Saturday, June 20, 2009

Home birth, diaper pails, dads, pictures, air conditioning, hospital visits, James Bond . . .

The title contains some random things on my mind, not necessarily in that order.  I am thinking, "Thank God for air conditioning and cold basements." I've been inside almost all day, which I might feel guilty for except that I got a wonderful amount of things done (whether any of them really needed to be done is a point to question, but I'm enjoying my sparkling clean teapot and dusted door frames. I feel a little crazy admitting that). But then with everything I get done, I think of something else to do/research/find: Diaper pails. Nursing bras. Cloth diapers. Print pictures from the last year to try to keep up photo albums. 

And then I read that paragraph, and I think the reason for some of the manic thoughts are just wanting some kind of control. I feel a little out of control lately - not as in wild, but more like "I have no control. And I want some. How can I get it? By making lists. And then crossing things off the list." It has to stop, and I'm reminded that I am NOT in control, and it's okay to be out of control because don't I truly believe that God is in control? My actions wouldn't always show that belief, so God help me!  

The home birth thoughts - those correlate with the hospital visit. As in, we took a tour of the hospital this week, and I've never so strongly considered giving birth in the comfort of our own home. All the machines and unfamiliar people walking around in blue scrubs left me feeling a little short of breath.  But alas, to the hospital we will go, and after a few days of reassuring myself of the care we're receiving, I feel good about it. And I'm thankful for it. And in the oddest way that makes complete sense, I can't wait to go back there because it will mean meeting our daughter. Who, by the way, is kicking away the past couple days after a week of a lot of quiet movements. I yelp out with surprise often as I feel her lurch from side to side - she truly feels bigger all the time. 

And finally, James Bond. Do I really need to explain? Trevor went to redbox and came home with what he called a surprise - he loaded the DVD, paused it on the first frame. And I guessed what it was right away, which means I've watched Quantum of Solace one too many times but am enjoying it right now again. Thanks, Trev. 

Oh, and here's an almost-32-week picture:


And speaking of Father's . . . it's now Sunday, Father's Day. HAPPY FATHER'S day . . . to so many!  Of course most especially my father, whose awesomeness you can read about here.  Truly, dad, I love you and thank God that you've set such an amazing example to me of what His love for me is like. I hope you know how wonderful you are!  And I am blessed by my dad-in-law, Bobby - a recent memory that I'm thankful for is when we sat in his living room in Bismarck overlooking the river, each with a laptop on our laps - typing away, probably pretty tired, and not really needing to say anything (as Bobby would say, wirelessly communicating - as in, no words needed).  I'm thankful to be able to have that level of comfort. Love you too, Bobby.  And of course ALL four of Trevor and my grandfathers are a gift to us. 

I church today when mentioning Father's Day, our pastor very aptly talked about God as the ultimate Father - thank you, Lord, for your love and especially for how you've shown your love to us through our fathers.  I know that is not the case for everyone and remembering that makes me feel especially blessed. 

And Trevor - truly, happy Father's Day to you. You are already an astounding dad to our Baby K and it's been a joy to watch you grow in love for this precious life. I love your heart and I can't wait to see you be a father to our daughter. 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

On becoming a Pope

One year ago today, Trevor and I were welcoming two of our brothers back to the U.S. after their month-long gallivanting adventures in Peru. Once we saw them off on the final leg of their journey back to Bismarck, we enjoyed a dinner at Sunsets in Wayzata and a viewing of the movie Once.

My bro and me with his Peruvian-inspired beard . . . didn't get any pictures with Trev for this anniversary.

Two years ago today we were spending time at a fully modernized (and air-conditioned!) log cabin in Brainerd, eating Zorba’s pizza, going to Ocean’s 13, and re-visiting many of the paths we trod in that lake country on our honeymoon.

The head-dress came with the cabin

Around three years ago today, we were starting to think about moving back to the Midwest. On our anniversary day I was in Minneapolis, on my way back from a friend's wedding . . . Trevor picked me up from the airport that night and I distinctly remember being very difficult and crabby. And going to Subway for dinner. And I think Trevor had some nice things in the car when I landed, I recall watermelon was included. Very sweet (Trevor and the watermelon).

Just a while after our anniversary celebrating Trevor's landing his current job here in Mpls. There was grand marnier involved (just a little, of course).

Four years ago today Trevor was giving me a jewelry box engraved with my initials, and we were taking an overnight trip to Fredericksburg, VA. I remember just meandering the streets, checking out the shops, drinking some coffee. We’re big fans of overnight trips.

Coffee shop in Fredericksburg

FIVE years ago today, a Pandolfo became a Pope by way of a ceremony. A marriage ceremony. Which is obviously why I can mostly remember what we were doing on this day for the past five years. As cliché as it sounds, the time has flown, and these have been the most amazing and best five years, each one filled with its own character, lessons, and adventurous journeys. I have to say that being married even better than I ever expected it could be, although I think that has something to do with my husband. I thank God for him every day, and often still can’t believe this is my life – getting to spend every day with a man I love and who loves me back even more, who makes me laugh, who encourages me and supports me. A man who is confident in who God has made him, who loves people and gives his heart generously. Who now sits beside me with his hand on my belly, talking to his daughter and feeling her kick and do somersaults in a way that always fascinates and enthralls us.

And today as I write this, we’re on our “Babymoon/5 year anniversary trip” in Stillwater, MN. It’s very early, and I’m sitting on an antique couch in our room at the Aurora Staples Inn Bed and Breakfast. This is our room. I’m surrounded by lace curtains in the living area filled with intricate Victorian décor and furniture. This short trip has been filled with fun interactions, which is what we love. We arrived here late afternoon yesterday to a warm welcome from the owners Kathy & Jerry. Kathy gave us a tour of this 117 year old house, and then she delivered delicious hors doeuvres to our door. It was a gorgeous day, so we left for main street, which is filled with shops and located near the St. Croix River. After a little walk, we went to Brine’s Bar & Restaurant – which to be honest, was a little dive-ish (think, sticky tables), but, truth be told,  I increasingly love those kinds of places. The kind where the people are real, the food is cheap, and the atmosphere has unique character. And where they have a salad bar, ha! Brine’s was all of those things and so much more. Our waitress seemed guarded at first, and then when I asked if there was meat on the salad bar, she said no but quickly offered to just throw in some freshly grilled chicken for me (at no charge), adding that she gave birth to twin girls seven months ago and knows how it is to need meat (I’m telling you, this baby is so good to me, people are so nice to her and I get to reap the benefits. Wow). Well, there of course started a delightful conversation that continued each time she brought us food or water. She showed us a picture of her girls and gave us some parenting advice from the trenches. She was wonderful, and I’ll always remember that meal (it was delicious, by the way – I think Trevor loved his Brine burger too).

Settling in with delish hors deurves

Then we stopped in at an outdoor-gear shop, and had a little chat with the guy working there who informed us of the hot spots in Stillwater. He was quick to point us to this map showing the 3 HUGE sets of stairs located around this small town, and encouraged us to go climb them. In my head I was like, “Um, do you KNOW how hard stairs are with this large stomach and an extra 17 pounds of weight?!? No thank you.” But I just smiled and said we might check them out . We didn’t. Even though if we DID climb them all, we could go back to that store and get a badge that says we did. Maybe next time.

Back at the B&B, we took our books to the front porch and read them in rockers, smelling the fresh flowers that were everywhere. Gorgeous and restful. Later we watched Once again. And now after a great night’s rest, I’m anticipating the coffee that will be at our door in ½ hour, and the breakfast to follow an hour later – I’m sure Trevor’s looking forward to it, even though he’s still sawing logs (another thing I can’t believe but love about my husband: he sleeps through all my clanking around).

Anniversary Part Duo

It’s Saturday afternoon now, and I am coming down off a small caffeine high (doesn’t take much caff to get to me, and wow was it a productive morning due to that kick). Yesterday continued to be restful, if not a little lazy and lethargic . . . and we enjoyed every minute knowing that any lazy and lethargic days will soon be over (or at least, that’s what we’re anticipating). Breakfast was delightful, we dined at a long and elaborately decorated table with 3 other couples – 2 of whom were also celebrating anniversaries (in the 30 odd years, compared to our 5). The meal was beautiful, the conversation lively, and the owner of the B&B was gracious to us all.

Typical for us, we headed back to town a bit before noon and came home – a nap for Trevor, a walk for me, and then my bro took us to Maggiano’s where we had a lovely meal, which included a picture and a story:

We had a wonderful waiter, who happened to notice us praying before our meal . . . and then happened to say “I noticed you praying, where do you go to church?” (to which Trevor replied an emphatic “No”, thinking he had asked if we were going to church that evening. Anyways). So we talked about our church, and it turns out he went to our church’s “mother” church in Chicago (where the pastor is our pastor’s brother, and where we went exactly a year ago with our youth group . . . ). And he’s been to our church a few times, and he knows some of our friends there. This might not be so random except that our church is really pretty small and is the only one of its denomination in MN. So yeah, it was just neat to connect with him and learn more about his story too. Not to mention, he brought us dessert on the house. Yummmmm.

It was not a bad day, as our brothers would say. Today is also not a bad day, after some deep cleaning and baby-room arranging (yay!), we took a picnic to Excelsior and strolled around an art fair by Lake Minnetonka.

And now, I might start reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Baby. Or, I might just indulge in some more A Thousand Splendid Suns. I can’t seem to get enough fiction lately.