Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

I Feel Like a Real Girl!

That’s right folks, it’s not just Pinocchio that struggles with this being-a-human-being-thing! Autonomy, what’s that again?!

This afternoon my mom came and watched Seedling so I could go do something that harkens back to high school.

I bought a gown. I know, I know. The same lady who struggles to fit in time for showers and clean clothes went DRESS SHOPPING! *insert squealing girly sounds here*

This summer my brother will graduate from a very prestigious test-pilot program, and the graduation is black tie. Yes, I do still have some of my fancy dressed from high school… But I’m 75lbs heavier than I was back then, and I just had a baby. No way I’m fitting back into them anytime soon! The dresses I do have are fine for a Sunday brunch, a summer wedding, dinner date with Hubster… But no grown-up formal dress. And that seems like a basic wardrobe item. Not that I run in upper crust circles, but as we are moving toward a more adult stage of our lives, who know when we could be invited to a formal dinner party, or perhaps one of these days I will finally be able to convince Hubster to take me to the Opera or to a Ballet! *starts day dreaming about fancy theater outings…*

So back to dress shopping. I did a little Internet shopping ahead of time to get an idea of styles and prices. It was a little strange to leave the apartment today with only my purse. No juggling of purse+diaper bag+car seat. I got to the local mall and parked by the department-store of choice, and went in. I wandered the dress area… Most either too casual (aka not full length) or way too matronly (I’m not 98!) or they were for teen-prom (ok, I’m dress shopping but I’m not 18). I found a few in my taste and size to try, but not “the” dress I had loved online. The customer service lady told me they didn’t have any, but a store an hour away did or she could order it for me. No way I have the time to drive an hour for a dress. I tried on what I had found, and a similar dress to what I liked made by the same brand. It was pretty easy to see that what they had was ok, but not great. So I ended up ordering “the” dress, and got the size based on the same-brand dress I had tried on… Here’s hoping it is as awesome in person as in expecting. On the upside, free shipping and 10% off, if I have to return or exchange it I won’t have lost money on shipping and the event isn’t until June.

And now… What you’ve all been waiting for…. “THE” dress!

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Christmas in Review, and more Signs and Symptoms!

So far, still pregnant, so Seedling can at least rest easy she will not have her birthday ON Christmas. Although, signs are looking good for sooner rather than later… (More on that later in the post)

We had a lovely Christmas yesterday. Yes, we are Orthodox and that means we sometimes celebrate Holidays on different days but we still celebrate Christmas on the 25th ūüôā there are some Orthodox that follow the “old calendar” and celebrate Christmas in January, but those are churches mostly in Eastern Europe. To learn a little more about that and the “12 Days of Christmas” check out this link: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve_Days_of_Christmas

But back to our lovely day. Although it didn’t start out so lovely. Hubster threw his back out and literally could not get out of bed. Since I’ve seen him push through some pretty intense pains, it breaks my heart to see him so down. Especially on a important, celebratory Holiday! We made the decision that he should just stay home and I would go to my dads for brunch. I knew my emotions were just a bit on overdrive, feeling bad for Hubster home alone, worried my family would be upset/angry that Hubster wasn’t there, very aware of the humbleness of the gifts I was about to give… My family has always made a big deal out if the holidays, but Christmas seems to bring out the extravagant generosity… And usually means quite a bit of money spent in beautiful, wonderful, thoughtful gifts. We just didn’t have the money to reciprocate in quite the same way and I didn’t want anyone to feel that the smallness of the gifts in any way reflected a minimal love or thought… Anyway, I should have known my family would totally understand that things are tight for us right now. And everyone was very sweet and understanding about Hubster. My stepmom was scatter brained about getting brunch together, but that was the biggest hiccup. It was so wonderful to see my brother and his wife and their kids. The son is 3 and their daughter is 13 months, and this was the first time I got to meet my niece! It was just so great to spend time together, catching up and watching my dad play with his grand kids, watch my brother be a wonderful and fun father, watch my brother and his wife get to spend time together. (With my brother in the military, SIL has to function like a single mom a lot of the time.). Everyone got along without unnecessary family drama, everyone gave a lot of love, and a lot of loving, thoughtful gifts. I wish we could be together more often for moments like that.

Dinner was to be done with my mom. When she heard Hubster was out of commission she offered to pack up the entire dinner and presents and being them to our place. But after talking with Hubster some more we decided we should just go to her place. Since Hubster hadn’t moved most of the day he felt somewhat up to the idea of going out, and with his back out and me so pregnant there would be no one to help my mom carry all that stuff up the three flights of stairs to our apartment!

So we got into the car and drove over, all of Hubster’s gifts from my dad and brother still in the car. We got to my moms and between her and me we brought in the gifts and helped Hubster to a comfy spot on her couch. We started with cookies and tea and present opening. Much like my dad and brother she totally outdid herself, we really appreciate all the thoughtfulness and generosity with things we greatly wanted and needed. Dinner was delicious and casual, aside from the gun debate my mom and Hubster had… It was very civilized but they both hold to very opposite opinions and all I could think about was someone taking it too far and it blowing up, but it didn’t. (Just a side note… perhaps someday I will write a post about my feelings on guns, but today is not that day. The issue of guns is an emotional one for both sides and I recognize that all any of use want is to feel we and our families are safe. Please don’t turn the comments section into a place to air your opinions at this time). We had pie and eggnog and watched one of the many movies we reviewed, “My Fe.llow Amer.icans” which is a great satire about politics and makes fun of both parties, and seemed particularly timely after the political discussion over dinner.

Came home and was able to consolidate the mountain of gifts for as few trips as possible. (While at my moms she shared what I can only guess was prescription strength ibuprofen with Hubster so he was feeling quite a bit more mobile and was able to help). We fed the pets and went to bed. Last night was another frequent-trip-to-the-bathroom-night. This time with a little light pink “bloody show”. This morning it was a mix of light pink and a little brown. I’ve been continuing to have sporadic Braxton Hicks “uterine aches” but nothing very concrete. So I called up Doula P just to check in. We had a very nice chat and she said not to worry that contractions weren’t really happening. It could still be a while yet but these are all good signs my body is getting ready for labor. (Plus the softer stools I’ve been having). I had planned to run several errands but with the symptoms and the fact that I’m still working to get over a cold she advised me to stay home and try to nap since my sleep is all messed up. I’m in a weird place of being fidgety and restless but also tired so I have yet to be able to nap. Hoping that by typing this all up my brain will stop buzzing and allow me to sleep!

I hope you all had really wonderful holidays with lots of love with people you hold dear!

Weddings are a Womhole.

Yesterday was a BIG day.

It marked one month left until our due date of December 30th. One. Month.

It was the anniversary of the birth of my dear, darling, best friend, lover, husband and father to our unborn baby. Hubster, you are amazing.

It was also the wedding of a friend of mine!

We met at the last clinic I worked at (where I was fired) she ended up quitting not long after. Not too far into her engagement she discovered she was pregnant (was 16 weeks along at the wedding!) she is a warm, charming individual who excels at infectious giggling. Her husband is in the navy, and had to spend most if their engagement at sea, and may be deployed right before their baby is due.

The wedding was interesting. It was a Catholic wedding, and it’s probably been about 8 years since I stepped into a Catholic Church. So I wasn’t super familiar with the rhythm if their services. I was also a little struck by the fact the priest began the service by stating that we all needed to “acknowledge or sin” … I mean, of course we are all fallen and sinful but it was a severe way to start a joyous ceremony! The priest actually had a VERY thick accent, I missed over half if what he said! But what I could understand he spoke at length against sin/lust/sex (wow was there a lot of sex discussed!) but stressed the importance if procreation. (Not sure I followed the logic of “sex=bad” yet “procreation=good”…) He also made a point to stress the importance of a stay-at-home mom… It seemed like he spent most if his time looking at the bride, advising her on all she needs to do without really balancing it with the groom’s role…? Maybe it was just because it was so difficult to understand him? *shrug* the theology nerd in me is very intrigued though.

In other news, more issues with my car. It started with bring sluggish to accelerate, then doing this pseudo-sputtering thing and today actually was decelerating as I drove into work. Hubster is worried it’s the timing belt and rented a car dolly to come and get me from work at the end of the day. If the belt has gone, the car is totaled. I can’t even express how much I do not have the mental and emotional reserves to deal with what that all means. Prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Of course being at a wedding, any wedding, brings back memories of Hubster and my wedding. What was similar, what was different. Her wedding was very small and intimate and sweet. The reception was elegant. The food tasty. And the cake? Best cake ever!!! Must figure out where they bought it… Then if course came dancing. Anyone want to look at the gorgeous couple’s first dance???

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Big surprise, I cried ūüôā

Then came the father-daughter dance… And this is where I slipped into a bizarre wedding wormhole. I was remembering my father daughter dance… And realizing we may be watching Hubster and Seedling do this dance in 20 or 30 years … ! It was beautiful and surreal and overwhelming with emotion. I felt like I had one foot in the past, one in the future and yet still standing in the present.

Back It Up

Ok, I’m going to back up JUST a bit, because last weekend (not the one we just had, the one, before that, you know, the first weekend of September? ¬†Labor Day?) Hubster and I went out to the beach and life has been SO busy, I never posted pictures!

Lots of people think that because we live in Western Washington, we must be right next to the beach. ¬†Wrong. ¬†We are fairly close to water… but the body along that water is rocky, or pebbly at best, and technically, it is NOT the Pacific Ocean we are strolling along, it is the Puget Sound. ¬†Which is¬†fed by the ocean, but it is NOT the ocean. ¬†Ok, ok, ok, here’s a map. ¬†The¬†red X¬†is our approximate location. ¬†The¬†green X is our approximate destination. ¬†And I know it only looks like an inch, but in reality, it’s about 2 hours. ¬†So needless to say, even though we’ve lived here a year, this was our first trip out.

(Map originally¬†obtained¬†from¬†http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/washington.html, although the red and green x’s are my addition)

(For the fans of all things sparkly-vampir-iffic, Forks is on the outer tip of the peninsula… ¬†Because you know you always wondered! ¬†And no, we have not gone out there.)

So, Labor Day Monday we slept in, then crawled into the car and got on our way.  2 hours later, after a beautiful drive through dense greenery and small towns, we got into Ocean Shores.  And we started with lunch:

Mmmm. Fresh clams. I ate so many clams growing up, that we dug up ourselves, so that I can’t handle frozen or canned clams (so gross!) but these were about as fresh as fresh can get unless you go clam digging yourself! ¬†The only problem? Eventually they ran out. ¬†ūüė•

Then it is down to the beach!  Yay sandy beach!!!

Feet in the OCEAN!!!

Oops, dropped my skirt… (skirts are the comfiest clothing option, but I really didn’t think about wearing a long skirt to the beach…)

No saving the skirt, might as well splash about in it as it is! ¬†It’s just water and sand, nothing the wash can’t fix!

Hubster was quite shocked by how cold the ocean was, and ran out pretty dang fast!

Hubster avoiding the waves…

But as we walked along the beach, his toes started to get acclimated…

And even ended up playing about a little!  If the weather had been a bit hotter, maybe there would have been better chance he would have put on the bathing suit he had brought with him!

A look down the beach, watching the sandpiper birds scrambling back and forth along the waves.  I had so much fun pointing out the birds, different kind of kelp, and clam holes in the sand to Hubster.  He is very excited to show our daughter the beach next summer!!!

Beautiful patterns in the sea foam and the sand as the waves come and go… ¬†Hubster guessed we walked at least a mile, quite likely 2 miles on the beach. ¬†Great exercise, walking in sand, but it was easy to just stroll along and chat!

And a trip to the ocean is not complete without some saltwater taffy!!! (And a smidgen of homemade fudge!)

*******

Work seems to be going along pretty steadily, I think I’m finding my groove and my trainer is taking more and more of a step back and I should start working regular shifts in the next week or so. ¬†Of course it’s¬†crazy, multiple lines ringing, trying to check in patients, get charts ready for appointments, take payments, answer questions, handle emotional clients (because, as the receptionist, it’s my fault if the vet is taking “too long” or running behind or any number of things that have nothing to do with me!) but I think I’m¬†juggling¬†it all fairly well. ¬†I just wish I would make some more connections with my co-workers, we get along fine but I can’t help but feel like I still don’t really “fit in” with the “big kids”. ¬†But I also have to acknowledge that with 4 jobs in the last year, I’ve got some walls up of my own, I’m hesitant to dive into a “friendship” that fades away if I don’t work there anymore…

The Baby, well, as far as I can tell she’s good. ¬†I do feel movement… but it’s still generally fairly subtle. ¬†It’s usually only when I’m sitting, laying down, or being still. ¬†Sometimes I wish she’d throw in some karate kicks or something – I keep waiting for this movement to become bigger or stronger, and it’s not. ¬†At 24 weeks, she’s supposedly over a foot long from head to toes, and over a pound… maybe she’s just a really low key kiddo? ¬†But between that, and working opposite schedule of Hubster’s classes, and feeling lonely at work… I’ve just been feeling a tad, er,¬†¬†emotional¬†in my loneliness.

Fair Time at 24 Weeks!

Today we went to the local fair… I don’t know that it is the “official” state fair, but it may as well be, as it is the largest one in this state (and according to their info brochure/map, one of the biggest in the country based in attendance). Since neither Hubster or myself are big “ride” people, we spent the majority of our free time touring the various barns, pointing out breeds of cattle, chicken, goats and sheep we like to my mom who gifted us with tickets – not just for the fair but to the pro rodeo finals being held there! It was fun to explain the difference between Jersey and Holstein, Angus and Scottish Highland, and dream of our someday future little farm…

The rodeo finals were great, all the goods of steer wrestling, roping, bucking broncs (horses – both in saddle and bareback) and of course bull riding! With a particularly spectacular intermission show of mutton bustin’ (little kids riding holding on with a death grip to sheep) which I think is about the most adorable thing on earth and can’t wait until our little girl is big enough. I think today’s kids ranged in ages 3-6!

It really was a great, low key day but was a LOT of walking and I’m pooped, I’m in bed and as soon as I hit post I’m turning out the light! But here is today’s 24 week bump shot… Compared to the others you can really tell she has grown in there! (and can see how tired I am lol)

24 WEEKS!!!

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Back at 12 weeks…

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A much needed, non stressful day :)

Friday was a great day!

Started by meeting up with Alex, and getting to meet her adorable girls (I even got to cuddle one!!! Squee!!!) and then a very tasty brunch at I.hop, and then some shopping at a baby consignment shop (I scored some much needed maternity tops to carry me into the fall!)

It’s always awesome to hang out with a fellow blogger, and not feel rushed or anything. It’s amazing to think back over Alex and my’s visits, because she lives a little ways away so we visit infrequently, so that it seems like each visit memory is a time capsule of where we both have been in the last year. Oh I’m a nostalgic sap, leave me alone! ūüėČ

After that great visit, I went to visit Jewel (because they live relatively close, so as long as I’m going to drive an hour+, might as well pack in as much fun as possible!) she has been knitting longer than me, and I’ve been stuck on a spot in one of my Christmas gifts for a while, so she helped me to fix it, and then we knit happily in peace for a while with “Bo.nes” on the background. Then ran to grab some dinner (teriyaki stir fry! Mmmmm! I’ve been trying to be better about getting more veggies in my diet, and Asian food is so great at doing that) then back to her house where we watched not one, but TWO birth documentaries. (one was her idea, the other mine) we watched “Pregna.nt in Am.erica” and the “The Bui.sness of Being Bo.rn”, and chatted about the differences and similarities, some of my hopes and fears for my birth. (the first is more low-budget, traditional documentary style with lots if facts and statistics, and I love that they actually flew to various countries to talk with people there about their experiences compared to American birth process which is very different. The second is a little more accesable/entertaining, a little shorter, with more footage of actual births taking place. Both i would highly recommend!!!) I know Jewel is going to be a great doula ūüôā even though it was a very “baby centric” visit I tried to return the conversation to other topics; her career, her boyfriend, politics (so tired of talking about politics but they seem to be a constant topic these days!) books and fav tv shows… I try so hard not to do the annoying self-centered-pregnant lady thing. I think the thing I love about our friendship is we can say nothing for hours, or talk nonstop for hours. And it is all perfect and comfortable, even when we disagree (stupid politics…). The only problem was I lost track of the time and didn’t leave until 10:45! At least there was no traffic so it was just an hour to get home.

It really was a great distraction from over-analyzing my interview. I have a sinking intuition that I didn’t get it, since I’ve had no reply to the voicemail I left. I’m trying to let it go, and focus on where to go from here. The rest of this month is totally packed, so I really should save my energy for the long list of concrete things to do and not waste it wondering about the clinic job. As much as it would have been great, I have no knowledge of the other candidates, and can only hope they found exactly whatever they were looking for! I’m looking forward, in a way, to the “unknown-ness” of September after this over scheduled August. I’m sad my current job is ending but I’m feeling optimistic that once it is done and I’m not working so much, I will have the time and energy to adequately job hunt and find just the right job for me!

And on an end note: I’m typing this post on my iPhone, so any typos I blame on these stupid tiny buttons and imperfect autocorrect!

Just. One. Step. At. A. Time.

Yesterday my cousin Blithe came down to visit.¬† We had brunch, then went to find a farmers market I had heard about… we couldn’t find the market, but we did enjoy a picturesque drive, and ended up strolling on a beach.¬† (The Northwest, pebbly kind.¬† Sandy beaches are a rarity around here.¬† Sitting on driftwood, looking out at the Puget Sound with the Olympic Mountains in the distance… puffy white clouds, loads of sunshine and over 70 degrees!¬† (Only the 5th time so far this month that we’ve hit that high of a temp!)

It was really great.¬† This was the first time he has made it down to our apartment, so getting to show him around was fun. ¬†I was able to talk with him a little about what happened with my Aunt. ¬†Since she is his Aunt too, he’s aware of some of the¬†family¬†intricacies. ¬†So he was able to give some good insight, which really helped me to feel some closure on what happened.

He was also asking lots of really great questions about the pregnancy.¬† Usually, when people ask about the pregnancy I will keep answers brief, and change the subject.¬† I know that even those who haven’t struggled with infertility, find talking about pregnancy nonstop is really annoying.¬† So it was kind of bizarre that my attempts at changing the subject wasn’t working.¬† He was really, genuinely interested.¬† At one point he asked me if it was still unreal, that I was pregnant.¬† I paused, only to realize that my answer was “No.”¬† That’s not to say I feel like I have stopped being surprised, shocked, awed and thankful to be pregnant – but it feels real.¬† I know that I’m pregnant.¬† If I focus, I can feel my growing uterus above my pubic bone with my hands.¬† And God willing, if our pregnancy continues, that means that in roughly 6 months there is a baby coming, and I know that time will go quickly, and sometimes I feel overwhelmed with everything there is to get done.

But being just past 12 weeks doesn’t guarantee us anything.¬† Beyond all the countless blogs I have read, the last several weeks have announced several complications in the pregnancies of people my in real life.¬† A couple weeks ago, it was the couple from our church who went into early labor, delivering their son at 23 weeks.¬† Miraculously he is still living, at the NICU of the most advanced hospital in Seattle.¬† But every day holds lots of hopes and fears for them.¬† Another couple from church, mother and baby were admitted to the hospital last night for low blood counts.¬† A priest and his wife of a neighboring parish were just given the news that their unborn child has delayed head growth, at what I can only assume was probably their 20 week ultrasound. ¬†No one knows what this will mean for them. ¬†All I can do is hold them in my prayers.

The only way I can get through the stresses, fears, anxiety… is to remind myself of Saint Herman of Alaska.¬† (Yes, there are contemporary saints.¬† He lived at the turn of the century, and was one of the first missionaries to North America)¬† His icon, always shows him holding a scroll:

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On the scroll, it always states “From this day, from this hour, from this minute, let us strive to love God above all, and to fulfill His holy will!”¬† Instead of getting caught up in all the good and terrible thing that may be ahead of me weeks, months, years into the future I take a deep breath and remember that what I need to focus on is THIS day.¬† THIS hour.¬† THIS minute.

(I guess if you’re not religious, perhaps you would connect more with the classic comedy “What about Bob” and the philosophy of “baby steps”.¬† At the very least it may help you crack a smile!)

Bob has every kind of phobia… and in this movie he become incredibly attached to his therapist who wants nothing more than to keep things professional. ¬†This little snippet doesn’t do the hilarity of the movie justice. ¬†ūüôā