After Church with Niko and Stella

So last time y’all heard from me, I was dragging my own carcass through some pretty muddy emotional and stress puddles.  At this point, while things still aren’t completely resolved, they’re improving. 

 Christmas ended up being a little odd.  Nice, but odd.  On the one hand, we didn’t get to go see family for Christmas Day, but we did get to go to Church for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services  – and that was downright lovely.  Sunday afternoon, Matt went and got “sliders” (they’re these things that you put under furniture legs to make them slide easily on any surface) and moved my furniture where it goes, even if the patch job on the wall between the bed and bath isn’t done yet.   Weird how having something as silly as furniture out of place can make me feel so completely discombobulated.  That night, I got my first night of great sleep in what had been nearly a week.  Christmas Eve, we went to Church, then came home and opened our gifts to each other.  I’m really excited to have received the “Knuffle Bunny” children’s books by Mo Willems.

Christmas Day was so leisurely, it just seemed wrong.  After Church, we came home, took a nap, and then got up and did a few dishes to make room for me to make us some dinner.  We went all out: pasta and steak and salad.  It was yummy, and definitely not something we eat all the time.  Then we spent the evening watching Christmas movies (the animated Grinch, Muppet Christmas Carol, Rudolph,  and we mustn’t forget National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).  We went to bed early, and got on with our week. 

The next day, I made lots of calls.  I called the hair place, and worked out a satisfactory deal to get my hair fixed (in a few weeks so it has time to grow out enough to do some good).  I also was able to get a hold of someone in the leasing office about the wall: turns out the maintenance guy was on vacation all week.  Might’ve been nice to know!  Anyway, he’s supposed to call me after New Year’s and work out a day to come back.  Thursday, I had a midwife appointment where they confirmed the fact that I’ve grown a ton since the last time I was in 4 weeks ago  – 6 centimeters!  That’s a crazy amount.   Enough that they want me to watch my sugars a little bit (I don’t have any symptoms of pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, so they’re thinking my body might have bumped up the hormone that causes baby to get more sugar from my diet – thereby making him have a more pronounced growth spurt).  I’ll certainly follow their orders since I really don’t want to have to give birth to a 10+ pound baby.  Other than that, all is well.  🙂

 Friday evening, we packed up and drove to Seattle to stay with my folks.  Friday night we had dinner and did our family Christmas thing.  Awesome and a half, actually.  I don’t normally get that excited about gifts (I enjoy it, of course, but beyond gratitude, I’ve never known how much visible excitement is socially acceptable), but I really could hardly contain myself when I opened a box that had a new Canon PowerShot A560 in it.  AWESOME!  A digital camera that doesn’t suck, can shoot up to an hour of decent video (yes, I tried it already), is small enough to be tossed in my purse or diaperbag, and doesn’t eat batteries like snack cakes.  Also on the gift menu: we got a huge box of baby clothes in sizes from 0-9 months.  All are gently used, but man, they’re really nice, and it takes so much pressure off trying to build a wardrobe for someone who poops their pants and spits up all day long; plus, we got our car seat and diaper bag.  I’m so excited!  Thank you, Mom and Dad!!!

Saturday was probably the most relaxed of them all.  I got up early (as I always do with my folks), and read the paper with my mom, and we pretty much dinked around all day before Niko and Stella’s engagement party.  If you don’t know who they are, here’s a little intro:

           Niko Bekris:  Tall Greek boy Matt introduced me to at the UW.  He’s our Sponsor/Godfather to the Orthodox Church.  I worked at his family’s restaraunt the summer Matt and I got married (yes, I lit cheese on fire on a daily basis – OPA!!).  He’s finishing up his Master of Divinity (not the food) at Holy Cross Orthodox Seminary in Boston.

           Stella Zahariudakis:  Niko’s absolutely gorgeous and sweet fiancee.  They met at FTF (a national Greek dancing festival) almost 2 years ago.  She’s from California, and works like a mad woman to pay for her and Niko’s wedding (8.16.2008). 

           Together:  Two wonderful people, great friends, and our baby’s Godparents. 

In short, their engagement party on Saturday night was a total blast.  Niko and Stella were just glowing – not to mention that Niko looked downright dapper in his suit, and Stella looked beautiful in her white cocktail dress.  They did a blessing-of-rings ceremony, showered the bride with gold (afterwhich Niko said Stella looked a bit like “Mr. T”), had tons of wonderful food and wine (which I had the divine luxury of sniffing happily), and of course, plenty of dancing!  Oh!  It was so much fun!  The folks who were there were so happy to be there to celebrate with the families that the energy was downright contagious.  It would have been impossible to have a sour time.  Ah! So much fun!

Sunday was another matter.  We felt a little run-ragged.  We got up early to be at Church at 8:30, got out of Church (which was nice, but we’re not used to the liturgy being in Greek or having pews to doze in so it was immeasurably harder to focus), and got to spend a little time with Niko and Stella at Costa’s (Niko’s family’s restaurant).   VERY nice.  We were tired though.  For sure.  After that we went to Kent to visit Matt’s mom.  We went to a light lunch, and then we took her to Babies ‘R’ Us (we don’t have one in Bellingham, and we wanted her with us when we spent the money she gave us for the baby for Christmas – which she really enjoyed).  We left there with our baby swing and stroller.   We were tired, but it was nice to see Rosalie, and does it ever feel good to have made a huge dent in our baby-needs. 

Sunday evening, we dragged our tired selves home to my folks’ place, had a light dinner and got into our jammies to watch tv with mom and dad.  I have to say, though, that I may have been exhausted, but my little baby, not so much.  At one point, I was resting my hand on my belly and I could swear I felt a foot kick into the palm of my hand: a little over 1.25 inches, heel and a softer end that could have been toes…. very, very, cool.  Yup, baby’s gonna be up when we’re really not wanting to be.  I can tell.  🙂  That’s the way it’s supposed to be, right?  🙂

So, here we are, Monday: New Year’s Eve.  Our crib came in at Along Comes A Baby, so we went and picked it up, then I cleaned out the car only to discover that the only way our car seat will fit safely, is if one of us uses our knees to give ourselves the heimlich maneuver.  Very sad revelation, my friends, very sad indeed.  So, our little car that has served us well for the few months we’ve had it, will soon be traded in for something with at least 5-6 more inches of backseat.   Fortunately, we’ll be able to sell it and put a little more money on top of that and be able to buy a used something outright.  What an incredible blessing!  We’re so thankful for how we got this car, and it’s so awesome that we’ll be able to upgrade a little bit since it won’t have depreciated much in the 6 months we’ve had it (it is a 1993 after all).  God-willing, it will go smoothly and the transition will be relatively easy.

Such is New Years:  safely home, doing New Year’s like old people: in our jammies.  We have lots to look forward to in 2008, and as much if not more work to do.  As for resolutions, I have a few: 1. lots of relaxation exercises before and after the baby comes; 2. get really stinking good at writing thank-you notes; and 3. Pray without ceasing. 

Happy New Year, everyone!