Overall, Christmas was a success! For 2 years in a row, we still did not actually see snow fall, but we did witness remnants of the massive New England storms lingering on the ground during our brief stay in Mass. Unfortunately, it was already pretty much that dirty, lifeless gray that is left over after a day or so of traffic. And with our luck, they got slammed again a day after we left. Ohio was fun, but the 5 days leading up to Christmas were, at times, agonizing. It had nothing to do with any unstable in-law relationships, but my attempt at hiding my nausea, and avoiding any situation where an alcoholic beverage might be offered. At home, I could retreat into my own bedroom for hours without anyone knowing. Additionally, I work from home a few days a week, so frequent trips to the bathroom are not noticed by co-workers. Perhaps our "baby" radar was more primed than before, but Eric and I were astonished at how often the topic of babies came up prior to the big reveal. Just as a sampling:
-Lunch at Sharpy's sandwich shop: conversation turned to health insurance, and how I recently changed to a new plan after I switched jobs in the fall. Mother-in-law commented, "I just told Eric to make sure that your plan has maternity coverage."
-Burlington Coat Factory: Mother-in-law and I, in a quest to find her a top for a new sweater, somehow ended up perusing through the "baby depot" as she talked about how many of her daughter's (my sister-in-law's) friends are having babies.
-Marc's grocery store: Mother-in-law and I strolled down one of those aisles that groups together all the items you would need for a Christmas party (from cookies, to decorations, to baking supplies), and she spotted some sparkling juice. I made the comment that I really like sparkling juice. She said, "would you like to get some? Oh, but you'll be drinking the real stuff, right?" I pulled one of those maneuvers where you kind of pretend you didn't hear the comment. I'll be drinking the real thing in about 2 years after I deliver and breastfeed! (although, I am sure I'll find a way to celebrate with champagne a few times before I hit 30).
-Eric's parents' basement: we had a heart-to-heart with his sister about babies...after mentioning that she didn't know what our time line was regarding having babies, Eric felt compelled to blurt out, "I want a dog, first." What?? I know we have "lied"about our baby status over the past 3 months, but I tend to prefer the little white fibs, slight manipulations of the truth, or even my favorite, not telling the whole truth (e.g. "Is Ali sick?" "Yes. She has been to the doctor, and they are not concerned." True, but not the whole truth)...not the outright, in your face, bold face lie! After I swatted him later that night for the ridiculous comment, his excuse was, "I didn't want uncomfortable silence." I told him he had better find a humane society willing to adopt within 24 hours.
-Christmas Eve- Eric's Grandmother ended the night with a heartfelt speech about how having children (and grandchildren) was the best thing in her life. I just kept thinking, "I hope she feels the same for great grand children."
-Christmas Day - before the last gift was opened (our little onsie), somehow the conversation turned to grandchildren, and how one day that would be a great gift to get. My memory is a bit foggy as the only thing I could think about was the reveal, but my brother-in-law quickly commented, "not 'it'!" I wanted to say, don't worry, we took care of it...but five minutes later, that was clearly apparent. The reaction was everything we could have hoped for, and when his parents asked how I felt, I couldn't help but blurt out, "TERRIBLE!" Phew. We then called my family to experience the reveal via the phone. Everyone was thrilled. The "Happy Holidays! we're having a baby!" phone calls lasted the rest of the day, even through what ended up being one of the worst days I had in terms of sickness. What is funny is that I heard more people say, "I knew it!" than I had anticipated. Whether or not people really "knew" it is up for debate, but I think at my age, and given that it would be hard to conceive (no pun intended) of another answer to the question: we have big news, guess what? I am not really shocked. Well, I guess there is still that dog option...
The holidays were so packed with activity that I will break the stories up into different posts. Going back to that whole photography thing, I must say that I do wish we had taken more pictures, but I will do my best to post those that we did take, and forward on any that are sent to me from others who captured the events.
-As I begin week 15 (can you believe it?) I am so grateful that despite continued feelings of nausea, fatigue and anxiety, that I have made it this far without any serious complications. I know the first trimester marker is huge, and with each passing minute, feel more and more confident that Linus is still there...alive and well. Just waiting to feel the "quickening."
-Although my families live far from Atlanta, I am thankful that I got to see both sides this holiday. I realize that with the birth of a child, travel will take on a whole new dimension and may be truncated over the years, but need to really reflect on and appreciate the time I have been able to spend with family...and I'll be sure to send Airtran deals to my family as much as possible.
-Ah, my husband! (Does anyone else still have trouble using that word? As if we didn't feel like little kids playing house after we got married, this whole "baby" things is really making is freak out that we are adults!) He is just the bee's knees. Even though we promised to have a giftless Christmas between the two of us, the guy had already bought a present back in the summer: part 2 of our anniversary gift. For those who don't know, he got me the most beautiful pair of pearl stud earrings from Solomon Brothers. I am not a huge jewelry person, but what little I have, I prefer to be the kind that I can pass down to my children. I had always wanted a set of pearls...a la Audrey or Jackie O. The earrings were a shock (especially because my gift was the "stick" massager...granted, a runner's delight, but not on par with pearl earrings!). Well, I was astonished (and cried like a baby) when I received the matching pearl necklace over Christmas. Shock and awe. Knowing that from now on, our big purchases will probably be on the order of "crib," "stroller," etc., it was a delight receiving the necklace.