I think we got the good and the bad on our weekend trip to Michigan. The weather was beautiful when we got there on Thursday and all of Ann Arbor seemed to be blooming. Friday was more overcast though I was able to comfortably wear my shorts during the day. Saturday the rain came in and Sunday it was just too freaking cold!
John and Shannan have a beautiful little girl named Maddy. She's 2 months old and already has a distinct personality. I would get to hold her when she was getting fussy. I would walk around with her, experiment with different positions, and she would stop fussing. Both John and Shannan kept saying, "This is so great. Do you want to stay?". I have no illusions that meeting the demands of a newborn are very difficult, but I also think the Shaws are doing much better coping than they think they are. We only got to see Shannan and Maddy on Thursday night for dinner (John grilled the HEB fajita meat that we took up for them), but John was also able to join us for breakfast on Friday (Shannan made an early start to Pittsburg to visit with her sister who's baby is due sometime in the next 2 weeks). It was wonderful to see them...I wished they lived closer so we could visit more often and more conveniently.
More later (if we're lucky). I have to get ready for work now.
Despite the questionable weather, Stepan and I did manage to make it to a couple of parks that had some lovely hiking trails.
The first was the Dolph Natural Area on the west side of Ann Arbor. We stopped there on Friday before heading off to East Lansing. The area includes the only two natural lakes in the area and the hiking trail takes you around both of them. The birdsong was incredible...it almost made me wish I had the patience to be a birder. We did see heron, swan, and one bird that was completely black except for a startingly bright splash of yellow on/around the wings.
On Saturday, before the rains hit town, we went hiking at Meridian Riverfront Park. It didn't seam like as much was in bloom, though that could be due to the cold weather and cloudy conditions, but the birdsong was just a wonderful here as it was in Ann Arbor. This trails we looped on here were probably less than 3 miles long. Parks of these trails were paved and included informational plaques about the "palpable silence" of the woods in winter time (Stepan found the poetic prose of the plaques kinda hokey). One section of the trail wound through a stand of incredibly tall pine trees...it smelled heavenly and with the pine needles cushioning our steps the silence was indeed palpable.
My words do these hikes scant justice. One day soon, one of us will post our pictures from this weekend. No telling when that will happen though...holding your breath for it wouldn't be advisable!
Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head? and you have no idea where it came from? and the worse part is you only remember part of the lyrics so the same stanze keeps playing over and over and over?
Well, here's what's currently playing at KJFR: My Eyes Adored You by Frankie Valli...
My eyes adored you
Though I never laid a hand on you
My eyes adored you
Like a million miles away from me you couldn't see how I adored you
So close, so close and yet so far...
I think The Belly is all anybody really sees of me anymore. And I know it's only going to get worse since The Belly is only going to get bigger and bigger and bigger.
Last night, I asked Stepan to name which of my features he likes the best. He said it was my "sunny disposition". Overall that's a pleasing answer to me, but the first thing I thought was it sounded an aweful lot like getting the "she's got a great personality" answer to a guy's inqueries about a blind date. His 2nd answer was my Belly.
Also, this morning when I got to work, the very first comment I got was about The Belly...that's kinda understandable, I guess, since I'm wearing a form fitting maternity shirt I'm borrowing from Elizabeth.
Nobody (including Stepan) has yet made a comment on my new haircut.
Father Bill, the priest at St. Albert's, sings Ave Maria at the end of mass every Mother's Day. That being Grandma's favorite song, as soon as I got out of church today I called Mom and Grandma to invite them to Austin for Mother's Day next year. Anybody else who is interested is more than welcome to join us. I go to the 8:30am service, and as long as Grandma is up for it, we'll walk the half mile to church.
Oh yeah. My church also gives out little presents to moms on Mother's Day (they also give out presents to dads on Father's Day), for the past couple of years, they've been giving out coffee mugs, but this year they handed out begonia plants. My first Mother's Day gift :-)
I've (read Stepan has) done some site redesign this morning. Unfortunately, the style isn't loading correctly. To fix it, Stepan says you need to empty your cache...I'm not sure where that's located yet, but I'll repost as soon as I get back from lunch. In the meantime, Stepan want to reassure everybody that the new design looks great on his mac!
I've been strongly hinting to Stepan for weeks now that he should get me something for Mother's Day this year. Stepan came through with flying colors. When I got home from church this morning, there were beautiful fresh flowers on the dining table and a present that contained an awesome maternity top from Mimi Maternity. A couple of days ago, I was stressing that if he got me something for Mother's Day then I would have to get him something for Father's Day....he said I could get him a tie.
Anyway (more about me, now). This afternoon we met Carlos and Diane at Tuscany for lunch and I got see and enjoy the whole Mother's Day racket even more! As we walked in the door, Magic 95 was handing out roses to all the moms and the dessert counter was giving away chocolate covered strawberries. When we went to pay for our brick-oven pizzas, the cashier asked me if I was a mother. I patted The Belly and told her I was working on it. She decided that that counted and gave us a "mothers eat free" coupon to apply towards our lunch.
Free food, friends, flowers, and fine new clothes...a very, very good First Mother's Day.
I made it rain here in Austin yesterday. After a month of talking about going swimming, I finally put my swim bag together and brought it to work. It rained most of the day. It continues to rain now - though the radio says we have a chance of sunshine in the afternoon. I love the rain, but it would be really nice to get a break in the clouds from about 5pm-6:30pm today!
I've been listening to my Freddy Fender cd. I wish I had danced "I'll Be There Before the Next Teardrop Falls" as the father/daughter dance at my wedding (which was 588 days ago). Meredith suggested it, but I thought is sounded too sad for a wedding. But truely it would have been the perfect father/daughter dance:
If he brings you happiness then I wish you both the best
It's your happiness that matters most of all
But if he ever breaks your heart if the teardrops ever start
I'll be there before the next teardrop falls
I thought about putting this in the baby blog, because I was getting teary-eyed listening to the song. I would have titled the entry "Hormonal".
I'm going to be a terrible mother. I've finally gotten myself to sit down at my computer to do some long delayed work and Homer keeps coming to get me to play with him. He's so adorable when he sits down by chair and looks up at me with his beautiful brown eyes...it's very distracting. To give myself credit, I have actually gotten up to play with him a couple of time, but the only thing he wants to do is be chased around the kitchen table...something I just can't seem to work up the enthusiasm for. So what do I do? I give him bone! I assuage my guilt at chosing work over my dog by giving him treats...yeah, I'm going to be a terrible mother...
Yesterday was Packing Day at WHM. I spent most of the day packing up my office in preparation for the movers who came today to cart all our stuff to our new place downtown. I've not been looking forward to this move at all, but I'm now extremely excited about my new office. I threw a lot of crap away! There were things in my desk and in my lateral files that nobody had touched since way before I became the graphics department. I tossed project discs that were labeled 1992 and probably can't even be opened by any of our current machinery...including a box a 5 1/4 floppies. Tomorrow, most of the office will be in the new place to unpack so that we can all have a productive Monday...oh Happy Day!
Everybody at work seems to love the new office. We're still getting organized, working out the kinks, and trying to get all of our systems running. Thanks to those commies at SWB, we didn't have internet or email or a working fax machine today...hopefully tomorrow. Overall, I think I'm going to like it there. It's hard to be enamored of it at the moment when I had to work late (I left at 8pm) and am back in my home office now with my homework.
Mom, I'm just kidding about the commie comment (I'm cranky and overworked). My new route to work takes me past a SWB office which had people on the picket line this morning. I gave them a honk and a wave. Power to the People! Don't let The Man get you down!
I nearly forgot to mention that I actually uploaded some pictures from our trip to Michigan to my photo page. Check out Michigan: Anna's Wedding if you get a chance. These are just pictures from the wedding. The rest of the pictures from the trip will eventually be posted to Stepan's photo pages.
We had a wonderful, but quick, trip to Dallas this weekend. We headed up to Dad's on Saturday afternoon after I got back from Team Danskin Training (it was our first open water swim practice). We got there around 4pm and just hung out all night watching old movies on cable. While Dad was grilling steaks for dinner, Stepan, Homer, and I went swimming in the pool. I think we'll have to do that more often! After dinner, Stepan fell asleep on the couch around 7:30pm while Dad and I stayed up until 11pm watching the first two Die Hard movies.
On Sunday, Dad and I went to 8am Mass (the church was celebrating Pentecost). Then Stepan and I drove to Dallas to spend the day with The Schells and to celebrate Hanka's birthday. Ron's extended family came over in the early afternoon and we had a wonderful lunch of smoked/grilled/baked game including wild boar, antelope, venison, and elk...all bagged by Ron and/or his brothers on various hunting trips in Colorado and Texas. My favorite was the elk and Stepan really enjoyed the boar ribs. Most of the women in Ron's family brought a side dish; there was macaroni and cheese, a wonderful potato salad, and deliscious baked beans. Ron's mom brought an oreo cookie pie and an apple crumble...the apple crumble was delicious - I think I'll find a recipe for it and start making it for myself.
The main purpose of the whole trip to Dallas was to do a belly mold for Hanka. It turned out beautifully. I think it helped this one that Petra (a Czech friend of Hanka's) and I were the only ones working on it...though Verunka (Petra's 5-year-old daughter) helped by getting the plaster strips wet for us. I'm very pleased with the outcome and am looking forward to doing my own even more now.
So far my biggest complaint about being pregnant is trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in. From everything I've read and been told, my best position for the baby is on my left side. That's fine for a while, but if I stay in that position all night, I wake up with horrible aches in my left hip. I have a body pillow, but I haven't figured out how to best use it yet. I've also tried putting a small pillow between my knees, but every time I've tried it, I've woken up with horrible cramping in the top calf.
I have had a couple of good nights: once with a flat, soft pillow supporting The Belly and once, surprisingly, at my dad's on his ancient king-size bed that I've never slept well on because it's too soft. I haven't yet been able to duplicate the these successes for two nights in a row.