Thursday, July 31, 2008

Vacation Time

I just want to note, for the record, that I am awake and moving at 8:46am on my vacation.

Yes, I know that my concept of time will change forever when the baby arrives. And, yes, I realize that 8:46am is not really "early" by most standards. But considering that my darling husband is still on college time (a weird phenomenon where grad students have one foot in college time and one foot in "real working world" time), I am feeling quite proactive today.

Now it's time for me to head out the door and travel down to my parent's home. I am going to relax in the sun (what better way to spend vacation time?) and perhaps see little Noah again.

The only question is: how am I ever going to go back to work next week?!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Cutest Moment Ever

Ryan and I spent the weekend at my parents' house, basking in the summer sunshine, and floating in their refreshing pool. It was wonderful - especially since I haven't been to the pool since mid-June. June was also the last time I've enjoyed outdoor recreation this summer. I've been crazy busy! But this week is my official vacation - and I plan to spend as much of it outside as possible.

While spending time with my family I witnessed quite possibly the cutest moment ever between my dad and Ryan.

Let me set the scene: My parents' next door neighbor had a baby about 3 months ago. All my mom can talk about is this little boy, Noah. She's fallen head-over-heels for him, which is humorous considering that her initial reaction to becoming a grandmother was apprehension ("I'm just not ready to be called grandma yet!").

So, I've been waiting with great impatience to meet and hold Noah in my own arms. Finally, an hour before Ryan and I had to leave, Noah and his mother and big sister, Yara, came over to jump in the pool. I held and rocked Noah and got my "baby fix" for awhile. Then, since I promised Yara I would play with her too, I handed over Noah into Ryan's arms.

Ryan was adorable holding Noah, but that's not the cutest moment ever. I had to smile at Ryan's initial awkwardness, imagining how he would look in December holding his own son or daughter. It was a beautiful preview of what is to come.

The cutest moment ever happened when my dad took Noah and realized a diaper change was in order. I glanced over to see my dad teaching Ryan how to change a diaper. They were intently bent over Noah, who was laying on one of the shaded lounge chairs. What a picture perfect moment! It was Ryan's very first lesson in baby care, and who better to teach him than my dad? Cutest moment ever, for sure.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Best Diet I've Ever Been On

It's been 18 weeks and 4 days of pregnancy so far. According to most pregnancy sources, the normal weight gain over 9 months is 25 to 35 pounds. I am determined to make this range of weight gain a reality - especially after my mother has freaked me out with stories of gaining 50 pounds each time.

As of this week, I've gained a net of only 4 pounds. The thing is, I'm getting quite big round the middle. And my husband tells me that I look skinnier in other places, like my chubby face. So, I have a hypothesis:

The extra 10 pounds I was carrying around pre-pregnancy are slowly being converted into actual baby weight. The baby is getting bigger and I'm getting smaller -hence the low level net weight gain thus far.

I have to say, this is the best "diet" I've ever been on. I can eat anything I want, I crave healthy food, I don't have a desire to eat really sweet or processed foods, and no matter how inactive I tend to be, I am actually losing weight/fat in all the non-pregnancy places! Wow. And I hear breastfeeding is even better (aka: I get to eat even more).

In all seriousness, I think the pregnancy has actually helped my mind re-prioritize food. I used to emotionally eat and idealize food. Now I eat because I'm hungry and I have to eat. The little baby in womb is very demanding about that. There are even times when I don't take any pleasure from eating, it's just a necessity. And there's a freedom in this lack of pleasure. It means I can no longer emotionally eat - it just doesn't taste good!

Who knew that the antidote to over-eating was being required to eat all the time?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I was organizing my photos the other day and came across the pictures from my semester studying abroad. I lived in a tiny Austrian village, Gaming, for four months. Monday through Thursday I studied and prayed in an old Carthusian monastary - and then I traveled around Europe Thursday evening through Sunday. It was quite possibly the most amazing and spiritually uplifting time in my life.

Above is a picture of the church, part of the complex also known a the Kartause. Here's a bit from my journal while in Austria:

In the 1300s, a group of Carthusian monks built the Kartause as a home of solitude an prayer. They remained there, cloistered from society, for 400 years until they were kicked out. During World War 2, the Russians took over the Kartause as their military base. They pretty much trashed the place, even stabling their horses inside the building. Then in the 1980s an architect took over the Kartause and totally renovated it. He offered Franciscan part of the building to use for a study abroad progam, which brings me to today. Franciscan rents out a part of the Kartause for us to live, study, and learn about European culture.

To the right is the building I lived in. As you can see, the Kartause is nestled between the rolling hill (mountains to me, a Midwest girl). These hills surround the whole village and make it feel so cozy! I really miss the beauty of Austria. Sometimes I ache to go back again.

To the left is a close-up picture of my room. We had the best room in the place because it came with a balcony! I knew from the first moment I stepped foot in the Kartause that I was going to have the time of my life.

And I was right.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Too Tired to Post

I've just been so tired lately. I'm not sure if it's the pregnancy, the constant summer activities, or the working full-time and training my replacement. Maybe it's a little bit of everything!

I really am too tired to post tonight. I just wanted to put something up here, so it seems like I am still maintaining this blog...

Before I go, I'll leave you with a slightly dated photo. I am currently 18 weeks along, but this is a picture of my growing belly at 16 and 1/2 weeks. I'm sure the baby is taking a lot of energy out of me!

Wahoo - I'm finally showing!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Where Does All the Time Go When I Have Nothing to Do?

I've noticed: on the days I have less required of me I am less efficient with my time overall.

It's a curious phenomenon. You'd think that with more time on my hands I would naturally spend it doing more of those necessary daily tasks. However, I've found quite the opposite to be true. I prefer to do nothing at all!

Here's an example: This week was the first in a long time that I've had every single evening free of commitments. But as I contemplate the past week I realize that all those little projects I've left "until later" are still waiting for me to finish them. Plus I just plain stopped doing household chores - such as dishes & laundry.

What have I been doing with my time? Hmm... Reading my new baby books, watching movies, and updating Facebook. It's all very important - at least that's what I tell myself.

I think it's all boils down to discipline - or the lack thereof. When my schedule is full I am required to discipline myself for the sake of my sanity. But it's not be a real, life-changing type of discipline I put on. It's actually the college style I've-got-a-paper-due-tomorrow-morning-and-I-procrastinated-until-now type of discipline. Fleeting.

As I was reading my new baby books (The Baby Sleep Book & The Baby Book by William & Martha Sears) it dawned on me that I'm never going to be able to handle a new baby if my life is already in chaos at 4 months pregnant. I've got to set a basic standard before the baby arrives. How can I expect to teach my baby when/how to sleep if I don't have a regular sleep pattern for myself? And how can I expect to get on a regular sleep pattern with a newborn if I've never had set schedule before?! (I do realize that there is no such thing as a "regular sleep pattern" with a newborn - but I'm learning that you can teach babies the difference between night and day, which leads to an eventual bedtime.)

The moral of my ponderings? I must return to the roots of discipline. I am motivated. I've wasted a week. But now I'm motivated.

Or maybe I'm yet again on the eve of a college paper....

Let's hope this change is for real. I'll report back to you to keep myself accountable. Now I've put it out there I've got to do it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Lilo & Joel's Wedding

This is one of my most favorite photos from the wedding mass. Lilo & Joel were just married. You can see the rings on both hands - Joel has to wear his on the right hand because it's easier to put on than the left hand.

There are still the remnants of the accident, but there is a much stronger sense of perseverance. These two were determined to get married on June 28th, no matter what! And now they stand as man & wife, ready for all the joys and trials of marriage.

Apartment Photos!

Our old apartment - getting ready to move out.

Our new apartment - the "before"

Our new apartment - after tidying up on Sunday!

Our new kitchen, from the viewpoint of the living room

My newly organized pantry!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wedding Season in Full Force

I just realized that it's been nearly 2 weeks since I last posted and if I don't post now it's not going to happen for another week!

Life has been crazy. When I last left you we were approaching moving day. Rather than intimately (and excessively) detail all the fun and exciting events, I thought I would leave you with a synopsis instead.
  • SATURAY, JUNE 21 - Finished packing and moved all the furniture with the help of 6 friends, 2 trucks, and a philosophy discussion over pizza & beer. Enjoyed the evening with more friends who cooked us our first dinner in the new apartment.
  • SUNDAY, JUNE 22 - Ignored the mess in the house and finally concentrated on my CRHP (Christ Renews His Parish) meeting later that evening. It was kind of important, considering that I'm the leader...
  • MONDAY, JUNE 23 - Took the day off from work to sleep-in and clean the old apartment. We turned in the keys. Then we immediately went over to Lilo & Joel's new house to help paint. I avoided the paint fumes by playing with the electric screwdriver - the only appropriate job in my condition.
  • TUESDAY, JUNE 24 - Returned to work for a short 2 days. In the evening Ryan and I went back to Lilo & Joel's to help move in the furniture. Again I found another (appropriate) task - housesitting while guys were out with the trucks picking up new loads.
  • WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25 - Another day of work. Then Lilo's bachelorette party. Since I couldn't enjoy the dollar margaritas at Hacienda, I encouraged others to enjoy them in my stead. I also became the principle photographer for the evening.
  • THURSDAY, JUNE 26 - Joined the bridesmaids and mothers at the spa for a pedicure and nail polish in the morning. Then I shopped for a dress for the wedding (there's no better time than the day before an event for a procrastinator!). In the evening we hashed out the wedding rehearsal and enjoyed a nice dinner afterward. Again, I committed the day to memory via my sweet digital camera.
  • FRIDAY, JUNE 27 - Chaos ensued! I joined the girls at my mother-in-law's home for hair, make-up, and getting dressed. I felt pretty suave at my photography skills until the professional came. Then I rushed home to get ready, rushed to the church to decorate and take a few pictures, and basically didn't sit still until the wedding mass began. Lilo & Joel were married. It was a sobfest. Then we partied late into the night...
  • SATURDAY, JUNE 28 - It was a pajama day! I decided to do nothing all day long - which involved a Bones, Season 2 marathon and french fries from Culvers (the only kind in town that are crinkly).
  • SUNDAY, JUNE 29 - Ryan and I (finally) tidied up our new apartment. I reorganized the pantry and bookshelf, which made me very happy. At least 1 room in the new place now looks livable. I spent the evening with my CRHP ladies.
  • MONDAY, JUNE 30 - Back to work to train my replacement temp. Come October I am no longer an employed woman - I'm a stay-at-home (almost) mom! In the evening we enjoyed a steak dinner at my in-laws home. Everyone was still coming down from the wedding high over the weekend.
  • TUESDAY, JULY 1 - My houseguests returned home. I was sad to see them go, but they'll be moving to town in 3 weeks! Suddenly everything was very quiet...
  • WEDNESDAY, JULY 2 - Today I must order or create invitations for my best friend's bridal shower. She was my maid-of-honor and I will be her matron-of-honor in October. I've also got to pack to go to Columbus tomorrow - we have another wedding to attend! As soon as one wedding event ends, another starts up. It's truly Wedding Season in full force!
*Note: I originally wrote this on Wednesday, but got so busy that I forgot to finishand post it until Friday afternoon! I'm keeping the post date for July 2nd, as that was my original intention.