It’s 5:09 a.m. and Chloe, our dog, is annoyed with me. I can tell because she keeps moving about the house, sighing, and then sort of collapsing in a frustrated heap next to me each time I move to a different room or chair or couch just trying to get back to sleep, which I can’t do. The longer this gestational charade endures, the longer I seem to go each night without sleep.
I give up at 6:03 after having tried:
- moving downstairs to the couch, where I create my own MacGyver contraption of sleeping-upright-to-escape-heartburn-pillow-set-up. It’s cooler down there. I shut my eyes…and hear the annoying sound of air trying to progress through my congested nose. There’s no soothing fan sound downstairs. Just my damn nose making this whistling/crackling noise. I’m hungry.
- drinking a quick glug of milk out of the carton. It’ll help with the acid bubbling up in my throat. I lay back down. I’m hungry.
- pouring a bowl of Special K. I eat it in the dark. Chloe is still annoyed as she moves with me from upstairs, to downstairs, to living room, to kitchen, and back to living room. She only reluctantly comes back to the kitchen when I set the bowl out for her to lick when I’m done. I’m satisfied.
- heading back upstairs with a full tummy where there’s a fan producing blissful white-noise. I crawl back into bed (making sure I’m still propped at some angle – there’s no such thing as laying flat to sleep anymore). I try to climb aboard the Sleepy Time Express, but my nose tickles. I sneeze – I get up, sneeze again, and head to the bathroom to blow my nose.
Chloe hops up and gives me a sleep-deprived, baleful look that seems to say, “WTF?”
I give up. I come here to the blog. And you can perhaps consider this particular post a smorgasblog if you will, because I have no idea where this is going. I only know that I’m wide awake now, it’s too early for any of the good cartoons to be on t.v., and not late enough in the morning to avoid potential hung-over creepers / molesters / drug dealers in the park if I decide to take a walk on this fine Saturday morning.
First things first, I guess – my shower was last weekend. I have to say, I had a lot of anxiety about the shower. I don’t like to be the center of attention in that way for starters. Additionally, the original plan was for it to be an outdoor affair. The problem was the weather called for 90 degree sunshine that day.
I call home, trying to delicately sway the event to an air-conditioned venue. Dad answers.
“Hi, it’s me.” I say. “So, we’ll probably be home sometime tomorrow morning before the shower.”
“Ok.” He says.
“Soooo, gosh, looks like we’ll probably have to have it inside after all, huh? I see it’s suppose to be ninety.” I simper apologetically, as if I’m really upset about this.
“You’re mom’s already over at Sharon’s – they’re setting everything up outside.”
Sure enough, it’s sweltering that day, and not a cloud in the sky. I arrive at my aunt’s house (the hostess) and I’m blown away…by how amazing everything looks. I can tell she’s probably been working her butt off night and day to make everything look perfect. It does.
There are tables set up in her beautifully manicured backyard, most with umbrellas, and each place setting has a favor: a tulle-wrapped tea cup filled with gourmet tea, mint, etc. The tea cups were my idea :). I love tea. She and my mother have lovingly tied each with a ribbon and little thank-you card. Somehow, they’ve managed to make my tea theme a boy’s shower – I was concerned it would be too girly – and the little frilly tea cups have been set out in a wonderful eclectic collection against a backdrop of bright green and aqua blue place settings. I love it. The food table holds homemade lemonade and colorful urns of three types of iced tea. The menu is Starbucks mini-scones, mini-pies, and cake pops (which ultimately sort of melt in the heat, but they look great!)
The guests arrive, and I smile and try to pretend my panties aren’t drenched already in perspiration. Even my friend who is 8 5/6 months pregnant comes to endure the heat of the day (although, had she known it’d be outdoors…), and as I try to make my way around to at least chat a little bit with everyone, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s sunny. It’s hot. Not everyone has shade. But, here they are nonetheless.
We do a few quick little activities (no games – I hate shower games. Sorry for being a spoilsport, but smelling baby food, and sniffing melted candy-bar poo out of a diaper is not my idea of fun. Although, I could just be bitter because I never guess right) and get to the presents.
There’s a sort-of stage area on an upper deck for me to open gifts, with a large umbrella meant to keep me shaded. The problem: the sun has since moved westward. I end up being in full sun the whole time. Just get through it. I tell myself. After about the fifth present, I feel on the cusp of either fainting or dying, but I press on, despite the massive collection of gifts still unopened before me. I begin to worry about how others are feeling. Jesus, I’ve been up here for what, 45 minutes? An hour? I do a quick scan of the crowd to make sure our grandmas aren’t passed out and continue.
I try to hurry. If I’m hot, so are they. Finally…finally, it’s done. I’d made it. And no one died – not even me.
The best part of the gifts, for me, was the books. I’d found this nifty idea on the interweb about asking people to bring a children’s/baby book in lieu of a card – to inscribe a book instead. I thought it was perfect because I love children’s books, and Nick works at a library so, well…you get it.
I was worried there’d be tons of duplicates and eight copies of Green Eggs and Ham. But there weren’t. We ended up with so many wonderful classics and board-books (Green Eggs included) that I was overwhelmed in the best way. I loved them all. The simplest board book to the most beautiful collection of Winnie the Pooh stories. Some I didn’t get to really look at until we got home that night. My friend Heather gave several (as a librarian herself), and even included her Disney Golden Books she’d had as a child. Jungle Book. And, my favorite, Mickey’s A Christmas Carol. These are so special to me that I selfishly set all of the vintage classics and non-boardbooks aside in a separate bin and vow to Nick that Bubbalooshki Bear (our baby – yep, we’ve named him by now…ok, that’s not really his name, but for blog purposes, he’ll go by his nickname, Bubbalooshki Bear) will never touch these books until I am confident he is old enough to understand how important they are, at which point I will make him vow to never fold, tear, mark-up, or otherwise vandalize them as children sometimes do without thinking. I make a mental note to perhaps make him sign them out each time. Hmmm.
Anyways…as Nick and I unpack and sort the loot, anxiety sets in that I didn’t get to chat enough with those who attended. That’s another thing I hate about showers. You want to make sure you visit with everyone, but by the time everyone leaves, you feel you didn’t visit with anyone, and then you feel really, really guilty. I wanted people to know just how thankful I felt. My heart was bursting with thanks, but I didn’t get to really convey that to anyone. I suppose that’s why you send thank-you notes, but still…
If you’re reading this, and you were at the shower, or have send us gifts or well-wishes, I’d like to say THANK YOU! There’s so much more I could say about how grateful I feel to my mom, my aunt, and everyone I’ve ever known, after that day, but there aren’t enough words to express how lucky Nick and I are to have such wonderful people in our lives. And now I’ve gone from incredulous to mushy – all in one post. Damn, I’m lame. (But-thanks-to-everyone-we-love-you-so-much-and-are-so-grateful…)
Play it cool. (No-really-I-love-everyone-and-the-stars-and-the-birds-tweeting-outside-this-morning-too-and…)
It’s 7:03. Probably safe now for a walk.