All the members in the Rice house are trying to stay busy, because as it turns out, not having a job or class or a schedule to tend to can in fact get boring. As strange as it sounds, we are managing to keep our days full of semi-entertaining/cheap activities. It was important for Aaron to continue the Rice family tradition of watching an entire season of Lost during the holidays, so he's been plastered to the couch at wee hours in the morning making sure he's finished with Season 5 before Clark gets here. I have continued to clean this house over and over and over again and Aaron is doing a decent (at best) job of not undoing everything I've worked on. Our closet is extraordinarily organized and clean. Clark's closet is too. There is no evidence of Aaron being a sloppy law school student because I've stashed all proof in the guest room. Not having a "home office" anymore means that our kitchen table now hosts huge law journals, books, dictionaries, thousands of loose pieces of paper floating around (which could possibly give me a heart attack at any given moment), pens, highlighters, backpack, laptop, printer, empty coke bottles, binders, post-its, etc. I kept my mouth shut because I know it was tough for him to give up his huge desk and bookshelf and privacy, but by gosh, if I ever see a loose sheet of paper in this house again I'm going to scream. Fun fact: I hate clutter worse than I hate Phil Collins' music, and that's deep.
Some other things we've kept ourselves busy with include going to the movies, taking Jake on really long walks hoping that induces labor, doing a bit of shopping, naps, Scattergories, going on dates, cooking dinners, baking cookies, and daydreaming about Clark Randall Rice. I've been staring at his pictures a lot lately wondering how much he has changed in the past five and a half weeks. I'm putting money on the fact that he's going to be 13 pound baby and he'll be in six month onesies as a newborn, but whatever.
Oddly enough, I am very much looking forward to labor. I call it blissful ignorance. I'm not scared of the pain or the pushing or any part of the hospital stay whatsoever. I can't wait for Aaron to hold Clark for the first time and take a picture of it. Oh wait, I won't be able to take a picture, because I don't have a camera. So scratch that. But I'll take a mental snapshot and describe it to you when I decide to pick the blog up again post-baby. I can't wait to see his conehead, the color of his eyes, to tell him his name, and welcome him into the Rice family. I also can't wait to bring him home and show him his room, put him in the swing that we've had set up in the living room for two months, and wrap him up in his new Clark blanket. I'm excited to take Dangles out of the car seat and replace him with a real baby. I can't wait to introduce Clark to Jake and let Jake lick his toes. I'm SO incredibly excited about taking him on walks once it warms up a little bit. I'm ready to use the Baby Bjorn and my super cute diaper bag. I'm very much excited about all the poop, getting peed on, getting puked and spit up on, sleepless nights, breastfeeding, letting my spotlessly clean house get messy, and all the other less than pleasant things associated with babyhood. I have a very strong stomach and can handle bodily functions of all types...Aaron on the other hand cannot. I worry about his ability to assume responsibility of changing diapers and getting regurgitated on, but in time, we'll make it work.
It is Christmas week and for the first time in my life, I am not in Jackson/Hattiesburg with family overeating, lounging, laughing, or shopping. On Thursday (Christmas Eve), I will not be with my family opening presents and eating Tang Pie. On Friday morning, we won't be in Hattiesburg with all the Rice siblings laying on the huge living room couch listening to Randy Rice read the story of Jesus' birth and then opening presents and eating lots of candy in anticipation of the huge Christmas turkey dinner. Instead, Aaron and I will be here in Oxford celebrating Christmas just the two of us. On Christmas Eve, we're going to church to worship with new friends and a new church family. On Christmas morning, we will exchange gifts. My mom and Memaw are going to make the journey to Oxford to bring us a Christmas Day meal, and for that we are so very grateful. My mom said she would even provide the plastic dishware. On Saturday, my dad offered to bring us more food so that Clark could grow from 13 to 16 pounds at birth. So although things are different this year, I'm pretty excited about it all. The best Christmas present of all is due to arrive sometime in the near future so we'll be on pins and needles the entire time. And once he does get here, we've been promised by everyone in both of our families that they will come up to Oxford and introduce themselves to their newest grandson/nephew.
I'm not positive I'll be blogging much, if any, this week, because unless Clark gets here, there's really not much going on to write about. I pretty much botched the December Photo Project by not posting photos, but my intentions were sincere and I couldn't have forecasted that Aaron would lose my camera on the second day of the project. I apologize for that. Actually I lost the camera but Aaron didn't find it, so the blame is shared 50/50. Aaron, Clark, Jake and I hope everyone enjoys their time off of work and time with family and remembers the reason for the season!