This morning we outfitted the condo with its first ever Christmas tree. It was a bit of a yuppie-fied ritual, if I do say so myself. We make the very arduous 3 block trek (in our car) to 11th and Overton where there is a Pearl Christmas tree lot and found a small tree for our place. We bought a few basic ornaments and a stand at Fred Meyer and hope that over the years we will build up an actual collection of ornaments. Now all our place needs is a menorah! (Will come in good use for next Hannukah, at least).
This is a week late but, oh well! Last weekend we had a wonderful, friend and family-filled Thanksgiving. We started off the weekend of festivities with a bang at my best friend Jane’s house for a Hannukah latke feast with the Tuckers.
Thursday morning we went on a short hike in Forest Park with the Bachhubers and the Rellers (with a warm stop at Starbucks first). The afternoon and evening was spent with my mom, grandparents, Uncle Ben, et al at mom’s house. It was a feast of epic proportions, it is just unfortunate that my stomach is shrinking considerably. After dinner we had a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit.
Friday we headed to Rockaway and spent the day and night with my dad, aunt and uncle, cousins and more. Lucky for us, my aunt and her sister are from Columbian, so we got a homemade pallella for dinner (Spanish, not Columbian food, but it was still zesty and delicious!). The house was full so that night Daniel and I spent the night at the Bachhuber’s beach house.
Saturday morning was lazy and wonderful. We got breakfast at Bread and Ocean and then went for a long walk on the beach, with coffees in hand. Nothing like the beach to relax and unwind after an action-packed couple of days. We headed home and I spent some time with Jane before she headed back to Virginia.
At “Witches.” Pre-hike…. Freezing!!!! Umm… I’m not sure why we didn’t get a better picture of Thanksgiving dinner. This is Daniel testing out his panorama mode… Saturday morning walk on the beach. Making good use of my new Hunter boots! 25 weeks pregnant!
All’s well on the home front! Not a lot new to report, except for lots and lots of kicks! The major milestone this week is that Daniel felt her kicking two times. I thought they would be too small or soft for him to feel, but he did feel a few.
I have also continued to have very vivid, weird dreams. For example, last night I dreamed that I had a sort of entomology cabinet in the condo with some butterflies, caterpillars and a large cockroach (all dead) pinned inside so that they could be displayed. One day the bugs came alive and unpinned themselves and suddenly the cabinet door of my entomology cabinet would not close anymore and the cockroach unpinned itself and came out. It skittered around the condo and I freaked out and tried to kill it. Then it went underneath a cabinet and I lost it from view and tried to follow it into the bedroom to kill it without getting too close. I couldn’t find it and was getting more and more scared. Then I went back out to the living room only to find that the entire house was covered in cockroach eggs, they were even spilling out of the drawers and kind of buzzing about on the floor. It was more like a nightmare. Then I woke up and thanked higher powers that cockroaches don’t exist in Portland.
20 weeks came and went last Friday, which signifies the halfway point of my pregnancy. I guess I haven’t done an update since 16 weeks. I wasn’t doing blog posts because I thought nothing much was changing, but then, all the sudden, things did change. (The above photo is actually from 19 weeks, when we went to Manzanita last weekend, but I look about the same. I’ve gotten much bigger in the last month with an obvious pregnancy bump).
The major milestone this month is that on October 15th we found out that we are having a girl!! I was so happy to find this out (not that I wanted a girl more than a boy, but it felt more real knowing that she is a “she” instead of an “it”).
Last weekend at a FACES surgical trip meeting, one of the FACES surgical techs gave Daniel and I a gift of three little baby outfits, which are our daughter’s first official clothes. Her “possessions” now include three stuffed animals, two baby blankets and these three outfits. I’m not normally one to get all gushy over baby things, but it made me a little teary (tears of happiness) to think that in 20 weeks or so, we’ll have a real baby to fill those outfits with. Just can’t believe it.
Feeling: Generally, feeling great! I feel like I have my normal energy levels from pre-pregnancy, and have been working out, going to the gym, going to yoga, going to classes and working with my normal vigor.
Movement: Lots of it! I think I started feeling “flutters” about three weeks ago, and they just keep getting more noticeable. She’s still so small that Daniel can’t feel yet, but maybe in another 10 weeks. I’m not sure totally how to describe the feeling. It’s like little tickles or pokes coming from inside. Every now and then there is a more pronounced feeling of pressure and I’m not sure what that is from, but my guess is that she is doing a major movement, like a turn, and pressing down on a different location in the uterus.
Food cravings: Nothing much. I feel like the real “cravings” were all pretty much centered in August, when I was feeling horrible all month. I’ve been eating really well and feel good. Lots of Afton Field Farm eggs, meats, raw milk, vegetables, fruits, etc…
Dreams and sleep: Generally sleeping well. Getting lots of it, too. I’m not sure if this is a side effect of being pregnant, or of being married to Daniel, who is a self-proclaimed “sleep Nazi.” Well, anyway I’m sleeping minimum of 8 hours per night. Dreams have been very weird lately. The other night I had a VERY real dream that I gave birth to a kitten instead of a human. I was nursing the kitten and everything. After I woke up I kept thinking, “well, Daniel and I need to get pregnant again so that I can have a real human baby.” Last night I had a dream that I was trying to leave somewhere, either Japan or South Korea, and kept missing my flight.
Names: Ever since we found out we are having a girl this is what everyone wants to know. We have some names picked out, but that’s a secret! Stay tuned!
Advice: My general advice on advice is don’t take anyone’s advice. Well, maybe just take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt. With pregnancy, especially, everyone has an opinion whether they gave birth 60 years ago or last week, or whether they are a man and have never given birth at all. And all opinions are different. It can be maddening. So, you have to figure it out for yourself. That being said, here’s my #1 pregnancy advice for anyone, coming from someone who has only been pregnant once for 20 weeks. It is simple and will improve your quality of life SO MUCH.
- BUY GOOD MATERNITY JEANS!!!!!! That’s it. You will NOT regret it. I basically had put off buying any maternity clothing, even though I started feeling uncomfortable in my pants three weeks ago. I could still wear one pair of jeans jerry-rigged so the button closed with an elastic band, but mostly I ended up wearing the same two pairs of black leggings every day. Finally last week I went to Macy’s and bought three pairs of maternity jeans. BEST DECISION EVER. As Daniel will tell you, since I talk about them all the time, I love my maternity jeans and they improved my live by 100 times. It is important to feel comfortable and I also feel like I can wear “normal” outfits again that don’t include leggings. Yes, my quality of life has definitely improved. Also the best thing every about maternity jeans is that, vs. normal jeans, they only come in small, medium and large. So, I just tried on smalls and they fit. Boom. Done.
Our official wedding photos from September 1st, 2013, at the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach, OR! Hope you enjoy. I apologize that some of these are majorly out of order from how the events of the day proceeded, but there is no easy way to rearrange photos or organize them by when they were taken.
Home to Portland, OR, and it feels good and right. I had a really fun trip (although totally exhausting) to Portland, ME, but when I come back to Portland, OR, I realize that this is my place and I love it.
It was a long, exhausting trip home (Portland–>Detroit–>Salt Lake City–>Portland), but I spent the time thoroughly enjoying reading unnecessary passages out of my microbiology text about how Ascaris nematode worms infect people, then the juvenile worms invade through the intestines, then enter the other tissues, then sneak up through the lungs, then are coughed up and swallowed and then it all happens again. I was thinking microbiology might turn out to be a bore of looking at cultures on slides, but this is right up my alley! Some things never change. I’m looking forward to doing my research project and poster presentation and will strive to pick the most disgusting microbiological related disease or virus I can think of. At the moment, I’m leading towards Ebola, but we will see. Also spent a few hours talking to a nice woman on the airplane, who is the mother of a 6’9″ 17-year-old boy who just chose to go to University of Michigan to play college ball. She was great to talk to and I think the first person I have voiced my inner turmoil about some “women can’t have it all” challenges I’ve been feeling sad about lately. I felt better after talking to her.
Tomorrow is the FACES Auction! Can’t believe this is the third year I’ve been doing this event. It should be a good one, although I will miss drinking the pisco sours. Then Daniel and I are headed to Canada on Thursday to visit the Victorian Grandparents. Should be a great week!
Oh, by the way, if anyone is looking for a really amazing book, read The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin. I realized at the PDX airport on my way to Maine that I forgot my current book, so I picked up a random one (mostly based on that the cover looked cool) at the airport Powell’s. I haven’t loved a book this much in, well, maybe even since A Fine Balance. I even stupidly stayed up until 3am on the
night morning of my interview when I had to get up at 6am, but I just couldn’t stop, and ended up reading the whole book in three days. I’m not even going to write a review of it, just read it! It is set in the Pacific Northwest in the 1860′s, and the author went to the University of Oregon, and currently lives in Portland, it turns out!
I’ve spent the weekend (since Thursday night, actually) in The Other Portland, in Maine, the namesake of the city I’m from. It’s been a quick trip, but a lot of fun exploring this city, which I’ve found quite charming.
I was here for a school interview, so I spent Saturday morning doing that. Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon were spent exploring. I was lucky enough to be here at the perfect window of opportunity when the leaves are turning gorgeous colors, but it is not yet raining, just brisk. To be honest, I found it quite refreshing to be in this Portland. I think the impression that I’ve come away with after these few days is that this place is remarkably unpretentious, which is quite nice. It also made me realize how, well, pretentious and self-aware Portland (OR) can be. Being immersed in it all the time, one looses perspective on what things are really like. But in comparison, to Portland (ME), Portland (OR) seems exhausting. Here’s what I’ve noticed, and remember that these are broad generalizations and observations I’ve made over a weekend.
*People in Portland(ME) just really seem to not care, and I say this in the best possible way. Current fashion or looking a certain way just doesn’t seem to be a priority. I think this is the opposite in Portland(OR). I live in the Pearl, so my world is probably more exaggerated than most, but the majority of people I see are very put together, stylish, have a “style” they are obviously trying to maintain. Even hipster people who are trying their hardest to look like they don’t care, obviously do, maybe even more than everyone else. Outfits seem perfectly picked and orchestrated to look cool. In Portland(ME) none of this seems to even cross people’s minds. People don’t seem to care what they’re wearing. There are a lot of jeans and t-shirts and flannel going on. If people are wearing outdoor gear, it looks like they actually wear the gear down to the bone, definitely not the “Patagoochie” types. Most women wore minimal to no makeup, didn’t have their hair cut stylishly or dyed. There was lots of “grunge” wear going on on the streets. While people say “the dream of the 90′s” is alive in Portland(OR), I think it is actually alive in Portland(ME), it’s not a dream. I’m not saying people here are a bunch of slobs. It was actually quite nice to be around a community that didn’t put a high priority on looking a certain way.
*I felt that Portland(ME) was much less self-aware than Portland(OR). In Portland(ME) things just are the way they are. In Portland(OR) everything is advertised as gluten-free, vegan, free-range, sustainable, local, eco-friendly, bike-friendly, diversity-friendly, welcome-to-all, farm-to-form, organic, green, etc, etc, etc… In Portland(ME) things just are the way they are, and you can get them or not. I found it quite refreshing. I realized that the self-awareness of Portland(OR) can be exhausting at times. You can’t just do X or buy Y without first knowing if it is locally-sourced or being made to feel guilty that it is from China, or that it isn’t made with organic fibers, or that it was not grown in ideal dirt.
*There are lots of nice cab drivers in Portland(ME). I had to take a lot of short cab rides this weekend going back and forth between the school I was visiting. Each time I also got a nice middle-aged man cab driver, always a Portland(ME) local, always wanting to talk about this, that and the other things or give me a tour (“Here’s where I was born” or “Here is where the first McDonald’s in Portland went”) always with a thick Maine accent.
*One of my first impressions of Portland(ME) was that it was a “working man’s city.” I’m not sure if that is entirely true, but it was my first impression at least. What I mean by that was that there seemed to be a lot of blue collar workers around, definitely more than Portland(OR). I felt that in Portland(ME), there were a lot of people doing “essential” jobs, like construction or electrical work, or running convenience stores, or roofing, etc… I compare this to Portland(OR) where a lot of people do non-essential work (maybe?) like running start-ups, starting artisanal kombucha stands, working at advertising firms, etc… I’d say, a lot of people around who strive to be the best, #1 at whatever they are doing, while in Portland(ME) people just were doing what they did.
*Lots of dogs. I mostly saw bigger dogs, hardly any of lap dogs.
*In Portland(OR) there are all these “Keep Portland Weird” stickers and signs everywhere and I feel like people go out of their way to be “weird” just because it’s Portland(OR) and they have to uphold the reputation. In Portland(ME), things are just weird and I don’t think anyone knows it or cares. For example, I went for a walk and passed a dog park on the beach and along with all the dogs, there was a human dressed in a white dog suit, rubbing sand and dirt all over his dog costume.
*Portland(ME) is very charming and it’s fun to be in a place that has so much more history. I found everything to be delightfully raggedy. Nothing really was “perfect”. On most houses the paint was peeling, things were rusty, the cobblestones were not straight, things were a little dirty, weeds were sprouted up all over the place on the pavement and elsewhere, but I enjoyed this. It felt a little more authentic.
*On a side note: the monumental thing about this weekend was that it was the first time that someone off the street asked me if I was pregnant. Given, it was a women who I am pretty sure was on meth or some other drugs, but still! I was pretty surprised because I still don’t think I look pregnant, more just a little fat. Obviously she wasn’t the “hold your tongue” type of person, because I very well could have just been a little fat. But, I told her she was right and that she was the first person who had asked me that. She asked if I knew the sex, and I said I didn’t, but we were finding out in a few weeks. She ran up to me, put her face right in front of my belly and said, “Hmmmm…. Girl!” and ran away after flashing a tooth-less smile.
Love this house. I love the color and the yellow tree outside. Haunted looking house on the coast. Street scene. Fallen leaves on Mulljoy Hill. Great bookstore in Portland, Yes Books. PIcked up Himalaya by Michael Palin here. The colors! View of the coast.