Life Lately

Life Lately

37 weeks pregnant and counting, which leaves me feeling a little like I am in limbo. The next big thing to happen in my life will be having this baby. That’s it. Between now and then there will be no new career, no new ANYTHING, so I am just waiting to have my baby. This leaves me feeling like everything else I am doing is superfluous. I am just biding my time, but I do not know how much time there is life to bide. So I could wash some dishes, OR I could just sit here and wait to have this baby. Guess which one I am doing…

Anyway, I haven’t just been sitting around–waiting, even if that is the only thing it feels like. Husband and I have had a couple very full months and since I have not really blogged in a while about anything other than the books I have been reading, let me take you back through what we have been up to since Christmas.

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Husband and I celebrated our first Christmas in our new house this year. We went with a couple of friends up to Christmas Mountain outside of Portland to find out tree. The tree farm had a section of natural–as in unpruned–Noble firs, which they were selling at half price. So we got this 11 foot beauty for half of the cost of a regular Noble fir. It turned out to be the most glorious Charlie Brown tree ever. I had to talk husband into it, as with everything else we do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to aesthetics. Why would a Christmas tree be any different? He wanted something rounder, bushier, but I love the look of a glowing tree when you can wrap some lights up the middle of the trunk. I think, in the end, I won him over with our tall and skinny Charlie Brown tree. He didn’t even complain too much about the tinsel. I love tinsel and he likes to remind me of how horrible it is for the environment.

We make a good couple.

Anyway, we got the tree up and then everything got a little crazy. My brother came into town, which means I got to torment him. This is what that looks like:

10392416_10101417889355358_8021633476405384779_nI would like to say he was a good sport and took it well, but he gives as good as he gets. After Corey got into town, we had our first Christmas with my immediate family, which flew by all to fast. It was weird to think that next Christmas Husband and I will have a kid of our own. Before I knew it our first Christmas was over, and on the 26th our second Christmas was beginning. Husbands family all (almost all anyway) descended on us in a flurry. His parents came down from Seattle, while his younger sister, her husband and their little daughter Tulsi came up from California. Unfortunately his older sister Molly and her family couldn’t join us–we missed them. I believe this was our Christmas morning:

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Things didn’t slow down while his family was here either. We had our Christmas complete with a dutch smorgasbord of cheese, chocolate sprinkles, dutch cakes and then onto the homemade fondue dinner, which is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite family traditions. Husband’s mom Padma makes the best cheese fondue, which I love dipping fresh mushrooms into. I don’t even LIKE fresh mushrooms.

While his family was in town we had our baby shower, thanks to my parents and his family who all collaborated to put it together. I have always hated baby showers. I hate the games and the awkward present opening, and since I have never been one to hide how I feel everyone worked together to throw a co-ed baby shower that I didn’t hate. In fact, I loved it. We all got to find out the sex of our baby when Padma cut the cake to find pink icing inside. We then got to eat cake, open presents, and socialize. The only real activity we had was painting onsies and bibs. Our baby now has a years worth of custom designed onsies and bibs. Our friends went to town decorating over thirty of the things and the results are amazing. I would post pictures, but I didn’t take any and I am certainly too lazy to do it now. But there are bibs covered in lobsters, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh,  and a rather adorable one that both soon-to-be grandmothers decorated together. The onsies are something else. We have a Star Trek one, a Battlestar Gallactica one, a onsie that says Rescue Me!, and a couple that reference some pop culture things that I am not all to sure are appropriate. Hopefully you guys will get to see some of them as she wears them. I hear new parents are notorious for copious amounts of pictures of their children.

Then Christmas was over, we kicked his family out of the house (lovingly of course) on a Tuesday morning. That evening we were packed and on a plane to Aruba, arriving in time for an international New Year’s Eve. A couple of weeks before Christmas we had decided that we actually wanted a baby moon, and since we had some miles we started looking for places to go. On a whim I thought to talk to my Aunt Nancy who has a house on Aruba. Turns out they were there for New Year’s and invited us to join them. Before we knew it our trip was booked and I am so glad we did it. I got to spend 10 days on a beach with this handsome hunk:

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And the beach looked like this:

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Aruba is very small–something like 6 miles wide and 20 miles long. There is nothing to there, except be on the beach, which is exactly what I wanted. I am a sea otter by nature, so rolling around in the water for hours on end is bliss for me. I didn’t really do a ton of rolling around as I was 7-8 months pregnant, but I was one really happy beach mamma. Neither of us got sunburned as we were diligent with the sun screen, which only made us feel that more content that we did this vacation thing right. New Year’s Eve was a blast–literally. We stood in our PJ’s in my Aunts front yard and watched as amazing fireworks went off all around us. Then just past midnight all the neighbors started making the rounds to wish everyone a happy New Year’s. They were all dressed in their finest, while we stood their in nightgowns and boxers. I am sure they thought it amusing, but after having traveled for about 10 hours, I didn’t really care.

For having done absolutely nothing for 10 days,  I could write about Aruba forever. But I will spare you the jealousy. To sum it up I will just say that the water was perfect, I ate the best shrimp of my life, and I got to have a virgin Pina Colada everyday. Well everyday until I realized they were giving me the WORST acid reflux. So the vacation wasn’t perfect because I had to give up the Pina Coladas, but the good far out weighed the bad.

Before we knew it our 10 days were up and we were headed back home. I still miss the water, the sun, the Pina Coladas, the shrimp (OMG the shrimp), but then we were thrown into the New Year. Husband hit the ground running for work, as January is often the busiest time of the year for him, and I got to work on getting things ready for the baby.  The nursery is almost complete and my “Before Baby” to-do list is dwindling. We replaced my POS car and bought a Subaru. Husband and I are already a Pacific Northwest stereotype, we figured we would complete the image with a car purchase. I have to say having a car where all the buttons work, the breaks don’t grind, and the defrost actually works in amazing. Who knew functioning defrost would feel like such a luxury.

We also got to spend an evening at the Oregon Symphony:

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They played Carmina Burana, which was phenomenal. As we were leaving the concert hall, a woman suggested that I name our baby Carmina, as it is such a pretty name. We did consider it for about ten minutes, as Kashi’s grandmother’s name was Carmen, but I don’t actually like the name Carmen. What are the odds that someone would call our Carmina, Carmen? Probably pretty high. Also there is the fact that Carmina Burana is a set of rather raunchy poems that were originally written by a monk–a sexually deprived monk at that. Probably. Not sure that is something I want my daughter named after.

This has been a rather long, random post. Maybe the next time you hear from me, I will have popped out this baby!

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A Snowy Clean State

I woke up this morning, and looking out my window, everything had been covered in a thin film of pearly white snow. It felt good to see white everywhere. Even though I am now in a windowless cubicle as I write this, I can still feel the traces of the soft, white happiness that snow seems to instill in me.

I feel like I have a clean slate. I can work without feeling begrudging, I can be awake without wanting to sleep, and I can write–slipping into the emotional pits where writing comes from, without being overwhelmed. Confused. Lost. Angry. Snow can be a nice buffer.

As a writer and a blogger I feel called to write when things like the recent shootings happen. But I have a hard time entering in the dialogue because I am not sure I want to be a part of it. Facebook is awash with peoples grief and sadness, but there are also plenty of opinions and I find too many of them disturbing. Too many of them I find ignorant, insensitive, hurtful, ethnocentric. Two examples:

1. “In my dictionary victim is synonymous with naive.”  But a victim is a victim, and not every victim is naive. 

2. “If there had been prayer in our schools, this would never have happened.” While we as a society do need to work on nurturing the soul, providing spiritual outlets, and making sure mental health is a priority–prayer is not a catch all, be all, save all. No pun intended. The problem is deeper and more complex. There isn’t just one solution. 

3. “I support our constitutional and God given right to bear arms. Self defense defines itself, every able and consciously capable man or women should exercise their rights and defend themselves.” Our right to defend ourselves ends as soon as we encroach on the rights of others. Sure carry a gun, but as soon as you hurt someone with it, regardless of their motive towards you, you have violated basic human rights. Lets all have a little Gandhi in our lives. Go ahead. Call me naive. 

I was so glad to see the snow this morning. It helped me walk back from my anger at seemingly senseless comments. It helped me come back to myself and realize that debates like these–debates on Facebook, are not where I am choosing to spend my time. Nor do I want to waste my passion. Getting all wrapped up in anger over something someone said detracts from the issue and only makes me feel horrible.

So here is to the snow and may it help to bring everyone back to themselves.

 

 

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More Than Christmas

I love Christmas. I love the holiday season. Since I work in a school district, my vacations are preset (except for summer) and I get two weeks off for Christmas this year. This means I get to spend two straight weeks with Fusband, my brother, and my parents. All of us have not been in the same place, at the same time for about six months, so this is all very exciting.

December brings a lot of exciting things: My mothers birthday, Christmas, my birthday, my best friends birthday, new years. Not to mention the traditional excitement over the tree. The fact that this will be the second Christmas that Fusband and I get to spend together, decorating our tree in our own (rented) home.

Stating the obvious: I am very excited.

But it all pales in comparison to January 25th. January 25th is what I have come to think of as “My Final Move.” It is the day that my current job ends and I get to move back to Troutdale (home sweet home). I am serving with AmeriCorps VISTA, posted as a small non-profit to help them build capacity and sustainability. I do love my job–it’s challenging, fun, and the work is something I can be proud of. BUT Fusband moved from Seattle to Portland about six months ago? Maybe longer. I can no longer remember. That move turned a 45 minute distance between us to 3.5 hours.

Driving 7 hours almost every weekend gets old. I am always amazed at how close and comfortable Fusband and I are with each other, considering we have only really spent the weekends together since we started dating. I mean granted we started dating while on a rather intense bike trip, so we got to know each other really well from the get-go. But I am ready to be in the same town for longer than a two-day stretch at a time.

So this year, the end of January trumps December and all it has to offer. I am still excited, but I can’t help but think of it as one more thing to get through until the 25th rolls around. Anyway, happy holidays everyone! We are only about 9 days out.

When did that happen???

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