Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oxford Comma Day

I thought it would never happen, but nesting mode has finally kicked in.

It was talking to Melodee on the phone last night that put me in high gear - she and Jeff are coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks after Declan's born, and they're already packed and ready to go. Yikes! Having visitors over to sit on the couch and chat is one thing, having visitors live in your house is another!

So I decided to get off my butt and make our house more than just "presentable." I made my own vinegar and water mixture in a spray bottle, unwrapped a new roll of paper towels, put on Vampire Weekend (great cleaning music, if you're looking for some) and took off. I'm emptying drawers, scrubbing baseboards, getting rid of embarrassingly old leftovers in the fridge, even taking the cushions off the monstrous green velvet couch and vacuuming underneath!

Anyone who knows me knows I normally hate this. But when I've got "Oxford Comma" playing merrily in the background, I just feel so happily productive. You may wonder how I'm writing a blog post if I'm so "productive"... I just wondered that, too. My only excuse is that the toilet cleaner said to let it sit for 10 minutes. I guess I didn't realize that I could be cleaning something *else* for 10 minutes...

Um, back to work?

**Four minutes later** Edit! Update! I just made a magnet. As in, I just krazy-glued a magnet to the back of a random wooden Texas that Pat had in a drawer. And stuck it on the fridge. My blogging break is totally redeemed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

No Change

An uneventful doctors appointment today. There's been no change since last time, despite the contractions and other random pains I've been having. Oh well, the longer Declan stays in, the better.

But thank God for the new TV season. As long as I'm sitting around here waiting to give birth, I might as well have entertainment. And today I almost choked on my cereal when Dan woke up next to Georgina in Gossip Girl's latest episode. Rainy days like these were made for Cookie Crisp and trashy teen TV!

Warning, I'm about to get totally sappy.

The last week or so has been the best week ever in the history of my relationship with Aaron. He loves his job, so he comes home happy, and we're both so, so excited about Declan. Aaron has never been this nice, or this helpful. And to hear him talk on the phone to his family and friends about how much he loves me, and our son, and our life here, and to know he's not lying, just melts my heart. I hope this doesn't all crumble once we have a wailing newborn in the house.

Now I'm busy getting call-lists ready (Who to call the beginning of labor, who to call after birth, and who just gets a text... Major life decisions!) and preparing the house for the in-laws - Aaron's mom and step-dad, who are driving in from New Mexico to stay with us for a couple of weeks after Declan's born. Bags are packed, bassinet is assembled, blankets and clothes are washed and folded in the dresser... All we need is a baby!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Well I don't know exactly what I did to deserve this, but something really funny happened today!

So Aaron was craving Chinese food (I swear, the boy gets more cravings than I do.) We headed over to Wok and Roll, but I really didn't feel like eating anything there, and Thundercloud is right down the street, so he agreed to go through the Thundercloud drive-thru and get me a Cali Club.

Annnyway, we get to the drive-thru window and this guy, about my age, opens the sliding glass and goes, "Hey, I remember you guys! What's up? Y'all want some free chips and drinks?"

Uh, yes?

Actually, my immediate reaction was, "No, um, that's okay," because I was so bewildered. Luckily Aaron's emphatic "Yeah, sure!" drowned me out. So we got free chips and drinks, and the whole time this Thundercloud guy is like, "Yeah man, alright. I like y'all. Anything else?"

So we tipped him $3.60 on a $5.20 order, and got the hell outta Dodge before he could realize that he actually didn't remember us from anywhere. Once home, we popped in Apocalypto and shared a Cali Club, cashew chicken, Cool Ranch Doritos, egg drop soup, and Sierra Mist. A veritable feast.

I'll have to pay it forward somehow. Maybe I'll bake some cookies and hand them out on the bus on my way to the doctor's office tomorrow. Because that would be sketchy at all...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

All Showered Out

Well, the baby shower was a success! We only have a few little things left to buy before we're totally, completely ready. Hooray!

Julie was a big winner...
She only crossed her legs once, and no one caught her. But she sure caught everyone else!

Aaron's mom, Melodee, and her husband Jeff bought us a year's worth of cloth diapering service... We love them. Forever. That is a huge, huge deal. Anyway, the gift certificate for the diaper service was delivered to us tucked inside a little cloth diaper with a Snappi. So of course I had to demonstrate my diapering skillz on a teddy bear :)

Big thank yous to everyone who came, and to those who couldn't come, we missed you! Hopefully we'll make it up to Mount Pleasant sometime this winter, so that everyone up there can meet Declan (and Aaron!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I spent all day today planning the baby shower. Talk about mentally exhausting.

So I was thinking it would just be casual get together - some chips and dip, some cupcakes, paper plates and napkins, etc.

Well, Grandma had other ideas. By the end of the day, I was polishing her good silver salad forks and ironing the Spanish linen tablecloth.

Christina-the-floral-department-lady at Randalls totally broke my heart when she told me that they don't have ANY blue flowers. I was like, hello, I can think of a dozen different blue flowers off the top of my head and you have NONE? Unacceptable, Christina, unacceptable. She was like, how about lavender? Um, Christina, I just picked out two "It's a boy!" mylar balloons. You really think I want a lavender centerpiece? Too bad Christina can't make this.

Anyway, the plans are now a mish-mash of my casual, low-maintenance style and Grandma's lofty plans for a high tea. We'll be serving cupcakes on a sterling silver platter. No joke. And drinking punch from bone china tea cups. I'm excited.

My doctor's appointment yesterday went well. I'm 1.5 centimeters, 80% effaced, and he's at a minus two station. I hope those pictures, particularly the last two, sufficiently explain why I now waddle.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Becky's in Texas, Sue's in Austin... my world is finally coming back together from this weird week of waiting. I think I changed out of my pajamas exactly twice in the last seven days, not counting showers.

Now I'm being serenaded. Hint: "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" by Iron and Wine is not for beginners. Aaron hasn't quite perfected his falsetto.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rainy Days, Birth Days

It's so dreary here today. I just want to curl up with a book and a cup of tea. But I can't, because 1) I've read all the books in the house and 2) all of our tea is caffeinated. So I'm curling up with milk and my computer. But not really curling, because my body is so unwieldy that it's the best I can do to plop down and throw my legs onto the coffee table in front of me. So really, my plans have been dashed, once again.

Cleaning didn't go exactly as I'd imagined. I had the motivation, but was lacking the stamina. The kitchen is spotless, the rest of the house is rather unchanged. Oh well.

Last night I (partially) packed my hospital bag. I kept telling myself, "You won't wear this again until you're a mom!" and "You won't use this chapstick again until you're a mom!" causing myself to get pitifully weepy. I think I packed too many clothes for Declan, but they're so small that they hardly take up any room at all. Besides, I have no idea how big he'll be, so I had to pack outfits in multiple sizes. Just in case.

Bed rest made time drag by unbelievably slowly, and being off bed rest is making it really fly! Not that I'm doing much differently. I keep shaking my head in amazement that it's Thursday. Thursday is the day before Friday, which is one week from when Becky gets home, and then it's Saturday, which is one week from the baby shower, then it's Sunday, and Julie will finally be old like me! I think it was Labor Day that threw me off. Yeah, we'll blame Labor Day and not blame the ever-growing list of things that I still need to do before giving birth.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Belly of the Whale

Here's the latest pic, 34.5 weeks:

I spent the morning poolside chatting with Marcie, and the afternoon sorting old pictures with Grandma. Definitely more than ready for my doctor's appointment tomorrow when she'll let me off of bed rest!! I have big plans for tomorrow afternoon; walk to Randall's, mail Sue's package, swim laps... um... other fun things that I've been missing out on...

Wednesday is Cleaning Day, as in, a major household scrub-down to catch up on the month that I have been unable to clean. The nesting instinct is definitely setting in, because (as those close to me know very well) I am SO not a cleaner. But for the past week all I've wanted to do was wipe down counters, empty trash cans, vacuum the corners, etc. Very out of character.

Time is flying by. Sue's birthday is in two days, my mom's is in three, Julie's and Ashley's is in six. Sue gets back from her trip to Big Bend on Sunday, then Becky gets back Friday, then my baby shower is Saturday. After this whole slew of birthdays and homecomings and parties, Declan is free to arrive at any time!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Welcome to the Family, Aaron

Aaron is officially part of the clan, I guess, because he's been recruited by Grandma to do handyman work out at Ann's house.


He's been gone all day, something about a U-Haul and a chainsaw? A little bitty bit of me is annoyed, because it's his day off, and I'm here, alone, bored out of my skull. But the rest of me is kinda happy, because I know this will appease the workaholic within Aaron, not to mention he's getting paid and working outdoors, which he loves. And it's not even that hot.

Also I'm okay with him being gone because I'm watching the new season of Project Runway, which he would never watch with me. The second challenge is maternity dresses! Hehe, I'm just thrilled.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Okay, so the back story is that I am registered for my baby shower at Babies R Us, which we'll call BRU from here on out. And the only other Natalie Schr0eder registered at BRU is from McKinney, Texas, which is where my mother grew up and her family still lives. But I wasn't worried that people would get confused, because it's pretty common knowledge that Aaron and I are in Austin. Not to mention that the other Natalie's due date was sometime last year (BRU keeps registries on file for 12 months after your due date, for returns purposes.)

So just now, I get on BRU's website to change something on my registry (and also to check if anything's been purchased, because I'm nosy like that) and the search for "Natalie Schroeder" comes up with THREE results rather than the usual two.

Natalie #3's location? Austin, Texas. What are the frickin' odds of that, huh? Is there anyone with my name living OUTSIDE of Texas? #3 has no listed partner, but she does have a maiden name listed. She's due in December.

There are some people invited to my shower who don't know me very well... I really hope they use their best deduction skills and do not click on #3's name, because she's having a girl with a pink and brown butterfly themed nursery.

Also, Sue just texted me that Jennie Frederick RSVPed yes for my baby shower. My initial reaction was excitement, because someone RSVPed already, but that quickly faded to confusion because who the hell is Jennie Frederick? I figured she must be someone from my mom's office. I called my mom. No Jennie Frederick at the office.

Wild scenarios started running through my head. Could Jennie be my mail carrier lady, who saw the invitations and decided she'd like to join us? Maybe she's been obsessively reading the postcards I send out and feels like we're best friends. Or maybe Jennie is a lonely old woman who received an invite by accident because I wrote an address down wrong, and even though she doesn't have a clue who I am, was so excited to be invited that she ignored the fact that her name wasn't on the invitation?

I was determined to solve the Jennie Frederick mystery. I trekked through the torrential rains to Sue's house (read: walked about 50 feet across the parking lot while it was drizzling) and asked her, "Sue, WHO is Jennie Frederick?!"

"Um, Julie's... sister? Cousin?"

"Aunt Sue, you mean Jeanna? Jeanna G00drich?"

"I guess so! You know me and names..."

So hooray for Jeanna coming to the shower, but boo on Sue for getting me all excited about a mystery guest! Actually, it's really funny now that I think about it.

Add to this excitement a letter from Rachel and a free sample diaper from Huggies (whole 'nother story for another day) and today has been pretty fun-filled. Comparatively.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

C'est Septembre!

I sat down to write a blog post earlier, but Aaron was in a very hyper mood and kept play-punching me, pressing keys, throwing pillows, etc. So I only got one sentence down before I gave up.

I am so excited that it's September. If there's one thing that this pregnancy has taught me, it's to appreciate each month. I've never been happier for (or more aware of) the beginning of September. Usually I'm only vaguely aware of dating my papers 9-whatever-whatever, and get caught off guard my the big group of birthdays (Mom, Sue, Angie, Ashley, Julie) between the 3rd and the 13th.

... Maybe we'll be adding another September birthday to my collection? I've been having contractions (irregular, nothing to call the doctor about) and lots of pressure in my nether-regions. Something is happening in there, for sure. I think Declan's feeling cramped.

I'm counting down the days until the doctor takes me off of bed rest next Tuesday! My greatest fear is that I'll go in, all excited to be taken off bed rest, and I'll be even more dilated / effaced, and have to be admitted to the hospital. Keeping my fingers (and legs) crossed.