What you won’t see

You may have noticed through the past 8 months, yes we are to 36 weeks now, I have not been posting belly bump photos or sharing progress on baby Greene’s size in comparison to fruit or vegetables. I haven’t done any pregnancy photo shoots either. You might have thought this was because we’ve been so busy with other life events. In reality the lack of pictures, what you haven’t seen, it intentional.

Our current culture says the more social media sites you keep up with the more the expectation for tweets, casual pictures, comments, check-ins and so on. It’s easy to get caught up in those expectations; to be allured into creating a false identity that says your life is pintrest-able.

I have the right to post about every second of this pregnancy in mass details to everyone as the social media world expects and our culture deems normal. But, I reserve the right to withhold information as well.

I remember life before social media; before we became the connected generation of the over-informed. My childhood is documented on video tapes and Kodak film (even slides), and is re-told in the memories my parents and grandparents share. Their stories bring it all to life.

I have the privilege, for the most part, of sharing what I want of my life and childhood. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have my whole life documented, not just for close family but for the world online.

I want to respect my child’s privacy, and his childhood by not posting every milestone and moment.

So what you won’t see are the naked bath tub shots, the diaper-as-only clothing times; the diaper messes, the drawings on the wall, or food all over the face.  Those to me are personal, memories of motherhood to share with close family and friends, in conversations, in person.

Those moments may be cute, funny, or receive sympathy for us as the parents, but could cause anger and embarrassment for our son when he is older.  The children of our generation have little to no control over what moments of their childhood are shared with the world. We as the parents have to do what we feel is right to preserve a sense of privacy.

There are plenty of beautiful moments of our new adventure as a growing family that I will gladly share with all of you. But fair warning, there are plenty as well that you won’t see.

the list

Blame it on nesting instinct or my naturally task-driven personality, but my entire focus has been on a list of what needs to be done before baby Greene comes. Fortunately my wonderful husband understand this motivation and is faithfully plugging away at this list even as a write. Meanwhile I struggle with not being able fulfill these goals by myself, being pregnant has taught me to ask for help, to admit limitations, and to let go of control. Hard lesson for sure.

Now, some items on this list are time sensitive, like finalizing a birth plan, or buying items for hospital bags. Still others, especially house projects, are not absolutely necessary right now. But boy do they feel like it. From the gnarled trees in the backyard, to the unpainted wall in the kitchen, to the minimal furniture in the living room, to the pile of boxes in the family/dining room. They all are important and all of them need to get done, and done now.

I guess the fear is that once this little boy is born all plans and house work will go out the window. It’s easy to feel this way. Everyone says life completely changes once you have a child, now I’m not sure if that’s meant to be advice or encouragement, either way it feels a little vague and ominous, but I understand the intent.

Our birth class coach said, the projects and house work will always be there, they will be right there, waiting for us to finish them whenever we are ready. Even the nursery doesn’t have to be completely decorated right away. What won’t be there after this child is born is our “single life”, our per-parent selves will be gone, forever.

So I realized yes, we need to move forward on projects, and we need to plug away at that list on the fridge, but we also need to find time. Time to rest, time to relax, time with each other. Whether that’s playing a short game after dinner, going to sonic on a Thursday night, or taking an hour out of our weekend to go miniature golfing; we need to still connect with each other. We need quality time that has nothing to do with major life adjustments of the last 9 months, both for our relationship and for ourselves. We need to enjoy these last few weeks with our pre-parent identities.

Right now that time doesn’t come naturally, we have to plan for it, put it in our calendar then not feel guilty about taking that time. But, in the grand scheme I recognize this time together is more important, more memorable, more rewarding than accomplishing the list on the fridge.

mini-golf

As I mentioned in my Easter post, this past weekend Luke and I took time to check out the local mini-golf place.

I grew up close to several well established mini golf places with both indoor and outdoor courses. I realize being in SoCal I was more than a little spoiled and overwhelmed by  entertainment options. Luke and I, before this past weekend, had only gone mini-golfing twice together. Once before we got married, because we felt it was a date we should do as part of our “dating” story-line. And the second time with family in Oregon after my brother’s graduation for more on this see 2013 vacation part 1 .

So it is not something we have done often, nor something I’d say I’m good at. Still we thought it’d be a fun and easy short date before our birth class.

We got to the Shankz Miniaturize Gold and for $ 9.00 a person, cheaper for seniors and kids, and got our balls and clubs, a great deal. Walking up a set of stairs we found the 18 hole indoor course.

Everything is covered in glow in the dark paint and hit with black lights;  the artwork on the walls we found pretty impressive. For only one course it was packed with decorations challenges and fun. The course is split into three themed areas: first underwater, then jungle, then last dinosaur. Classic music from Ray Charles, to Elivs, to Johnny Cash played in the background as we move from hole to hole.

It was a quiet day and we were alone on the course which helped us feel no pressure and take our time. Even if we did have to wait there were plenty of benches for sitting along the way. We didn’t keep exact score but I felt it was one of my best games, I was able to get most holes even with obstacles in 2-3 moves.

After our round we checked out the arcade, which although not extensive, included several classic favorites including donkey kong, pac man, galaga, pin ball, air hockey and more. We know where to go if we want a little classic game competition.

We had a great time and know it’s worth the short trip and money, a great date activity. We’ll probably go again and hopefully next time bring along some family to enjoy the fun.

My pictures really don’t do the place justice, this is the first time I’ve tried taking pictures with glow in the dark and black light. If you want a better idea of what the course looks like check out their website by clicking on the link found in their name above.

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Happy Easter 2017!

Happy Easter everyone!

It’s hard to believe that a year ago we were off on our spring break New York City vacation. For more on our whirlwind three day NYC trip last year, start with the blog post: NYC Day 1 financial district. We didn’t know it then, but that was our last vacation before Baby Greene, and it was a memorable one.

flowers from last weekend’s shower

This Easter weekend has been much slower and easier. We had the BBQ Orgeon Shower last weekend and next weekend will have my brother and sister-in-law at our place to help us with a few projects.

So we have been enjoying the sunshine, and working on house projects. The project line up for this weekend includes cutting down the brittle mossy walnut trees close to the back end of the house. When we moved in half of the branches were down from winter wind storms; we knew it was only a matter of time before the rest of trees came with. Another project is getting shelving painted and installed in the nursery. I am, as you can imagine, anxious to organize the baby room with all of the wonderful items we have received from showers and our registry.

But we are also taking time for fun. Like every year, I made hot crossed buns with cream cheese icing for the holiday weekend breakfasts. For Easter we are doing a simple brunch of hot cross buns and berry salad with bacon and eggs. The original plan was a bacon, spinach, and tomato quiche but the oven element died at the end of my hot crossed bun baking session on Thursday, so we’ll be without an oven for a few days.

We decided also to go on a date on Saturday to check out the black light mini-golf place in town. More on this to come.

We know that we have many years of Easter egg hunts and traditional Easter events with family coming very soon so we are perfectly comfortable keeping this year simple.

How are you spending your holiday weekend?

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BaByQ Oregon Shower

This past weekend my in-laws hosted a BBQ/baby shower for us and Baby Greene.

Luke’s Dad, John, is locally famous for his BBQ and homemade sauce and loves to host parties to share his BBQ with others. So we decided to do a joint shower/ BBQ party at my in-laws house in Oregon for all family and friends who live in the Northwest.

The house was decorated in streamers and tablecloths in shades of blue to celebrate baby Greene and balloons and flowers brightly contrasted in our nursery colors of yellow, green, and orange. Early that morning, John was hard at work cooking the meat outside and Diana finishing up the sides and appetizers in the kitchen. As I was getting ready, Luke’s Aunts and Uncles arrived with the cake, balloons, and appetizers ready to help with set up and last minute food items.

As guests arrived men left beer and diapers on the front porch and women brought in their gifts for the shower. After everyone had a chance to talk and catch up, the meat was cut up and we all enjoyed a great BBQ meal together. John had cooked up: brisket, lamb, chicken, sausage, and pork, plenty of options to choose from. We ate that alongside homemade potato salad, baked beans, several homemade salsas and hot sauces, chips, rolls, and of course his famous BBQ sauce.

There was beer, and wine, and for the mom-to-be both sparkling apple cider and lime/pineapple sherbet punch. Whenever a plate of meat seemed to get low another tray full  was brought in. The men carved the meat in the garage, out of the rain, which was a delight for Kira. She was able to enjoy the company as well as the scraps from the floor. She was later rewarded for not eating what was on the table when unattended by being given quite a few bones to take home with her.

Once everyone had their fill of food the cake was cut. A very well decorated white cake with blue baby shoes on top; we got to take the center piece with the shoes home with us for later.

With cake distributed, I was given the seat of honor in the living room, the rocking chair. This rocking chair was used when Luke was little, John painted it for me and Diana bought seat cushions to match our nursery. It is very comfortable and I’m looking forward to using it in our nursery soon. Then Luke opened his father-to-be present from his parents: a large diaper/baby backpack filled with wipes, snacks, and toys.

After this, the men were encouraged to head downstairs or outside and the women sat in the living room as I opened gifts. With the help of family I opened present after present of baby clothes, blankets, diapers, wipes, toys, books, and other wonderful gifts from family and friends.

Once gifts were opened, everyone began socializing and some began to head home. After several guests had left, I was able to get some quality time with Luke’s family. We cleaned up from the shower, opened cards, and wrote down who gave us which items. That evening we brought in plastic boxes from the car to fill with presents. We were so blessed to have a full box of diapers and wipes, and a whole additional box of all other presents. Later into the evening we sat around talking and snacking on leftovers, enjoying the end of a wonderful BBQ/Baby shower.

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Our New Car

So alongside a new house, and a soon-to-be new member of the family, we also just purchased a new car. Well it’s new to us.

Luke and I have been primarily using my red ’01 CRV that I received in college as both our travel car and Luke’s commuting car. The first two years of marriage we shared the CRV as our only car. For more on this see living with one car blog from a few years ago. Once again the past four months we have shared the CRV as our only car.

We realized that with the big changes coming in our lives soon we would want a second vehicle. It would be a little ridiculous to wake up our new baby and get us both loaded in the CRV in order to drop Luke off at work early in the morning. All of this just so I can go to the grocery store and run basic errands. Then I’d have to pick him up for work again, and we live further from his work now in the new house. That adds almost two hours of unneeded driving to my day.

In all, we decided we could use an upgrade. So we found a used ’11 Acadia. It’s a ten year step up in both modernization and size. I am still trying to get used to all of the new buttons and technology. Also because it is bigger I am adjusting to the larger engine and turning radius in parking lots.

But now we feel like we have enough room for dog, us, baby, and all of our travel gear for holidays or vacations to see family in the Northwest.

The CRV will now become Luke’s commuting car and the Acadia will be the mom/ travel car. And yes it’s a little weird to think of this new car as my mom-“mini-van”. But with extra seating, lower mileage, and being a little less worn and torn it makes sense.

It’s nice that the back row of seats fold down so easily and the bucket seats in the middle do as well, so there is plenty of room for a larger trunk area on longer trips.

We bought the car just in time to bring it down to the BBQ/Shower at my in-laws house and fill it up with wonderful gifts. (More on the BBQ/Shower to come.)

 

 

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mini date: food truck

This past weekend we got a lot done. The living room was patch painted and furniture moved in. The nursery was mopped, we bought shelving for the closets, and furniture moved  in as well. In addition this, we did a tour of the family birth center at the hospital and test drove a car we are looking at buying. More pics and information on all of that to come.

But in the middle of this very busy weekend we were able to have a moment of fun and exploration.

We drive the same route every week to our birth class in Northern Olympia. So I decided  to look on google maps to see what food options were close to where our  class meets. I discovered there are interesting looking restaurants and stores along 4th and State running east of our normal northern route via Plum st.

We were running low on time, but we knew there were food trucks parked on the corner of 4th and Plum.

It was a beautiful sunny spring day with a little wind blowing off the bays. We  walked up to the parking lot where the food trucks are set up in a circle around wood picnic benches and a planter box.  There four food trucks were parked featuring Middle Eastern, Venezuelan, Indian fusion, a traditional taco truck.

Since we were exploring, Luke decided to order a lamb/beef shawarma from Nineveh , the Assyrian food truck, and side order of bourek. I went to the Venezuelan truck, called AREPA: latin street food, and ordered the carne arepa with a side of yuca fries. To drink we went to the California Tacos truck for glass bottled Jarritos and Coke.

The food was very flavorful, and great portions for the cost. Luke really enjoyed his shawarma and after a bite I’m looking forward to trying their falalfel shawarma. The bourek was something new to me, an egg roll on the outside with middle eastern spiced ground beef/lamb and spinach on the inside, very tasty. My arepa was great, another first for me, the bun is made of corn so it’s gluten free! (yay) and the shredded beef was savory. The yuca fries were great too, and even better when dipped in the cilantro/avocado dressing they came with.

In all, although slightly rushed, it was a fun discovery with great food and a wonderful mini date in the midst of a busy weekend.

How is your spring going?

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