Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Monday's Mama (On Tuesday)

Almost 31 weeks (I'm all about rounding up in this situation)....

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being featured as a Monday's Mama on Aliya's Blog, Double The Fun. First off, let me just say that I love reading her blog for the following reasons:

1) Her sense of humor is amazing. Some of her posts have left me in tears from laughing so hard.

2) She's superwoman. With one adorable baby already here and another one on the way (Irish Twin Style),  I have nothing but mad respect for her. The fact that she is juggling a little baby and pregnancy all while looking adorable blows my (still too lazy to be in anything but yoga pants and a tank top every day) mind.

3) I'm not sure how our paths didn't cross while I lived in D.C., but if they did, I'm fairly certain we would have had a blast (rocking out to an 80's cover band in a bar, obviously). Now I live vicariously through her stories whenever I need a D.C. fix

4) We have babies due just a few weeks apart! It's been so fun to follow along with someone else's journey (especially someone who has been through this before).

So there you have it...go read her blog (and my Monday's Mama post if you are so inclined to do so)! And if you are a Mama-to-Be, and would like to be share your story, definitely reach out to her! I've loved reading all of the posts from all of the other Monday's Mamas, and I feel so honored to have been given the opportunity to share my story. Thanks again, Aliya!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Five Years

Five years. In five years, I've moved three times, welcomed a brother back from war, got married, bought a house, expanded our family with a puppy, had two different jobs, traveled the world, and found out I will be a mother. Five years can fly by, or feel like a lifetime....depending on the day.

Over five years I've worn the t-shirt multiple times and have had the ribbon magnet on two different cars. They both say the same thing. Never Forget. Five years later, I realize that there is a slight irony to that statement. The truth is, I couldn't forget even if I ever wanted to.

Five years ago my home was attacked.  The horror, despair, death and destruction took place within a couple of hours. The events were quickly followed by unending tales of love, sacrifice, heroism, support and hope. The juxtaposition of it all is still a bit hard to process even all these years later.

Five years ago, my view of the world was altered forever. You grow up and learn that bad things happen. That bad things happen to good people. You find ways to try and figure out, compartmentalize, and rationalize when you see those bad things happen. But nothing prepares you for something like this. Five years ago the most evil thing I could ever imagine happened, and a lifetime of thinking about it will still leave me wondering...why? Sadly, there is no answer that could ever properly make sense of this situation.

I used to tell people that living in Blacksburg was like living in a snow globe. You felt so safe and sheltered  in this little town, away from it all, where everyone loves their maroon and orange. It's where I met my best friends, and where I learned to live on my own for the first time. It's where I jumped up and down at football games, and where I devoured coffee ice cream when pulling all night study sessions. It's where I spoke at graduation, and where I was given the opportunity to travel all over Europe. It's where I became who I am today.

Sadly, I'll never know what it feels like to live in a snow globe again. When you experience something like this, its stays with you forever. You've officially seen the worst that the world has to offer, and even though time and life marches on, the memory of it all is always somewhere in your mind.

But carrying that memory isn't always such a bad thing. It makes you more empathetic. It makes you cherish the little things. It makes you more appreciative of the love that surrounds you, because you realize how precious and fleeting it can be.

I am sure over the next few years our unborn baby will make multiple trips to my favorite place on earth. They will watch football games, they will try and eat a turkey leg, they walk around the duck pond, and maybe if they are lucky, they will even get to watch fireworks over the drillfield. They will learn that the appropriate response to, "Lets Go" is a resounding, "HOKIES". And I will pray every day of their life that they grow up safely, and that they are lucky enough to get to experience what it feels like to live in a snow globe.

But one day, inevitably, they will ask me about what happened. Why there are 32 stones with names on them on the drillfield, or why when they look up Virginia Tech online, the word massacre appears. And I will have to sit down and try to explain to them something that I find very hard to explain even to myself.

However, I do know what I will focus on. I will focus on the heroes who sacrificed their lives. I will focus on how people from all around the world reached out to lift us up. And I will focus on what it feels like to be a part of a community that supported each other through the darkest of times, and showed the world that we will prevail. I will focus on what it truly means to be a Hokie.

And I will pray, everyday, that if they ever experience something like this, that they are blessed to know those feelings too.

We are Virginia Tech. We will Prevail. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nursery Artwork

While I wouldn't say we went with a strict theme with the nursery (which is sadly still in the same shambled state as it was in the video below), we did want to share our love of travel with our little one. With a bilingual father, a mother who has been to more countries than states, and lots of "adopted" Aunts who have been all over the world (that one is for you Steph & Colette), we're hoping that this baby picks up an immense love for adventure. Plus, travel related artwork is fairly gender neutral, which definitely helps, and we can re-use all of these things in a playroom later on if we choose to do so.

As of right now, here are the prints that we have purchased:

I love you / Italy 
From here

I love you / Germany 
From here

I love you / Ireland
From here

I had a great experience with this seller, and she even matched all of the prints so that we could get them in similar colors. I placed them in the oh-so-popular Ikea Ribba frames, and they look great! 

Because Ryan hopes to do one parent, one language with our baby, I wanted to have some prints that were in Spanish. I ordered the following posters, and hope to order more fun stuff from this shop in a couple of months: 

Spanish Letters Poster
From here

Spanish Numbers Poster
 From here

I haven't ordered this print yet, but I love it so much, I'm hoping to order it soon. Seriously, this shop has so many adorable prints that would work well in nurseries. 

 From here

Additionally, I think we'll try and add a globe or a world map somewhere in the room. We're also planning on hanging some colorful origami cranes over the changing table as a DIY mobile. Hopefully it will all come together soon! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Real Bo vs Fake Bo

Sometime a few weeks ago, Ryan and I headed on up to Ikea for the Swedish breakfast of champions and some shopping. Mostly because 99% of all furniture will not fit in our bedrooms since our staircase and hallways were built for the itty bitty people that lived in the 1800s. I won't even get into that time when we moved in and had to cut our three month old box spring into four pieces and then put it back together again. Lets just say that furniture that doesn't come assembled is a necessity for our living situation.

So, anyway, we're at Ikea looking for the ever so popular poang rocker and some picture frames, when I come across an oversized golden retriever stuffed animal. I had to have it because obviously this child needs a Bo replica in their nursery. Realizing that there was no negotiating, Ryan just put the massive thing into the cart and off we went.

A few days later as I laid in bed miserably contemplating my hatred for all things sick related, I decided that I needed to have a Bo visit. Normally Bo isn't allowed upstairs, but sometimes I cave in. And he's so good about not coming upstairs, that it takes three whistles to get him to visit you. The first whistle he ignores, the second he gets up and sits at the bottom of the stairs and the third whistle he bounds up in excited glory because he's being allowed upstairs. Then he flys around the bedroom, comes to you for some attention and then lays down in a contented heap.

So I whistled the appropriate 3 times, and was greeted with a very happy puppy. After petting him, I assumed he was laying somewhere on the bedroom floor, and I dozed off. Not five minutes later did I hear this awful growling coming from the hallway. Seeing as how our dog rarely barks, let alone growls, I was really worried. I flew out of bed only to find that someone had spotted fake Bo in the nursery, and was NOT HAPPY about it.

Obviously, we decided to film Bo's displeasure (poor dog):

Needless to say, fake Bo is now in the closet and real Bo is quite happy about it. And don't worry, he got lots of hugs and reassurance that he is the number one dog in our life :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why We Went Team Green

This spring is totally kicking me in the backside! Not four days after recovering from the stomach flu did I catch a nasty cold.  A nasty cold, which conveniently turned into bronchitis this weekend (because, as you all know, all the doctors offices are open on Saturdays....). I ended up having to go to a a walk-in clinic (after appropriate pregnant break-down of course), but luckily the doctor I had was super nice (and an OB!...what are the chances??). I'm on an antibiotic now, but still feeling a bit crummy. All I've been capable of doing the last few days is watching NCIS marathons and emailing my friend Steph about bacon related food stories. Can I blame the second part of that sentence on being pregnant? I hope so.

Any prayers you can send my way would be greatly appreciated! I would love to feel like a normal human being again, and I'm sure this baby would love to feel like they didn't live in an earthquake zone. It would be pretty awesome if I didn't have to quarantine myself for the next 11 weeks.

Anyway, I figured I'd tell you all about why we decided to not find out whether our baby is a little boy or a little girl. We get pretty mixed reactions when we tell people we don't know what we are having. People either think it is a great idea or that we're completely crazy. I think either way is fine...you just have to do what is right for you. But in case you were wondering, here are the reasons (in no particular order) we didn't find out...

- Neither of us is super set on having a boy or a girl. I think if one of us felt that way, we would probably find out, but since we're happy with either way, it isn't as hard to wait 40 weeks.

- We also don't have any name issues. We have two girls names and two boys names that we both really like, and we're going to wait until we meet the baby to decide on a name.

- I'm too type A and practical not to have lots of gender neutral stuff. We're hoping to be blessed with more than one mcnugget, and I'm all for things that can be used and (re) used.

- A lot of comments we get are based on concern over us not having enough appropriate clothing. Considering that this kid is joining us in the summer, I'm not too worried about this. I'm thinking a lot of white onesies will do :)  I'm also fairly confident that my shopping addicted sisters will fully take care of all gender related clothing needs within seconds of this child joining the world.

- Even though there are a lot of parts of pregnancy I wish I could pass off to my husband (non-stop morning sickness for 18 weeks, insomnia and general uncomfortableness), he doesn't get to bond with the baby the same way I do. He wasn't the first one to find out that we were about to become a family of 3, and he will never know what it feels like when you feel those first baby kicks. So, I love the idea that he is the one that gets to announce whether we have a son or a daughter. Just thinking about it makes my overly emotional heart melt.

- My mom had four kids and never found out what she was having with any of us. And we all turned out ok! Well, for the most part...

- I think in today's world where so many things are instantly attainable, there aren't many true surprises. And this is one of those surprises that I think will be very hard to top!

So, that was our reasoning. Only 78 more days to go!