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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal

Week 34 ~ January 25 - February 4, 2006
~ Showered with Gifts

Well, this past weekend was my first baby shower, and wasn't that an experience! I really don't know that I've ever been to a baby shower before, so I was a little taken aback by how lavish and generous everyone was. This one was my very traditional, girly baby shower, thrown for me by Ronda, a friend and coworker of my mom's. There are several women at my mom's office that I know very well, and because we definitely were inviting them, we felt it would be rude not to at least extend an invitation to everyone, even if they didn't know me as well. To my surprise, all the women came for my shower, plus a handful of my mom's other friends, and Chelsea and Taylor. There were so many gifts in Ronda's living room, I could not believe it! Everyone was so nice; it's just amazing the camaraderie between women when there's a baby coming. It was a really fun shower, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. I had wanted a brunch shower, because fruit trays and muffins and decaf coffee are so perfect for tea parties, so we started early at 10 am. Everyone arrived, and we gathered round all the yummy breakfast foods spread out for us in the kitchen, and then settled in dining room around a huge table. It was very festive with balloons and matching baby plates, napkins, tablecloth, etc. We ate, chatted, played one quick game to see who would get to take the flower arrangement home, and then it was present time!

They started me out with the biggest surprise of all, making me close my eyes while they "brought it out." I had no idea what to expect, but when I opened my eyes again I certainly didn't think that I would see my Aunt Jane's face looming right in front of mine. She said, "Hello Jennifer," and hugged me, and of course I started bawling because we had so much wanted her to come visit, but never thought there'd be any way she could make it, and suddenly there she was. Apparently, she'd made the 14 hour drive up from Texas a couple days before, and my parents had been desperately stashing her in the basement of their house, doing everything in their power to get me to NOT come over and see them! So I cried, and she cried, and then my mom cried, and we all looked awful in the pictures with our smeared mascara and red faces. Oh well!

The rest of the present-opening was less dramatic and tear-filled, but still wonderful. I got so many cute outfits for the baby, its ridiculous! It seems that there is an OshKosh store in the outlet mall about 15 miles from our house, and my God, how I wish I didn't know about it! Charlie now has some of the cutest little overall outfits in the history of the world, in patterns such as crocodiles or hippos - they even have tiny matching crocodile socks! We also have a whole array now of cute baby toys, stuffed animals, and musical crib dolls. As I opened each of the gifts, I held up the contents for everyone to see, and each and every time came a loud, simultaneous shriek from all the women - it was hilarious.

The only trouble with showers is that everyone wants to give you the most adorable things they can find (like this is a problem!), which unfortunately does not include the practical necessities! I did receive some diapers, a bottle gift set, and my coveted wipe warmer with wipes (yes!), but the majority definitely went with clothes, blankies, and toys. Not that I am unappreciative of anything I received, on the contrary I loved everything, but I think that before our next shower we'd better clear out the whole registry and fill it up again with all the boring stuff we need! We've been stocking up on some of the more expensive and needed baby supplies whenever we've had spare money, and let me tell you . . . I bought a large container of formula this weekend, and almost fainted! So expensive, our weekly grocery bill went up by a third! Oh well, at least the shower has proved that everyone else is game to completely spoil the baby while Aaron and I become slaves to Enfamil and Luvs.

After the shower, my family and I brought all the gifts back over to my house, and I spread them all out to show a very bewildered Aaron what we had received. Considering the fact that he had just been rudely awakened from his sleep by my exuberance for baby things, and he was definitely still off in a sleep-deprived stupor, his less than enthusiastic appraisal of Charlie's new belongings can be forgiven. Not to mention his very flat and uninterested introduction to Jane! However, after a few cups of coffee, he was back in the game, and we got to working on the nursery. Aaron and my dad spent the afternoon piecing together the crib (very difficult considering it was given to us minus any and all nuts, bolts and screws) while I took a deserved nap (shower exhaustion.) When I woke up, the crib was together, and its mere presence in the room just screamed BABY. They got the changing table put together the next afternoon, and then Aaron and I were able to bring in all of the gifts, and get to work putting everything away where it will go for all of Charlie's infancy. Once everything was stashed away, all the toys were in place, and the rocking chair was brought it . . . wow. It's a baby's room. No longer the storage room from hell, it's definitely, undeniably a baby's room. The paint colour Aaron put on the wall is so warm, and with all the little animal prints around, everything is soft and cuddly. It was really, really weird! Aaron and I just stood around in the room for a long time, not talking to each other. The coming together of the room seems to have been more of a slap in the face for us than anything else - we are having a baby. It was real when we heard the heartbeat, it was real when he first started moving around, but until now, it just didn't seem really real. I don't know how else to explain it, it's nuts! Charlie now has a place in the world to come home to!

Every day I'm getting used to it, and I love the room more and more. I'll walk in there and just look around, look at all Charlie's things, and think about how it'll be once he's home and living in that room. His little baby noises, the smell of a baby, and how it certainly won't ever be as clean again as it is now, ha!

The poor cats are reacting very strangely to the nursery. I wish I knew a good way to acclimate them to the idea of a baby, but it's not like I can sit them down for a good talkin' to. They're so confused! That room has been closed off for months and months, so it's always been a bit of mystery. Now, however, they're allowed to roam free within its hallowed walls, and you should see them. They walk in with such trepidation, looking around at all the magical wonders - the crib, the changing table, the corner stuffed with empty gift bags from the shower. I can always tell where they've been; a shoe will be misaligned with all its neighbor shoes, or a diaper has fallen off the pile on the changing table shelf. The one thing that they love the most, though, is the crib. They simply cannot get enough of that darn crib! We don't have any sheets or blankets put down in it yet, so luckily it's just a plastic covered mattress in there that we can easily de-hair, but we're going to have to do something soon about getting them to not love being in the crib anymore. At first, we really wanted them to get to be in it, so that they'd know what it was, and be less fascinated with it later. That plan, however, seems to have backfired. While Beauty is becoming less interested in the room now, and is content to spend a lot of time with me (it's really sweet, like she knows I need extra lovin' these days), my awful cat Steve is still obsessed with being the master of the crib. Every day, when I come home, I can find him curled up in the crib next to the musical dog toy. If I'm doing something in the room, he'll be in the crib reaching out through the bars with his paws trying to grab me, or laying back watching the mobile spin. It's like he's trying to be the baby himself! I mean, why not? He's always been the baby of the family before, he'd better firmly stake out his territory before whatever is about to happen happens. It's gone so far as to him sleeping in the crib all night long, as opposed to sleeping on the bed with us, which is what he's done every night since I brought him home. This is bad!

And I know, I know, everyone says it's so horrible to have cats in a house with a baby, but we're working with our vet to get them as ready as possible before Charlie comes home. After that, we're lucky enough that there will always be one of us home to watch out that we don't have any small cat curiosity problems with the baby. Until then, it looks like we're going to have to start booby-trapping the crib with foil and duct tape to make it, shall we say, less appealing to Steve for his cat naps.

February 2nd was my 25th birthday, and I don't know when I've had a more docile one in recent history! I wouldn't say boring, but . . . Aaron and I both had to work as usual (we're so adult now), so I didn't get to see him much at all on the actual day. Any other time, we'd take the day off together, and have a long weekend of debauchery somewhere with our friends. Now, alas, we have to think about saving all our time off for next month, and someone else's birthday. My parents and my aunt did take me out to dinner, and then I came home with them for cake, and to open the present that Aunt Jane had for me before she went back to Texas the next morning. After that, I simply went home, took a bath, and watched TV in bed until I fell asleep. Soo lively! This weekend should be fun, though. Saturday we're driving down to Denver for dinner with some of my friends at Patsy's, a little Italian place that I love. It's the restaurant that my best friends used to take me to every year when they still lived in town, and it's where I had my college graduation party - good memories, so that will be good. Plus, they have the most amazing trout dish with garlic cream pasta, yum yum yum. After that, I think the plan is to hit up some hip bar downtown for a glass of wine, and try to pretend that I'm not enormous. It's either that, or go to the slightly more pregnant-friendly Dave-N-Busters for some exorbitantly priced video games. Either way, it should be fun. Then Sunday, my parents are making me a barbecue extraordinaire, complete with ribs, sausage, baked beans and homemade guacamole. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. That's when I'll open all the rest of the presents, with Aaron there to watch. I'm a little concerned that the Super Bowl is going to create a dent in my quality family birthday time, but we'll see . . .

Aaron's promised to hunt me down a classic Nintendo system for my birthday (did I say I was an adult?), and I'm really excited. I know I won't have a ton of down time during my leave from work, but I'm still looking forward to the odd spare minute for a little Mario Brothers action. Jane already gave me new jammies and slippers to wear around the house while I'm recovering, and I think my parents are giving me a pedicure. Once I hit 38 or 39 weeks, I plan to use this pedicure proactively - go ahead, rub my ankles, it's a pressure point to help bring on labour! Haha! There will be much ankle rubbing and walking all around and sexing it up and eating spicy foods (don't know if that one's a myth or not) come the end of this month. I'm tired of being pregnant and am so ready for this baby to come home!

All right, that's about enough out of me. It's the end of the week now, and as of Thursday (the 2nd) I'm already at 35 weeks of pregnancy. It doesn't even seem possible - only five left to go! Yay!

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