Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daily Note: August 27, 2009

First off, congrats are due to Betsey, who often comments on my blog - she had a beautiful baby girl last night and named her Emmi Kate.

As for me, I spent the evening rallying for a lovely bachelorette dinner for Darrah. I can't believe her wedding is THIS WEEKEND. I wasn't able to rally enough for the post-dinner activities, but was really glad to at least be there for the first half. We'll see if I make it to the actual wedding or not. If it wasn't for my hip pain, I'd be hoping for an on-time or late delivery so that I could make it to the big day. As it stands, we'll just have to play it by ear. I've got my black mumu ready just in case.

I just got back from the doctor and thought I'd give a brief update.

My hip gets a little worse every day and the pain is really more than I ever imagined pregnancy could cause. At this point, I'm used to discomfort, but this pain is breaking my spirit a little. I had to start my maternity leave early because it just hurts too much to make it into the office. I started to panic a little yesterday, after two weeks of limping no further than to the car or bathroom, that maybe it would never get better. I brought Jeff with me to this Dr's appointment (he hasn't been attending the appointments for quite some time) to help me walk and also hear about "what's next" seeing as this was technically my last appointment before I'm past my due date. The doctor was great as usual and calmed me down about my hip. She said she's seen it before and immediately after delivery, I'll have a major amount of relief, and then within a month of birth, I should be all better. She checked me and I'd made a good amount of progress - I'm a "generous 3 centimeters" dilated and still 50% effaced. She stripped my membranes again, which was perhaps a touch more painful than when she did it on Friday, but at least it took less time. She then told us that she really thought I'd go into labor by the end of the weekend. Last Friday, she wasn't sure enough to make this declaration, so I'm hopeful that she's right and things get started really soon. She also scheduled me an appointment for Tuesday (my due date) and said that if I wasn't in labor by then, she'd like to check us in and break my water to get things started. So it would seem that regardless, we should have a baby within the next 6 days or so. For now, I may not update this blog daily, but I assume most of you reading will hear when there's something to report.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

Daily Note: August 24, 2009

I'm still trying to hack it at work this week, but working a full day isn't really happening. The walk to the bathroom from my office alone is about a block's distance and my hip is still being a total asshole. As a result, I worked a half day today and am now home for the afternoon. On the plus side, I think I've actually wrapped work up well enough that I could walk away at any point if needed. Leaving things in a tidy way for the event planner I hired to fill in for me has been much harder than anticipated, but I think I've got things about as good as they can get.

I had a hopeful hour around 2am last night after waking to a contraction, followed by 2 more about 20 minutes apart, but shortly thereafter I fell back asleep. Jeff says that at this rate, I'm going to give birth in slow motion, which is about how it feels. I called the doctor this afternoon (per her instructions) about having her repeat the business she conducted on Friday but they weren't able to get me in prior to my already scheduled appointment on Thursday. So unless I spontaneously go into labor prior to then, Thursday is my next check up.

In the meantime, thank you to all my friends (and my Mom!) for running errands for me, cleaning my house, coming over and entertaining me on the couch, and all that other good stuff. I HATE being dependent on others, but this is one time where I don't really have a better option and I'm really grateful.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Daily Note: August 23, 2009

Well, no baby yet. But progress is being made. Despite knowing that odds were only 50%, I spent most of Friday over-interpreting symptoms and I did wake at 3am (technically Saturday morning) to a real contraction, but aside from feeling a bit nauseous and vaguely crampy, this was my only big excitement that night.

I kept my massage appointment yesterday morning and while the massage itself was heavenly, I left in just as much pain as I came in. Putting any weight on my left leg is still sending shooting pains all over the place so walking is still out of the question. Major bummer.

We decided to rally for a dinner party last night, and after pulling up (my own lumbar pillow in hand, ready to limp across the lawn to their front door- so embarrassing) we backed out at the last minute. I had been feeling increasingly nauseous, but was hoping it would fade and didn't want to be a party pooper. Thankfully, Jeff made the call for me at the last minute and we u-turned it in the direction of home. After an hour or so at home, I was just starting to feel kind of guilty about missing the party when I started feeling even more queasy and even had some contractions. Then at 8pm, I went to the bathroom and lost my mucus plug! Sorry for the gross out guys, but it had to be done. I tell you this because it totally freaked me out for a good 30 minutes and I'm so glad it didn't happen in someone else's house at a dinner party. I know that it doesn't signify immediate labor, but still ... it means things are definitely progressing down there, which is encouraging. I had a few more contractions after that, but then things sort of faded and eventually, I fell asleep. It's par for the course for me to sleep horribly these days (hence writing this post at 5am) but I could tell that every time I rolled over or got up in the night last night, that Jeff was also on high alert, waiting for me to wake him with some news. Sadly, that news didn't come. I had cramps off and on throughout the night, but that was it.

SO. The waiting continues. Perhaps for another week even. We shall see. In the meantime I feel obligated to post about every little event in order to prevent the bevy of emails and phone calls each day from all my friends and family, asking "Have you had the baby yet!?"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Daily Note: August 21, 2009

A quick update on my doctor's appointment today:

My doctor first informed me that my Strep B test (which I mentioned last week) came back negative, so this is good news. No IV antibiotics during labor needed. Then she expressed some serious concern over my hip pain. I'm still not walking without intense pain and she said it's likely to get worse over the next week or two. It's also concerning me that I haven't taken a walk in 7 days and as a result might struggle with motivating labor that way. She suggested that while doing my cervical exam that she could do a little "stirring things up" to get things progressing down there. She said that about 50% of the time, this will put the woman into labor within the next 3 days. It's funny how during the last few days I keep talking about being ready to be "done" but when the reality of her suggestion hit me, I have to confess I hesitated for a minute. The prospect of going into labor this weekend is simultaneously thrilling and terrifying.

She checked me and pronounced that I was a generous 2 centimeters dilated and had gone from 0% to 50% effaced since last week. That said, she said I still wasn't likely to go into labor on my own this weekend so she commenced "stirring". And wow. While she did God knows what down there, she yelled semi-sarcastically, "Think about Hawaii! You're on the beach! Think about Hawaii!!" Except I knew damn well I wasn't in Hawaii because DUDE, Hawaii is fun. And what she was doing down there? NOT fun. I did some hardcore breathing and made it through about 30 seconds of this painful motivational process and then it was over.

She said if I wasn't having any contractions by early next week to call and we could repeat that really fun process. For now, I'm super crampy and seem to be having some mildish contractions, but I keep waiting for one that makes me think, "Holy Shit, this is it!" Until that thought crosses my mind I figure this isn't it. SO. There you have it.

We are currently packing the long overdue hospital bag and wondering whether this is going to be a false alarm. Before my appointment today, I had scheduled an expensive maternity massage for tomorrow morning. I'm thinking I'll keep the appointment despite the prospect of impending labor. Maybe by keeping the appointment, I'll guarantee that I go into labor while getting rubbed. Sort of like how if you take an umbrella on a trip, it won't rain. Did that make any sense?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Daily Note: August 19, 2009

The lack of posts this week has been a reflection of my state of mind. Kind of blank. I definitely feel like life is on hold until this whole labor thing starts happening. The problem is that in the meantime, I have shit to get done and I'm really struggling to motivate. I think I might be missing the nesting gene. It's not that I don't want things to be clean, I just cannot seem to want it bad enough to figure out a way to crawl on my hands and knees and scrub under the clawfoot tub.

The weekend was fairly productive, with last minute trips to Ikea and Target, and some social time with friends and family. The last 5 days or so have been peppered with periodic cramps and minor contractions, but nothing too painful and definitely nothing frequent enough to track. The baby has definitely dropped lower. Last night in particular, she was moving so strongly and frequently around 10:30 that I couldn't keep still without having to breath through the pain a bit. She was so low that I could feel her gliding against my pelvic bone when she moved and wow, that is not the most pain-free experience. The discomfort and downward pressure had me whimpering a little, but it didn't last much longer than an hour or two and then I fell asleep.

The main update is that my left hip has more or less given out on me. Walking is incredibly painful and I can't really put much pressure on my left leg at all without wincing. I wasn't able to leave the house on Monday because of my hip, and while things are just the tiniest bit better today, I'm still feeling pretty sorry for myself. The hardass security guard at work even took pity on me and allowed me free access to the in-building garage this week (normally it costs $90/month), but even gimping to the elevator from my car is an experiment in pain management. SO annoying.

And speaking of annoying, wrapping up work to go on leave is also proving to be much more stressful than anticipated. I feel a bit like a high school senior in the last week of school, except in this scenario, things matter a lot more so I can't just skip class and go to Haggens for fried rice. Jeff's been incredibly tolerant and supportive and of course I know I'm almost done. But almost done isn't quite the same as just plain done. At this point, I'm fully anticipating going to my due date or beyond, but I guess you never know. My next doctor's appointment is on Friday, so it'll be interesting to see if anything has changed since last Thursday.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Daily Note: August 14, 2009

Well, I had kind of a different night last night. After my exam yesterday, I felt a little crampier than normal but nothing serious or regular. More just a low, achy feeling that would come and go. I didn't mind so much, assuming it was a little bit from the exam and hoping that it could also mean further progress in the dilation department. But towards the end of the workday, my hip pain intensified and I started feeling a little queasy on top of the cramps. I headed home, we ate an early dinner and I immediately headed for the bath.

The weather in Seattle went from over 100 degrees to some pretty solid November-like weather last week and I am NOT complaining. The cold air and rain are most welcome. In fact, they've helped me discover an old friend - the warm bath. Early in my pregnancy I avoided baths despite my doctor saying they were fine. But this last week, the hip pain and general discomfort of being pregnant lead me to try it. It really is a nice reprieve and can help to make me feel relaxed enough to fall asleep. I've taken one almost every night this last week. Maybe I just hit the bath too early last night? The plan was to get out, maybe feel a little better as a result and then pack our hospital bag. But I got out of that bath and felt like a queasy, crampy, wet noodle. I was really tired, but was having trouble breathing when I laid down on my side, so Jeff sort of propped me up on the couch in my giant bathrobe and I think I just sat there staring into space for like an hour or two? Jeff headed out for drinks with a friend and I mumbled after him as he left, "Make sure to keep your phone on." and I think we both had a moment where we realized we've entered a new phase. The phase where "the phone call" could really happen at any time. While he was gone, I had some Braxton Hicks contractions, and would occasionally feel a weird shooting type pain down where I used to get ligament pains. It didn't feel serious or particularly painful, so I knew it wasn't actual labor, but it was certainly different.

Today I feel fine so far. And by fine I mean that my hands and feet are so puffy that I feel like I'm wearing clown shoes and those giant foam fingers that they pass out at sports games, and that I'm tired and ungainly.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Daily Note: August 13, 2009

Guess who's almost 2 centimeters dilated? If you guessed me, you would be correct. My weekly check up went well today. The doctor said the baby is nice and low and that I'm one, almost two centimeters dilated. When she walked in and I was sitting there with the sheet over my lap, she took one look at me and said, "Oh. You're done, aren't you?" Clearly, it shows. I've been having mild menstrual cramps a few times per day for the last 5 days or so and the doctor says that means progress.

Anyways, knowing that things are progressing gives me something to go forward on. I called Jeff afterwards to let him know the good news, which was met by a beat of silence. Then, "I guess we need to pack that hospital bag tonight." Reality has arrived. We appear to be having a baby sometime soonish.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Daily Note: August 10, 2009

From a pregnancy website about week 37:

These are the times to enjoy, although you may be completely sick of people asking, "So, when are you due?" or "Wow, you look like you are really ready to have that baby!" Try not to punch them -- pregnant women are always a fascination to people -- consider it well-wishing.

Love the part about refraining from punching. It's harder than you'd think. (Friends take note: commenting on my girth in the next few weeks is sort of like telling someone that their house is dirty or that their Mom is crazy - totally fine for someone to say about themselves, but saying it about someone else? Not so cool. Consider yourself warned: I am allowed to bitch about being huge, but comments from you about how big and pregnant I am and you're risking a punch)

Things seem to be shifting already this week, I've had Braxton Hicks contractions on and off all day that are much stronger in intensity and instead of 2 or 3 per day like I've been having for weeks, they're much more frequent (although totally irregular). I'm fairly certain I've still got some time left with this bun in the oven, but it's very interesting to finally be at the stage where every change could be signs of a gradual progression towards actual labor...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Daily Note: August 9, 2009

Jeff is almost finished with the bookshelves and living room/kitchen wall! All that's left is to put the drawers in the two outside cavities (each rectangle is a slot just waiting for a drawer), but everything else is done and I couldn't be more impressed.

Can you see those beautiful columns that Jeff built around the support beams?
And then we put our piles and piles of books into the shelves:

Last night, he touched up the paint around the upper cut-out and today, we've been cleaning up and purging piles of stuff from the house and hanging art. Stay tuned later this week for an even better photo shoot once we've got the whole wall a bit more polished.

While Jeff has been doing all this work, this is what Maurice and I have been working hard at:
Consider this my week 36 shot if you'd like, I think it was just taken yesterday. We'll see if a formal one gets taken tonight or not.

For serious though, I've been doing a fair amount of lazing, but I've also baked 2 giant casseroles for the freezer that each weigh about 10 pounds, cleaning obsessively, and thinking really hard about all the other shit I desperately need to get done. Lists abound.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Daily Note: August 7, 2009

Well, I had my 36 week check up yesterday and all seems to be chugging along still. I thought for sure this was the week that I would start getting "checked", but they said they'd rather wait til next week as it was unlikely I was dilating this early. I have a few days left in week 36 still, and they prefer to wait until I'm technically in week 37. Is it wrong to be disappointed that I didn't get a pelvic exam? I think so. Sounds like next Thursday, which will be midway through week 37 I will have my first exam where they check to see if I'm dilating and also test me for Strep B, which is rather common but harmless if treated with IV antibiotics during labor. Obviously, it would be way less of a pain in the ass to NOT have an IV during labor, but we'll see.

For now, the heartbeat sounds healthy and the baby's head remains firmly in the down position with her legs and butt on my right side. I know that doctors are notoriously off with estimates, but she thinks the baby is currently a hare shy of 6 pounds and that in the end, she's putting her money on a 7 1/5 pound baby. In the meantime, I've got about 6 pounds of hiccuping baby inside me, kicking me in the bladder and making sleeping impossible. I wish I could just fast forward the next week or two.

Lindsey reminded me that I never recapped our birth class experience. The truth is that I wrote a big post about it at about 5am last week when faced with a bout of insomnia, but then when I went back to reread it the next day, I found that it sucked, and then it was hot, and I don't know. I basically spent a week just trying not to die from heat-induced pissedness. By the time the heat receded I forgot about the post entirely.

Shockingly, our 8 hour birth class went really well. I think Jeff and I were both surprised by how not-annoying the whole process was really. The teacher was great and no one else in the class sucked. I think maybe I expected us to spend the whole time watching videos with close up money shots of the baby coming out of the birth canal, but actually that wasn't the focus at all. I was pleased by how much time was spent focusing on the Father's role in the process and we got to practice a number of different positions with our partners which was simultaneously helpful and awkward. She had us hold fistfulls of ice chips while practicing these positions (and breathing) for 60-90 seconds with about 2 or 3 minutes between poses where we could put the ice down. Who knew holding ice could suck so much? Turns out ice is super cold. And it hurts to hold for more than about 5 seconds. Granted this was nothing compared to what a real contraction will feel like, but it still helped to be in some level of discomfort while Jeff tried to rub my back and I bounced on a ball, etc...

Helpful things learned during this process:
-A bouncy birth ball is a must
- we need to buy one to bring with us in case they run out at the hospital
-A wood "mr. smiley" back rubber needs to also be purchased. It allowed Jeff to use more pressure for longer periods of time after his hands got tired.
-Our height difference makes the “hugging poses” a little uncomfortable.
-I have to breath VERY loudly for Jeff to hear when I'm breathing in and out and therefore rub me with my breathing patterns. This lead to exchanges such as:

Jeff: I can’t hear whether you’re breathing in or out.
Me: Who cares, just rub my back bozo!


Jeff: You only breathed in 3 times when I was holding up 4 fingers.
This comment was met by a combo of the stink eye and silence.

We also did another "exercise" in class where she gave each couple a set of 16 flash cards. There was writing on either side of each card that said things like "Boy" on one side and "Girl" on the other, or "Vaginal birth" on one side and "C-section" on the other, or "Freedom to move during labor for as long as possible" vs. "Restricted to bed". You get the idea. You were supposed to look at each card, choose the side you preferred for your birth experience and put them in front of you with your answers face up. They were all sort of stupid questions, like who was going to choose "On-Call physician delivers my baby" over "My physician delivers the baby"? While doing this exercise, Jeff mutters, "Do you want to be punched in the face or NOT punched in the face?" Weirdly, everyone else in the room seemed to be discussing these options in earnest while we giggled and snorted in the corner.

I was starting to question the purpose of the whole activity when the instructor asked someone else to come over and randomly flip over 6 of our cards to the answers we didn't want. All of a sudden the on call physician was delivering our baby, I was having my membrane artificially ruptured, Jeff was meeting me at the hospital instead of being with me during early labor and I was requiring an internal fetal monitor during labor that required me to stay more or less put in bed during labor. So then we had to talk about what would happen if those things really did happen and blah blah. Essentially I found it helpful. I think it's unlikely that everything will go the way we envision and it's good to be ready for that up front.

So there you have it. My birth class experience in something slightly larger than a nutshell. Next week we signed up for a breastfeeding/newborn care class, then I think we're done with classes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Daily Note: August 6, 2009

Do you have anyone in your life that you dislike so strongly that you wish them ill? Then you feel bad for wishing them ill and instead have vivid fantasies of them disappearing into thin air, or getting some fantastic job offer in a foreign land so that they never return and you don’t ever have to see their stupid face again? I do.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Daily Note: August 4th, 2009

Happy 30th Birthday Maggie! A few fond remembrances of a younger Maggie:

When we were roommates in the dorms Freshman year of college, I came home from a class or something to find Maggie laying on her bed. Just laying there. She was gazing at the ceiling with her hands clasped on her stomach and I worried maybe she wasn’t feeling well. I asked, “Are you okay?” and she looked at me like I was crazy. Turns out, just “laying” was one of Maggie’s favorite past times. My immediate reaction was puzzlement. If she wasn’t napping, reading, or hugging a pillow crying what was the point of just laying? For her part, Maggie was equally baffled that I didn’t partake in this practice myself. While my immediate reaction (per always) was to judge, it didn’t take long for her to teach me the error of my ways. To this day I still enjoy a good bout of just laying on the bed or couch, thinking. Jeff’s reaction never fails – he’ll walk by and not notice at first, then back up, do a double take and ask, “Everything okay?”

When we were in high school, Maggie and I used to eat lunch together pretty regularly. I remember this being particularly true our Junior year because we were Chemistry partners (I think?) and we used to walk out to the Junior lot after class and get in her decrepit Rabbit and drive the ¼ mile to her Mom’s house where we would gorge on Top Ramen and Doritos, sometimes with some Kakana cheese as an appetizer. We were apparently big fans of any foods in the yellow to orange color range. One time, we were pulling out of the Junior parking lot when the hood of her trusty Rabbit suddenly popped up and all visibility was lost. Panic ensued, but I seem to remember us both sticking our heads out our windows and driving the whole rest of the way to her Mom’s house like that.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Daily Note: August 3, 2009 - photos

Some photos to go along with my last few posts. First up are some pictures of me and Maurice, trying to beat the heat last week. Me soaking my feet in the tub filled with ice water (and yes that's a giant tub of Tums next to me on the counter):

Maurice, sporting a cold, wet cape made out of a dish towel:

Me on the day of our A/C installation:

My Aunt Laura threw me a lovely baby shower on Friday in Bellingham.

Me with sister-in-law Kathleen and aunt-in-law Wendy at the shower:

My cousin and Aunt serving giant wedges of quiche and salad made from her garden:

I swear there were better pictures taken at the shower (like of me with my whole family), but I think they might be on my Aunt's camera. Post baby-shower, we got to see the beautiful house Kathleen and Javi (sister and brother-in-law) just purchased in Bellingham:

The sunset from the ferry to Orcas on Friday night:

My dirty and bearded husband on Orcas:

Our lunch at Rose's on Orcas. I had a BLT and Jeff had a salami and provolone sandwich:

Pistachio and hazelnut gelato in Eastsound:

This Mother deer and her tiny baby were practically eating the green beans out of my hand on the back porch of the cabin (in fact they probably would have if I didn't have a deep seated fear of animals biting my fingers after watching a horse chomp on someone's fingers instead of the carrot they were holding as a child):

And lastly, this picture of me hiding a basketball under my dress. Photo taken at 35weeks and 5 days. Enjoy it, because I'm getting just enormous enough that I might not want to post more pics like this in the future:

Daily Note: August 3, 2009

Well, I wish I was reporting in to say that our weekend on Orcas was lovely and perfect, but unfortunately it was a notch or two below perfection. We ended up rallying and making the most of our weekend and there were some good times, but they were preceded by a very annoying start. Based on the ferry schedule, we didn’t actually pull up to the cabin until 11:30pm on Friday night. In the summer, arriving at the cabin is always a cinch. The water stays on all summer (no fear of freezing pipes) so Jeff doesn’t have to run around in the dark with a flashlight and get the water turned on, and the temperature is always pleasant (no immediate fire starting/stoking needed). Being 8 months pregnant, the first thing I did upon arrival was pee. I noticed right away that something was wrong when the toilet tank didn’t refill after I flushed. I was also not able to get water to wash my hands post-pee. I came out and Jeff was looking equally perplexed with a drinking glass in hand at the kitchen faucet.

He grabbed the flashlight and wandered out back to see about turning the water on, not really understanding why the water would be off to begin with, but assuming an easy solution. He came back in to report that there was a giant hole behind the cabin and pipes appeared to be exposed and more pipes were sitting on the ground nearby. It looked like the hole had been dug by a Culver shovel, but the shovel wasn’t put away, just lying on the ground. Very un-Ken-like. When Ken (Jeff’s Dad) does a job, he FINISHES it, and if for some reason he can’t, he certainly doesn’t leave things like shovels lying about. The mystery increased – who dug this hole? Jeff tried to turn the water on anyways, and nothing happened. Eventually, the confusion was won out by tiredness and we decided to just go to bed without brushing our teeth or washing our faces. I took my prenatal vitamin with some melted ice cubes and we went to sleep. In the middle of the night the power went out. Then came back on. Then went out. Then came back on. I peed the usual 5 times in the night without being able to flush the toilet and got nervous thinking, “What if I have to poop tomorrow morning!!??”

We woke up earlier than we’d have liked to try and phone Jeff’s parents, but they’re on a boat trip in the middle of nowhere and didn’t answer or call back. We pestered the neighbors (family friends who share much of the island property), and were told that they dug the hole (one mystery solved!) and then something about a leak at the boathouse and that the water needed to be turned back on higher up on the property. But the person who knew the location was fishing. Gahhh!! We decided to go out for breakfast and hope that he’d be back from fishing upon our return. So we proceeded to hit up the Doe Bay Café for breakfast. And let me tell you people – I do NOT recommend the Doe Bay Café. My dirty hippy “Belgian” waffle was really two sad, skinny, dry waffles stacked on top of each other to fake the appearance of a fluffy Belgian waffle, and were made with what tasted (and looked) like dirt but that must have been spelt. They were also served a full 20 minutes before Jeff got his mediocre eggs, potatoes and veggie sausage (the restaurant is entirely vegetarian!). My visions of a perfect last weekend on Orcas were crumbling around me. I tried to rally. But I’m pregnant. And hormonal. So instead I got pissed and decided we should just throw in the towel and go home.

But when we got back to the cabin, our neighbor was there and he helped us to turn the water on. But the pipe immediately started leaking explosively in that giant hole behind the cabin. So we were told that we probably couldn’t turn the water on for more than 3 minute intervals, and only when needed. And each time we wanted to turn it on and off, Jeff would have to run out back with a giant T-tool and strain to twist the pipe in the hole open and closed. Double Gahh!!!! They did finally offer me a shower at their place, which I took them up on in order to regain my sanity. Jeff decided to stay dirty, grow a beard and don a cap.

After the shower, I rallied, not ready to give up my vision of our last weekend on Orcas. Things picked up from there. The weather was gorgeous – a sunny 72 and we went into town for groceries and had lovely lunch out at Rose’s and Gelato at the nearby ice cream parlor. We decided to just eat prepared foods on paper plates for the rest of the weekend so as not to have to wash dishes. So we grilled burgers Saturday night and ate them with premade potato salad, and bought gallons of water to flush the toilet and drink. I normally love to bake and we both like to experiment with complicated recipes for dinner at the cabin, so this was a revision of our original plans, but still fine. Unfortunately, Jeff wasn’t interested in spending the 2 hours it takes to unwrap and rewrap the boat of its complex otter-protection system to take me for a put, but I guess I couldn’t have gone fast and bumpy like I like in my current state anyways. We came home a little early and a little dirty yesterday afternoon. All in all, we were glad we went, but it could have been about 10 times more awesome. Oh well. Hopefully we’ll make it up there in the Fall with the baby and the island will redeem itself. For as long as I can remember we’ve looked forward to having kids and bringing them to Orcas. Jeff spent large chunks of his childhood there and we look forward to taking Edie there over the years and exploring tide pools, flipping rocks over to find crabs, beach combing for sea glass and other treasures, baking cookies, roasting dogs and ‘smores around a beach fire at night, and eating pancakes and French toast while watching the boats go by in the morning.