29 November 2010

Monday of the first week of Advent

I am desperately looking forward to Christmas, just so you know. I love the holidays. I love themes, I love cooking tons of delicious food, I even love getting together with family and friends on holidays, despite my rather anti-people personality. (I always thought I wanted to spend the holidays with just Matt and I, but after spending a year and a half missing tons of major milestones, I realize how incredibly important family and friends are). I think there should be a holiday celebration every month and I have decided that I will find one once we have kids. I want to keep holidays traditional; on Veteran's Day, I'll tell my kids stories about their Great-Grandfathers and we'll color paper flags and visit Veteran-related Memorials, and it will all be quite delightful.

Anyway, I am super-excited about Christmas Eve, which, for us, begins Christmas. My husband would prefer to wait until the 23rd to decorate for Christmas, whereas I'm ready to start decking the halls by the first of December. We usually find a compromise somewhere in the middle. This year, we compromised by agreeing to decorate the Saturday after his finals end (the 12th). I have since turned it into a Christmas Decorating Fiesta, for which I will make a variety of delicious cookies, for most of which I found the recipes in this magazine, which retails for $10, despite what Amazon thinks. We will put up our 7ft Christmas Tree, which we got for 70% off during this year's Black Friday shopping. (I also now promise to stop including nonrestrictive clauses introduced by which, which I somehow managed to use either as a pronoun or an adjective five times in a row).

I am so looking forward to Christmas especially because I need a distraction. I hate my job, I always feel so sick, and I am Florida-ed out. I want to go home. I want to feel my nostrils freeze together. I want to sit in a snow suit in the middle of 3 feet of snow and stare at the white sky. I am also trying to be incredibly positive and happy because I am hoping that it will make up for the fact that we usually hit 4 family-based Christmas parties in Michigan, not to mention company parties and friend parties. Instead it will be just the two of us trying to stretch the excitement from Christmas Eve to Christmas, which all of our Christmas decorations fitting into one medium-sized Rubbermaid tote.

PS, at least I get to listen to "O come, O come Emmanuel" early. It is my favorite Christmas song, but Matt continually reminds me that it is an Advent song, so he doesn't mind me breaking it out the day after Thanksgiving.

28 November 2010

The first Sunday of Advent

Well, I wrestled my way through Thanksgiving, managing to both cook something edible and not throw it back up, so I'm counting the day as a victory. The apartment is clean (thanks more to the hubby's generous mercy than to my will power) and each day that I've had off, I've taken an afternoon nap, which made me feel INFINITELY better and made me bitter against my employer that I can't nap everyday. I am officially half way through my 13th week, which, according to What to Expect When You're Expecting, is the final week of the first trimester. I have my heart so set on the nausea disappearing by Christmas that if I doesn't happen, I'll be so completely crushed.

We are about to embark on the final week before exams and, I have to admit, I'm impressed at Matt's quiet determination in completing his homework. He of course has his weak moments when ESPN's basketball update sounds significantly more appealing than his 40 page paper, but for the most part, he just sits in the dining room/study working away. Last year, I remember significantly more panic.

In other news, there are scary, giant, purple storm clouds off to the east and, according to the Weather Channel, headed in our direction. Hurricane season technically ends Tuesday; is this the weather's final hurrah?

23 November 2010

Visitors

I don't think I've really ever talked about having visitors on my blog before. Everything I could think to say was very obvious and I didn't feel like I had any new insights. Visiting family and friends is enjoyable, obviously; it's also a sacrifice because we have to take time off from work and school/studying, it disrupts our schedule, and depending on where our guests stay, also costs us space and food. Those are all things that people who have visitors deal with, whether or not they are in law school. Anyway, it is something that I do want to address, so I thought I'd give a brief history then bullet point a list of the ways in which visitors most impact us.

    History:

So far we've had my parents visit twice (once right after we moved down last August and again last weekend), and Matt's sister (this most recent August). My parents had a car and stayed in a hotel. Matt's sister had no car and she stayed with us. Recent prospects include my sister and Matt's parents, both of which are thinking late December, but neither of which have made any commitments.

    Impacts:

One really tricky thing about having visitors is finding enough fun things for them to do. Naples really only has a lot to offer if you want to drop a few hundred dollars a night. Our family and friends don't. We take them to various parks, beaches, and the zoo, but depending on the time of the year and the interests of the visitors, such activities don't last the 5-7 days that guests usually stay. I created a Florida Visitor's Guide which outlines 17 things for visitors to see/do. Not everyone wants to do everything, but they usually find enough to give us at least one thing each day.

Being pregnant really changes things. I get too tired and nauseous to spend all day with our guests. I also have no energy or stamina to make them dinner.

Because we only see family and friends VERY infrequently, it is EXTREMELY nice to see a familiar face. We didn't realize until we moved down here and didn't have the opportunity to see family for the holidays, how important it is to go to all those family parties that we used to roll our eyes at.

On a more humorous note, it is a lot of fun for us to see how our guests react to the weather down here. Watching my parents in shorts and t shirts when it was in the 70s or watching Matt's sister melt in the 90s made us realize how adapted we've become. From there on out, it was just fun to tease our guests about the sunny heat.

20 November 2010

The 2L Summer Situation

A lack of nausea and open windows with a nice 83* and only 38% humidity gave me a burst of energy to clean the unbelievable mess that has become my apartment. Between the two of us, we did the dishes, straightened the apartment, did the finances, did the great summer to winter clothes switch-out (I also pulled out some clothes that are already beginning to feel tight), cleaned the bathroom and started the laundry. That is the day thus far, although the laundry won't fold itself and if I don't go grocery shopping soon, we're going to be eating tomato soup and rice for dinner. It feels soooo good to feel normal, if only for an afternoon.

We also took a short walk this morning and discussed the whole pregnant in one state, birth in another issue. The gynecologist's office wants us to pre-pay a portion of their services for the delivery, but if we aren't going to give birth in Naples, then we don't want to pay, so it got me realizing that we can't just wait until we hear back from an internship before we begin planning. We're open to going anywhere in the country, but we would prefer to return to our home state of Michigan or stay somewhere in Florida. Talking and thinking about it started getting me anxious about the situation again. I started remembering all the complications we have to deal with. But I/we realized something very simple that made me feel a lot better during this discussion: we can get a storage unit and pre-pack slowly. I was seriously concerned that 2-3 weeks before my due date that I would be packing up our apartment. But then it dawned on us that more than likely, we'll end up either 3-4 hours away or 2-3 days away. Either way, we'll probably put most of our stuff in storage in Naples. (There is a very slim chance that we'd end up within an hour of our apartment, but it is not very likely). Anyway, this means that come spring, I will be able to slowly pack up our belongings and place them in storage at my own convenience. We also discovered we're both totally okay with leaving most of our stuff here and buying cheap stuff from Target to get us through (stuff like dinner plates). Since, at most, we'll only be gone for 12 weeks, it seems very foolish to uHaul everything we own to a new location, only to bring it right back. I know this is a really small, simple thing to realize, but it really calmed me down once I thought of it.

17 November 2010

Pregnant in law school, pregnant at work

We're winding down to the end of the semester, but it hasn't really sunk in yet. We've got Thanksgiving next week, then the following week is the last week of class. Two week of exams will bring us to the half way point in law school. I'm looking forward to that point. Matt has yet to go into panic mode, but I think that will come with Thanksgiving.

We don't have any big holiday plans. I have to work Wednesday, Friday and check messages on Sunday. (With a schedule like that, I can't believe I work in a real estate office). Plus we won't have any family in town. I guess it's all for the better, though, because I am too nauseous and fatigued to cook and clean.

Being pregnant and dealing with law school is a breeze. We can schedule doctor's appointments during days/times when he doesn't have class, so he can be there. It does kinda stink that we can't spend more time together in the evenings since he's studying, but that's about the gist of the negative.

On the flip side, being pregnant and dealing with work is a nightmare. I am so exhausted by the end of the day that I hardly have enough energy to cook dinner. On photoshoot days (which are 11 hours long instead of 13 thanks to daylight savings time), I feel just about dead. I am going to talk to work about taking 1/2 days when there are photoshoots scheduled; I simply don't have enough endurance to last that long. I haven't done the dishes in a long time (which is kind of okay because I haven't really cooked in a long time either), I haven't vacuumed in forever, and I can thank Matt for getting the laundry done. I help him fold it, but even the thought of leaning over the washer and drying makes me queasy. The other day at work I was doing something monotonous, so I busied my mind planning the perfect day out if I could stay home instead of going to work. Let me tell you, it involved a couple of naps : )

In the non-relevant world, we had our second doctor's appointment today and we got to hear the baby's heart beat. I also found out that I am 12 weeks along tomorrow.

07 November 2010

Early November

Sorry I have been MIA, I have been too tired and nauseous to do much of anything other than sleep. The dishes, laundry, and vacuuming is all piling up, and although Matt does pitch in when he can, school does come first and he's got a couple of rough drafts due. This year's exams will be more papers than tests, which should make the weeks leading up to exam time more stressful, but the actual week of exams will be a little bit easier, I hope.

I think we're finally adjusting to the Florida weather, now that we've been here for one year. A cold front came through and pushed the highs down into the lower 70s and the lows even into the mid 50s. Matt and I are cold. I was cold in my t-shirt yesterday afternoon. We've been walking around in hoodies and sweatshirts. I think what makes us different, however, is the fact that we are enjoying the cold. Most Floridians are grumbling and complaining, but not us! We gladly sit outside in our sweatshirts and enjoy the weather. The draft is expected to push through early next week and we'll see highs returning to the low to mid 80s. A lot of people out there will probably read this and be filled with jealousy, but I think the situation would be different if they lived down here 24/7. We like the cold, the fall, the changing leaves. We love our winter coats, winter boots, cute winter scarves. We didn't even notice Halloween because it still feels like summer down here.

And although it definitely doesn't feel like Thanksgiving is a mere 2.5 weeks away, I need to start thinking about how I'm going to pull it off. It'll just be the two of us, like it was last year, and although I love cooking and baking and made almost everything from scratch last year, I have concerns about whether or not this nausea will prevent me from doing much preparing. I think this year, we may end up eating more stuff made from a box than we did last year.

In terms of baby news, I'm entering week 12 here, still super nauseous and fatigued. I also have about a million more issues, but I'll refrain in case someone else out there is considering having a baby. I bought my first pair of maternity jeans yesterday. They are SOOO much more comfortable that my other clothes. I am getting to a point where clothes are starting to get uncomfortable in the waist area. I bought a BeBand, but it doesn't work as well as I'd hoped. I think I'm still a little too small for it. There is not really much maternity stuff in this town (where the median age is 61), so I also bought some clothes online from Old Navy (which has a GREAT maternity selection, if you ask me).
I recently hit my one-year mark at work, although it feels like much longer, especially since getting pregnant. Aside from cracking jokes, telling stories, and giving advice, nothing has changed. I am starting to assert myself ("Can someone grab that box of magazines when they're over at the front desk") and trying to alleviate stress ("I am too swamped today and I won't be able to get to this project, do you think you will have sometime later today?"). Matt and I also talked about ways to handle my very stress-inducing boss. There is one other coworker who has been particularly sympathetic and I'm hoping she'll stay in my corner once I get a little more pregnant.
There's a lot more, but then again, I could write another blog about being pregnant. Anyway, the time change has bought me a bit of time, but now I need to get ready for church.

01 November 2010

Florida v. Michigan

I promised juice soon and today's the day I deliver.

Hokay, so,
background point 1: Matt talked to a career counselor at school who advised him that it is significantly easier to get a job in Michigan after he graduates if he gets his second summer internship in Michigan. Which means, we'll be working our behinds off to get him an internship in Michigan this summer.
Background point 2: My due date is somewhere between May 22-June 2. We explained the situation to our doctor who advised us not to travel one month prior to or one month after my due date. So, from approximately May 1 to June 30, I should stay in one place. Friends of ours who traveled within the Forbidden Time confirm this advice.
Background point 3: Matt's finals are two weeks long in early May.

Possible Solutions:
1. I go to Michigan before May 1. By myself. And hope I don't go into labor early. Matt arrives after his finals.
2. I stay in Florida for the birth. Matt goes to Michigan after finals. He flies down for the birth (hopefully making it on time). He goes back up and I join him in July.

Complications:
-How will we prepare a nursery? Buy everything and drive it up to Michigan? Buy everything and ship it up to Michigan?
-Is that even physically and emotionally possible, to wait until 3 weeks before I am due to give birth to start setting up a nursery?
-Do we rent a furnished apartment in Michigan? I don't want to be sleeping on someone else's mattress for an entire summer.
-We have one car. If I take it to Michigan, how does Matt get around in Florida? If I leave it here, how do I get around in Michigan? Do we rent a car for a few weeks?
-Should I fly at the 8th month of my pregnancy?
-If I do drive up (either in my car or a rental), do I really go alone? Driving 2-3 days alone, 8 months pregnant, staying in hotels alone?
-Can Matt take off a weekend to drive with me to Michigan a week before his final exams?
-Michigan is a big state and there is no guarantee that we'll end up near family.

You get the picture. That times about 100 more things keep running through my head. If you've been with me for any length of time, you've probably realized that I'm a planner. I can't stand not having every minute detail planned out to the nth degree for Plans A-F. I have been learning throughout this process of law school and growing up that there are about a million things you can't plan however, and instead need to depend on God. Right now I am depending on God by not thinking too hard about it. (Who knows, maybe there aren't any internships to be had in Michigan?). Later I will depend on God by praying my brains out for guidance and direction.