I think I also mentioned in my last post that I suspected Miss Jackson might come into some borrowed hand-me-downs while I was home -- indeed she did. We are now the proud temporary caretakers of a beautiful Moses basket that my aunt fixed with precious pink and white pillows and ribbons, and a box of blankets and day gowns, including some with special stories. One was made by one of my great-aunts for my cousin Susan (who is six years older than I am) to wear home from the hospital, and that will be Miss Jackson's going-home outfit as well. We will take good care of all of them while they are in our custody.
After the family festivities last Saturday, Jake and I left on Sunday morning to go to Charleston for our last pre-baby vacation. We left Miss Fiona at "camp" and took Mr. Sammy with us because he's just too fragile to board, and I think I speak for both Jacob and Little Sammy when I say that we had a great time. We ate, walked, shopped, ate, read, lounged, ate, shopped, and ate. I managed to visit with two old friends, read two books, and find some treasures for MJ too. It was perfect weather, too -- at least, it would have been perfect if I weren't pregnant, but these days, I feel like I am carrying a toaster inside my stomach all the time. I wore maternity dresses every day which was a good solution, as they were cool and comfortable as cotton nightgowns (and one long maxi-dress that I just got makes me feel like I have the same pregnancy style as Angelina Jolie or Gwen Stefani, at least until I look in the mirror or remember that I got my dress at Target).
Some moments from when we were in Charleston:
1. I bought two adorable bibs for MJ at a baby store in Mt. Pleasant, one of which had her first initial embroidered on it. The saleslady asked me what her name was as she was wrapping up my purchases. Yes, we're keeping the name a secret, but this woman was a stranger so I went ahead and told her that we're naming her _______ __________ but we will call her ________. The clerk absolutely hollered -- "That is the cutest name ever! I love it! I don't know anyone with that name! She just has to be cute with that name. Has to be." I was delighted and told her that we completely agreed. I mean, probably she is just a good salesperson, but I beamed nonetheless.
2. I'm now definitely to the point where I am enormously pregnant enough to warrant special treatment. A woman in a public restroom even offered to let me go ahead of her in the bathroom line! So nice. Mainly, though, I just got a lot of stares and smiles and some trying-really-hard-to-be-polite-and-appropriate waitstaff. For instance -- we went to dinner on Thursday night and arrived about fifteen minutes before our reservation. The hostess brightly asked, "Do you want to just wait at the bar while--" when she gazed at my stomach and her face fell. She quickly said, "I mean -- or maybe you don't -- uh." Luckily, Charleston has gone totally smoke-free so waiting at the bar wasn't a problem; I assured her I could get some club soda. Then, when I hoisted myself up on the bar stool, the bartender did the same thing -- started to offer us something, stared at my belly, and then looked sort of uncomfortable until I smiled and said, "I'll just have a club soda with cranberry juice." He looked visibly relieved -- I guess maybe he worried that I could have ordered a shot of tequila and he would have been faced with the dilemma of to serve or not to serve? Finally, after we had been seated and taken our drinks with us to the table, our waitress offered to get us refills -- and she too looked nervous as she stared at my nearly empty drink and asked, "Can I bring you another, uh, what is that, cranberry and... uh, tonic?" So funny.
3. MJ is still as active as ever (knock on wood -- I am totally paranoid that she will stop moving at some point; every single kick or punch is welcome and cherished), but in the last week or ten days I have noticed a new pattern. Instead of just being really active after I've eaten something, she is also a kicking and punching machine when I am hungry. She absolutely pummels me when I am hungry. We think this means she is (a) bossy and (b) crabby before she eats... just like me! Needless to say, Jake is somewhat disturbed by this new development. When we realized that her movements were really strong before meals, he sighed and lamented, "Just what I need... another one." Managing my own low blood sugar and hunger-induced crabbiness is hard enough on him already. Bless his heart.
Tomorrow is my first baby shower (hooray!) and then next weekend four of my best and favorite girls are coming to D.C. for a pre-MJ girls' weekend (hooray hooray!), so we have a lot to look forward to. Miss Jackson will be here in thirteen short weeks. We know her due date is getting closer because we have started seeing countdown-to-the-Olympics commercials. She is due pretty much exactly when the Olympics start, so whenever you hear "92 days until Beijing" or whatever, you can go ahead and substitute "Miss Jackson" for "Beijing." (I am deliberately ignoring the fact that most first babies are late, just as I am trying to forget how much I hate the Olympics. They disrupt the television schedule.)