Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shake Rattle and Roll! v.2.0

Oh my god, we just had one hell of an earthquake. 5.6 on the richter scale, and over 10 seconds long. It was centered about 20 miles from us, but we never would have known that while it was rumbling through our apartment building. This one was much bigger than the last one we felt -- the one that woke us up in the middle of the night. This one rolled through the building shaking everything. Henry and I were just glued to the couch, totally not sure what to do. I kept thinking it was over and then we'd be hit by another wave. It really was a scary one, and I was sure it was The Big One. Once it was over we went to search out the cats, who were both cowering under the bed. I was so glad that Riley had come home last night, and wasn't still out. He'd never have made it home after that! Things seem to have calmed down now, but holy cow, that shook us up (har har).

I was really happy to go to acupuncture tonight. My practitioner is finally back from her wedding and honeymoon, and I was so glad to see her. Her sub had been ok, but not great, and after my treatment tonight I felt better than I've felt in weeks. She's really been an incredible gift to me throughout this pregnancy, and I shudder to think what it would have been like without her help. We talked a lot tonight about induction, and although we did not take any steps to induce tonight, she agreed that as soon as I am ready, she'll start working the induction points. So exciting that she can do that. She thinks the baby will be early based on my pulses. We'll see if she's right! So far she's been right about everything.

Henry has started to put the crib together, and I stopped by IKEA tonight to pick up a few storage items. They have some really cute things there for baby rooms, so I also picked up a couple of mobiles and a rattle that looks like a big, blue fish. I'm really enjoying the nesting -- it is fun, and I feel all cozy when I'm doing things like folding teeny weeny socks and stashing them away, knowing that in a matter of weeks we'll be stretching them over the toes of our very own little person.

Monday, October 29, 2007


He's home! That was quite an adventure he had... He seems totally fine, aside from the fact that our normally orange buddy is now more gray than anything, with some big black spots. Actually, it looks a little as though he was sleeping on a barbeque grill.

We are so glad to see him, but he is soooo grounded.

Riley, Come Home!

Man, the Fuzzy Pumpkin has gone missing. We are pretty used to him spending the night outside. Usually he wakes us up at around 5:30 to be let in by howling beneath our bedroom windows. But today, he didn't! I came home to check for him at lunch, and no Riley. When I got home this evening, no Riley. Henry had left some food out for him when we left this morning, but it doesn't look like it has been touched. I feel very sad and worried, and I'm hoping hoping hoping that he is just on an extended walkabout and will be back soon. Of course, it is now the time of day that he likes to go out to begin with, so now I'm worried we won't be seeing anything of him until at least tomorrow morning.

Please, if you are reading along, think some good thought for the Pumpkin, and help send him home. We miss him so much already!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Posting From a More Sane Hour...

Fall colors have made it to the Bay Area and they are not too shabby! (ok so we have nothing on Western Massachusetts, but still... not so bad). My parents' maple tree has started to really light up in a bright red color, and it is so pretty right now.
My mom and I drove out to Sacramento today to visit my Great Aunt Roxie (maternal Grandmother's sister). We had a fun time shopping for the baby and having lunch on the town. Generally when we visit Aunt Roxie it is nearly impossible to get her to agree to let us take her to lunch -- she always wants to cook -- but today she relented, and it was really nice.
When I got home I worked some more on the baby space -- we are really amassing a lot of stuff right now, and I am a bit lost as to how to organize it all so that it will all be useful to us, won't go to waste, and will be easy to work into some kind of routine (whatever that is going to be!!). We'll see.


About a year ago Henry and I went to see a movie -- Night at the Museum -- that arguably was made for kids more than adults. The only kid at the showing was probably 8 or 9 years old, and wow, was he bored/tired/over it... He kept fussing, and making exclamations of exhaustedness, culminating in bursting out with "but I'm SO TIRED and and I NEEEED to SLEEEEEP!!!!" It was so funny (much funnier than the movie), and ever since then Henry and I have made the phrase our own... And that's how I'm feeling right now.

It is 3:24 a.m. I woke up wide awake at 12:56 and here I am, watching the same stupid dog show I've already seen probably eight times during various bouts of insomnia throughout the pregnancy. And my lack of sleep is bringing out my inner snark, and I am sitting here watching dogs run around in circles, and wondering if there is a requirement for female doghandlers to wear ill fitting polyester suits and have dumpy hair? And oh please don't let me get started on the shoes! (see, I told you, the snark is coming out).

I guess it has been a while since posting. Things have been pretty busy with more baby prep and just general life moving along around here. About a week ago we had a really good appointment with the midwife who checked my cervix and said it is starting to thin out already, and it looks like progress is already being made. Her exact words were "looks like your baby is looking for a way out!" She wouldn't promise that I wouldn't carry the baby all the way to 40 weeks, but she also wouldn't promise a slightly early baby. She agreed it would be OK to work with my acupuncturist to bring on labor, she also said that in two weeks she'd be willing to strip my membranes, which is a technique that if done right can bring on labor. I've finally started to have braxton hicks contractions that actually hurt, and lots or cramping sensations as well, so I think my body is getting ready.

While it is exciting to think about, I am trying not to get my hopes up too much about the baby coming early. Because, if it doesn't, I'll wind up way disappointed. Not only am I really sick of being pregnant, I have crossed a line from being merely curious to meet the baby to really, really wanting to see it, hold it, talk to it, squeeze it, get to know it, and begin the lifelong unfolding.

What I really can't get my head around tonight is that after waiting for it for months and months, this baby really is around the corner. November is only a few days away! Only three and a half weeks to go to the due date! How did that happen? I've only got two more weeks of work yet, and I never thought that deadline would come. Now it is looming nearer every second. On the home front, Henry put together a changing table last weekend and plans to put the crib together this weekend. We've basically moved all the furniture we need to move, and as a result, the apartment is basically ready. I've got a couple of projects in the works -- for instance I still haven't finished that quilt or the teeny weeny sweater, and now I've cooked up ideas for a couple more crafty projects I'd like to whip up before the baby comes. Is this the beginning of nesting?

Basically, I think we are pretty much prepared. I've done all the reading I plan to do on natural labor, and am feeling largely ready for that challenge. We meet with our doula this weekend to talk about our plans. We've taken our childbirth prep class and new born care class. We've got a couple more classes to take, and a few other logistics to arrange, but basically we are ready around here. (ok, talk to me again tomorrow when I am reeling from sleep deprivation -- I may feel differently then!).

Did I mention anywhere in here yet that I am actually really looking forward to going into labor? And that I am actually really looking forward to the experience of labor and delivery? When I tell this to people they think I am nuts, but I'm dead serious -- I think it is going to be absolutely amazing and mind blowing and I can't wait to experience it. I'm trying not to get too attached to any one "plan" in particular, other than healthy baby and mama when it is all over, but I have to admit, I will be pretty disappointed in the end if this kiddo can't be born vaginally. All signs point to 'yes', though -- the head seems to still be down, and every day I feel sharp pains way down deep in my body, that have been explained to me as being the baby's head butting up against the cervix. And it has found a new use for its feet -- swiping them across my torso, just under my boobs, like windshield wipers.

Monday, October 15, 2007

34 Weeks in the Woods

34 Weeks in the Woods, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Henry took this picture when we were in the aspen groves along the June Lake Loop. It was hecka cold out there!

Yosemite in October

Henry and I spent the weekend in and around Yosemite. It was our last chance to get away before the kiddo arrives, and it was stunning. We drove up Friday night on the tail end of a rainstorm that had swept across California. Things were wet, but it wasn't actually raining when we got there, and the forecast was for sun for the rest of the weekend. The moisture in the air gave rise to a beautiful misty morning. A steamy fog was emitting from nearly every surface in the Valley on Saturday morning. We were glad to have gotten up and out early enough to see it, because it was really something else.

When we drove in we found that Tioga Pass was closed, which was disappointing because we had been looking forward to dropping into Mono Basin to prowl around the June Lake Loop, where we were pretty sure we'd find aspen trees in full fall glory. To our happiness the road was opened around 11, so we drove on up over Olmstead point, through Touolumne, and down the other side. After a quick lunch at the Whoa Nelly Deli (a.k.a. the Gourmet Gas Station), we went around the June Lake Loop, where the trees really were in full, blazing color. Some stands of trees were so radiant they were casting a golden light on everything in their presence. It was beautiful.

With the afternoon closing in on evening, we started our way back to the Valley. We were so incredibly lucky to get to Olmstead Point right at sunset. This is a spot with an incredible view of the entire Valley, with Half Dome smack in the center of it all. On Saturday night the Valley was filled with fog, like a bowl of soup, with Half Dome rising from the center. Alpen glow cast a pinkish light on the surrounding rock faces. We had never seen anything like it. Everyone up there was blown away by the sight.

On Sunday we had brunch at the Awahnee (swanky! fun!), and spent several hours roaming through the woods behind the hotel, meandering along the river bank, and enjoying the trees. The dogwoods were all a gorgeous shades of red and green, and the maples were all on their way to yellow. Walking under these trees was like walking in a kaleidoscope or stained glass window. Very lovely and breathtaking. After our hike we scored a couch in the Great Hall at the Awahnee and Henry wrote thank you notes for our shower in NY, while I worked on the tiny orange baby sweater. We hatched plans for coming back in the spring with the kiddo in tow, and schemed about all the fun we have yet to experience.

It was a terrific weekend.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Teeney Weeney Sweater

Not sure why I am starting this, seeing as I still haven't finished the quilt and goodness knows there are about 2,000 other projects I should be working on or thinking about (such as getting the car seat installed!), but I've decided to try my hand at knitting again and have started working on a tiny orange sweater. Hopefully I'll do a halfway decent job of it! I really want to get to the secondpart of the project, which is to make a matching hat with antennae. Too cute!

Ordinary Inspiration

I've been finding the weather really inspiring lately. We've had rain and dramatic skies and I've been dragging my camera around to get pictures when I see something beautiful. Back in January I started a flickr set called Everyday Inspiration to which I had intended to add a photo a day. That didn't last very long, but I think I should start using it again, because the world is a beautiful place, and sometimes we move through it too quickly.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

October -- 33 Weeks

Well, I just keep getting bigger and bigger.... I keep feeling like there is no way I can get any bigger, but we've still got several weeks to go, so I guess I still have to get bigger! Henry took this picture last Thursday afternoon. We each played some hooky that day to help with the wedding rehearsal for our friends Beth and Chris, who got married the following Saturday. After the rehearsal, which was at a winery up on Skyline in San Mateo County, we had some time to kill before the rehearsal dinner, so Henry and I popped down the other side of the hill to spend a little time at San Gregorio Beach. We got there at about 5:30 and the light was really something else. There were tons of birds flying about, and the waves were just crashing. It was gorgeous.

We had enough time to take in the ocean and snap a few quick pictures, but then we had to turn around and get back to Menlo Park for the rehearsal dinner.

But not before Henry tried to get around the mucky lagoon and get to the actual beach. I waited with some driftwood.

It was a terrific wedding. I can't believe I didn't take any pictures, though! Henry was acting as the videographer, and I actually got to be the officiant and actually marry my friends together. Whenever anyone asks me to do this, it is such an honor and a pleasure, and this was no exception. I've known Beth for several years now, and I just adore her. So to get to take a role like this in her wedding was really something special for me. And I guess I did a good job, because several guests thought I was a hired gun! There was much laughing when they found out that what I really do is get people divorced all day... Which of course got me thinking...

The next day, Sunday, we went down to the South Bay again (three times in one week is a lot for me! thankfully we've got a Prius) for the wedding brunch, which was also fun. Chris' groomscake was an elaborate reproduction of a BNSF locomotive in chocolate cake and fondant. And it had been saved for the brunch. So of course we had to go have a slice... After the brunch Beth and Chris were off to New Zealand for their honeymoon. We're all assuming they made it there in one piece because they promised we wouldn't be hearing anything from them until they get back home at the end of October.

And then it was back to work on Monday. Henry and I are both feeling a lot of pressure and stress at work, and are both looking forward to our leaves coming up. It is probably counter productive, but we are each counting the days until our leaves begin. There is still so much that needs to be done around here, but I just have to trust that this baby will stay put long enough for us to get all that stuff done before it comes roaring out. It would also be easier to fathom being ready if I could JUST FEEL OK PHYSICALLY for more than 10 minutes at a time. But at this point I don't think that is going to happen. Too bad, so sad... Today I was feeling not so good in a new way -- a little crampy, with some aching in my low back, but I didn't really feel any contracting, so I decided not to worry about it. If I'm still feeling that tomorrow, I guess I'll have to call Kaiser, of course they'll just want to drag me in and hook me up to the monitors. Now watch, I'll call them, go in for monitoring, and find out I'm exhibiting signs of preterm labor. I hope not, but that might get my leave started sooner than we've planned. hmmm....