Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chicheley Hall, and all that

Happy leap-day. If you think about it, one in every 1,461 people has a birthday today. I'd be nine years old.

So here are some pictures from the recent trip to England. I was attending a fancy conference at Chicheley Hall, and really their photos may be better than mine. The room we were staying in was informally known as the "secret library room". It was entirely wood panelled, and every panel concealed a bookshelf. Even the decorative columns were cupboards, and there were also little drawers everywhere. The bathroom was also hidden in a panel, and we learned that one of former guests of the room, Al Gore (ahem! name drop!), apparently told the staff that "it was a nice room" but that he'd like to "trade it in for one with a bathroom".

So here we are, the pictures. Some of these were taken by pingram, since my camera was acting a little funny and not too many of my pictures turned out.

Oh look, the travel dress. This was the day we arrived, when we were exploring the grounds.
And here is the hall itself, with what would have originally been part of the moat. Yes, the moat. They also had some big ponds that we were informed at one point would have contained fish for eating which I thought was cool. When I asked what type of fish though, I was told it would have been a "coarse fish," like carp.

Our room looked out over the garden in the previous picture.

Look carefully at the upholstery. All of the drapes and wallpaper (not in our room, because of the panels) were decorated with this image of the flea. I guess it is an important image for the Royal Society, since Hooke's Micrographia was one of its first publications.

The bump must make an appearance.

I think I am perfecting my sashay with my expansion into uncharted digits. Of my weight, that is. I was well taken-care of food-wise at Chicheley. One night they even made me a special dessert (but they backwardly called it pudding.... it was a brownie!). I know I know...
Here we are on one of the lovely country walks that wander through farmland. This is some kind of cattle-proof bridge. Didn't stop me though.
My sweetheart! Who did so much backpack carrying, wheelie-bag wheelie-ing, and general complaint-listening. Thanks for coming along my pea!

Monday, February 27, 2012


This is it! The number I have been waiting for, the week that the week-count surpasses my age, and the next planned flight is five months away.

I have many things to share, including the San Fran/Palo Alto wrap-up and also some photos from the England trip (which could be neatly summarized by Linton Kwesi Johnson: "Inglan is a bitch"). In the meantime, let me tell you about this amazing travelling dress! It isn't even a maternity dress, but it may be the most comfortable thing I own at the moment, and hence has been getting a lot of play on these long flights. Plus you can spill things on it and no one will know: bonus. Here is me in our room at Chicheley Hall (having just arrived in England):

And here is me upon returning home, posing for the 32 week picture and looking quite tired...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Thirty weeks

Ah, the thirties. The thirties! A measly seven weeks left until this bean is full term, and at most twelve  until baby is definitely on the outside. The great news is that with every passing week, baby becomes more and more likely to do well in an extra-uterus environment, though I really hope that he/she keeps cooking for quite some time.
I continue to feel really good, but a little less predictably energetic. I can't wait for the 32 week mark, although there is lots of exciting stuff happening before then. In fact, the reason I'm looking forward to the 32 week mark is the lack of exciting stuff after that time. Ahhhh. 

In other good news, it looks like I "passed" my glucose screening test, so please bring on more froyo please!  Also, I have just discovered the joys of compression socks for long flights. Yes, this is my excitement these days. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Boston, FroYo and other musings

Yesterday we ventured into Boston. Smartphones have really made me a terrible tourist though, and now the planning and care that would have gone into figuring out what might be interesting to do in a place are replaced with just winging it. This could be OK in warmer times, but even when the temperature is hovering around 0C it is less fun. Still, we had a nice day being somewhat aimless.... walking the freedom trail backward (becoming less free?) eating grilled cheese and tomato soup (another problem with pregnancy travel: how to satisfy those strangely strong cravings? As luck would have it, without too much difficulty), and just kind of soaking in the city vibe. We ended the evening at a lovely Ethiopian cafe, where we had some delicious peanut tea. If you are curious what this is, probably mixing steamed milk, Kraft smooth peanut butter, and honey will give you a fair impression. Yummy.

I didn't take too many pictures of the super old Boston stuff, although there is no shortage of really old interesting stuff. Here is a portrait of the two of us instead:
And a sign that took my fancy:
Now it is almost time for my nightly Froyo fix. Stay tuned soon for the thirty (30!!!!) week update. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Signs of Spring

Providence, RI is apparently confused about what season it is.... 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The sad tourist

I was doing some scanning yesterday, and I couldn't help scanning this photo, which I find funny. P took this (with film!) of me when we were in Provence a few years back. I think I turned around because I didn't want my picture taken (I mean, look at my shoes!), but it always makes me laugh when I see it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hello, third trimester

Well it is official. I'm in the third trimester. Voila, le belly:
I find that I look like a giant nerd in this photo, but it is the belly that I wanted to show you.

There is lots of exciting stuff in store for the next three months:
- Travels: Boston; Providence, RI;  San Francisco;  Palo Alto; and London, England.

- A baby shower and a baby party.

- Two more months of work (and four or five papers in the pipeline to get finished before April 1!)

- prenatal classes at the Midwives Collective

- converting my office into... some kind of multi-purpose nursery/office/guest room kind of thing.... ? OK, I think my vision may be a little dysfunctional

- the continuation of the unclutter project (currently on pause... see items 1 and 3)

- biweekly appointments with my midwives

- continuing to try to learn French via my French classes and watching le Canal Vie

- Figuring out all the stuff that orbits around babies (diapers and clothes and carriers and all that stuff. It really seems like it shouldn't be so complicated)

- reading the books about what to do with your baby once it arrives. I think I am pretty much done with the "how to be pregnant" and "how to give birth" genres.... now it is time for the far more serious stuff like "how to keep your new human alive" and "how to do it well"

- coordinating a move and making big decisions about our house

OK, this list is getting less and less interesting... and more and more stressful to consider. The truth is I'm a little scared. My belly is getting bigger, and baby is getting more and more able to wake me up with his/her acrobatics. Rolling over in bed is getting harder. And I feel like the to-do list is a mile long! AH!

Still, everything is going pretty well. I feel good and if I interpret big kicks as indicators of happiness then baby feels good too, which are basically the best things ever.

Also, yesterday I had the great privilege of seeing a new animal: a skunk! OK, it is not a new animal, but I can't remember ever seeing a skunk before, despite having smelled many of them. It looked like a very unique walking wig. I saw it slime its way all the way across Harbord Street, which was just kind of fantastic.