Another full moon checkin post.  Measi’s discussion question for this month is “how do you keep your stash organized?” I have a multi-layered process: my threads are all mounted on DMC stitchbows and kept in two big 3-ring binders.  I also have a tabletop craft organizer with 3 drawers that sits on the bookshelf.  The top drawer has packages of aida and linen; the second drawer is tools – hoops, scissors, needles, pins, etc.; third drawer contains patterns, small kits, beads, and empty stitchbows.  I keep a bunch of pdfs of patterns that I keep on my computer – I’ll print them off as needed.  I actually don’t keep a huge stash, mainly because I don’t have a lot of room.

The past month I was able to make some progress – the Fire Fighter sampler is *this* close to being finished.  There was enough of the “border” red to finish both the border and the fire extinguisher that I started in the wrong shade.  So one more square to fill in, and then I can get the framing process started.

April15

I was also able to finish the owl bib for my friend, but I forgot to take a photo afterwards!  I decided not to start the second bib for friend #2 – I’ll try for it next month before her baby is born, but I just didn’t have the energy to push through it in the two weeks I had between the showers.

Speaking of baby, I’m still *very* pregnant – induction is scheduled for Monday if baby doesn’t arrive on his/her own before then.  Five days left!

 

 

I went hunting for a particular set of photographs today and ended up falling down the rabbit hole of my archived pictures from the last 15 years.  Part of it is my own worry about this baby – leading me to chase down pictures of myself right before the other two were born, and how BIG they both actually were after they were delivered.  I remembered that she was that big – 10 lb is hard to forget – but even him at just over 8 lb was large.  My memory has been distorted by all my friends having 6 or 7 lb babies in the last few years and what size they were as I held them in my arms.  Then of course, I had to flip through years of photos and family vacations and holidays to watch them grow into the children they are now.  When did he get so big?  And how did I not realize that she has had the same smile since she was only a few months old?

In another folder, I stumbled across the photos of my group of girlfriends at all our weddings.  How on earth were we so young and fresh looking?  That tiny baby at her wedding, how did she turn into a little girl turning 9 next month?  Did I really wear THAT to a sorority ball?  What WAS his name, that random guy that used to hang out that summer when I lived in the sophomore dorms?  We were all so young and naive, the girls in those photos – not knowing what the next decade and a half would hold for so many of us.  Miscarriages, infertility, divorce, betrayal, aging parents.  Older, wiser, thicker skinned and more scarred – that’s who we are now.  Some of it showing on the outside more than others.  The initial thought of “I should share this on Facebook so we can all laugh together” over-ridden with “But I don’t know if their spouse/family/friends now would understand the history behind that shot, so maybe not …”

What am I going to see in another 15 or 20 years when I look back at these pictures again?  Babies grown up, left home, maybe even with babies of their own by then.  Friends lost and gained over the years, some held close and some slipped away as nameless faces in a scanned pic from a party I don’t remember any more.  The inevitable march of time, documented in so many pictures of my life, showing how much has changed – and how nothing has changed at all.

 

Bonus ultrasound appointment to check for size and position:

  • My weight 205
  • BP 110/70
  • Baby’s HB 129 bpm
  • Baby’s estimated weight 6lb 14oz, +/- 1 lb
  • Cervix still closed

Baby is head down (thank goodness!), so induction scheduled for 39 weeks.  Unless baby decides to arrive earlier than that on his/her own, in which case they will not do anything to stop labor.

So we’re just in a waiting and holding pattern right now – just about everything is done for baby’s arrival, so I’m going to try to close out all my work tasks and relax as much as possible in the next week before our lives change all over again.

If you want to join in, I’m doing Zen for Ten with the folks from Do What You Love.  Today is Day One.

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This was transcribed from my paper journal earlier today.

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4:58 pm

This is the first time I’ve sat in silence today, even though I’ve had the prompt since I arrived this morning.  There is no silence at my house – either the kids want me, or Manly wants me, or the television is on, or I am trying to complete some task or another.  And there is precious little silence here – despite the lower noise level, there is always something that needs to be completed, someone that needs help.  That is my job – to work and to enable others to work.  It’s part and parcel of having small children at home and being a manager at the office.  But it is deafening to be surrounded constantly by other people’s thoughts and words and questions and needs and desires and ideas.

At this moment, no one needs me and no one expects anything from me, and I am alone in the silence of an empty hallway.  What do I hear?  The a/c system.  The pencil tracing out words on paper.  My own breath.  The occasional door lock as another co-worker leaves.  And my mind is blank, spent.  “No time to build,” indeed.  No time, or no energy left to work on my own thoughts, my own ideas, my own projects.  I can feel the tension build in my body as I even contemplate this – what would I do if my time was my own?  What ideas do I have that need to be explored?  Always circling back around the central question, the one thing driving all:  what do I want my life to look like?  Without vision, the people perish.  Without a goal, a direction, I remain stagnant.

I want a white-bread life, something ignorant and plain;

But from the walls of Michelangelo, I’m dangling again

“… while you’re spending your whole life stretching out from something you can’t touch, you forget to touch everything else around you.” — Adam Duritz

Where is the line?  Where is the balance? Between reaching for the future and being present in the moment that is now?

–>  Life isn’t felt in summation or as some frozen awkward final pose.  Life is a series of moments, and is experienced as that – a series of simple moments.  Change is not hard because ideas are hard to have, but because mastering the little moments is tremendously challenging. — SKP

This is probably not a surprise to ANYONE at this point, but I’m really flipping tired of this winter-that-won’t-quite-die-and-now-is-dragging-into-what-SHOULD-be-spring.  We’ve had a few really nice days (high 60′s to mid 70′s) that are what this part of the country is normally averaging right now, but this weekend we’ve plunged back into the mid 50′s and rain again.  And as for sunshine?  I’m despairing of ever seeing blue skies again.  Yesterday morning LOOKED so pretty from my bedroom window that I was thinking of drinking my coffee on the back porch, but then I walked downstairs and looked at the thermometer – and then went to find a sweater.

In a normal year, we would have already started our big kitchen garden: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, jalapenos, green beans, lettuce, spinach, turnips, carrots, okra, basil, dill, parsley.  This year, we have a few seeds that just got put into starter trays.  It’s simply too cold to put anything into the ground, and there hasn’t been enough sun to get seeds going.  There is no hope for garden salads before July at the earliest.  Even the strawberry farm that puts a stand up at the corner next to our house hasn’t opened up, and normally we’re headed there mid-month to pick buckets of berries with the kids.  It’s looking like it’s going to be another crappy year for local produce.

My contingency plan is to hit up the local farmer’s markets that have sprung up over the last year or two.  There’s one on Thursdays downtown, and two on our side of town on Tuesdays and Saturdays in summer.  We decided against the CSA membership this summer (we’re STILL eating canned peaches and frozen squash from last summer) and figured we would just fill in from the markets instead.  Right now, I’m longing for the opening days to be announced.  Good, fresh vegetables would be a fantastic addition to my current rotation through cabbages and canned tomatoes and green beans.

I can’t say I’m impressed with the current flower selection either.  I went to Lowe’s yesterday to try to find fuschias for the front porch and to see if there were some specific mosquito-repellent plants (lemon balm, marigolds, citronella plants, peppermint, rosemary) to put together into planters at the back door and came up empty.  They had lots of ground covers, forced rose bushes, pansies, and frostbitten ferns.  Very disappointing, but not surprising.  It’s frustrating to know exactly what I want and not be able to find it, given how common most of these plants are and knowing when they usually hit the stores.

Last year was SO wet, and this year is SO cold.  I had hoped that the end of February would bring an end to some of my bad moods, but the calendar date hasn’t yet lined up with a change of seasons.  I can only look for a bright side and hope this means another mild summer, but it’s feeling pretty grey right now.

Knowing myself (and our family schedule), I marked off the entire month of March as “Baby Prep Month.”  I figured it would take a whole month of weekends to get everything out and ready for the new one.  Well, you can guess – it’s now April, and I’m still getting things ready.  We’re down to the small/last minute things at least, but they still have to be done.

But since I’m a share-er, I thought I would throw all this out there in case someone else is trying to figure out everything they need to do.  Obviously, for a first-time baby you would need to buy stuff instead of finding and washing stuff, but remembering to do all of this is a lot even when you’ve done it before.

Things Done

  • Crib/bassinet/boppy linens found and re-washed
  • Baby bottles/nipples pulled out of attic
  • Newborn + 3-6 month clothes found and re-washed
  • Bassinet moved into our bedroom
  • Baby toys pulled out of attic
  • Discuss child care options with various relatives – kind of have a plan for the older ones, depending on how this baby decides to arrive
  • Easter baskets prepped and easter outfits bought for older two
  • Boy and girl easter outfits (just in case) and going-home outfits bought and pre-washed for new baby
  • Car seat installed
  • Baby monitors found and batteries checked
  • New baby registries completed
  • FMLA paperwork dropped off at doctor’s office
  • W-4 withholdings updated
  • Breast pump, nursing tanks, lanolin, breast pads found
  • Make sure we have baby soap, lotion, diaper-rash products
  • Stock up on diapers and wipes
  • New baby paperwork filled out and dropped with pediatrician
  • Hospital L&D tour and pre-registration completed
  • Induction scheduled for a day my friend-the-mother-baby-nurse is on shift
  • Taxes completed
  • Baby care app (timer for last feeding/diaper change/nap etc.) installed on phones

Things Left To Do

  • Wash bottles/nipples/breast pump stuff (can wait until last minute and run through dishwasher so they aren’t taking up counter space for weeks)
  • Set up swing (again, last minute to save space and the big kids messing with it)
  • Set up bouncy chairs (last minute – to avoid stubbed toes in the darkness)
  • Set up changing tables and diaper genies (last minute to keep the pad covers clean)
  • Wash baby toys (can wait for several months since baby won’t need for a while)
  • Pack hospital bags (yeah, should have done that already)
  • Pick out names (we’re trying, but this really sucks)
  • Confirm names on preschool pickup list to make sure our parents can claim Mini if we can’t make it
  • Confirm with preschool that Mini can stay a whole day instead of normal half-day if we can’t make it

So this weekend, my main tasks are to pack our hospital bags and clear out the bassinet (because although I have moved the bassinet into my bedroom, I used it to hold a lot of stuff that I decluttered that needs to now get dropped off at goodwill.  So I have to get all that packed up to leave the house.)  And again, sharing since we’ve done this a few times now and this is based on experience rather than theory this time:

Baby’s Hospital Bag

  • Going home outfits (for boy and girl since this is a surprise)
  • Gas drops
  • Nail files (NOT CLIPPERS per my friend the nurse)
  • Diaper rash lotion (our kids have all been super-sensitive to wipes and we use as a precaution)
  • Good swaddling blankets (pink and blue both)
  • Pacifier
  • Baby mittens (or you can use socks to keep baby from scratching his/her face)
  • Special blanket for pictures
  • White diaper cover for pictures
  • “Easter” outfits will also be used for pictures
  • Nursing wedge

Our hospital provides hat, baby t-shirts, diapers, wipes, brush and comb, nose aspirator, and formula for baby while you are there.

Parents’ Hospital Bag

  • Going home outfit for mom (maternity jeans, nursing tank, t-shirt, and cardigan – trust me, you do NOT want a dress or a skirt since you are still going to be dealing with the giant post-labor pads)
  • Extra “real” shirt for taking pictures with baby
  • 2-3 pairs of yoga/pj pants
  • 2-3 nursing tanks
  • 2 cardigans or long-sleeve t-shirts
  • flip-flops
  • Shower bag – shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, razor, pumice stone, unscented lotion, toothbrush, toothpaste, makeup, hair brush, vitamins, breast pads, lanolin, allergy meds, chapstick, nail clippers and files, q-tips
  • PJs for dad
  • Post-labor change of clothes for dad (just in case)
  • Real pillows in non-white pillowcases
  • Cell phone, laptop, camera(s), power cords
  • Cell phone charger
  • Phone/text list for announcements
  • Snacks, drinks, gum
  • Plastic bag(s) for dirty laundry
  • Journal + pen for notes, writing down presents for thank-you notes later, and recording visitors
  • Contact information for notifying boss, work HR, short-term disability plan, updating insurance information

Our hospital provides those throw-away mesh undies, giant post-labor pads, pain meds, meals for mom, breastfeeding support “stuff,” and has a hair dryer in each room.

I also have to pack an overnight bag for the big kids, just in case they end up getting dropped off with an aunt (one of our contingency plans).  Their bags will have pjs, an outfit, and bedtime loveys.

It seems unbelievable that in two weeks (or maybe even sooner than that!) we’ll have another baby in this house.  We’re close enough that I can actually imagine it now – but I’m not sure if that will change the shock of it actually happening.  Even now, having done this twice, it’s still just exciting and scary and happy-making and uncertain getting ready to meet this baby as it was the first time.  Like that butterfly-in-your-stomach feeling before a first date, when you can’t wait to meet them and are terrified to meet them at the same time.

 

 

 

 

The past few days I’ve felt … different.  I’m not sure how to explain it – the baby is putting pressure further down on my cervix and in my pelvis, like he/she has finally dropped or engaged.  When I stand up, I feel the muscles in the front of my hips stretching instead of the stabilizing muscles that wrap around to my spine.  When I’m walking around, I feel like I can’t close my legs together to stand up straight.  Looking in the mirror, I can’t see where I look any different, but it certainly feels like some progress.

I dreamed the other night that the baby stretched out (still inside me) and I could feel its feet up at my collarbones.  Right now, at this moment, I feel it pressing on both of my hipbones at the same time.  To say that I am terrified of how big this baby will be is an overstatement, but I’m definitely feeling very concerned.  I don’t have any stretch marks right now – I think Smaller actually stretched out my skin so far that this one has had plenty of room to grow.  But even though I *look* smaller than I did last time, I’m still big.

I’m feeling nesty as well.  Everything is pointing towards baby arriving sooner rather later, and I hope this week’s doctor appointment shows that too.

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