We put off working on the nursery for awhile. It was for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I have the whole summer off, so there was no rush. My parents came out in July to help put the room together (don’t even ask about the Great Crown Moulding Debacle of 2014).
Eric and I wanted an outdoor/parks/map theme and decided on gray and green and yellow. This is the fruit of our labors, in pictures taken in poor lighting with my phone:
Heidi made these cute flags for our baby shower in Ohio!
When we take better photos, we’ll get the crown moulding in the shots!
I resisted the melodramatic urge to take professional maternity photos for many, many months. Why would I want these, later in my life? But as the weeks crept by and summer heated up, our hair got blonder and our skin got tanner. If there was ever a decent time to nab some cute bump photos, the time was now. Strangely/luckily, we know several professional photographers, many of whom dabble in the baby business. But Tara Harmon Low has been a friend of mine since I was twelve (she’s my pal Shannon’s older sister) and she lives conveniently down the road. Tara has a new baby herself so she’s definitely in the baby zone. At the last minute, Tara agreed to a quick session with us in Louisville. I wanted two things (besides Chandler, and for that matter, Eric) in the photos: Sweet Cow ice cream and Lilly.
Here are (just) 24 of our favorites, appearing in a slideshow format.
Why? No, not because Quinoa is flashy. Or the name of a Career Tribute. But because every time I cook with this wondergrain, it gets everywhere. Just as you find glitter two days later stuck to the back of your knee, I find uncooked quinoa under the coffeepot. Cooked quinoa glued to the tea towel. I’m a clean-as-you-go cook. No messy piles in the kitchen of dirty dishes and open bags of food for me. So how does this happen?! How does this tiny grain with its itty bitty blond curls take over our kitchen?
I needed to use up some corn on the cob, so I added it to the quinoa along with a can of black beans, a couple of sad garden tomatoes, wilted cilantro, and a small container of lime juice I squeezed recently for Nojitos. Also goat cheese, which should have been queso fresco, as if I had that just chilling in the cheese drawer. YUM.
Oh and Mom, those carrots you can see on the plate are the ones you left here. Grilled up great with goat cheese and dill!
Twelve days until Chandler is due. That is, of course, provided we make it until our due date. I thought I would have blogged so much more about being pregnant, but as it turned out, I didn’t have a whole lot to report. I feel spectacular, and Chandler is healthy. I don’t think anyone wants to read post after post about yoga, hiking, traveling, and eating donuts…right? As big of a deal as it was for us to [finally] get pregnant, pregnancy has been a breeze.
Not that I haven’t had my moments. Pre-pregnancy, Eric has known me to be laughing about something, and then it turns to tears, and back to laughing, and I’m not really ever sure why. Except when this happened a few weeks ago, I did know exactly why I couldn’t stop laugh-crying. Because I was so upset that once the baby came out I couldn’t put it back in. This struck me as so absurd/terrifying that I was stuck in a practically eternal loop of laughing and crying.
I think because getting pregnant was our focus for so long, it took me quite some time to accept actually being pregnant. I managed to hide it at work until almost 16 weeks. And because I never felt anything, sick or otherwise, I just had trouble physically feeling pregnant. I didn’t really start to embrace the whole situation until probably our 22-week ultrasound. So, I didn’t really start thinking about actually having the baby until…now?
Yes, we went to a birthing class. And a breastfeeding class. And took a tour. But tonight, we went to what Good Samaritan calls Labor Lab. We got an extensive rundown of positioning, the bathtub, the crazy bed with the birthing handlebar. And it occurred to me, tonight, OMIGOSH I will be back in here, in labor, very, very soon! I know it’s bizarre, but for the first time I really thought about what that will be like for us. Which room will be ours? What will I be wearing? Can I eat? Am I going to have a laugh-crying fit from the certain impending torturous pain?
Will I miss being pregnant? Yes, definitely. I’ll admit it, I love strangers stopping to talk to me and grocery store checkout people asking if I need help out to the car. I love having a completely different wardrobe comprised entirely of stretchy waistbands and dresses. I love, love, love feeling Chandler move. (The term “kick” is underrated. This child already has my freakish limb strength and Eric’s disturbing level of stamina.)
So now I have 12 days to get used to the idea of labor and delivery. While we were on the L&D floor, we saw a new family leaving to go home together. Mom being pushed in a wheelchair, and Dad pushing baby in a stroller. I peeked at the baby–so tiny, so new! I’ve held a thousand babies. I’ve changed newborn diapers. And still, my only thought was, OMIGOSH they send the baby home with us?!?!?! I guess I should start thinking about that, too…
I’m 38 weeks pregnant and it’s a stagnant 96 degrees outside. So, yes, I’m sitting on the floor of our half-finished nursery at 1:24 pm eating from a quart of Sweet Cow cookies and cream.
I am blessed. I know this. I feel AWESOME. I can eat, sleep, exercise, socialize. Two weeks ago I measured at almost 2 cm, and I’m still there. Nary a contraction. Chandler is as active as mama (and papa), kicking and squirming and hiccuping all day and night. I want this week, or maybe the next two, to go on forever. Every day, I am aware of how easy life is right now. I can hike, go to yoga, go shopping, make phone calls, even work. Eric can go for a 28 mile trail run on a Sunday. (Not kidding, see below.)
Things are going to change. For the best, ever. We know that. But for now, Eric really enjoys getting up at 3:30am to go to the mountains instead of to feed a baby. And I really enjoy doing whatever I want whenever I feel like it. But I think Chandler knows that. The three of us are going to make the most of these next, last couple of weeks. Selfish? Maybe. Sane? I think so!
Sometimes you buy a 3-pound package of ground angus because it’s on Manager’s Special. Sometimes you freeze it. Sometimes you defrost it and eat it three nights in a row because it’s summer and the grill is your best friend. After the meat brick finally thawed, I cut it into twelve equal lumps to make us two sliders each for three nights. Combined with the random produce in our refrigerator, this is what we came up with:
I am obsessed with golden beets. If they are not in your rotation, try them. OMG. Goat cheese makes them even tastier. Favorite side dish of the summer, hands down. I like grilling sliders over full-size burgers; somehow I’m less likely to overcook them. I put the thumbprint on top just like Bobby, Guy, and Martha all say to do, and it totally works to keep juices in and hockey pucks out.