Monday, June 30, 2008

Miss Jackson Has a New Ride

MJ's stroller and car seat arrived today, and I am just about beside myself with excitement. I was worried that the car seat was a different color than I wanted but thankfully that was not the case. It's just as adorable as I remembered and is, in fact, the right color. (What color, you ask? Well, her stroller and its bassinet attachment are orange with red piping, and there is a car seat that matches that is also orange and red... but when I was in Charleston, I found one that was not only orange and red but had patterned flowers on it. So cute. Sold! Then when it came today, the box made it look hot pink and lo, I was worried... but no. It has some pink in it, but it definitely has the orange and red that match the stroller and bassinet. And with that description, I realize it sounds hideous, but I promise it's not. At least not to me.) (Edit: Okay -- here is a picture of it, because I re-read my description and indeed, it sounded gross. It's cuter in person, too.)

The stroller was the one piece of baby gear that Jake got really involved in selecting, so while he is probably not as worked up about its arrival as I am, he's pretty stoked too. We walk and metro enough places and will be trekking over rough Capitol Hill sidewalks enough that we needed a stroller that was both sturdy and light, and of course I wanted one that was cute, too. And orange or green. For some reason, I really wanted one that was orange or green. (Hey -- it's arbitrary but I'm not that embarrassed. Safety and quality first, but aesthetics matter too.)

With the delivery of her car seat, I think most of the big things are done and we could safely and happily bring her home tomorrow! She has a place to sleep (actually several -- we're not sure what we're doing about that yet. Crib right away? Moses basket in our room? The stroller's bassinet attachment? Unclear... but surely one of those will work, right?), a way to get home from the hospital, and some diapers. That's pretty much all babies need, right?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Miss Jackson Had An Ultrasound

Tuesday we had what was probably Miss Jackson's last ultrasound (knock on wood, assuming everything is fine from here on out).  I was 33 weeks and a few days, and it was ostensibly to check on her growth.  I felt abundantly certain, based on the size of my stomach and MJ's ability to kick far, far into my ribs, that her growth was fine, and indeed it was.  She is a big one.  She measured at just over 35 weeks -- so two weeks ahead of my actual dates -- and the ultrasound tech estimated her current weight at 5 lbs., 6 oz.   She's huge!   I know those weight estimates can be way, way off, so I'm not too terribly freaked out at the prospect of having a huge baby, but it's just funny.  It was a regular 2D ultrasound so we couldn't get a perfect picture of her, but we did all notice and comment on (starting with the ultrasound tech) her pudgy, chubby cheeks.  The tech must have said three times, "She really does have chubby cheeks."  We're happy about that -- who doesn't love a fat little baby?  

She's also definitely a girl.  Obviously we knew that already, but it was nice to have it confirmed again.  I had a tiny little smidgen of worry that we'd show up on Tuesday and the ultrasound tech would say, "And there's his penis..." and I would have a heart attack thinking of all the girly baby things that would have to be returned.  But no.  Miss Jackson is a miss, alright, thank goodness.  (Not that we wouldn't want a boy, of course -- it's just at this point, that would be a lot of pink baby clothes we'd have to sell on Craigslist.)

As of this weekend, I'm 34 weeks, and I simultaneously can't believe that we are this far along already and that we still have six weeks to go.  We are almost ready for her.  As soon as her car seat arrives (it, along with her stroller, has been ordered and should be on its way), almost all of the big pre-delivery necessities will be taken care of.  We have decided to use cloth diapers, and while I was completely and totally overwhelmed at all the different cloth options, thanks to my friend Gwen, I got a great tutorial and was able to overcome the steep learning curve and take the plunge.  Her diapers arrived last week and, let me tell you, I realize that "cute" is not an adequate reason to choose cloth over disposables, but holy cow are these cloth diapers cute.  They are teeny and fluffy and pastel and so soft that even Jake had to admit that they are basically adorable.  This also goes to show how excited we are about this whole new baby thing -- even the arrival of her diapers was thrilling.  Dorks.  I know.  

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Miss Jackson is Going to Confuse Our Dog

So, yesterday I had lunch with one of my oldest friends and her gorgeous almost six-week-old baby.  After lunch, we came back to our house to visit, which provided our standard poodle Fiona with her first EVER glimpse of a human baby.  It didn't even occur to me until we walked in that Fiona really had never seen a baby before.  She's been around toddlers, but not infants. We walked in, Fiona careened down the stairs and toward the front door as she always does, but instead of jumping up on me like the crazy dog she usually is, as soon as she saw my friend and baby E., she stopped suddenly and sat down in the middle of the floor.  She could not stop staring at him and was visibly confused.  Every now and then she would look at him and then look at me, like, "Do YOU know what this is?"  

Usually when someone comes over to visit, Fiona tries to make friends immediately.  She has no idea how large she is and doesn't have a lot of respect for personal space, but with H. and baby E., she was extremely sweet and cautious.  They sat on the sofa but instead of jumping up there with them, which she would usually at least try to do, she stayed on the floor and just approached slowly and sniffed carefully, from an appropriate distance (well, almost appropriate.  Relatively speaking, appropriate).  Then she walked around to the other side and did the same thing.  Every time baby E. made a noise, her ears perked up and she looked back at me, like, "Is he okay?!"  She was confused, a little bit scared, and totally transfixed.  

We can't wait to see her meet Miss Jackson.  Yesterday's encounter made me even more excited about that, because although she was perplexed, she was very sweet and interested.  We expect that she might experience some jealousy, but mostly we think she will be very protective.  

Sammy, of course, did not acknowledge our guests in any way.  We expect he will similarly ignore M.J.  

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Miss Jackson Gets Attention From Strangers

Today while I was getting a pedicure, my pedicurist asked me (1) whether the baby is a boy or a girl, (2) whether she is our first, and (3) how much weight I've gained.  The first two questions are fairly expected.  I have to say the third one surprised me.  I told her, though -- about 30 pounds, okay, I am nothing if not forthcoming -- and she grinned and nodded enthusiastically and said, "Good, good, good," like that was exactly the right answer.   I guess if you are going to ask someone how much weight they have gained, it's nice to act like they have gained exactly the right amount.  She gave me maybe the best pedicure I have ever had so I would have been willing to discuss all manner of intimate details had she pressed on, but she didn't. 

It wasn't the first sweet but awkward conversation I've had with a stranger lately.  When I was in New York last weekend, I had an interesting conversation with a lady selling art on the street in Soho.  I was buying a Chinese zodiac painting of a mouse for M.J.'s nursery because she is going to be born in the year of the rat -- it's really cute -- and the Chinese woman selling it was really excited that I knew what it symbolized.  We had a little bit of a language barrier, but I am pretty sure she was predicting that M.J. is going to be a lucky and wonderful genius.  She pointed at my stomach and said that year of the rat babies were "VERY smart, very, VERY smart."  She then said, "Girl, right?" (I totally look like I'm carrying a girl -- very high and wide).  I said yes and she clapped and beamed and said again, "VERY smart."  Then she said, "First baby, right?"  I said yes again and she looked extra delighted.  She said, "First girl best.  Then boy, okay, but girl first, yes, yes!"  Um, okay?  I just smiled and nodded.  At least she didn't inquire about or announce how much weight I've gained. 

I keep putting off posting on the blog because I have lots of pictures to post (girls weekend, M.J. at 30 weeks, the nursery!) but we have a new camera, much fancier than what I am used to, and I am a little scared of it.  I'll wait and let Jacob handle that when he gets back in town (he's in L.A. on business, where he is tooling around in a convertible, dining at places I read about in US Weekly, and generally making me a little bit jealous).  Sadly, I forgot to take any pictures during Miss Jackson's last pre-birth trip to NYC, but I promise we had fun.  She got to see her Aunt Caroline, who both witnessed and felt her move, and we also got the chance to visit with my brother-in-law (who just moved to Connecticut), another pregnant friend (who looked incredible despite being about five seconds away from delivering), and one of my cousins (who lives in the most incredible West Village apartment and regaled us with tales of some incredible recent celebrity sightings.  Ryan Gosling!  Twice!).  It was a wonderful trip and I kind of can't believe that the next time I go visit Caroline, M.J. will be with me, as we say, on the outside.