assembly required.

Friday night, in between basketball games, Nate and his dad got to work putting together our new dresser/changing table. We ordered it from Target and it shipped from Quebec, Canada. We knew it had arrived because we heard the FedEx Ground guy literally dragging the 120-pound package up the driveway and sidewalk … without a dolly.

The box contained a bazillion parts, and it was probably the most complicated piece of furniture to put together. I helped by reading the directions, which had over 40 steps. They finished 5 to 6 hours later, close to midnight. And there were some screws that required a Robertson screwdriver. I had never even heard of that before, but these screws had squared heads. Fortunately I found a bit set at Walmart on Saturday that included three square bits—a whole package of bits for just 97 cents. It did the job to finish tightening those last screws.

Ta-da! It is very sturdy and exactly what we needed. Storage for clothes and blankets and diapers and wipes. And a place for a changing pad. The little top piece comes off so it could be used as a normal dresser too—which is good because after the assembly process, Nate said, "He's using this until he's 18."

Our second bedroom/nursery/former study is still a disaster zone. We can't quite figure out where to put all the books. We can put some in the attic, but still want to have access to most of them. I really need to do a big spring cleaning and take a car load of stuff to Goodwill and recycle or trash some things too. Lots of organizing and decluttering, which I feel like I have zero energy to do right now. Nate told me to give him a honey-do list which I will gladly do. :)

I'm now 36 weeks and 2 days pregnant; Easter weekend is coming up fast! We have friends who were four weeks early and some who were a couple weeks late, so who knows when this baby will make his entrance! Tonight I'm meeting a pediatrician and this week begins the weekly check-ups with the doctor. We can't wait but I also think we will never quite feel ready.


day trip: chattanooga.

Lisa, Lyle, and Nate at the Tennessee Aquarium
Yesterday was Nate's birthday! The big 3-0. Nate and I both took the day off, and we day-tripped it down to Chattanooga with Nate's parents. We actually drove down Tuesday night so we could have a full day Wednesday; that was way better than driving down and back in the same day.

We did a whole lot of walking! First stop: the Tennessee Aquarium. Nate and I first visited Chattanooga and the aquarium two years ago for my birthday. You'd think it wouldn't be too busy in the middle of the week, but there were 15 different groups of school kids there on field trips. So, a little chaotic and noisy but they moved through pretty fast so we lingered and enjoyed ourselves.

After the aquarium, we walked to find some lunch. We stopped a local who was walking her dog, and she recommended checking out the Bluffview Art District. We came across a place called Tony's Pasta Shop and it was amazing. I had Chicken Parmesan. Mmm. Their bread is baked fresh next door every day.

Next, we went to the Hunter American Museum of Art. They had a special exhibit from the Smithsonian on African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond. I think my favorite type of art is photography—especially black and whites. To get from the museum back to the aquarium and pedestrian bridge (which we crossed after parking on the North Shore), you cross the Holmberg glass pedestrian bridge over the interstate. It's kind of nerve-wracking because you can see through the bridge and several of the glass panels had red tape around them because they had started to crack. I walked directly over a big supporting I-beam just in case.

To avoid having to pay for parking, we parked in a neighborhood on the North Shore. We walked back to the car because we wanted to check out Lookout Mountain before it got dark. We intended to go in the morning, but heavy fog covered the top of the mountain. Unfortunately when we got up to Point Park, the fog was still too heavy and you couldn't see the city at all.

We drove back down the mountain to have dinner at the Terminal Brewhouse. Nate and I wanted to go there last time we were in town, but it was a Friday night and the wait was too long. No wait this time. Next door was the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, so we went in to look around. We were not impressed. It looks like it might have been a happenin' place in the '90s, but it wasn't super clean and could definitely use some updating.

We hit the road back toward Nashville, thankful to gain back an hour with the change into Central Time. A fun day! We packed a lot in and still left plenty on the list of things Lyle and Lisa want to see their next trip back, like the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park.

I headed back to work today, but Nate has two more days off. We are looking forward to watching lots of basketball this weekend. :)


practice run.

This is our buddy Eli. He came over for a couple hours last night, and he was sleeeepy. We broke out some of Baby Jones' new toys and he played in a daze, not making a peep. Poor guy! Then I read Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site and layed him down around 7 and he went right to sleep. What a chill kid. His parents, Patrick and Molly, are our friends from church and they live exactly one mile from us. We love having them so close by. They started a care group a few weeks ago, and we are a part of that.

Four weeks and a four days until due date! (That's 32 days, if you're counting!) Next Monday, I am meeting a pediatrician whom a friend recommended. Saturday, Nate and I went and looked at dresser/changing tables at Babies R Us and found one we liked but not in the right color. So we stood in the store Googling and found basically the same one, in white, from Target for less and ordered it. That's our last piece of furniture we need, though I'd like to find some type of rug.

Today the guy who brings mail to our floor at work surprised me today with a gift of diapers and wipes. I've only talked to him a handful of times and don't even know his name, but how thoughtful.

Nate's parents arrived in Nashville last night. After work (Nate was working until 7:30p) I met up with Nate's parents at Fort Negley. It was chilly, but we walked around the fort and read about the Civil War history there. Lisa has been to a lot of Civil War sites in Nashville and the pieces are starting to come together. It's interesting to hear the history and recognize so many names from neighborhoods or streets.

Tomorrow is Nate's birthday—the big 3-0! I'm taking a vacation day and we are driving down to Chattanooga for a day trip.


baby shower.

Yesterday my coworkers threw us a baby shower. It was fun to celebrate with them; almost three years ago they were throwing us a bridal shower. Nate was able to take a break from work to enjoy cake and gifts.

Super cute cake. (I find myself saying "super cute" a lot these days.) My team copied the design on our crib bedding for the cake and invitations. Lots of elephants for Baby Jones.

We are five weeks and one day away from the due date—April 19. I had another checkup yesterday and everything looked good. Baby Jones is growing as he should. I am not in much waddling pain anymore, but my back is sore, especially in the evenings. And it's getting hard to sleep. I can still fall asleep at 8:30 or earlier, but I wake up at 11:30. Or midnight. And 1:30. And 3. And 4:30. A lot, and often for seemingly no reason. I just can't sleep. Some people say it's practice for not sleeping much when the baby is here, but at least then when you wake up, you'll have a baby to care for. It's just pointless now. :)


basketball jones.

I'm 6 weeks and 3 days away from my due date (April 19), which is surreal and exciting. So much to do before then. It seems that first babies typically come around or after their due dates, but I've heard of a few people being a week or two early. Hoping to get everything settled and ready by April 1!

Here's the latest bump photo—33 weeks. Looking at this photo makes me start humming "Basketball Jones … I gotta basketball Jones … I gotta basketball Jones, oh baby, oooh-ooooh-oooh." Nate said he's never heard that song. I Googled it, and it's by Cheech and Chong … so I had no idea why I knew it and then I realized it was in the movie Space Jam.

My midwife told me I could take Pepcid for my terrible heartburn, twice a day as a preventative measure, and it has worked wonders! But I am hitting the point where I am no longer physically comfortable at all. I crash hard at 8:30 p.m. and then wake up at 1:30 a.m. and it's off and on the rest of the night.

Yesterday I suddenly felt like I had pulled a groin muscle. I'm pretty sure I didn't actually do anything to injure myself; I suspect it's just things loosening and widening but it literally hurts to walk. And so I'm waddling; apparently pain is why pregnant women waddle, not because you're just carrying a big belly. It really is a pain in the bones. I described it to Nate as feeling like someone took a baseball bat to my pelvis. He helps me put on my shoes in the morning. :)
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