Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Rain, rain, go away

It's the type of Wednesday that makes you want to crawl back into bed and pull the covers over your head. Drizzly, dark and gloomy outside. And it's Wednesday, which in and of itself, is enough reason for a nap.

Unfortunately, that is not on my schedule for today. Busy at work. I had to get here at 6:30 this morning, in order to sufficiently wake up and be semi-intelligent for a 7AM conference call with a client. Nothing like talking to lawyers at 7AM. And they were on the East Coast, so were all chipper and caffeinated. Anyway, the meeting was fine, but I have a bunch of work to do on a report, so that'll keep me busy today and tomorrow, probably.

Yesterday I ended up leaving work early and taking stuff home with me to work on. I've discovered that I'm much more efficient when reading things while on the couch, as opposed to sitting at my desk, for the umpteenth hour on end. I need to remember to take breaks and be nicer to my body, since it is a little busy growing Lucky while I'm working. I did end up getting dessert from the bakery last night, but no McDonald's. Ate mac and cheese instead. Which may actually be less healthy. Tonight is night #2 of being home alone- I need to call my grandmother and bake cookies for the baby shower on Saturday. Hopefully I'll have the energy to do those things by the time evening rolls around.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tuesday morning

No brilliant subject line there, sorry.

So, I'm in a good mood this morning! It's such a nice feeling! Just sitting here alone in the office, wondering if the FedEx guy is going to arrive soon with the documents that were supposed to be sent to me from our other office. I hope so, because when the documents come, I will have mindless busy work to do, which makes me very very happy. I've spent most of the last 3 work days reading long articles about arsenic toxicity, so my brain needs a break.

Speaking of work, please, someone explain to me why my male co-workers, when refilling the paper tray on the copier, just put in a small stack of paper? If you fill it up all the way, then you don't have to refill it again so soon... just a thought.

The baby shower plans are coming along. Except for the total lack of RSVPs. The mom has told me that she's not worried, that God will make sure the right people come. Which I agree with, but I'd still like to know how many chairs to set up that afternoon. But the games have been planned (and changed and replanned), food is also planned and will be made Saturday morning, cake is ordered, cookies will be baked tonight and tomorrow, and decorations have been procured. I think we're going to survive this event after all!

Daniel is gone now until Thursday night. Multiple big meetings at his main office, so he's gone for a day longer than usual. So it's just the cats and I tonight. My current big dilemma is whether to get McDonald's for dinner and skip dessert, or to go to my favorite bakery and get a mini lemon meringue tart, and eat a more sensible dinner. How much do you want to bet that I'll figure out some way to do both?

My list of reasons why I love Seattle (the first reason)

1. We live close enough to Canada that, even with the most basic cable package, we get Canadian TV. Which never ceases to amuse and entertain me. Although my Canadian husband does sometimes make me watch hockey. But what other station regularly broadcasts championship curling tournaments?

Monday, February 26, 2007

The new normal

Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary and it went really well. We had a nice time at church, then ate IHOP Cinnastackers (SO GOOD!) then went to the place where we got married and walked around, then came home and watched our wedding video. It was fun to see that again. Finished off the day with a nice dinner out. Hard to believe we've been married a year already- it really went fast. It was a really good year though, and I have no complaints. I'm still so glad I agreed to that first date when he emailed me from :)

Today was our 16-week appointment to check on Lucky. Heartbeat was strong and everything looked good. Lucky is apparently hanging out near my back, which kind of makes sense, given that I'm still barely showing and am still in my normal clothes.

(Here comes the annoying part of the post) We did mention to the doctor that I've been very down lately. Not so much the type of emotional that I expected- I don't cry at cute forwarded emails or commercials. I just get overwhelmed very quickly. I cry a lot, but mostly out of a sense of frustration and discouragement. Over really little things. The baby shower next week brought me to tears at least twice this weekend, and it's all planned! I have nothing left to worry about, except exactly how many people are going to show up. Which is not even a big deal and wont change anything in the plans. The doctor not only said that this kind of emotional behavior was normal, but that it would get worse. My poor, poor husband. I'm getting on my own nerves at this point, so I can only imagine how frustrated he feels.

Good news- we have the referral for the big ultrasound, so now we just have to figure out how to fit that into our schedule! Exciting! (***Edited to add- Big ultrasound scheduled for April 3! And I'll be far enough long that I don't have to go with a full bladder! So just 5 weeks and 1 day until we find out what gender Lucky is- I think it's a boy.)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Diminished blood flow to my brain

Today I decided to wear a nice skirt with an elastic waist and a normal top to match it. Forgetting, of course, that it's 40 degrees outside, the skirt does not cover my legs and I will get frostbite waiting for the bus if I don't wear nylons. So, right before I left I put on my regular black nylons to complete the outfit. Now.... can't breathe!! I really should go across the street to Motherhood Maternity (yes, it's that close!) and get maternity nylons, but I don't want to. I go through a pair a day, pretty much. I'm one of those people who runs into everything and usually manages to snag a pair of nylons and put a huge run in them within an hour of putting them on. So I hate to pay more than $3 for a pair. Of course, I'll lose my job if I manage to completely cut off the blood flow to my brain and go brain dead, so it may be worth it.

Funny story from yesterday. Daniel was driving down to his main office, and stopped at Fred Meyer (West Coast large grocery/everything else store) to get donuts for his team. He called to let me know he'd made it through the first half of his trip, left me a message, and then hung up his phone. Except he didn't actually hang up the phone. And I cant skip messages on my work phone, so I had to wait through 2 solid minutes of sounds of him walking around the store, with his pants hitting the phone speaker, and muzak playing over the Fred Meyer loudspeakers. It was pretty funny.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A tribute blog

Two posts from me in one day! Your lives are just overflowing with good things!

I wanted to take a minute and write a post about a wonderful Christian woman that went home to be with her Lord on Monday evening. When I lived in Ukraine, I was still fairly young, and it was not safe/appropriate for me to live on my own. Therefore, I had to have a roommate. Fortunately, soon after I arrived, an older American woman also arrived in the city where I was working. Her name was Gloria, and she had been on long trips to Ukraine many times before. She didn't speak Russian or Ukrainian, had battled cancer in the past, so was not terribly mobile, and didn't come over with any intention of teaching theology or leading bible studies (the two main reasons people tended to come over from the US). Gloria just came to Ukraine and loved people. Without question, without reservation. She just loved them. This meant that our flat was full of people. All the time. People who were struggling with something, people who were excited about something and wanted to share their news with her. A lot of the people didn't speak English, and Gloria didn't speak Russian, yet they all managed somehow to communicate.

To be honest, the crowds of people in the flat tended to drive me batty. I like my space and my time. But over and over again, I saw how her hospitality and her patience and her love affected their lives. People loved her and were drawn to her Christ-like spirit that she showed everywhere she went.

Gloria's cancer returned last fall, and on Monday night she lost the battle and went home. I know that there was much rejoicing at her homecoming, and that she is now pain-free and safe in the arms of the One who she followed so faithfully and modeled so well here on earth.

Gloria, I was blessed to know you. You will be missed.

Wednesday morning

The sun is shining, it's 8:30 AM, and I already have almost 2 hours of work done. It was an early morning today- I had a 7 AM conference call, and Daniel had to drive down to his other office, so we got going before daylight. Which means that I'll probably get tired of work early and will have to go shopping or something.

It's a lovely day today for another reason- I can breathe! I'm wearing a too-big hand-me-down maternity dress. My tummy definitely does not fill out the tummy space, but that means that no article of clothing is compressing or squishing me or Lucky. It's quite nice.

Daniel and I had a nice evening last night. Nothing special, just talking and laughing. I love laughing with him. We actually laugh together quite a lot. It's a nice feeling. We've been making plans for our first anniversary on Sunday. I think we're going to dinner and may also possibly go to the historical building where we got married and walk around. That was his idea, which I thought was very sweet and romantic. I cant believe it's been a year already. I've been sitting here trying to remember what exactly I was up to at this time last year. I think it was my last day of work before the wedding- so I'm sure I was completely useless.

Speaking of my first anniversary, we got a very sweet card from my parents yesterday. They love Daniel and are so thrilled by our relationship. I know that they prayed for him to find me for a long time, and I've always appreciated those prayers. My dad has an interesting way of wording things sometimes- in his conclusion of the card, he mentioned looking forward to meeting the baby in August, but he referred to the baby as "the fruit of your love". Made me laugh out loud. It's a pretty typical comment from my dad. The girls on the message board where I post were surprised that my father can admit exactly how this baby came to be. :)

Back to work- I hope all of you have a blessed day today, and that it's one full of laughter and friends.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I'm a world-class worrier

As much as I hate it, and as much as I get disgusted with myself for not trusting God to handle the details of my life, I am a worrier. Always have been. I worry a lot, but strangely enough I tend to worry about small things and not the larger details of life. Like right now. I dont worry about Lucky and how he/she is growing and what's going on inside my uterus, I'm obsessed instead with the baby shower that I'm hosting in less than 2 weeks. Which, incidentally, is now up to 34 invitees, to be crammed into a living room that comfortably holds about 15. Thankfully, it's not my living room, so that much isn't my problem. My worry is the games and the punch (what do you put in baby shower punch) and the cake, and getting the right type of hors d'oeuvres trays and the mother-to-be having a good time.

Worrying aside, it's been a decent week so far. Yesterday was very quiet at work, so I caught up on a few things. This weekend I was busy- dinner at the house of friend of Daniel's on Saturday night, bridal shower for a friend of mine on Sunday. At both events I met people who found out I was pregnant and said "You don't look at all pregnant!". I have a rather large tummy sticking out in front of me these days, but I know I just look like I've been having too many cookies, rather than 4 months pregnant. I just want to say "trust me people, I'm not this fat normally."
Apparently one girl that I go to church with ran into the same problem. She said she had a coworker who kept looking at her stomach, and finally asked her one day if she was expecting. She said yes, to which he responded "oh good. I was thinking that I was going to need to recommend some exercises for you, because you were looking like you were getting a little fat around the stomach area." :)

Anyway, I should go focus my worrying on my actual job. Hope everyone has a good Tuesday.

Monday, February 19, 2007

A very humbling realization

Saturday morning found me at my church women's group-desperately trying to wake up, but very much enjoying the sunshine that was streaming in through the windows of the church office. We have a women's group that meets once a month- someone leads worship, then another person speaks, then we have small discussion groups. It's usually a really good group to be a part of.

This month's speaker did a wonderful job- speaking on James 3 and reminding me of the terrible power that the words I say have over others. A lesson that I really should be reminded of about 24 times a day.

But the truly moving and humbling part of the two hours came during worship. The worship leader read from scripture between songs, and one of the scriptures she read was from Psalm 139:
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I've heard those words many times. And they have never held the power that they held on Saturday. I just sat there, overwhelmed with the thought that God knows and already has plans for this tiny little creature growing inside me. It's not my child- it's God's and He loves it infinitely more than I do. This baby is fearfully and wonderfully made, and is going to become the person that God has already planned for it to be.

I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful and miraculous experience.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tonight's home fellowship group

Daniel and I are a part of a home fellowship group at our church. There are about 9 other couples in this group, ranging in age and in length of marriage. There are about 5 couples that have only been married a few years, then the rest have been married for quite some time. The general idea of the group is to get together, read and discuss a marriage book, pray for each other and support each other in whatever challenges are going on, and to share our stories with each other. Since the group started last fall, we've been doing couple testimonies. One couple each week shares their stories- childhood, major life events, family, how they became believers, etc. It's supposed to be a 30 minute activity, but generally takes at least an hour. There have been some amazing stories in the group so far, and I'm constantly humbled by the things that other people have had to overcome, and how they've been able to endure so many rough things.

We've been doing these testimonies in order of longest married. So, we're second to last. Beat out the last couple by a month :) And finally, after months of waiting... TONIGHT IS OUR TURN!!! You see, we love to talk. Both of us. Love love love to talk. The bigger the group the better. Daniel is unfazed by public speaking, and I actually crave it. I drool when there is a microphone in my general vicinity. I'm scared of talking to strangers one on one, but strangers in a large crowd are fabulous. One of the ways that I knew I may have met my match with Daniel is that he out-talked me on our first date. My parents didn't believe me until they talked to him on the phone when he called to ask for my hand in marriage. They had to admit that I was right, the man can talk.

It should be a fabulous evening. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Would someone PLEASE explain to me

How a baby that has yet to actually make me gain weight, and is, theoretically residing in my abdominal area, is causing stretchmarks to appear on my hips and thighs? Did my uterus somehow get lost and migrate westward?

A story, inspired by yesterday's post and comments

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my parents have been together since high school. It hasn't always been easy, that much I know. They had one of those marriages that shouldn't have worked, under any circumstances. But my parents are stubborn people, and they love each other enough that they've gotten past all the hard times. They're best friends and have always existed in a little bubble that contains only them. Don't get me wrong, they adore my brother and I and would do anything for us. However, the ranking order that Mom and Dad use in life is, and always has been, God, their marriage, then us kids. And that actually gave my brother and I a great deal of security, knowing that their marriage was a priority, and believing that it would always be a constant in our lives. I hope that my husband and I can give that same gift to our kids.

So, as a follow-up to yesterday's hand-holding post and the lovely comments left for me, reassuring me that people married for a long time still love to hold hands, here's my favorite story about my mom and dad.
In 2000, my dad was going to Ukraine for a mission trip. He was heading over with a bunch of other pastors and leaders from his church conference. Unfortunately, because of the way that the trip was organized, Dad had no choice but to leave on Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary. This was a big deal, as my parents have ALWAYS had a special time, just the two of them, on their anniversary. My dad flying thousands of miles away on their anniversary was not part of that tradition. We ended up at the airport many hours before Dad was to leave on his flight. This was in the days pre-9/11, so we all trekked to the gate together, and stood around talking in a large circle. Mom and I were on one side of the circle, Dad was talking to some pastor friends on the other side. All of a sudden, Dad stopped talking, walked around the circle to Mom, took her hand, and they walked off together down the terminal. I remember standing there and watching them walk off, holding hands. Eventually they stopped and stood and hugged. Just enjoying being together.

I don't think Mom and Dad know that I even remember that happening, or that, 7 years later, the memory still brings tears to my eyes. Their love for each other has been an incredible, incredible blessing to me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The semi-strange thing that I'm contemplating today

I was contemplating things this morning (anything to avoid reading the incredibly mind-numbingly dull scientific articles that I need to read for the report I have to write). Nothing too deep today, since it's a Wednesday and I refuse to think truly deep/intelligent thoughts in the middle of the week. Just thinking about my marriage and Valentine's Day.

You see, we're newlyweds. Haven't even celebrated our first anniversary yet. We're still in a pretty mushy stage. We were holding hands at church one day during the "introduce yourself to people and be friendly" part of the service. The person that Daniel was saying hi to looked at us and said "and you guys must be newlyweds". Which is true, but I seriously hope that we are still holding hands all the time 30 years from now. My parents still do and they've been together since they were in high school. But the point is, we are still newlyweds and are still thrilled and excited about all the new and fun things about marriage. Which is somehow odd to me to be experiencing at the same time that we're also preparing for the birth of our first child (who we are now calling Lucky). I guess a year ago, when we were getting ready for the wedding, I pictured myself as a happy newlywed this year, but didn't picture the little pregnancy belly that I would be carrying around at that time.

Don't get me wrong- this baby was planned, and we knew what we were getting into (as much as anyone does) when we decided to start trying to have a baby. And, despite the annoyances of pregnancy, we're thrilled to have Lucky in our life. But it's still strange.

So, anyway, I need to stop ignoring work and go actually accomplish something. I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Valentine's Day and that you get to spend lots of time with the ones you love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm apparently feeling very bloggy today

Hurray! We have a date set for the baby shower that I'm hosting! And the lovely girls on the Weight Watchers board where I post gave me some ideas for activities and the order that we should do things in. This is a huge relief to me. Mostly because I am a giant, huge, incredibly controlling control freak. And this shower was driving me nuts, because I couldn't control all of the variables. Waiting for the person whose house it will be at to call me or email me with the final decision on the date was driving me insane! Not because we are only 2.5 weeks from said suggested date, but because I didn't know the answer. And therefore was out of control. It was making me crazy.

In fact, the lack of knowledge and control made me crazy enough that I overcame my #2 phobia (snakes are my #1 phobia) and actually picked up a phone and called the kind house-volunteering woman to see if she had made a decision. This is huge, because I really really really hate calling anyone who I am not 1) related to by blood or marriage AND 2) talked to at least once a week for the past 10 years. I didn't call my husband for almost the entire first year of our dating relationship. Email was made for people like me. I blame my phobia on my month working as a telemarketer. Just the memory can make me shudder.

And speaking of bad memories, I got a funny email from my mom today, talking about the baby games that she was forced to play at the baby shower that was held for her. 30 years ago. She apparently still hasn't recovered entirely. I've added the games to my "avoid at all cost" list. :)

About my husband

Okay, first off, I have a new version of Word on my work computer and it's fancy. I'm a little scared of it :)

In honor of Valentine's Day tomorrow, I thought I would write about the wonderful saint that is my husband. He has always put up with a lot from me, but lately I've gone ahead and elevated him to sainthood for all the things that he's had to put up with.

Daniel works with computers. Web development of some sort. He's been promoted a bunch of times since we met (which was really the last time I generally understood what he did at work), so I'm a little vague on his exact job title or responsibilities now. Overall, he sits in meetings all day and talks on the phone a lot. When we started dating, he lived in a city about 70 miles from Seattle and commuted an additional 45 minutes to a "town" out near the coast. I say "town" because it's the type of place that has a Subway restaurant, a stoplight, and a grocery store. Not much more. After mocking it for a few months, I was humbled to find out that my great-grandparents had lived in said "town" for years, so I shut up after that.

Daniel is 10 years older than I am, and, until we got married, had pretty much lived alone since he left his parents' home in his early 20s. That's ~15 years of having his own space, making his own rules, and doing his own thing. He had a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house when we met, and plenty of stuff to fill it up. And yet, he has adapted marvelously to living with me and two cats in a 900 square foot condo. He is a little less enthusiastic about my favorite hobby, cleaning the closets and throwing everything away, but he even puts up with that remarkably well.

Truly, I am blessed. I have spent the majority of my life praying for a godly, loving man to show up on my doorstep. I dated several nice men who seemed to be what I wanted and needed, but for some reason those relationships didnt work out. And I never understood why until I met Daniel. For the first time, my friends didnt see me changing for a relationship, they saw me still being me, but a better version of who I was before. Because he challenges me to be better, to be more loving, to be more patient and calm. Not from anything he says, but because of who he is and how he treats me every single day. When you live with a man who never responds with anger, who is always concerned about you first, who is always ready to get up and get you a snack/water/whatever even in the middle of his TV show, you become very aware of how blessed you are. And that makes me want to learn how to treat him with the same respect and incredible love that he shows me every single day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday afternoon musings

By nature, I am not what you would call a cheerful person. I'm friendly and generally energetic and I may seem happy on the surface, but my sense of humor is considered to be a little dark. I also tend toward dramatic ups and downs in my moods. I'm a bit of a drama queen and yes, the world does revolve around me. And yes, I do realize I'm in for a very rude awakening in about 6 months, when the world suddenly does not revolve around me any longer.

That all said, I'm even starting to get on my own nerves with my moods lately. I'm not depressed, I'm just tired and discouraged. In my normal life, I dont get sick often, and when I do, I'm pretty annoying about it. This creates a problem, since I've essentially been sick in one way or another since the beginning of December. So I whine about it, and annoy myself and all around me. Truly, I want to tell Daniel that I'm feeling great at the end of the day when we meet up, but the truth is, he's not really going to be fooled by my comments, since I'm usually a lovely shade of grey by the evenings and look like I've been run over by a small vehicle of some sort. I got a little upset last night by all this feeling rotten. Daniel was very sweet, as he always is. The man has an endless source of patience, and I feel bad about always dumping things on him, since he's got enough stress going on at his job lately.

I think the other thing that has me a little down is that I dont have many friends in the area, and the few friends I do have, I never see. And there's only one other pregnant person in my circle of few local friends, so my life is about to be very different from most of theirs. There are some lovely people at church, but I havent managed to get to a point where I would consider anyone a friend. Which is just life in the adult world, I realize, but it's frustrating when there's just so much going on, and so few people to talk it over with. Which leads back to the guilt of dumping everything on Daniel, all the time.

Did I mention that I'm hosting a baby shower in a few weeks? It was supposed to be at the end of March, but the mother asked if we could move it up. I have been to ONE baby shower in my life. I have no idea what one eats at a baby shower, what to do (games-wise), or anything else that's expected of me. Worrying about this kept me awake from 3:30-4:30 AM today.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Just a thought

I would get so much more done these days if I could just to move my desk and office telephone to the ladies room and work from there.

I drank caffeine this morning

I haven't had caffeine since some time last year- probably on Daniel's birthday trip to California. Despite the fact that I'm a scientist, and I have read all of the studies on caffeine and conception/pregnancy, I decided to go ahead and give it up for the duration of trying to get pregnant/pregnancy. Besides, I have a minor heart problem, so caffeine isnt really that good for me anyway.

And honestly, giving up coffee wasnt that hard. I'm one of those people who tends to make the coffee, put it on the desk at work, take one sip, then proceed to forget about its existence.

Then came this morning. I slept reasonably well last night. Other than the trips to the bathroom every 2 hours and the large kitten pouncing on me this AM (Daniel was out of town last night, so the kitten was able to give me its undivided attention). But this morning I still felt like I was functioning underwater and couldnt quite get my brain to communicate with my body. So, I stopped at Bartells Drugstore on the way in, and bought a Godiva Belgian Blends cold French Vanilla Latte. And I think my brain is starting to work again! It's a nice feeling.

Monday, February 5, 2007

A grouchy Monday morning

According to a recent study, grouchy employees may actually be the most useful to their companies. I deserve a huge raise if that's true. Daniel and I both woke up this morning not feeling great. We're blaming the change in the weather and are hoping that we're not getting sick.

Had a pretty good weekend though and inherited a carload of stuff from my aunt and uncle. Lots of fairly expensive baby essentials, which should serve us well. The cats are very excited about all the new things in the house, particularly the infant car seat. Because it's sitting on the floor, so must be for them. It's going to be interesting when we have more baby stuff in the house!