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Sunday, February 27, 2011

34 Weeks

How far along? 34 Weeks. 6 more weeks have come to seem like an eternity, though everyone

Total weight gain: Umm. I'm not sure. I forgot to have the nurse show me the change between my appointment at the beginning of the month and my appointment in the middle of the month. Ha. And it doesn't really bother me now. The first 6-7 months I was really aware of my weight gain (in a healthy way,) but now that I know Grace is putting on about 1/2 a pound a week and that I'm eating healthily, I don't really mind if the scale creeps upwards!

Baby Bump? Yes, She's head down now, so it's changed the shape of my bump quite a bit. Not quite as round as before but more oval like, helps me not to feel as giant as I did two weeks ago!

Maternity clothes? This is kind of a silly question now. Of COURSE! She's six weeks from coming, I better be in {mostly} maternity clothes now.

Cravings: I also think this question is rather silly, since the traditional craving period of the pregnancy ended almost 20 weeks ago! I'm hungry on regular schedules again, so that's nice, but not for anything in particular.

Symptoms: Linea Nigra, stretch marks, puffy face every now and then, and SWELLING of my hands and feet {and soon to be cankles.} It's just how it is, ladies. No one said every aspect of pregnancy was beautiful, ha!

Sleep: I sleep for about 4 solid hours, then I wake up because my hips/back is hurting me. The rest of the night isn't restless, but it isn't solid sleep either. I end up having to flip back and forth, from side to side close to 10 times in the next 4 hours, which is alot easier said than done when you have a melon strapped to your belly.

Movement: Yes, though I can definitely tell they are starting to slow down/soften as she runs out of room

Gender: Grace Madeline Galloway, a precious little girl {we hope.}! Anyone else think about how crazy it would be if their baby came out the opposite gender than what you planned for? Our boy would just have to live with a pink nursery and wardrobe for awhile, ha!

Belly Button in or out? In!

What I miss: Not having the aching feeling in my legs from the swe

Best moment this week: Working on her nursery? Pictures to come when it's all done, which probably won't be until after our next pay check, so you're just going to have to be patient!

Weekly Wisdom: Do some research on what clothing brands run big or small. I had sorted everything according to what the tag said (newborn, 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12,) only to find out that some companies' newborn things are more like preemies and some companies' 0-3 are more like newborn!

Milestones: Getting her bedding in the mail, finally picking up her curtains, getting her wardrobe ordered and installed, putting away all of her clothes! The room is coming together! 2-3 more weeks and it will be done (or, it better be, ha!)

And, because you've asked for it, here's a belly shot, taken in the big city the other day, at a living museum that we were visiting.



Friday, February 25, 2011

Showers of Blessings

Last Friday, February 18th, several of my friends here threw baby Grace and I a beautiful baby shower!

To be totally honest, I was nervous leading up to it, because I just was not sure how my emotions would be over the whole thing. I was excited and grateful for the shower, but Oh, how I wished my mom, grandma, aunts, sister, and old friends could be part of it!

The day came and I am happy to say that God gave me a peace over the whole thing. It was as if I felt a calm and heard "this is your life here. Your friends and family would be here if they could, but they can't, so be thankful and blessed by your new friends and "family," that has been given to you!"

Thank you, Lord!

The shower was held in the sitting area of our language school, and the hostesses did a wonderful job making a non beautiful room BEAUTIFUL!



The was an amazing diaper cake (I had always wanted one of these for Grace! and this one was TOO cute! Thanks A!)
Chocolate Chip cookie Petite Fours, instead of cake. The hostesses asked me what my favorite dessert was and when I told them chocolate chip cookies (I'm easy to please!) they told me they would work it in.
Punch, with cute bath toys floating in it! For some reason, punch brings me great joy (told you I was easy to please,) and I visited the punch bowl several times during the shower!
And TONS of food! Yum. They even broke out the "hard to find," things like ranch dip (can't get it here,) salsa, and a marshmallow salad.
Of course, plenty of wrapped blessings for baby Grace!

We started off by eating, then played the "guess the girth," game, ha! In case you were wondering, I was 10 1/2 sheets of toilet paper, lol.

Then we settled down for gifts and I got to Skype my momma into the baby shower! So special!

Lots of gifts, and lovely ladies who blessed us with them, but since there were only a few pictures that could be deemed "secure," (ie, does not show faces of other people who have not given me permission to post,) there is alot of me pictures. Sorry for the narcissism.
Then we wrapped it all up by playing Guess the Diaper game, with various candy bars. I failed at this game, but I like to think that's because I haven't bought candy bars since I've been here, which is a good thing!!!
Thank you, sweet ladies for all you did to shower us with blessings!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sweet Treats and Swollen Feet

Somehow, it's been over a week since I've blogged. I'm not really sure how that happened, seeing as it feels like time has stood still.

I wonder if it's possible for my ever increasing girth and (therefore,) pull on gravity has the potential to make the earth cease to rotate on its axis and thereby making time literally standing still.

What do you think?

All of that was my way of saying: I'm huge.

or rather....HUGE.

And tired, which explains my absence in the blogging world.

And though it may seem like a paradox, what with me saying time has stood still (you mean my baby is going to be inside of me for SEVEN more weeks? That's a lifetime!!) things have been very full lately.

The past week has been a succession of fun and busy days, what with:
Valentines Day,
Pay day (always fun because I can then schedule payments. I'm a finance loving nerd,)
My birthday (24 feels SO much older than 23, let me tell you,)
Girls night where my friend offered to paint my toes since it's getting harder to reach them,
Baby Shower (more on that later,)
and my 33 week appointment!

Sheesh. I told you it was busy.

Mix in a ton of home improvement projects, a handful of Skype calls, and hours and hours of Arabic studying and you'll pretty much understand what my week looked like.

And now? Well now Ian is on the road to Dubai to pick up his friend, Svein, from the airport. And also to pick up our curtains from Pottery Barn Kids, because every good husband will go into PBK and pick up pink curtains when their wife asks them to.

So, I'm all alone for the night, and beside the slight stranded feeling I get when he goes off with the car leaving me stuck in our apartment for 7+ hours, I'm really enjoying myself.

What does a night in look like for me? Instant mashed potatoes (true that,) folding baby clothes, watching free TV episodes off of iTunes and getting caught up on Grey's Anatomy, skyping with a friend, and going to bed at a very early time.

It's the high life, this "24" stuff, let me tell you what.

I also realize, that my post is now finished, but I never addressed the title that I originally started out with: "Sweet treats and swollen feet." Well, let me wrap this up by abridging that story and saying that I really am into sweets and my feet are really swollen.

The End.

You can thank me later for saving you from that oh-so-exciting tale.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Handy Man

My husband is amazing.

He never ceases to surprise me.

He willingly tackles my copious tasks on my lengthy "to-do" lists. (Just in the past 3 weeks he has fixed a bathroom door, reorganized our front room, caulked our tub, repaired a light, moved our office into our bedroom, and put together our crib.)

He cooks me dinner (lambsghetti aside,) and brings me drinks and snacks whenever I need them.

He deals with my ever rising internal thermostat and lets me have full control over the AC's in our home.

He comes home early from nights out so that we can watch old reruns of The Office or Alias.

He's handsome.

He's brilliant.

He's funny.

He's strong.
He loves the Lord.

He is a hard worker.

He is a great friend.

He is my best friend.
He loves his family and he's going to be the best Dad in the whole entire world!

Happy Valentines' Day to my sweet husband.

(pictures of our crib construction, from mid January.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

32 Weeks

Sans Picture.

Or, as we would say in Arabic, bedoon picture.

Except they wouldn't say picture, they would say surra.

Irrelevant.

I don't have a picture for this week. Sad, I know. But I blame it on the fact that I have been insanely lazy. No desire to fix my hair or, you know, wear anything other than pajamas.

And although some girls have the self confidence to post pictures of themselves in their pajamas or right as they are crawling into bed, I, do not.

And I'm really okay with that.

You should be too, because I'm sparing you some pretty horrifying images.

{horrifying might be a bit strong of a word, but I can guarantee you I wouldn't be getting comments on how cute I looked, ha!}

And, since I'm already not going to have my conventional post because of the lack of picture, I think I'm going to throw the norm completely out of the window and just give a mini diatribe on what is going on this week.

32 weeks. We've been ushered into the 8th month.

8 months people!

That means Grace could be making her {safe} arrival anytime in the next 4 to {Please God, no!} 10 weeks.

Not that I don't want Grace to be safe and cozy. And I'm really not that uncomfortable (yet.) I am just so impatient to see her little sweet face and hold her in my arms.

As of my appointment a week ago, I was at 20 pounds total gained. My Dr. was happy with that, so I am too.

My appetite has waned severely over the last 6-7 days and I find myself eating my normal breakfast (oatmeal, 8 ounces of milk, and a banana or yogurt,) my stretched out lunch (I eat over each break between class a sandwich, crackers, and fruit or veggies,) but then that is IT.

I come home from school by 1:30 and I am full. To the brim. Dinner time rolls around and I am not hungry. Poor Ian has been living off of leftovers and lamb burgers for the last week.

It's been a good chance for him to clean out the fridge. And the pantry. And the cupboard.

I do usually eat something around 8 so I can take my vitamins, but a small bowl of cereal of another glass of milk barely counts as a "meal."

Other than a lack of appetite I'm feeling really good. My back pain has lightened and my sleep is still not very good but I get less distraught when I am awake all night. My belly button is still an innie and my feet swell slightly if I sit on my legs (bad habit, I know.)

On a completely unrelated pregnancy thought, my nurse handed me a kick count worksheet to fill out over this month with the directions being absurd.

Seriously, who thought of these directions?

I've been told I must lay on my left side, for one hour, after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, counting all of her kicks for that hour.

HA!

First of all, who gets with enough time to eat breakfast and then lay around for an hour before moving on with their day? Not I.

Second of all, whose great idea was it to have pregnant {read, extraordinarily tired} woman lay awake for an hour? I tried on the first day and lasted for 25 minutes before completely passing out. Grace surprised me with an astonishing 52 kicks though in those 25 minutes.

I gave up after the second day and am just going to put some, um, averages, down before my next appointment.

I'm loving the sure "One Born Every Minute," and will eagerly spend the 2.99 on each episode every week. I consider it the closest thing we'll get to Birthing Class. Did I not tell you about how we can't go to birthing class? Well, we can't. It's on one side of the border and we live on the other. And, unless we want to shell out 200 dollars in visa fees and do border runs for 4 hours every Wednesday for five weeks, we're just going to have to "wing it."

Which I'm fine with, but seeing as Ian has never even watched "A Baby Story," he might be in for a big surprise come Birth Day.

I think I officially began nesting. Ian sat back in amazement as I cleaned the entire house on Saturday, made check list after check list, and generally went non stop, all day. There's not much I can actually do on the nursery right now, but after this week we'll get to make some serious progress.

This week I finally have some distraction from all things "sitting and waiting." We have school all week long, Valentines on Monday, payday on Tuesday (important!) my birthday on Wednesday, my baby shower on Friday, and my Dr. appointment on Sunday.

Busy.

But a good busy.

I love it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lambsghetti

Ian made dinner the other night. It always blesses my socks off when he cooks for us, because it doesn't come naturally to him or easy either.

Now place him in front of a grill and that's another story.

But we don't have a grill.

So I'm out of luck.

Once a week or so though, Ian attempts dinner anyways. And it usually turns out pretty good.

This week however, it was a different story.

He made what should have been a delicious spaghetti and meat marinara dinner. It smelled amazing.

The taste? Not so great.

But I thought it was just my weird pregnant sense of taste.

Ian thought it tasted weird too.

He dashed into the kitchen and came back crestfallen.

Apparently, when stocking up on ground beef in the big city (our beef on this side of the border is no good,) he picked up ground lamb instead of ground beef.

And lamb pretty much tastes like it smells when alive.

Like wet and dirty wool.

Bleh.

And we had doubled the recipe so that we could freeze some for later in pregnancy/after the baby arrives.

We still put it in the freezer, but I have no intentions of eating it.

At least the noodles were good.

At least it's the thought that counts, right?

And at least we only have 3 more pounds of it to work through.

Awesome.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby Books and Thoughts on Parenting Styles

I have gotten the chance to read through many baby and parenting books over the past couple of months. I won't pretend to be an expert or even half of an expert, because let's face it, I haven't had to "parent," yet at all.

Growing a human may make me a mother, but I don't believe you become a parent until that moment that baby is in your arms.

So, what I am about to say, please take with a grain of salt. I'm stepping out here, stating my opinions in a public forum, but it is my public forum, so I suppose I should do this every once and a while.

Plus, in a couple of years I can either look back and say "Wow, I was really wise!" or "Wow, I was quite the idiot and didn't know what I was talking about!"

Either way, I'm okay with it, because these are some of my thoughts on parenting in regards to what is found in most baby and pregnancy books.

I think I should preface all of this by saying that I have pretty strong opinions when it comes to parenting styles. Probably more than most first time 20 something mothers.

Why? Well it's pretty simple really. I've worked in childcare since I was too young to actually hold a job. And not just in the normal babysitting capacity that most teenage girls do either.

Starting my freshman year of high school I began nannying for a family (Hi "S" family! Miss you!) What a wonderful experience to learn responsibility and dependability. I would go to their house right after my school let out, meet the young girls at the bus stop, take them home, help them with homework, feed them snack, and help them complete chores or projects for the next 3-4 hours. And this was almost always 5 days a week.

Once I could drive, my responsibilities increased and my time with the girls increased as well. I'd drive them to church and cheer practice and 2-3 times a week I would be there through dinner, bath, and bed time.

I stayed with that family until my last day of college. As the girls got older and were able to handle being home by themselves more, my time waned, but I continued to work with them, helping them pick out classes for the following year, keeping track of grades, and helping them focus on what needed to be improved. Along with my college years came their "oh so pleasant," teenage years.

On top of that, I worked for many other families, working 20-25 hours a week in high school and close to 40 hours a week during college (not counting those after the kids go to bed hours.) I loved every minute of it, and the experiences I had let me see families that worked in a variety of different ways. I saw hands off parenting styles and very hands on styles. I saw attachment parenting and I saw what I call "traditional," parenting styles. I saw discipline in many forms and I saw how sleeping habits established early on set the tone for the rest of the child's life.

And best of all, since I was with many of my families for 8+ years, I got to see what worked and what didn't, and not just in the short term. I got to see how decisions affected the children and the dynamics of the families for years to come!

Going into marriage, Ian and I would talk for hours on end of what I had seen, what I liked, what I thought worked, and what we thought would work best for us.

As we started this new job, we've got to have alot of hands on time with other young families, and as a couple we spend hours each week talking about the parenting choices we see and what the pros and cons are. We can see the detrimental effect of many parents' choices probably better than you can see when you are in the situation yourself.

All of that to say. I've been forming these opinions for years, but have also gotten a chance to "try them out," myself and have more than just my teaching background to show for it.

When we first found out we were expecting, while in Canada, mind you, we made a quick trip to the book store and bought "What to Expect When You're Expecting." After all, I had used "What to Expect Before You're Expecting," and had loved it!

This book didn't disappoint, but in many ways, I wish there could be more. More details on baby's week by week development and more images showing what is going on inside of you.

The authors take a somewhat scientific method of explaining without being too medical, and each month is broken down to a somewhat predictable pattern of information.

The biggest downside?

The information can be found, almost word for word, on the website. So, I suppose if you don't mind having the information in your hands, laid out in order, and you don't mind searching around for what you are looking for, use the website!


Source

Then, our friends here lent us a couple of books almost the moment we stepped off of the plane into the Middle East. "The Baby Book" and "Christian Parenting and Childcare" by William and Martha Sears.


Source

I bypassed the first one to first look at the Christian Parenting book.

I, of course, thought that this book would be an instant hit. I was so interested to see how a medical professional fused parenting ideas with the principles that God lays out for us in the Bible. I almost didn't look at it, after realizing that the authors were proponents of Attachment parenting (I am SO not. Not a proponent of co sleeping and attachment parenting in the main aspects it entails and have seen first hand how it effects children later on, but for more on that, please feel free to email me,) but decided to give it a shot anyways.

I become most discouraged, when, addressing opponents of attachment, they asked the question WWJD? and used Isaiah 49:15 as their evidence that this style is most advised by Christ (pp 37.)

Besides taking scripture out of context, I don't believe that asking a rhetorical question about the amount of compassion we should have for one another applies to all concepts of parenting.

Should I have compassion on my child? Absolutely!

Should I train them up in a way that involves discipline? Absolutely!

Does that discipline require making choices that may appear unfeeling (ie, letting a baby "cry it out,") in order to develop coping mechanisms?

Absolutely.

But that wouldn't back their point up, now would it?

I decided that, with their stance on attachment parenting being infused through out all aspects of the book, that this would not be the guide for me.

By the way, the verse

{15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!}

is not talking about the same thing! How would a parent ever "forget," their child, I ask? No, choosing to ignore is not forgetting, but just that, ignoring. I am not a fan of "proof texting," Bible verses to fit your agenda.

So, those books were quickly given back to the lenders. I did actually read much of them, as I think it is important to understand others' point of view and opinion, and I thought these books would be a good chance to see what they had to say, what evidence they claimed, and how they supported their parenting theory. The books had alot of good information, but I thought was very tainted by their Pro-Attachment parenting ideas that it was hard to digest one (the good information,) without the other (the pro-attachment parenting agenda.)

I had also picked this book up while in Canada. I don't know why, I just bought it and put it in our suitcase. I'm sure I've seen it on dozens of bookshelves in homes that I have worked in and I suppose I wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

Source

I loved it. Thought not a complete "parenting guide," I thought this book was perfect for first time parents of an infant. It complimented what I already believed in though, so that is probably why, ha!

Ian and I had already decided we would be raising our children much like our own parents raised us. They raised us in Christ centered homes that honored God first, respected and cherished their spouse second, and had the children at the focus of things lastly. I think this hierarchy puts things into a balance that teaches children early on that they are not, indeed, the center of the universe.

So, the book is claimed to be much too rigid for many families, but I did not take that away at all. In fact, I thought it needed MORE step-by-step, minute-by-minute information, but overall I liked what it had to say.

Teaching your baby how to sleep is of up most importance. Teaching our baby the basic coping methods (how to self soothe, how to calm self, how to relax into sleep,) is very important to us and this book uses actual research evidence to back their claims. Though I think everything should be taken in moderation and flexibility, I love the ideas presented in this book and we will be much more "scheduled parents," than parents who rely on the "demands," and whims of their baby (and later child.)

I will definitely be giving this book another read as we approach my due date (9 weeks! Ahh!) and will have Ian read it over as well. It recommends giving the book to grandparents or other adults that may be around so that they understand what you are doing and why you aren't running in to soothe baby at every whimper, but, after all, this book could have been written by our parents, ha, so I don't think they'll be needing it.

I do wish that we could get it translated into Arabic for our childcare workers that we'll be using later on, ha! (This culture is VERY attachment parenting/demand feeding/co-sleeping type of culture and the children and babies are NO fun to be around, let me tell you.)

I also have read a pregnancy book that breaks it down week by week, which I really liked, but I thought that beside the baby's development the information seemed rather unorganized and out of place at times.

Anyways, that's it! We're very flexible people and we know that every parent chooses to do things for certain reasons. I just believe that some choices are more thought out and deliberate than others, and some consider things further down in the future than others do. I've seen the repercussions of certain parenting choices and they break my heart. I'm sure we won't be perfect parents, and I'm sure some young teenage girl will see us in the future and think "I'll never do THAT!" But that's life!

I hope I didn't step on too many toes, but I'm so glad we have a community where we can respectfully talk about our opinions in such an open way!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Princess

Amidst all of the talk of Egypt, the protests, the violence, the fear, my heart weighs heavily for two things.

One, is for the people of Egypt. Normally known, amongst Arabs anyways, as the happiest of people, you will rarely see one without a smile on their face. Ian and I often can guess a person's ethnicity as Egyptian only by the fact that their grin is from ear to ear. Fear and questions are reigning their life right now and my heart cries out for them to trust not in the government but in the Prince of Peace and the security that He provides.

Two, is for our friends that are workers in Egypt. They have been evacuated to surrounding countries but their hearts remain in Egypt where the people they love remain. Please lift these workers up in your prayers as they struggle with relocation and possible reassignment.

I thought it might be the perfect timing, when so many people are trying to understand the Arab mind, culture, and values, to bring up a book I have read recently.

Well, first, let me preface this by saying I have a TON of books I can recommend to you on this subject, but my favorites are probably "Honor and Shame," and "Foreign to Familiar." I would recommend these to anyone who was coming out to visit us because they are short, sweet, and get right down to the point of what these cultures are based off of.

However, this new book I have read was so intriguing, that despite its title, "Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia," by Jean Sasson, Ian read it as soon as I finished.

Source

The book is non fiction but written in an easy to read narrative form and recounts the childhood and adolescence of an actual Saudi Arabian princess.

I'll warn you now. Life is not full of bon-bons and tiaras. The book is dark. The book makes you squirm. The book might even make your heart break for all that she and other women like her have gone through.

The redeeming factors remain in the fact that the book sheds light on a lifestyle that millions of women live every day. "Princess," challenges you to think through concepts that are probably foreign to you, such as early marriages and unequal punishments for men and women for the same misdeed.

The book also give you a good look at Arab history and day to day life that will widen your understanding of the world and the cultures that are not ours.

There are two more books that follow the first book, further looking at her married adult life and then the life of her daughters. I definitely want to read them but have chosen to wait a while in between before tackling them. Like I said, they are dark and they are not something you flippantly read in an afternoon then move on to something light and fluffy. It takes awhile to process and think over, but I definitely think it is worth the time and effort!

This book should widely be available in your area bookstore (or, at least it was when I worked in an American bookstore 2 years ago.)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Detailed Post that May Bore You....

I don't usually do step by step or super detailed posts about doctor visits or other baby related things besides my "weekly," baby updates.

And really, it's been closer to every three weeks, ha!

Today however, I have baby Grace on my mind.

We had our 30 week check up across the border and our early morning started even earlier with me waking up around 5:15. I would have been annoyed but I realized that what woke me up wasn't an AC going out or our bower failing (it's happened,) but instead it was a feeling in my stomach that I could quite place.

But, about 3 seconds later, it dawned on me.... she was hiccuping!

All of the books say I should have started feeling the hiccups around 22-24 weeks, but here I was at 30 weeks and 3 days and hadn't felt a one yet. These were clear as day and lasted for about 4-5 minutes.

We groggily got ready for our day and hit the road to stamp out of border #1 (35 minutes away,) then drive back to border #2 (right by our house, so another 35 minutes,) to stamp into the country that has our modern hospital.

We almost got turned away at border #2 because the border guard didn't think we had valid exit stamps from border #1, but we found them and showed them to her (I never get a girl guard!)

Turns out they were just really, really lightly stamped.

But they were there! So right through we went and we even had enough time to stop at the McDonalds there (no McD's on our side of the border so it's a super special treat!) Ian got 2 "sausage," muffins and I got a hash brown. I say "sausage," because it is a Muslim country so there aren't pork products for sale in restaurants so it was probably beef. Or something else.

But it tasted delicious.

On to the hospital I went. Ian drops me off and I enter the women's clinic (no men allowed there!) all by myself. I grab a number from a machine and sit and wait in waiting room #1 until the cashier calls my number up, checks me in, and takes my deposit for the visit (about 50 bucks.)

Then she gives me a new number and I go down a long hallway and sit in waiting room #2.

I wait for my number to be called again, and then I go to the triage area where a nice nurse takes my temperature, weight, blood pressure, and has me do the oh-so-glamorous part of pregnancy where you get the privilege of peeing in a cup. I get it tested for sugars and then am given a 3rd number and sit back in waiting room #2 until my number is called again.

This time (and right on my appointment time too, so punctual! they have you come in 1/2 an hour before your appointment time so that all of those steps can be finished.) I am whisked into my Dr.'s exam room where we have a nice chat about the wind and sand storm that we are in the middle of.

He tells me my weight is right where it should be, reminds me of a vaccine that I will have to get right after Grace is born (apparently my MMR vaccination isn't at acceptable levels. Who knew?) and talks about the pain medications the hospital offers.

I'm pretty excited about the fact that "happy gas," is an option. Happy gas and I go way back to my MANY dental extractions as a child. It works wonders on relaxing and calming me and it doesn't require numbing of your lower extremities. He talked a little bit about how the best patients are ones who come in with open birth plans instead of ones on either extremes of the spectrum ie: must have an epidural right away or no pain meds-whatsoever.

Luckily I'm a pretty "go with the flow," kind of girl and have learned to become really flexible and to lower my expectations on this side of the world.

He measured my belly and listened to the heartbeat (which he said was PERFECT!) She's still laying side ways but he assured me that we still had 5 1/2 weeks for her to flip until he would look into external methods of moving her. YAY!

He ended the appointment by saying that my pregnancy has been picture perfect so far, and that as long as I take my vitamins and be mindful of my food intake and exercise he doesn't predict any preventable problem. Double YAY!

Ian (who had been reading in the men's waiting room,) and I went to a local mall to pick up birthday presents for two kids we know then tried to track down Grace's coming home outfit. We were pretty unsuccessful at that, but were able to pick up 2 crib sheets and a mattress protector for 14 bucks total. Score.

We drove on over to another mall and treated ourselves to Chili's. Burger for me, quesadilla for him. Then we hit the western style supermarket downstairs in order to stock up on hard to get items such as beef (can only buy it there!) healthy cereals, and canned tomatoes.

We sighed a big sigh of exhaustion then headed to the border in order to tackle the great border headache of 2011.

We are supposed to go back through border #2, stamp out, and then drive 35 minutes to border #1 and stamp into our country where we live, before driving 35 minutes back the same way to our home. Confusing? Yes. And a big pain in my pregnant butt.

Sometimes however, the border guards don't care and don't make you stamp out of the country where our hospital is. They let us right into our little town while staying on the wrong visa.

And that's what happened today! It will make for a headache in the next week or so when we have to make a border run just to get on the correct visa, but today, all we needed was some rest, so we came right home and collapsed into bed for a 2 hour power nap before going to a 2 year olds birthday party.

I told you it was detailed.

And I also warned you it might bore you.

At least I'm honest, right?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Irony Is...

Irony is:

Sitting in an Ikea (Sweedish,) in the Middle East, listening to 'Party in the USA.'

Surreal.

Irony is:

Realizing that your first visitor to your new country and home won't be your mom or sister, your in laws or best friends. Oh no, your first visitor is going to be our Norwegian house guest, Svein, from what can only be dubbed as my favorite blog post ever.

Humorous.

Irony is:

Being on a visit in an Arab home, with the ladies watching Oprah (on a rape case, nonetheless,) listening to it in English while a sister translates it all into Arabic for the rest of the family.

Awkward.

Irony is:

Cleaning your house from top to bottom (finally!) getting it vacuumed, mopped, laundry all done and put away, kitchen scrubbed spotless, etc, only to have a sand storm blow in the next day and have "desert intrusion," in your home, ie sand blowing in through cracks you didn't even know were there. I have a sand print from where I put my book down on our end table for an hour.

Annoying.