Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Conversation Happened

“Hey Mom, what’s a suspect?”

“That’s a person who someone thinks is guilty of breaking the law.”

“What’s an intruder?”

”An intruder is a person who goes somewhere they don’t have permission.”

”How do police take people to jail?”



Either she’s been secretly watching episodes of Law & Order or she’s planning a criminal heist of sorts.

Should we be worried?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Weekly Bump: 36

Yesterday I officially entered the 9th month of this pregnancy.
Only about 28 more days until our new little one is due to make his or her arrival.

Here’s what I look like at 36 weeks.



I had a dr. appointment late last week and everything was looking good.  We have an appointment tomorrow at the hospital to take a tour, meet the nurses and meet with the anesthesiologist.  In Luxembourg, if you have any plans whatsoever of having an epidural, you must schedule an advanced meeting with the anesthesiologist. 

They didn’t have to remind me twice.

The Baby: The baby is about as big as a cantaloupe, and I’ve read it can weigh as much as 5 pounds.
Maternity clothes: I’m in all maternity clothes except for a few shirts here and there that are long enough to cover my belly.  I’ve pretty much put away all my shoes but Uggs and tennis shoes.  I’m more into comfort these days as opposed to fashion.
Movement: Lots and lots of movement still!  This baby is very active, although it won’t be long before he or she runs out of room.  I was just telling someone that with Hannah, she did more kicks and thumps, while this baby is more of a glider and stretcher.  Pretty much everyday I can feel a little foot up near my ribs.
Sleep: Sleeping has definitely changed over the last few weeks.  At first I thought it was the jet lag when we returned to Luxembourg, but now I think it’s purely the pregnancy insomnia…I have no trouble falling asleep, but I wake up around 2AM and have trouble falling back asleep.  I remember this happening with Hannah and being told that it’s nature’s way of preparing you for all those middle of the night feedings.  Luckily, I have been able to take naps while Hannah is at school!
Food Cravings: Through this entire pregnancy, I can’t recall one craving I’ve had until last week.  I was getting ready for bed and all the sudden I was hungry for pancakes, bacon and eggs – like from Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel.  I told Shawn that we needed to go to the little store across town that sells American groceries but unfortunately it was too late and they were closed.  I am still drinking a lot of ice cold water with lemon or orange slices.
Symptoms:  My belly is growing and growing everyday!  I’m moving much slower and I think I’ve done my last prenatal workout.  I’ve kept them up pretty well and I know that it will help me with labor and delivery and recovering after the birth.  But at this point, my body gets fatigued easily and I just have to stop.  I’ve also been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, and some that can be uncomfortable.  There are certain times that I feel a lot of pressure, so I know the baby is settling in low.  Oh, and lots of “baby brain” moments.  
Gender: It’s a surprise! I just washed, folded and put away all the tiny little onsies, jammies and blankets.  It sure is a lot of green and yellow isn’t it?  All of these things were Hannah’s when she was born.  We didn’t find out if she was a boy or girl until the birth either!


This weekend I plan on packing my hospital bag and having Shawn install the car seat. 
Almost everything in the nursery is ready to go, except for some art that needs hung on the wall.  We are using pretty much all stuff that we either had for Hannah or that we pulled from other rooms in our house.  I spent the better part of this afternoon cleaning and disinfecting.

It’s safe to say that we’re in full nesting mode.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Weekly Bump: 35 (& A Tiny Ballerina)

Well, we’re reaching the homestretch. 
Wednesday I hit the 35 week mark, which means that bebe will be here in 5 weeks or less.
In some ways it seems far off – because I’m starting to get uncomfortable, but in other ways it seems so close because there’s a lot to be done before then.

I had a dr. appointment last week and everything was great.  My dr. has moved to a new office and it’s so beautiful that I felt like I was in a modern art museum.  One of the things that is done differently here in Europe than in the US, is that during the third trimester, at each visit the baby’s heart rate and movements are recorded for about 30 minutes.  So, I get to lay down in a dark, quiet room for a half hour while the nurse monitors all of this. 

I was confused at first.

”Is this a stress test?”
“Oh no, we are just more control freaks here than doctors in America,” she laughed.

Anyway, she returned in 30 minutes and said that our baby looks great.
Then the doctor came in and did an ultrasound and everything there looked good as well.

I told her that I feel like this baby already weighs 11 pounds and she assured me that the baby is not a large baby, but completely in the normal range.  She gave an estimation (in kilos and grams, of course) but I couldn’t do the conversion in my head so I have no idea how much she thought that he/she weighs.

Here we are at 35 weeks and 1 day.  I’m still feeling pretty good, but the third trimester tiredness has set in and I’m not sleeping great at night because it’s difficult to get (and stay) comfortable. 


Tiny ballerina, big mama

Hannah has recently started taking a ballet class and she loves it.
It’s a class for 5 year olds right in our little town and it’s taught in English by a lovely British woman.

I just love her “ballet hair.”

This week is the half term break, or “hoff term” break if you’re British, so all of the kids are off school.  Last year, we took a road trip to Lyon, France; went skiing in the French Alps; and ended up in Geneva, Switzerland.


This year we stayed home because I’m way too pregnant to ski and we just returned from the US, so ballet class was the big highlight of our week.
(Did I mention that our trip back to Luxembourg was Hannah’s NINTH transatlantic flight?)
Anyway, we didn’t realize that class is cancelled during school holidays.


So we got all ready and showed up to an empty classroom with no teacher.
But it was a good time to snap some photos and for Hannah to show me what she’s learning.

(And thank you to my mom for the leotard, skirt, tights and slippers!)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Even His Mustache

I can recall only two times in my life when my dad didn’t have a mustache - a brief period when I was about 14 years old, and late last year when chemo treatments caused him to lose his hair.

102_4141(August 2009)

“Hey, Mom.  When Papa Bob got to heaven, Jesus gave him a new body, right?  He got a new heart and arms and knees?”

”He did.  Remember when we talked about how Papa doesn’t need his old body anymore?  His body was sick and Jesus gave him a new one that has all healthy parts.”

”Did Jesus gave him a new mustache?”

“Yep, he even got a new mustache.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

We Made It Back


I’m having a little trouble blogging recently, but I got an email from a friend that said POST SOMETHING ON YOUR BLOG.  YOU HAVE BEEN SILENT TOO LONG.

Now listen, I can’t think of a time when I’ve ever been silent for any length of time, so ici il est, as the French say.  Here you have it.

We’re back in Luxembourg after a pretty uneventful trip back. 
I’m so thankful for uneventful, because the last five weeks have been anything but.
We flew Pittsburgh to JFK to Brussels and then drove the 2 hours to our house in Luxembourg.

(Oh, and I didn’t give birth on the airplane, of which I was terrified.)
I had been having some big time anxiety about taking such a long flight this late in the pregnancy, but all was fine. 
And my sweet husband booked us on business class (which we never do) so that we could have room to move about and stretch and sleep in those comfy seats that recline all the way back.  And the big pillows and down blankets that they give you are pretty nice, too.
(So is the make your own ice cream sundae cart that they bring around after dinner.)

Even though I’m nearly 34 weeks along now, here’s what I looked like at 32 weeks.
The baby has really dropped, which makes breathing so much easier.


I’m still feeling pretty good – just moving slow and awkward.
Nearly every single person who has seen me in real life has suggested that it’s a boy because of the way I am carrying – all out in front.  By the end of the day, I feel like I have a bag of cement around my waist and my hips are a bit stiff in the mornings when I get up – all normal third trimester stuff, I guess.

Remember a few weeks ago when I said that we were nowhere near prepared and had not one baby item in this house?  Well, I’m happy to report that we have an almost functioning nursery, complete with Hannah’s crib, rocking chair and all manner of baby gear that we probably don’t need.  It just has to be organized and clothes and blankets need to be washed, folded and put away.   Oh, and we need to talk about names because at the moment WE HAVE NOTHING for a boy or girl that we both love.  I’m sure something will come to us.

We spent the majority of last weekend and in pajamas, taking naps and unpacking.  Hannah went back to school on Monday, but we went in a little late because I let her sleep in because of the jet lag.  When we arrived, her friends swarmed around her, jumping up and down and hugging her.  She was so, so happy to be back.  And that makes this mama’s heart so, so happy.

While we were preparing for my dad’s funeral, we got out the old photo albums and put some displays together.  This is probably one of my favorite pictures ever, circa 1982.  That’s me in the blue - I was just a bit younger than Hannah is now.


Love my dad’s white suit. 
I’m going to guess it’s made of 100% polyester.
And some people say that Hannah looks a little like me?

Speaking of my dad’s funeral, it was lovely.  We laughed and cried and Shawn and one of my parents’ neighbors and close friends spoke.  I was so proud of my husband.  He’s a fantastic writer and speaker and story teller.  During the course of the calling hours and funeral, hundreds of people turned up to pay their respects and say goodbye.  At one point, there was a line an hour long just to talk to me, my mom and sister.  My dad was so, so loved.
I’d be remiss not to mention my dad’s best friend, Jim…when the doctors told us there was nothing more they could do and we were moving to “comfort care,” Jim pulled a chair up next to my dad and stayed there through the night, for the next 14 hours until my dad took his last breath.  He never got up once, never ate or drank anything.  He just stayed with him (and us) until the very end.  I can’t imagine a better friend. 

In some other exciting news, my little blog has won a bronze award over at for 2012 Luxembourg expat blogs.Expat blogs in Luxembourg

I wish I could tell my dad about it.  I know he’d be excited because he has always loved reading my blog and forwarding it on to his friends.  I know exactly how the conversation would go:

“Hey - my blog won a award for third best Luxembourg expat blog.”

”No kidding.  How many expat blogs are there in Luxembourg?”


”Eleven, heh?  It sure seems like there’d be more blogs, as big as Luxembourg is.”
(He was always joking around.)
”I’m gonna put your mom on now.  Storage Wars is about to start.  Give Twinks a squeeze for me and tell her Papa misses her.  I love you guys, too.”

I sure do miss him…