Wednesday, July 29, 2009

baby steps

Thanks to the quick delivery of Million Dollar Baby brand furniture from Rattles and Rhymes, and to the help of Stephen (without whom said furniture would still be sitting in the loading area of said store) and his trusty truck, we now have a crib and combo dresser in what was before being used as a very large storage closet. And a lot of cardboard remains in the living room...

While Joe may not get as emotional about these milestones as I do (his new favorite phrase is "I'm excited about the BABY, not the baby's STUFF"), he was definitely a champion about assembling setting up the furniture. (Although we did hit a bit of a wall when he wanted to know why the dresser couldn't go on the same wall as the crib to make it easier to get from one to the other ("I might drop it en route or something")... (shudder + eye roll)... in a tiny room. The man just does not understand aesthetics.)

PS- For your Weblink Wednesday, I will share with you a community resource I stumbled across the other night and am very excited about... Unless you're pregnant and in Athens, it is not of much use to you, but hey, this is my blog. So there.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

mirror, mirror on the wall

For very nearly my entire life, I have been surrounded by mirrors. I started ballet classes when I was 4, and from that point on I spent anywhere from 1 to 6 days a week in a large, empty room with full-length mirrors lining the wall. For some women, I'm sure this would sound like an absolute nightmare scenario... something akin to What Not To Wear's dreaded 360-degree mirror where they tell you just how awful you look (and most people tend to agree... I mean, how can you fight it when you can see your own awful-ness from every angle?). And of course there were times in my teen years where everything I saw in that mirror needed to be fixed. As a classically trained dancer, you are always checking the mirror to see what is wrong with the placement and positioning of your body, or how much higher your arm or leg should be. As a teenager, you start also noticing how much more narrow everyone else's hips are, or how tight that leotard is on your posterior regions, or how your legs would look so much better if they were just a little bit skinnier. I always tell people that it is amazing to me that I disliked my body so much more then, at my very skinniest (and I was VERY skinny at points in my life) than I did as I got into college, even though I didn't maintain my ballet physique.

But even though I was hard on myself as I progressed in my ballet training, I also got used to looking at myself in a very detached and analytical way. I was familiar with my body and what it could and couldn't do. I knew how to push myself to the limits of my physical capabilities. And as a ballet teacher, that has helped me to better understand my students, to learn their bodies and help them see how much farther they can push themselves without injury and with the result of a double instead of single turn, or a high grande battement to the side.

As I re-entered the studio these past few weeks, I wasn't sure how my teaching style was going to need to change as I become bigger and bigger. I'm pleased that I feel I can still teach in mostly the same way, just by pacing myself a little differently and not demonstrating with quite as much fervor as I might have before. However, I hit a wall when I tried to participate in the jazz and lyrical classes taught by our guest teachers for the weekend. My body just would not cooperate with me. I felt unwieldy and awkward... the movement was more frustrating than enjoyable. My hips were tight and my legs were heavy and everything just felt very foreign as I tried to move it. I'm disappointed to say that I pretty much just gave up on that first day, slightly shocked by the realization that for once I did not know or control my body.

Initially, my reaction was frustration and disappointment and even a little resentment. I let myself be upset for a little while, but the next day I woke up determined that I would participate in at least one full class, dancing to the best of my ability, proud to be able to do ANY of it while nearly 6 months pregnant. And I did. I strutted and kicked and turned my way through a jazz routine to "Poker Face" and it actually felt good. I moved differently, and my balance was off in my pirhouettes, but I was dancing. And I was dancing with my first baby. And as I checked my positions in the mirror, I thought that although it is not a body that I am used to, and it is very different than I have looked before, it is, in it's own way, beautiful.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

home improvement

Joe and I are both experiencing the nesting drive in very different ways as we settle into our new home and prepare for our new baby. None the less, although Joe may try to deny it, he too has been nesting. And as some of you may remember, nesting to Joe is a very dirty, no good word full of hidden and mysterious meaning.

For me, the need to make this new apartment a home has manifested itself in a number of ways. I have been much more diligent about cleaning now that I have such a lovely grime-and-dust-free slate to work with (we'll see how long that lasts... come back to me in a few months or so...), and also since my mother was kind enough to introduce me to the wonder of the 360 Swiffer. I have re-organized the closets since they were basically just convenient dumping grounds upon moving in and there was no floor or shelf space left in the nursery closet at all... I'm not sure, but I figure the baby might have some stuff that needs to go in there eventually. But the farthest my need to nest has led me so far is to Home Depot. I had seen some kind of home improvement show when I was in Augusta (that magical place where they have cable television) where they kept some existing counter space in a breakfast room and just stuck some tile on it to make it look fancy. This got me to thinking about the cheap little Ikea tables that we got to replace our chewed up coffee table. While I love having two smaller, moveable tables, they are not the sturdiest of things and were already getting scratched up by our laptops. In a flash of HGTV-inspired brilliance, I decided that I would tile said tables. And what is the most miraculous thing about this story is that I ACTUALLY DID IT. I went to Home Depot and batted my eyes at the tiling dude. He walked me around the flooring department tossing things at me and telling me what to do with them (Acryl-Pro, pre-mixed grout, scrape-y tools and smear-y tools, sponges, etc.) I laid out my little tiles squares on the tables, stuck them in place, grouted and cleaned them, and then stepped back and by golly if I had not pulled a friggin' Tim Allen or Martha Stewart or something. There might have a little extra white tile goop around the edges, but I'll be damned if those things wouldn't be selling for 50 bucks at Pier 1. (I'm a trifle pleased with myself...)

Now we come to the Joe part of the story (I know you've all been waiting, but I had to get my self-tiled-table story in here somewhere). While I was watching HGTV, Joe was hunting in his parents' house for his idea of the perfect addition to our home: a dartboard. Complete with fancy two-door wooden case with chalkboard score charts on the inside. Because I am a kind and loving wife, I agreed to to let Joe find a place for the dartboard in the living room. While some people might just pick a wall and hang the darn thing, Joe got on Google and found all of the appropriate measurements for a regulation dartboard: how high on the wall, how far from the throwing point, etc. Of course, being a man, he did not take into account what other items occupied the wall he chose and thank goodness I stopped him before he hung the thing right smack-dab up against a bookshelf where one of the fancy little doors couldn't even open all the way. Then, out came the measuring tape to figure out where the appropriate throwing spot would be in relation to the board. Fortunately, the place where our linoleum entry way meets the carpet is less than two inches off from regulation distance. Perfect and convenient, right? WRONG. Regulation is LAW, folks. And that means, silly wife, that we put TAPE on our new clean floor. For a DART GAME, we put TAPE on the FLOOR. I will let you deduce whether or not that happened.

So here we are, a few days later. The dartboard hangs in its place of honor and the tiled tables stand proudly in front of the couch. And while I am considering the layout of the nursery furniture, Joe is wondering if there is some kind of wall-mounted storage system for the hacky-sacks he has pulled out of their long hibernation.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

watch the ads and it's almost like paying...

Weblink Wednesday! I almost forgot that I actually have a fantastic link to share, which was sent to me by one of my college roomies. She knows me so well... a video that combines my passions for online social networking and musical theatre... *sigh*. It's like finding the Holy Grail or something.


The beach trip was fantastic and you should all be jealous that you weren't there. It was hot, it was sunny, the tide was high at just the right time, and the sunscreen was flowing in abundance. Oh, and of course there was chocolate. From the Chocolate Tree. Cause really, those of you who have been there, is there any other chocolate after you have had the experience of The Tree? Not really, no. BUT I am glad to be home, and the dogs were very happy to see me (kinda left me wondering what Joe DOES to them... or doesn't do... when I'm gone for so long...).

I have hit a few pregnancy milestones, namely that I am now officially halfway through this whole being pregnant thing. That means in about 4 and a half to 5 months, I will be blessed with a little squalling bundle to call my very own (and Joe's). As of right now, if it is a girl it will be a nameless little squalling bundle, but still. (We have options... we just can't narrow it down to ONE name. For the one child... that might be a girl.) Very exciting. I also no longer fit into any normal, non-stretchy or longer-in-the-front-than-in-the-back clothes and have had a few strangers ask me when I'm due. Now that is a weird occurrence the first time it happens. You get so used to having to tell people that you're pregnant, your brain kinda stops for a second in panic mode thinking "how do they know??? who told them??? how does this person know my life???" before you realize that you look like you're smuggling a canteloupe.

Cause I do now. That's the other milestone. I LOOK pregnant. And I swore I wouldn't be one of "those" people, but I may just have to do one of those profile shots showing off my new silhouette cause it is crazy. I'm very intrigued and amused and afraid and in awe of my little morphing body. It's amazing what we women-folk are engineered to do (well, I guess the ones among us who choose to and are blessed with the ability to procreate... don't want to step on anyone's toes here...).

In other, non-baby related news, I may join the ranks of the somewhat employed for a few weeks in July. My bosses want to have some summer classes for some of our new, younger company members. As you can probably tell from my last scintillating post, I am really looking forward to the change of pace and to having something meaningful to do with my day. Not that conversations with four legged companions about my opinion of how slimy Wes is on The Bachelorette isn't meaningful, but you get my drift...