Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mel Rocks!

Our awesome friend Mel was in town this weekend and did us the honor of taking some pics of us:

Proud Parent Collage

"36 weeks, 2 days"

Now we have some cool photos of us so we can look back at all of this and see photographic proof of us and my huge belly - and how excited we were to become parents. I think the pictures clearly show that. I am SO happy with how they turned out, I just had to share.

Thank you so much, Mel! :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I Said It....

(in the nicest way possible while in pain and trying to breathe) to Daniel as we drove home this evening while I was having a Braxton Hicks contraction:

"While your talking to me can be somewhat relaxing, your musical scat* is not."


By the way, these Braxton Hicks things are pretty crappy. Daily, concentrated pain with no promise of getting to have Zoe any time soon sort of sucks. This is my body "preparing", (the doc says) but it's been "preparing" this way for almost 3 weeks now! Other signs that it's almost time are presenting themselves daily, but I'm hoping we'll be able to hold out a bit longer. I definitely am excited to meet her, but I'd love to have our friend Mel (who now lives in Houston) take some pics of me and Daniel this weekend to show that we were actually together during the pregnancy (he's always taking photos of me and vice versa but we have only a couple of us together). Also, there's rumor that a baby shower is in the works for the first weekend in May… here’s hoping Zoe will hold out for at least two more weeks.

Oh, at our last ultrasound (last Friday) we were told Zoe weighs about 6 lbs 9 oz. We're told this is a great size (and it's only an estimate) but I'm just a little nervous about how much bigger she can get in the next 4 weeks. At this stage, they typically gain 1/2 a pound a week - that would put her at almost 9 pounds. Oh, baby!

* His rendition of 'All Night Long', which is just not what I want to hear while having a contraction (scat or otherwise).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Planet Earth w/ a side of Zoe talk

Last week Daniel and I decided we wanted to purchase Planet Earth (the BBC DVD). We’d missed it on television because we don’t have cable but we had heard good things about it. After seeing a fifteen-minute preview last Thursday, we decided we needed it for our DVD library. We were going to buy the DVD set because we wanted to share it with Zoe. Zoe needed us to buy this DVD. Um, yeah.

We seriously discussed this at great length. How we thought Zoe would think it was cool*. How it would be a learning experience for her. We completely justified making the purchase because we were doing it for our baby - Our baby who will not be watching Planet Earth for years to come, but whatever. We were also buying it because we wanted to watch it, so we watched the first episode last night.

The views were gorgeous. The camera work was amazing. The animals were intriguing to watch. And I didn’t cry once. Well, I almost did, but I toughened up.

- I did squeal (seriously, I did) when the mama polar bear came out of her den and her two cubs followed her. I made a “aw” face when the narrator said she’d lost half of her body weight during hibernation and that even though she was hungry, her first task was feeding her cubs.

- I almost hid my eyes during two hunts, but I forced myself to watch.

- I laughed at the funny birds – especially the one who cleaned up his surroundings and then proceeded to dance around in the space he had cleared.

- I was completely struck by the power of the Great White Shark as it jumped through the air going after a seal.

- I laughed when the mama elephant nudged her sleeping baby to get up and keep walking.

- I nearly cried when a different baby elephant got lost in a sand storm, found its mothers tracks, but followed them the wrong way.

I felt connected with these other mom’s. I understood their protectiveness and sacrifice. I wondered if they would feel sadness at the loss of their young or just move on. I admired their strength and hoped I would have a fraction of their strength as Zoe’s mom.

I wondered where the heck the female emperor penguin was the entire time the male carried its egg on top of its feet/ under its belly. I sarcastically asked if she was at the day spa or out shopping. Daniel actually sat up a little bit taller on the couch and smiled (he may have nodded too). He felt a kinship with the male emperor penguins that were taking care of their newly hatched babies. That completely melted my heart – imagining Daniel caring for Zoe.

We finished the first episode happy with our purchase. We’d saved a lot of money on it since it was 20% off, plus another 10% off because I had a shopping day and then another $29 off because we shop too much at Borders. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend buying or renting it – my quick summaries of some of the things we saw don’t even touch on how amazing I think this program is.

* We realize the chances of Zoe thinking watching "Planet Earth" with her parents is cool are very slim. In fact, we’ve noted quite a few times that our child is going to reach an age where we are the opposite of cool. She’s going to think we’re geeks (and not in the affectionate way we consider ourselves to be geeks) and we’re OK with that. If she is anything like her mom was, there will be no shortage of exasperated sighs and the rolling of the eyes. She’ll huff and puff and try to block us out with her headphones. But we’ll keep trying because that’s what parents do. Hopefully she’ll look back at everything we tried to show and teach her and be glad we did. A parent can hope, right?

In the meantime, I’m still cherishing every moment of this pregnancy – even the back and muscle aches and lack of sleep.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to getting to love and take care of this little one.

In the meantime, we’ll just laugh about what it will be like to parent a teen because what else can we do? We’re in this for the long haul. We’ll be fine. Oy.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Whole Lot of Belly (Love)

So. Things seem to be progressing rather well:

34 weeks, 4 days Collage


There is certainly no shortage of belly or love in our house. This has been an amazing experience. Every day I am in awe of what is happening... and just how hard this chicky can kick!

34 weeks 4 days


Jocelyn was right: "Oh, Baby!"

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Lovely Jen Interviews Me

When Jen posted her last blog offering to interview fellow bloggers, I jumped at the chance. I thought - Cool. Easy blog post. I won't even have to think hard about this. I was ready to share silly things, but Jen got down to business. Jen asked questions I didn't think she would. Jen made me think. Oh, Jen. It was fun. Thanks.

OK, lovely Keely. Here are your five questions:

1. If the government suddenly enacted a one-dog-per-household policy, which dog would you keep and why? (No one said these questions would be fair!)

Yikes. My first instinct is to say Daniel and I would put in for a transfer with his company. Canada (along with other countries) is an option than I’m willing to use if it lets me keep both of my dog children.

If giving one up was unavoidable, I think we’d give Max to my parents. Out of their two “grandchildren”, I’m pretty sure Max is their favorite. They actually have held off from getting another dog just in case we find we can’t handle both dogs and the baby and need to give them Max (they didn’t offer to take Bailey). He’s laid back and relaxed and really, as much as we love him, we know that his main needs in life are food and someone who gives him food frequently. He adores my dad - must be the larger food portions and extra snacks.

In general, Max is more adaptable and low maintenance than Bailey. It takes a lot of patience to deal with her on a daily basis. She’s hyper and neurotic. She gets separation anxiety. She’s a handful, but she’s ours and we know better than anyone how to deal with her and keep her happy. Honestly, I wouldn’t ask anyone to take her knowing how hard she can be to deal with. Giving Max to my parents would still be keeping him in the family and seeing him frequently.

2. What aspect of childbirth are you least looking forward to?

Uncertainty. There’s not a set list of things that I will definitely go through and that is very scary to me. I really just don’t know what to expect despite the internet, books, doctors, friends and family at my disposal with all their information and stories. Every woman is different; there are no guarantees.

This is hard for me since I have strong ideas about how I’d like things to go during labor and delivery. I want her to come naturally rather than be induced. I want to avoid a C-section unless it is absolutely needed (and they are more likely to with inducement). I want to attempt to do the whole process sans pain meds and epidurals. It’s not because I want to be superwoman. I will SO take meds and/or an epidural if I feel the need – I’m just not going into it demanding them. I know this might sound crazy to some of you, but that’s how I feel about that.

If I could write the “script” for this “production”, I would. I’d do my own “stunts”, but on my terms. I’d be in control. When it comes down to it, I think I’m least looking forward to having to give up control and rely on other people to bring Zoe into the world. Oh, and the pooping thing. I know what everyone says and they’re probably right, but I’m not looking forward to pooping in front of everyone. Seriously.

3. Name something Daniel does that drives you crazy (and not the good kind of crazy, like annoying crazy).

Ha. This is a hard one because I feel like I really lucked out with Daniel. I don’t usually let little things bug me, especially when I think he’s pretty much amazing. A year ago my answer would have been that he never turned his dirty socks right side out and I hated sticking my hand in his sweaty socks before I could start the laundry. I eventually told him how nice it would be for me to not have to do this and soon after I noticed I almost never have to deal with that task anymore. It’s awesome. I did not hesitate to tell him that this change was a major turn on for me and it seems that has been incentive for him to continue turning out his socks.

Now, if I can only get him to put new toilet paper ON THE ROLL when he finishes off the old. He gets the new roll out of the drawer and places it inches from where it belongs, but leaves the final step for me. Why? I don’t know. It’s something I’ve learned to just laugh at.

4. What do you like best about Bakersfield (if anything - there must be something good there!)?

There are a lot of things I just really don’t like about Bakersfield, but I am so glad I made the decision to move here five years ago. The best things about Bakersfield are: the theatre community, and the friends I’ve made here. Without Bakersfield and getting involved with theatre, I never would have met and married Daniel and I never would have made the friends who will be hard to leave behind someday. We don’t know what will happen in the next few years with our family, but we do know that Bakersfield is not where we want to stay. It will be hard to be away from the two things that have really made this city a home for us.

5. Name something only your dogs know about you - not even Daniel knows this about you.
Um. I have no idea. I think this has got to be the hardest question I’ve been asked in a while. Errr. OK. The funny thing is, I just read this question out loud to Daniel hoping he could help me figure out something. Truth is, I don’t do anything strange or unusual that I can only do around the dogs. I pretty much do what I want, whomever is around – especially Daniel. Now I feel sort of boring, but it’s the truth.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Ever since Daniel and I first started talking about wanting to start a family, our family and friends have drilled it into our heads delicately told us that our lives would change the moment we brought our baby home. This excited us. We liked our lives just fine the way they were, but we were happy to get to add an extension of us into the mix. We’re looking forward to everything that expanding our family will bring. Ok, maybe not so much with the late night feedings, lack of sleep, lots of dirty diapers, etc. but we think all of those things are worth what we’re getting.

That said we have taken all of the advice people have given us into advisement. We have welcomed their input and as we see fit, we’ll use what we want and disregard the rest.* Being a parent is being a parent. We expect to make mistakes. We expect that we’ll make some decisions and then go back and say “Oh, no. We’re not doing it this way again.” That’s life. It’s actually one of the parts I like best about it. The learning. The evolving.

A big thing other parents have emphasized is that we get out and do the things we want to do now. OK. Done. We’re doing that. Sometimes what we want is to just stay in our little house and just relax. Sometimes a people strike is in order. Sometimes we get out for a nice dinner just the two of us. We’ve always been crazy like that. Wild party animals is what we are! I know, we’d better settle down before Zoe gets here.

But, kidding aside: we know we won’t be able to get out alone as much as we do now. We’ll have to schedule seeing plays and movies further in advance and rely on the kindness of family and friends to let us out for say... an hour of adult time. We’ll have to bite the bullet and stay home more often. No more late night partying at Riley’s (I kid, I kid).

So really, the whole point of this is: Daniel finally gave in and I have joined the masses and become Netflix members. I’ve put tons of movies into our queue and we got our first three today. I figured we should get used to a mellower lifestyle now, so we don’t go through withdrawals.

*That right there was actually a piece of advice that a complete stranger sales clerk told us not that long ago without us soliciting any advice at all – but that’s a common way advice is doled out.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Journey

I knew pretty early on that I wanted to be a mom someday. Sure, there were the outside influences: television, movies, baby dolls, my own mom and my aunts. As a little girl, I loved the idea of being in charge of a person. Getting to dress them and tell them what to do; this sounded fabulous to me. But I grew bored with my baby dolls and it wasn’t enough to “help” take care of my baby cousins or friends babies. I wanted a baby of my own and since I couldn’t have one, I put in a request with my parents.

Now, my parents had had a hard time conceiving me. They didn’t think they would be able to have a child and when I was conceived there was doubt about how healthy my mom and I were/ would be. As it turns out, everything turned out well but my parents would not be having more children. They couldn’t just give me a baby sister or brother on demand.

When they explained this to me (I think I was eight) I had the perfect solution: Adopt a baby! They told me they didn’t think that was such a good idea at that point and I remember pleading with them that I needed a little sister or brother. When they continued to say no, I remember offering a compromise. I wanted them to adopt a baby in their names, but the baby would be mine. I would raise it as my own and let them get the credit. I thought it was the perfect plan. They did not. I was disappointed, but I dropped this whim fairly quickly and I think I started plotting for another dog instead. If you can’t have a baby, a puppy is almost as good. Oh, eight year olds.

Years passed. I got married when I was nineteen (just a couple months before my 20th birthday) and baby talk seemed to surround me from his family. People I worked with or went to school with assumed I must have a baby or be pregnant since I was so young and married. Deep down, I knew I was in no place to be having a child. I was na├»ve. I had too many things to learn still. I had married someone I didn’t trust, who scared me. I was in that marriage for nearly six years and I had accepted that I wouldn’t get to/shouldn't be a mom. I couldn’t imagine bringing a child into the life I was dealing with. I wouldn’t subject anyone to that willingly.

I met Daniel almost a year after I’d left. Things quickly progressed from “friends” to more and after a few short months, I began to see him as someone I could live with for the rest of my life. He had quickly become my best friend, my partner, someone I could see myself marrying. I knew that if I did ever get to be a mom, he was the one I wanted to do it with. He made me not want to be alone anymore.

So, we moved in together. We got a dog child (Bailey). We grew together. We discussed having children. We discussed marriage. We discussed not having children. We discussed marriage some more. After almost two years together, we stopped discussing and started planning a wedding. We were married 6 months later and I wasn’t entirely sure if we’d be having kids or not – it didn’t matter to me as much anymore. Not because I didn’t love children and want one of my own. Not because the idea of us having a child together didn’t make me want to squeal with excitement. I just knew that committing to Daniel was one of the best things that would ever happen to me. I knew that having him as a life partner was going to be this amazing adventure and that if we chose to have kids, that would be icing on the cake. I had seen both sides. I’d been married to a man who frightened me – who I knew would be a horrible father. Now I was with someone who I knew would be an extraordinary father if we decided together it was what we wanted. If we decided it wasn’t right for us, we still came out ahead and happy. Win/win situation.

Three months later, (September) we got another dog child (Max).

One month after that (October) we were discussing starting a family.

One month later, (November) we were trying.

Six months later, (May) we were being referred to a specialist in Thousand Oaks because my body was working against us. I wasn’t ovulating. I wasn’t having a period. I was insulin resistant and one of my tubes looked weird.

We were both tested for infertility. The docs found that I just needed a little help. I needed procedures done to flush out my tubes. I needed to give a lot of blood for testing. I needed to take three different kinds of pills every single day and have medication injected into my tummy when the doc said so. I needed to have tons of ultrasounds and exams done to check my progress. From June to almost the end of September, we made dozens of trips from Bakersfield to Thousand Oaks as part of our journey in becoming parents.

On September 19th, I took a home test (very early in the morning) and afterwards rushed into our bedroom to tell a sleeping Daniel he was going to be a dad. We laughed and cried a little and then he fell back asleep so he could be somewhat rested for work and rehearsals that night. I stayed up beaming. I couldn’t sleep. I took two more at home tests that day and one blood test at a local lab. I felt like I needed someone to pinch me so that I would know this was all real. I couldn’t think about anything except being pregnant and how our life was changing. It was an amazing day.

Twenty days later, we were back in Thousand Oaks for an ultrasound to see Zocon’s heartbeat. I was a nervous wreck waiting for the heartbeat to come in focus and when it did, I squeezed Daniel’s hand tight and started crying. It was strong and real. I really was pregnant.

We were back ten days later to check Zocon’s and my progress and then ten days after that, we were back again for our last appointment at the fertility clinic. We were told that my body had accepted the pregnancy and they fully expected everything to go well. I was released from their care and we made an appointment with a local OB/GYN.

It’s been almost 24 weeks since then and it has been an adventure. Morning sickness. Exhaustion. Crazy hormones. I don’t think there has been a single time in the past 34 weeks where I have not checked for blood just in case the docs were wrong. This pregnancy is very real and Zoe’s arrival impending, but I am always on alert for it to be taken away from us. It took weeks for me to not lie awake worrying that my body might reject the baby because it didn’t want to be pregnant in the first place. Now, I lay awake because of her kicking and my need to pee constantly. But, I’m not complaining. I appreciate every single feeling and emotion: even the crying, nausea, exhaustion, crankiness, Braxton Hicks and anxiety. I am very excited to see this little one for the first time, to see her grow and to help teach her. Despite what people may assume, I’m not in a rush to “have her out”. I like her where she is, safe and happy until she’s ready, until we're both ready.

It’s been almost a year since we first got referred to the infertility clinic. I was sure that they wouldn’t be able to help us. I remember the drive home from our first appointment and feeling hope, but still being so angry with my body because it wasn’t working right. I felt guilty that I was putting Daniel through this. I was frustrated that we couldn’t just make a baby when we decided we wanted to. It didn’t seem fair. And then I realized that even this, was a blessing. My body couldn’t get pregnant on it’s own and it saved me from possibly having a child with the wrong person. Daniel and I waited until we were ready to have a family and by the time we’d made that decision, we’d already been through tons of medical problems together. This time, it wasn’t a problem - it was an obstacle. This was easier than what we'd dealt with in the past. Instead of worrying about my pain, we were getting help extending our family. We got through it like we always had, with a sense of humor and hoping for the best. Even though it was a tough journey, and it will get tougher in a matter of weeks… I wouldn’t change a thing about how it has unfolded.


“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end” - Ursula K. LeGuin

Sunday, April 08, 2007

This Year's Sofa Better Last

As discussed previously, the sectional has been gone for over a month and the new sofa and loveseat were delivered. We got a fabulous deal and good financing on this leather set.

New look

It will get scratched, but the dogs nails shouldn't poke holes in it. While it is completely chewable, the digging shouldn't be an issue. We, of course got the warranty that covers bodily fluids and punctures. Our sales person told us that if something cuts the leather for some reason, it is fairly easy to replace (the sectional was NOT easily repairable) and most likely covered under the warranty.

Last year I rallied for the red sectional because I love red (and hated the old sleeper sofa). Daniel agreed so we made changes.

Living Room

This year, Daniel rallied for the leather. He likes the look of it and was convinced that it would be more durable. I think he's right, but since I took some convincing and a little bit of time to warm to the idea of leather he knows he's in for some major teasing if this stuff gets ruined. Because I definitely got teased about my red chenile sectional.

We finally caved and got an inexpensive end table since we have the sofa/loveseat combo. I wanted something besides a tv tray to go in between for a lamp and whatnot. We're holding on to the old coffee table for a while, but that will be the next thing to go. Seriously. Three and a half years ago I spotted our coffee table leaning against a dumpster in our old apartment complex and asked Daniel and my friend Alison to load it into our Highlander. They both thought I was kidding, but I wasn't. I was channeling my dad and requested firmly that they stop the car and load it up. Afterall, we didn't have a coffee table and this one seemed perfectly fine - plus, it was FREE! After 3 and a half years I think it's time to upgrade to something more sturdy and in better condition, but we're in no rush.

What we did rush to do was switch the art in our bedroom and living room and build upon the blue in the print now hanging above our mantle. We're doing away with the red altogether and replacing red accents with blue. I figure I can't have red everywhere and it is still very prominent in our bedroom and kitchen... and hallway. Daniel is a big fan of blue. Anywho. We cleared the dozen framed photos off the mantle and decided to go for a more minimalist look. Eventually, I want to frame some of my photography and hang it on the wall above. Really, we just want to make dusting easier and I'm tired of the cluttered look. We also got a REALLY good deal on new curtains ($16 a panel at Pier One!).

New look

So yeah. It's been a little over a month with the new look and I'm loving it. I worked at Bombay Co. and then Pier One for years and I missed the decorating. Finding stuff for Zoe's room has been so much fun, and now the living room... I'm sort of missing having a decorating project! But I have other stuff to keep me busy. Have I mentioned: Tick Tock?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tone (non-pregnancy related)

Yesterday afternoon I realized that I sometimes speak to Bailey and Max differently:

"You're a good girl! Yes, you are! You are!" I said this to Bailey earlier in the morning. I had a huge smile on my face that seemed to match hers, only my tongue wasn't hanging out and I can't get my smile quite as wide as say.... an anaconda. Thank goodness. My voice was full of praise and excitement.

"You're a good boy! Yes, you are! You are." These same words were used just before I left the house to run a couple errands and head off to meet Daniel for my 32-week check-up. I was smiling in a hopeful way as Max stared at me indignantly. A round monkey face staring at me, wondering why I was not offering up the treats instead of wasting his time with idol chit chat. My voice was full of hope that he really would be a good boy. He would not bring stuff in from outside. He would not find something in the house to destroy. He would not hurt the couch. I was trying to convince our pug that he was, in fact, a good boy despite his sometimes bad behavior.

I don't love one more than the other, even though I do sometimes feel a stronger bond to Bailey. She would sit or lay by me when I was at my worst dealing with the RSD and all the treatment. She never left my side. I'm pretty sure she was the first to know that Zoe was on the way and she stands guard of my belly quite often. We had our share of drama with her. Shoes were eaten. Carpets ripped at and pulled up. She peed everywhere in the apartment we had the first 10 months of her life. She was a handful, certainly... but she was ours and we worked with her and she grew up. Don't get me wrong, she's completely neurotic and demands that we play with her and give her attention when she wants it. She won't let us pet her unless she feels like it. She can be a bitch, frequently. But generally speaking, we know she's going to be well behaved when we are gone and not destroy anything except one of her toys or a bone.

Max is a different kind of dog. He's lazy. He loves to cuddle. He's motivated most by sleep and food. He does not goof around like Bailey does; he's more serious - thoughtful. He has two speeds: slow and slower... unless food is involved. Food (or the promise of) makes him run, jump and spin in circles. Adding Max to our family has been an adventure and a joy. From him, we get love and attention. He lets us baby him; cradle him in our arms. He behaves more like a dog than his sister does and for this we are grateful. I'm not so sure we could handle two Bailey's. Max is still learning and growing. He'll be two years old this June and we're hoping all his wild (OK, not THAT wild), puppy behavior is just about out of his system. He seems to be adjusting quite well to the leather sofa and loveseat and has become very attached to the dog bed we got for the munchkins to share. He's sort of taken the thing over like it's his little throne. If only he could get us to feed him in there while he lounged.

They’re good dogs. They are! I wouldn’t exchange them for anything.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

32 Week Check-up

I just got home from our 32* week check-up with Dr Y. Everything is moving along at the normal pace. Zoe was kicking and fluttering about. Her heartbeat sounded normal and was the right speed. I measured (fundal height) right in line with where I should at this point in the pregnancy, so Doc expects she's between 3.5 and 4 pounds. Right on target... at this point we're not having an Amazon baby. Yay us.

Yay me, too. Since my last appointment two weeks ago, I have lost another pound. Basically that means that even with the weight of Zoe, the placenta, and all the extra blood I'm producing - I've only gained one pound since getting pregnant. I'm pretty happy with that. Keep in mind; my lack of weight gain is only safe because I was no skinny minnie prior to Zoe being conceived. I had plenty of meat on my bones already. Also, I've maintained a pretty healthy diet. I'm definitely not starving myself (I eat three meals and three snacks per day at minimum) and me and Zoe are getting all the nutrition and vitamins we need to stay healthy. Daniel has been a great partner and supporter of healthier eating habits and he's my walking partner. We do nightly laps around Borders, Barnes & Noble, Target, etc. I feel pretty darn good despite my roundness, (like a beach ball!) backaches and Braxton Hicks. So despite my nervousness and anxiety over the impending labor and delivery, I really am enjoying being pregnant.

Speaking of labor and delivery: Dr. Y says that at this point, he doesn't plan on inducing prior to 38 weeks (May 11) and we could potentially wait until 39 weeks (May 18). This could change if Zoe has a sudden growth spurt and decides to gain more weekly. The idea is for me to not have to deliver a 10-pound (or more) baby. Of course, there is always the chance that Zoe could decide we're (she's) ready prior to me being induced and as long as it's not too early I'm in favor of that plan. If given the choice, I'd rather let things happen naturally. I'm not in a big rush to have her out. Really, whatever happens... we won't have a whole lot of notice on when she'll be here, but we'll keep you posted.

Tick Tock!

*32 weeks, 5 days. Yep. I count every single day... whatever gets us closer to the finish line.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Getting Ready

I like to get things done early. I like to be prepared. It's in my nature and I get anxious if I have not planned something out or prepared for an event. If I don't plan or get the prep work done well in advance, I tend to run around freaking out and trying to do everything at once. Daniel helps and he tries to tell me we have plenty of time, but it doesn't stop me from trying to get everything done all at once. It's just one of my quirks.

So the crib was purchased and built when I was 20 weeks pregnant. By the time we had reached 22 weeks, we had the bedding, glider and changing table all set up. We had the butterflies too, but we put hanging those up off because it just didn't sound like a fun job.

In the past month, my motto has been "Tick, Tock." When I get really stressed about the lack of time we have until Zoe gets here, I announce it to Daniel. "Tick, tock, honey. Tick, Tock!" This makes him laugh, but he says he's not laughing at me. He says he's laughing with me, but I'm not laughing. He says I'm funny, but I'm not trying to be funny. I am being very, very serious in an apparently comical way.

We took our Baby Care Basics class (where they teach you how to bathe, diaper and hold your baby, etc) when I was 28 weeks pregnant. This seemed like a perfectly good time to take the class and it fit in our schedule since we knew we'd be taking a lot of classes over the coming months. That class was beneficial, but I could not get over some of the mom's-to-be gossiping in the bathroom during the break. While I was in my stall, two women went back and forth sizing up the other mother's bellies. They scoffed at the women who weren't due until April taking the class and for a split second I felt dumb because I wasn't due until the end of May. And then I told myself not to stress about what these other women were saying. I was doing what made me comfortable. We were preparing early. We weren't going to do everything last minute because that makes me anxious and stressed. Oh, and I made a mental note to not be as bitchy and know-it-all as they were, ever.

So, now we're in the middle of week 32. "Tick, Tock!"

We've gotten more stuff done:

The clothes our friends gave us are organized by month and the 0-3 month stuff is hung neatly in the closet on cute little green hangers.

We've purchased a few onesies and some other clothing items here and there and they are also hanging up. I still need to get some of that baby laundry soap and wash the new stuff.

We finally purchased a waterproof mattress pad for the crib, this means we need to unmake the bed (we made it just so we could see it) and wash everything in the special soap.

The Co-Sleeper has been shipped out and should arrive by the end of the week. We don't plan on her sleeping with us all the time, but we wanted it so that we could have her near by and we could adjust to waking up constantly. We're hoping she'll be in her crib earlier rather than later and then we'll use the Co-Sleeper as a playpen and travel crib.

We purchased a baby gate to separate the living room from the rest of the house. No, we aren't worried about Zoe getting into things just yet. We are worried about our two dog children who like to make mad dashes outside whenever anyone comes to our door. We wanted the gate as a means to separate them from Zoe when need be. We thought it would be better to put the gate up now and get them used to it rather than introduce them to a new baby and a gate all in the same day. Our dogs are sensitive and spoiled... and I figured they might associate the change in their freedom with Zoe's arrival. Duh. I can hear a chorus of “duh's” as I type this. I know. Their lives are about to change and that's just the way it is, but I'd like to keep them somewhat happy. Anyway. I'M happy. The gate has a step lever that opens it in either direction so I don't have to maneuver my rounded self over it. I love it.

We started making a list of the things we want to bring to the hospital last night. It's typed up and just waiting for me to print it up so I can use it as a checklist when I pack everything up.

We bought a nightgown for me to wear after Zoe is born, but it fit funky so we're returning it. Last night I ordered two different styles online. I hope they work. The idea of wearing a terrycloth zip up nightgown gives me the chills. And so do hospital gowns. Yuck.

I searched online for about a half hour for some slipper socks with tread on them and found nothing. I knew I should have gotten some during the holidays when they are everywhere. Grrr.

We're going to go ahead and order the car seat we want this week. It takes about a week to arrive and we want to take it to CHP to have it installed correctly. I don’t want us to have to worry about setting it up the day before I’m to be induced and then doing it wrong.

And for now that is it. I know, we've got time and everything will come together in the end. But I'm still just a little anxious. We're going into something that seems so uncontrolled. I know millions... billions of people have been through this before us, but I've never been in labor before. I've never given birth. Despite the books, friends and family, and classes… we don’t really know what to expect. In a time where there is all this unknown, I like knowing that I can control the little things.