Thursday, October 29, 2015

Three quarters through

This is another post about pregnancy. You're welcome.

I can't believe I've already reached week 30 of pregnancy. I've also reached the point where people have started guessing that I'll be having my baby "soon" or "at any time now". That's actually been going on for a couple weeks, and then I have to tell them I've still got around two months to go. But know that I write this out of pure amusement and no hard feelings. I've also had an acquaintance hear me talking about pregnancy and say, "wait, you're expecting!?" Granted, this was while sitting across from him at a long table in a cabin without electricity and only the dim light of candles and lanterns. Later on I walked by him and he noted that the key is to see me in profile.


You can be the judge of that.

In other news, I've been spending the week packing and cleaning in preparation for our move to a new apartment on Saturday. We have a crazy amount of stuff, considering we arrived in this country with two suitcases, a backpack, and a small bag each. I don't really know how or why the stuff grew exponentially. For now I'm focusing on just getting everything packed, but I'm hoping I'll have the energy to do some smart minimising while unpacking.

And now I think my lunch break shall be over. It is time to get back to checking off items on my list!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Knitting and a round belly

Lately I have become completely obsessed with knitting. Baby things are tiny and adorable, and I just can't stop knitting them! Plus I also love browsing through patterns and choosing the perfect thing, and then going to the yarn store and browsing through all the yarns to find the perfect fit for the perfect item I plan to make. I've even been blocking my work, which is something I've never done before. In my mind this is the true sign of dedication.

For the past month or more I've been keenly aware that I look a lot more pregnant than I am. I'd estimate that I look about a month to a month and a half further along than I actually am. I guess photos can be deceiving, but I also have pregnant friends that I see in real life. I've even googled 'would they miss twins at an 18 week ultrasound'… the answer is no, no they would not. I might be growing a giant baby inside of me. Compare these to the ~19 week photo to see just how much growing I've been doing lately.


That is the face of a person who knows you are thinking that maybe my belly is not so large. But I'm prepared to show you that that is a deceptive photo.


Still not convinced?


I'd say that amount of roundness feels pretty true to life.

So that is me. At 24 weeks pregnant. Not 30.

The good news is that my weight gain seems to be on a normal track. I go to see the midwife next week, so hopefully she won't disagree!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A good day

By 5pm it had already felt like a full day. A full day with plenty of good.

I started the day with Swedish class. I'm back again, going to class five hours a day. It was actually a huge ego boost to go back to the class. It had felt like I hadn't advanced much, but going to class made me realise that I really am much further along than when I last left off. So all is good there and hopefully before long I'll be able to take the final test and officially be finished.

On Fridays we finish at noon, so I got to meet up with Greg and some friends for lunch, which is always a good thing. It is rare that the full group is all able to make it due to traveling or meetings or what have you. So, extra nice today.

And after lunch I ventured to the library. I had a stack of books I needed to return, and a list of potential replacements. This year has been far and away my best reading year of my adult life. I figured I could only make a stellar reading year better by adding in a little Astrid Lindgren, in Swedish of course. I decided to try a few of her other books and wait on reading Pippi for the time being.

Other notable things about this good day:
1. I may have found purple maternity pants on a site like ebay, but please don't tell anyone, because I really want to win this auction.

2. There was a cat sitting in our backyard meowing super loudly, so I stuck my head out the window and called to it and it just stared at me and then resumed its loud meowing.

3. There is a local book club (in English) that I haven't gone to yet, because the books always seem a bit out there. The next one could be potentially really good, so fingers crossed for that.

4. When we are in the US there is an opportunity to go to a contra dance with Notorious, who I think is a super fantastic contra dance band.

5. I was sitting with my arm next to my belly and got a huge karate chop from our baby. Startling and awesome.

6. As I started to get hungry for dinner I remembered that last night I made double-dinner, so all I had to do was heat up some leftovers! Plus, tacos on friday, like a good Swede:)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Halfway / The Quickening(?)

It feels unreal for me to already be halfway through this pregnancy. How did that happen? So far I've seen the midwife once and had the ultrasound. It will be another month before I start having regular appointments. And the pregnancy just goes along happening.

Overall pregnancy is very weird. I guess I've probably given most people the impression that I've just gone on feeling like my normal human self most of the time. Which has not really been fully honest. I think I've felt like a normal pregnant human, but that is a different thing from the human I used to be. And it just keeps changing. It is like I get a body of a new person every week. By the end of the week when I'm starting to figure out how that person's body works, then I get a new one to start over with. Some of the bodies are similar to what I'm used to, some are quite dissimilar, and there seems to be no pattern for how they occur. All I know is this week's body could happily live on tomato sandwiches.

Oh, and I stumbled across this super image, further proof of the weirdness of pregnancy. Move it or lose it organs.

Moving along with no segue…

At the beginning of this pregnancy I learned about a thing called The Quickening. So I've been waiting for that. Except that maybe it already happened? I assumed it would be one specific event, but I'm starting to be more and more convinced that the movement I feel is actually our baby. Especially now that I know all my organs are clearing out, what else could it be? Perhaps the quickening marks the time at which you are sure about what you are feeling, regardless of any former suspicions? Perhaps there is still time to let the town know a celebration is impending?

And a [week-old] photo [that I surprisingly don't hate] for posterity.


Friday, August 7, 2015

It's a baby!

Sometimes you go for so long not talking widely about a thing that it makes it sort of hard to start talking about that thing. We had been slowly disseminating the news that we are going to be having a baby, but then we went for our ultrasound and suddenly it seems necessary for everyone to know about this great thing. It doesn't even matter that I know ultrasound images are completely uninteresting to most people. My baby's ultrasound image is the best ever, so of course everyone needs to see it(:


This image is from Thursday, when our baby was 18 cm long and weighed 200 grams. Well done, baby. We were really happy to find out that everything looked good. We aren't going to find out the sex of our baby until it is born, and I hope it doesn't confuse anyone when I alternately refer to our baby as he, she, or it. I only do it with love.

We had a great ultrasound technician, but I did not know that if your baby is stubbornly refusing to turn the right direction for measurements, the technician will (somewhat vigorously) shake around your belly with her ultrasound wand. Makes you feel really good about how jiggly you were already feeling…

A more enjoyable part of the experience was hearing about the "ability" cord. This woman's English was way better than my Swedish, so it only makes me wonder if I've been saying anything as ridiculously cute. In general, it seems that pregnancy-related words are much more sensical in Swedish. For example, the amniotic fluid is called "fetus water". So simple. So of course it should be an ability cord. Umbilical is a completely nonsensical word.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

New Record!

I think three months of no web-logging is a new record for me. But I'm always bound to return eventually.

Folk dance school ended in May. I might be a bit desensitised to saying goodbye to people. It was sad to leave everyone, but since the end of the year didn't come as a surprise to me, it was not devastating.

Now I am unemployed. It is a comfortable situation though, a situation made by choice. It is surprisingly easy to be quite busy even while not working. I do really appreciate having the time to hang clothes to dry on the line outside. Normally laziness would win and everything would get thrown directly into the dryer. I also took the time to harvest some flowers of the elder bush in our yard to make fläderblomssaft. I think this officially makes me Swedish?

Last week I spent the week with a friend going to plenty of folk dances during Musik vid Siljan. I got to reunite with some dance friends and make some new friends. And I got to spend every evening dancing either until sunrise or until the mosquitos were just too much to handle.

I should also document, for posterity's sake, that it is possible to order a "hawaiian burger" in Sweden, which comes with a slice or two of pineapple on it. Not surprising, coming from the country that puts banana on pizza…

This has been sort of hodgepodge, but I never claimed my return would be spectacular(:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

universality and headshots

You know that thing where you point and nearly or actually touch the front of a person's shirt, and you tell them they've got something there, and when they look down you bop them in the nose? Apparently that is universal. You know what is not universal? Dr. Seuss.

Admittedly, these things are probably not so black and white and a bit more situational. But it is a truth from my experience.

Dr. Seuss does have a Swedish wiki page, and the last line says approximately: In english speaking countries, he is the most widely sold children's author, even if he was never especially big in Sweden.


Yesterday I gave Greg a haircut and he trimmed up his beard. (Happy birthday to my MIL, who is the one who appreciates this the most.) Then we spent a bit of time taking photos, because he needed a new professional headshot (think linkedIn, or an academic website, etc.). I think it was a good endeavor. I took 101 photos, 42 of which I think he has a natural or good expression. And of those, 7 are respectable and usable for professional purposes. There are also some pretty great outtakes, which I can only hope will one day make it to the interwebs via twitter or something similar.

Maybe it is rude to talk about it without showing an example, but unfortunately for you, the purpose of the photo taking was for his use, and not for my personal blog use. We'll survive the lack.

At any rate, I'm thinking that I'd like to do this more. It might be more difficult to get natural expressions from people who are not my husband. But it is a thing I enjoy doing, and I think it might be a thing people want/need but find difficult to ask for. Anyone in need of a professional headshot?