that will grow up to sing the songs we sing to them, and say phrases that make us giggle only because we are their parents. I think I can do that. :)

I say this all, of course, with trepidation. Watch us have the a terrible child that absolutely won't sit still and hates to sing. That won't happen, right? Let's just pretend that option is off the table for now. It will help me get through the labor if you tell me he/she will always be perfect and adorable. :)

And so, in the next few days we are doing a lot of things like this. Things that will be a little different after two become three. I think it is making us really appreciate the "two" that we are, all the while filling us with excitement to meet the little person that will make us "three." Fingers crossed that we'll be able to remember this for perspective after he/she arrives. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Showered with Love..

I have been waiting to write one inclusive post about all of the lovely baby showers that were thrown for the baby and me. We were showered so generously and had such a great time at all four showers that our friends and family threw.

Jason's family kicked off the festivities in November. My mother-in-law, her sister-in-law, and my sister-in-law (Jason's sister, Lindsay) threw us a lovely shower with a sweet duck theme! Much of Jason's family was able to make it, plus some of my mother-in-law's friends and a few of mine who live in the area. My mom was there too. We had a great time! Sheila, Debbie's mom, made delicious cookies that were a hit- one of my favorites- and adorable (!) and we all enjoyed a yummy lunch. It is always nice to be together!

A dear family friend, Sandie Vlach, hosted a shower for us in early December, attended by a lot of my mom's friends and our good family friends. The food was fantastic and we had such fun chatting around the table that Sandie had decorated so festively. Everyone again, was embarrassingly generous and a highlight of such was a darling bassinet given to me by my mom. We got a great head start on all of our bedding, and it was such fun to receive! Sandie didn't miss a detail, and had a lot of great Geneva touches- including cupcakes from a new bakery in town everyone is raving about (with good reason!) and personalized candies from Grahams, our famous candy shop in town.

A few days after Christmas, a good friend of mine from childhood, Katie, and her mom, Pam, hosted a gorgeous shower for me and my side of the family. We were spoiled again with gorgeous table settings, flowers, lovely details, and great company. There is just nothing like a ladies luncheon! It is hard to believe that Katie and I met almost 25 years ago, and that the days of running through sprinklers have been replaced by talk about diapering and teething. Old friends are the best. It was so fun spending time with my family outside of a family function, and it was especially special to me to have both of my Grandma's there.

A few weeks ago, my friends Erica, Meg and Molly threw me a shower at Molly's house with my girlfriends. Not a single detail was overlooked! They served all the foods I've been craving as appetizers, followed by a delicious lunch and a fabulous cake that matched the invitations creative "bump ahead" theme. They organized a hilarious game called "Who knows Baby Johanna best?" that entailed true of false questions from my childhood (ie-" True or False: Johanna's first word was 'Dustbuster'?"). Everyone wrote me little notes of advice on parenting, and they compiled it into a book to keep. It was such fun having my girlfriends together; they truly outdid themselves!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Do you ever have one of those days where you just need a do over? I did today. I wasn't even halfway through my morning when I just wanted to shout at the top of my lungs, "Can I please have a mulligan?!" Anyone?

They say that pregnant women are forgetful or scatterbrained. They call it "pregnancy brain". I remember reading about this way back when I first cracked my pregnancy books, and there really is some medical reason for this, but of course, I have forgotten the details. In any case, today I proved this theory correct.

Like all of you, there are a number of things I have to remember as I am walking out of the house in the morning. The last thing I do before I leave for the train is take out Norah (our dog). Before I do that, I go through this ritual of sorts, gathering the things to take to work and remember for the day. I set up the dog gate, I bring Norah's bed out of our room, I close the bedroom doors (to keep Norah from sleeping on our bed all day), I make sure I have shoes to change into once I get in the office and take off my boots, I grab my lunch, pack my book to read on the train, make sure I have my cell phone. Today I needed to also remember materials to take back to work from a conference I attended at the end of last week.... you get the picture. After I have all of these items assembled, I take out Norah and then after our little walk I leave. Today I remember ALL of the above items. I grabbed Norah and a bag to pick up after her when she goes to the bathroom, and headed out. Do you see where this is going? Yes, I remembered EVERYTHING. Everything that is, except, my keys.

I realized I forgot my keys about one millisecond after the door shut on us. I frantically patted my pockets thinking maybe this would make them magically travel there from the counter where I could picture them sitting. We have exchanged keys with two neighbors just in case this situation might occur, but of course, they were both gone. Norah still has to go to the bathroom, so I took her out and while she was doing her business I thought up a plan.

Jason and my cell phone numbers are programed via code number into the call box outside our building. That way we can let an expected visitor (or the UPS man) into our building remotely. Of course my cell phone was upstairs locked away with my keys and my purse and everything else that I was desperate for at the moment. But I knew for sure that Jason not only had his cell phone with him, but would answer it, because we are officially on "baby can come any day" watch. So, I dialed his code from our call box, told him predicament, he buzzed me in out of the cold, and said he would call the neighbor that has our key. What a good man. In the meantime, I waited.

And waited.

In fact, I waited for FOUR (count them, 1,2,3,4) HOURS. In the hallway outside my condo door. On the floor. With the dog. 9 months pregnant.

I realize that in about 3 weeks the thought of having four hours by myself, with no choice but to do absolutely nothing at all, would be an absolute fantasy. Today however, it was quite the opposite.

For the first hour I just got incrementally more upset at myself and my stupid pregnancy brain. How could I leave without my keys? I had just had them in my hand. I could picture them just sitting there on the counter, laughing at me. To top things off, I was already running late, because I had gotten so sucked into the pre-inauguration coverage on the news. "You just had to watch Obama walk into the church, didn't you, Johanna" I was saying to myself. I had a million and six things to do at work after being out the last several days at the conference. This was really setting me back.

At hour two, I called Jason from the call box again, as if there were anything he could do about it; which, aside from cancelling all of his remaining appointments and taking the 45 minute train ride back home to open the door for me himself, there wasn't. Mind you, this call box is meant only to buzz people into the building. It's not meant as a tool for lengthy conversations with your husband about how frustrated you are with yourself. So mostly I was shouting above the trucks zooming by, "Jason? Can you hear me? I'm still locked out! What am I going to do!" And Jason saying things back to me, that through the reception of the call box sounded like, "on't orry. ing oo ind oo a olution." But basically the drift I got that was that he had spoken to the neighbor's husband, and that she was out running errands, and should be home soon. So, Norah and I headed back upstairs to sit on the floor and wait. At this point I was in the acceptance stage. However stupid it was, I had gotten myself into this mess, so now I just needed to wait it out. I tried to close my eyes and take a nap. But you can imagine how comfortable I was- big as a house, sitting on the floor, dog on my lap. That, coupled with the fact that the thermostat for the common areas of our building is on the first floor, where the doors are constantly opening to the 20 degree air outside, so the heat kicks on every 4 seconds, and consequently it is a balmy 80 degrees on the third floor right outside our unit.

At hour 2 1/2 I decided to do a little yoga. I was getting achy, and I figured it would be a good time passer, and a good way to calm my mind. It worked well for a while, however somewhere between Warrior II and Tree pose Norah must have decided I looked a little cooky, and went a little nuts. She started sniffing at the doors of our neighbors house as if to say to me, "Come on, mom. This is no time for yoga. Are you sure there isn't anyone in there who can help us?!"

I sat down to think again. Who else had a key to our place? Our cleaning person did! He also cleaned our neighbors place upstairs. Maybe by some stroke of luck he was there today. We headed up there. No such luck. We roamed around a little. I delivered a package from the lobby to another neighbor's doorstep. We waited in the lobby so we could watch the cars go by (for Norah) and cool off (for me). Then I thought maybe while we were delivering the packages and checking for the cleaning person on the 4th floor, that the neighbor with the key had come home. So we headed back to check. No such luck here either. So we sat back down outside our door to wait some more. In the heat. 9 months pregnant. On the floor.

3 hours in, after I had said a few prayers, I realized I was starving. It was now lunchtime. To make matters absolutely worse, I had to go to the bathroom. I started to panic. What was I going to do? What if my neighbor wasn't going to come home? Would I just wait her all day until Jason or the other neighbor came home at night? I couldn't possibly. Even if I could emotionally occupy my mind that long, I had to go to the bathroom. And I know well enough that there was no way I was going to be able to hold it for much longer. Have I mentioned that I'm 9 months pregnant? My panicked, heat soaked mind started to race to crazy places. What if.... I went into labor in the hallway? What if.... I couldn't get a hold of anyone for hours and I had to go to the bathroom in the alley like the bums. Okay, I would NOT do that. I decided I had to call Jason again, and ask him to come home. I told him I was so sorry, that I knew that this was 200% my fault, and none of his, but that I had no other choice. He agreed. Now I just had to wait for him to get there.

By hour 3 1/2, panic behind me, I had pretty much conquered mind over matter with the having to go to the bathroom issue. Instead, however, I started thinking about everything else I had to do. None of which, of course, I could do in the hallway. Every time the elevator would ding, Norah and I simultaneously would perk up, hoping rescue was around the corner.

At hour 4, finally, my neighbor with her two children in tow, rounded the corner. I told her that I was locked out, and she asked me for how long. When I told her, she immediately asked me if I had to go to the bathroom. She quickly got my key, I ran into my unit, dropped everything, used the rest room, and JUST as I was leaving my door to return the key-you guessed it- Jason got home.

This is not a joke. I wish it was. But hey, at least I'm keeping things interesting. Just one more story to tell the baby someday. And you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll never forget my keys again.

Monday, January 12, 2009


First of all, Happy New Year!!! This is going to be a good year ahead! If only I can figure out how to be a decent mother. :)

So at our birthing class (where Jason learned as he famously puts it, "where NOT to look") we heard about "nesting". Nesting is apparently what women do shortly before they have the baby. Apparently they get a sudden burst of energy and want to clean out some closet or something. Now, to me, this seems totally normal. I love to organize. Why wouldn't you want to have that closet organized before your life changes drastically? So Jason and I joked that I would be "nesting" and not know it. Still, in my head I decided what I would tackle once I was nesting. You know, always good to have a plan in advance. :)

This Saturday I went to put our new bottle drying rack away under the kitchen sink, and in search for the perfect spot, realized that it was completely unorganized under there. So I got down on the floor and took everything out, threw out, sorted, scrubbed, and put the appropriate items back neatly. Halfway through my project, Jason left to go on a run to the Home Depot to get some hardware we needed to hang some shelves in the baby's room. When he came back he found me in our bathroom doing the same thing under those sinks, looking completely ridiculous. "What are you doing?" He asked. (I keep these candles under my sink that I cannot STAND the smell of since I've been pregnant, so I had to tie a bandanna over my nose so that I would not breathe in the smell while I was sorting under the sink.) When I told him that I had also torn through the linen closet and proudly showed off the fruits of my labor, he laughed and said to me, "Is this that "nesting" that they talked about?" When I stood up a few minutes later and had a look at myself in the mirror I realized that he must really love me. Not only did I have the bandanna on over my nose, but I was unshowered, still in my pj's (consisting of my cousin's old Duke Lacrosse t-shirt and Jason's flannel pj bottoms-- one of the only things that fits me for sleeping these days) and had my hair slicked back in a bun literally right on top of my head, and my bangs secured by a bobby pin. I looked horrendous and hilarious.

I finished up my sorting, and filled 3 huge shopping bags worth of junk from under just those three sinks and our linen closet. Then I realized that I had sorted what I was supposed to save to sort when I have the burst of energy nesting right before delivery. Jason was sure that I'd find something else to organize, and I'm sure he's right. Then Jason said that our neighbor, Emilie had just stopped by and wanted to see the baby's room. Jason said, "I told her that maybe she should stop back later" and then carefully proceeded with, "I didn't think you'd want me inviting her in.... considering.... your current appearance." I cracked up. "Is that your way of telling me something? Don't you think this look is glamorous?" He just replied, "Honey, I love you, but right now is not your finest moment."

I knew right then that I had to share this story. So funny. I thought about taking a picture so you all could see just how truly ridiculous I looked, but it was seriously so bad, I couldn't pull the trigger of self mutilation. :)

Ah well, a few minutes later I enjoyed a long soak in the whirlpool, happily knowing that my bottle drying rack fit perfectly in it's new home; that the expired medicine in our cabinet had all be purged, and that all my travel toiletries are together in one spot. And, my husband loves me just the way I am. Even when I impulsively clean our cabinets looking totally crazy. All in a days work.