I love a good list. When Lily was born I got online and backed up two suitcase worth of things to take with us to the hospital. We had all kinds of birthing aids and a CD player and all sorts of other unneeded things. Now that we are on baby 4 I think I have a much better idea of what I actually need.
Here is my packing list:
I can't stand my hair in my face
His and her's tooth brushes
Shampoo and conditioner
You will get lots of pictures taken, when my Dr says its time to push I take a few minutes to add my makeup. I am not a huge makeup person but with all the picture taking I have not regretted adding some mascara before hand. Vain - maybe, but its the only time I am in the picture not taking it.
White nail polish to touch up my french pedicure
I will looking at my toes and my OCD side will freak out if my polish gets chipped
One pair of jammies
You will be bleeding and leaking all kinds of gross stuff. Nasty but true. Don't hesitate to just wear the hospital gowns and get them gross. You don't have to wash them.
Slipper and fun robe
Camera and charger
Ipad and charger
Extra Iphone charger
Going home in clothes
If you are very lucky or 17 then bring your prebaby clothes. If your not so lucky don't be sad to go home in your maternity clothes. It's not a big deal. Don't worry - your going to get your hot body back if you want to.
Baby clothes and hats (two or so for each day you plan to stay)
Two to three cute baby blankets (mostly for pictures)
Two swaddle bags
Ear plugs to rest in the too loud hospital
Pillows with fresh cases
Snacks (lots! Candy to keep Josh happy)
Nursing bra's (I just like front snap bra's, nursing bra's to be are uncomfortable)
A gift for Max and one for Lily - something for each to play with while they wait
Now that the rest of my crew will be waiting in the lobby with family they need major entertainment too. There bag has:
Candy for each
Ipod with charger
Leap Frog Tag reader with books and extra betteries
That's how I feel right now. Overwhelmingly so. My friend/mentor told me that after her loss, she held her breath until she heard her next son cry. I have had every test under the sun. My OB gave me ever thing I asked for. I have had the best high risk OB GYN in the city consult on my pregnancy at least three times. I have not had one tiny little blurb of abnormality. I have had four different ultrasound people look at this baby, several different times each. At some point you have to believe. You have to believe what they say to you. You have to just close your eyes and believe in your luck.
But I can see it around the corner of Josh's eyes and at the edges of his voice. He is terrified too. All he has managed to say out loud is, "I can't loose you. Physically or emotionally. I can't loose you." Then change subject. He is a wise soul as always. Poor guy. Last time he saw me give birth he was fairly sure he was watching me die, or at least watching me end up with an emergent hysterectomy (which would have killed me in a way and he knew it).
Lily is on edge. She keeps wanting to sit by me. She wants to take a shower with me. She wants to be near me at all times. Touching me at all times. Because she can smell the weirdness. That kid has stellar instincts for peoples emotions. She has been making me repeat what is happening on induction day. Over and over. Babies set their own schedules, so I keep reminding her that we have no real way of knowing how the day will go. Something that finally helped her calm herself was when I told her that she gets to be the first person that is not going to be in the room when he his born to hold him. That was a place of honor in her mind, so she has relaxed a bit.
This is the last time I get pregnant. I can't do this to them anymore. The risks and the fears and the uncertainty is more than my little Lily and my Josh can handle. This is it. And I have known that in my heart. Thank God I have peace with that, because it would be very difficult if I couldn't be done.
So - how about I try and just enjoy my last five days of being pregnant ever? Rest and relax. Don't make too many lists, unless they are on the DVR. Play games with the short people and spend some quality couch time. I have two more 8 hours shifts to fake it through. No problem. I just want to get started on maternity leave. I want to get all agoraphobic with this baby. I plan to leave my house as little as possible. I want to spend as much time as possible nesting on the comfy couch with this little man. The kids are going to be at school all day so we should get some good snuggle time. I don't think any baby will have more pictures taken of it than this kid.
Game time - predict what time you think he will be born and what his weight will be.
Josh put his bibs on to go out and feed the animals, but Max kept saying he wanted to come too. Josh just slipped him into his bibs and they were ready to go. Max backed out when he felt the cold, but I love seeing the way these two constantly play with each other.
We had tons of fun painting this mail box. I actually let go a little and let the kids help me paint it. It gave me an anxiety attack but it was worth it for the joy it brought them. Maybe I had to do some touch up painting but the cuteness factor was high.
It ended up being a good math and logic lesson with Lily. "If our tape is one inch wide and our stripes are each four inches wide how can we place the tape to make all the stripes the same size?" I let her play around with the tape and think about it some. She got kind of frustrated till I told her it was going to take at least two different tape set ups. Then she had it figured out.
We tried a new painting trick I had read about where you put clear paintable caulking on your tape lines, let it try, and paint right over it. This is supposed to stop the paint from bleeding through. It worked perfectly!!! Loved it.
Red - Cherry Red premixed from Kryon
Orange - this is an old sample that no longer had a sticker on it.
Yellow - Valspar Dijon
Green - Valspar Bright Parrot
Blue - Valspar Rushing Stream
Purple - Valspar Purple Royalty
I had the mailbox sitting in Josh's barn for the pat few years (long story), and I already had the red and orange paint.
Had to buy the yellow, green, blue, and purple $3 each X 4 = $12
I bought new painters tape because I have been wanting to try Frog Tape - WORTH IT!!! This stuff works amazing. $5
Clear Painters Caulk $3
TOTAL: about $20
Now I love the finished project! But Josh was concerned that rainbow mailbox may be more than rural Indiana can take. He is concerned that it may be vandalized. Lots. I fought him on it, but finally I realized that he might be right. My little rainbow mailbox might just scream a little too loudly for a baseball bat to kill it. I think that I will use it in my garden as a place to keep tools. Come spring I will spray it with a few coats of clear sealant and trial it out in the garden. Right this second it is open on the floor with dog blankets in it. Lizzie refuses to even consider sleeping in it. Smart dog - cause I think the kids might not be able to stop them selves from closing her in.
I have been on the new camera hunt. My camera savings plan has been growing in a slow but steady format. I almost don't want to talk about it because I don't want my camera to catch me cheating on it. I really love my camera, its just falling apart. But as a temporary fix I bought my camera a new friend.
I got a Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens. Here is the link to amazon if you want more detail. It does work with auto focus - I can't live without auto focus. This type of lens is a fixed lens, which means that it doesn't allow you to have any zoom. You are the zoom. This is the perfect lens for shooting pictures of a new little baby boy that needs to come out RIGHT STINKING NOW, but is coming no later than February 3rd. This kind of lens gives you a very shallow depth of field. Now what the coo-coo does that mean? Let me show you.
Here is a picture I just took for one of Josh's tools he is selling on Ebay.
(He is in a mood to start some new hobbies so he sells his old stuff to fund his new stuff. It usually happens about ever 18 months or so. But we are talking len's not Ebay.)
My new lens makes things very crisp. Notice that the black section of the tool is very sharp, but everything else starts to get fuzzy. I love this kind of focus because it makes you subconsciously focus on the only area in focus. Which with a baby or kid is usually the eyes. Sometimes a sweet little hand or foot, but usually the eyes.
Here is another example. Lily and I are working on a rainbow mailbox that we will post on soon. I was trying to get some fun pictures of it with my new lens. The camera focused on the line between the red and the orange, and everything else fades to various degrees of focus. I love this kind of look.
I can't wait to start taking baby pictures with this lens. I have been on a photography break but I am getting really close to starting back up again.
This time last year I was home on sick leave trying to dig my head out of a black hole of despair over the death of my baby.
I have a few really vivid memories that are not fading away yet.
1. The actual physical feeling of him falling out and the instinctive reaction to catch him. Gross. I wish it wasn't in my head, but it still lives there. And even with this current baby being almost born and with the fact that he is over 7 pounds already, I still have this back of my mind totally irrational on the tip of my toes ready to catch him feeling if he too happens to just fall out.
2. The morning after we got home from the hospital I woke up and for just one second thought it was all one of those sometimes horribly vivid dreams that I have. I immediately knew it was not.
3. The whole time we were in the hospital Josh and I kept saying to each other, "This sure is a lot more fun when you get to take a baby home with you." It was oddly funny to us at the time. But we also spent that time watching the first season of Dexter on DVD. Sometimes we are moderately screwed up.
I finally managed to work up the balls to go and pick up Zack's ashes. One of my dear friends had picked them up from the funeral home for me a year ago. She kept them for me and never mentioned it. She handled herself with the grace and class that she radiated from ever pore. Ironically her name is Joy. Something she brings lots of to the world. All that was left of that baby that I loved so easily was a small bag of ashes. A cheap velvet jewelry bag with a strong plastic ziplock bag inside. Maybe a fourth of a cup of ashes. My kids sat in the back watching a movie while Joy passed him over. They never knew what was going on. Now he is sitting on the top shelf of my closet.
Lily - put your father and I's ashes together. Then add Zack. Sprinkle us any where you think we would want you to. Sneak us into Disney, all four parks - you're creative, figure it out. Just don't let Zack be sprinkled somewhere alone.
I am nesting. Like a crazy person. So I give myself permission to not actually do these this winter if I end up with a baby that hates crafts.
I lost my breath when I saw this mailbox. We have an extra mailbox sitting in the barn waiting to be installed. I can't wait to make this puppy. I have been gathering my random paints and I can't wait to buy the rest in sample sizes. Oh rainbow - I love you so.
I have a bowling ball that I found in my attic. He has lots of character and I just toss him into open space in my garden. Josh tried to pick him as a small watermelon several times. But this year he wants a makeover. A cheap makeover.
I have a bag from my father inlaw of Mike's Hard Lemonade lids. I wanted to cover a post in my garden with them. But now I am kind of falling in love with something along this project line.
The chickens are getting some kind of movable coop this year. They can't be let to really free range when the garden is in full swing. They eat my watermelons and I don't want to share. I want to build them a coop that I can move every three weeks to provide them fresh grazing space but keep them out of were they are not invited. I had this super elaborate plan in my head, but this baby would prefer a quick easy A frame coop. Here is one example.
This whimsical garden sign is a must. It is one of the first things I ever found on pintrest and I have been jonsing to make it. Plus I feel it is a baby friendly project. You can start and stop it often. If it takes forever that is fine. I may have to make all the signs different color letters because my rainbow side just can't help it. At Christmas I had the kids help me come up with places that meant something to us-
Abbey Road - since Josh and I danced at our wedding to "When I'm 64"
Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, or Hogsmead
Tri-State Area - from Finn/Ferb
Tortuga Island - the pirate island in pirates of Caribbean
Emerald City and The Shire
Who Ville or Mount Crumpet - from the Grinch
Castle Rock - I am a big Stephen King person
Island of Misfit Toys - Rudolph
Radiator Springs - from Cars
Pixie Hallow - Tinkerbell
Pride Rock - Lion King
Agrabah - Alladin
Monstropolis - Monster Inc.
I love the thrifty idea of these cans into flowers - but I worry about the kid friendly part of this. Are they sharp? But the colors I could do - purrrrr.
My little Lily tried out for a part in Willie Wonka that was WAY beyond her reach. The director promised her a part as a main Oompa Loompa, with a small solo, but my Lily was determined to try out for a bigger part. This meant a full audition with a one minute song and a one minute monologue done in front a casting group. Mom's not even allowed in the room. I was impressed with her bravery. Very impressed, but I warned her that she wasn't even really old enough to do the audition. I got a special exception from the director to even let her try out. Age cut off was nine and she is only 8. We practiced ever night for three weeks. She got it so fast but I still made her go over it many times. Many times. I wanted her perfectly prepared, so it wouldn't shake her confidence for the future. I sent in that sweet little baby to do her audition. She came out telling me she nailed it. But I was still concerned that she was just too young. I know I am her mother, but that kid really does have some talent as a musician/singer and as an actor. She practised her parts like a pro, but so much of all this is politics and all that kind of silliness. When the emailed casting list came in two days later I was thinking of ways to tell her the results.
Well - SHE GOT THE PART SHE WANTED!!!! Violet Beurgaurd. She freaked out. I actually had to protect my baby belly from her she was so crazy happy she just about tackled me. I was so proud of her for trying, but I am so happy for her that she got what she wanted. Being her mom is the coolest.
I am a wife, a mom, a NICU nurse (who fakes it in the ER), a city mouse learning to be a country mouse, a smart mouth, an over emotional nut jar, a normalish neo-homesteader, and a converted spoiled brat.