Thursday, April 30, 2009

An ordinary life.

About a year ago, my mom told me she thinks Nate and I have one of the great love stories.

My reaction to this was: "huh?"

I mean, yes - Nate and I have a really good relationship. We love each other deeply, we are the best of friends, and neither of us could imagine life without the other. But one of the great love stories? Like Romeo and Juliet, or Heathcliff and Catherine? We don't have nearly enough drama or excitement in our lives to go up against couples like that.

But those are fabricated love stories, not tales of couples dealing with everyday life. Real couples have mortgages and jobs and financial stress. Real couples get so busy they barely see each other, and when they do it's to kiss good morning before rushing out the door. Real couples fight about real things, like who forgot to pay the water bill and how the car is 3,000 miles over for an oil change and why it's never a good idea to invite people over without checking with the other person first.

Nate and I are very much a real couple.

We love each other, but we drive each other crazy. We don't always agree. We don't always do things in a way that makes the other person happy. We take our bad days out on each other. On the nights we're both home, we're likely to sit on the couch and stare at the TV for a few hours before heading to bed, where our dog sleeps between us (talk about romance) and we fall asleep to reruns of Friends.

In most ways, we're just your typical tired, over-worked couple.

And yet. There is something not-so-ordinary about these ordinary moments in our life.

Yes, we argue. But very rarely, and never about anything important. And even during our biggest, loudest, most dramatic fights (the drama is all me, Nate isn't much for yelling), we end up laughing. Always, without fail. We just can't stay mad at each other.

When we sit and stare at the TV at night, we cuddle up against each other and talk. We giggle at The Office and 30 Rock and our amusing dog. Nate plays with my hair, and I scratch his hand, because he loves that.

When we go to bed, we always kiss goodnight and say we love each other. We fall asleep curled together — Nate's hand on my belly, Mattie snuggled between us — our little family of three and a half.

On the nights when he works late and I go to bed alone, he always kisses me and tells me he loves me when he comes home. I am usually too sleepy for much of a response, but in the morning I always have a vague, dreamy memory of being kissed goodnight.

We lay in bed every morning and talk — about the previous day, the day to come, our plans for the weekend. And then the dog barks at Nate for her breakfast, he wrestles with her on the bed, I yell at them both to behave, and we end up laughing as we get up and begin to go about our separate days.

I married my very favorite person in the world four years ago today. And I can say with all honesty that even when life is hard, too busy, or just plain dull — we are happy.

Our life is very ordinary. But our love for each other is anything but.

And if that's what my mom meant when she said we have a great love story, I would have to agree.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

If only...

Why couldn't I have been pregnant in 1972?

I wonder if Sears still makes these beauties? Hadn't thought to check there for fashion-forward, figure-flattering maternity clothing.

Stupid me.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Story time with Mom and Mattie.

Abby: Mattie, would you like me to read you a story?
Nate: Oh boy, time for that baby to come.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ready for baby? Check.

Abby's baby checklist update:

A million onesies in varying sizes? Check.
Diapers (one very small pack of NB, one very large pack of size 1) and wipes? Check.
Breast pump? Check.
Stroller and car seat? Check.
Nursing bras? Check.
Pjs for the hospital? Check.
One very jealous puppy? Check.
A completed nursery? Almost check.

After a highly productive weekend (and the last of my four baby showers!), I am about 95% ready for this baby to come. Nate and I spent the weekend unpacking boxes and boxes of gifts, doing laundry, folding and organizing teensy tiny clothes and socks, and shopping for those last few items on our list. We also got the nursery pulled together. Except for hanging a book shelf, moving a picture over the dresser, and finding a lamp shade (why are children's lamp shades so difficult to locate? I'm running out of places to look!), we're done.

Here are the fruits of our labor. Keep in mind, this room is about 9x11 — so small that I had a hard time taking pictures. And these photos aren't great; I can't find my camera cord, so I had to take them on my iPhone. But it really is very cute. We tried to keep it simple since the room is so tiny, but when you're in it, it feels very cheerful and cozy. Mattie would agree...she sits outside the door to his room every night before bed, begging to take one last look. She's especially interested in that bucket of toys...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Seven Pounds.

Pop quiz. Is Seven Pounds:

1) The title of a recently released Will Smith movie?
2) The size of my unborn child, who is measuring nearly two pounds ahead of schedule?

The answer, my friends, is yes.

I went to the doctor on Friday for the first of my now weekly appointments. My blood pressure has been giving me some trouble, so in an effort to avoid bed rest, I've been scheduled for weekly OB appointments, ultrasounds, and non-stress tests. My appointment with the doctor was fine; however she measured my fundus (stomach) and started laughing. Evidently I was measuring "quite large." I asked how big a baby is supposed to be at 35 weeks, and she said between 4.75 and 5.25 pounds. So I figured "quite large" meant maybe six pounds? Big, but manageable.

On to the ultrasound, where the tech said "please don't panic" before telling me that my baby is currently measuring at a whopping 7lbs. She tried to comfort me by saying that it's not unheard of — why just earlier in the week she had a patient who measured almost six and a half pounds! (Gee, thanks.) She estimates that my baby will weigh in around 10lbs at birth. You know, give or take. (Please, please let it be take...)

While that news was fairly traumatizing, what really got to me were the ultrasound photos. He looks...huge. In some of the pictures, his cheeks were so chubby they were hanging over the sides of his mouth — kind of like someone you'd expect to see on a TLC show called "The World's Heaviest Man" or on MTV's "True Life: I Weigh Two Tons."

All I could think was - my sweet baby boy looks like the Two-Ton Man? What did I do to make him like this? I really could not see any other explanation except complete failure as a mother. Which of course led to tears. Lots of them. In fact, I was pretty much inconsolable for the remainder of the evening.

But after a good night's sleep (crying makes me really tired) and another look at those photos (yep, still chubby), I got over it (kind of). So what if my kid is huge? He's coming out one way or another...his projected size just confirms my absolute need for drugs during labor. And if his cheeks really are that big (they very well might be, mine certainly aren't small), he will still be cute to me and I will love his sweet face forever.

Still, I am now begging God for an early delivery. Nate finishes the semester on May 11, so I'm shooting for any time that week. Hopefully that'll shave a pound off...

C'mon baby!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fall into the Gap.

When you're tall, there are few places to find reasonably-priced pants. The Gap and Banana Republic are two excellent options, as they carry tall sizes and their pants typically fall between the $50-$100 range. Not cheap, by any means, but reasonable. And as I'm sure we can all agree, good pants are worth a little extra.

Because they rarely carry long lengths in their stores, I've pretty much devoted myself to shopping online. The good people at the Gap, Inc. distribution center probably know me by name, because I've been ordering from them for about eight years, and my orders are always huge. I can't just pick out a pair of jeans online and assume they'll fit — I usually order at least four pairs of jeans or pants at a time so I have some options. And then I send whatever doesn't work back — which is totally painless, given Gap's 90-day free returns policy. All you have to do is print out the handy little return label and drop it off at UPS within 90 days of your purchase. Previously you had the option of returning it by mail (at a cost) or to the store. When they eliminated the option of returning to the store I was a little bummed, but they made up for it by implementing the free returns by mail policy.

I have continued ordering online from the Gap throughout my pregnancy, because as previously stated/whined about, it is nearly impossible to find long length maternity pants. The Gap has the corner on this market, so at the end of February (just as the rest of my jeans were starting to look seriously ratty), I placed a big order with them — three pairs of jeans, a shirt, and a pair of chinos. Two pairs of the jeans worked out, as did the shirt, but the remaining pair of jeans was not cute, and the chinos, while attractive, were not really seasonally-appropriate. But I decided to hang on to them for a while, because I thought maybe once the weather started to turn I'd be happy to have them. And I figured the 90 day return policy would actually cover the rest of my pregnancy, so if I never got around to wearing them while pregnant, I could still return them.

Well, shoot.

Last week I decided to return them — I hadn't thought about them once since I tried them on in February, which I felt was a pretty good indication that I didn't need them. So I went online to print out my free UPS label, and found that not only do returns by mail cost $6.00 again, they have to be received within 45 days of purchase.


I subscribe to the Gap, Banana and Old Navy emails. I am a very regular (and I would assume, valued) customer. Those stores make a crapload of money off of me. And they didn't even have the decency to let me know they changed their return policy?

I quickly did some math: I ordered the pants 40 days ago, so I was still in the clear. But what if I hadn't decided to return them last week and I missed my 45-day window of opportunity? Would I be stuck with two pairs of pants I don't want? (I realize there is probably a lesson in here somewhere about not abusing the return policy...)

Anyway, I understand that the economy is total crap and all that, but they could have at least let their regular online customers know they changed the policy. And they could also reinstate the in-store returns policy. As of right now, there is no free way to return unwanted merchandise. Which is really pretty unfair, especially to those of us who have to shop online because they don't carry long lengths in store.

Being tall is difficult enough. But being tall and pregnant? WAAAAAAAH.

Next up: my rant regarding Motherhood Maternity's exchanges only policy. What the heck.

Powered by Blogger.
Designed By Boutique-Website-Design