calm to frazzled: there and back again.

Captain’s log, stardate 34.5 weeks pregnant. Just imagine me weeping profusely while writing one million thank-you notes for baby gifts. That’s kind of what life looks like for me lately. But look at my first crop of roses this spring! They are huge.

Saturday morning’s train ride back from New York was blissfully uneventful and calm. When I got home Dan was unloading the first of the day’s loads of bricks, so I changed clothes and helped him do that, organizing each armful in a line to form a neat pile. It was really frustrating that my arms weren’t tired at all and can handle tons of bricks, but the small of my back was killing me after just a couple of minutes from having the stress of the baby pulling on it, plus me bending over with weights in my hands. Soon Dan left to pick up another load of bricks, and I went to Lowe’s to get a few things (including some obligatory front porch hanging ferns) and to Martin’s for groceries. Got back, put everything away and hung up the ferns. Went through the mail that had piled up, changed clothes again, and helped Dan with brick load #2. Then he raced off to return the rented truck to Home Depot while I changed again and headed to the movie theater to get us some seats for Iron Man 3. We were exhausted but glad the night ended with RDJ sassing it up on the screen, as expected.

This trend of go-go-going that started Saturday is the new thing, at least for a while as we struggle to get everything done that needs to get done. On Sunday morning after I had gotten up, eaten something, showered, dressed, and makeupped, I was already dying to sit down and rest, and I hadn’t even started my day yet. I fought that impulse and went to Babies ‘R Us, trying to find a few necessities that we didn’t get at the shower. They had exactly one of the 8 or so things I was looking for, so it was pretty much a wasted trip. Plus I just left feeling kind of disgusted at all the ridiculous products and dumbed-down decor they have for babies. The nursery decor aisle is full of cartoony daisies or monkeys. Take your pick.

I kind of sat in the parking lot for a few minutes trying to figure out what to do next. Try another store? Go to a consignment store? Meh, not for diaper-y type things, right? What’s even open right now? I’m tired. I don’t want to do anything. I ended up driving home and bursting into tears and just sitting on the couch trying to breathe deeply. I realized that for all my urging and pressing us to get stuff done “early” (before I got to the uncomfortable, hard-to-move part of the pregnancy), I didn’t set hard due dates and stuff just kind of didn’t get done. There are various reasons, and none of them are laziness on my part because you know I’m NEVER not doing some household task. With supplies, I wanted to wait until after the shower to get any leftover stuff that we didn’t receive. Since most people got us cute clothes, bless their hearts, that actually ended up being a lot of functional supplies that are still missing. With some things that need to be done in the nursery and around the house, they require being up on ladders or using power tools or just stuff that Dan can accomplish way more efficiently than I can, so it’s not really up to me when they get done.

And now, here it is. The uncomfortable part of the pregnancy, and I’m all but useless and still so much is left to handle. I don’t care that everybody’s always like “Oh you have PLENTY of time;” I’ve always ignored that in life and end up scrambling less than most people because of ignoring that impulse to procrastinate. But I really wanted to get baby stuff finished way, way ahead of time so that these last few weeks of pregnancy could be spent sipping smoothies and putting my feet up and getting absorbed in a good book. Now that’s out the window, as we have five weeks left and all I see is to-do list items in those five weeks.

As I was sitting there on the couch despairing about a given thing not being done, something else would pop into my head that needed to be done too, and soon it was like there was a battle going on in my head over which one was the most important to do immediately. And it occurred to me that actually we may not even have the five weeks I keep taking for granted. The baby could realistically come at any minute and they’d probably be like “everything looks good, you’re having this baby now.” Ack! One million things to do and all I can get done is rubbing Sophie’s belly (admittedly, a mutually pleasant activity that I don’t do enough).

Eventually I dried it up and rallied. Okay, I need to make a list of things to get done. I went up to my office and did so. Just having the list in RTM and out of my head felt better already, as it always does.

– getting remaining essential baby supplies
– baby shower thank-you notes
– rearrange kitchen cabinets so I can put away baby milk / food supplies we got at the shower
– make or buy some bunting or something cute for the bare nursery wall by the crib
– make a packing list and pack the suitcase to bring to the hospital
– make a vet appointment for Sophie
– paint nails, avoid looking like a hobo clown
– learn how to use Dan’s little video camera so I can take videos of the baby
– finish book I’m reading so I don’t jeopardize the Nook I’m borrowing from Lianna for the rest of her life
– regular household chores that somehow still need to get done when all of this is going on

That list is for me, and doesn’t include things Dan is working on like hanging the baby mobile, hanging remaining art in the nursery, installing car seat bases in our cars, installing the cat door, antiquing some mirrors and installing them in the dining room bar, and oh yeah, the brick patio.

Since I felt so feeble that day I decided to tackle the least athletic things on the list, the first of which was getting the remaining baby supplies. Way more efficient and less soul-sucking than stupid physical retail spaces, Amazon came to the rescue and I ordered the last few things (diapering-related stuff that I don’t want to get from a consignment store or anything). Next up was thank-you notes. Transcribing the gift list into a spreadsheet, then return-address stamping, postage stamping, writing the actual notes while feeling emotional, etc. You see where I was at with the opening sentence of this post. Also the ice cream truck seriously seemed to be circling just our block over and over again. The music was maddening as was the temptation to run outside and demand ice cream. But I still got a lot of thank-you notes done.

When Dan got home from sound board duties at church, I was almost done making dinner and we ate, cleaned up, and he installed the cat door (which Sophie promptly ignored). Then we took a long bath as he read to me from his Expectant Father book. Finally went to sleep feeling much more sane and relaxed.

Yesterday was another hectic one; after an early-morning Common Good RVA meeting followed by work work work, I finished the thank-you notes, then tackled rearranging the kitchen cabinets and putting away baby stuff, finishing it just in time to pick Brandi up and go to Balliceaux for Secretly Y’all (note: laughing and dinner with Brandi are statistically proven to comfort 100% of pregnant Tesses). Before bed, while working on a packing list for the hospital bag, we watched a couple of episodes of the Office.

Today: WORK. And this lunchtime blog post. And tonight, probably packing that bag with all the things that can go into it this early.

This concludes this uncharacteristically panic-filled post. I feel like a mess. But hey, since I get overwhelmed like this so rarely, I figure it’s good to document it for posterity’s sake, right?

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