Well, a lot has been going on around here, but as usual I haven't been diligent enough about blogging the everyday events of my life. Of course, I'm sure most of it would bore you to tears anyway, but some things are just screaming to be shared. So, inspired by some fellow expat bloggers who opened up their recent Easter care packages (and chocolate booty, I might add -- jealous much?!) I decided to share my brother's fabulous, most perfect care package for the pregnant gal like me who is missing some little silly things from back home in the U.S.
He pretty much thought to include everything -- from the requisite bags (two!!) of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish (let's not talk about the partially hydrogenated oil and such -- we'll just close our eyes on that for the moment!) to the most perfect pregnancy journal I have ever seen -- who can resist The Belly Book?! (Putting aside the fact that I'll have to go back and try to remember the details from the first 5 months!). He even included a little gift for my boy, a huge Western fan, a DVD of 3:10 to Yuma, which ironically has just come out in the movie theaters here. My boy is more of a die-hard old-fashioned Western guy, a big fan of titles I couldn't possibly remember if I even tried, but the first few that come to mind are the ones he dragged me to see in the Latin Quarter a few years back -- namely Red River, with Montgomery Clift and John Wayne, of course, and Last Train from Gun Hill, starring a young Kirk Douglas. I've actually learned to appreciate a few more Westerns thanks to my sweet boy -- but don't try to make me swallow them too often! This is one guy who really likes the Far West and can't resist a Western mainly because "the sky is always blue". Isn't that adorable?!
So my brother's addition for my boy will surely be appreciated, even if it will only be considered a "remake of a great classic" -- after all, there's Russell Crowe! Even I'm willing to watch (and tolerate) a shoot-em-up flick for him. Then there's the "Once" soundtrack, which should be nice for some mellow, relaxing listening. And last but not least, the Burt's Bees Mama Bee Baby Belly Butter -- the name of that stuff made my brother laugh so hard that he couldn't resist jabs like "I guess I won't be able to send you any bread for your baby butter!" I'm totally set for stretch-mark-preventage now (along with my Palmer's cocoa butter and the Weleda oil that my boyfriend's sister gave me); here's just hoping the stuff actually works! Precarious Tomato apparently swears by it... (And that gal will make you laugh yourself silly, so be prepared, and don't say I didn't warn you!)
And I know I haven't talked a whole lot about how the pregnancy has been progressing here on the blog either -- morning sickness, symptoms, etc. -- so I need to share some of that as well. Incredibly enough, this week marks officially 6 months, although it certainly doesn't seem like it -- 24 weeks! It's hard enough for me to believe, trust me, so I won't be surprised if YOU'RE shocked as well... The last two months have just flown by, and admittedly I have been feeling overall much better since the end of February, early March. So much better that I ended up overdoing it last week, burning the candle at both ends as I stayed up late plugging away at my volunteer work for SCBWI France. I made some good progress, and it was work that had to be done after all, but my body wasn't too happy about it -- as it decided to let me know over the weekend, when my digestive system did some backflips...
Needless to say, the toughest parts so far were definitely back in the second and third months, in the first trimester, I would say, when mornings were pretty much dismal and evenings required frequent sugar highs and meals at regular hours -- or ELSE! My trip back and forth to the U.S. went well, but trust me, flying is NOT fun while in the early stages of pregnancy -- I even planned on writing out a blog post on how pregnancy and jetlag simply don't mix, but then it just never happened. One evening on my way home from work last December I literally tumbled out of the doors of the RER and plopped myself flat down on the ground, heavy winter coat and all, without even seeking out a bench on the quai... I just needed some air and some rest -- not to mention some food!
Recent ails have revolved more around heartburn, for the most part, although I'm not nearly as tired as I was in January. I slept away the weekends back then, marathon sleeping sessions that were unpredictable and could string together for a few days at a time. My boyfriend would say that I had slept all afternoon and couldn't possibly sleep through the night -- and yet I DID, pretty much every time. Now I'm in the stage of waking up early -- at the ungodly hour of 6:00 a.m. -- and wondering why on earth this is happening. Maybe my body is trying to prepare me for the lack of sleep ahead?! Who knows, but this non-morning person is having a hard time swallowing it... My boy will wake up overjoyed at the early hour, while I'll just roll over and beg for a few more minutes mercy.
Needless to say, the pregnancy has, in many ways, brought my boyfriend and I closer together. It's hard to explain why or how, but I'm hoping we'll continue on this path, because I know I'm going to need all the support I can get in the final months of the pregnancy and especially when the Little Bean arrives. We've had to compromise on some things already, including whether we find out the baby's sex, but we've managed to work things out -- in our own, eccentric, unpredictable ways! (And there's a story behind learning the baby's sex as well, but that will have to be for another time...)
It's hard to put into words the affection I feel emanating from my boy in recent times, the gestures he has made to be closer to me, and the warmth he brings me every time it happens... He still hasn't managed to grasp the concept of placing his hand fully around my belly to feel the baby's movements, and instead taps away lightly with the palm of his hand, while I look down, puzzled and amused (clearly thinking that if he knocks the baby might just answer?!). But I think he's just as excited and pleased to be sharing this experience with me as I am with him. It's his unexpected embrace and smile that make me happiest at any time of the day, and I'm so looking forward to sharing the many months ahead with him, with all of their highs and lows.