Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The things people say

The "glowing" face of pregnancy.

First off, let me say that my husband has accused me of neglecting my blog. He apparently doesn't know what's going in my world if I'm not writing. My apologies, but I wasn't in a great big hurry to recount to you all the miseries of pregnancy's glorious first trimester. To sum it up: aching back, headaches, morning sickness, evening sickness, random crying, cravings, and one episode of hitting my husband with a water bottle. Don't worry, he didn't suffer any ill effects, unless he strained himself laughing.

And now, to start you off, I'm going to link to one of my favorite blogs. Go. Read it. But don't get lost over there, because it's very possible to do so. Be sure to come back. :-) I'll the way, I'm comment #125.

Reading Ree's blog this morning plunged me deep into thought. Why do we say these things? And I'm far from perfect. I haven't made her particular blunder, but I've certainly had my share of moments where I wanted to sink down into the floor. And thank you, Ree, for reminding me of all the blogs I've wanted to write about this over the past few weeks. I'm just now finding the energy again.

Ask before you rub! This is me and Feisty. She lovingly invited to rub the belly for pregnancy luck, and it completely worked.

I've been getting pregnancy comments from everyone, most of which are very welcome and appreciated. I am completely in love with the girl at my uncle's birthday party who, upon hearing that I was not only pregnant, but constantly nauseous, recommended some Preggie Pops, which is morning sickness candy. I love hearing the congratulations and the "you're glowing" comments (thank you, Ericka, for actually being the only person to say that). I even love being told that I'm going to be a great mom, mostly because sometimes I have my doubts.
And in a case like Ree's, I even found it adorable when my grumpy grandfather put a hand on my belly and asked, "You carrying twins in there?" Though it prompted a shirt change.

This is the only man who can get away with twins comments, got it?

But I am really self-conscious these days. I had joined a messageboard of pregnant women who were all due the same month as I am. It was all going well until someone started a post asking if anyone else was losing weight. What started out as her being concerned turned into a line of responses bragging about how much weight each of these women had lost! Responses ranged from a couple of pounds to 15! I felt so discouraged, because I've gained a portly 3 pounds. Then a woman had the audacity to say (and I sort of quote, but not really), "There's NO reason for ANYONE to have gained ANY weight in their first trimester."

Um, excuse me? Didn't I read somewhere that in women of normal weight, a gain of 3 to 5 pounds was normal? And that any weight loss isn't exactly ideal for that baby?

Now I understand that morning sickness can make some women lose weight during the first trimester. I've heard a lot of horror stories, and was fully prepared to be constantly ill. But I consider myself lucky that I've been able to choke down meals and hold down my prenatal vitamins. It involves holding still and waiting for the room to stop spinning each time I take a bite, and trust me, I've fallen asleep on the bathroom floor more than once. But I sucked it up, which doesn't mean I'm stronger or more determined than other pregnant women. It just makes me darn lucky that I wasn't so severely ill that I couldn't eat. Really, really lucky. So lucky that I've been able to gain that completely healthy three pounds. But try telling me that on a fat day.

The other series of thoughtless comments have come from, *GASP*, my husband himself. I'm calling the poor guy out here, and fully invite him to defend himself. Let me preface, he's been 95% wonderful. He goes to the store almost nightly on his way home to fulfill my cravings, rubs my feet and back, makes a ton of grilled cheese and chocolate milk, and puts me to bed everynight when I start to hunch over the computer. But that last 5%?

-"Wow, you look really pregnant today!"
-"Between your big hair and acne, people are going to think you're a pregnant 12 year old."
-"Is that your boob all the way down there?"

Now, I know he means well and is trying to commisserate with me and make me laugh. But there's a difference between me saying these things, and him saying them. When I joke about them, I'm voicing my own insecurities and looking for reassurance (which he's good about, I swear, when he's responding to me). But the out of the blue comments? OUCH! And he learns his mistake pretty fast when I burst into tears. Ugh, I hate hormones. Hate hate hate them.

He's a wonderful husband. He's going to be a great dad. Unless we have a girl, and she gets to be a teenager and asks, "Dad, do you like my new haircut?" And he'll make her cry. Just you wait. :-) But I love him.

Today's lesson: Have you ever heard that you should think about what you're going to say for 10 seconds before you say it? Well, the pregnancy book my husband is reading told him to wait 45 seconds just to be safe. I think it's pretty sound advice for anyone!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Unexpected end

I have pictures of our days in Rome.

I have pictures of Vatican City.

And I have pictures of the Colosseum.

I even have pictures of the Trevi Fountain.

But of all the photos from Rome, my favorite was not one that I took.

And it was a complete surprise. I'm due in February.

Today's lesson: It's not original, and it's not witty. It's simple.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If I didn't miss my husband, I'd never leave Santorini

Can you even describe it?

We wandered the narrow streets, surrounded by white washed buildings, only to find that the best view was just outside a dress shop. What a lucky shopowner.

And the second best view was from the restaurant where we had orange Fanta, pasta, and moussaka.

Then we wandered the streets, eating gelato.

Today’s lesson: They say you can’t go home. The truth is, you can go home, but you can never go home the same person you were before you saw true beauty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I need a day off!

Karalyn and I spent this cruise running at full tilt. Touring ruins, mostly, in the summer heat and humid air. The jet lag was still kicking us over a week into our trip, and the ports were starting to run together in a blur. So it made me happy to realize that in my foresight, two months ago, I had planned for this burnout.

We spent three hours at Tsambika Beach on Rhodes. I tried to stay fully covered and under my umbrella, but it just got too hot and the water was too inviting. I don’t swim. I am ridiculously afraid of water. But Karalyn got in first to prove that you could go out for yards and never have it touch above your waist. And it was so clear and calm that you could see the little fish swimming around your toes in the soft yellow sand. Magic.

Today’s lesson: Even in the midst of a vacation, sometimes you need a vacation. Don’t feel like you need to see it all. Sometimes skipping what’s considered “important” can prove to make you appreciate the places you visit even more.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I lied.

I have seen someplace more crowded than the Acropolis on cruise ship day. And it is Kusadasi, Turkey.

I’ve actually been here before, toured the exact same places. I wanted to share them with my sister. But the last time I came was in November, a year and a half ago. It was winter, and freezing, but the spaces were empty and wide open, and I was free to explore without getting elbowed and smacked in the head.

Our first stop was the house of the Virgin Mary. This is the home in Kusadasi that the Vatican recognizes as the place where Mary spent her last years. It’s a bit of a pilgrimage for some Christians, and the first time I went, I was touched by being there.

Not so much this time, as it took standing in a line four people wide to get into the tiny house. Nightmarishly hot outside.

But this time I remembered to bring a tissue, because next to the fountains of holy water is a wall of wishes. You write down a wish on a tissue, think of your wish while you’re praying in the house, then go down the hill and tie your wish to the wall.

And then it was on to Ephesus. Where Karalyn got to see this.

This is a carving of the goddess Nike. For those of you who have known me awhile, you know we had a Great Dane growing up who was named Nike. She was the best dog we could have had, especially after the long line of bad luck we’d had with puppies. Nike lived a long and happy life, but my sister had to put her down not long ago. Our beloved dog lives in my mother’s curio cabinet, as they had her cremated so she could be with them no matter where they move.

Karalyn saw a couple of Nikes on this trip. This one. And the one in the museum at Olympia, which they wouldn’t let her pose with.

Nike was the goddess of Victory. But our Nike was the victorious one, making us fall in love with her after so many bad experiences. She is truly missed.

Today’s lesson: It can sometimes take traveling halfway around the world to finally come full circle and close the doors on your grief.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More pictures of the happy ruins girl

See this rough sea? I thought we were going to die a horrible, salty death.

Ok. So it doesn’t look as bad as it actually was. But we were soaked from the waves by the time we came back from Delos. And my sister? So excited by the wind and sea that she was narrating video as the ferry back to Mykonos slammed up and down. Except I don't have the video. I just have this fantastic picture of her laughing at me as I grip the rail of the boat for dear life.

We spent our day in Mykonos 22 km from the actual island. There is a tiny island called Delos that was known as the birthplace of Apollo and his sister, Artemis. It was also the center of trade and commerce in the Mediterranean during the years before Christ. There are ruins. So of course, Karalyn was in her element.

You’ll notice there are no pictures of me in this port. That is because in all the photos my sister took, I am an unsightly shade of seasick green. But the ruins were breathtaking, and completely worth the treacherous boat trip.

Today’s lesson: The journey may not always be pleasant, but it is quite often worth it. Even if you come back covered in saltwater and terribly seasick.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Because you'd have to be crazy...

…to tour Athens when there are half a dozen cruise ships in port.

What a mess touring the Acropolis. I’ve never seen so many sweaty tourists in one place. Except maybe Disney World.

We eventually escaped the madhouse and went shopping in the huge flea market in downtown Athens, called the Plaka. And while we were there, I found happiness and air conditioning.

Today’s lessons: No matter how far away you are, the comforts of home are a true blessing. Even if it is just a cold smoothie in a Greek Starbucks.