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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal

Week 25 ~ November 27 - December 3, 2005
~ Stuffing and Other Stuff

Another week, and another skipped entry! Tsk, tsk, Jennifer, get on top of things! One day, when Charlie's older, he's going to be reading these entries, his baby book, etc., and he's going to ask me, "Mom, what happened on weeks 1-10. 19, 20 and 24?" "Nothing honey, mommy got a little lazy, that's all!" Oh well, I'm going to blame Thanksgiving, and too much tryptophan in the turkey that made me fall asleep instead of write. Yesss… it was the turkey that did it…

Well, we had a pretty good Thanksgiving this year. Not too terribly exciting, just a small affair with my immediate family and lots of food. All of my extended family lives out of state, mainly in Texas, and we're used to a small Thanksgiving dinner. Aaron's being here this year was a huge addition, from four to five - we nearly ran out of food for the first time ever! We always eat the same thing at Thanksgiving, every year, but the ante was upped due to my dad's new favourite toy, the turkey fryer. Also, my mom and I had asked Aaron if there was anything that he particularly liked to eat at Thanksgiving that wasn't on our list of old standards, and he did make one small addition… brussel sprouts! Eewwww! We made them, though, my mom and I grimacing back and forth at each other over those nasty little sprouts. As it turns out, my dad loves brussel sprouts as well (who knew?!), so he and Aaron were able to triumph over us together, while playing with fire and hot oil and the turkey, and feeling manly. Truly, it was a bonding experience.

This year, at Thanksgiving, I would like to say that what I am thankful for is my family. My parents are incredible, and Aaron is simply the best thing ever. I am thankful for the cranky little baby living in my guts. His constant assault on my insides is a daily reminder of just how much in my life I have to be grateful for. And last, but certainly not least, I want to say that I am thankful for stuffing. Gross, soggy-bread, stove top stuffing. I have always hated stuffing, turned my nose up at it, leered at it in disgust, and then this year… stuffing! It's a food miracle! I ate more stuffing than anything else, and then I brought home all the leftovers so I could have stuffing all weekend long. Ooh, and, as I've already run out of said leftovers, thanks to all the grocery stores that have stuffing on clearance now that Thanksgiving is over, so that I can stock up and celebrate stuffing for as long as this craving-insanity lasts. Mmm, stuffing…

With Thanksgiving now over, we've just got one more holiday to get through before the year's finally done, hurrah! Soon it'll be next year, my birthday in February, and then Charlie in March! Christmas this year is going to be really different for me as we'll actually be spending it with Aaron's family. I'm excited and nervous - I've never once in 24 years spent Christmas away from my parents', and all of our weird traditions (i.e. pinto beans ands polish sausage for Christmas Eve dinner) are the epitome of what Christmas is all about for me. However, it would seem that we're going to be totally lucking out on the deal, as Aaron's older sister Jennifer is trying to plan it so we can all spend Christmas in the mountain cabin together - super fun! Also, his younger sister Courtney is flying in from Kansas, and she's a ton of fun. It'll be great having her there for Christmas - she's younger, closer to my age, and will make this new family dinner and new family traditions far less intimidating for me.

The decision to spend Christmas with Aaron's peeps was a last minute one. When we were in Denver last weekend, at 8:30 in the morning with nothing to do, and no shops open to go to, we had a simultaneous brain flash: Aaron's sister Jennifer lives in Denver! Oh yeah! We called her up, sprung a surprise visit on her, and took the family out to breakfast. It was very nice, as I've only met her once before, and that was nearly two years ago! It's about time that I made a repeat appearance so everyone can get to know me better - especially important, as Jennifer (too many Jennifers) wants to throw me a shower, and it would be nice to have had more than one conversation over the course of the past two years… It was a good visit, and was especially touching how happy Jennifer was to see Aaron; they chatted and hugged and chatted some more all morning long. He's been a bit of a stranger with them for several years, but now his interest in all things family is so great to watch. Jennifer was so tickled to see us that she implored us to come and have both Thanksgiving AND Christmas dinner with them. As we were only four days out from Thanksgiving at that point, and were pretty settled in our plans to spend it at home with my family, their enthusiasm was a bit overwhelming. Not to mention that we were just a little tired of driving to make the hour and a half trek through heavy Denver traffic there and back for the second time in one week! We were able to duck out of Thanksgiving without stepping on any toes with our absolute promise of spending Christmas together. Everyone is happy, so that's that.

The only problem now is that I've got to pick out a whole slew of new Christmas presents for all of Aaron's family! I have no idea what to get them, and Aaron is no help! I'm relying on my Christmas mastermind - Mom - to help me make up fun Christmas baskets for Jennifer and her family, and then another one for little sis Courtney. Something generic that anybody would love to get, but still thoughtful and full of goodies. Aaron's worried because his family has been getting presents for me, and apparently, he doesn't think that I'm going to like any of them! Poor guy, he doesn't have the heart to tell them that whatever it is that they've chosen might not be to my taste, but then he also doesn't want me to have a lame Christmas with lots of stuff I'll never use. Likely, as this is the first time I'll really have spent any time with his extended family, he's more worried about the impression they make on me than the actual gifts given, but would never admit it. I've assured him that it will all be fine, not to worry, and that we'll have a good time regardless. After all, despite my (perfectly rational) gift-giving neurosis, Christmas is about family, not about presents.

Speaking of neurosis, I've finally had my neurologist appointment this week. It was frustrating, but good. Basically, Dr. Ewing wants to start me back on a physical therapy track similar to the one we had me on five years ago. This means therapy twice a week for the next month or so, complimented with a prescription muscle relaxant that I can take at home on problem days between therapy. I'm glad that we're getting it all worked out before the headaches start to become a real problem again, but it's still a bit upsetting that for all these years, I've been fine and now we're back to square one. Not to mention that this will mean yet another month going by before we can start to work on my accident settlement with the insurance! Aargh!

Everyone is hyper-conscious of my pregnancy, so it will be interesting this time around to see how the therapy differs. My shoulders are a huge problem, with a lot of big, angry knots that will not go away, but my regular massage therapist has been afraid to touch them because the tops of your shoulders can be a pressure point to bring on early labour. Good to know once it gets to be around March of next year, but for now, we'll have to sit down with the physical therapists and see what they have to say about it. Also, Dr. Ewing really wants me to get on a muscle relaxant, but even he was stumped as to which one would be safest to use without harming Charlie at all. He's doing a lot of research to find out what will be best, and working closely with my OB to make sure that everybody is on-board with the prescription. I don't know if I'll actually have the courage to take the stupid things once they do find a good medication for me, though. I know that they'll really help me out, but here's hoping that Charlie doesn't have his mom's problem with tension and chronic headache, and need to be doped up. I guess it's just another thing that we'll have to see.

Meanwhile, Aaron and I both have bad colds right now, so on top of the headaches, the flippy/floppy baby, the backaches, and general pregnancy discomfort, I can't sleep anyway because of my congestion, and Aaron's non-stop coughing! I know, I know, what a complainer I am!

On the upside though, we've been working on the weekends to get Charlie's bedroom cleared out so we can start painting it and getting everything ready. Three months still to go seems a very long time off for getting everything done, until I think about how slowly it's all been coming together, and then I can't start soon enough! At this point, we really won't have much more than a crib, a changing table, and a rocking chair to put in there, plus some miscellaneous stuffed animals that were either mine or Aaron's, but with showers coming up, methinks we're going to start acquiring more and more. We'll need an organized place to put everything. Besides, it's just FUN picking out and decorating with tiny baby things!

I've also been looking into baby announcements this week. Sure, it really IS little early for that, but of course I want some big custom job. Being a graphic designer, I think it's a bit of a sin for me not to design my own layout, and as I'll definitely not be up to it right after the birth, I have to think about it now. I know exactly what I want to do, am ready to go with the layout, and all I'll need to do in March is slap a picture of the baby on the layout, and fill in the exact date/height/weight blanks, etc. They're going to be so cute, with little custom envelopes printed with our return address and Charlie's name. The problem is, with all this custom planning and giving in to my cuteness whims, I've worked up one expensive print job! I'm hoping that since A.) I work at a print shop, and B.) people tend to want to be nicer to people with babies, that they'll be willing to give me a generous discount on this job so that I can have the baby announcements of my dreams. If not, it's back to Target with me for pre-printed fill-in-the-blanks!

All right, back to work, so it's over and out with me. Friday finally, and I want this day to go FAST! Tomorrow I have to drive back down to Denver to meet up with a friend of mine who now lives in NYC. She's in town for one day only, and I can't wait to see her. December is going to be so great, I have so many friends coming home to visit, and it all starts tomorrow. Yay!

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