Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bless his heart

Trevor and I are sitting here watching the rain, clad in sweatpants, sipping our beverages of choice, and I'm just thinking about how thankful I am for my husband.  If a person's true character is revealed by their instant reactions, then Trevor has the highest caliber character of anyone I know.  Some reactions that have revealed his character through this time of pregnancy:
  • The day we found out I was pregnant. 5:30 in the morning: "Trevor!  I think you better come here."  Reaction: he bounces out of bed like he's wide awake, looks at the stick on the bathroom floor and rejoiced immediately. 
  • Around 7 weeks pregnant: "Trevor, can you please stop by Wendy's?" Reaction: "Of course!" After a few days, he was asking me if I wanted him to stop by Wendy's. What a guy!  (as an aside, I miss the Wendy's days - they were much cheaper than Chipotle!). 
  • Around 10 weeks pregnant: "Trevor, I think we should take Bradley Method classes." Reaction: "All right, let's do it!" 
  • Around 20 weeks pregnant: "Trevor, I really think we should switch to midwife care." Reaction: "I trust you - let's do it."
  • Just last night: "Trevor, I think we should do cloth diapers."  Reaction: "All right, if you're up for it, so am I!"  I mean, how does he get so supportive and trusting?!? 
  • Just last night (in the middle of the night) . . . we were both getting colds, I was stuffed up and Trevor was snoring: "Trevor! Blow your nose (at 1am, 3am, 4am)!" Reaction: "Okay, oh, sorry."
  • About every other day: "Trevor! She's kicking!"  Reaction: He runs over to me, puts his head to my stomach and starts talking to Baby K. And sometimes she kicks even more. It's adorable. 
This week I put a CD together for a bridal shower, and it ended up having some songs from our dating years/engagement/wedding. I've been "proofing" the CD by listening to it in the car. This has caused lots of runny mascara at somewhat inopportune times. I just feel incredibly thankful and blessed for Trevor. Thanks Trev for being who you are, and for letting me into your life and for wanting to be in mine. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

A name change - Baby K

First, if anyone cares to know, we stopped calling our little one "Sami" - it just kind of happened, well, once we settled on what we think we'll actually name her.  And so, we've started calling her Baby K (she even kicks to it once in a while when Trevor addresses her as such!).

This week was a blur of interesting happenings, a few which I think are worth remembering and therefore worth recording, in maybe no particular order in accordance to time, importance, or gravity: 

Tuesday I witnessed a pedestrian get hit by a car. Like, feet in the air, land on the head, lay on the ground motionless. I've never seen anything so scary - cars stopped (including the one who hit him), sirens roared. I shook the rest of the way to work, and was reminded to be careful crossing the street and driving. Life can change in seconds. 

Wednesday I took a trip to the French Meadow with a couple friends (i.e. the restaurant).  The live music and candles on the table and beautiful organic food . . . while not quite a trip to France, it definitely felt like we were far away from it all for a couple hours. That same night found a couple of us at the home of another friend who is on bed rest. Her attitude is wonderful, and I'm reminded to be thankful for every day of health that I'm experiencing. God bless and keep her and her baby safe. 

Thursday Trevor and I caught up with an old mutual friend from college days (and our D.C. days, come to think of it!). Dan the man as we call him came over for dinner and chatter on the patio, it was so good to hear about his recent happenings in work, church, school, even jury duty experience. There is no replacement for tried and true old friends. 

Friday I called a guac-a-movie night, something that I'm starting to think should happen every Friday until baby comes: dinner at Chipotle  and a movie at the cheap theater (craving note: I feel like I need guacamole on a daily basis, and if money grew on trees right now I'd be at Chipotle every day - I mean, they make it perfectly, and save me from all the chopping).  We saw Gran Torino, and I thought it excellent. And it made me very sad because I think the story in many ways reflected reality. I would recommend seeing the film. It reminded me of a book I read recently, The Cross and the Switchblade, about gang culture in the slums of NYC (I'd also recommend reading that book).

Saturday started with us getting a ton of stuff done around the house, and ended with a beautiful dinner with dear friends to celebrate a birthday. I was reminded that three of the couples there were sitting around the exact same table last fall, talking about starting families. And now all three of said couples are expecting our first children. WOW, things change fast. 

And today was remarkable in that we actually started registering. Which is probably not a big deal to anyone else, but to me the task seemed just a bit terrifying. So of course, we just started with what we knew - things like picture frames and curtains (not really knowing if that's allowed, but they're for the baby's room so figured they count). We did draw the line at an i-pod docking station, but it was certainly tempting (I mean, music for the labor room, you know?).  I will say, this registering experience was not traumatic at all, in stark contrast to registering for our wedding which did involve tears in Target. What an interesting concept: registering. I'm thankful. All this make me think of the idea of "showers" as well - what a generous custom. We actually just went to one today, a baby shower that was for couples (i.e., husbands allowed).  Neither Trevor nor I had ever been to such a thing, and it was was wonderful. The party lended itself to a couple of gender observations: 1 - All the men ended up congregating in the kitchen (wait, isn't that where the women belong? Oh wait no, that's just where the food was so of course the men were there. I think they were also scared they might have to play games . . . which brings me to 2 - The guys did get dragged into playing games. And a man won every single game. I was impressed and yes, a little shocked. 

And while I'm talking about shopping and accumulating, I've had many thoughts this weekend (not original thoughts, mind you, but rather ideas influenced by various blogs, friends, and books) about the hope to live with ever increasing minimalist simplicity. We're truly trying to keep life simple - to accumulate less, to conserve, to be content with what we have, to give away what we don't need.  There is always more we could do to ascribe to such a mentality. SOOOOO much more we could do, it's humbling to think about.  But it's definitely something to stay mindful of, to strive for.  

And while I end this, I'm hopping on to register for a couple things I forgot that we "need". You know, like baby nail clippers, a monitor - things that people not that long ago did perfectly fine without but that we for some reason now cannot live without.  Ironic, if not a little conflicting with the above paragraph. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A case of the waddles

Or maybe just a case. I consider myself to be a quite healthy and well-functioning person . . . but pregnancy has thrown me for a few loops. None of them bad, just normal stuff (and let me disclaim that I write the following to document, not to complain - I'm truly thankful to be feeling incredibly well). In the past 22 weeks I: had the flu at 8 weeks. Fell at 11 weeks, left me with just a little neck pain. Fell again (really hard on my tailbone) at 17 weeks - that one hurt for a few weeks. Then I got a cold for a week. And then I was feeling GREAT. For a few days. Until . . . I started having some nasty sciatic nerve pain. Which led me to a case of the waddles. The back stuff has caused me to walk funny. I was hoping that the interesting gait was noticeable only to me, but that disillusionment shattered this week when a kind woman met me in the hallway and said with the utmost enthusiasm, "Oooohhhhh, you're starting to waddle!" I felt I had to explain the back stuff to her, but what I really wanted to say was, "Um, is that ever a compliment?!?" I say this not with bitterness, I'm actually thankful for these moments because they give me something to ponder and write about.

What I've learned from the minor maladies:
1 - I'm vain and don't want to waddle. Oh, and I'm just plain vain.
2 - I don't like anything to slow me down. Which means I probably need to slow down. And also means I'm a control freak who thinks things need to go my way all the time. Um, hello Andrea, welcome to LIFE.

In other hopefully more uplifting thoughts, this weekend has been blessed with many brothers. Mine of course who is a mainstay in our house, and two of Trev's brothers came to spend the weekend here. The time was a blast as always. We grilled and ate outside to celebrate the brothers' b-days, then got a fire going and just soaked up the gorgeous weather. I'm thankful for the unique situation we have where my bro and Trev's bro are such good friends . . . cheesy as it sounds, it really is one big happy family, and I love it. We had the chance for another bonfire last night with some old friends from high school and their spouses, as well as some "new" friends who are expecting a boy ten days before our girl arrives (although, I had an interesting conversation with my mom today and told her I have this feeling I'll go early and she agreed!). Anyways, the bonfire was bountiful, there is something so miraculous and awe-inspiring about fire. And I wonder who ever discovered that graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate are so perfect together?

In deep thoughts, a friend today mentioned that she's been thinking a lot about why she believes what she believes, and that's left me with a lot to ponder. About everything. It's astonishing to think of how many beliefs we hold about even the smallest things, and to think from where those beliefs stem . . . relating to our present journey, I think of our new "belief" that natural childbirth is the way to go and of how we came to that belief and continue to form the reasons why we continue to "believe" it.

And wrapping up with baby things, here are some recent fun gifts - a swaddling blanket, adorable infant hat, and the most precious little shoes! Thank you all . . .

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Over half way there

Well, we're over half way to meeting our little one in person.  I fully admit to staring at our ultrasound pictures in awe and wonder on a daily basis, this gift seems too good to be true and we continue to give thanks for every day of knowing this little baby growing inside me.  On top of that, I'm thankful to be feeling well, and also to be enjoying our girl kicking away at various times during the day. Trevor got to feel a kick for the first time last Sunday (while were talking about her, of course - I think she know's her Dad's voice because she does seem to wake up and move around when we're sitting around talking). 

My latest being pregnant sociological observation is that I've noticed lately I get a lot more hugs from people I've barely spoken to before, and people look at me with very wide smiles. It's nice. 

This Holy Week has been very special to us, and the reflection and celebration of Jesus' death and resurrection always hits me fresh with its power and meaning in our lives. Good Friday's service was somber, filled with reminders that it's my sin, my actions, my condemnations that sent Him to the cross.  A large wooden cross was carried to the altar and we were invited to come touch the cross and receive a blessing - I was so heavily feeling the weight of Jesus' sacrifice on behalf of me, I thought of all the things I'd done that day, that week, my whole life to betray Him.  And then I received the blessing: "Andrea, you are a new creation in Christ. The new has come, the old has been washed away . . ."

We went to our church's Easter Vigil last night, and I honestly think it's the most amazing service I've ever attended. The joy was palpable in the readings, the music (including mandolin, french horn, oboe, and even bagpipes!), the lights, the bells that accompanied the exclaiming of the first "alleluia" that we've said as a congregation since the beginning of Lent.  The readings were powerful and dramatic, and it felt like Words just came alive. The contrast between the heaviness of Friday and the celebration of Saturday and Sunday brings a lightness of heart and a perspective that is refreshing and life-giving. 

And today, we celebrate that He is risen. And it was a celebration indeed., from hot cross buns at the coffee table, to Easter lilies and children's processing with bells and flowers. And of course dinner, which we shared with my bro and many friends - one of the highlights of which was to hear that some dear friends of our's just found out they are expecting their first child.  We truly rejoice with them! 

At the same time, we miss being at home to celebrate with our families . . .  even more so after calling home and hearing the chatter around what must have been dessert time, the laughter of the game playing, hearing the menu. Well, we do wish we could be in three places at once - and we're already looking forward to a trip home next month. 

Is Monday really tomorrow already? Can't it stay Sunday a little longer? 

Friday, April 10, 2009

If this is a date night now . . .

So, I get this nice e-mail from my husband on Wednesday and he proposes that we have a date at Subway (because yes, this is where we go out to eat). And yes, I was thrilled! But because yes, we are that cheap (and because we had lots of food at home), I counter-offered and suggested that we go out for coffee instead, and then run a couple errands (because yes, this would still be considered a date, and coffee at a nice place seemed dignified AND cheap).

So what did we end up doing? The errand first, which was a quick trip to Sam's Club. On our final stretch towards the check-out line Trevor comments, "I think I'll get a hot dog." So, Trevor got in line while I went to the cafe to order the hot dog combo (for $1.50), filled the big styrofoam cup with caffeine-free pop and we both ended up back in the little "cafeteria" (which, let's be honest, is just plastic picnic tables set up crudely right in front of all the check out lines so that patrons can shamelessly watch people as they eat their $2 pizza and gulp their 87 cent soda). No, we're not those people. Oh wait, yes we are. Well, we talked too, but it's hard to not be distracted by all the people and the overflowing carts of everything under the sun in mass quantities.

Did we end up at a classy coffee shop? Um, no - we were too full of nitrates and carbonation. We ended up back at home. And we were happy. And we considered that hour to Sam's and back a date.

This all leaves me to wonder, if these are our dates sans kiddos, what will be our dates be like 6 months, a year, five years from now?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"It's a . . . "

Sami!  Well, we think anyways. The ultrasound appointment is already an incredible memory.  Sitting in a dimly lit and quite comfortable room, Trevor right by my side, watching together the profile of our little baby come into view on the screen in front of us - and then getting to see EVERY part of our baby (not what I expected, actually). I mean, nostrils, kidneys, eye sockets, everything. Everything, that is, except anything in between the legs (how unladylike of me to say that!). Little Sami was sleeping soundly for most of the half hour of picture taking, all curled up into a beautiful little ball, which was meaning no chance to know the sex. I knew the appointment was almost over, and I was just praying that I'd be able to gracefully accept that we wouldn't be knowing the sex of our baby until August, focusing on the knowing that we could see two arms, two hands, two legs, a brain, all the organs. And all seemingly healthy (we have an appt. Wednesday to go over the results with our OB).  Anyways, Trevor, on the other hand, was praying that Sami would MOVE and show us something, anything! 

And then, in literally the LAST measurement that the tech was trying to find (upper lip, or heart arch or something like that), Sami started moving, and sucking her fingers.  So the tech graciously led the camera to "other parts" of baby's body, and we were able to see . . . well, nothing. Which means that we are most likely having a little girl! The tech said they never say 100% with girls (something about the other parts sometimes growing later?!?). But she said she's 80% sure . . . so we're going on it. I'm also reassured knowing that both our moms were thinking we were having a girl. We're so thankful for the chance to see our little baby and knowing the sex is just a special gift. 

I was so focused on the screen, I wish I would've diverted my gaze to Trev's face when she said, "Oh, I think it's a girl!"  He admitted to complete shock, and that he was sure to the very end that we would be meeting a Sammy.  But of course he's thrilled, and I can't wait to see him father a little girl. 

Trev and I are both especially humbled by all the love, support, and excitement from our family and friends, and even our families' friends!  Things like my mom's coworker going to get caramel rolls to celebrate yesterday morning, and the people who remembered from weeks ago that our appt. was yesterday . . . well, we feel so very blessed. Thank you all. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

No more "it"

Well, we are hoping that tonight is the last night that we'll be saying "he/him" without being completely sure that Sammy is not a Sami. Yup, we have our 20 week ultrasound tomorrow, and I'm  beside myself with excitement, and really treasuring the shared anticipation with Trev. I read up today on what I can possibly do to help this little one move around at 8:30 tomorrow morning - the verdict is basically: cold liquids, carbonation and sugar -  more specifically orange juice. I of course bought orange juice this evening, and plan on mixing it with 7-up in the morning (that should taste okay after cheese and eggs, right?).  So, I'll keep you posted.