Apart from the exclusive checkout lines at the grocery store and special parking, I am really appreciating that I can finally pass on the alcoholic beverage without having to explain myself. I don’t really care for the taste of alcohol. Never really have. And when I am at a party or large gathering with people that I don’t know well, I usually end up using one of a few excuses to get out of imbibing:
- I am training for a marathon.
- When I was much, much younger I would rely on: I am underage (even if I had already made it past that milestone).
- I’m the designated driver (even if, say, I had walked to the party and was responsible for the safety of no other human beings. Not to mention that I don’t drive).
- I’m a recovering alcoholic.
I used to be honest in such situations and just tell people that I had yet to meet an alcoholic beverage that I actually enjoyed drinking but they would just assure me that it was because I had not tried this cocktail or that microbrew and promptly shove a drink in my hand. Now, as soon as they offer me a drink, they stare at my belly and sheepishly apologize.
“I think and think and think, I’ve thought myself out of happiness one million times, but never once into it.”
From the movie Lady Bird: “Don’t you think they are the same thing? Love and attention?”
For when the dog bites, when the bee stings:
Bacon-wrapped dates, bacon-wrapped chicken tenders, bacon-wrapped asparagus, bacon-wrapped-ad-infinitum, a plate of blueberry pancakes with a side of bacon, carbonara with bacon, and bacon as a pizza topping.
These are a few of our favorite things.
Because it was Valentine’s Day and nothing quite hits the note of: “You are the love of my life and I am so glad I married you” to Adan quite as loudly and clearly as bacon we had it both for breakfast (with pancakes) and at dinner (on pizza).
You know what most decidedly does not communicate love to my husband? Turkey bacon. Apparently, turkey bacon says “life is not worth living,” to him because the one time I made it for him, he reacted as if I were trying to poison him.
When we were up in Idaho for Christmas we realized that you can actually buy fully-cooked bacon. It’s the kind Matt and Brenda get. What a win-win situation! All the flavor of bacon without any of the hassle or mess of cooking it? Immediately upon our return, we made a beeline for our Costco to see if you could also get it here and they did, in fact, have it. This prompted an intense pro/con conversation in the freezer aisle where we debated the issue with the seriousness that most couples reserve for taking out a second mortgage. In the end, though, we ended up walking away sans bacon because we figured that if we have fully-cooked bacon locked and loaded in the fridge we will probably eat it every day for every meal. The only thing that currently keeps our bacon consumption (and cholesterol, I’m guessing) in check and reserved for special occasions is that I hate having to clean the stove after I cook it.
So I made a big batch of chili nachos last Sunday because I feel like nachos are a pivotal part of the Super Bowl experience. Watching the game, however, is not. So we opted out of that part and had a great time. Tailgaiting at it’s finest.
Adan has been trying to lose weight and there is a special kind of torture involved in being a reluctant co-dieter. For a tiny, almost invisible window of time, I stopped baking desserts so as to support him in this endeavor. And then I thought to myself: I am pregnant! I shouldn’t be depriving myself of a nightly double portion of brownies and ice cream. That would clearly be very bad for the baby (or, for my mood but whatever).
We are officially the past midway point of pregnancy and I can actually feel the baby moving around a bit. Or at least I think so. It is commonly stated that especially for a first pregnancy it can be hard to distinguish the sensation. A lot of women say that it feels like a fluttering or bubbles or even gas. I don’t know if I would agree exactly. I think it feels like you are lying underneath a trampoline and there’s a cat taking a nap on top of it and it will occasionally stretch. Only in this scenario, your uterus is the trampoline. Or, it feels vaguely like when your next door neighbor is moving furniture around and you hear the muted thumping through the walls. Only in this scenario, you are the walls.
Also, I am not sure what exactly this says about me but I don’t find that I eat more or am any hungrier now that I’m pregnant than before. Possibly it means that in my normal pre-pregnant state I was actually eating enough calories to sustain a fetus…? Some women have told me that the extreme can’t-get-enough hunger didn’t hit until the very last stretch of pregnancy. Looking forward to it.
We have been getting a lot of advice on pregnancy and babies (along with the usual dire warnings about how we won’t be able to go out for brunch or the movies ever again) but I think so far, the one I found the most useful came from my friend Dominique who said that if Adan and I were disagreeing on any issue (e.g. what the baby’s middle name should be or whose family to spend the holidays with), wait to resolve it until after the birth at which point Adan will feel so bad about the extremely painful endeavor that I just went through that he’ll cave to my every demand. MWA HA HA. I am making a list and checking it twice.
As far as pregnancy FAQ’s go, I can only think of two.
#1 is some version of: Do you know the sex of the baby? Are you finding out the sex of the baby?
We are going old school on this and waiting. I have gotten a bit of backlash or confusion over this as it is not a very common path to take in Mexico. In fact, if I were to think of all the couples I directly know or have heard of, 102% of them have chosen to find out the sex beforehand.
#2: How do you feel?
Surprisingly, I feel like a sleepier version of my pre-pregnant self. During the first trimester there was some very unambiguous aversion to poultry and occasional bouts of nausea but for the most part, I felt and continue to feel pretty normal.
Cravings: anything spicy, pickled, or salty. Any food that hits on all three simultaneously is an instant winner so spicy pickles or pickled jalapeños and kimchi are in constant snacking rotation. I have (naturally) quite liked kimchi all my life but there have been years at a time where I have gone without and not felt its absence in any way. This is shockingly unpatriotic of me to say because it would be no understatement to say that kimchi is more fundamental to a Korean’s diet than tortillas to a Mexican’s. Needless to say, I have more than redeemed myself in the Korean government’s eyes and sufficiently proved my loyalty during my pregnancy.
Roasted broccoli. Sometimes I crave roasted broccoli at 9 AM. Again, I have never felt antagonistic towards broccoli, mostly eating it all my life without complaint (especially if it is tossed with any MSG-laden Chinese takeout dish) but craving it at the crack of dawn was a new sensation to me.
On the whole, I would say my food tastes haven’t changed drastically.
Pregnancy must-reads: Before I got married, I read every single marriage prep book I could get my hands on only to realize that one only really needs to read Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage. Before I went to Bolivia, I studied the CIA World Factbook and any other pertinent information I could find online about the country and the people and the culture. When I first found out I was pregnant, I tried to tackle it in a similar fashion by reading but quickly lost steam because there are no good pregnancy books out there. None. I found that all of them were telling me about scary symptoms (this week you should be getting nosebleeds, this week you will be feeling nauseous, this week the palms of your hands will turn bright red and your vision will blur) that never actually happened to me. It made me more paranoid than anything, and I realized that being pregnant is not like having a cold. When one has a cold, one experiences roughly the same symptoms and timeline as every other person who has ever had a cold. It seems, though, in talking with other women that have been pregnant that symptoms vary widely. To the point where I am not sure we are even talking about the same thing. Plus, I find it only mildly interesting to know what fruit size the baby is at any given moment (apparently, right now, that would be a grapefruit. Fascinating, right?).
So this was our Christmas Eve:
Started out with a light dusting. But quickly turned into this:
I know that if you predictably have cold winters every year and especially if you were buried in snow over Christmas, this seems tragic and dreary. But we live in Mexico and Adan had never seen snow like this before so to us, it was spectacular.
Apart from frolicking in the snow, we partook of all those other Christmas activities that I so love: watching movies, eating non-stop, catching up with people, enjoying the fireplace.
And then, here is Adan doing some very Idaho-specific Christmas activities:
Naturally, Matt and Daria took him shooting:
We had such a good time!
And because it just seems fitting to make resolutions and set goals during this time of year, here are mine: I guess I am not one of those “Go big or go home” people. For me, it’s always go home. Home is great. Why would anyone want to go big?