Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend Update

The weekend was terrific! On Thursday (the end of the week, not the weekend), Stephanie came over and painted The Giving Tree on the baby room wall. It looks AMAZING!! And, it was like CSI: she looked at Shel's drawing in the book, figured out the order in which he drew the leaves on the tree, and copied that process all blown up on the wall. She did bring an overhead projector that looked like something from WWII but it didn't work. The image was really small and the tree was supposed to take up the whole wall to the ceiling. We got to catch up on life and we listened to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It was fabulous!

Friday and Saturday I was at the Ladies Retreat and it was GREAT!! The focus was on Godly Womanhood, including how to maintain a relationship with God through prayer and reading the Bible, mentorship and how we are called to mentor and to be mentored. It was very spiritually refreshing and it was a whole lot of fun! I met several women who live near our new house! We're going to try their Shepherding Group sometime soon since it's much closer to home. It'll be really hard to leave the group we're in though! Maybe we can be in 2 groups... who knows?
I was feeling a little sick on Friday so instead of staying for 2 nights, I only stayed one - which worked out great since we stayed most of the day Saturday and the women I was staying with all went home Sat night. It was also nice because I got to hang out with Shamus Sat night and I didn't think we'd get to do that. We were both feeling a little sick so we just chilled out on the couch. It was nice to do that together!
We got a ton of rain so I guess we'll be getting a ton of grass, right? I hope it didn't wash away the seed!!
Looking forward to another fun week!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Week 31

Bending over has a new sound now that I'm 7 months pregnant. It's something like "Wooough-youragiantbaby" followed by rapid breathing to recover from not breathing the whole time I was bending over. This added process helps me feel better about the true struggle it is to pick something up off the floor for several reasons: 1. I make a funny noise and since I'm not a boy under 12, I have to have an excuse - and I do! 2. I blame it on the baby - not my fault that moving my body in a natural way is really tough! 3. I remind myself that the giant mass of flesh in my way is actually my child and not just an odd growth of chub, and 4. I catch my breath in the end, every time.
Bartok is obviously growing! Last week he weighed around 3 lbs and this week he weighs around 4 and is getting a little chubby! He's supposed to keep chunking it on by gaining a half a pound every week until 2 weeks before his birth. Remember how he has that lanugo hair all over him? He's starting to lose that now. He's also opening and closing his eyes and he's able to track light in the womb! He's kicking and moving a lot - especially at night when I'm ready for bed. He also seems to react to me being hungry, eating, and drinking a cold drink.
I'm still teaching English at the Literacy Center but I'm also trying to earn some money doing it. So when you call and get my answering machine, you can try to figure out what all I say in Spanish! And you can even leave me a message in Spanish if you want! (I already had a friend do that - she said she just had to after hearing the answering machine.)
Yard update: We have grass!!!! Little tiny grass sprouting up pretty much everywhere that we planted! I've been picking weeds to prepare to plant the rest of the yard. I take our 5-gallon bucket and pick as many as I can in the not-quite-bent-over-all-the-way-so-I-can-still-breathe position or I just squat and pick everything I can reach and stuff it all in
to the bucket. Up, walk a few yards, squat and reach and pull. It's like aerobics. When the bucket is overflowing, I waddle over to the empty lot next door and dump it out. It's a little overwhelming because I've already done 25 gallons and it's hard to even tell where I've picked weeds and where I haven't. I'll have to take before and after photos for the rest of the yard - hopefully I'll be able to see progress that way! We had some friends from our Shepherding group over for dinner on Wednesday and that was especially fun! I was really excited to be able to play hide and seek with someone. Allison, our friends' 2-year-old daughter was very excited to play with me - unlike Shamus (although he did participate so I guess I just have to wait a few years till our son is old enough to play and then we can all play together!!)
Last Saturday we bought a lawnmower!! He is named after Colonel Sanders and a street in downtown Greenville: Harland Wyche Cronin. He sometimes loses his bag but he does the job! On our journey to purchasing Harland Wyche, we met who I think is the guy from Waterboy with the crazy bayou accent. It was great... but I couldn't understand most of what he said. We ended up buying from a different guy but the adventure was wonderful! My friend Stephanie Pieper is coming over to paint The Giving Tree on our wall tomorrow! I can't wait to see her and to have the baby room decorated! :) Also, this weekend is the Ladies Retreat through our church. I'm really excited about going! I'm staying with ladies from my shepherding group and I'm hoping to get to know them better and to meet some more women in addition to being immersed in God's word with other Christian women. Should be a great weekend!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Week 30

This week was filled with yardwork and house maintenance, along with teaching English and selling stuff on ebay. We planted grass in a HUGE section of our yard even though we didn't get to finish preparing it. We had to get a waiver from our water company in order to water the grass on a regular basis and we foud out that we only have the waiver for 3 weeks! That means the seeds need to be planted ASAP and watered before our permission expires!! So it isn't as well-prepared as we'd hoped but we're praying that some grass will come in so that our yard will stay in place. We've been selling random things on ebay and we've had some success! We've sold several textbooks and now we're on to selling "collectibles" that we have but don't really collect. Hopefully we can save up a little extra money for the baby expenses! Also this week, I tried to set up a moms discussion group through our church. I only got 2 women's contact info but it's better than none!! Please pray that this will fufill its purpose - to connect with our church, discuss biblical parenting and to learn from one another as much as we can!
On Saturday, we went to the Clemson NC State football game!!! My friends came in from Chicago, Richmond, Charlotte, Asheville, and Columbia to have a reunion! 5 of us have been friends since freshman year when we all lived on the same hall. Ariadna came in from Columbia and Jim, Judy and Sam all went to the game, too! It was pretty hot and our seats were in the upper deck. Somehow, I managed to not get a sunburn!! Saturday night didn't go so well after climbing all those stairs in the stadium and walking across campus... I kept waking up with painful calf cramps. But that's part of being pregnant! My freshman friends came by the house and got the tour and they got lots of pictures of their hands on the Bartok belly. I'll post some on here when I get them!
On Sunday we introduced ourselves to all the kids because we're helping with the Activities Team - which means we'll be serving around 6 times this school year for all 3 services. Our job is to work with the other members of our team to create outdoor games that reinforce what the kids are learning in their Sunday school classes. Should be lots of fun!! Sunday was also a big day for Sam and Judy - they both felt Bartok kick for the first time! Sam was determined to feel a kick before she leaves for Ireland. She can check that off the list! Tomorrow we're taking Sam to the airport and seeing her off. She's going to have an amazing semester in Ireland!!! She already has plans to go to Italy, London, and several other places. We're so proud of her!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Week 29

Everyday this week we've been in the yard! It's great that Shamus gets home from work in the afternoon with enough time (and sometimes enough energy) to take a pick axe to the rocks in our backyard and prepare it for grass seed. We're watering our hill and there's no sign of grass blades yet but we've got about 5 more days till we'll see anything. Shamus did plant this week on one plot of land, which he named Samwise Gamgi. I spent lots of time tilling up the land and picking rocks on a plot that I named Ron Weasley. For correct pronunciation of "Ron Weasley", please watch this short video: Harry Potter Puppet Pals
The other day I called Gram Cronin - the Master of Laundry - about whether or not I could wash clay-covered clothes with not-clay-covered clothes. (Our yard is mostly clay, with a few hundred weeds.) Well, she's from the north and they don't have orange clay under their plants so she just said not to risk it. So, in order to safely experiment, I threw in some white undershirts with the load of clay-covered clothes. I even washed everything on hot and I had no clay on anything in the end! I love my washer! (*Make sure you soak the clay-covered stuff in shout and water and then rinse it out before you throw it into the machine. That's what I did.)
We heard that we only have a month to plant grass (mid-Sept to mid-Oct) so we're planning to plant our whole yard by the middle of October!! That means weed pulling is next!
This weekend is actually free for us! Which means we'll be in the yard, working hard.
Bartok is still busy growing and kicking and such. He's made a big improvement in his appearance: his head is now in proportion with his body!! So he looks more like a "normal" baby... although the Cronins have pretty giant heads in general so he might have Cronin Cabeza. I guess we'll see when he comes out! He's the size of a squash - around 15.5 inches long and around 3 lbs. He'll be around this size for the whole 7th month! By the end of the month, he'll be closer to 4 lbs and 16.5 inches. And he'll still be curled up and looking extremely uncomfortable, but apparently it doesn't bother him. And he'll be super flexible for a while after entering the world thanks to these 9 months of practice! I can't wait to catch him teething on his toes!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week 28

Babymoon - 1. n. the young offspring of a moon "Aww, look at the cute lil' craters on that babymoon!" 2. n. a vacation taken by a couple that is expecting a baby in order to allow the couple to enjoy a final trip together before the many sleepless nights that usually accompany a newborn baby "Let's go on a babymoon before I get so pregnant that I can't move." 3. v. the purposeful showing of the buttocks of a baby, usually directed at a particular person or group of people "I'm going to babymoon that unsupecting older couple who is making funny faces at my kid!"
We went on a babymoon (definition 2) last weekend! First, we headed to Augusta to visit the Greens and to watch football. The Cronins went in orange and the Greens went in red (UGA fans). We looked like excited fans but I didn't get a picture to prove it! But we did look nice in our clashing colors. It was great to spend some time catching up with friends and relaxing.
Next, we went to Aiken to enjoy our first Bed & Breakfast. Aiken is a cute little town with a few streets that make up the downtown, which is adorable. Not many places were open since we were there on Sunday and Labor Day but we enjoyed walking
around the public parks and gardens and window shopping downtown. We ate dinner at a great Italian place and I ordered the best thing on the menu (creamy pesto chicken over linguini... mmmmmmm).
The B&B was terrific - there were stables in the back with 3 beautiful horses, several friendly cats and a rather large rabbit. There was another family staying there and they were fun and
interesting! They made a grape burst into flame in the microwave after breakfast and then we enjoyed listening to the daughter play her harp. Breakfast was delicious and there was a library of books and movies and a bunch of games. I wish we had stayed another night because it was so nice to just relax in a cozy house and not have to think about everything we still need to do to prepare for the baby! This week we're going to try to plant grass in our backyard! Here comes a lot of yardwork!!
Bartok is still the size of an eggplant this week - a big eggplant. He's about 2 1/4 lbs now!! His eyes are still growing and if he has any hair, it's growing, too. He's also gaining muscle tone. And no, he's not lifting weights in there.
As far as I can tell, it feels like Bartok is training to be a kickboxer! I don't recommend gaining muscle tone the way that Bartok is. Can you imagine what your mom would do if you started kicking and punching her in the abdomen? Just keep going to the gym or doing push ups or pushing the buttons on your remote. Whatever keeps you in shape and doesn't adversely affect your mom!