Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Glass is half full.

This morning was rough. We went to tour a daycare in North Boulder which was pretty awesome. Awesome enough that their wait list is like miles long. I'm finding it really difficult to think this far ahead when the baby isn't even here yet! Everyone says that now is the time to do this sort of thing, but it just feels weird. When we got home, I burst into tears (because that's how I cope with stress). I know this daycare isn't the only option, and that's not why I was upset. It just feels like a lot right now. Not only do we have to gear up for the most important day of our lives, we have to make plans for months down the line. Making plans when we have no idea how we'll feel come September is tough. Plus, we obviously want to do what's best for our baby and for us, but we have no clue what that is yet! I'm sure everyone goes through this, and I'm not looking for advice...really, I'm just venting. After my little breakdown, I went outside and took a walk. It's amazing how fresh air and some distance can give you perspective. I know everything will work always does. Something that works for our family will fall into place, and there's no sense in stressing about it. I've been enjoying pregnancy so much that stuff like this just can't get in the way of what's really important. It's just easy to lose sight of that when you feel like you must make a decision now. It's a significant decision, but it can't be made right at this moment. I just need to sit back and breathe and know it will all be OK. :)

Completely unrelated but equally important...I have some really amazing friends that I couldn't live without. Some are old, and some are new, but each of them means so much to me and I'm so thankful to have their support during this exciting time in my life. Thanks ladies. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bendable me.

Being pregnant has taught me things about my body I never realized. For instance, did you know that a hip can fall asleep? I call it "dead hip." It literally feels like there is no blood flow at all going to my hips when I wake up in the middle of the night. I even had a dream one night that I went to the doctor's for an ultrasound and rather than checking on the baby, they did the ultrasound on my hips. The doctor frowned and told me that my hips had no blood in them and that could damage the baby. Yikes. Anyway, to deal with these new aches and pains I've been going to yoga 2-3 times per week, and it's amazing. I love, love, love prenatal yoga. It's a lot of stretching, but there's no messing around - I definitely break a sweat, and it feels like I've done something good for my body. At the end of the classes we do a Shavasana where we relax in a semi-lying position with eye pillows and huge bolsters. Then, the teacher comes around and gives everyone a minute scalp massage. Freaking awesome.

A minor tangent here... In Baltimore, I used to take this yoga class from this crazy old dude who was a lawyer by day, yoga instructor by night. He was quirky to say the least, but his classes were only $5 each (pretty unheard of for yoga these days). So, during Shavasana, he had this routine he would go through...something like this: "Brinnngggggg the awareness to your head! RELAXXXX your head! (10 second pause)...Brinnngggggg the awareness to your face! RELAXXXX your face!" He would proceed like this until he made it down to our toes. The best line of his routine by far was when he would chant, "Brinnngggggg the awareness to your genitals! RELAXXXX your genitals!" Inevitably, some newbie in the class would be sent into convulsions as she tried to silently snicker (yes, this was me at my first few classes).

So bringing it back...everytime I'm in Shavasana, even now, I start chanting his little routine in my head. It's like a tape recorder that automatically hits play. I must admit I'm really tempted just to bust out with it in class spontaneously, but I'd probably have a bunch of overheated pregnant women chucking yoga blocks at my head. "Bringggg the awareness to your dead hips! RELAXXXX your dead hips!"

Friday, June 25, 2010

I lovvvve a clean kitchen.

Did you ever notice how unloading and loading the dishwasher is realllly satisfying for like a second before you have to do it all over again? It feels like this great accomplishment to have everything in its place, but then a craving for a fruit smoothie strikes and alas, the blender and a few glasses are hanging out in the sink. The pile builds and builds, and then you bite the bullet and repeat the unloading and loading process once again. I guess I should just follow my yoga teacher's advice and savor the "now" moments. Being at home over the summer has definitely given more more of these clean kitchen moments to enjoy since I have more time. So I guess since it really doesn't happen all that often, I should take the time to appreciate it every chance I get. Soon there will be a little one adding to our dish piles, and I'm sure I will be forced to kiss these sporadic clean kitchen moments goodbye. Maybe I can enlist her for some help...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I also despise whistlers.

There's something about whistling that really annoys me. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but I find the behavior rather creepy and odd. I'm not talking about the kind of whistler who reserves his whistling for sporting events or grabbing someone's attention in a crowd. My dad is that kind of whistler, and I still turn to look for him no matter where I am when I hear his trademark whistle. I'm talking about the kind of whistler who whistles Top 40 tunes and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or makes up his own little diddy as he goes. I read several blogs, but one of my favorites is ( Heather's most recent post cracked me up so much because it was about this very topic: creepy whistlers! I think the worst thing about whistlers is that they begin to rub off on you no matter how creepy you might think their whistling is. There's a guy who works at my school who is a chronic whistler, and on a few occasions I've been cooking dinner whistling away obliviously until Angus is like, "Dude, what's with the whistling? I thought you hated that." Gee, thanks guy from work, now I'm a creepy whistler! So if you're ever around me and you happen to be a whistler - #1 Don't be offended if I shoot nasty glares in your direction, and #2 Please refrain from rubbing your whistling habits off on innocent bystanders like me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Follett frenzy.

I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit this or not, but lately I've been absolutely obsessed with Ken Follett's novels. Last summer I read Pillars of the Earth, and while we were in Mexico over Christmas I read its sequel World Without End. Both books were 1000 pages of mind blowingly amazing stuff. Now it's this summer, and instead of using my free time to catch up on the latest young adult literature, I've been devouring Follett's other books one by one. I think what I love most about his writing is that he goes really deep into character development - so much so that I end up loathing some characters and deeply pitying others. Each of his characters is in his/her own way flawed which is incredibly frustrating but at the same time extremely satisfying as a reader. It's what makes them real people. Follett has a knack for capturing the sexual tension, jealousy, sorrow, and joy that each of his characters experiences. Maybe it's just me, but I think his books are pretty freakin' great.

The other books on my summer reading list include some big players like Atlas Shrugged and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and of course a few YA novels here and there, namely the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy due out this summer!! Woo!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Pop-pop.

When holidays like father's day come along, I always find it the toughest to be living so far away from my family. I'd love to have my parents and grandfather over for a nice dinner to celebrate, but for now, phone calls will have to suffice. I talked to my Pop-pop on the phone last night for about a half an hour, which is pretty long for him to be talking to anyone. Usually I know he's done with the conversation when he says that his "ear hurts." Every time I talk to him, I learn something new about our family, about his life, or about life in general. He's a wealth of knowledge and life experience, and at 84 he's still sharp as a whip. He's been through the Great Depression, served in World War II, raised an incredible son and daughter, watched his wife fade away from Alzheimer's Disease, seen two of his grandchildren get married, and is now about to become a great grandfather - or great Pop-pop. A few years ago, Angus bought me a digital recorder so that I could record some of Pop-pop's life stories. I did on a few occasions sit down with him, turn on the recorder, and fire questions, but I've found it's the unexpected times when the best stories surface. Last night, he told me about how he got my grandmother to quit smoking. She had already been showing signs of Alzheimer's but was still living in the apartment with my grandfather. They decided to go to the horse track to place some bets - something they did frequently for entertainment. They were at a table, and she had just finished smoking a cigarette and told him that she needed to use the restroom. She left the pack of cigarettes on the table as she headed into the bathroom. My grandfather said that he looked at the pack on the table and said, "What the hell," as he slipped the pack into his pocket wondering if she'd notice they were missing. She eventually returned from the bathroom and from that day never smoked another cigarette again. Apparently she didn't even ask about them or realize they were gone. "I saved a hell of a lot of money after that, that's for sure," was Pop-pop's close to the story. Stories like these give me a glimpse into the life of my grandfather, a man who is beyond-words-amazing in so many ways.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Green thumb.

I am so excited to finally have a garden this year. We've always really wanted to plant one but never have had the space, time, motivation, etc. This year, our neighbors signed up for a plot in our community garden, and we're lucky enough to be splitting the plot with them. At first, I was really nervous because I tend to kill every plant I lay a hand on, but now, after several weeks, we're starting to see some growth and progress! We even have a few green tomatoes sprouting. The plants that surprise me the most are the ones we planted from seed - beets, lettuce, and green beans. I doubted that we'd ever see them seemed so unlikely. But sure enough, Mother Nature is hard at work, and we've got growth! There's something really beautiful about gardening, and I don't think I ever really appreciated the idea of growing my own food until now. I also have found a lot of parallels with pregnancy and the peace that comes with nurturing a life. Grow, seedlets, grow!

Our first strawberry!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun in the...clouds.

Although we got caught in what San Diegans call "June gloom," we had a relaxing long weekend at the beach. I think what made it so amazing was that we had each other without distractions of work and every day life for 4 whole days. We really did nothing except hang out together, read our books, eat good food, and explore the city. It was great. If anyone needs restaurant recommendations for the San Diego area, be sure to check out Cafe Chloe and Bice. Both excellent in all areas. Also, Coronado Beach was a beautiful and clean beach, so I'd highly recommend that over the Mission/Pacific Beach areas which can be a little more amped up and full of college kids. (Wow, I sound old. Never thought I'd really seek out "family friendly" beaches!) Anyway, we had an awesome time, but as always, I was glad to get home and sleep in my own bed and visit my garden. I can't get enough of this summer...SO grateful to have the time off.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sweet, sweet summer.

This weekend, Angus and I traveled to good 'ol Lancaster County. The trip was great, and it was nice to show off my pregnant belly at my baby shower that my mom and sister planned. They did a super job with everything. The food was awesome, and the favors and decorations were very "me" - little pots with herbs and rubber duckies everywhere. It was really nice to catch up with a family and friends who I don't get to see very often. I got a lot of really cute baby stuff, and it made everything seem way more "real." It's just crazy how much "stuff" comes with having a baby. My mission when I got pregnant was to borrow secondhand from friends and limit the amount of baby toys, gizmos, gear, etc. in our home. I just find most of it completely unnecessary and a little much. But, I must admit, it's really fun to get cute books, stuffed animals, and blankies that are brand new and will soon smell like our baby. We're still going to do our best to keep the "stuff" to a minimum but have fun with what we do receive. We feel so lucky that we have so many people who care about us and are as excited to meet this little guy as we are.

Finally, today I got to soak in what I love most about having my summers off - a long walk, a trip to the garden, an hour with my book, a Whole Foods salad, and a prenatal yoga class. At first it felt weird to have nothing to do, but then as it settled in, it quickly became freaking awesome.

Heading to meet Angus in San Diego this weekend for a mini-babymoon, and I can't wait to stroll on the beach with my b and my baby. :)