Monday, December 15, 2008

The Mother-in-Law from Heaven!

Many women say they've got a "mother-in-law from hell", well I get to say the exact opposite. Michael's mother, Julia, is an angel from heaven. Really. She always has been. From the moment I met her she has been sweet, kind, loving, caring, understanding, playful, generous, respectful and gracious. So, when I called her the other night to give her an update on things and she asked if Michael was going to have dinner ready for me when I got home, I had to tell her the truth. "No, mom, Michael does the dishes and I cook", "Yes, even if I get home at 7:00pm, he still won't have anything made to eat - that's just the way it works." She did not take this lightly. She said she was going to email him. Well, the next day I asked Michael to forward me the email. He wouldn't! I asked him what it said, and he dodged the question, saying "you know what it says." Well, I didn't, but I sure was curious! So, next time I talked with Julia she said she would send me the email. Here it is, in all it's original glory (men, pay attention!):

Hi, my beautiful son, How are you doing? Has life changed since you are going to be a Daddy?
Thank You for the baby blog. I'll be sure to keep in-touch. Hey, Michael, there are a few rules you need to know now that Maren is pregnant.You probably are already doing these things because you're such a wonderful husband, but as your Mom, I have to let you know anyway. 1. Be understanding of her condition, she is carrying a very valuable miracle. 2. You should make sure she doesn't over do anything. 3. Do most of the errands. 4. By now you should be doing 80% of the cooking and cleaning. 5.Whenever she has any cravings,no matter what time they are, try to accommodate her. 6.Rub her feet, back, tummy. legs,etc. 7. Don't burden her with nonsense. 8. Listen to whatever she has to say, she is going to be right 90% of the time. 9.Do special little some-things for 5 times a week.10. Most important, Love Her!!!!
Like I said I'm sure you are already doing these things, because that's just the way you are, right?
I forgot one other thing, make sure she gets plenty of rest and gets good food to eat. Also, don't let her drive too much.
I Love you and miss you very much.

I L-O-V-E this woman!

The Name Game

Here's your chance to post name suggestions. We are wanting a "unique" name, so that is your only qualifier. Have fun! (F.Y.I. We have decided not to tell anyone what his/her name will be until after she/he is born, so be patient.) Click on the "comments" word below to add some names.

"So, how do you feel?"

Since almost everyday I get asked this question, I will go into the nitty-gritty detail of exactly how a newly-pregnant woman feels. I must admit, every one's journey is different; for example, I never had to vomit. In fact, I feel a little cheated by that. The movies always show the new mom indiscreetly hovered over some trash can. I thought it was a rite of passage. Guess I was wrong. In contrast, I have been very hungry and holding all my food down. The biggest (literally) pain of pregnancy for me thus far is my swelling breasts. They are painful! When I hug someone, roll over in bed, or just stretch the wrong way they ache with sharp pains. I also have been breaking out like I was in high school again - so much for that "glowing, radiant skin" everyone talks about in pregnancy. I have been tired, but not exhausted. A recent hike and photo shoot later in the afternoon did send me to bed at 8:00, but that's not normal. One disturbing thing about being pregnant is loosing your mind. I feel just plain stupid sometimes. I forget things, loose my train of thought, am oblivious to obvious situations, etc. The good news is I haven't been too "hormonal" (at least that's what I think, ask Michael and he may have another answer.) In fact, the first 5-6 weeks of my pregnancy I was sort of in this totally relaxed la-la-land where nothing fazed me! Recently, I have been getting more opinionated and speaking my mind more adamantly about anything from work, to my dogs, to getting our broken dishwasher replaced! But no major "fits" yet. Let's hope it stays that way!

Tierra Nueva Announcement

This little ornament topped the surprise cake I receieved. The scary thing is: it's larger than the real baby in my belly - at least right now!

We let the good news out to our friends and neighbors in Tierra Nueva Cohousing last Saturday night during (an amazing Armenian inspired) dinner. I stood up and introduced my brother and sister-in-law, who were visiting (and totally jealous they didn't have dinners like this made for them). After I introduced them, I kept standing while I asked the group for their opinion on an issue I had. See, when you sign up to eat a meal, your meal ticket is "punched" for $3.50 to reimburse the cook(s) for the meal. So, I asked the group if they think I should still only punch my ticket for "1 adult" or should I have it punched for "1 adult, 1 child" since I am now feeding two? Everyone just stared at me for about 3 seconds, except for one mother who instantly got it (go, Caity!) Once everyone got the joke, they were so excited - they all wanted to hug me. At these times I feel sorry for Michael who is usually overlooked and ignored - as if he had nothing to do with the miracle in my belly. Poor Michael. Anyways, one neighbor, who I confided in earlier, knew I was going to share the news, so she and her husband had a cake ready to present. Thanks, Paula and James. Talk about love! Thanks Tierra Nueva for making our experience a happy one!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Me, Pregnant Too?

Interesting news: we discovered that a daddy-to-be, like the mommy-to-be, also goes through hormonal changes. Hmm...this information can come in handy. Now I've got a bona fide excuse for those evening ice-cream cravings, spur of the moment marie calendar pie purchases, and tendency to lay in bed a little while longer. But Maren is still outeating me by a long shot; i guess her hormonal changes are bigger than mine. She even claims that she's eating for three-- herself, the baby, and her body (wait, how is that different from herself? I guess hormonal changes affect the brain).
All in all, though, this pregnancy thing isn't too bad. Someone want to pass that gallon of chunky monkey over here?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Growing fingers!

If you check out the "widget" on the upper left side of our blog, you will see a calendar countdown for each week of the baby's growth. Each Wednesday, we wait to check to see what is happening in Maren's belly - not wanting to spoil the mystery by skipping ahead! This week, week 8, we found out that the baby is growing fingers and toes! Can you believe it?! Maren told Michael this was a pretty important event in one's life. For example, one might have a really important day interviewing for a new job, going to their brother's wedding, or maybe even giving a speech to foreign dignitaries! But nothing compares in importance and capability as being able to grow fingers!

Go little baby!

One Surprised Grandma!

Isn't it great Michael had the camera on him and ready? (We happened to be shooting our cousin's wedding reception.) These expressions cannot be replicated! This grandma had to wait a loooong time (only 8 years) for her firstborn son to give her a grandbaby, but as the t-shirt states, it was "worth the wait." Needless to day, grandma was just a wee bit excited.
To summarize:
Time it takes for Maren & Michael to take the plunge and decide to have a baby: 8 years.
Time it takes for baby to enter the outside world: 9 months.
Time it takes for grandma to spread baby news throughout entire room of 350 people: 39 seconds.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


How big is a blueberry? About as big as our 7-week child right now! She or he has a heart and even fingers and will grow to the whopping size of a puffed popcorn by next week.

The reality of having a baby is still abstract for me at this point, in case you didn't figure that out from the above comparisons to food. The baby (technically called an "embryo" by the guys in white, but who wants to call their kid that? blueberry is much better) is playing hide and seek inside a belly, and I can only use my imagination to get closer to it. I look at web images of these in-utero beings and with the inter-stellar lighting and dark backgrounds they look like they're floating somewhere in outer space. And right now it feels like s/he is in outerspace. I cannot see it, hear it, smell it, or hold it. Abstract. Yet it's only a few inches away from my fingers, locked inside its own private cabana, lounging in a pool.

Although, while driving with Maren to Santa Barbara recently, some bozo began tailgating us and a protective parental instinct suddenly kicked in; i quickly 'signaled' bozo to back off since i now had a wife with child in the car!

Nothing abstract about that.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Is that a positive?

After trying only once, we seem to have done it. About 2 days after I should have had my period I knew something was up. Oh my gosh, I thought, it really worked

I guess we thought we'd have several months of trying to lead up to the real thing, but no. After church last Sunday, Michael and I pulled into a Rite Aid parking lot. Full from drinking "liquid love" (Pastor Jose's term for coffee), I ran inside, found a pregnancy test, and rushed to the bathroom for the moment of truth. On the way in I was intercepted by a store employee. "You can't take merchandise into the bathroom," the shrewd lady said. "This isn't merchandise - this is a PREGNANCY TEST, and I need to go pee now!" The lady had no mercy so, hobbling with legs crossed like a four-year-old, I trudged to the register and bought the test. 

Four minutes later, sitting in the car with Michael again, we found out what would change our lives forever - we were adding another person to our family! Whammy! Just like that. Michael's reaction was a bit of disbelief: "That second line doesn't look bright enough - maybe it's not really a positive." I was like, come on, be happy, but Michael doesn't work that way. It takes him a while to settle in to things. But by the end of the next night, Michael was kissing my belly goodnight... now that's better!