I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but Bryan is adorably overprotective about me overexerting or wearing myself out, especially since the size of the kidlet has started slowing me down. A couple of times he's come across me leaning on a wall or the counter to relieve the pressure on my back after I've been standing for too long, and flipped out a little. "What's wrong? Are you okay? You should sit down!" I've tried explaining to him that nothing is wrong; it's just basic physics: a 6.5-lb baby plus a couple pounds of amniotic fluid pulling on your abdomen is bound to cause the rest of the body to get a little out of whack. He's always been much better at physics than I am, but for whatever reason this particular argument carries little weight with him and he always wants me to lie. down. immediately.
He's cute, he really is.
A couple months ago he tried to get me to promise not to lift anything heavier than five pounds. I pointed out that this would make it impossible for me to pour myself a glass of milk from a full jug - did he really want to take on the task of decanting all our milk and water (which we also buy by the gallon) into half-gallon containers? Then he said, fine, nothing heavier than ten pounds, and I said, okay, as long as Daniel can be the exception to that rule, because there is no way I am giving up holding my nephew. We agreed, and since then I have tried to comply, not because I was worried about preterm labor but because I love my husband and want him to be happy.
This past weekend I reminded him that, as of Tuesday (yesterday), preterm labor would be an actual impossibility, my having reached that momentous 37-week mark and all, so I should be able to carry anything I wanted. (I have not been allowed to bring baskets of laundry up from the basement laundry room, which is a LOT more annoying a restriction than I could have imagined it would be. Who'd have guessed that my desire to do laundry would ever be so strong?) Mr. Adorable Paranoia would not agree - perhaps he's afraid that nesting syndrome will kick in extra hard and I'll try to move furniture without him - but we compromised that I can carry baskets of laundry, but with anything bigger or heavier I will ask him for help.
So now I am excited because I am officially full-term, and can begin endless renditions of the song "Come Out, Dear Child" (which I think I am going to have to make up myself, since according to Google it doesn't appear to exist), and I am also excited because I can do laundry again, the whole process, not just folding loads that Bryan carries upstairs for me.
I think the fact that I am excited about the laundry thing means I am nesting. I have also been seized by a strong desire to Get Things In Order. This is tough because things around here are kind of in a shambles, to put it mildly. Normally I cope fairly well with shambles, but the nesting syndrome makes it harder.
Last week we decided to get new flooring put in our kitchen. We'd been planning all along to do that sometime before the new year, but a week ago it occurred to us that (duh!) it will be much easier to do that while Pahoehoe is still ever-so-conveniently located in utero, so last Tuesday we went to our Friendly Neighborhood Floorer and made our choice, and last Friday two guys came to install it.
One of them, the guy-in-charge, was called Woody, for the very simple reason that he is apparently an expert at installing wood floors. I could show you pictures of Woody, since my husband obsessively documents home improvement projects and took many shots of the floor-installation process, but I don't think that would be fair to the poor guy, who kindly allowed Bryan to take his photo with no idea, I'm sure, that it had a chance of being posted on the Internet. I can't betray his innocent trust - what if we ever decide to have wood floors installed? He could totally get revenge!
So instead, here is a horrifying picture of The Old Kitchen Floor, otherwise known as It's Quite Probable the Previous Owners Didn't Mop This Floor Once During the NINE YEARS They Lived Here, as It Was Truly Impossible to Get This Floor Clean, I Kid You Not. You could not have gotten it clean either and you really wouldn't have wanted to try.
In contrast, we have the new floor, which is so beautiful that for the first day we had it Bryan and both kept coming to the living room to gaze at it. We weren't supposed to walk on it more than necessary but we would stand in the doorway and revel in its glory, and we did not get tired of doing this.
The new floor, in its loveliness (includes bonus shot of new air vent, a steal at $10 from Home Depot):
For those of you who can't get enough (uh, that's probably just me), the new floor will also be featured in another shot later in this entry.
The only bad thing about getting the kitchen floor replaced was that we couldn't put the furniture back on it for twenty-four hours, which meant the entire contents of our kitchen were IN OUR LIVING ROOM for that entire time. Again, normally this would not be a big deal (it would actually have been a very good excuse for not cooking dinner, if I'd needed one besides my burgeoning self), but it was kind of hard on me in my current state. This baby could come out any time! He does not want his kitchen table in the living room! He wants it in the kitchen, where it belongs!
My inner antsiness is compounded by the fact that the rest of the house is not in perfect order, to say the least. This can be blamed entirely on the First Law of Home Improvement, which is, as everyone knows: Any project will always take longer than you expect it to take.
The office that my husband and brother-in-law built from scratch in the basement, and I really do mean from scratch, as there was nothing there when they started except concrete walls and floor, currently looks like this:
The old office, now known as the nursery, looked like this a month ago. Now it looks like this:
(You know you were dying to see that orange truck again!) (I really shouldn't make fun of the orange truck, since the neighbor who owns it is very nice and has let us borrow the truck to lug stuff on more than one occasion, but I apparently have no shame.)
The in-shambles state of most of the house makes me feel a little churned up inside when I think too hard about it, so I am trying to employ a policy of denial. I am also employing the dubious (but surprisingly effective) coping mechanism of Controlling What I Can. This means that the living room and kitchen, which are baby-ready, are also spotless. On Saturday, after our twenty-four hours were up and the floor was good to go, I spent several hours cleaning the kitchen. I am usually an If-It-Looks-Clean-It-Probably-Is type of person, so the kind of cleaning I did Saturday was basically unheard-of for me. I organized the refrigerator magnets! I wiped down the covers of my cookbooks! I cleaned behind the sink!
So obsessed became I with this new cleanliness (which is next to godliness, according to a bunch of people with whom I probably wouldn't get along very well) that on Sunday morning I informed Bryan that if he wasn't going to reuse his coffee cup he should put it in the dishwasher, not in the sink. I, who have been known on numerous occasions to leave my breakfast dishes sitting on the table until evening. (Not that I am proud of this, I'm just being honest here.)
Clearly: nesting. I'm hoping it's a sign that this child will not do to his mother what his mother did to his grandmother, i.e., wait until nearly 43 weeks to come out.
Speaking of weeks, we didn't get an official 36-week belly picture but here is one taken at 36w3d, with aforementioned bonus shot of new kitchen floor:
And here (duh duh duuuuuuh) is the official belly shot, 37-week version:
It is also in the photo album.
This morning I had an OB appointment. It included my first non-stress test; weekly NSTs will be part of the routine from here on out. Everything looked good. The baby is obligingly head-down, although not yet completely dropped. I am dilated to 1cm and 50% effaced, at which the doctor's comment was "We will see this baby sometime soon," as if I'd been doubting it. The one impossibility in this whole equation is that he will stay in there forever.
When Emily was 1cm, 50% effaced at her 36-week check-up, her doctor told her to make sure her hospital bag was packed. My doc didn't say anything about that, but I'm thinking maybe I should hunt up a tennis ball (we tried some different lower-back-massaging tools in our Lamaze class, and I found that one the most effective) and some ponytail holders and anything else I might need during labor, just in case. In terms of stuff I'll need postpartum, I'm planning to take advantage of the fact that we live three minutes from the hospital and coerce people into running back and forth for me. I've heard that whole I-just-went-through-labor thing, combined with the here-is-our-adorable-brand-new-child thing, makes people want to do nice things for you.
I will let you all know ASAP, I promise, if anything big and exciting happens. Otherwise, you can assume we're just gestating along at the normal pace.