Monday, February 28, 2011

Why I'm not writing

I'm way too whiny and hormonal, but if I were writing I'd write about....

How I don't mind being pregnant, but I really really mind being helpless.  Twice now I've gotten stuck on the floor because I got down on my hands and knees and couldn't get back up.

How I wish I could use my abs again and every time I just try to test it, the baby reminds me that the torso area is her space, not mine and will give me swift jab in the side just in case I try to do anything silly like lift myself off the sofa.

How the pee pressure is no longer pressure, it's pee pain.  If it weren't happening to me, it would be kind of funny to watch me shuffle and hunch my way to the bathroom at four in the morning because it hurts so bad, and then see me walking out like a normal human being just a couple of minutes later.

How I wish I could lift heavy things, get on ladders, sweat my brains out in a yoga class and run till my heart feels like it'll pound out of my chest.  I don't believe in punishing my body but man, just for a day, I wish I didn't have to treat myself *so* softly.

But then there are other things...

I'm down to weekly appointments at the doctor, which means I'm almost done!  

Yesterday I spent a good ten minutes just sitting quietly, stroking my belly and thinking good thoughts about my baby.  The house was quiet and for just a moment, I could almost pretend there was no one else in the world but me and my baby.  That was really nice.  She was making swishy movements that made me think of a little mermaid.  I think we bonded a little bit.

I'm so excited to hold her and smell her and look at her face.  I wonder what she'll look like.  

I hope she likes me.  

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thoughts on Thursday

I've been waiting for Thursday because I have so many things in my head but none of them add up to a full post - yet.  That's the beauty of organic writing for me - when my writing is not forced, it's more authentic and I like that best.  However, I was all set to dump my Thursday thoughts and just like that, I clicked on a random blog and it was like a door opened and a full idea just grew in my head.  I love it when that happens.  But this first - link up if you wanna!

  • I know we all have jobs to do but I'm super extra over the salespeople that call our office daily.  I HATE cold calls.  "May I speak to the person who handles the toilet paper purchases for your Kentucky office?" First off, how in the hell would I know that?  Second of all, do some more research!  Don't just google our company name and call the first number you see!  My favorite is when they call for our CEO.  If you're calling the main number, you don't know him and no, you cannot speak to him. *click*
  • People have started to ask me if I'm seeeeew done with being pregnant.  Actually, no and in fact, I'm finally enjoying myself.  I'm out of the scary first trimester, I'm past the hormonal second trimester and now I'm in the zen third trimester.  I've prepared as much as I can prepare, I've asked all the questions I can ask, I've arranged all that I can arrange and now is the time to simply sit and be.  I like it and I'm in no rush to be done with it.  Now, if this were August?  In the Texas heat?  Completely different story.  I'm so blessed to have gotten pregnant in the summer so I'm delivering in the spring.
  • The maternity photo shoot was amazing!  We had a great time and the sneak peek I've seen so far is really cool!  Amy Barry is the bomb.  I can't wait to show n tell!
  • The nursery is so close to being done that I should be able to do a big reveal next week.  I'm so excited!  My only criteria in the beginning was no pink and I've had some switches and changes but I love love love how it's coming together!
  • The Dallas baby shower planning is underway.  The invitations are in the mail and I'm already so pleased and relaxed about the whole thing.  It's so much easier when it's on your turf.
  • My birthday is next week.  I don't feel 35, I don't look it and I'm not really freaking out about it.  The only thing that would be nice is if I didn't have so much gray hair.  I'm far too anal to let my roots show but I'm far too lazy to keep up with the maintenance so I don't bother with coloring it.  I'm telling myself that if Stacy London lets her gray show, then gray hair is cool.
  • I watched Glee last night - the episode with the drinking.  My kid is going to drink and I'm so annoyed by that.  I hope to remove the mystery around drinking so she won't feel the need to sneak and teach her that getting sloppy drunk is tacky and classless.  And I will NOT be one of those parents who will be like, 'it's okay as long as you do it at home.'  Hands down, the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Sure honey, you can shoot up, just make sure you're where I can see you.  WTF-ever!
  • I vow to finish the thank-you cards from the Kansas shower before I leave work on Friday.  My father always said 'if you can take a gift, then you can say thank you for it.'  I'm a big believer in thank-you notes and I hate that I've let this much time pass without having them finished.  Some have already gone out but I really need to finish all of them.
  • I've never had much of a sweet tooth but I'm craving sweets lately.  Especially cake.  A vendor dropped off a Mardi Gras king cake for a person that's not in the office today.  I seriously considered not telling anyone and eating the whole thing myself.  But I didn't.  I did, however, call another person in her department and told her she had five seconds to get up here and take it before I ate it.  That's fair - although I'm peeved that they haven't shared it with me yet.  I'm about to send a guilt-filled email to her and tell her that the baby wants cake.  Not icing, not filling, I want cake.  I'm all about coffee cake and gingerbread cake.  I was in Target a couple of nights ago and got a piece of coffee cake and it was the most delicious thing I'd ever had.  There's a Starbucks within walking distance from my office.
  • Mmmmmm, coffee cake and a chai tea latte.
Update:  I sent an email saying that whenever you don't share cake, a puppy gets kicked.  
They even gave me the baby! Yay cake!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I done blowed up!

8 months, friends.  I am 8 months pregnant.  Unbelievable.

Even though it's all blown out, you get the idea.

I love casual Friday.  I feel like a frump in work clothes but jeans make me so happy.  I got some really cute tops and cardigans at Target and I feel so much more like me in them.

Physically, I'm still holding on.  The cankles are still being kept at bay, but that is all due to my compression hose.  The weather has been really warm this week and I called myself wearing open-toed shoes on Monday without them and my body promptly swelled up to painful proportions.  I thought the veins in my left calf were going to explode and it hurt my hands to make a fist.  Even though I drank tons of water on Monday I think it was the flight on Sunday and the fact that I didn't drink that much water when I was home in Kansas.  Water really does make a difference y'all.  When I'm in Dallas, I drink gallons daily.  However, I'm not going without my compression hose anymore.  It's just too painful, no matter how much of an old lady I appear.  

I can also tell the baby is getting more cramped.  She's big enough now to lay on my nerves and that's super fun.  She'll get into a certain position and the outside of my right thigh will go numb.  I try to talk to her and tell her that I'd sure appreciate it if she'd get off that nerve before they have to cut my leg off, and eventually, when she feels like it, she does.  It's great.

I also feel her in multiple places at once.  I'll get a bulge on my right side and one on my lower left at the same time, but most times she sticks her butt right against my belly button and pushes it out.  At least I think it's her butt.  She's been head-down the entire time and she's facing the back right now (good job, baby!), so the bulge is right where I imagine her butt would be.  If it gets too uncomfortable, I tap her little butt and eventually, when she feels like it, she moves.  There is a person inside me.  And she's got a butt.

I can sleep again, thank god.  Although it's probably closer to narcolepsy.  If I stop moving for more than a minute, I can fall asleep.  Any time, any place.  Until it's time to get up and pee.  When there is even a drop of pee in there, I get the most incredible pressure on my bladder and going to the bathroom is imperative.  But lawd, does it feel good when I'm done!  I walk out with a little spring in my step every time!

Did I just tell you how good it feels to pee?  Was that me?  Who am I?  Don't worry, I'll stop there.

Our maternity pictures are tomorrow and I'm already planning how I can rock some heels for the few seconds she shoots and then have my slippers and compression hose on standby.  I may be pregnant, but I am also a former model and I am intimately acquainted with suffering for the shot.  I can do this.  There's still a diva in here somewhere.

Hiding behind a giant basketball belly.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nursery progress - two steps forward, one step back

The nursery will be finished before the baby comes - that is my solemn vow.  But it is s.l.o.w going.  Because of my decorating philosophy, things have not gone as quickly or come together as smoothly as I would have hoped.  It's not because I can't find things I love, it's because I find too many things I love.  As soon as I find one thing and bring it home, I find something else that I must have but unfortunately doesn't go with the first thing.  Like the chair.
I fell in love with this chair when I saw it in the store and
 it went beautifully with the rugs we chose.
Two of these guys, remember?

Unfortunately, the chair didn't go with the ottoman that I fell in love with and was a must-have.  So I switched the chairs and was much happier.
Getting there!

Then came the one step back.  We have only had sheets on the bed and we needed a duvet cover.  I didn't want a solid one (but now I'm not sure) but with the pattern in the rug I knew that it would probably have to be solid or a teeny tiny pattern.  But then I fell in love with another duvet.  The pattern was not teeny, but I wanted to see if it would work.
Image courtesy CB2

I got some sheets from West Elm and it all came while I was gone this weekend.  Drew was home and helpfully opened everything and put it all on the bed.  
Image courtesy my house

Wop wop.  The patterns are waay off and they will not go.  The colors in the rug are nice and muted, but the colors in the duvet are pretty vibrant.  And yes, the rug is filthy.  I have a 95-pound dog, the weather here was nasty and I refuse to clean until I'm reasonably sure that she won't track dirt in five seconds later.  Fifteen seconds, fine.  But I draw the line at five.

But back to the patterns - they don't go!
It looks great with the sheets though!  It's playful and fun without being too childish and I'm really happy with the duvet.  *Here's where I smack my forehead and go, MEN!*

Drew sent me pictures of the bed once it was made and said he wasn't sure about the patterns. When I got home I agreed with him and asked if he kept all the shipping receipts so I could return the duvet and try again.  He hesitated and then was like, "Nothing.  Forget it.  Never mind."  After five minutes of pulling teeth, I finally dragged it out of him that he really liked the duvet and never really liked the rugs!  May I remind you *and him* that he was the one who picked out the rugs!  He was the one who showed them to me!  We live together!  This is OUR house!  I'm not going to bring anything into the house unless we BOTH like it because I want the same courtesy from him!  So why, my dear friends, would my wonderful husband pick out rugs, let me buy said rugs, put said rugs in the baby's room, only to say later that he didn't actually like them!?  MEN.

No matter how many times I tell him that I value his input, that his opinions are important to me, that I genuinely want to know what he thinks, something gets lost in translation.  And it happens a lot.  I'm constantly guessing if what he's saying is what he really means or if he's just trying to keep the peace, or he really doesn't care, or if he's going to come back later and then tell me what he thought in the first place.   

So there's that issue.  And then there's the issue with the curtains and crib skirt.  I want to make one since I'm not using a bumper or a theme, so I can't really use crib sets.  Besides, I want something that I will love.  And then I found it!  Carolyn turned me on to Hawthorne Threads and it was love at first sight! Their site is so easy to navigate and I love the feature where you choose a fabric and they offer coordinating fabrics!  I have spent hours and hours on that site just looking at all their delicious fabrics and then I found it!
Happy, vibrant stripes!
I squealed with joy - I found my crib skirt!  I ordered it and it came yesterday and it's better than I could have hoped!
Matches the ottoman - check!
Looks good with the duvet - check!
Love it on the green chair!  Maybe I'll have enough left for a pillow!
Wop wop.  Not so much with the rug.  It's too muted.

So the rug loses.  Poor rug - I loved you so.  Unfortunately, my hubby did not (*now* he tells me) so it's back to the drawing board.  He was talking to me about round accent rugs but I don't know how I feel about that.  And I'd really like something we can both agree on.  We're making a field trip to IKEA this weekend so I'll have a look at what they've got and see if the round rugs speak to my heart.

The other reason he wants smaller rugs is that we got the floors redone and they look really nice.
They'd never been sealed and although they weren't badly damaged,
they were beginning to show wear and tear.  
Did I mention I have a 95-pound dog?
Ooooh, shiny!
Approximately twenty seconds after the dog was allowed on the 
floors, she scratched them.  *sigh*

We have wall art and I'm just waiting to place that until the curtains are up.  Ahh, the curtains.  Now with the pattern on the duvet and the stripes in the crib skirt, I'm thinking we'll just need solid color curtains to keep the room from being too busy.  But what color?

I'm totally laughing at myself because the baby is not going to care one way or another and I'm fully aware this is 100% for me and maybe like 12% for Drew (his 12% comes from somewhere else - it's not counted in my 100%.  He can get his own.)

We're having our Dallas baby shower on March 19th and it's at our house so most everything is going to have to be done by then because of course everyone is going to want to see where the baby will live when she gets here and I'm not about to flash my boobs.  Even though from what I understand, that's really where she's going to be living.

Besides, this process is actually fun.  The trial and error, the hunting and finding and one of these days (before March 19th) it's going to come together and it's going to be perfect.

Then I can turn my attention to her closet - we need to get it together so I'll have a place to store her mountains of clothing.
This is a tiny fraction of the clothes this little girl received.

I'm going to change her outfit three times a day, whether she needs it or not.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The thing about parties

What is it about special occasions that make us crazy?  Everything has to be just so or it's all ruined.  Weddings, birthdays, even Valentine's Day.  It must be storybook and I'm part of the club.  I was so stressed over the details and was overly concerned with what people would think, that it wasn't until just now that it hit me that I got to have a baby shower.  Me.  The one who lost babies.  The one who didn't think it would ever happen.  I'd sort of made my peace with things and then there I was, in a room full of people there to celebrate my victory.  Of course, the majority of people there didn't know what I'd gone through and that's okay.  Some knew and they knew how much it meant to me to have them there and how much it meant to have this party.

My baby shower was perfect.  My  mother and my cousin were champions.  They worked so hard to put things together, they put up with me and my craziness and I am so lucky to be blessed with such great family.  My brother took pictures and even though this was his first shower and he's not a professional photographer, he did an amazing job and I'm so grateful to him.  My dad did all the heavy lifting and put up with all of us and for that he should get a medal!  It was an intense whirlwind weekend but it was so incredibly worth it!  
Cori, Heather and Brandi made it and I was so ridiculously happy to see all of them!  Cori works weekends and she took time from her schedule to be there!  I could have cried when I saw her face!  And Heather!!  We met through Cori and have hit it off so well!  Don't you love it when you make a new girlfriend and it just clicks?  Heather is that girl for me - I don't even know if she knows how much I admire her.  Brandi and I have been thick as thieves since high school and she is one of those people that has gotten more awesome with age.  She is the kindest person, yet is fierce when it comes to her friends.  I got to go to her wedding, we hung out at Christmas and she made it to my shower!  This is my favorite picture.

Well wait, this one could be my favorite.  My mother is the most amazing, patient person alive.  She did everything I asked, didn't snap back at me when I was being hormonal and crazy, and she worked so hard.  Gah, I'm getting choked up.  I love my mommy so much.
Then there's my dad. My dad is a born public speaker.  When I was talking to everyone and thanking them for coming, he couldn't resist and had to get up and put in a word.  The pride was practically jumping off of him and he could barely contain himself.  He can be a handful but he always redeems himself by being so freakin charming.  Kinda like me.

And my cousin. My fabulous wonderful, resourceful cousin.  We've become so close over the years and I feel like we have a sisterly bond.  And she's the older sister.  She already has kids so I'm constantly calling her for advice and just to talk.  I cherish her and I'm so glad we're family. She had all the ideas for the decorations and put in so much time and effort while being an awesome mother to her girls.  (PS though - could someone have told me about my hair?  Gollee!)
Saying thank you and I love you, although those words are poor representations 
for the depth of gratitude I felt that day.
Her youngest daughter
Her oldest daughter and my other cousin's daughter.  She's six
and during the party she slipped me a note that said
"Im having the tim of my life."
I could have died.
You can zoom in on this picture to see how the centerpieces came out.  Unfortunately, I was so overcome with gratitude that my brother agreed to take the pictures that I gave him no direction as to what to shoot.  I didn't want to come across bossy and ungrateful but as he told me later, he'd never done this before and could have used the direction.  I was upset but I can say now that it's okay.

The lady with the gray hair is my old daycare teacher.  When you're a kid, you usually latch on to someone other than your parents, whether you admire them or maybe you have your first crush on them.  Miss Saundra was my person.  I was in awe of her.  She used to have jet black hair, she wore the prettiest clothes and she always smelled good.  I loved going to daycare because I got to see my Miss Saundra.  I thought she was sooo beautiful and all these years later she came to my baby shower.  I gave her the biggest rib-crushing hug when I saw her and I was so humbled and grateful to see her.

They wrote in the books y'all!  I have 28 books with personal sentiments to my daughter and me! I can't wait to read to her and share the notes that people wrote to her before she was born!  I haven't even gotten to read all of the books yet - we packed everything in boxes and my cousin and her best friend are bringing everything down in the next couple of weeks.  I can't wait to go through all of them!

And then there was the cake.  My mother chose the cake for my wedding reception and although it was wonderful, I wanted to choose this one.  I met with the lady, told her about my preferences, showed her what I wanted and she delivered!  It was so yummy!  Super fruity, not too sugary and it was beautiful!
The wheels of the carriage actually worked.  
We didn't realize that until it rolled right off the disk into the frosting!

We had three candles at the cake table for the three babies that came before her.  I didn't tell anyone or make any kind of announcement, but they were there and it made me happy to see them.

And so yeah, that's my daughter's name.  I was going to blur out the picture but you know what?  She's here.  She's a person and she has a name.  Drew actually named her and as soon as he said it I knew that was it.  That was her name and it was perfect.  I wanted to have that big announcement moment where I write the post with her name in the title and I'll do that with her middle name, I suppose.  Because she has a name, she's a person and she will be here soon.

So how about a shot of the big pregnant girl?
I wore black tights and my sexy boots and I thought I looked cute.  I had an orange wrap that I brought but with the running around and the hot flashes I was plenty comfortable without it.  However, that will be it for me and the sexy boots.  I couldn't walk for most of the next day because my back was so sore.  I was fine until I wasn't and boy I wasn't!  The only problem is, completely flat shoes make my feet swell and that's just one step away from cankles! 

Drew's mom sent a box to the shower and I opened her gifts first.  She included Drew's first crib toy and a mountain of clothes for the baby!  This little girl already has more clothes than I do!  Mama Karen had three brothers and two sons so she's super ready for a girl!  She would have liked the shower and I'm sad she couldn't be there.
She made these cute little hats that looked like cupcakes and they were adorable!
Reading the note she included
Mama Karen got enthusiastic with her shopping!

Opening the gifts was a little awkward for me.  I haven't opened that many gifts in my life.  I was so humbled by everyone's generosity and I kinda felt unworthy.  I didn't really want to sit there and open presents but my mom insisted, saying that was part of baby showers.  So I went ahead, but I tried to say something about each person giving me the gifts so everyone else got an idea of who they were and why they were important to me.  I only got choked up when I talked about Heather and Cori but I didn't cry!  I didn't cry talking about Brandi because when I look at her I'm back in high school causing trouble and having fun doing it!

Because that's the thing about parties.  It shouldn't be about the food, decorations or the pictures.  And yes, I stressed over all those things - way too much.  Parties are about people.  They're about connection, happiness and love.  If you think someone is going to talk under their breath about your food or your decorations, they shouldn't be invited to your party.  

I could have planned everything down to the smallest detail.  I could have hired a party planner, a professional photographer, a fancy caterer and a 'Cake Boss' baker.  It would have been nice, but it definitely wasn't necessary.  The shower was perfect just as it was, even with me tearing it apart the next day, obsessing over all the things I should have done better. 

But that's the thing about parties.  If you do it right, all you remember is the love.  And that's the way it should be.
Feeling her kick and stretch - she's everywhere!

There's a whole lot of people who can't wait to meet you, little baby.

Baby showers are EASY! And FUN!

I'm home, I'm back in Dallas, and I'm exhausted.  I had my baby shower in Kansas this past Saturday and it was amazing.  It was wonderful, due in LARGE part to my mother and my cousin.  Actually, due in ALL parts to them.  They worked so hard and I'm so very grateful to them because they made it wonderful!

However, before we just jump straight to pictures, let me tell you a story.  I like to call it "How to have a baby shower that's EASY! And FUN!"  

First, have a job where you sit at a computer 8 hours a day and do nothing so you can brainstorm ideas right up to the day of the shower.  Particulary torture yourself with this site and google everything that comes to mind so you can have the perfect shower.  After all, nothing will reduce your stress level like having to have the perfect shower!

Next, have the shower in a different state.  Because that will make it EASY!  And FUN!  There's nothing like being a *receptionist* and trying to make personal phone calls in the lobby between work calls and having a boss that's right around the corner from you.  

Get people to help you who have busy lives.  Bonus points if one of your helpers has small children!  Then you can feel like a total jerk for asking them to take time out of their busy lives to help you with things you can't do.  Watch your anxiety level creep on up as you realize all the elements you can't control.  Begin exchanging epic emails with your helpers.  Freak out when they don't pick up the phone when you call because they just said they're going to buy the wrong decorations.  Three way phone calls are exciting when your phone keeps cutting out!  And when your phone jams up because they're both sending you pictures of different decorations for your approval and then calling to ask "did you get the picture?  What do you think?  I'm in the store right now!" Coordinating a party from a different state is EASY!  And FUN!  

Playing the 'who pays for what' game is super fun!  Economic times are tough - only a full-out ass would expect someone else to pay for everything.  But is the 'are you paying for this or am I?' conversation ever comfortable?  Pay for what you can and sweat over the stuff they said they will pay for because other people (besides your husband) spending money on you makes you itchy.  Add it up in your head and feel guilty, but you've paid for all you can so you just have to feel guilty until next payday.  Hope that your husband doesn't look too closely at the bank account.

Tell yourself that you have plenty of time!  This is key to making your baby shower EASY!  And FUN!  Nothing like a healthy bit of procrastination to get the blood flowing.  Oh that's right - you're seven and a half months pregnant, you don't need help with bloodflow.  Then, realize that you actually have no time left and enjoy the hormonal meltdown!

Fly in the day before with fifty things still to do but go ahead and make lunch plans.  Because you have plenty of time!  As long as the person you're having lunch with is a family friend who just happens to be a pediatrician.  Spend lunch peppering him with questions about vaccinations, well baby checkups and timelines.  Resist the urge to crawl across the table and beg him to move to Dallas so he can be your baby's pediatrician.  Oh yeah, ask about his family and his life so you can sort of pretend that the sole purpose of lunch wasn't to pick his brain.  Only half-listen because you're still thinking of ways to bribe him to come to Dallas.  Two hours later, leave lunch and head home so your cousin can meet you at the house and the three of you can figure out what still needs to be done.  After your cousin's baby's doctor's appointment.  Feel more guilt.

Drive 4000 miles to pick up the cake.  Squeal with glee because it's perfect.  Vomit when you write the check for that perfection.

What time is it?  4pm?  No sweat, you have plenty of time!  You only have to go to four stores, which of course are all spread out.  Use the below photo for your centerpiece inspiration.
But go ahead and tweak it, because tweaking things is EASY!  And FUN!  What if the flowers were pens!  And your guests wrote notes to you and the baby in the books, making her first library!  Have the brilliant idea of making the pens in Dallas and shipping them to Kansas.  Pat yourself on the back for being able to cross one more thing off your list.

Oops!  The daisies you got on sale at Michael's are a BITCH to cut!  Freak out because the stems are over a foot long.  We're talking sawing through them with a knife to make the stems shorter!  And you don't know how big the vases are for the centerpieces!  What are you going to do?  AHA!  Put everything in a box and ship it to Kansas!  You can figure it out there!  Because you have plenty of time!

Meanwhile back in Kansas, what about books?  And it's almost 8pm?  Noooo problem!  Screech into the parking lot of Half-Price Books and speed-waddle to the front door, grab a cart, bark out "Children's section!" to the clerks, and rush to the back of the store with your cousin laughing at your speed-waddle.  "You take this side, I'll take this one, find good hardback books with space in the front for writing!  GO!"  Surprisingly, you find some great books!  Briefly allow yourself to daydream about reading to your daughter and seeing the wonderful notes people have left for the two of you.  Snap out of it, you have more stops to make!  Vomit again at the register.  What happened to half-price yo!

Go to Michael's because you use the below photo as the inspiration for your favors.
But you can tweak that!  Tweaking is EASY!  And FUN!  Rush to the hole-puncher section because you can DIY this and save so much money!  What's that?  EACH hole puncher is $25 a piece?  And you have to buy the cardstock?  AND figure out a design for the center?  Ummmm....Quickly abandon that idea!  Because you're going to do something better!  What is it?  No idea!!  

Your fabulous cousin comes up with sticker paper.  You have an awesome stamp and ink and that will work!  Okay, do they have sticker paper?  No?  CRAP!  No worries, we have another stop to make!  Please Jesus let them have it!

Go to KMart.  Realize you haven't been in a KMart in years, you didn't even know they still had them.  Speed-waddle to the office supply aisle, where they have ONE package of sticker paper left!  SCORE!  Scrap the other stop because it was for a project that you now realize you will have no time to complete.  Rush back home to begin assembling everything.

The kitchen looks like a pink and orange crafting bee blew up in there.  Dive in because it's only 9:30, you have plenty of time!  Stop and eat because the baby is staging a mutiny.  Eat some more because you're a big ol hog and your mother can cook like nobody's business.  Begin assembling the centerpieces.  Try not to cry because there seems to be so much to finish.  Start sawing the daisies and have your cousin look at you crazy as she pops off the tops with one hand.  Kiss her for being such a genius.  Assembly line style, pop off the daisies, hot glue them to the pens, and wrap them with floral tape.

Cry because the floral tape is sticky and no one will want to use the pens to write in the books and now your whole fabulous idea for centerpieces is ruined and we might as well cancel the shower.  Get constant reassurance from your angelic mother and cousin that everything is going to be okay.  Your mother saves the day by producing a little pot of body powder to rub on the pens to make the tape less sticky.  Cry some more because your mother is an angel.

Stamp the sticker paper, trace the outline, cut it out and place the sticker on the little lotions that you're giving out as favors.  Tie a ribbon around the lotion to make it pretty.  Repeat 60 times.
Glue the ribbons and arrange the flowers in the other vases.  Get delirious as the clock strikes one, but the light is at the end of the tunnel.  You're almost there and the centerpieces with the flower pens and the books look wonderful!  It's coming together!  It's going to happen, we're doing it!  It's going to be a good party!

Finish everything at 2 in the morning.  Bundle it together so nothing is lost or left behind.  Take your cousin home and feel more guilt because her husband had to take care of the children because you hogged her the whole night.  Come home and crawl up the stairs because you've been sitting down forever.  Ignore your aching back as you fall into bed and thank God, fall asleep within seconds.

Just before you drift off, realize that you're having a baby shower tomorrow.  For your baby.  That's inside you.  And is coming out soon.  Holy crap!

The End.


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