As of yesterday, I am officially 38 weeks along, which means that from here on out, this baby is a FREELOADER. I'm full term, baby's fully grown, everything's only going to get bigger from here.
My sweet momma missed seeing her uncle by an hour, but she got to love on and support her aunt and cousins almost immediately after he died, and I'm so glad that she can be there for them during this time. In fact, I filled out my hospital preregistration paperwork and will continue to fine-tune my labor and delivery bag, in the hopes that it buys us another week or two of baby not arriving (that is, of baby FREELOADING).
We finally have both names picked out, barring baby arriving and being clearly NOT what we've chosen. I don't know how that works, but I assume it could happen. I'm not so foolish as to put the names out here, where cowards with anonymous opinions can poop on our parade (and if you're going to poop on my parade, do it to my face so I can stab you in the neck, m'kay?), but it feels good to have that semi-settled.
I'm getting everything sorted for work and some other commitments I have so that my prolonged absence goes smoothly, and my nesting is down to little niggly stuff: taking the recycling in, using up the rhubarb in my freezer so the fresh stuff can be picked and used (two pies so far this week!), deciding on colors I will eventually paint walls (a silvery grey in our bathroom, but I'll have to paint the ceiling too - UGH), and looking achingly at our dirt-and-mud yard and wanting desperately to be a part of transforming it, but that will have to wait until I can bend down without falling over.
So there you go. More of you think this child is a velociraptor than a boy, which cracks me up. Rob's pretty sure he could handle a velociraptor more easily than a daughter anyway. I'm not sure he's fully thought this through...
My sweet mother called to let me know that she's leaving the state this coming week. Her reasons are good and pure (her uncle is swiftly failing, and she wants to see and love on him and her aunt before he passes into glory), but the fact remains that my mother will be halfway across the country for six days immediately prior to my due date.
My doctor is part of a group practice where whomever is on call delivers the babies that insist on coming at night or on weekends. Despite this, in his compassion for me and Rob and our situation, he's told us that he intends to deliver our baby even if he's not on call. He did warn me, however, that he'll be out of town this coming weekend, for three days.
On the one hand, maybe both are sneaking away before baby Bedford comes with plenty of time to get back because I'll run right up to or past my due date, no worries!
On the other hand, I'm fairly sure I'll go into labor next Saturday.
Off to pack my bag now. Just in case.
(I was instructed to pack, by the way, despite being three weeks out at the time. I'm one centimeter dilated, and though I can walk around like that for a month with no further progress, Dr. Luke also said that, this being my second delivery, I could come back at 10:00 pm seven centimeters dilated. And then I started hyperventilating.)
In honor of my friend Holly, a pregnant-with-pellet-gun shot (her weapon of choice did not appear to be a pellet gun though). The glee with which I've taken out the ground squirrels/gophers/vermin in our backyard had Rob observing, "You know, I was born and raised in Tennessee, and YOU'RE the bigger redneck." In my defense, he got me the pellet gun for my birthday (because I've wanted one for years). The neighbors are gonna LOVE US!
A few people have asked if we're going to find out if it's a boy or girl, apparently not realizing that, at this late date, it's nearly impossible. Ultrasounds at this stage are like looking through a keyhole at someone standing right on the other side: you don't really get the whole picture, just close-ups of very specific (and small) areas. Since we have no plans to pay out of pocket for an unnecessary ultrasound, I just tell them yes, we are going to find out.
We hope it's really obvious after labor and delivery.
Post-church, I had on my dress and my new lipstick (story below), and this was the best - well, other than the one at top, of course - in a number of belly shots. I'm TRYING to get a few of these for the friends who ask so nicely, but usually the belly looks cute and my face is a hot mess.
New lipstick: I wanted something brighter than my norm for spring/summer and had Blake with me at the store. I told him my criteria and asked if he wanted to help me pick. We settled on a red, and he chose the brightest red of the bunch. I picked one shade lighter, grabbed a liner to go with it, and put it on when we got home. WOW. I've never been a shrinking violet, but I've also never been much of circus clown. I asked B what he thought, and he smiled shyly and said, "You look really pretty, Mom."
Well, okay. I'll wear it forever now. And I've learned that with bright lipstick and painted nails on a woman who talks with her hands... people look almost anywhere but my eyes when I'm talking anymore. The lips are especially distracting, and the power is intoxicating!
We had a gully-washer of a rain storm the other day, and this one gutter nearly flooded our back yard in a matter of moments. Definitely getting a rain barrel for it, because damn. That's a lot of water.
Blake has three cavities! /groan
Today was his first ever filling, and he did pretty great. There were some tears, mostly because it was so foreign and scary, but the dentist and her assistant were wonderful and reassuring and very verbal, and I had his music in his headphones and his hands in mine. Whole thing took about 30 minutes from walking in to walking out, and he was disappointed that he didn't have a shiny silver tooth to show for it. Next week we have two more, so hopefully he learns what I did: take good care of your teeth so you don't have to get those very often.
The umbrella. He really didn't like the pinchy thing that grips your tooth, and other than still noticing that pinched feeling afterward, he was entertained by how puffy his lip seemed despite not being puffy at all. Ah, Novocaine.
B: I just love that Spiderman song by Eric Smith.
B: Eric Smith.
A: OH! You mean Aerosmith.
B: (putting ice in his water bottle) MMM! This is going to be so refreshing.
A: Compared to the poor woman I met having her fourth at the end of August, my belly's actually pretty small, even though I'm measuring right on.
R: (sincerely) That's SMALL?
A: (laughing) Oh, you're going to pay for that.
B: And... excuse me. It stinks, I'm just warning ya.
A: Ew. It DOES stink. Why do your toots stink so bad?
B: Because I'm a boy, and boy's toots stink badly.
R: Welcome home! Would you like us to come over this afternoon and bring pizza for dinner?
A: Of course! And let's be clear: I ALWAYS want that. You don't even need to bother asking.
R: My dream last night: You had a boy. You didn't name him for months. The world hated you for it and you didn't care.
A: Sounds about right.
He loved every second, especially take-off and landing (he kept muttering "MAYDAY!" at landing).
"We're actually going quite fast."
During the flight, he stayed occupied with a backpack full of LEGO Hero Factory, a Star Wars sticker book, and a Calvin and Hobbes book. He can't read all the words in C&H, and some of the humor flies right over his head, but he loves it anyway, which means Rob and I love him even more.
L, our friends' daughter, wanted to occupy the same space as Blake at any given time. He barely tolerated her, which we'll need to work on. He had no idea how to hold her tiny, tiny hands, so I instructed him to simply let her hold his finger, and then we all died of the cuteness.
Food truck fest! They grossly underestimated the number of tables (and the amount of shade) they'd need, but I had tacos al pastor and didn't pass out from the humid heat.
The Gaylord Opry Hotel, flooded in 2010, back open for business. They had three indoor gardens totaling about 10 acres, and they were lovely. I wanted to steal some of their orchids, but I didn't because I was already smuggling a whole lotta baby under my shirt, and I doubted anything else would fit comfortably.
See what I mean? It's been pointed out that the perspective on this shot makes me and Rob look like superimposed giants, while everyone else gradually approaches the size of hobbits.
What a fool, to make myself look biggest, because that's already a problem!
Blake liked the gardens too, much to my surprise.
But his favorite was the ice cream afterward. No surprise there!
"This is actually quite tasty."
The day after we got back, Blake's class had a music program. He had a speaking part and everything (well, they all did), and he did great!
Blake's class has been writing instruction manuals, to help them think through a process and its logical steps. These are the two he's brought home so far, and I love them. I love his thought process, his illustrations, and his phonetic spelling.
"How to make a peenut and butr jelly"
Translation: How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Accompanied by LEGO Ninjago figures, because all sandwiches taste better with ninjas.
"How to make a peenut and butr jelley samwich"
"I get my muteerreells out. I love those peenut and buter jellee sanwichis."
Translation: How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I get my materials out. I love those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."
"Then I get the jellee then sperred it on the one pees of bired."
Translation: Then I get the jelly then spread it on the one piece of bread.
"Then I spred peenut butter on the other pees of bred."
Translation: Then I spread peanut butter on the other piece of bread.
"Then I smak the two peesis of bred toogether pick it up and eat it it tase yummy mmmmmm."
Translation: Then I smack the two pieces of bread together, pick it up, and eat it. It tastes yummy. MMMMM.
"How to make your bed"
"I get all my muteells to make my bed. First I put my sheess on my bed then I put my cuftre on my bed."
Translation: I get all my materials to make my bed. First I put my sheets on my bed, then I put my comforter on my bed.
"Nekst I put my deckrash pellos on my bed. Then I put my sooperman blankent on my bed."
Translation: Next I put my decorish pillows on my bed. Then I put my Superman blanket on my bed.
"Finely I can go to sleep on my bed at nite time. I like to make my bed. It helps keep my room kling."
Translation: Finally I can go to sleep on my bed at nighttime. I like to make my bed. It helps keep my room clean.
"My blankent has sooperman on it. My shees are blue. My cufter is green. My pellow is blue with red."
Translation: My blanket has Superman on it. My sheets are blue. My comforter is green. My pillow is blue with red."
My two best boys, learning more about Transformer Jazz.
Took two years, but I rebloomed an orchid, baby! Next time I hope to get more than one flower. Now I want to collect orchids and be surrounded by their strange and exotic beauty all the time.
"You can't eat Gunner, Mom. He's my best friend." -Sawyer
I saw this print at Target and had a brilliant idea for the upstairs bathroom...
And my friend Michelle made it happen and even helped me install it. And by "helped," I mean "did it all by herself while I cracked jokes and teased her son, who asked if I had a baby in my belly, to which I said yes, to which he asked if I had eaten my baby."
Blake now loves Monopoly. Mom tried to send it home with us, like a crafty, crafty, naughty girl, and I said NO! It's way more special when he doesn't have it always close at hand and I don't have to play every day. Also, I learned that the kid is tight fisted when it comes to pretend money.
But not other people's money! Grammie Gee sent some down with Aunt Ernie, who added her own to the stash, and we took Blake to Target and let him pick out what he wanted. Ernie kept a tally in her head and let him know when he was close to maxing out. As we walked away from the toy department with several LEGOs, a double-sided light saber, and I honestly don't remember what else, Blake let out of a huff of air and said, "Wow. I am REALLY getting spoiled today."
Yeah, you are, honey. But the fact that you recognize it makes it okay.
Gunner George, chilling out maxing relaxing all cool with his newsboy hat.
Sawdog, pants optional on this hot sunny day.
Uncle Dan-O and Blake, chillin' on the porch.
Blake, proudly showing off his new, queen-sized bed (Rob and I figured he's going to be tall like Daddy Blake and didn't mess around with the full-sized mattress, plus we can use this one for guests if need be: COME VISIT!).
He cleaned his room and Erin willingly documented the tidy evidence.
Biking to the park.
Before they left, Dan helped Rob both bottle one batch of home brew and whip up a second batch. He had so much fun that he promptly went home to Calgary and used equipment he already had to make his OWN home brew. These guys were all so cute that I had to take a picture of them taking pictures. :)
Blake's contribution to the thank you note we sent to Dan and Erin after their visit. Yeah, so it made me cry. I blame the pregnancy hormones and the incredible sweetness this little man is capable of.
Happy day to mothers of all kinds, with especial love to those who hearts
yearn for motherhood and are as yet unfulfilled. May this post bless you all
as it blessed me today!
Momica: I'm constantly striving to be as fun and engaging and creative as you are ALL THE TIME, even when I can only muster five minutes at a stretch. I love you. I also love that you have a name that so easily becomes an affectionate nickname.
Nonna: Your sweet spirit and abounding generosity are an encouragement and challenge to me daily. Thank you for your enduringly patient son.
Grammie Gee: I'm grateful for your kind thoughtfulness, especially to Blake, who loves you passionately and misses you terribly.
Grammie Patsy: Your steady practicality and no-nonsense love make my heart beat faster, both because I can be so impractical yet no-nonsense as well. I appreciate you!
To my sisters: I love our relationships, and seeing you grow in grace and beauty and wisdom as mothers is such a privilege. I never want to take our closeness for granted, for what we have is rare and precious. I love you and all your little monkeys (with one girly angel thrown in) to an alarming degree. Thank you for your indulgent affection for me and MY monkey plus the anticipated biscuit. Lane, never call said biscuit "herm" again, you stinker!
3 - Bedfords traveling.
5 - Days we were out.
1 - Checked bag (HOLLA!).
80s - Temps in Nashville.
40s - Temps in Bozeman. We got off the plane upon return and all sighed in relief. "This is what I've grown used to," Rob said. "THIS is what May should feel like: cool and dry."
81 - Dollars spent on a screaming deal I got for a rental car (I also spent points from a card we don't use any more).
149 - Dollars the rental agent tried to get Rob to believe were required additional insurance. I assured her we were okay paying personally and being reimbursed by our (excellent) car insurance in the very unlikely event of an accident and requested she remove the optional charges. She turned to Rob and said, "Mr. Bedford, are you sure this is something you want to decline? It really matters for you since YOURS is the name on the agreement." My eyes widened as she essentially put herself squarely between me and my husband, and I quickly turned and walked to a garbage can to throw something away before I said things we'd all regret. Rob assured her that if I said no, he said no too, and she was quite cold to us for the rest of the transaction.
0 - Rental car lady.
1 - Addie.
1000+ - Square feet in the room at the resort we stayed in. Blake was disappointed because it was small like the condo. Rob and I were amazed because it was huge and wonderful and the place we all hung out all the time because THERE WAS ROOM! Plus, there was a working ice maker. I didn't have to hoard the ice like Gollum guarding his precious. It was amazing.
1 - Hooding ceremony we attended for the new doctor in the family! Congrats to Dr. Auntie Bip!
15 - Minutes we were late to said ceremony.
50 - Squeaky steps we traipsed down to reach our seats. I had to cover my mouth to keep from giggling as each step proclaimed "We're. Late. We're Late. All. Eyes. On. Us."
0 - Graduation ceremonies we attended. Dr. AB graciously released us from the formalities for the sake of our kiddo. And probably my bladder.
35 - Weeks along. I reached this blessed milestone in Tennessee, y'all.
0 - Belly stretch marks displayed when I went swimming in my new green bikini (but don't worry: I got all my stretch marks on my hips in 5th/6th grade from growing too quickly), because I inherited this benefit from my momma. Loves you, Mom!
innumerable - Bathroom visits by the pregnant lady. There were times I would get just outside the bathroom door and feel the urge to pee AGAIN. I reached a point where I truly believed my bladder was a lying bitch. Urination as hobby: not awesome.
1 - Visit to the LEGO store. Blake was in heaven, with Rob a very close second.
1 - Chick-fil-A meal.
10+ - Times I wish we had eaten Chick-fil-A after that first time. YUM.
5-10 - Ice cream stops.
100+ - Times I requested ice cream.
2 - Wins for Addie at Settlers of Catan.
400+ - Times Blake used the phrase "actually quite" during the trip. "This is actually quite fun." "We're actually going quite fast." Pretty sure he gets "actually" from me, "quite" from Aunt Erin.
1 - Time we swam. Blake insisted on the indoor pool because of all the tiny bugs floating on the outdoor pools. Despite a lightning storm torpedoing our plans to swim again (Who knew they shut down INDOOR pools during an electrical storm for fear of a building strike then reaching the pool? Seems like something the Mythbusters should test...), swimming was his favorite part of the whole trip.
Vacations just got a TON simpler for the Bedfords. We could rent a room at the Ramada off 7th and just use their tiny waterslide. Blake would be none the wiser and happier than a clam.