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Archive for February, 2014

One year ago today we landed in Nepal.

We haggled (badly) with our first Nepali cab drivers, threw our overstuffed packs in the car, and set off toward an unknown address.

(Seriously – we had no real directions. We were just told by Umbrella to, “head toward the Monkey Temple.”)


monkeytemple2

We took so many narrow back roads that I wasn’t sure we weren’t being kidnapped – until I realized that those “back” roads were main roads, and “narrow” was all relative. Which was proven when another car careened around the bend toward us, managing to pass without clipping a mirror.

We arrived at the volunteer house, exhausted after two days of travel, but still ready to go out to our first Pub Quiz night to raise money for the organization.

pubquiz

When we got back to the house that night, had no electricity, and crawled into our separate, differently-leveled (but not bunk) twin “beds”, I don’t think we realized quite how much our lives were about to change.

Rather, I know I didn’t.

monkeytemple

But I knew, without a doubt, that I had stepped out of my comfort zone.

And the adventure just got better from there.

adventure

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To the thief/thieves at the Herndon dog park on Sunday:

I hope it was worth it.

brokenwindow

I hope the whopping $20 in my wallet and the $10 in coins (meant for our son’s first piggy bank, by the way) completely made your day and changed your life.

And while you were at it – rifling through my bag, and likely tossing everything you couldn’t spend immediately (hopefully you didn’t overlook the Home Depot and Crate and Barrel gift cards) – I hope you took a minute to appreciate the things that you acquired in your crime of opportunity.

  • I hope you appreciated all my old school IDs and licenses, that I kept as a little trip down memory lane. And good luck trying to pronounce my name if you decide to try to use it for anything.
  • I hope you appreciated the family photos in my wallet. I had senior portraits of my parents and my brother, and one family photo of the four of us. Not to mention Husband’s baseball card.
  • I hope you appreciated the sonogram photos of our first baby. You now have his very first picture – the one that I cried happy tears over when I found out I was really, truly pregnant.
  • I hope you enjoyed the magazine article I kept tucked in my wallet: “10 Reasons You Still Need Your Mother.” And I’m sure you’ve noted that breaking someone’s car window is not on that list.

And I hope you enjoy the other odds and ends that you found – the sunglasses that I’ve had for seven years without sitting on, losing, or breaking them in any way (a record!); the purse itself, that I got while studying abroad in 2005; the planner that took me forever to buy, because I’m just that picky; and the Kong that I was going to give Manny on the way home from the park. Congratulations – you stole from a puppy, too.

I hope all of that is useful to you, because none of it is worth anything at this point to anyone but me (and Manny).

I know you won’t read this. I know you won’t give me a second thought. But I will think of it every time I drive to the dog park and there are no other cars there – I’ll turn right around so that I’m not a sitting duck.

I will sink into myself a little bit more whenever someone sidles too close.

I will lock the front door when I take the dog for a walk, even though it’s only 15 minutes.

And I will startle easily if I hear a strange sound outside, when before I would have attributed it to nature or the neighborhood.

I will remember that these are not the suburbs I grew up in, and that might be the most upsetting part.

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Taking public transportation while pregnant has often felt like one giant social experiment.

The biggest observation, of course, is that people rarely look up while riding the bus or metro when others are boarding. It’s a head-down mentality, and the cynic in me has interpreted it as: if I don’t look, then I won’t see someone who needs my seat, and then I won’t have to get up.

It’s not personal, it just is.

Of course, there are the rare gems who either a) offer seats immediately or b) (and even more rare) make eye contact from across the car to give up their seat. (To the woman who did that, you might actually be one in a million.)

Overall, though, women have offered more seats than men have, and older women have offered more often than younger women.

But, naturally, I’d still rather go for an already empty seat, rather than take one from someone else. Which is what I tried to do yesterday on the commute home.

The train is always so crowded in the evening, that I was thrilled when I peered through the metro doors and saw one front seat open and available. As I moved toward it, the 40-something-year-old man sitting in the adjacent seat stood up, and I assumed that he just didn’t want to move over to the window, that he preferred the aisle. No big deal.

I made a move to slide into the window seat, perfectly happy to accommodate, and he blocked me.

He physically stood in my way, arms spread wide, and prevented me from sitting down – so that his buddy could step around me (no easy feat) and take the seat.

I looked at both of them in disbelief, said something eloquent along the lines of, “Seriously?” and proceeded halfway down the car where I managed to find the only other seat still available.

I’d like to think that if there hadn’t been one seat left, the men may have reacted differently. But, given the blocking, I doubt it.

I wish I could say I’d been the bigger person (aside from just my current roundness), but when we ended up all getting off at the same stop and they tried to cut in front of me, I may have thrown my elbows out wide and done some blocking of my own.

And honestly? I don’t feel too bad about that.

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For weeks – months, even – everyone has asked me the same question: how are you feeling?

And once I got out of the first trimester, my answer was always the same: I feel surprisingly great!

I could feel myself getting bigger, but I could still see my toes.

I could feel slight aches and pains in my hips, but nothing unbearable.

I could feel my body changing in all sorts of ways, but I could also feel the little human inside of me practicing his tumbling routine, so everything was worth it.

And it’s still worth it, but I don’t feel surprisingly great right now.  Or rather, my teeth don’t.

I’d been warned by friends that babies take calcium, and some women are more prone to cavities and bleeding gums when they’re pregnant. So when my gums started bleeding more during brushing, I accepted that.

I was not, however, prepared for the type of nerve damage that necessitates a root canal. In two teeth.

But that is precisely what happened today.

I have had one root canal in my life, and I barely remember it. But I’m told I gave the dentist a kiss on the way out, so it can’t have been that bad.

There was no kiss today.

There was pain and drilling and numbing and crying (not necessarily in that order). And now there’s the anxious anticipation of the two follow-up appointments, so they can finish what they’ve started.

On the one hand, I’ll be grateful when I can chew again.

On the other, this is really not the way I wanted to start off my week.

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