Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Breathe through it

I went to prenatal yoga today. No crying this time--not from me, anyway. The classroom is on the deliveries floor, and there was this weird, high pitched moaning noise throughout the class today--it was hardly noticeable. The midwife who runs the class spent a lot of time today telling us about natural birth (yeah, right) and how yoga will help us learn to breathe through the discomfort--not pain, mind you, discomfort. The entire class became skeptical because by the end of class--you know, the part with the relaxation, feel your body filling up with warming light, blah blah blah--the high pitched moaning next door had become full on screaming. Pain-filled screaming. Was she breathing through the discomfort? It was pretty comical though, like something out of Will and Grace or Seinfeld. Who knew yoga needed a laugh track?

The Varro's visit to Ireland has been immortalized by the Lomo, which happily decided to function last week. Pics are on Picasa Web. No embedded slideshow, I decided I didn't like that feature all that much. Here's a good one though:

I will miss our little Irish roadtrips. Ireland is a lot like the Sea Ranch, though, so there's a number of Irish-ish road trips coming up soon. But with dogs!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer Showers

I passed a shoe store today with a window display advertising "hip festival fashion"--wellies. Back in good 'ol California, festival-wear (at least in my day) consisted of tank tops and flip flops. Or, being the San Francisco Bay Area, hooded sweatshirts and sneakers. But rarely did one need to wear full on rain gear to Lollapalooza or Coachella. Maybe for the Bridge School Benefit in late October, but never to a summer festival. Here in soggy Ireland, summer music festivals mean ponchos, rain boots, and wet, muddy camping. There have been a few weeks here and there, last summer when I first got here and earlier this spring where the weather here was heavenly--warm and clear with air that smells like fresh cut grass and mild humidity. Couple that with the super long days (sun now sets at 11 pm!) and you've got the potential for an amazing place to live.

Now ask me about how I got caught in a rain shower on my way home from lunch today. Not the warm East Coast-y kind, but the cold blowing-in-off-the-Irish-Sea kind. My pants and sweater are still hanging on the bedroom door, drying out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Varros Come to Ireland

They came. They saw. They drank Guinness. We had a wonderful week with our New York friends, the Varros. The weather didn't really cooperate, but that didn't stop us from doing all of the fun Dublin stuff. We also took a 3 day road trip to Galway and Bunratty Castle and to County Kerry--Sarah's ancestral home (she was a Sullivan until last October). We saw sheep and cows and goats (oh my!) and enjoyed our fair share of Irish goodies and full-car sing-a-longs. Pictures!

That, my friends, is Picasa's fancy new slideshow embedding feature. Pretty cool! I like to embed things within other things. Like embedding pigs into blankets, or jalepenos into poppers. Mmmm, snacks filled with other snacks.

Baby update: we have have movement! Unless it's some kind of weird prolonged bout of gas, I've been feeling Max Jr. squirm around for 2 weeks now. It feels a lot like riding a roller coaster, specifically the part where you go down a big drop and your stomach follows you down a little bit slower than the rest of your insides. But just slightly and only for a second. It's really quite amazing. Nothing like the hiccups and acrobatics that I'm sure will start in the months to come, but enough to bring a smile to my face when I'm just sitting there minding my own business and he reminds me that I'm not alone.

Other than that, it's time to pack it all in here in Dublin. Moving (part one) is less than 2 weeks away, and there's much to do. So I'd better get doing.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I don't know whether I can handle this weather

Stupid rain. Stupid, stupid rain. It's been raining all week, anywhere from hot and muggy rain a la the East Coast to cold pelting rain that makes me frown. Our good friends the Varros are coming to Dublin on Saturday to visit for a week, and there's a lot of rain in the forecast. I've only got 3 1/2 weeks left to complain about the weather, so I guess I'd better get busy.

I wanted to post a song that sort of fit this weather-induced mood I'm in, but I couldn't find an online version (to purchase or otherwise, including iTunes) of the one I had mind. So here's a link to a place where you can listen to it. It's from a Channel 4 Radio ad that plays on our UK TV channels regularly, and it makes feel kind of gloomy-happy.

And here's another song that kind of works for my mood today, too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Halfway there!

Today marks the halfway point in Baby Samson's stay in the Hotel My Belly. 20 weeks. Unbelievable. It really illustrates how time flies. I mean, really.

Last night we had dinner with 2 really nice American and American-Scottish couples. Between the 2 of them, they had a 2 week old, a one year old, a two year old, and a three year old. Max and I sat there, smiling, as babies slept and pooped and ate, and toddlers ran around giggling and being kids, and everything less than 3 feet high was pulled, grabbed, thrown, chewed on, hugged hidden, and eventually handed to Max for evaluation (the kids, they LOVE Max. Big time.). It was kind of like some sort of glimpse into the near and near-distant future for us. And it was only a little scary. Mostly it was 4 adorable children, smiling and learning and playing, and 4 happily exhausted parents, exchanging knowing smiles as I kept thinking to myself, "Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. Wooooooooow. Wow."

Friday, June 08, 2007

I'm too sexy for just about everything

This commercial has been on here for over a month, so I have no idea why I only thought about posting it today.

Round two of the Turkey pics are up. Underwater cameras, action sampler, fish eye, all the plastic and artsy cameras.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Learning how to breath again

I had my first prenatal yoga class at lunch today. I've done yoga a handful of times throughout my life; there was the kundalini yoga class when I was 15 at the rec center. Verdict: it made me fall asleep, and was basically a vehicle for the instructor to sell his goofy relaxation tapes. More recently, one of my coworkers got me to join her for a drop-in class a couple of times last year. Verdict: ouch! Yoga hurts my arms!

This class is all about the breathing and various pelvic stretching. At 19 weeks, I am the least pregnant in the group; most of the women are 30 weeks and up, a few are 26-28 weeks. I was the only one who didn't really need the pile of pillows that were placed at the head of each yoga mat, not that I didn't appreciate them. I was also the only one who could lie on my back for the relaxation portion at the very end of the class. That's when the weirdest thing happened.

The midwife leading the class instructed us to breath in, thinking of all of the good and loving things in our lives. No problem--I've got lots of good and loving. Then she told us to breathe out, pushing out all of the stress, all of the tension, the negativity, the disappointment...and I lost it. I started to cry. I wasn't bawling, in fact I don't think anyone noticed, but I couldn't stop the tears from coming, streaming down the sides of my face into my ears. I'm not one to bottle things up. I cry pretty regularly, I tell my loved ones when I'm bummed out or pissed off, I've always considered myself pretty much fully in touch with my feelings. So why was I so surprised at this outburst? Why did I have this extreme reaction to breathing out the sadness? It was really weird, and caught me totally off guard. I wonder what there is in my life right now, today, that I'm not dealing with?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Turkish Delight

We had a wonderful week in Turkey, a great last hurrah as my days of living in Europe, and flying at all, come to an end. What? What's that you say? You want to see pictures? Well, I'll have to see what I can do about that. Let's start with 42 of the 143 pictures from the digital camera, and I'll follow up later this week with the 6 rolls of film from various Lomo, action samplers, and underwater cameras. Yikes!


Seeing our friends from Israel. Since none of them will be able to make it out to SF for the wedding in August, we invited everyone to join us in Bodrum for a pre-wedding celebration. Remember, these are the same people who engineered and produced the famous zombie engagement of 2005, so it was no surprise when they surprised us with a mock wedding on Friday night, complete with a rabbi, a priest, and Elvis. It was terrific--and good practice for the real thing! Only 74 days!

Boat trip on a Turkish Yacht. We spent all day Saturday cruising around the Aegean Sea, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun. It was my first time snorkeling and I had such a blast. The water wasn't the most tropical, most of the fish were pretty much sand and water colored with a few blue or orange guys swimming around. But between the snorkel mask and my contact lenses, I think it was the first time I've ever actually seen underwater. It's a whole new world, and I want to live in that world all the time. And then there was the ice cream boat at one of the snorkeling stops. Genius!

Turkey is also the land of meat on a stick. I've eaten enough kebabs in the last week to last 2 lifetimes. And the cherries! The had these really big, juicy cherries at our local fruit and veg market, plus every restaurant and mini market and grocery store has cherry juice--the ice cream vendors on the beach promenade even have cherry ice cream! I got my fill of my favorite fruit flavor in all of it's various forms. Delicious.

Then there was the Hamam (Turkish Bath). What a weirdly fun experience! We skipped the sauna portion of the bath on account of baby Samson, but the soap massage was out of this world and the oil massage was to die for. The whole thing was made even more hilarious by the super friendly Turkish guy in a skirt and a Beckham jersey who dried us off after the soap massage. What a surreal time that was.

It was hard to come back to Dublin, especially considering that the weather was crap yesterday, but it's kind of nice to be back. I'm in the home stretch now, only one more month until I go home. I'm starting to get bigger, and next week marks the half way point in my pregnancy, so it will be great to get back to the Bay Area and be able to start the next chapter of my life. As much fun as I've had living in Europe the past year, I'm ready to be somewhere that we can stay for a few years, to have the dogs and cats back in my life, to go back to the office, all that stuff. Not that the next year will bring anything resembling peace and quiet, I realize that. But it's going to be such a great thing to start our new family, and I can hardly wait.