Category Archives: nesting

33 Weeks: Drip drip drop, little April showers

Baby updates: Everything seems to be growing on schedule, and Miss has already (probably) turned head-down. She’s roughly the size and heft of a pineapple. Ultrasound next week will give us a clue to her potential weight and length! And maybe I will get a peek at what appeared at the last ultrasound to be a terribly cute nose!

This past week saw the flawless execution of a surprise-not-a-surprise-baby-shower by Meghan Makes It, Deep Thought Thursdays, and Alluringly Short. Some things I had to know in advance, like the date (last Saturday), location (dog friendly!), and that my out-of-state parents, out-of-another-state in-laws, and out-of-yet-another-state grandmother were coming (in addition to local guests). Or else I’d have been catatonic on the doorstep and probably run and hid like a startled rabbit. But I didn’t know the theme, the game plan, or the details in advance — just that there had been a few casual questions about any weird food cravings I might have had, and that a book about a moose who fell in love with a steam engine and liked buttermilk and root beer may have planted the seed of inspiration…

The word best used to describe the event that I heard was “irreverent,” followed by “like a fun party.” And it really was more like a fun spring party than a baby shower, which helped me feel relaxed enough to really enjoy myself and all the thoughtful little touches.

Theme: forest animals and nature. Baby deer, baby hedgehogs, birdies and bunnies, flowers, acorns, pine cones, tree branches, lots of natural touches and pink, green, and brown colors. Basically, my nursery inspiration.  In fact, one of the grapevine wreath decorations with a baby deer and baby’s name might have already been hung up by the closet in the nursery, since it was in such perfect harmony with our room decor. Many of the decorations were inspired by Mother Nature and courtesy of Jenn’s backyard. 😀 I may have coveted some jute-twine covered vases… And just to add to the festiveness, Mother Nature obliged with a beautiful spring day, clear skies, good sunshine, and a festival of blooming bushes, flowers, and trees.

Drool-worthy menu:
sliced bread with lemon curd and raspberry preserves
cheese & crackers
veggies & hummus
creamy cheesy bacon ranch dip and chips (I can’t explain it, except it is basically crack; maybe Meghan will take pity on us all and blog the recipe)
spiced Indian lentils
cauliflower curry (with nutmeg! yum!)
saag paneer (spinach and cheese curry)
basmati rice with peas
stuffed Italian shells*
chicken broccoli pasta alfredo*
mini cinnamon buns
chocolate peanut butter “puppy chow”
mini candy bar favors
caramel brownies (SO good)
brownie bites
AWESOME chocolate chip cookies
maple-blueberry baby shower forest cake

*leftovers took up residence in my freezer for use as baby meals

P.S., the cake had a marzipan moose on top. Just in case things couldn’t get any more adorable. And the fondant banner adorning the cake said “Welcome River.” I think that was way better than “Congratulations Mom & Dad,” because let’s be real, this was her party, and totally not a party for me. I just happen to be incubating the honoree at the time and therefore had to absorb the attention and good will that was really meant for her, until she can get here and be the center of attention herself. The whole event was really about how adorable she is going to be in her super fabulous (and surprisingly well coordinated) new wardrobe.

The baby shower gift bingo game was a stroke of GENIUS. I felt like I could finally contribute to people’s enjoyment of the shower (and take attention off of myself!) by opening all the lovely gifts and showing them off so people could win at bingo! I also invented a game we now call “Decorate the Daddy,” where all the bows and ribbons from gifts have to be tied on to, stuck to, or otherwise draped over the dad-to-be. It was really just another ploy to distract from how awkward I felt being the center of attention by tying pink ribbons around Jim’s neck a la Marie from Disney’s The Aristocats. But it worked out amazingly well. I think we shall have to encourage it at all subsequent baby showers thrown by our social circle.

Also, I invented the term “nose squeegee” because I couldn’t think of “nasal aspirator.” Pregnancy brain strikes without warning and the results are sometimes hilarious.

I leave you this week with a picture of the fabulous cake by trained pastry chef Heather:

cake

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September

Trust me to not get around to my “spring” cleaning until the first of September. Today’s been a very invigorating and productive day — hopefully an auspicious start to the month. You might think it’s boring — I think it’s been a revelation.

Got up, walked a brisk 3.5 miles.

Took down the summer wreath, put up the autumn wreath. Even though it’s technically still summer, it’s September — don’t judge me.

Emptied the dishwasher.

Embarked on a crusade to ready the guest bedroom for the miniature armada of houseguests on schedule for this month:

  • Excavate the bed (it tends to be a staging/working area for me most of the year)
  • Put new sheets on bed, flip the bedcover
  • Excavate a little bit of additional space in closet and dresser by weeding out clothes that no longer have any hope of fitting me

I have also been doing endless laundry today, particularly bed linens, since I bought 4 new sets on sale at Kohl’s this week. I think the fourth set of sheets is in the washer now. I hope to get through at least one more before the end of the day. I am also weeding out decade-old sheets that have faded or lost their charm, and plan to donate them to the deserving kiddoes at BraveHeart Pit Bull Rescue. I’ll wait while you click on the link. Aren’t they some sweet faces, right?

Indulgent trip to nearby The Fresh Market for trimmings for my dinner-party-of-one dinner: heirloom tomatoes, baked potato salad, fresh berries, Cape Cod Creamery “Sandy Neck Snickers.” Dinner is going to be an heirloom tomato and mayo sandwich on toasted multigrain bread, with potato salad and berries on the side, after I spend some time spreading compost on the saddest of the blueberry bushes. Which I have told myself I will do at 6 o’clock, after the worst part of the day has passed. Follow that up with Snickers ice cream and the first episode of the new Doctor Who on BBCA at 9, and I don’t mind that Jim went to a work-person barbecue while I stayed home and did chores.

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The move

We’re out of the apartment, and it took a small army of friends and a UHaul truck but we got everything moved. The motorcycle was in limbo for a little bit, because we couldn’t get it started — the clutch was literally frozen in place. Two days after I turned in our apartment keys, the bike was still sitting in the apartment building’s parking lot, but finally the weather got above freezing and we could pop the battery back in and get the bike out to the house. It is currently wrapped in its new heavy-duty cover and tucked behind the fence outside the laundry room window.

A week after we closed on the house I, in all my klutzy glory, tripped going down the stairs, slipped down a few steps, and ripped back the nail on the big toe of my left foot. There was just a little bit of blood but I was very close to passing out. Jim got me to my doctor’s office right as they opened and a nurse practitioner undid the multiple layers of gauze and tape he had applied, gave us a supply of bandaids and bacitracin, and gave me a referral to the podiatrist. We limped back out to the podiatrist later the same day, and his professional opinion was that he could remove it, or let nature take its course. I started feeling lightheaded again so after they got me a cool damp cloth and a sip of water, we decided to let Mother Nature do what Mother Nature does best. If I were going to lose the nail, I’d lose it in a week or so. This Wednesday will be a month since I tripped, and the nail is stubbornly staying on. It looks like I won’t lose it after all. But it hurts like you-all-know-what. And it will probably hurt this badly until it is completely grown out, so, like, 6 months. Gaah.

So now the stairs come with a dual warning: If you are taller than me, watch your head on the way up and down. If you are klutzy like me, be very careful and watch your step on the way down.

We’re still unpacking. I am being very slow and deliberate about it, but it is coming along nicely. It seems like with every box I unpack the house seems larger, which I don’t understand. Jim says it’s because we’re clearing boxes out, but the contents of all those boxes are being redistributed throughout the house. So I’m not sure what’s going on. We probably won’t have an official housewarming until the spring, when every box is unpacked and all pictures hung where I want them.

We’re also recovering from a battle of wills with our heater, which is probably older than me. The pilot light went out on the coldest night of the year and wouldn’t relight, so we bundled in cold-weather camping gear to keep from freezing in our sleep. It took two more visits from the furnace company before the furnace actually behaved itself, and it hasn’t given us any trouble since New Year’s Eve. Here’s hoping, because I don’t want to replace it right now.

The winter progresses and we’re settling in.

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