Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Mobyish is not as scary as I thought

There are a lot of things about babies that are scary. Even before they get here! First, there’s the possibility of miscarriage, then there’s will-they-find-something-bad-on-the-ultrasound?, and then of course labor. All genuinely scary. I also recently learned that breastfeeding is scary! Like, for a lot of people. Breastfeeding! Who knew! (I’m glad I didn’t.)

So, confession. I’ve been intimidated by my Moby wrap, which I will refer to as my Mobyish, because it is actually a knock-off, handed down from my sister-in-law, and I can never remember what she told me it is actually called. So, my Mobyish. Scary!

In case you don’t know, a Mobyish is just a long (like, REALLY long) piece of stretchy knit fabric that you wrap around yourself multiple times to create an origami baby-carrier right there on your person. The first time my sister-in-law showed me, as she was gifting me her well-adored strip of fabric, I was thinking, “That’s bananas. But thanks.”

So it sat for a bit, due to the intimidation and all. Then one day I checked out the instructions online and became a fabric origami-master right then and there. It was a lot more than I usually accomplish in a day, so I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. I slid my baby into his pouch and went to make some oatmeal. Until I realized we were all wet -- all of us! Baby Grady, me, and the Mobyish. My one and only diaper leak took place approximately 12 seconds after I became baby-wearing. This led to laundry, as most things do.

Finally, yesterday, I decided to give that gigantic piece of fabric another chance. I wrapped and tied like an origami ninja and slid that baby into my pouch. He was all cozy for a minute or two until his pouch-inhabiting led to hunger, as most things do. The only reasonable choice at this point was to wrangle a boob out through all the layers and try to connect it with Baby Grady. And wouldn’t you know, it worked. And I felt so rustic and Earth-motherish. Like a skilled tribeswoman ready to pound some grain while wearing and feeding my offspring. Tomorrow I may try carrying the groceries in a basket on my head. Because apparently maybe I can.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Baby Grady's First Christmas

Baby Grady had no idea Christmas was coming and the surprise and excitement hit him so hard he pretty much had to sleep it off for the entire day. Just being present was quite a lot to handle on its own, which makes a lot of sense if you know my family. Between the mountain of presents from Granny J and Gumpa and the controlled chaos of a visit from his uncles, aunt, cousins, and their crazy dog, it’s hard to know how Grady had energy left not only for the other mountain of presents from Grandma and Grandpa but also for charming everyone’s pants off (figuratively speaking, of course). He’s a really impressive baby, obviously.

We started the day with stockings from Grandma and small sacks of stocking stuffers from me (due to the lack of stockings on hand). Our future Christmases will be much classier, though, because Grandma knitted stockings for me and Grady and brought Jasper’s with her from Spokane. Behold the cuteness and knitting beauty:

Side one:

Side two:

Then we required refueling, of course, which involved french toast casserole (Thanks, Paula Deen! I had no idea I could even fit that much cream and butter in that dish!), bacon, and coffee.

Then on to the presents, proper. And now I must ask... have you ever attended a Christmas at which only adults and an oblivious baby are present? It is shockingly civilized. So much so that if you don’t have to be anywhere, you could spend the whole day at it. We took turns, watched others open their gifts, and said thank you. It took forever! And we wonder how long it will be before Baby Grady turns Christmas into a hurricane of shredded wrapping paper, glee, and overstimulated tears. One year or two?

Then the Carriers visited and our day was instantly transformed into a delightful zoo. There was property damage; there were tears. It was really a classic Carrier holiday, except we never got to the tequila shots.

In the evening, Baby Grady continued his peaceful napping and enabled me to make a whole dinner in between feedings. It was really the most amazing thing. We ate pork tenderloin with roasted baby and sweet potatoes, garlicky kale with bacon, spiced cranberry sauce, and spinach salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and clementines. It was all pretty delicious and then there was pie (and all the best dinners end in pie; it’s a fact). Our spread included blueberry streusel, pecan, and pumpkin. Three varieties, so we were slightly short of my holiday standard of one pie per adult, but as with all things in which I fall short of late: “People, haven’t you heard? I have a baby!”

Yes, his feet are reindeer. Merry Christmas (or happy whatever you celebrate) and you're welcome.

After dinner, Baby Grady was all kinds of fussy for several hours. Then, suddenly, he started dependably and unmistakably smiling at me. These were the first smiles where I knew, without a doubt, that he was really smiling, and not just feeling pleased with himself for giving his pants the business. Everyone else was asleep, because all my shushing was apparently very soothing if your name is not Baby Grady... So that meant that Grady and I had this whole smiley little late-night hangout sesh before he decided he was tired enough to go to bed around midnight. It’s such a silly parental thing to say, but it was of course, completely worth the late night. (And Jasper got his own smiley-fest the next day, while the boys were checking out Grady’s “bodacious” mobile. Jasper’s description, obviously.)

Number of presents Baby Grady received for Christmas: A LOT. Like, a really silly number of presents for a baby.
Number of presents Baby Grady unwrapped himself: zero
Number of presents Baby Grady was awake for the opening of: also zero
Number of stuffies Baby Grady received: 2
Number of silky blankies Baby Grady received: 1
Number of fuzzy sleeping sacks (with matching hat!) Baby Grady received: 1

Number of Grady’s uncles involved in a Matrix-style assassination of Jasper with their new Nerf machine guns: 2
Number of gates that required rebuilding after being shattered by Peanut the dog: 1

State of Baby Grady’s table manners: really questionable, assuming that having a boob in your mouth, burping loudly, and spitting up your last meal are all inappropriate table behaviors

Superfluous pictures of Reese and Puppet opening presents:

One Month

Photo: Baby Grady, one month old, and Bruce de Bruce, Jasper's first and favorite teddy bear (so says Grandma)

According to the calendar, my baby is one month old. He actually turned one month on Christmas Eve, but I was busy being Christmasy and did not take time to update his fans. Bad blogger.

So, one month old. This sounds unbelievable. How can he already be a whole month old when HE JUST GOT HERE? But also, how can this baby have been part of my life for a mere month? I mean really? I feel like we’ve known each other so much longer. All of our routines (which are not yet even routines, but rather constant responses from me to Baby Grady’s tyrannical demands) are so intertwined, it’s hard to imagine how my days were structured and paced before I took every cue from Baby Grady. I mean, I must have been able to get a drink, or a snack, or a dry shirt for goodness sake, just any old time I wanted! Spoiled rotten, I tell you. Thank goodness this baby came along to put me in my place.

Grady has spent the vast majority of his time so far eating, sleeping, and growing more baby. In the past week or two, he has advanced to making eye contact and working out in his baby gym. Other favorite activities include standing and jumping with assistance and demanding that his people walk him about, possibly while also singing to him. But not tummy time. Tummy time is the worst, Grady will have you know. I think he’s smiled for real a few times, but these findings are not yet peer-reviewed.

How much Baby Grady weighs: 11 lbs, 10 oz
Size of Baby Grady’s clothes: mostly 3 month, some 3-6 month... the 0-3 are pretty much a thing of the past, save a few stretchy onesies (for layering, of course)
Number of diapers used so far: 280 375 (approximation) (just doing our part to fill those landfills) (we’re going to get going on the cloth soon...)
Number of bottles (of breastmilk) Baby Grady has consumed: one. (He seems totally fine with it, and we wanted to introduce it now, when his eating is well-established but he is not a curmudgeonly older baby so set in his ways that he refuses it. Also, I really wanted a glass of sparkling wine on Christmas Eve, and this allowed me to skip a few hours of feedings to ensure I was not getting my baby drunk. Getting your baby drunk is super-frowned-upon these days.)

Baby Grady’s eye color: still dark blue
Baby Grady’s hair color: brown trending to blond

Baby Grady’s favorite: Josh Ritter and boobs
Baby Grady’s least favorite: the hours of 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm and hiccups

Words in Baby Grady’s vocabulary: just kidding, he’s a month old!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baby's wardrobe #12: Hello, I'm new here

Baby Grady is filling out his stylish 3-6 month onesie from Auntie Sarah J. Such a chunk-wagon:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Frog Baby

The thing about parenting (because there’s just one thing, you know... simple stuff here) is that there is always something to worry about. The thing about me and Jasper is that we always worry about different things. And not just different, but opposite. It’s super fun! So, I fret that Grady might be too cold (probably because I am always cold, except when pregnant, which was just such a fantastic metabolic interlude in my normal reptilian biology). Meanwhile, Jasper frets that he is too hot (because he is a difficult man, I tell you what).

To keep things exciting, when we bathe Grady, we switch roles! I know; it’s so confusing. But suddenly I am the one fretting that Jasper is making the water too hot. I like the water hot, don’t get me wrong, but Grady is a baby! Don’t babies need more mildly warm water? Can you believe that two educated adults can’t sort this out? I think we are both right, just on opposite ends of the accepted range.

In other news, bath time is the one time Grady seems to love his nakedness. He lounges back in his cushy little bath-bed (awesome hand-me-down from Auntie Shana), and just chills like a frog. It’s pretty much the cutest, but I am not going to post naked baby pictures, because I think I might have a policy against that.

Finally I leave you with a quote from Jasper, spoken as I was gingerly airing out Grady’s important bits, post-bath (because I fret about excessive moisture intrusion on the baby):

“You know, you’re pretty much massaging a loaded weapon there.”


Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Photo Frenzy

Now that he is a dad and all, Jasper works from home on Fridays. Because he is not normal, this means he actually spends the majority of the day poring over data (which looks like colorful lines and tells us things about the moon, if you were wondering). But when he took a break, he went on a photo-taking frenzy! You're welcome!

Blogging with Grady:

Upside-down nap:

This is almost the hilarious, loris-like expression he makes when I burp him, but this doesn't quite capture it:

Sometimes Baby Grady is very serious:

He actually hates tummy time. This photo is deceptive:

Me and mah baby:

Lounging on dad, resisting sleep. Shortly after this photo was taken, he was lulled to sleep by Rihanna. "Disturbia." Yeah, I have no idea.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another tale of toplessness

So, today we had a dramatic spit-up event that took out the baby, the onesie, the jams, a blanket, the couch, and ALL of my clothes (two shirts, yoga pants, and even my undies!) I know; it was a pretty big deal. I took it as a sign from the universe that we needed more skin-to-skin time, me and Grady. So, I wiped us down and we retreated to the bed to snuggle beneath our down comforter. I let Grady wear a onesie, since that baby hates the nakedness. (And I thought all babies loved nakey time?)

Then I realized, I haven’t really done skin-to-skin since we got home from the hospital. Probably because it’s cold and we are far too stingy environmentally conscious to heat our home to a state of actual warmth. But have I ruined my baby with this appalling maternal oversight? Is he going to blame me when he is arrested for petty crimes? (please let them be petty, please let them be petty...) When, exactly, does the window of opportunity on skin-to-skin close? And what are we trying to accomplish again?

While we were there, we discovered Grady’s new favorite hobby. Standing! Or rather, pretending to stand, while I support most of his weight. Because he is only three weeks old and as such is inherently lazy. But he likes to bear a little of the weight. Then he springs his legs straight, as if to jump. And of course I fly him up into the air as though he has expert jumping skills. So that he will develop a completely delusional sense of his own strength and athletic ability. Because if it isn’t my job to do everything in my power to inflate this kid’s ego, then I don’t know what. (For my previous achievements in this particular parenting division, see Reese.)

Now, can we take a moment to appreciate the chunk-wagon that is my baby?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hanging with Mr. Grady

I spend pretty much a ridiculous amount of time these days lounging around with my boobs out. Often they are feeding my baby, but sometimes also they are just out because I forget to put them away and also because the lactation nurse told me they like to get aired out. She also suggested sunning them, but we haven’t done that. It’s a bit cold out for toplessness. Which reminds me, have you ever had someone suggest going to a tapas bar, but to you it sounds like they are saying “topless bar”? And you think, well, as long as the sangria is as good as you say... Yep, me too.

So, the point of confessing how I spend my days is to explain the quiet around these parts. Life is slow. Good slow, but little in the way of events to report. And believe me... I can usually strangle a story out of a walk to the corner, but these days? Slow news days, I’m telling you.

Lately the snippets of eventfulness have turned out to be a bunch of non-stories, once I think about them.

Two days ago, Baby Grady and I walked over to the market and picked up some stocking stuffers (though we don’t actually have stockings, hmmm...) And I realized that now that Grady is outside of me, I really hate people talking to me about my baby. And that used to be my favorite! But now any comment sounds like a veiled threat to come closer and possibly even touch my baby. This hasn’t happened, but I am preemptively quite rude and dismissive, to discourage any such antics. It’s like a whole new side of me!

Yesterday, we signed Baby Grady up for daycare, all officially and with dates and deposits. He’ll go two days a week starting in May and while I didn’t cry, I know I would have if I’d thought too hard about it. Also, yesterday, my baby’s daddy noted that I am looking so fine for having just given birth so recently. He says this sorta regularly now! And I wonder if someone told him to, or if it was his idea? Because it’s like a whole new side of him!

Sometimes, like right now, I wish I had a snack stash within reaching-distance of my couch. Because, really? Fattening up this baby? High snacking demands. And this baby is growing more baby on the daily. He’s a pound-and-a-half up from his birth weight these days, which, well, that takes some serious milk production. So it’s really lucky that lactating was my secret undiscovered talent.

And with that I give you what you actually came here for. Pictures. Of a baby. Because while I may lack eventfulness and substance upon which to base a blog post, I still have a baby and a camera.

This is the emotional progression that Grady goes through approximately every ten minutes throughout the day...

Milk-drunk baby:

Thoughtful baby (he's thinking about boobs):

Baby with “put a boob in my mouth” face:

A “WTF, people, boob me!” baby headed for a meltdown:

Unrelated to boobs, this is a post-daddy-lullaby baby (dads have to have more sophisticated tricks):

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Nesting with Pie

Back before Baby Grady was born, when I should have been scrubbing the grout in my bathroom with a toothbrush, I was instead returning to my annual pie challenge. Yes, instead of proper nesting behavior, I was busy ensuring that, even if we were in the hospital on or prior to Thanksgiving, we would still have pie waiting for us when we arrived home. Because for me Thanksgiving success is pie-dependent. I tend to think that an adequately appointed Thanksgiving feast spread includes one pie per adult guest. Less than that makes me a little nervous, if I’m being honest.

My favorite pie is pecan. But wouldn’t you know that even at my age, I was still searching for the perfect recipe? I always felt that while the pecan pie was my favorite, it was failing to live up to its full potential. So, really, my idea of the perfect pecan pie was my favorite. Actual pecan pies are so often too gooey, too cloying, Well, no longer, because this year? This year I did it. I made the perfect pecan pie, and now you can too.


Suz’s Perfect Pecan Pie
(adapted from a recipe that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle many years ago, according to the internets)

For the crust: Just buy a dang crust, okay? I buy mine from the Whole Foods, because I’m gluten-free like that. But seriously, those frozen Pillsbury ones are awesome. I’m pretty sure they are Pillsbury... and pretty sure they are frozen... Granny J would know for sure. Now that I’m thinking more about it, it could be that they are sold in the refrigerated section, but Granny J freezes them. I know I once called her from the supermarket because I couldn’t find them, and I think this might have been why. And yes, I know some of you out there are feeling appalled, offended, hurt... thinking that if I were a food blogger, you would definitely stop reading me. You’d unsubscribe! All four of you! Well, I am not a food blogger, and I have eaten many a pie crust that someone made from scratch, with great heaps of disdain for the possibly Pillsbury, possibly frozen ones. And I didn’t like them as much. This can possibly be blamed on my upbringing, much the way I prefer diet soda to regular. Totally Granny J’s doing. Anyway, if you don’t buy the crust, you are on your own. Make whatever labor-intensive traditional pastry pie crust has been handed down through the generations in your family.

For the filling:  
1.5+ cups pecans (I used a mix of “chopped” and “chips” to provide maximum coverage. Halves are prettier, but I like the smaller pieces from a gustatory perspective.)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon maple whiskey (You could probably substitute just ordinary whiskey or bourbon, since maple whiskey is not that easy to come by, unless you are in Canada or the Northeast. But, on the off-chance you have a bottle of maple whiskey in the cabinet, like, from your honeymoon in Canada or something, this would be a really good use of a tablespoon of it. It also makes a mean hot toddy. Or ice cream topping. Or straight-up beverage. Also, you could probably leave this out, and still have a delicious pie.)

First, I like to pre-bake my pie crust, even for a pie that gets cooked. It’s just how I do. So, do that, according to package or recipe directions, or don’t, if that’s not how you do. It might be a gluten-free thing -- gluten-free baked goods tend to need a little more time to get the right toasty texture.

Once your crust is ready, in whatever form you like it, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

To make the filling, combine the pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, flour and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat. Cool 15 minutes.

Whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and whiskey. Stir about 1/2 cup of the hot sugar mixture into the eggs to temper them, then stir this mixture into the hot sugar mixture. Pour the filling into the pie shell.

Bake 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until the custard has set and the nuts rise to the top, about 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

Serve with vanilla ice cream. (Obviously.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Week One

What Baby Grady did in his first week:

  1. Spent two days in the hospital after birth, being harassed by nurses wanting to take his temperature and listen to his heart. He was vocal in his outrage at these injustices. Of course, during the same time period, I was subjected to even more aggressive postpartum assistance. Blood pressure monitoring (always low, but I guess this is the sort of thing that gets funny ideas if you don't keep a very close eye on it?), uterine massage (not nearly as nice as it sounds... in fact, not nice at all), etc. [you can assume that “etc.” is a stand-in for “extreme grossness.” Because labor and postpartumness? Extremely gross. I had no idea. Maybe I’ll tell you about it someday. But I might not.]
  2. Confirmed that he loves his daddy’s singing.
  3. Loved his first car ride, home from the hospital just past midnight. (They did not evict us in the middle of the night... We were under 48-hour observation due to a brief fever I exhibited near the end of labor. As soon as we had been there 48 hours, we begged for discharge, and had the nicest of all possible nurses, who greased the wheels and got us right out of there.)
  4. Learned to breastfeed in record time and inspired my body to produce enough milk to feed a small village-worth of babies. So, if you know any extra babies, send them my way.
  5. Gained half an ounce in his first five days (See: expert breastfeeding skills and milk supply adequate for small village-worth of babies)
  6. Convinced us that he is absolutely not going to sleep beside our bed in a bassinet, because he is going to sleep cuddled against mom, possibly with a boob in his mouth.
  7. Met Auntie Katy and Auntie V in the flesh and met the Spokane grandparents on the Skype, often with a boob in his mouth!
  8. Exhibited truly precocious levels of head and neck control, sometimes also with a boob in his mouth!
  9. Took a ride in the Baby Bjorn to the neighborhood Starbucks.

And here are some pictures we took:

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Grady August Halekas

Born at 12:30am on November 24th (Thanksgiving morning)
8 lbs 10 oz and 20.1 inches long

Sunday, November 20, 2011

40 Weeks

Today is Baby H’s due date. As it turns out, that does not mean that he spontaneously emerges at the stroke of midnight. (I know, SO disappointed.)

In seasonally appropriate fashion, he is the size of a pumpkin! What a cutie:

And this is what it looks like to have a fully grown baby in your belly:

In the last two days I have been told twice that I look too normal and energetic to have a baby this weekend. Those people? They are sweet to say so, but also they can suck it, because I am so abnormal enough to have a baby this weekend. Another lady shouted down the sidewalk at me that “Ohmigod, you have such a gigantic baby in there!” Yeah... shouted... at a stranger... about her huge belly. I refused to acknowledge said lady’s existence, even though she clearly thought that her comment had been a brilliant conversation-starter.

I spend a sort of surprising amount of time these days wondering if I am going into labor. And one would think it would be so obvious. But once it became apparent that I am an oblivious dope when it comes to contractions, well, I started researching the matter. (Obvious and oblivious... just two letters different... did everyone else already know this?) Anyway, well, some women totally don’t realize they are in labor until it’s time to push. It really happens. So I keep telling Jasper he’d better read the page in our childbirth book about delivering the baby himself. I’m mostly joking, and he pointed out that since it’s just one page, he can read it when the time comes. Which is true. He’s a super fast reader! And also, yes, one page. TO DELIVER A BABY. So, apparently medical school? Pretty much overkill. Doctors. Such suckers.

Yesterday it was clear that I was not in labor, so we took a small adventure to the Home Depot and Alameda. Home Depot is a frequent adventure for us and, surprisingly, I am a pretty big fan. My favorite time to go is early in the morning on a weekend. I like to speculate on what people are up to. It’s always a healthy mix of contractors and semi-clueless homeowner guys. People with big projects, people with a suddenly leaky sink, people with gardening ambitions... all way more lively than anyplace else at that hour. For some reason I get a real kick out of it. Also, my baby’s daddy is really cute when he’s, like, picking out a hammer.

After Home Depot (where we got something for the inside of the toilet... a flapper, I believe), we headed to Alameda to check out the toy stores. But first we happened upon a terrific Mexican restaurant -- the kind with huge platters of food with lots of toppings and margaritas the size of small fishbowls. We love this type of Mexican restaurant and they are so rare in the Bay Area. We love a good taqueria too, but sometimes you want to sit among the faux frescoes and have a giant tequila beverage with your complimentary chips and salsa. And you might want to do this someplace that is not Chevy’s. In such a case, you should head to La Penca Azul. My baby’s daddy does not always appreciate my adventures, but he appreciated this:

By the way, that drink in the background was a housemade blackberry limeade for the gigantically pregnant and it was delicious and made me want to return for a blackberry mojito. Jasper went big and tried something called a Michelada. This was new to us, and was a beer-based Bloody-Mary sort of thing. Perhaps the most surprising thing about this is that it came in lots of different flavors. Like, even peach. Jasper’s was the original and while he liked it alright, it’s not his new favorite. But La Penca Azul! Totally our new favorite!

After stuffing ourselves, and getting Baby H kicking like crazy with jalapeƱos, we headed to the toy store. There we finally found our baby’s first stuffy, which we’ll give him for Christmas. It’s a blue monkey, and possibly the softest blue monkey in all the land. I would post his picture, but we washed him when we brought him home and his fur is still a little damp. So, he’ll have to make an appearance at a later date.

Today, while wondering whether I am in labor (I’m telling you... not as clear as you’d think!), my baby’s daddy took me out for a giant jalapeƱo-laced cheeseburger at our local spot. Thus I would be well-fueled in case of labor. We walked over from our house, which isn’t a very long walk, but left me feeling like my baby might fall out. Which would be really impressive. Me and my burger:

Number of contractions this week: seriously, so many. and those are just the ones I know about!
Number of days until Baby H will be evicted, if I don’t get him out on my own: 10

Number of Christmas presents we have bought for Baby H: 3
Number of Christmas shipments we have been warned to expect from Granny J and Gumpa: 2
What Gumpa wanted to get Baby H, before Granny J reminded him that Baby H will still be a baby in a month: a toddler motorcycle

Things that are difficult when you are 40-weeks pregnant: painting your toenails, making Thanksgiving plans, rolling over

Friday, November 18, 2011

Baby's wardrobe #11 (The Nickel-Dime Edition)

Yes, that is a fuzzy, velour baby tracksuit. And also, yes, you can take this post as confirmation that I am still pregnant, and not in labor.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

39 Weeks

Jasper would say that we are now at Defcon 4. I think that sounds a little extreme, but will acknowledge that we have reached a fairly high state of readiness. Now that I know (sort of...) what contractions are like, I realize that I am indeed having quite a few of them. Often five minutes apart, even! But they still aren’t intensifying or organizing themselves into a baby-eviction mission. So, we mostly wait.

I’m starting to suspect that this is much more boring for others than it is for me. I mean, I’m basically staycationing for the first time in my adult life. It’s pretty great. And I’ve started sleeping through the night more! So, I mean, maybe work was my problem all along? But I realize that for others, I am just still gigantically pregnant. BORING! DO SOMETHING NEW, WOMAN! I assure you, I would go into labor if I could. I’m an ENFJ, after all -- the compulsion to perform is strong.

The good news is that Baby H is a very impressive fruit this week. A mini-watermelon! How cute is that? This cute:

Meanwhile my belly is this... cute? Ahem, yeah.

That picture was taken after a lovely dinner date with my baby’s daddy. Because our dinner-date days are numbered! So we have to go now, while we have all this freedom! We also used our freedom this weekend to go on an adventure to Danville. There, we ate delicious pizza that Jasper wasn’t really all that excited about:

And also got some treats at the bakery. The driving force behind the adventure was my desire for an apple fritter. Apple fritters are my favorite baked good of all time, and I haven’t had one in years, because no one makes gluten-free apple fritters. I mean, obviously. But Miglets, in Danville, does. ALLEGEDLY. I really couldn’t say for sure, because they were all out of them when we arrived! I actually stood in a momentary state of shock when the bakery-guy told me. I don’t think he realized that he had pretty much ruined my adventure. I was really remarkably mature about it and ordered some other stuff. The bakery, which is now the target of my apple-fritter-deprived resentment:

Number of contractions I’ve had this week: lots, I think, now that I sort of know what I’m looking for
Number of painful contractions I’ve had this week: maybe six?

How imminent labor felt on Thursday: very!
How imminent labor feels right now: not at all
How Jasper feels about probably having to go to work tomorrow instead of having a baby: pretty cranky

Number of potentially labor-inspiring walks Jasper has taken me on this weekend: 2
Number of potentially labor-inspiring bowls of very spicy soup I have consumed: 1
Number of potentially labor-inspiring bathroom-scrubbings I have done: 2

Number of movies we have gone to, knowing that movie-going will soon be a more complicated (i.e. impossible) endeavor: 2
Number of buckets of popcorn we have consumed at these movies: 2
Interesting thing we learned about the popcorn: it is much tastier at matinee-showings

Number of pies I have baked and frozen in anticipation of having a tiny newborn on Thanksgiving, but also needing pie, because it’s fine to skip turkey and all the rest, but pie is non-negotiable: 1

Number of pages we have left in Cryptonomicon: zero! But that has been the case for nearly a week, so apparently finishing the book was not the key to going into labor

Watermelon photo: Baby Center