Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hot Summer Day

Sprinkler in the Sun

Late July in Texas puts me in the mood for 70s psychedelic rock from San Francisco. Or perhaps less obscurely, some Cuban music magically transplanted from 1950s Havana and a mojito in a glass dripping with chilly condensation. Or maybe more honestly (and more pregnancy-friendly than the mojito to boot), just really good air conditioning.

Probably nobody but my dad recognizes that song, but I know we all can agree that temperatures above 100 degrees make for steamy hot days. It has been a pleasant surprise to realize that it is already the end of July, however, and that the hot weather doesn’t stretch out too interminably before us. There’s August, then September, and then in October it will start to be pleasant again. Moving and unpacking and being pregnant have made this summer just fly by so far, and I don’t imagine my perception of time is going to really slow down anytime in the near future. Probably not until I hit about the 34-week mark of pregnancy and start to moan about how I have been pregnant FOREVER and how I cannot be convinced that I will not continue to be pregnant FOREVER into the future. By that time it will be November and the weather here will be downright brisk and lovely; I will be able to enjoy it thoroughly as time creeps tediously by and I convey the enormity of my belly around.

Speaking of pregnancy, I am 18 weeks pregnant now and although I hesitate to mention it out of fear of angering whatever minor Greek deity might handle us pregnant types, I think I may have finally turned the corner and started to feel better. The past 4 days or so have found me with much more normal levels for a human of energy, good cheer, and stamina. Grace woke up on the early side this morning so I feel like I could benefit from a nap this afternoon, but in general I am feeling so much better. And in just 3 weeks or so we reach the exciting milestone of finding out the baby’s sex! Even more importantly, we’ll get a really good look at the new baby and get to check out how he or she is developing.

I am a little surprised that I have started feeling better, although that sounds weird. For a while there, I just thought this was going to be how this pregnancy felt for me-- no typical 2nd trimester buoyancy and renewed vigor and joyous appetite and all that. I am quite happy to be wrong. I get the impression that these last 4 months have made Rob averse to the idea of a 3rd pregnancy for us; it has been pretty miserable at times and Rob has had to pick up a lot of slack. Stopping at two biological children isn’t an idea that’s a huge surprise or disappointment or anything for me. Although we’re not ready to make any definite decisions, we’ve often talked about pursuing adoption as a way to grow our family. On the other hand, the adoption process might not leave me in any better emotional or physical state than a pregnancy, from what I understand. We’ll see...

As the temperatures outside rise each day, we’ve taken to playing in the water. It’s amazing! Water cools you down! We can all thank that high specific heat capacity and high latent heat of vaporization. There is a fun sprayground in our neighborhood (must upload some of my own pictures...), and then of course the low-fi option of the sprinkler in our own backyard. I really should get a little pool for back there as well. And what I REALLY want to do is go swimming in an actual pool, but my plans for this are hampered by my lack of a maternity swimsuit. My search is hindered by my concurrent desires to not spend more than about $40 (swimming season is only about another 8 weeks, may not be pregnant again, etc) but at the same time not wear something that makes me want to weep. I am actually working on sewing one right now. This may sound like crazy talk, but I am a pretty prolific and serious sewist so maybe it will work out. If so, we are hopping in the car and heading to a delightful afternoon of splashing in the cool turquoise haven of our neighborhood pool.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required

It seems we can no longer make a move without a marathon trip to IKEA. Whatever would we do if we moved to a city without one? This time around, our purchases included big shelves with doors for our master bedroom, a dining table (since our other one, which belonged to Rob’s grandmother, won’t fit in our smallish dining room), desks for the computer and the sewing machines, a piece of furniture for the TV and associated electronics, a dresser, and a big-girl bed for Grace. We told her what it was while Rob was putting it together and unprompted by us, she decided to try it out. Well, sort of.

By the way, check out Grace’s awesome purple room. I love how that paint turned out, as well as the robin’s egg blue in the living room and the lime/grass green in our bedroom. I am so addicted to bright paint colors... My only fear is that my house will come off as some kind of clown residence, but really, that possibility isn’t enough to dissuade me from picking all those lovely vibrant colors. Hopefully more pictures of the house will appear as it gets put together.

We’ve been spending a lot of energy putting things together lately. In the literal sense, there was the huge pile of IKEA furniture. Rob and I have become wise in the ways of IKEA since our first purchases there when both still single and in school. I remember how mysterious the almost-text-free instructions seemed at first, but now we expertly tell each other, “Find 6 of those tall turn-y things.” I still feel for the little confused man in the directions, though. I’ve been there, little cartoon man; I’ve been there.

Poor confused IKEA man...

In a slightly less literal sense, it seems like lots of labor is going into “putting together” our home in general-- organizing cabinets, finding places for the mish-mash of belongings floating untethered around the house, connecting up the TV/entertainment set-up, setting up my sewing workspace. I haven’t even begun to hang anything on the walls, although I hope to begin that this week. We do have most of the boxes unpacked. The only room with boxes still in it is the room that will belong to the new baby, and that includes boxes of things to be craigslisted/freecycled (yes, we somehow managed to move things halfway across the country and then decide we don’t want them) and the huge mountain of Grace’s outgrown clothes. I am considering not even addressing that particular task until we find out the sex of this new baby. What will I do with all of them if baby #2 is a boy?!

Unfortunately, things in our house have not just needed putting together but also repairing. Last weekend our air conditioning broke. In 95+ degree weather, that is something you really notice! Fortunately, it was fixed pretty quickly; we were only without AC for 18 hours or so. We had one miserable night but then they popped a new capacitor in and it is back to making our home livable. Then this past weekend, our garbage disposal and dishwasher both stopped working. It’s somewhat ironic because the lack of disposal and dishwasher was one of the things I was most bemoaning about our subleased apartment in New Haven, and here I am back to washing all the dishes by hand. Anyway, we are really glad we had our sellers pay for one of those home warranty thingies and Grace and I are sitting around today waiting for a plumber and an appliance repair person to come. In my more melodramatic moments, I am tempted to rend my garments, gnash my teeth, and demand to know why things keep breaking around here.

In the most metaphorical sense, we are working on putting together what will be our new life here in Dallas. As we find our way around our new area of town and locate the grocery store, the park, the place to buy dog food, I keep thinking about what our years here will be like, who our close friends will turn out to be, what will be our favorite places to go and favorite things to do. It feels good to be taking these steps toward being settled; I think we are well on our way to being home.