Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a Day

This Inauguration Day really has multiple meanings for me. One of the first sights I witnessed on the television this morning was the massive sea of people gathered on the National Mall awaiting their first glimpse of our new president. Later, I was briefly moved to tears (hormones may have played a role) by the cheers from the massive crowd at the mere sight of President Obama emerging from the morning prayer service. Again, a pan across the sea of people, many waving American flags. While I know there are many who will disagree, it felt in that moment as if our country had become unified in a way that we haven't seen since September 11. It was a beautiful, hopeful moment that I think will stay with me for a long time to come.

One thing I have yet to see live, however, is the actual event itself. This morning I had to seize one last opportunity to get out and shop unencumbered. I was invited to Bloomington to do some shopping with Rebecca, who understood my cabin fever after spending six days at home with her two little ones during the recent Arctic snap we had in our area. Thankfully, the technological age in which we live will allow me to watch as much coverage of this historic event as I please. After some more house cleaning, I plan to sit down and watch our new President's swearing in and inaugural speech.

Since waking up the day after the election in November, I've been thinking a lot about what this day would mean to me. Because yesterday was my due date, my first thought was that my daughter could be born on the day that Barack Obama was sworn in as President. While that will most likely not be the case (unless I have a miraculously quick labor), the fact that she will be born this week feels very special.

"Change" has been the theme for so many months now, through the campaign and leading right up to today. While I am certainly not moving into the White House, this theme really resonates with me. Within 48 hours, I will be holding my little girl... and life will NEVER be the same again.

And I suppose that's why today feels so special to me. We have come so far as a nation, that we have elected a man who would not even have been allowed to vote a few decades ago. A man who openly recognizes that in most countries, his story would not even be possible. He has inspired a nation in ways that many could not have imagined, and brought hope to those who have felt as though they have largely been ignored. And this is the world I will bring my daughter in to. Isabelle Kay Shivers will be able to say that she was born when Barack Obama was president, and hopefully, that will mean almost as much to her as it does to the rest of us.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Extreme Cold + Pregnancy = Extreme Boredom

Not exactly an equation on par with the likes of Einstein, but equally true as far as I'm concerned. Not only has it been too cold to really get out and do much of anything this week, but the impending (or maybe not-so-impending) birth of our daughter has kept me pretty well confined to the house.

I don't know whether my 'nesting' instincts exist, because I certainly could have passed time by cleaning the house. My energy level is generally pretty good for this stage of pregnancy. The problem is, I didn't want to clean. I did do some cooking and baking, but mostly I sat around, watched TV, and contemplated the fact that my unborn daughter has apparently inherited a stubborn streak. (I'll let you determine which parent she gets it from! :)

Granted, Monday is my official due date, so I really can't complain too loudly. But when boredom becomes so extreme that one would rather experience childbirth, I think that speaks volumes.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Sarah vs. the Pack-n-Play

Today was my last day of work before the arrival of baby Isabelle. It was a pretty routine day, complete with one or two kids managing to find my absolute last nerve by 3:00. Nevertheless, it was an odd sensation walking out of the building and getting into my car knowing that I won't return for about 8 weeks.

On the way home, I began thinking of all the things I could do to fill my time until the arrival of zero hour. Among these was setting up the pack-n-play in our bedroom for Izzy to sleep in when she arrives home. It's been on my mind for a while, but knowing that I had to get up for work the next day had
been holding me back. So tonight I decided it was time to meet the beast head-on.

When I got the directions out of the box, I was actually surprised at how simple it all looked. I laid out the essentials and quickly got to work. The actual play yard was all one collapsed piece, so it popped right up. The bassinet attachment was a little tougher, but didn't require too much effort. I even managed to locate a D battery for the little vibrating attachment that went under the padding. After a fairly short amount of time, everything is ready to go with the exception of the changing table attachment and organizer.

Here's where it got tricky. The directions are short on words and mostly illustrated. The picture does not show whether the support bar goes in with tabs up or down, so I ended up switching it around several times. To complicate matters further, the swivel mounts actually need to be swiveled before attaching them to the changer! This whole process probably took as long as the assembly of the rest of the pieces combined, but when it was all said and done, all the pieces worked the way they were supposed to and the assembly complete.

I'd post pictures, but the camera has been returned to my hospital bag so as not to be forgotten when D-day arrives. Instead, I will leave you with a picture of the pack-n-play as it appears in stores. It actually does do it justice.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

So long Christmas!

Normally, I take down Christmas decorations with a bit of sadness each January but apparently being 9 months pregnant puts the process in a new perspective. Perhaps it was because we didn't put up as many decorations this year, or perhaps it's the anticipation of bigger things to come, but I didn't feel even the slightest hesitation as I put some of my favorite decorations back in their respective boxes for another 11 months.

Next year's process is sure to be interesting with an 11 month old running around the house...or crawling...or toddling...we'll see. :) Hopefully we'll have some decorations going up on newly painted walls! :)

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year, New...well, pretty much everything!

So Matt has moved on to his own blog space and permanently handed this one over to my sole possession. It's been so long that I've written anything that it took me about 5 minutes just to log in!

Since last we posted, I've gone through almost an entire pregnancy! Our first little one, a girl to be named Isabelle, is set to arrive just about any day now. Though I'm not officially due until the 19th, I'd prefer for her to arrive by about the 15th. I'm ready to be done with pregnancy and move on to motherhood and getting back into my old clothes! I can't complain too much, though, because this whole pregnancy experience has been good to me. I had zero morning sickness, no complications, and other than being swollen and having to go to the bathroom every 2 hours at night, I don't even feel terribly uncomfortable even now.

Still, I have to admit I'm nervous about labor and delivery. It's been almost too easy up to this point. Where will I be when my water breaks? When I start having contractions, will I even realize what his happening? This is such a new experience that I have almost no idea what to expect. We did the whole childbirth class, but it's different for everyone and I know it's hard to describe what some of these things feel like....a foot to the rib cage being a good example, you can't really describe it, but you know when you feel it!

I think it's still safe to say that I have some time to prepare. I know it's not a lot, but the baby hasn't 'dropped' nor have I had any extreme nesting urges just yet...so I think I'm in the clear for at least a few more days! Only time will tell!