Archives for October 2015

Life Lately: The Second Time Around

Time has gone by so fast, yet so slow during the past 21 weeks. On the one hand, I can’t believe that I’m already halfway through this pregnancy; on the other hand, I can’t believe that I’m only halfway through this pregnancy.

B started doing acrobatics in my belly at all hours of the day and night, right around 14 weeks. So, there was rarely an hour that went by that I didn’t think about her. Baby #2 is much more mellow, and only started giving me a few kicks here and there at about 17 weeks, as if to say “Still here! So, please don’t forget to take your pre-natal vitamins for the third day in a row!”

Couple this with the fact that there isn’t too much to do in terms of preparation this time around—we have all of the gear that a baby could need, we won’t be decorating a nursery from scratch and we don’t make long lists of questions for every routine doctor’s appointment—and I already feel like I need to sign this baby up for therapy to deal with the side effects of second child syndrome.

(Side note to baby: Please keep this calm disposition when you become an outside baby. Goodness knows that this house cannot handle two spirited children.)

As you no doubt recall, I complained quite a bit about various discomforts and inconveniences quite a bit the first time around (see here, here and here). And, I can report that my attitude towards the overall experience hasn’t changed. At all. I think anyone that says that they enjoy being pregnant is either lying or has somehow been fortunate enough to get early access to the good drugs that you get when you are in labor.

I will agree with those lunatics that the end result is completely worth it, but no flowery talk about how miraculous it is to create a life makes me feel better about the fact that I can’t breathe, have to go to the bathroom every 15 minutes and, to quote Emma Thompson’s character in Love Actually, “the only clothes that I can get into were once owned by Pavarotti.”

On the plus side? I discovered the beauty of maternity leggings and no one has tried to touch my belly this time around. And, fortunately, the best time of year is upon us, and I’m sure that a full calendar of festive fall activities, work events, a mini-babymoon and preparations for the holidays will make the next 19 or so weeks fly by.

IMG_0799

From our recent Linvilla Orchards adventure

And, of course, there have there have been some sweet moments that the second time around brings, which have given me all the feels.

For example, mornings with B, where we sit on the couch reading stories before I have to get ready for work, have long been a favorite part of my day. Lately, I get a bit wistful that the days of it just being the two of us are dwindling. But, then, B will rest her head on my belly, and give it a pat as if to say hello to her sibling and make sure that it’s listening. And, most of the time, the baby kicks back in response. It’s like they already feel connected to each other. I know there will be days when they want to claw each others’ eyes out, but I hope that they will be grateful to have that they will always have “a person” to go through life with.

IMG_0800

Pretty soon, daddy will have two hands to hold

So, I guess you might be wondering whether Baby #2 is a he or a she? Well, so was I, up until just a few days ago!

With B, from the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew she was a girl. With this one, I had no strong feelings either way. Most people who saw me guessed that I was carrying a boy (because of the way my face had changed, or the way my bump looked, or some other old wives tale), so eventually I also became convinced that this was the case.

Turns out, all the old wives were wrong! It’s a GIRL!

It would have been fun to have one of each, but, I’m not going to lie–I LOVE having a little girl and I’m pretty excited to keep buying all of the pink–for as long as they let me dress them, I guess!

On the Road: Ireland (Part 5)

Five months later, here is the last installment of our Ireland travels!

On the drive around the Ring of Kerry, I had declared it my new favorite place in the world…but that was before our drive around the Dingle Peninsula.

Located on the westernmost tip of Ireland, cliffs and ocean views dominate the peninsula. The winding roads, cliffs and ocean views that dominate the peninsula make it even more dramatic than the Ring of Kerry. I felt like i was standing at the edge of the world on most of our photo stops!

145

161

155

153

154

162

169

We stopped for lunch and a stroll in the town of Dingle, the peninsula’s main town.

176With Fungie, the dolphin who lives in Dingle Harbor

177

179

Before leaving, we tried out Murphy’s Ice Cream, which is handmade right in town. The flavors here range from classic vanila and chocolate to the more unique combinations that showcase the flavors of the region. They are pretty generous with the samples here, so I think I ended up trying almost every flavor before settling on a delicious combination of Kerry Cream and Carmelized Brown Bread.

181

Upon leaving Dingle, we drove through the Conor Pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland.. Of all of the driving that we did in Ireland, this road was the scariest—full of twists and turns, and so narrow at some points that two cars could barely share the road. But, the views…

184

182

Our last stopover was in Limerick, chosen so that we could head out to the Cliffs of Moher the next day. For the most part, the weather was not on our side that day. But, we were patient and waited for the fog to roll out a bit and the views did not disappoint.

185

188

194

198

We made a final stop in Galway, which was packed to the gills on a Saturday afternoon. It was late in the day, so we didn’t do much but stroll through the winding streets of the Old Latin Quarter and stop in a few shops. But, one of the funniest moments of the trip happened here, when we found ourselves stopping for dinner at a restaurant in which every table included a small child (or two, or three). It was the kind of place we would have avoided at all costs during our former child-free lives, and it sort of summed up how much life—and travel—can change when you add a tiny human to the mix.

199

It is definitely a bit more exhausting to travel with a small child; Both Chester and I commented that we felt like we were on higher alert than usual, while we watched out for B and kept an eye out for signals of potential meltdowns. Still, we had a fantastic time and I would do it over again in a heartbeat!