Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Week 27

So, last week was my final week of work.


(Insert a very pregnant Sarah doing her own celebratory version of the dance in Slumdog Millionaire)

It was a little bittersweet to say goodbye to all my coworkers but I'm so looking forward to this next stage of our life...and you know lots of naps. ;)

Two Downs:
1. I've been having a lot of rib pain. One morning I woke up and swore the baby used my left rib as a pillow all night long.
2. As we're packing and getting organized, I get frustrated with how limited I am. Not that I'm looking to haul stuff up and down the stairs but still.

Two Ups:
1. Several of our friends have sent us children's books off our Amazon Registry and Nicholas has been reading to baby every night. All the books are so sweet and it's so awesome to think about reading to her once she's actually here.
2. I am still feeling really good and am hoping I can stave off the uncomfortable stage for a few more weeks.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Oscars

Our good friends Alice and Chris came over last night for the Oscars. We had a great time watching the ceremony, although all of us were getting way tired by the end. Overall, I thought the show was fine - not too many surprises, but I really enjoyed some of the changes like all the former winners talking to each nominees.

But now to the fun part!

My best dressed was Anne Hathaway. I just thought she looked pitch perfect from the gorgeous sparkle of the gown to the understated earrings. I just loved it.

My worst dressed was Jessica Biel. Her hair looked sloppy and the dress was a disaster.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top 10 Top 10 Lists Everyone Should Make: 6-10

So found this in my work files as I was wrapping up and decided I'd finish them up all at once. :)

Top 10 Presidents
1. Abraham Lincoln – no contest!
2. FDR
3. George Washington
4. Thomas Jefferson
5. Teddy Roosevelt
6. Harry Truman
7. John Kennedy
8. Andrew Jackson (on entertainment factor alone)
9. Bill Clinton
10. Barack Obama (I’m feeling optimistic)

Top 10 Songs That Address The Topic of Love – This was definitely the hardest to make.

1. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes

This is also the sweetest video EVER. If you watch only one of the ones I've posted, watch this one.

2. The Luckiest – Ben Folds

3. In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel

4. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

5. Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

6. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green

7. Dimming of the Day – Bonnie Raitt

8. Ordinary People – John Legend

9. Open Window (The Wedding Song) – Sarah Harmer

10. Shania Twain – Still the One

Top 10 People You'd Most Want to Meet (no, not him. living people.)
1. The Dixie Chicks
2. Gayle King (I’ve already met Oprah) ;)
3. Tina Fey
4. Julia Roberts
5. Justin Timberlake
6. Kate Gossling
7. Sarah Jessica Parker
8. Barbara Kingsolver
9. Michael Pollan
10. Dolly Parton

Top 10 Band Names
This is impossible because I honestly do not even think about a band’s name. I don’t think I’ve ever said, “I love the band name!” So I’ve decided I’m going to let my friend Leslie, queen of obscure bands, fill this one in in the comment section.

Top 10 Moments of Joy To Experience Before You Die

1. I think I’ve got a major one coming up around May 18 ;)
2. And related to that – first words, first laugh, first steps.
3. A winning election night
4. My 50th Wedding Anniversary
5. Skydiving
6. Standing at the top of Angel Falls
7. Watching my children graduate/get married/ have kids of their own
8. Publishing a book.
9. Speaking in front of a crowd of thousands
10. Being a guest on the Oprah Show.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Week 26

We had a really great week. The highlight of my week was the Lincoln ceremony (see below) but overall we've just been getting ready to go. We started packing this weekend and put a real dent in it I think. We also continued the Lincoln theme and went to see the "With Malice Towards None" exhibit at the Library of Congress, which was fantastic.

We had a lovely Valentine's Day - although I have to say for any of you doubting how seriously takes spending money, I think you'll understand after this story. We had had reservations at the French restaurant up the street from our house for a week or two. Nicholas had scoped out the menu and we were both really looking forward to it. However, when we showed up, we realized there was only a limited Valentine's Day three course menu available for $65. Well, let me tell you, Nicholas balked. He doesn't like feeling like he's being taken advantage of at the best restaurants but this place is French bistro - nothing spectacular. So, we turned our happy butts around and went and had sushi instead! It was a little disappointing at first but I think we did the smart thing in the end. Plus, we still had a really lovely Valentine's night out.

Two Downs:
1. I had a midwife appointment this week and they totally freaked me out because she measured me about 3 weeks ahead according to my fundal height. I made a huge mistake of googling what this could mean before consulting my fellow preggers and freaked myself out even further. Apparently, this is pretty common but I'm going back in two weeks just to see if there has been any change. Also, I have low iron and have to start taking iron pills. Boooo!
2. I've started having Braxton Hicks contractions. While they don't hurt, they are uncomfortable and can make breathing difficult depending on my position.

Two Ups:
1. I passed my glucose screen! Take that gestational diabetes!
2. I still haven't gained too much weight and it's all in my belly. No fat face here!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The 200th Birthday of our Greatest President

Today was the Congressional Ceremony honoring the Lincoln Bicentennial. As a self-professed "Lincolnite," I was honored to attend the ceremony and was particularly excited when I found out our current President would be speaking.

It was a pretty profound experience to be sitting in the Capitol Rotunda with the President of the United States listening to the National Anthem. Not surprisingly, in his remarks, President Obama touched on Lincoln's gift for empathy and desire for reconciliation after the Civil War and the lessons we can take away from that today. I was particularly touched by his remarks because it is not only my favorite aspect of Lincoln's character but also what I find most appealing about our current President - that drive to unite us under a common goal and point us towards our better instincts as a people.

There was a long list of other speakers on the program, but I have to say I was most excited about Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitizer Prize winning author of the famous Lincoln biography Team of Rivals. She only spoke a short time but I was able to introduce myself afterwards and tell her how much I loved her book and how it really sparked a deep affection and curiosity for old Abe. The funniest part was I was clearly not the only fan because a group of 6 or 7 Senators gathered around her aftewards like a bunch of groupies.

All in all, it was a pretty fantastic experience and it made me realize how much I'm going to miss the opportunities D.C. affords me.

Metro Angel

I do believe the pregnancy gods heard my plea about Metro seat rudeness.

This morning Nicholas and I stepped onto a semi-crowded train. I was looking around for a seat and telling Nicholas that I wanted to sit down. I thought one guy saw me but I don't think it registered. Then all of a sudden this older woman is snapping her fingers in his face, "Dude! Get up and let this lady sit down!"

It was amazing. I think the guy was still about half asleep, but he hopped up and offered me his seat. I thanked the woman profusely. Not only had she gotten me a seat, she had made my entire morning.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Week 25

So, remember how over the past couple of weeks I kept reporting that we didn't have too much going on?

Internet, I might have been telling the tiniest of fibs.

Turns out we do have a little bit to report. Mainly that both Nicholas and I have quit our jobs, we sold our condo, and we're moving back to Kentucky! And y'all thought getting pregnant was our big news! ;)

Actually, getting pregnant was really where all this started because Nicholas and I never really had aspirations to raise our children in D.C. If being pregnant is this hard, I can't imagine how hard actually taking care of this little being will be and I have absolutely no desire to do it while working at a demanding job with no support system in place.

So, after much discussion and maybe a little bit of convincing Nicholas (who is notoriously risk adverse), we decided that Nicholas would start looking for a job and we would see how things went. Well, the universe definitely agreed with us that we belonged back home in Kentucky because this fabulous job basically fell in Nicholas's lap. Still we had the major hurdle of selling our condo in a less than great economy. Apparently, we wasted a fair amount of mental energy worrying about that too because we got an offer after about 10 days.

We close on March 5th and then we're loading up the Uhaul and headin' to Kentucky!

Two Downs:
1. I'm starting to really resent people on the Metro who look straight at me and don't offer up their seat. Even if I don't actually need to sit down, it really pisses me off.
2. I am so over my winter maternity clothes. I'm tired of wearing black.

Two Ups:
1. Eight more days of work! Wooty woo!
2. I ordered a bunch of spring maternity clothes off Old Navy that I'm totally pumped about. :)

Friday, February 06, 2009

So, it was only a matter of time before the cameras started rolling. Nadya Suleman, the now infamous mother of brand new octuplets, did her first television interview with Ann Curry after being released from the hospital.

It has taken me several days to be able to discuss this woman and her current situation rationally. To be honest, I have a pretty visceral reaction to huge families no matter how the children are conceived. I truly feel that at a certain point (let's say double digits) there are more children than there is time in the day to meet their emotional needs. Childhood is precious and finite. As an only child, I grew up having a large community of adults loving me unconditionally and meeting whatever needs (not wants) I had in pretty short-order. As I quickly approach motherhood myself, I cannot express in words what a blessing it is to feel completely and totally validated as a child. I was never told to take a backseat and I never felt ignored, even for a moment.

Did I feel misunderstood at times? Of course. Did I get everything I ever asked for? No. However, even if I felt like my parents and I were on different planets, I always knew that in that moment they were willing to drop everything and at least listen to me. In a family of 10 - 12 - or God save us - 14, that is simply not a reality. The logistical reality is that raising that many children takes up almost more hours than there are in a day.

Now, most of you know that I am a huge fan of Jon and Kate + 8, which might seem a bit hypocritical. However, the crucial difference to me is that Jon and Kate did not choose their current situation. They had twins and decided to try one more time. Now, they knew that there was a small chance of multiples and they accepted that risk. What I appreciate the most about them is when they got struck by lightning and fell in that tiny percentile, they were VERY honest about how devastating it was. They accept that in some ways their children, particularly the twins, will suffer as a result and they face it honestly. Most importantly, they STOPPED. They don't act like more kids is always better and they realize their own limitations.
Which leads us back to Ms. Suleman. This was her SEVENTH fertility treatment. The fact that she already had six children and decided to take that risk and put all of their fates in the balance seems completely irresponsible to me. In the best of circumstances, one has to know that each treatment increases the chances that this time you will get struck by lightning.

Of course, her specific circumstances are what make Ms. Suleman infamous as opposed to in pre-production for her own TLC show. She claims in the interview that people are reacting so strongly because of discrimination against single mothers. First, I am not completely convinced that the public's reaction wouldn't be just as strong against a couple who had six children and continued to get infertility treatment, because I know mine would be. But the fact that this woman is single, unemployed, and living with her parents and chose to have another round of treatment is the height of irresponsibility. I think a single mother of one child would tell you those circumstances make raising a child incredibly difficult, much less raising fourteen. She also claims in the interview that after she finishes her degree (which I'm not sure she'll have time to do with fourteen kids) she'll be able to provide for them all. But again, she seems to have a warped since of reality. She is pursuing a masters in psychotherapy. In order to become a psychotherapist, who do make good money, she'll need to get her PhD and then take a LOT of clients in order to provide financially for fourteen kids on her own. Not to mention, making enough money to be the sole provider for fourteen kids will leave almost no time to be their primary caregiver.

However, while I feel like a lot of the public outrage is on her lack of resources, I personally would be just as outraged if she was married to Bill Gates. If you want to see how consistent I am, I suggest being in a room with me when a commercial for 17 Kids and Counting comes on. I honestly don't care if you can perfectly provide for all their physical needs. The truth is if you really loved children that much, you would improve the lives of the ones you already have. I think the reason I have such a passionate reaction to Ms. Suleman and others like her who claim that their desire for large families is based on a love of children or some sort of selfless instinct is because I don't believe them. I think the real truth is that they are making these decisions for incredibly selfish reasons and to meet their own personal emotional needs. Unfortunately, long after we've forgotten about Ms. Suleman and the cameras have stopped rolling on others like her, the children are left living with the repercussions of those decisions.

Update: It just keeps getting worse.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Week 24

We had a pretty uneventful week. The baby is cooking away. We took this weekend to go to the Museum of American History to see the new First Ladies exhibit and the temporary Abraham Lincoln exhibition. We also got to see the Star Spangled Banner. The line was crazy long when we went to the unveiling a couple of months ago. However, this time we got through and I have to say they've done a fantastic job. I rounded to corner to see it and burst into tears. I didn't expect it to be that powerful but it truly was. Unfortunately, Nicholas had to skip out to go to work after the First Ladies but I enjoyed Abraham Lincoln immensely. I also got to go to The Butterfly Conservatory, which was overwhelming and gorgeous. The butterflies were everywhere. They even have to check you before you leave for "hitchhikers."

Two Downs:
1. I think my pregnancy heater kicked on.
2. Getting up is getting difficult.

Two Ups:
1. The baby is moving so much. She seems particularly active for Nicholas...already a Daddy's girl I suppose.
2. Got more awesome stuff off craigslist for the cheap! A My Brest Friend for $15 and a Snugglenest for $30. ALSO, somebody (whoever you are - thanks!) bought the first thing off our registry. It TOTALLY made my week. An unfortunate side effect is now I check it obsessively to see if anyone else has bought anything. :)