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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

20 Weeks



It's hard to believe that this pregnancy with baby girl #2 is more than halfway done! I'm technically 21 days and 4 days now- running a little behind on this update but that seems to be the status quo on life lately.

I've said it before and I'll say it again....this pregnancy is SO different! Although I had already "popped" by 16 weeks, I've really gotten bigger in the last 2 weeks. I am so shocked! I'm only wearing maternity pants now and am often in maternity shirts as well. 

This past month we found out that the baby is (probably) a girl! We don't have a name picked out yet and, honestly, we probably won't for a while. Ian also felt her kicking for the first time about a week ago. So sweet!

Speaking of sweet- that's exactly what I've been craving. Sweet and cold things- ice cream, cold fruit, cereal w/ milk. I can't get enough of it all. I actually made Ian go get me watermelon one day because that was all I could think about!

Symptom wise, I've had alot of heartburn, charlie horses in my legs at night, nausea, (still!) fatigue, acne.

I also had my first moment of, um, shall we say "emotional instability." But let me give you some background. At our language school there are students from all over the world. With my first pregnancy I quickly learned a thing or two about a certain Asian culture. Almost every day, my classmate would  come up to me and tell me how tired/sick/pale I looked. She would ask me "How is your fetus?" or she would point out my pimples. Awesome morale booster for a pregnant woman (or any woman for that matter.) But I recognized the fact that it was a cultural difference and that she was really trying to show her care and concern.

Fast forward to this semester, with this pregnancy. I have a different classmate from the same Asian culture. She comes up to me in between classes and tells me I look awful.

EVERY. DAY.

I groan inside as I see her approaching and I try to distract her or slip away before she can tell me that I look like death. 

A week or two ago she asked me about a single pimple on my forehead. I told her that it was considered rude to ask about that, and we moved on.

Two days ago, I had no such luck. She cornered me. Then, she took her hand and TOUCHED a pimple on my face and was about to touch one on my chest when I just lost it. I grabbed her hand, and shoved it back to her and told her that it was very rude to do that, that I was not sick, and that breakouts in pregnancy are normal. I walked away very angry.

I ended up apologizing to her the next day. She's my mom's age and I just kept thinking "I would be so angry if someone talked to my mom like that!" She understood and said that she was just trying to show she cared.

I'm looking forward to: Figuring out where this little baby is going to call "home," after she arrives, deciding her name, designing her nursery!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fun in The Sun


alternatively titled: "how I became a little less ghostly white"

We celebrate Memorial Day weekend much as many Americans do every year- poolside.

We drove about an hour away to a seaside town where we visited a hotel's pool. For the price of a lunch we could use their pool for the day, and in 110+ degree weather, any way to beat the heat is better than none. This pool was covered with sun shades and was empty for the entire day! Our friends the H family and us had the pool to ourselves.

My little family loves the water so much and Grace was just beside herself with glee. She sat on the steps playing with some toys we had brought, floated in her baby float, or swam along beside us. She's gotten pretty good at kicking her legs and reaching forward. She doesn't mind getting her face wet and can blow bubbles in the water. I need to keep working with her at floating on her back- she's got the "scared turtle" syndrome, and freaks out if you flip her on her back!

 We paused only long enough to eat our lunch before diving back in. This picture is a VERY typical facial expression from her daddy's side of the family. Cracks me up.

Grace (and us) loved spending time with her "uncle" B and "aunt" A. She lights up whenever she sees B and will often choose to go to him rather than us! 
 "Happiness is a Sunny Day," reads her rash guard, and I couldn't agree more. Even though we live in the desert and have (I kid you not,) 365 days of sunshine a year, because of the oppressive and dangerous heat, I maybe have spent 10-15 hours total outside in the last 2 years year. Seriously. Not counting the time it takes to walk to and from a taxi.

Being from the Sunshine State, and also, you know, being human, I crave the sun and have been loving the time outdoors we have had in the last month!

 Our afternoon was cut short around the five hour mark because I ran out of swim diapers. Mom fail. I forgot that I hadn't put her in one for the drive to the pool and only packed two. It was a perfect time to leave though, as we all got hungry and thirsty, and we got home in time to skype with Ian's parents and put Grace down at her normal time. Our success of the day? NO one got burnt!

Friday, May 25, 2012

It's A.....

You know that this is our second child by the fact that it is four whole days after our gender ultrasound and I'm just now getting around to posting about it. Not that this baby is any less important than our first, but life moves at a different speed right now (ie warp speed, or the speed of light,) and most nights I stare longingly at my computer, willing it to make the jump from the table to me on the couch.

It never budges and nor do I.

We called and told both of our moms when we got home and I sent an email to my sister who is currently traipsing through Europe but that about ended out announcements. We, of course, told our friends here and they shared in the joy with us, but it was much more casual than with my first pregnancy.





On Tuesday,  May 22nd, we went in for our in depth ultrasound. We only had to wait about 20 minutes before being seen. The ultrasound tech chatted with us for a minute while she did the first set of measurements and smiled when I gushed in a hushed whisper "I'm so excited, it's like Christmas!"

I made Ian and I both say what our guess was (we both thought Girl,) and I texted my friend A and asked for her guess (girl as well.)

The tech finished up and said, "Well, there's a chance it's a girl!" And walked out.

We sat baffled, wondering what that meant.

Shortly after, the radiologist came in and began the LONG ultrasound. The picture was blurrier than any ultrasound I had seen, and we both got bored staring at the non descript, fuzzy lines. Finally she turned off the machine and was about to leave when the tech reminded her we were waiting on the gender.

"Well, I can't really be sure because it wasn't very clear, but my guess is it's a girl."

And that was that.

We talked for a minute with her and the tech and they advised trying again in another month to get a clearer shot. They both were pretty confident that it was girl but didn't want to say with certainty.

So, we decided to go with it, since we already have girl things and are designing a gender neutral nursery anyways!

It's a Girl!

(until otherwise noted!)

We're so excited to have a little sister for Grace. I had one sister growing up and that bond between sisters is so special! I'm so ready to see all the similarities and differences between the two and to nurture their relationship over the years!

Sugar and spice and everything nice!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Wadi, Wadi


 We rang in the weekend with a quick trip out to the local wadi (technically it means valley, but in this case it was a water filled crack in the earth.)

The last time I went out here, I was three months pregnant with Grace, and now here she is, enjoying the beautiful scenery and splashing in the water! Funny thing is, I remember trying to very careful about where I navigated in the wadi last time since I was pregnant, but I wasn't even showing that time!

 We had our weekly small group on the shore line, eating bread and studying Jesus and the Loaves and Fishes, then splashed into the cool water of the oasis to watch a dunking of a new believer.

 I had a hard time navigating the rocky bottomed water without my shoes and ended up staying near the edge of the water with my camera. Ian and Grace splashed in the water with the other dads and kids and then we all sat down for a picnic on the shore.

 I dried off my babe and snuggled her close, thankful that the wadi provided a respite from the 110+ heat. It was the perfect way to start our weekend!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Highs and Lows

I'd say this was a "Weekend Rewind," but as it's been ten days, it's more like "half a month rewind."

Ian had to go out of town for an 8 day business trip. Boo. We met up with him that weekend though as Grace and I were desperate to get away from home.

My small bag packing idea made it easy to get to things, but was a pain dragging everything out to the car and up to the 19th floor.

Grace spent the weekend charming strangers, sleeping in the bathroom, and teething like crazy. She's gone from 2 teeth to 10 in a month!

We spent the weekend with our friends and loved sharing life with them for a couple of days. I really need to splurge and buy a point and shoot because I didn't take any more pictures of that weekend!

We went here for an afternoon:

 and did a little of this:
It was amazing and I can't wait to go back. It was, however, our first time doing a theme/water park since Grace was born and it is a TOTALLY different experience than when it was just the two of us! Not to mention the fact that it was 110 degrees after 2 pm, and that she couldn't go on any slides with us....

We went with our friends and were able to take turns watching our girls and going on slides, but I think that the optimal setting would be for 3 families to go together so that you could go off two couples at a time and get to see and do more! Grace and her friend Lucy had a good time splashing around in the kids area and non of us got burnt, which was quite the feat!

That weekend Ian and I also got to go on a little date and saw The Avengers, we ate at various delicious restaurants, and went swimming at a hotel!

Grace and  I returned by ourselves and waited for when Ian could return (his return date was a little unclear.) He finally got his new visa and his passport back and was able to come home!

We celebrated by.....

GOING GROCERY SHOPPING!


I know, this does not sound impressive to most people, but this is Lu Lu's, our town's first grocery store. And also our town's first chain store.

I was the lady weeping over instant oatmeal.

And sobbing over canned tomatoes.

And I might have gotten sniffly over frozen brocolli.

If only I was kidding.


 Previously, our little "gift market," had a produce department that was the size of my couch. There was only one brand of bread and you could tour the entire store in about a minute flat. The new store is MASSIVE. (I know, I'm going a little crazy with the all caps, but you have to understand me on this one.)

There is a bakery.
And a meat department.
And a deli.
And you can buy food already prepared.

It's totally rocking my little world.

And now I can slowly un become a hoarder. It's baffling. I don't have to buy eight cans of tomatoes "just in case they aren't there next time." I don't have to buy every type of baking item because "I never know when I can get it again." I can buy frozen foods, because I don't have to make a trek with it across over international borders!

And now, we are back in our little routine. Going to language school, spending time with friends, studying, and living our normal life. We are down to less than 4 weeks left of language school and can not wait! I can't believe we have almost made it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Rewind


I'm linking up with Tami this week!

Little Moments Like This


This past weekend wasn't an exceptionally exciting one, but a sweet time with my family. We ended our week feeling exhausted and stretched thin.

Usually we go into a weekend with planned events and a to do list, a mile long, to accomplish between moments of relaxation. This week however, I surprised Ian (and to be truthful, I surprised myself too,) by saying I had nothing on my to do list- just relaxation and a chance to unwind.

Thursday- The start of our weekend begins Thursday after school gets out. On Thursday nights we have our house group fellowship, and this week was our monthly potluck. I was in charge of the main course this month but because of my stressful week, I decided to make chicken salad and egg salad the night before and take that as our main course. Alot simpler and less impressive than some of our dinners, but I felt it was a necessary weight off of my shoulders.

The chicken salad was amazing (recipe to come,) but I didn't feel like tasting the egg salad (eggs are a definite food aversion lately!) I kept saying to myself "I think you are forgetting something." But besides the bacon bits, which I didn't have, I couldn't think of what it was! Five days later and it dawns on me... I forgot the mustard. And the seasoning. And the onion.

Yeah, so it was basically hard boiled eggs and mayo with some diced peppers. Not my best moment. I'll blame it on the pregnancy brain.

Friday- We did nothing on our first full day at home. Seriously, nothing. I got up with Grace and let Ian sleep in and when she went down for her first nap two hours later, I slept too! During her next awake period, we cuddled, read, and played until her second nap time. By that time, I was bored with the TV and since we are 8 hours ahead of the east coast, nothing was going on in the internet/blog world.

I decided to tackle a premoving project. I hadn't wanted to start on it so soon because we still have 1-2 months until we move and I am afraid that once I start purging, cleaning, and packing, I won't want to stop, leaving our home feel like a transition place for several months. Plus, I really want to stay focused on my language learning for the remaining time, so I am trying not to think about the move.

All of this to say, I was so bored that I was able to tackle this project in just an hour or two. I was able to purge and organize all craft and office supplies in our apartment into one packing trunk, organized our packing trunk of holiday supplies, and cleaned up our front room, which had acquired a bunch of trash.

I spent my evening in bed after skyping with my Mom, Grandma, and Aunt, and began reading a new book. I don't think the book is a winner, but I will give it another shot.

Saturday- Grace slept in a little bit and then we both got up. We watched her new dvd of Little Einsteins together but I was bummed when I realized that the copy we bought over here is the British version. Not that I don't love hearing a cute British accent, but Grace could possibly face enough language confusion and delay already because she is being raised in a bilingual environment, I didn't want to introduce another accent and vocabulary set to her. Bummer.

We had run out of milk and diapers so Ian, Grace, and I went on a walk right at noon to a grocery store. Bad idea. It's an Arab summer right now, and our temperatures on Saturday were over 110 degrees. HOT. It's like opening an oven and sticking your head right in it.

It wasn't a long errand though and we came home and laid on the cool tile to try to lower our temperatures. Grace was stripped down to her diaper and drank her juice before going down for a nap.

I tackled another project by going through our desks and bookshelf w/ a drawer. I purged a bunch of old papers, magazines, and outdated cords and discs, made a stack of books to give away, and sorted some important papers.

Sunday- We got up early, took Grace to daycare, and made a trip across the border. Ian had to turn in his visa paperwork and has to stay over the border until it has all been processed. Boo.

I made the drive back by myself, but first made a pit stop at my favorite mall. The maternity store was having a big sale and I bought two new t shirts. I really wanted a swim suit and a pair of capris, but the prices weren't reasonable so I walked away (yay me!) and bought myself a cheeseburger, which I had been craving and crying about for over a week, ha!

I made the long drive back by myself, picked up Grace from daycare, and was told that she had slept the entire day. My afternoon nap plans had to be thrown out the window as she was wired and only took a 30 minute nap. She was really fussy (molars are coming in,) and hard to entertain, so around 5 we headed to the grocery store to get out of the house. My friend, A, called and invited us over for Brinner, so we went straight there. I had a quick skype call with my parents and enjoyed some time with my friends before coming home, talking to Ian on the phone, and putting Grace down for the night.

I watched New Year's Eve from iTunes but wasn't thrilled with it. Lackluster is how I would describe it and I won't be renting it again soon.

It was a longer than normal weekend, since I had to miss school to take Ian over the border, but a good weekend with plenty of family time. I'm looking forward to this coming weekend as we have a getaway planned and it puts us that much closer to the end of the semester!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

{I}

{I} finally have glasses again. The last pair I bought was in my freshman year of college. And though they were a great pair, for the last year they have only had one arm and have sat haphazardly on my face. I'm glad to have a new pair again.

{I} wish I could be with my Mom, Grandma, and Aunt today, as they are all together. My grandma is having a procedure and I wish I could hold her hand and give her a hug. It's been two years since I've seen my family and I love and miss them so!

{I} think that repelling out of a hovering helicopter doesn't sound scary at all. I'm just saying.... I'd do it in a heartbeat. You're attached to a rope after all, and it's not like your body weight is going to bring down the chopper, right? Now, try to talk me into skydiving and that's another story. Though, oddly enough, it is one of my life goals, I'm just terrified of jumping out of a plane!

{I} have less that 28 days of school left until I am done with the full time Arabic language program. I'm pretty proud of the progress I have made and the level I have achieved despite dealing with culture shock, pregnancy, being a new mom, and, oh yeah, pregnancy again!

{I} thought about getting a blog makeover, but I really wanted to keep the layout and background. So I suppose I just wanted to change the header and the sidebar details but I will have to wait until after language school to tackle that project. I've had this design for so long though, that I'm having a hard time letting go!

{I} kept myself up tonight, despite being tired, because going to bed at nine o clock seemed like such a waste of a quiet evening. Grace was sleeping, Ian was entertained, and if I went to sleep, I might never get the chance to do whatever I want again this weekend!

{I} wept openly this week when I had a pregnancy craving for a McDonald's cheeseburger. There is a McD's just 5 miles away, but is unfortunately on the other side of an international border.

{I} can't get on pinterest with out getting nauseated with morning sickness. Something about all of those food pictures just do me in.

{I} am having a slight media crisis- I want new tv shows (downloadable off of itunes,) and a book series to read (fiction, funny, not crude or involving any sort of marital infidelity.) Anyone have any suggestions?

{I} really need a vacation. Can I get an Amen?! We're not going to get one this year, but I'm holding out hope that we can get a night away at a hotel sometime in the next 4 or 5 months. *Sigh* I really love hotels. I'm not sure where that stems from, but it is how I am re energized and rejuvenated. I'd also really love a (real) massage. I've heard those are re energizing and rejuvenating too, but I wouldn't know, as I've never had one! One day!