Home stretch

And man, how much things are stretching: my skin, my shirts, my pants…

Pretty sure this thing has also dropped a bit, based on having less room to actually pull up said pants. Working from home has gotten much more enjoyable since the purchase of a large exercise ball and a stand (to keep it from rolling too much.) I start going to the once-a-week visits now (delayed a week because of the Atlanta trip), and they all come with an ultrasound because of my “Advanced Maternal Age.” I think I would have declined the last growth scan if I’d known this, to eliminate the ultrasound tech measuring everything and grimacing at me based on her size estimate given without reference to what babies normally measure. Doc isn’t worried, I’m not worried, this is kind of just extra stress to me. I also feel that a weight estimate based on abdomen size is going to be a slight overestimation, based on Lena having a larger chest circumference than head, and being so long (as is this kid- I trust the femur measurements.)

The Alien and I played “poke the feet” after lunch each day, and then she’d have a dance party in the evening- a violent, might-escape-from-the-front dance party. This kid isn’t as explosive in their movements, but is more constantly squirmy (though seems to chill after I poke back.) Maybe more of a snuggler, if that’s possible? Who knows?! Alien liked to play poke the feet on my right side, while Predator is all over the top of the bump and the bottom corners (by my hip sockets). I have more Braxton-Hicks contractions than with the Alien, but it also may be that I’m noticing them more or that I’m just more constantly active myself this time vs. the either running around or sitting with Lena.

We started interviewing birth doulas after I went to Girl Scout camp with Lena and got the adult version of spooky camp stories, the ones about the hospital and the nurses that want laboring women to stick with things that make monitoring easier vs. labor easier. After talking with one of the 3 doulas in town, found out it’s a byproduct of having 100% male obygns in town until the last year who have an idea of a very managed birth being ideal and would come down on the nurses when a patient would “misbehave”. My doc’s all about better experiences that lead to better outcomes and was all in for finding a doula to help with that, having an ordered list of doulas she’d worked with and would recommend, and the doulas all seem to love working with her. Hooray for randomly-assigned doctor! Now, to hope that she’s on call if I’m there over a weekend.

We close on the Atlanta home on Monday. The house in Oxford is still so full of boxes. Focus right now is on getting the guest room set up, so that room is clear, and then we’ll move on to getting Predator’s room set up. The moses basket has clean bedding and the infant stuff is washed (at least, what I’ve found so far of infant stuff), so the first few days can be ok. I still feel the need to get the room painted to be brighter, so I’m not 100% on top of the whole assembly of everything, especially with so many boxes everywhere. It’s like they multiply when we’re not looking. Lena’s room is coming together, with a toy bench painted (woo, IKEA!) and a magnet board and her bed and a smidge of closet organization… Our room is a room of boxes and hesitation to unpack too much because of our desire to get the carpet replaced in at least our bedroom, since we can feel the carpet tacks at the thresholds. And most of the stuff in the boxes doesn’t fit me and we’ll have to do _something_ with the closet organizers when we replace the carpet, since they’re sitting on top of the carpet and the organization they’re providing isn’t really suiting our needs, but then we’ll have to figure out the organization of the closet to make the space usable again… it’s like a slippery slope of project pieces.

What we’ll probably do: talk about painting and the carpet for a year and then do nothing. Maybe replace the stove since the racks are bending, the storage drawer has eaten a pan and the splatter shield, the burners are placed to be most inefficient, and the programming is a fine example of exactly following specifications written without taking the use cases into mind. Or thought behind why one start button that controls both the timer and oven temp (why does oven temp need to be started after selecting it?!) is ok to pair with separate “cancel” and “stop” buttons for the two things, that work differently depending on the mode. “Start” is needed to start the oven getting up to the selected temperature and to start the timer, unless you’ve already turned on the oven, then the timer starts automatically. “Stop” stops both at once, or stops the timer alone when using the timer alone. “Cancel” is what you need to hit if you want to turn off the timer without turning off the oven. Having written specs for an offshore team, I can see how each line item made sense to the people hastily writing the specs, and the programmers writing the code followed it to the letter, since they were likely writing it in a vacuum without using the software or needing to think about how it would be used, and the QA team could write up their test scripts, again without closing the loop to a usability team. Waterfall development at its finest. Anyway, it’s frustrating, the oven handle is wearing out, and the sticking racks have caused us both to burn ourselves (I’m getting a lovely scar on the inside of my upper arm from them), so I feel like I still need to justify replacing a working oven that’s not working super-well for us. Ditto on the dishwasher- we both miss the efficiency, noise level, and capacity of our Kenmore. Not that the interior size was different, but the water jet placement allowed us to load it in a way that got more dishes in and they all got clean. We feel like we’re constantly running this dishwasher because of this. (Not that it matters all that much- plastic things still need to get wiped out after going through the dishwasher because of the silt left on them from our brown water.)

One thing that has shown that it definitely needs replacing is my car- the little annoyances, like the windshield with a million micro-dings in it, the right turn signal not turning off automatically, yellow hazy headlight covers, etc… have combined to be really annoying and the alignment keeps going out so quickly that it seems to have a permanent “gonna die” feeling in the rain, wind, or bumpy road (of which we have miles in both directions exiting our neighborhood). It’s going to need either a bunch of $$ invested in it soon-ish or the decision to use that money on a down payment for a car and, knowing that what I want isn’t likely to be on a lot in the southeastern United States, I’ve contacted a dealer and should have a replacement in the next week or so (whenever they find someone to drive the car from Oklahoma to Mississippi). I’m trying to feel better about the move from hatchback to station wagon by reminding myself that the new car has more hp and a turbo. And the sunroof is nearly the whole top of the car, like I could perhaps use it as a greenhouse. Also- still not a minivan or a reference to suv in the category.

This last trip back to Atlanta is a little strange. I’m staying with Georgia and then at a hotel once my little family arrives- not at my house. I rented a car to come over, so that’s even something unfamiliar (my car decided a few days before I left that the steering wheel needed a good third of a turn to make the wheels go straight + extra squirrely-ness in the the front wheels). So this definitely feels… like a visit, not a return home. I still miss the house here, especially the kitchen. I don’t trust that someone else will love it like we did, or appreciate the quirks.


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