Sunday, April 27, 2008

Flip This Guestroom

So the BIG THING on my BIG LIST OF THINGS TO DO before a new human lives at our house is flipping the guestroom into a baby room. The walls are already blue, so that saved us some painting, right? Well...I got it into my head that I wanted a blue ceiling with fluffy clouds.

I spent hours looking a paint chips trying to find the perfect light blue that would not clash with the wall color, not make the room feel like a cave, and still be blue enough to contrast with white clouds. In fact, I bought one blue, didn't like it, and went back to buy another blue. (And white, and a sea sponge for cloud-making, and plastic dropcloths for the floor, and new paint rollers and tape and a brush and three big pieces of plywood for cloud-making practice.) I thought of listing the prices of everything here for my readers, but that's too painful.

Instead, just picture me yesterday...after perfecting my cloud-making technique on my plywood planks in the months pregnant standing on top of a bed covered in plastic, wearing a painter's mask to protect the unborn, staring up at a 3 foot by 3 foot patch of blue that is suddenly NOT the correct shade (even though it looked great on my plywood panel). I looked around at the vast amount of white ceiling remaining. I thought about everything that had to be taped and the plastic that had to be moved around to different parts of the room. I painted a sample cloud that did NOT look fluffy or cute because of the dang "popcorn" stuff on our ceiling and asked Frank what he thought about it. "I think it's okay." Every wife knows that those words actually mean "I hate it." I was irritated and already tired and had flecks of white AND blue ceiling popcorn in my hair. Frank offered to help me paint the entire ceiling just to see what we it would look like, and then we could paint it white again. But I knew from my little 3x3 patch just how hard it is to get good coverage on popcorn ceilings. It would be a HUGE pain to repaint if we didn't like it.

I thought about all the other stuff that needs to happen in that room (repainting a dresser, rebuilding the crib, putting together a daybed...), and I thought about all the other things on my list (closet and pantry organization projects, landscaping work, finishing Sophie's baby book, making some casseroles to freeze). And then I thought about a nine-year-old boy, telling me that fluffy clouds on the ceiling are for babies and begging, can we puhleeeeeease paint the ceiling black?!?

So I painted over my clouds in not-quite-right white. Sigh.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pregnancy Update

It's 3:40 a.m. So the first thing I should mention is the insomnia. And heartburn. Preggos are allowed to take Zantac, but it says on the box that you should take it each day, one hour before eating anything. If I wait an hour to eat, I'll be barfing all over my toothbrush. So I eat something and then I take it and I suppose it works for a while...but the combination of pre-natals, Zantac, an iron supplement (I'm anemic), Zyrtec (I'm allergic to the great outdoors), and the DHA supplement (something about developing eyeballs and brains...I dunno) sometimes turns my stomach. Oh yeah, and I pop Tums Smoothies all day, like they're candy. The worst thing you can do for heartburn is lie down, which is fine (even though it's 3:40 a.m.) because Sophie has cried out for me three times tonight (1:20, 2:30, and 3:10) to come and rub her back. And in between those sessions, my eyes just won't close.

So today's doctor appointment was the typical weigh-in, blood-pressure check, heartbeat timing, belly-measuring variety. Everything looks great -- we're 8 1/2 weeks from "Oh, Baby" Day! Sounds like that spicy Mickey Rourke flick...but, you know, without any sexiness whatsoever. And missing a week.

Here's part of the conversation I had at the doctor's office today:
Doc: "And you're eating right?"
Me: "I'm eating. Right."
Doc: "Okie doke. Any other questions? Any strange feelings or sensations?"
Me: "Actually, yes. Every now and then I feel a tiny scraping a fingernail or something. Is that a muscle or tendon stretching?"
Doc: "Oh, no. That's probably his fingernails. Sometimes they can get right up beside the uterine wall and scratch away with their hands or toes."
Me: "That's completely creepy. I mean miraculous."

So, folks. He's trying to claw his way out into the world. Or, like my friend Brian suggested, he's ticking off a countdown tally. On my INSIDES. It won't be long now, son.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Remembering Nana Jane

This is a picture of my mom holding Sophie right around Soph's one-month birthday. Today it has been one year since my mom passed away. There are so many times that I've wanted to call her this year -- so many things I wanted to tell her. But when I look back at the pictures of Sophie from last year and realize how much she has changed, it honestly feels like Mom has been there and she has seen it all. I don't know how to explain it. Today I listened to a guest speaker talk to my students -- a survivor of Auschwitz -- and she started to talk about losing her mother and I thought, "I can't hear this today. I've got to get out of here." But she said that at the moment they realized their mother was gone, her sister looked at her and said, "The spirit never dies." And I guess I did need to hear that today.

Jordan is bowling with some friends tonight -- my mom LOVED to bowl and even worked at the bowling alley for a while -- I had my own booth in the coffee shop where I often fell asleep staring up at wads of gum and listening to "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille" on the juke box. I'm not sure if I can heave a bowling ball right now (in fact, they might accuse me of trying to smuggle a bowling ball out in my shirt), but maybe I'll whip up some tuna noodle casserole for lunch tomorrow. And if you're reading this and you're family, or if you knew my mom, I need your help telling all the great stories to Sophie and "the new guy" on the way. ( my mom was afraid of roaming charges, but she just could not stand still when talking on the phone. Or how she ALWAYS bought a coffee cup at a garage sale -- never drank coffee in her life, but didn't want the strangers to think that she didn't like their stuff). That's funny, funny stuff...and the spirit never dies.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Big Sisters!

Sophie and Laney went to a BIG SISTER class yesterday at Maggie's doc's office. It was super cute and they had sooo much fun. (It was technically called sibling class, but Sophie doesn't know that word yet. There were a couple little boys in there getting ready to be big brothers, too. The one who brought a stuffed horse as his "baby" had a bit of difficulty with the diapering lesson.)

Sophie and Laney sat right up front and listened very carefully to Nurse Blair's lesson (which started with Mom's disappearing lap and touched on belly buttons, soft spots, crying babies, and frequent handwashing).
The kids practiced putting on diapers, and Sophie was a pro!

See Baby Tom's fresh diaper and brand new hospital hat?
After a tour of the hospital and nursery, the girls tore into their Big Sister Survivor Packs, which included lolipops, stickers, visors, and extra practice diapers.

Friday, April 11, 2008

In Sophie's Words

Funny things she has said lately...

On a windy day: "Look, Momma. Those trees are dancing! They like to shake it, shake it, shake it."

With Frank, driving behind a pick-up truck painted with a Southwestern motif of Indian mother and corn: "Oh yeah...I painted that." And then later, pretending to talk to her Dad on the phone, "Oh shuuuuure...I could paint you truck for you."

Leaving the house every morning, right after I tell Callie to be a good dog or to have a good day: "Have a GOOD DOG, Callie!" (And she grabs the dog's face to emphasize her point.)

And overheard last night..."I not having a baby sister. JUST a baby brother. That's okay."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hang Up and Drive!

The car was parked. Promise. The conversation becomes very animated at the end...then Sophie demands all the money. Future bank robber?

Scary Hairy

Sophie's hair has been getting a bit WILD lately. It's very fine hair, and it wiggles its way out of piggie tail holders quite easily. I was determined to just let it grow, thinking that the weight of her hair would eventually let her push it to the side, out of her eyes. Apparently very fine does what it wants, when it wants...

On Saturday, Sophie got frustrated with her hair because it kept covering up the rainbow face paint she procured at the Farmy Market. So we added a haircut to our list of errands...

And here's the updated look. Slightly shorter, a "dusting" of bangs, but still requiring barettes or piggie tail holders to be totally out of her face. Ain't she purty?