Okay I have a lot to write about. So feel free to skip over the boring parts. Living alone, even just for a week, has made me really talkative. Since I don't have anyone to vent all of the minute details of my life to anymore, I have to do it here.
The move to Austin went well. Aaron and I managed to drive down here without killing each other, and he loves the condo. We're both still stressed about the job / money situation (That is, I don't have a job, he needs a new job, and neither of us have any money.)
BUT, I have an interview at 3 o'clock today which might solve 2/3 of that problem. That is a story in and of itself, which I will probably tell you. Heh.
Anyway, I love being back. And it will only get better when Julie gets home from Europe! The condo is great, but it still feels like living in a hotel to me. The owners are moving some more furniture out today, and giving me two futons, so maybe once the looming threat of strangers entering my house is passed, it will feel more like home.
The best part is living near family. My Aunt Sue is the best person to live alone next to. Why? She texts me when she's made oatmeal, is going for a walk, is wondering if I need to go to the store, etc. etc. And it's great, because my days are spent in my pajamas, looking mournfully at my empty email inbox, waiting for someone to want to hire me. Like a puppy at the pound, with my resume posted on my kennel, and all of these men and women in suits are passing by, glancing at it, and walking away. But Aunt Sue drags me out of the house and makes me do stuff, makes me eat stuff (besides ice cream and easy mac), and makes me think about something other than my own joblessness.
Today we went on a hike up and down the hills near the condos - gawking at super expensive, lakefront houses are a good distraction from the pains I get from my too-tight-around-the-belly shorts. We went up to a vista overlooking the lake, and she pointed out this giant monstrosity of a house. Apparently it belongs to the owner / creator of Dungeons and Dragons. It's an authentic Italian villa - aka, he had it SHIPPED HERE FROM ITALY! How stupid. This guy spent $50 million to ship a house here just so that it was actually ancient rather than faux-ancient. At least when he dies he says he's giving it to the city to use as a museum for all of his renaissance art.
So that's a fun fact that I learned today. Story 2: So as you know, I've been super lazy since Aaron left. My only obligation is to apply to jobs, which I can do with a few clicks of the mouse. So, basically, my life has been moving at a very slow pace. But today, the condo owners are coming to move their furniture at 12. So I go on a long walk with Sue at 9, get back at 11:30, and try to take the quickest shower ever, thinking the owners will be here any minute. At 11:50 something, I check my email and this company wants to interview me. Yay! So I respond that I'm free any time. Around 12:45 they respond, "How about 3 pm?" As in, today. So, still waiting for movers and owners and such to show, I try to throw on interview-appropriate attire, put on makeup, AND find a ride to a 3 pm interview. Because if no one can drive me, I have to be on the bus at 1:40.
Luckily, Aunt Sue can drive me. What a total mess. And now it's nearing 2 pm, the owners still haven't shown up, and I'm all dressed and ready for an interview that isn't happening for another hour. Ha. That was the most chaos that I've had since school ended.
In a quick baby update, Declan is kicking me night and day, and growing like a weed (Well, I'm assuming, because my belly sure is). Also, in a non-baby update, I'm pretty severely allergic to the pesticide that is used on nectarines. I found this out when I ate my first non-organic nectarine, and promptly got itchy, feverish, shivery, light-headed, and threw it up. Then I felt totally better. Lovely, I know.
Okay, I'm done. Hopefully I'll have a happy "I have a job!" update to write soon. Wish me luck.
Okay, first I have to give you all the condensed version of the speech that I gave to my friends when I was 8 weeks pregnant regarding my decision to keep the baby:
Opinion time is over. Aaron and I have thought long and hard about the choice that's right for us and for our child, and now that we have made a decision, I'd appreciate if I didn't get anymore input from you, the peanut gallery, about whose lives I'm ruining and what a bad choice I've made. It's done, we're sure, the end. If you'd like to say "congratulations," you're more than welcome, but any negative commentary is just uncalled for unless I ask you directly what you think.
Of course, I'm giving you that speech now for an vastly different reason: many people will not like my son's name. In fact, when I told an anonymous friend yesterday, she looked at me with sad eyes and said, "Oh, Nat, really? Why?! I liked blah and blah and blah so much better!"
And that's exactly what I don't want to hear. Honestly, I'm having to adjust to his name myself. The thing about naming a baby is that there are two parents who each have an equal say. And Aaron has some really off-the-wall ideas for baby names, so our compromise isn't exactly something I would have chosen if I had gotten to name him by myself. But I think it fits him, and I can imagine saying it for the rest of my life without regret.
So without further ado (brace yourself for disappointment) he will be named: Declan River.
We both love Declan - it's the anglicized spelling of Deaglan, who was an Irish saint in the 5th century. It's the 347th most popular name in the U.S., but it's #68 in Australia and #73 in Scotland. It's pronounced DECK-lyn, and yes, there are personalized CDs available for Declans, I checked.
Aaron and I decided on his middle name last night, in a roundabout sort of way. I had made a list of what I thought were suitable middle names (Thomas, Patrick, Joseph, William...) but of course Aaron hates them, says they're plain and boring and refuses to name his son something boring. So he suggests... "Uriah." NO. "How about Declan Frost?" Huh? No. "Wolf?" Wha? No way. So we went through the baby name book together and picked out 5 possible middle names, one of which was River. Then we each secretly ranked them. River came out as his #1 and my #2, so River it was. We started second guessing ourselves, so we decided to sleep on it.
In the morning, I asked him what he thought about Declan's middle name. He leaned down to my belly and said, "Kick if your name is Declan River." And the baby kicked. So it was settled. And now if he ever hates his name, we can just tell him that he picked it himself and he can't blame us.
I'm you're looking for a name announcement, keep twiddling your thumbs until at least tomorrow.
I thought that Aaron and I would be able to sit down and have a conversation about it today, but I forgot that he's a total WORKAHOLIC and is working all three of his jobs today - cooking from 6 am to 2 pm, landscaping from 2 to 8, then bouncing at a club in Des Moines from 9 pm to 3 am. What is that, like a 21 hour day?!
Yeah, um... my days last approximately 14 hours max... Fall asleep by midnight, wake up at 10. Baby is sapping all of my energy. And all of my calories, apparently. Despite eating like a COW for the past month, I've lost another 5 pounds. This makes my doctor angry. He says that I should not be losing weight at this point, and that by not eating enough, I'm depriving my baby of vital nutrients.
Okay, you can't fool me. I saw the ultrasound. That little dude has a belly to rival his mother's, and was measuring almost a week ahead on all of his measurements. He clearly isn't being deprived of anything. Besides, I'm totally eating enough food. I mean, I eat all the time. It's just that I don't really like fatty foods or red meat right now, so I'm gorging myself on fruits and veggies and pasta and chicken.
I figure this is the only time in my life that I'll be ordered by a medical professional to eat a cheeseburger and a milkshake, so I'm going with it. But just to spite him, I also went out and bought a bunch of apples and worked out at the gym for an extra 15 minutes today :)
I take back what I said about making a name announcement today... I thought we had it settled but then last night Aaron says that he's second guessing our choice!
The roles have totally reversed - isn't it supposed to be my job to not make up my mind? We're still sure about the first name, but he's being fickle about the middle name, and I want to announce them both together. Anyway, we should have it settled by the weekend.
I can't stop looking at Baby's pictures and doodling his name everywhere like a lovesick schoolgirl! Somebody stop me!
Other big news, I made my first baby-related purchase. This onesie from Pottery Barn Kids was marked way down, and it was too cute to pass up! My little pumpkin. He can wear it on Halloween (God I hope he's here by Halloween otherwise I'll be 42 weeks pregnant and ready to kill someone).
Here is one more picture from Baby Boy's first photo sesh...
This is his foot! How tiny. And foot-like.
I'm just in awe. I'm also dressed in all blue, right down to my bra and panties. I can't wait until Aaron gets off and we can go to the store and buy our first baby item! I can't decide what it should be - a tiny onesie? A blue blanket? Some itty-bitty converse to melt Keely's heart? I'll let you know.
I can't focus at all. Confession time - since finding out about Baby in February, I've been stockpiling a list of baby clothes stores, and it's now a 3-page long word doc. So all I've been doing this afternoon is going through that list and filling up many, many "shopping carts" with clothes. Of course I know that I won't buy them all, but it doesn't hurt to look.
Also, I'll make a separate post tomorrow about his name one I have the final conversation with Aaron, but we're pretty set on it.
I know anyone reading this blog already knows that, but I'm exclaiming it everywhere I can, so you'll just have to bear with me.
Aaron is beyond thrilled, can't stop smiling and calling his friends and relatives. I'm really, really happy. I think it will be good to have a boy first. Any subsequent kids will have a big brother, and everyone is telling me that big brothers are a good thing to have. I wouldn't know, but they seem kinda useful, I guess.
Our ultrasound was mostly done by a medical student who was really nice but pretty clueless, so it took forever and a day. She measured his femurs and cerebellum and head circumference and all of these other great things, but then she couldn't find my ovaries, and started freaking out.
Um, I'm pretty sure I have ovaries, yes. Actually, given my apparent fertility, you might be looking for some HUGE ovaries, or, like, four ovaries, or something.
Anyway, the real sonographer came in and found everything right away, and showed us his boy parts, and made us a CD of pictures. HE'S SO CUTE. Like, really. He's a fetus, so he should be kinda weird looking, but his little profile looks adorable!! Here, I'll post a pic.
By this time tomorrow, I'll be done with my psychology exam and I can tell you exactly what I'll be doing - surfing the baby clothes websites and feeling my heart jump with joy every time I get to click "boy clothes" or "girl clothes" and disregard the other one.
You'd think that I would be this excited, since I don't really have a gender preference. But that's really why I am excited; there's a 0% chance of being let down.
Pros of having a boy: Aaron will be happy. Little boys are fun. We have a middle name picked out, and just a short list of first name possibilities (unlike girls - that list grows longer every day!). Boys are cheaper to dress and I won't be as tempted to splurge.
Pros of having a girl: I love shopping for girl clothes. Name choosing would be my job, and my job only. More dance recitals and gymnastics classes, less sporting events and... sporting events. Aaron will be more lenient (I recently discovered that he has the most ridiculously strict stereotypes in mind if we have a son - short hair only, no playing with dolls, etc etc. Needless to say we disagree.)
Okay it looks like the girl part is bigger buts that's just because I had to explain a bit about our recent argument over parenting styles. Aaron is old-fashioned about everything. Boys should be boys, they should have short hair, they should play sports, they should have toy guns, they should be patriotic Americans. Bleh. I say, if our son wants to take dance lessons, let him. What if he's good at it? If he wants a mohawk, why not? I believe in personal expression, especially if it's harmless and inoffensive.
Aaron's also pro-spanking as a form of discipline, because hitting our children will "assert our authority." Bullshit. Grounding a kid or putting them in time out asserts my authority without stooping the level of an angry three-year-old. I understand that a lot of people were spanked as children and turned out perfectly fine, but there are also people who weren't spanked and are fine, and if I can raise my child to be a good person without ever physically hurting them, I'd like to do it that way, please.
We had this argument on Mother's Day, of all days. A boy walked into the restaurant where we were eating who had shoulder-length hair, and Aaron made some comment about how his son would never have hair like that, and off we went into the theoretical world of "the right way to raise children." I think I'm just going to find a couple of parenting books that support my argument and throw them at him.
We had a party for my last-year-dorm, because next year it is going to be substance-free. So all of my friends got together and drank in honor of substance-full James Hall. There was a poster on the wall on which everyone wrote their favorite memories of living in James - we filled that baby up!
Of course, I drank root beer and was the only sober person at the party, which was a little weird for me, but I didn't care. Honestly, it was my last weekend to act like a fool and dance crazily and cheer people on at beer pong, and I was going to take advantage of it. My friends, when drunk, got really sad about me leaving. That was kind of tough to deal with. I mean, I, personally, am not too torn up about it. Yes, it's sad, and yes, I'll miss Grinnell, but every life has chapters. No one stays at college with their friends forever. And the reason that I'm leaving is totally worth it, in my opinion.
In the middle of the James party, my friend Kayla asked if I felt awkward. I looked at her quizzically. She said, "Because, you know, you have a lot of exes in the room right now." I looked around. I hadn't even realized that somehow a rather nerve-wracking group of former flings and relationships had somehow conglomerated in this one small room. Kayla and I, giggling, figured out that the ratio was 6 out of 40 people - 15%. We collapsed in a fit of laughter.
I'm glad I got those memorable experiences in while I could. I honestly think I'd be much more disappointed about settling down and starting my family if I hadn't had such a wild and crazy year last year. I fit enough kissing and flirting and beer pong and video games into those two semesters that my college partying experience is equivalent to that of someone who did that all four years.
The best part of the night was after the James party. Kayla has a huge crush on this senior, and he invited her to his party off-campus. So a couple of friends and I decided to be her wingmen, and we all marched down to High Street and played matchmaker. It was almost pathetic how excited I got for her when they talked and danced. I mean, I know that I'm not going to be flirting or acting on crushes or having my first kiss with anybody, so I might as well help out those who can!
When Kayla and her crush were sitting in the shadows talking (success!), I found my friend Becca; we walked back to my house and ate ramen and watched Dorm Life. It was almost, almost like last year, and the almost-ness made me sad. My feet were sore, my belly was sticking out, and, for once, I was going to end up sober, in my own bed after a night of partying. But I wouldn't take it back. I wouldn't change my situation right now if someone paid me, because I am in love with Aaron and Baby. I am peeing my pants with excitement about moving back to Austin and starting my family.
It's nice to reminisce, but it's even nicer to just move on.
- Ultrasound! Wednesday the 13th of May. We get to find out whether Baby is a boy or a girl, and I couldn't be more excited! Honestly, I'm looking forward to this more than I was for... anything. This is huge! I'll have this kid for the rest of my life. Also, if it's a girl, Aaron's given me full naming rights. Hooray!
- Cognitive Psychology exam. Thursday the 14th. Yeah, right! Like I'll be able to focus very well when all I want to do is shop for baby clothes. Ha.
- Doctor's appointment. Friday the 15th. This will be pretty anticlimactic after the ultrasound. Oh goody, we get to hear the heartbeat. (sarcasm). I'll already know what his / her face looks like! Heartbeat shmeartbeat.
- Figure out how to withdraw by Friday the 15th. The guy who I've been told to contact won't reply to my emails or phone calls. On Monday I'm marching up to his office and demanding a withdrawal form.
- Finish packing by Tuesday the 19th. And somehow perform magic so that all of my stuff can fit in one Mustang. I have a feeling I'll be giving away some clothes and books...
I dreamed last night that I had a baby girl, but I was carrying a doll around in her place for "practice." We hadn't picked a name yet, but my mom was calling her Ruby. Two ladies in the video store told me she was pretty. I hope that this is me being psychic again (but not about Ruby, that's not her name).
Today is beautiful - 70 degrees and sunny. Everyone is outside on the grass, smoking and grilling food and napping and playing frisbee. I, on the other hand, have spent the day cleaning my room and packing away my winter clothes and some of the things I won't need before we move. I'm still stressed about how exactly we're getting to Austin, but Aaron refuses to admit that we need to rent a car. I have TONS of stuff! And even if I give half of it away to Goodwill, I have more than can fit in his Mustang. Way more.
Oh well. I feel very accomplished for cleaning my room. Now all I have to do is get through this coming week and finals week! I should be in Austin by the 20th.