Wednesday, April 9, 2008

All Wrapped Up


Fred's Incredible Care Package, originally uploaded by alwaysace.


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.

18 comments:

Marianne said...

Hello - it's very nice to be reading your blog, thank you for stopping by mine too. I am soo jealous of the care package, although of course I'm a bit nearer London than you are where you come from... so it's not too bad. All the best for the next few months, all very exciting!

Marianne

Le Tigre said...

One thing that always turned me off Westerns was the male centered narratives..but two which do the opposite in fact, I would recommend is Johnny Guitar (main character being the very fierce and amazing Joan Crawford) and Stage Coach by John Ford (very interesting characters, in particular a prostitute whose been ostracised from the community).

I can't believe your six months along already! That is unbelieveable. You know by the time we actually meet you will have had the baby!

I'm glad you're feeling better and that's wonderful to hear that the pregnancy is bringing you and your partner closer together. I can't even imagine what being pregnant would be like, but I can imagine it is quite a trip!

So so so! The sex? And names? Any ideas? You're probably sick of people asking those kind of questions!

Leah said...

Sounds like things are going pretty well and you're totally right about it being incredible you're already 6 months along! Your care package looks like fun...some food, music and literature, what a good mix! My package is long-gone by this point, but it sure was yummy!! It's nice to read about how things are going even if the posts are spread out. Don't worry about that, though, soak up all the you-time you can and sleep as much as you want, I say!

joy suzanne said...

Hi Alice! Well I already wrote you an email full of questions that this blog post has mostly answered... I sent it to you after your last quote on my yoga post! Glad you're feeling good. What a sweet brother and sweet Boy...

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Such a lovely gift from your brother :-)

I haven't been reading your blog long, found you on Le Tigre's blog...I love reading blogs from France Italy, Sicily..and a few other european countries.

screamish said...

the belly book..you're right, who could resist?

Your comments are pretty interesting...I'm expecting, too...curious, tracking down other people's experiences.

The sleeping marathons are pretty full on arent they? Now I'm in an insomnia phase. This morning I woke at 2am and went back to bed at 6. Did this happen to you???

The Late Bloomer said...

Thanks for your comment, Marianne. Yes, care packages are ALWAYS welcome, trust me -- but mine are usually pretty few and far between, so I try to treasure them when they show up!

R, I know what you mean -- the macho element of Westerns has always sort of bothered me too, and trust me, I still don't consider myself a fan or anything! But there are a few out there that I do appreciate, especially classics with Gary Cooper. I'll have to ask my boy about Stage Coach -- it sounds familiar, but I don't know if I've seen it yet or not...

And like I said, the baby's sex was sort of an issue -- I've always wanted this to be a surprise, but he wanted to know, so we came to a compromise... It's kind of cute seeing how proud he is to have this big secret!

Leah, I keep promising I'm going to blog more often, but somehow it just never happens. We'll see if one of these days I manage to become more "regular", ha ha!

Joy Suzanne -- yes, I definitely got your e-mail, and I owe you a response! But I want to be able to take my time with it and not feel distracted like I sometimes am during the day at work (no excuse really, but somehow I have a hard time writing extensive e-mails from here...) Thank you so much for sending me such a thoughtful message and for taking the time to write that out. And I promise, a note will soon be on the way! I also owe Aralena an e-mail, among others, so I've got some catching up to do...

Hello again Anne! I just had a moment to check out your blog today, and I love the spirit and vibe you have there. Looking forward to reading more!

Screamish -- I hear you again on the sleeping, but honestly, aside from the super-early wake-up calls so far (around 6 or so) I haven't had any major insomnia, and I'm really hoping that doesn't happen -- I'm so attached to my sleep! I don't know what I would do if I started the insomnia thing in the next few months... But I know I should be prepared for it, because they say that closer to the end it becomes harder and harder to sleep, as it's so tough to get comfortable! Plus we'll be heading into the summer months, when (normally...) it will be hotter. Here's crossing fingers that we'll be able to find some good sleeping patterns! I think we're going to need them...

screamish said...

Yes the chocolate. I don't know if its a sign of a girl..I know my boyfriend wants little girls (he had a dreal of brushing little girls' hair the other night! so cute)

It has surprised me how many people want twins, I never even thought about it in my life before now. Its always been something that happens to someone else, you know? (but then, i had that impression about pregnancy in general before!)

I'm not having a great time lately, not getting on well with my doctor, her bedside manner is nonexistent. Been feeling negative the last few days, but other than that been really happy.

once I got used to the idea of two!!

om my god!!!!

Badaude said...

Hang onto that Western. It may come in handy. After about 12 hours of intermittent contractions (not even counted as labour by the medical authorities) in preparation for the birth of my second child, I'd been awake for 24 hours and was beginning to get a little bored. I was giving birth at home. 'What do you have on the dvd player that we haven't seen?' I asked. Husband: 'Dunno,' (we were obviously well prepared) 'I think we have a Western.'. Like le tigre, I've never been able to understand Westerns; their male-brain narratives just glide off the surface of my mind without penetrating. I can never make sense of the plot. This particular Western was so boring that neither of us can even remember the title. It was in black and white. There was someone, maybe John Wayne, sitting around a campfire; then some fighting; then some shots of the high sierra. Eventually we came to the conclusion that Westerns are a bit like labour: long periods of inaction interspersed with short, violent skirmishes. Most of it's very dull and no-one's really quite sure what's going on...

poppy fields said...

Aren't care packages great!

Tanya said...

What a nice brother you have! 3:10 To Yuma was a good movie. I've actually been to the Yuma Prison which they are trying to take him to. It's creepy!
I enjoyed my visit to your blog, found you through a link on another :)
Best of luck on the rest of your pregnancy!

Linda said...

My husband loves Westerns too. He rewatches Rio Bravo quite frequently. They bore me to tears-they seem so phony. My husband is also fascinated that I am part Cherokee Indian-which, as I tell him, isn't a big deal. Anyone from Texas has that distinction.

Riana Lagarde said...

that is just so exciting! the time just whizzes by so fast. good luck with the last few months!

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joy suzanne said...

Hey! Love your new design!

Is it the work of Mrs. C?

The Late Bloomer said...

YES, Joy Suzanne! Thanks so much! Did you recognize her work? Isn't she FAB?!

joy suzanne said...

Yes, I did! And yes, she is!!!

Emily said...

Care packages from home are the best. I just got a belated birthday gift and the candy didn't last very long in our home.

Love the look of your new blog!