month 9

It looks like I am arching my back to stick the tummy out, but I'm not. I PROMISE! That's just the screwy posture that I have to have to stay upright. I have now at 128% of my starting body weight and most of it is right out there in front.

My coworkers threw me a surprise baby shower disguised as a "cookie baking contest." I really love cookies -- and baking -- so this was a perfect way to trick me into attending (and catering my own event!) I got to judge the treats (sugar rush for Zoe) and award a winner. There were lots of generous gifts and everyone was there. It was really nice and almost intimidating to see how many people took the time from their workday to come down and congratulate me.

I still have a lot of things to do to prepare. I have my birth preferences written up, and I am in the process of putting together the hospital bag. I am putting together a phone list of who to call. Right now, we are only planning to call parents. We will post updates to facebook. But if you want more, maybe ask me and we will set up a phone tree.

Mark took a day off and we went off on a baby-moon this past weekend. You know, one final sweet adventure as a couple before we become three. We drove to Santa Barbara and Ojai and did the old-lady circuit of antique shops, craft tourism, and hotel chilling. We made some startlingly good food finds and enjoyed each other's company. It put a reboot on all the stress that has been building lately.

I have been having a few contractions every other day, nothing big. She has moved head down and has dropped about 2 inches. I feel there is still a few weeks to go, but definitely I can see the end of the road ahead. Her movements are no longer subtle bumps, but huge visible rolls across my tummy that anyone within 15 feet can see.
She is "full term." I have had a few interactions with her that make her feel less like an alien parasite and more like my little daughter. We played a conditional kicking game, and I was able to feel her little toes. She got her first case of the hiccups last weekend. She is really active in the car (Los Angeles roads are very bumpy.) And she kicks me almost everytime I rest my arms on her bump.

Physically, I still have a lot of prep to do, but mentally I am getting more and more ready for her to arrive every day. People have been so nice. I am surprised at how much gear, clothes, diapers, and blankets we have received. Thank you everyone!

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