Archive for June, 2010

June 7, 2010

Another New Addition?

Tonight John and I added a new addition to our home.  Something we’ve been thinking about for a long time.  And we’ve been waiting for just the right moment to bring it into our lives.

Seeing as I’m already pregnant, what could possibly require so much consideration, take such planning, and cause such a great deal of anticipation?

Did we finally find a way to grow that herb garden I wanted in our kitchen, until I realized that our kitchen doesn’t really have a window, at least not one that gets any measurable amount of sunlight?  No . . . Hmm, well then a puppy, perhaps?  No, we don’t really want a dog. . . . Oh, maybe a cat?!  Wrong again, my friends.

I am delighted to share that tonight, on this somewhat random Monday night in June, John and I have become the happy owners of a brand-new Nintendo Wii.

John’s family has a Wii at home and his roommates had one at school.  In my experience, it seems to me to be the most accessible system out there.  You don’t need to be any kind of a gaming whiz to get involved, and it’s a really fun way to engage the whole family (or the whole dorm suite) in a shared activity.  Honestly, I don’t know very much about the science or art of gaming or how the technological specs of the Wii stand up to other systems.  But I do know that the Wii is just about always a good time for whoever wants to play.  And that scores high in my book.

Due to some misunderstandings of cryptic non-clues about John’s Christmas gift this past year, he thought I had gotten him a Wii.  Oops.  Then he thought maybe my parents got him a Wii.  Second oops.  None of us were planning that, and that he might have figured that from my attempts to conceal my real gift (a day of skiing or snowboarding that we never did because we learned I was pregnant soon after Christmas), never even crossed my mind.

Since January, then, we’ve been talking about getting a Wii but we never really had a good reason to go out and do it.  For the past few months, John’s been studying for a big exam, so adding a potential distraction to the picture didn’t seem like a good idea.  The test is over now, though, and with John’s birthday and his first Father’s Day coming up in the next few weeks, I figured we should make it happen pretty soon.

Tonight on the way home, though, John suggested making a quick stop in at Best Buy before I even had a chance to put one of my celebratory plans into action—and with good reason.  The new Wii package comes with a new game and a new motion-making something-or-other that attaches to the controller.  Seeing as we’re going on vacation with his family next week, and will likely bring a Wii along, this is the perfect time to upgrade and have a new game to play.  That guy is a genius, I tell you.  Simply a genius.

So tonight, on a somewhat premeditated whim, we did it.  We bought a Wii.  Now if I can wake John up from his nap on the couch, we might have a chance to use it!

June 6, 2010

So, What Is It?

The number one question people ask when they find out I’m pregnant is whether the baby is a boy or a girl.  When I answer that we don’t know, inevitably the number two question is whether we’re going to find out.  That these are the most frequently asked questions is not a surprise, of course.  But how common a certain response is certainly has been.

Excepting the kind folks who want to start dressing our baby right away—and do not want to be restricted from purchasing gender-specific clothing—most everyone has reacted beautifully to our waiting-and-seeing.  A couple of people have told me that this is one of the very few real surprises left in life; someone put it even more powerfully last week, when she told me that it’s the only surprise where either result is good news.  What a wonderful way to think about it!

I’ve always known I wanted to be surprised, at least with the first one, and I was so happy when John said that’s what he wanted, too.  But the reactions I’ve had from other people—wow!  I didn’t realize how consistently radiant people’s smiles are when they’re talking about new babies, even when they barely know the parents!

Now I do honestly mean that every time I have this exchange with someone, I am reminded of how truly blessed I am.  My hope in people and their values is renewed, and that’s a great thing to have happen about three times a week, on average.

But at the same time, having the same conversation over and over again can get a little . . . tedious.  So I’ve started coming up with new ways to answer these questions in order to amuse myself, while still getting my point across.  Unfortunately, I’ve quickly realized that what I think is funny after having the same exchange fifty or sixty times is rarely amusing to someone hearing the news for the first time.  Rather than deny anyone else the unobstructed joy of hearing about a new baby, I thought I’d better share my thoughts here.  Maybe then I can go back to a big smile with a cheerful “We don’t know, and no, we’re not going to find out.” Period.

A week or so ago, someone asked me, “What are you having?” I tried to say, “Well, so far we know it’s human.  You know, not a dinosaur or an alien or anything.”  I got a very strange look.  Definitely not using that one again.

For most of my pregnancy, when someone asks me, “Are you going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl?” I’ve answered, “Not until it’s entirely obvious.”  A little over the top, a little too clever, I know.  Can I blame it on hormones?  Or just an over-active sense of sarcasm?

Wait, it gets better (and by better, I mean worse). I’m now a month and a half past the typical date for an ultrasound wherein the gender could be revealed.  I understand that many of the people I talk to don’t know the general timing of things, plus I’m sure lots of doctors do things differently.  But lately when people ask me if I’m going to find out, I tell them that that time has passed, that ship has sailed.  Again, a bit harsh, but to look at me, it’s quite obvious that I’m pregnant.  Even if you don’t know the timing of things, mightn’t one figure that if I wanted to know, I’d know already?

I guess not, and I know I can’t really blame anyone.  I still can’t look at a baby and tell if it’s three weeks or three months old!  I’ll chalk this up to another humility check and a reminder that we’re all somewhere unique on our journeys, whether or not they involve children.  And boy (or girl!), do I have a long way to go.

June 3, 2010

Take a Step Back to Take a Step Forward

Tonight, after having been married for an official eight months, I have finally done it.  I’ve chosen the photos for our wedding album.

As much as it’s been weighing down on me as something that needs to get done for, I’d say, the last seven months, I’m glad there was some distance between the event and my choosing the photos (I say “my” only because John has been super busy studying for a CFA exam on Saturday, so we agreed this sorting and choosing task would be mine).

With some time to let my memories settle in, it was nice to go back and see different angles of my favorite moments of that day.  I’ve ended up making two albums—one is from the professional photographer and the other, a combination of photos from friends and family.  As excited as I am for the professional album to be an important part of our family history, that collection doesn’t really capture our friends and all that they added to our wedding.  We needed a lot more room for that!

By setting up a Shutterfly account and inviting (nay, insisting!) anyone with a camera to upload their photos, I have an eyes-everywhere scrapbook of the days leading up to the wedding—cooking dinner at my parents’ house Thursday night, the girls getting our nails done on Friday, the rehearsal dinner and dancing at the bar afterward—as well as the moments the professional photographer couldn’t be there for on the big day.  Like when one of my bridesmaids’ shoes got too wet in the grass and started bleeding dark blue/black ink all over her foot.  A couple of the girls then cleaned it off in the little sink in the bridal suite, but those shoes will never be the same.  Or when one of my cousins told me she was terrified by the way one of my friends (who will remain unnamed) dances.  Both her look of shock and his antics are captured in the same frame, and while it’s not the classiest photo around, it’s certainly one of my favorites.

In going through both the professional and the not-so-professional photos, I found a bunch of shots that I don’t remember noticing the first time I saw them.  There’s one of my parents and brother chatting between being in the receiving line and going back into the church for pictures.  And another of one of my bridesmaids and me belting “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” at each other (a moment I’d been looking forward to for a long time!).

I am blessed to have many wonderful people in my life and to have these tangible reminders of how amazing that day was.  Filled with joy, filled with love, filled with promise!  And two-thirds of a year into my first year of marriage, I can feel confident saying that our relationship is still all of those things as well. In the midst of a busy couple of weeks at work, the beginnings of back discomfort due to the Peanut, and a ton of decisions left to make in the next few months, I am grateful for a happy reminder of what it’s all about.

I leave you with my favorite wedding picture, one John’s cousin took as we offered flowers to the Blessed Virgin Mary as we asked her to bless our marriage and our family.  (Prayer answered!) Amen!

October 3, 2009

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