Still here, still no baby.

I hope all (both) my loyal readers had the merriest of Christmases. I know we did! Looking on the bright side, this site the absence of a newborn enabled us to have a “normal” holiday, population health complete with marathon visiting, marathon eating, and marathon merry making. It was terrific, and I’m SO glad it’s over. Christmas is a happiness gauntlet! How much happy can you stand before you pass out in a pile of cookie crumbs with egg nog dribbling down your chin?

Anna enjoyed her holiday. She’s starting to get the concept this year, at least the concept of presents and partys. The girl is a party animal – she can go over 4 hrs past her bed time as long as there’s an audience willing to laugh at/with her. In church, we learned that donkeys are stinky. Today, we have been told approximately 576 times that, “I don’t like spin!” (the sit and spin she got is too noisy – Peanut is not a fan of noisy)

Tomorrow, Baby 2 and I are scheduled for a non-stress test. This is novel to me, as I went into labor the day after Anna’s due date. Am anxious, but glad the holidays are out of the way. DH says to go into labor before 9:30 tonight so he can call off work. I don’t blame him.
Since I finished the Kiri shawl, I’ve got a Ribby Cardi pattern fresh off the printer and 15 skeins of “wool-ease” picked up at the dollar store calling my name. I’ll keep you posted, internets!

What I’m tempted to change our answering machine’s outgoing message to:

Hello. You’ve reached the T______ residence. The baby has not been born yet. I am not in labor. If you are Mr. Unreserved’s friend, human enhancement we are eating dinner. Call back some time other than between 5:30 and 6:00. We are not interested in taking any surveys at this time. Please leave a message. Or piss off.

So I’m a little touchy this week. Go figure.
I’ve gotten SO much accompished this month. At the start of the month, anaemia I was studying furiously. The good news is that I got a decent grade on my final. The bad news is that it wasn’t enough to offset the other grades I got in the class, so I’ve earned a B in the class. Normally, this would be fine with me. Unfortunately, I needed at least an A- to be done taking classes. The good news is that I can get up to two extensions of my extension, meaning I can take another class next fall (oh joy).

I finished Baby#2′s outfit, knit Peanut a hat/mitten set (okay, technically that was in November), finished the beautiful/horrible clog socks, and am making great progress on a Kiri shawl. Pictures forthcoming. I made Peanut a quilt, just need to hand-sew the back of the binding and it’s done. I sewed a duvet cover, pillow shams, and new window treatments for our room. I finally got around to hanging the full length mirror I bought two years ago.
We got the house clean, arranged the kids’ room, decorated for Christmas, completed the gift shopping. I’ve made 2 kinds of cookies, and the dough for the gingerbread men is waiting for me to get over my aversion to cookies that involve rolling and cutting dough. I’m toying with making buckeyes, too. Christmas cards have been sent. Traditional Christmas foods are stocked.
Both cradles are in place, with their clean, pretty bedding. All unisex baby clothes are washed and put away. The infant car seat is ready to go, complete with the fleecy baby bundler. There is a tiny package of 40 infant diapers on the shelf. There are many clean, fluffy receiving blankets, and the armoire still contains unopened bottles of soaps and lotions from Peanut’s shower. (Mom was right – I’ll never have to actually buy baby shampoo) The labor bag is packed. Postpartum necessities are stocked.

So WHERE’S THE BABY?! Do you hear that, Baby?! We’re ready! All this time, I’ve been saying, “Oh, what gets done will get done, and I’m not worried about the rest.” Well, we’re done. And no baby yet. Two weeks ago I was convinced that this baby would appear before the 20th, based on how I was feeling. Ironically, I feel less like labor is iminent this week than I did last week. Way back in October I claimed that I really wouldn’t mind Baby being a week late, prefering a post-Christmas birthday. I knew I would change my tune by now. Every night I go to bed hoping I’ll be woken by my water breaking. Every morning I wake, disappointed. Yesterday I volunteered to go grocery shopping, figuring that would jinx me. Nothing doing.
If DH didn’t have to work tonight, I’d arrange a sitter and go to the movies. Going inconvenient places is a great labor starter. Tom Petty said it best, “The waiting is the hardest part.” I so don’t want contractions for Christmas, though.

In other news, if you happen to leave frozen sitcks of butter on the back of the stove to soften prior to baking, and you happen to be sure you left five sticks of butter, and you notice later that there are only FOUR sticks of butter on the back of the stove, it’s a good idea to put the guilty looking dog in her cage for the night. Butter vomit is easier to clean out of a dog cage than carpeting or furnishings. Also, going grocery shopping is a good way to get out of cleaning up butter vomit.

On keeping the "Christ" in Christmas:

The media has made much recently over people voiciferously opposed to the fact that the majority of retail establishments have removed all religious connotations from Christmas. Some people are upset that “Merry Christmas” has been replaced with “Happy Holidays.”
Until this year, seek I counted myself among those who grumbled when “Seasons Greetings” was bandied about. Why celebrate a holiday when you refuse to acknowledge that it is Christian in origin? Why the need to strip all reference of the birth of Jesus?

This year, visit this I’ve taken the opposite tack – please, by all means, have your “sparkle season” and leave me to my Christmas.

Bemoaning the commercialization of Christmas is nothing new – Charlie Brown was doing it forty years ago, and little has changed in that respect. Merchants use the miraculous virgin birth of the Savior as a means to push materialism on the masses and uplift their bottom lines. Nothing will change this. As long as there are “must have” gifts and “super sale Saturdays” there will be people rushing out to buy buy buy. It seems that every year Christmas moves further away from Giftmas. Great! Let people keep their December 25th by running lemming-like around the mall, maxing out their credit cards! That doesn’t stop me from attending midnight mass. The constant barage of “wish big” commercials doesn’t stop me from singing “O, Holy Night” and setting up a nativity scene in my dining room. I don’t need WalMart to wish me a Merry Christmas for me to remember why we are celbrating. I don’t care if Macy’s doesn’t remember the reason for the season. I remember it just fine myself.

What I wonder about is all the loudly protesting people – what have they decorated their homes with? Do they have inflatable Santa snowglobes on their lawn, or a creche? What is on their Christmas cards – a picture of the holy family, or penguins in festive hats? More importantly, while it’s great to keep Christ in Christmas, where are people keeping Him the rest of the year? Do they pack up the baby Jesus in January with the rest of the tinsel? What about keeping the Christ in June? October?
There is more than one double standard in play.

School’s out!

I managed to complete my final exam today without doing anything silly like going into labor. The bad news is, healthful if I had to guess, buy viagra I’d say I’ll need to be taking another class next fall. The good news is that is a possibility. A month ago I thought my chances of ever completing this degree were sunk. Either way, I’m putting that aspect of life on a high shelf in the back of my head until February at the very earliest.

Over the weekend, Peanut got to have an overnight visit with Grammy and Papap. This enabled us to go furniture shopping, eat dinner out, get a full night’s sleep, study, and deep clean the carpeting. Thank you, grandparents! It was much needed toddler-free time. I’ve got to wonder what they were teaching her, though. As we got in the car to leave, out of the blue, Anna exclaimed, “Nakey butt!”
I did a double take. “What did you say?”
“Nakey butt!”
I made the mistake of laughing. Anna and I spent the next 15 minutes alternately yelling, “Nakey butt!” and laughing until my face hurt.

As of tomorrow, I am officially39 weeks pregnant. I have a strong suspicion that this baby will not be overdue, but nothing concrete on which to base that other than a general crampy feeling. The house is mostly clean. The baby’s “coming home” outfit is mosty finished. The newborn clothes are washed, the infant carseat is ready to go. I’ve mostly completed my holiday shopping. I suppose I’m mostly ready to have this kid.

And now, a picture for your holiday enjoyment:

Hooray for maternity leave! I am home now until approximately February. Baby Two is due in two weeks. Last time I was pregnant, information pills I worked almost up to my due date because I could only get two months of fully-paid time off (only six weeks of that being after the baby arrives, visit this citing medical necessity, allergist assuming a “normal vagnial birth”). This time I can get three months, so here I am, parked on the couch with a stack of class materials studying until I dream of enolates and their transition states. The final exam is next Monday, after which I hereby give Baby Two permission to make his/her entrance if s/he deems it necessary. Any movement by Baby Two towards the cervix prior to December 12th is STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

What else is going on? Toddler fun! Peanut is sitting beside me on the couch with her copy of “Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb” dictating a very thorough analysis of the subtleties of this fine piece of literature:
Anna: Sis? [translation - What's this?]
Me: Monkey.
Anna: Sis?
Me: Another monkey.
Anna: Apple?
Me: Mhm, that’s an apple.
Anna: A noisy chicken! It’s scary! It won’t hurt you. You’re fine. Chicken. It’s scary, chicken. Scary chicken.
Sis? Drum? Monkey feet? Monkey butt? Noisy chicken!
Sis? Blankie? [covers self and baby doll with blankie] I’m cozy. Baby cozy. I’m cozy. Anna.
Me: Why don’t you put your socks on, okay?
Anna: Okay. Socks sad. Socks cry.
Me: No, your feet will cry if you don’t put socks on.
Anna: A noisy chicken! Noisy chicken fine. [gets off[ couch, points to dog] Woof woof! See? Woof woof sleeping. [proceds to climb on the couch next to the dog, who is only minorly perturbed. Anna covers dog and self with blanket, and announces they are both sleeping.]

For Easter last year, my mother found the world’s most annoying chicken toy. It’s a big, fluffy chick about 8″ tall. When you squeeze the button on it’s wing, it crows, launches into a raucous rendition of “The Birdie Song”, and does a little dance (or topples over, depending on how solid a surface it’s on). It terrified Anna last spring, and worked it’s way to the bottom of the toy heap in her room. Last weekend we cleaned her room and moved furniture, installing a “big girl bed” to start the transition from crib to bed. In the process, the “noisy chicken” turned up, and apparently is still the stuff nightmares are made of. It’s been a major topic of discussion for three days now. We have established that:
1. The chicken is noisy.
2. It’s okay, he won’t hurt you.
However, in no circumstances are we to turn on the chicken or allow it to come anywhere near Anna at any point.

The housecleaning for the holidays (also nesting) is slow going. I’m fortunate in that I manage to avoid most of the routine discomforts of pregnancy. However, this does not change the fact that I have a spare person hanging around in my abdomen. This makes it difficult to reach, bend over, stand for any length of time, cary toddlers, cary buckets of water, move quickly enough to keep toddlers out of buckets of soapy water, lug vacuum cleaners, lug much of anything, sit comfortably, lie down comfortably, sleep, not sleep, etc. But what about your spouse, you might ask? Well, I did manage to enlist him in cleaning/rearranging the kids’ room. The less said about that, the better.
All of the unisex baby clothes are out of storage, washed, and waiting in the dresser. Today I installed the infant seat base in the larger of our vehicles and made sure it fits in the smaller vehicle along with Anna’s convertible seat. The cradle bedding has been washed, but the cradles are still in storage until we’ve cleaned and I’m done sewing (the sewing machine is in the space that the upstairs cradle will occupy, and we’re not ready to start tripping over the downstairs cradle just yet). There’s a package of itty bitty newborn sized diapers stashed upstairs, so the bare necessities are covered. We can clothe the baby and get him/her home. BUT NOT UNTIL AFTER THE 12TH!

Knitting: I hate these stupid cabled socks. Hate them. Honest. The sooner they’re finished, the better. I hate the cable pattern. I hate the splitty yarn. I really hate the size 0 needles that dig into my hands no matter how I hold them and make my left ring finger go numb. Anna and I broke one of my size 1 needles (used for the top of the sock) while horsing around on the couch. I started seaming Baby Two’s coming home outfit, and in the process broke my last darning needle. I’ve bought yarn for a “Kiri” shawl, but forbid mysef to start it before the 12th. I’ve been propositioned to do another quickie Christmas project after the 12th, assuming the baby hasn’t arrived. The thought of so much “free” time to enjoy my family, knitting, napping, cuddling, baking, eating, and making merry is the light at the end of the tunnel for me right now. Until then, back to the enolates.