He’s a pleasant man. He’s always so fond of me.
This is Eleanor’s big Christmas present, a twin bed from Land of Nod.
I ordered it on Friday and it was delivered today. I was able to pick the delivery date, and I considered waiting until closer to Christmas, but I figured I would just go for the earliest possible date, because why not? Shipping cost an arm and a leg, so I might as well get it quickly. I expected it to arrive packaged in some sort of box, and when the delivery guy showed up holding a totally unpackaged headboard I might have panicked a little bit. I made him wait while I sat Eleanor up in her room with a video to watch. The guys brought all of the bed components in and put them in this closet/mud room sort of space that doesn’t have a door. I threw some sheets over it and told Eleanor she could come out. Do you think she’ll notice?
Traveling while this pregnant, especially while dealing with long delays and uncomfortable airport seats, is not a picnic. Neither is squeezing yourself into tiny airplane lavatories.
Despite difficult flights, our trip to Phoenix for Thanksgiving was really lovely. It was strange to hear people saying over and over again, “The next time we see you, you’ll have a new baby!” I had a lot of fun, but I feel so worn out now. I need a vacation to recover from that vacation!
I mentioned that Win’s movements are getting really strong, and on Saturday I started having a strange pain in one particular spot on my belly, near where he likes to keep his feet. Any time he moved it felt like a sharp muscle cramp, like the kind you get while running, and it hurt if I pushed on it from the outside. There were several times where it hurt so much that it took my breath away. I was almost to the point of feeling concerned about it, but found that when I layed on my right side (the pain was on the left) it went away. Every night since then when he starts being very active the pain has flared up, but it seems to be getting less sharp. I’m wondering if he managed to bruise me from the inside.
Eleanor and I are really missing Grandma today, and her visit for Win’s birth is just one more reason to be excited. I really hope that the timing works out where she is able to actually be here for the birth, if not in the room with me then at least with Eleanor. I’m starting to feel pretty nervous about who will take care of her when I go into labor. I was thinking my sister would be around, but her semester doesn’t start until 5 days after my due date, and the earliest she can go back into her dorm is 5 days before the due date. It will really mess up our plans if Win is at all early. And I will probably go crazy if he is at all late. Fingers crossed for an on-time arrival!
It’s starting to feel close. 49 days to go.
I’m reading the newest David Sedaris book, and in one of the essays about airline travel he says that when delays happen to us, we think it is the end of the world and wonder why the newspapers aren’t all reporting on it, but when we listen to someone else talk about their delays, we realize it is actually incredibly dull.
This post will be incredibly dull.
I can’t even count the number of times I have made the Oakland to Phoenix trip since we moved here six years ago. Almost every time I have flown Southwest, and I have never had a complaint. For this trip, with it being during one of the busiest weeks for air travel, I decided it would be worth it to save a few hundred dollars and try a smaller and cheaper airline. So I booked our flights on Allegiant Air, happy with the amount I had saved us. Our flight to Phoenix started out well. Our plane arrived on time. We boarded. We buckled. The plane backed away from the gate and then…we sat there. For a while. Almost an hour. Then they announced that one of the doors of the overhead bins had broken, and they couldn’t take off until it was either removed or secured, and that required waiting for maintenance. Their maintenance team was busy, and we would have to wait. We went back to the gate and everyone got off of the plane. We weren’t given any time frame for how long we would be waiting before boarding again. It ended up being about two hours. We sat on the plane for quite a while after that yet again because the pilots had to finish filling out some paper work. We took off over three hours late. When we got back on the plane Andrew looked closely at the bin in question, with its door now removed, and saw that all the maintenance team did was removed four phillips head screws. All that waiting for four simple screws.
After that experience I didn’t have very high expectations for our return flight, but it ended up being even worse. When I checked the flight status three hours before our scheduled departure time, it was already two hours delayed. The thought of having to entertain a two year old at an airport for several hours before needing to also keep her happy for a two hour plane ride for a second time was not very appealing. By the time we decided to leave for the airport, our flight had been moved from 6:30pm to 9:15pm. We got there are 7, still very early, but it made us nervous to think about arriving much later than that, just in case the other flight ended up making up some time. When we checked our bag we learned the flight had been moved to 9:50. We also learned about Allegiant’s baggage policy. Every other airline I have ever flown has had a 50lb weight limit for standard luggage. We were checking one large (but not enormous) suitcase. It wasn’t even that full or anything, but I did get some hand-me-down baby boy clothes from my sister, so it was heavier than it was when we left. As it turns out, Allegiant only allows bags under 40lbs, and after that you have to pay $50 (on top of the $35 I had already paid for the privilege of checking a bag). It’s just so fun to get information like that when you’ve just learned that you flight is even more delayed than you thought it was. Fun enough to make a heavily pregnant lady cry, as she rummages through her suitcase in front of tons of strangers, pulling out articles of clothing and stuffing them into her backpack carry on in a futile attempt to get her luggage to drop 5lbs. After I removed about 4lbs of clothes the Allegiant employee took pity on me and said that was good enough.
So we went through security and settled in a deserted corner of the airport to let Eleanor watch Cinderella on our laptop while we waited it out. She did really well. She was an angel. We finally landed back in Oakland at 11pm, three and a half hours later than we should have. What was the reason for the delay this time? Apparently the pilot who was supposed to fly our plane had been awake too long, exceeding however many hours the federal regulating agency says he can safely be awake. So he had to take a nap. The airline decided they would try to find a replacement pilot, but apparently that took a while. The pilot who did end up flying our plane very loudly announced to everyone that this was his day off, and that we were oh so lucky he decided to come so we didn’t have to wait even longer for the original pilot to sleep.
I’ve never been afraid of flying. I’ve done it quite a bit, and always felt calm and relaxed. But after Eleanor was born, I started feeling much more nervous, especially during takeoff and landings. My strategy is just to try not to think about it, but when you have your child with you the stakes are always raised. This is the first time in my entire life that the apparent incompetence of the airline actually made me fear for my family’s safety. Obviously we made it just fine, but the way everything was handled by the airline did not leave me feeling confident in their aircrafts, pilots, or crew. I spent that entire flight worrying if the off-duty pilot who was called in late in the evening was rested enough, worrying if maybe he had had a few glasses of wine with his dinner, worrying about the fog surely waiting for us over the San Francisco Bay, worrying about the many phillips head screws holding the plane together. It was the worst flight of my life.
By the time we landed, got our luggage, and were driven home by my saint of a friend who was willing to still come get us so late, it was past midnight. Eleanor, who had been incredibly patient and well behaved during this entire ordeal, was deliriously tired. She had dozed a tiny bit on the plane, then was knocked out cold in her carseat on the way home, but it was a good three hours past her bedtime. When I had to take her out of her seat and carry her up to our apartment all hell broke lose. She was screaming at the top of her lungs, hysterical and inconsolable. She hasn’t cried like that since she was an infant. It was so sad to witness. We couldn’t get her settled until almost 1, and that left Andrew with a whopping four and a half hours of sleep before his alarm went off for work this morning.
So now I am officially a Southwest loyalist for life.
Every night before I go to bed I wonder how many times I will have to get up during the night to pee, and I think to myself, “I hope it’s under four.” I feel like I live in the bathroom now.
I’m at that point where it feels like I have an entire full sized baby inside of me. His movements can really hurt! Several times each day I find myself saying “ouch” out loud, or suddenly sucking in my breath when he issues a particularly big kick. It’s crazy because I know his serious growth spurts are still to come.
I’m really preoccupied trying to figure out his position. I’m starting to really worry about him being transverse this late into the game. I had such a great natural birth with Eleanor, and if I don’t get that again I know I will be so upset. I can’t figure out his position based just on his movements, but that doesn’t stop me from overanalyzing every little shift and kick and hiccup. I think about it constantly. I know I need to just relax, since I won’t know for sure what’s going on until I go back to my midwife in two weeks, but it’s so hard. I’m trying to think positive head down thoughts.
56 days to go!
A ‘Pooky Story
Eleanor likes to make up stories. Tonight I was sitting at the computer and she came up to me and said she wanted to tell me a “‘pooky story.” I quickly opened a new tab and started transcribing the following, which you must imagine said with exuberant facial expressions, intonation, and hand gestures.
Once in a deep, deep forest, there lived a werewolf. He was a nice werewolf. And he saw a ‘pooky monster, but then instead of a big monster he caught a little monsters. And it moved! It was a big, big, big Goldilocks! And with the big, big Goldilocks there lived a nice pet: a nice werewolf. They were friends again. And they lived happily ever after. And they went to the ‘pooky forest. And they lived happily ever after. The END!
Dinner Time Rationalizations
Eleanor is very reluctant to try “new” foods at the moment (I use scare quotes because this includes foods she previously liked but hadn’t eaten in a while). It’s almost to the point of being a phobia. We try to gently encourage her to taste new foods constantly. I’m always putting them on her plate, but it’s to no avail.
Tonight we were having something new for dessert, S’mashing S’mores from Trader Joes (so good!). Of course her new food phobia doesn’t extend to any sort of candy, cookies, ice cream, or cake. I was trying to point out to her that she was about to try something new, and even though it was new she wasn’t afraid to try it, hoping that she could make the connection that trying new foods doesn’t always have to be a scary experience. I kept saying, “This is a new food,” and she kept insisting that it wasn’t. Clearly there was a miscommunication going on. Then she got this look on her face like she suddenly knew how to make me understand. She waved her hands in the air after I asserted it was a new food once again, and said “No, no, no! It’s new candy.”
Of course. I was being silly. That wasn’t new food, it was new candy. And that makes all the difference.