Monday, August 17, 2009


A week ago I realized that we are leaving for upstate NY at the end of THIS week (yes, that trip I discussed that I said we weren't going to do), and I sort of panicked. I booked everything last week, and thank goodness that all worked out despite my procrastination. And so far, that procrastination-panic has served me well. So well in fact, that I MAY actually be ready for this trip when it arrives. I am maybe (probably) fooling myself, but because I had NOTHING done 2 weeks ahead of time, I jumped into action and now I have most everything except the packing done a week ahead of time.

Preparing for a trip has 2 phases for me: Phase 1 is buying things/washing things/gathering things into my house (I have no idea why, but EVERY trip seems to require that I go out and purchase a bunch of new clothes/gear etc., mostly for Emily) and Phase 2 is packing it all into suitcases and such. I guess there's a Phase 3 as well, which would be getting everything into the car, but that's Will's job so I don't really pay much attention to that :-)

The packing phase will take awhile this time around I fear, for several reasons. Emily is potty training right now (and still doing great!), so that means that instead of just bringing a pack of diapers with us and buying more if we need them, we'll be bringing our entire stash of big-girl undies, a bunch of pull-ups, and some overnight diapers as well, not to mention a ridiculous number of clothing changes in case of accidents AND a portable potty for those roadside emergencies. There is also the fact that while temperatures are in the mid to high 70's during the day up there (so we'll need shorts, sunscreen, bathing suits, bug spray), they drop into the high 40's at night (so we'll also need pants, jackets, blankets, mittens). They are also forecasting some rain, so we'll be stuffing raincoats and ponchos and rubber boots into our already-groaning suitcases. And what else could we possibly need to bring? How about a bunch of shelf-stable, low fat, high protein, 100% whole grain food for my husband*? Why not! I'm sure our car will be absolutely cavernous with extra space so lets shove the contents of the pantry in there for good measure.

Also we will be bringing bikes.

So yeah, maybe I'm not so close to being done. But at least I have everything we need SOMEWHERE in the house.

And most of you are probably scratching your heads and wondering why we're even GOING on this trip since I complained about it before, then said we weren't going, and am now complaining about it again, and the reason is because I'm crazy.

Actually, the REAL reason is because we made a few adjustments to the plan, and now that we've taken control of our own destiny I think the trip is do-able. We will be taking 2 days to drive up and 2 days to drive back so that we can try to stay within Emily's car-barfing time limit. It will also give us a chance to relax, swim, and shop at a Wegmans along the way and basically just make the traveling part more relaxing and fun. In NY we booked ourselves a room at an inn 2 miles from the actual camp, so we will be sleeping in our own private room, IN THE SAME BED, and NOT in bunk beds with Will's parents. We will have a bathroom attached to our room, so I can shower myself and my toddler without desperately trying to conceal my ever-growing bulk from the eyes of random strangers in a communal shower. And if we should find that we have had enough beading and poetry and geocaching and horseback riding (oh wait, can't do that) and water-skiing (oh wait, can't do that either), we can simply retire back to our OWN lakeside Inn and enjoy an alcoholic beverage at the bar. Well *I* can't, but it's the PRINCIPLE!

All this prepping and planning and fretting has distracted me pretty effectively from the fact that I am having my gender determination ultrasound tomorrow. With Emily I camped out in front of the imaging center for a week beforehand, just to be sure I was there the minute they opened that Friday (not really) and practiced filling my bladder to the perfect "Hey! I can totally see the baby!" level in the days leading up to it (yes really). This time I know that no matter how much or how little water I drink, they will inevitably call me back half an hour late when my bladder is practically bursting, then complain that they can't see anything because my bladder is in the way, so I'm not stressing about that. And to be fair, we have already seen Zippy once before at this point so really, he/she is already old news.

But in all seriousness, I'm dying of curiosity. I am not one of those serene "We just want a healthy baby" mothers. Of course I DO want a healthy baby, and of course I TELL people who ask that I just want a healthy baby, but with Emily I definitely wanted a boy. I wanted to help Will carry on the Randall name. I felt like we HAD to have a son at some point, and it would be best to have a son first and take the pressure off. Luckily Will wasn't living in the 1400's like me (although his family and business DO kind of function like a monarchy, so maybe I wasn't SO off the mark). When we found out she was a girl, I was honestly a bit disappointed. But it made me realize that I DID want a girl, I had just wanted a boy first. I would've been disappointed to never have a girl to be, well, GIRLY with. My mom is an unapologetic tomboy. She has 1 pot of eyeshadow that she wears only on special occasions, she never wears jewelry, and she got the first and only manicure of her life on her wedding day. I can still remember being in middle school and discovering the makeup aisle at CVS (probably still People's Drug). It was amazing to me that there were different cleansers and moisturizers for different parts of your body, you could own SEVERAL different lipstick or eyeshadows at once, and the things you could put into and do with your hair were limited only by your imagination (and skill, unfortunately). Along with all the other not-so-shallow things I look forward to experiencing with Emily, I have LOVED being able to put bows in her hair and dress her up and I look forward to introducing her to the joys of nail polish.

Besides. We were going to have 2 kids, and if the second was a girl, we'd try for a 3rd.

But now, 2.5 years later, I am almost positive that this will be my last baby. And am I desperate for a boy? Not really. But I don't feel all serene about it. I feel like I can see the drawbacks of both, so I haven't gotten my heart set on either possibility.

If Zippy is a boy, he can carry on Will's name, we'll have realized the American dream of having 1 girl and 1 boy, and no mom can look down her nose at me and say "You wouldn't understand, YOU don't have any BOYS". But we also have that "What would we do with a boy?" thing, which is fairly ridiculous but still a very real feeling that I think many parents have.

But you know what? I kind of want Emily to have a sister too. I love having two women (I can't believe I'm calling them women, weren't they just 6 and 8?) I can chat with, complain with, and go to the spa with. And aren't little brothers annoying and icky? Plus I KNOW how to raise a girl, at least until the age of 2. And part of me feels that our chances are weighted towards girl. I was 1 of 3 girls, Will had 2 sisters, our families kind of like to make girls.

But this baby really, truly, could be either. And the fact that it's (probably) my last baby makes this more monumental. The thought that I am less than 1 day away from finding out who is going to officially complete my family is a bit overwhelming. Today is the last day of my life that I won't know if I am a mom of 2 girls or one of each.

Plus I can't wait to start calling this little "it" bumping around in my belly by its name.

Your sister loves to run around naked Zippy, I hope that at least for tomorrow you're not shy either!

*Will has actually been quite gracious and has said that he is willing to eat the food they serve at the camp, EVEN if it's white pasta, as long as we pack protein powder and beef jerky and nuts and tuna packets and 2 loaves of bread and peanut butter and dried fruit and...

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