Thursday, November 27, 2008

More Thanksgiving

This morning as we cuddled on the couch watching the splendor of the parade, with a cat sleeping on my toes and The Olive steadily squirming inside me, I couldn't help but to think again how much I have to be thankful for this year. I know this feeling will continue to hit me throughout the day as the family gathers and the food is served.

Last night making cranberry sauce I was even blown away by how thankful I am for colors. I guess these pregnancy hormones are not letting me take anything for granted and I'm enjoying that feeling. Enjoy my Thanksgiving colors and your whatever your own little are things to give thanks over.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Time to Give Thanks

Last year around this time, I was finishing up last minute wedding details and trying to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. And although I am in a totally different place this year, I am still enjoying the Thanksgiving season. I love that Thanksgiving centers on food and family. Really, those are two of my favorite things.

On Monday of this week, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary with traditional paper gifts and a fancy schmancy dinner out. This year has gone so fast, and I'm so thankful for everything that has transpired in it. The little Olive who is steadily growing inside of me is a testament to the love we share and the life we are building together. And that is a lot to be thankful for this year.

Friday, November 21, 2008

That Christmas Spirit

I know, I know, it's too early to be talking about the holiday season...but indulge me anyway. I'm typically a person who staunchly waits until after Thanksgiving to do any type of holiday of activity. So until the turkey noodle soup (made with the end of the Thanksgiving bird) is all gone, there is no gift buying, no wrapping, no caroling and certainly no general merrymaking. All of this grinchiness changed last night as I sat in the beautiful and ornate Ohio Theater and watched Harry Connick Jr. perform his Christmas concert. The show was fantastic and a lot of fun. On top of being adorable, it turns out Harry is totally goofy. The regal setting in the Ohio Theater couldn't be beat for a night of jazz and the snow falling outside was just an added bonus to really make it clear that Christmas is on its way.

Smiling as Harry made his way through the familiar tunes, I couldn't help but to think of the other not-to-be missed activities around Columbus this season.
  • I'll definitely be making it to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for Winter Wildlights. Bundling up and sipping hot chocolate as you stroll through the light display is half the fun, so no fair picking a warm day to visit (besides it's more crowded on the warmer days and way more crowded as you get closer to December 5).
  • Although I usually avoid the malls this time of the year, I am really excited to visit Easton Town Center at some point. The folks there have gone out of their way to make shopping into an experience. Beautiful decorations, carriage rides, pedicabs and photos with Santa are all featured. It's the Season of Giving at Easton and if you are caught feeding a meter, you might be rewarded with a gift card that is given out each hour.
  • The Holiday Hop in the Short North Arts District is always on my holiday must-do list. Not only is the Short North a great destination for one of kind gifts, but it also a wonderful urban holiday experience complete with fantastic window displays and unbeatable people watching.
  • For me the holiday season wouldn't be complete without letting some of that inner snarkiness escape (and it's best not to do that with family around), for this purpose there is nothing better than a trip to Catco's Santaland Diaries. You can't beat the works of David Sedaris for bringing out the levity in any situation and this one-man show leaves me in tears of laughter.

Next year, with an 8 month old baby, I know Christmas won't be about me anymore. I'm looking forward to that. I can't wait to put funny hats on the little Olive and take pictures under the tree, but this year I want to make sure I take full advantage of Christmas without a child. So from here on out, there will be baking and decorating and shopping galore. I'll make sure not to forget about the general merrymaking either.

What are your not-to-be-missed holiday outings or traditions?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Boy?

This week we had the ultrasound to check on the growth and development of the baby. The Olive has come a long way since he earned that nickname back in week 9! We could now see a fully formed and strong spine, all the chambers of a strongly beating heart and a cute little button nose. Chris and I were both on a ultrasound for the rest of the day Thursday and couldn't stop smiling.

The first ultrasound at 8.5 weeks was interesting and it did a good job of confirming that, yep, there is something growing in there. But this ultrasound at 22 weeks was absolutely amazing! At this point, I've bonded with the little guy and am getting used to the feeling of movement inside of me. I know what positions or food are likely to get a reaction and I know to expect a lot of movement around 4 p.m. each afternoon.

We watched the Olive swallowing and moving arms all about. I had had a few sips of coffee at lunch before the appointment and the Olive looked to be enjoying the caffeine high because there was very little sitting still. The doctor had us turn our heads while he was checking out the lower half of the Olive. I might have sneaked a quick peek before both the doctor and Chris reminded me to turn my head again. What I saw was inconclusive, but I still have a strong boy feeling.

For those who like to guess about the gender based on the size or location of the belly, have at it:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Weekend At Home

For the past three weekends, we have had the privilege of attending the weddings of friends and family. While it was wonderful to see old friends, catch up with family and witness the happy couples make a lifelong commitment to one another, I'm very glad to have this weekend to just be at home.

We celebrated our weekend at home by walking to Cup of Joe yesterday morning. We don't often walk that particular direction in our neighborhood, so it was fun to see the houses we aren't so familiar with as well as the trees in the end of their fall color. We also stopped at PattyCake bakery on the way back for a special vegan treat. While I can't tell you what they make their delicious baked goods with (seriously, what's in there), I can tell you they are delicious.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning as it is becoming more and more apparent that our little Olive is coming and is going to need some room in our house. I'm glad nesting has set in for me and I not only have the energy to clean, but also the desire. As always, I find nature to be very insightful and helpful.

Today is more of a lazy Sunday. We've come to treasure the rhythm of Sunday mornings that we have fallen into over the years, with fresh coffee straight from the French press, coupon cutting from the Dispatch and watching This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Later we'll head over to my parents for Sunday dinner. It's good to be back at home and back in the weekend routine.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What's Next

After reading Obama's speech from last night, I'm even more excited to see our country walk together down this new path.

My little Olive will be growing along with his presidency and I'm eager to see how they both unfold over the next four years. Godspeed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

There are so many thoughts running through my head this election day. Here are a few of them:
  • Chris woke up early, threw on some clothes and walked to our polling location. He waited for about an hour to vote. I woke up earlier than normal, showered and then headed to the polling place. By that time Chris was home, having done his civic duty. He got dressed, I finished waiting about 45 minutes and voted. Then we met at Starbucks for our free voting day coffee and both headed to work. There are very few things that have Chris and me waking up early. Free coffee isn't one of them.
  • Being a life-long Ohio resident, I've always been pretty much assured real American status. We're in the heartland here and I never thought my level of American-ness would be questioned. After all, I live in a place with a really large state fair that features a cow made out of butter. With the butter cow, all the fields of corn, and the rich presidential history, I didn't think until this election cycle that my claim on being American would ever be questioned.
  • We live in a Democracy, but we also live in a representative Democracy. We don't each go and vote on each issue in Washington DC, that would be chaos. Instead we choose people to speak for us. We should pick the best and brightest among us. I've had beer with plenty of people, and I wouldn't trust any of them with the foreign relations of this country. Who you would like to have beer with is not, and never has been, a valid criterion for choosing our President.
  • Clearly the Olive was with me when I voted this morning. More now than ever before I want to make sure the world is going to be a good and safe place for whoever he or she turns out to be. A country of hate and division is not a place I want to raise my child. I want my child to have opportunity and to treasure education and to have access to both.
  • A couple of tears rolled down my face as I voted for Mr. Barack Obama to be our President. It was overwhelming to me to vote for Change and believe it might actually happen.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halfway Point

Friday marked my 20th week of pregnancy. In some ways it has seemed like a long journey since I stared in disbelief at that home pregnancy test back in July. In other ways it seems like not much has changed, except of course everything is now different. Time has flown, time has dragged by and time hasn't passed at all.

Our little Olive is now the size of a small cantaloupe and I can feel the movement as he flips through my day. She is also making her presence very known as my waist widens and I find myself reaching for the stretchy pants each morning.

In another 20 weeks, we'll (fingers crossed) have met our little Olive. I can't wait to get to know her, to share our world with him and to show the Olive what a loving family he was born into. If the first 20 weeks of this experience went so quickly and so slowly at the same time, I'm looking forward to uncovering the joy of the next 20.