This past week was filled with showers, gifts, and CAKE!

On Thursday, Stacie, Dawne, Amanda, Jeannie, Songkhla, Shannon, and Kathy hosted a shower for me at school. Quite a few people must think I'm an OK person because I ended up writing 46 thank you notes for that shower! It's quite overwhelming when you have an outpouring like that. You never expect yourself to be a person whom others see as "worthy" for something like what I received. There was a polka dot theme for the shower since they knew I was decorating in polka dots. The cake was just too cute that said "Welcome Baby Garner" since I hadn't told the name yet. The napkins, centerpieces, table cloths, and food was all polka dot. They even had M&M's on the tables -- polka dots!

The language arts department really went above and beyond with my gift. They gave us the high chair that we wanted plus THREE gift bags of things! Everything from lotion to clothes, to dishwasher baskets. I was speechless to say the least. Everyone was extremely generous.

Thursday evening I spent three hours writing thank you notes for that shower because Friday started spring break for me and I didn't want that task looming over me the entire break. I used Scarlett's name cards that I ordered for the notes and so on Friday the name was out. It was to a very warm reception with the assumable comments about Gone With the Wind. That doesn't bother me. I just didn't want people to say, "God, I taught a Scarlett once and she had this horrible acne and body odor and..." because I just don't want to hear it. You work so hard on picking out the perfect name and then people feel like they have a right to bash it. I've definitely learned through this experience that you have to like the names that other people pick out and tell them that it's beautiful, because as a soon to be mother, that's what you want to hear. How perfect the name is.

Friday was a breather as far as gifts go. Then! Saturday was my family shower that Stacie and Sharon Reynolds hosted. It was so beautiful and so nice. Mom had it at her house so that it was in a centralized location for me since Stacie lives up in Conroe and that just wasn't going to work! She had delicate pink rose arrangements on the dining room table and on the bar. We used the good china and silver. We had mints, sandwiches, the chocolate fountain, fresh strawberries, punch, cookies, brownies, and cake. Sally and Laura ordered the cake from the bakery that they like on their side of town. They fashioned it after the baby announcement which was just too cute! And of course, it was delicious. I felt special. It was a good feeling.

Mom, Dad, Gram, and Granddad bought me "THE CHAIR" that I wanted for Scarlett. It's a glider, but not just any glider. It's got bells and whistles. It's the most amazing chair ever. Once I sat in it, my heart dreamed and hoped, but knew that it was a lost cause and I had already started thinking about other chairs that would do instead. Part of the reason why I had to have a back up plan is because the chair was expensive. Really expensive. Steve and I figured out last night that nearly cost double of our couch and loveseat. Yikes! When I walked into the shower, mom had it all set up with a huge pink bow and a sign that said, "Reserved for the Mother-to-Be" and of course I cried. Like a baby. Damn hormones. I don't even know how to begin to say thank you for something like that.

My mom took my great-grandmother, Granddad's mother, Lavina Marvel's, hankie and made it into a bonnet for Scarlett to wear home from the hospital. Cry fest, again.

What really made me boo-hoo was Stacie. I have never before felt a strong connection and friendship with anyone like I feel with her. She hosted two showers for me and I didn't expect a gift from her. It wasn't necessary or wanted, really! At the shower, she had a card to give me. And when I opened it at the shower, I saw the novel written on the inside. I looked at her, she looked at me, and I said, "Can I read this later?" She said yeah, that would probably be a good idea. She helped bring all the gifts over to my house and while it was just her, me, and Steve, I read the card. Here is what it said: Dear Jen, How can I ever give you a gift that shows what you mean to me? I've racked my brain trying to think of something. The gift I have chosen to give you has always had special value to me, now I pray it has special value to you. What is it you ask? It is the bonnet I wore when I came home from the hospital, and then used it as a hankie and my "something old" at my wedding. The hankie I am giving you is the original, but the poem is not. These were given to my mom on May 14, 1979 from her best friend named Dotty McGee. Why am I giving you this you ask? Because you are the sister I always wanted, and you are family to me in every way. You are embarking on a beautiful journey. I wish you all the happiness and good times that you with a mother-daughter relationship. If you ever need me, you know I will always be here for you. I love you. Stacie

How can I ever express how I feel to her after that? She has given me something so special and precious to her -- something with such sentimental value. It's emotionally overwhelming. I just stood in my kitchen and cried and cried. The kind of crying where you couldn't catch your breath because you are crying so hard. I've never had a friend like her before, and I can't imagine ever having one like her again. The funny thing is, I'm an only child, never had a sister, but in my adult life, I feel like I have one in her. I echo her sentiments exactly, she IS the sister I always wanted. I am truly blessed to have her in my life.

So, after that cry fest, she left to go home, and I cried some more. And some more. And then I took a bath and cried some more.

Onto something a little less heavy! Steve and I have started calling Scarlett "Rib Butter" because her butt is directly in my right rib and there are times where she will shift or I will shift and I can exactly feel the outline of her butt in my ribs. It's pretty neat. The problem is that I know she will only be getting bigger and bigger and my torso is so short that there is nowhere else for her to go but OUT -- she can't go up anymore. I am looking forward to when she drops so I can eat and breathe again. I'm finding myself out of breath at times and my meals have become smaller because I just can't eat that much because she is squishing my insides so much. It's a good thing I love this little girl, because she causes me quite the discomfort! I'm ready to have her here.

Her movements have decreased quite a bit. She doesn't jab and kick so much anymore as move fluidly in my belly. She just doesn't have the room to wind up for those big kicks and punches anymore. There are times when I'm glad for that and then there are times when I do miss her big kicks of reassurance that everything is okay in there. The last time I was at the doctor they gave me a kick count chart and told me as long as I felt 10 kicks in 24 hours that she was just fine. It hasn't gotten to the point where I know I haven't felt 10 kicks in 24 hours, so I'm assuming things are okay. I don't miss the huge jab and punches, I miss the constant reassurance.

Steve met with a pediatrician this past week. I told him that it was completely up to him to find a doctor for her, that I just didn't want to do it. I have to say that I was really impressed with him! He researched (of course) and then set up an appointment to go and meet with the doctor and went with his list of questions. He REALLY liked the doctor, so I think we are going to go with this guy. His name is Michael Pope and he was in the Top Docs in Houston. He's associated with Texas Children's hospital and has been for the past 20 years of his 22 years practicing. If Scarlett comes out healthy, he'll want to see her in two weeks after she's born. If she's jaundiced or anything, he'll want to see her two to four days after she's born.

Is that enough information for one week! With next week being spring break for me, I want to work on getting the house more in order and ready for her, including doing some washing of her clothes and putting together of the nursery. I also want to get the workout room back in order...HA!


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