Back to baby topics…everyone has been asking me how I feel…even the doctor asked if I was going to the bathroom more frequently, or had any symptoms. I told him that I feel normal, just like every other day, and he said that the pregnancy was so new that that was perfectly fine. I have been noticing some muscle soreness for the last two or three weeks…and these last several nights (five or so) my chest has been the slightest bit tender…it’s almost like it’s just heavier and if I’m not careful when driving over bumps or walking too quickly down the stairs I feel it more than usual. Of course this could be all in my head. I’ve also been noticing little pulls in my belly…it’s hard not to think about all of this stuff!

At our doctor’s visit I told the doc that we had been expecting me to cry a good bit when we found out I was pregnant…we were a little worried because I’ve hardly shed a tear. He said not to worry, we’d have plenty of opportunity over the next several months.

A little later the doc was asking me the usual stuff…when was my last period…he figured out the date of conception and asked us if that seemed right, if that could be possible. We both immediately started laughing, it just seemed so funny. I realize now that he needs to know this info, but it seemed at the time that he was checking up on me. The joke in this country is the butano delivery man (like the milkman in America)…so Tj said something about that. The doc said something like “Hmm…I hadn’t thought of that”. I’ll have to get the exact quote from Tj…it was too funny.

Every morning when I wake up the first thing I think about is the baby. I can’t believe this is happening to me. I’ve always been very good at not thinking about things…hiding things from myself as it were.

I guess that’s part of the reason why I’m such a good procrastinator. What I’m trying to say is there are so many things about motherhood that I hadn’t thought about…I love thinking about them now.

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to be a mom. Way back then it was more important to me than getting married (although I never envisioned being a single mother). As I got older I began to feel that finding a mate was more important. I want Tj to know that he’s always first in my heart. I know that with motherhood comes so much responsibility…and at first it’s mountains more than my responsibility to my husband…but I never want the baby to replace Tj. He laughs and tells me that when the baby gets here all of my love will go to it…I won’t have any more for him. I don’t think I’ll be like that. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

We’ve been talking about baby names for a few months. I think we started a little before we started trying for a baby. I love the name Jessie for a girl…I fell in love with Jessie from Toy Story 2…she’s so spunky and excitable and cute. I don’t remember how we chose Max for a boy, but we both love that name. We’re still talking about middle names…I have a running list on Excel and we’re welcoming any suggestions (leave me a comment if you come up with anything, ok?). It’s hard to think about names without remembering all of the pregnancy journals I’ve read over the last year or so…so many times the baby’s name has changed so much during the nine months before it’s arrival…I wonder if that will happen to us. So far Kel’s the only one who’s asked about the name; I’m sure she won’t be the last.

I had another crazy dream last night…a little background: yesterday Grace told Teresa and me that Gonzo’s growing out a beard…he claims that he wants to blend in with the Spaniards. I don’t know that he’ll blend in more…I’d say there are as many men with beards as there are without. The thing is I dreamed that Tj and I were living at Mom’s. I dreamed that I was sleeping on a couch in Al’s old bedroom and dreamed that Tj was growing a beard. I woke up (in my dream) and laughed and told Mom that I’d wanted him to grow a beard, but then I remembered that he’s in the military and is supposed to be clean shaven. And then I woke up and told Tj about my dream within a dream.

Tj just stopped by to pick up his extra uniform belt for Gonzo…either Gonzo didn’t bring it with him or he can’t find it now. Ah, the joys of moving.

Well, I guess it’s about time to write about the new folks. On the whole they’re nice people…it’s just when you try to help them that it all goes haywire. We had them over for dinner a week or so ago and we all had a good time…but anytime you try to tell Gonzo the way things have to be he refuses to hear you. It’s funny…he talks a lot. I know that’s the pot calling the kettle black, but so many times he’ll ask a question, and as you start to answer he changes the subject and just keeps on talking. It’s taking some getting used to.

I didn’t realize that it all started the first day. We told them that we’d pick them up from the airport; we made that explicitly clear. But when Gonzo finally collected his luggage, instead of leaving the security area to find us he spent 20 minutes at the rental car counter trying to get a car. Not only was that stupid in my opinion (why rent a car when someone is at the airport waiting to bring you to an apartment you’ve never seen in a city you’ve never been to), but it’s also rude (if he didn’t want us to pick him up he should have said so before we all got to the airport…I’d have rather been at home doing my own thing than waiting for someone who didn’t want me to be there in the first place). But Tj and I just thought it was a fluke.

Everything went pretty smoothly the first weekend they were here…and then it was time to go to Rota. We told them we’d be at their house about 10am. Gonzo called us a little before 10 and said he’d come to our house. Tj told him it’d be better if we met them because the gas station is half a block from their apartment and we both needed to get gas, so that was that. Well, when Tj got there a little after 10 they said that they were ready, they would just go to the cafe and get some breakfast. I guess I should give them the benefit of the doubt…they still think they’re in America…you don’t get any food quickly from a restaurant in Spain. So we all waited about 20 minutes while Grace tried to convince the woman behind the counter to wrap up some pastries, and then we were off.

The trip out wasn’t bad at all…Tj was in front, Gonzo in the middle and I was last. Tj and I had walkie-talkies, and Gonzo and Tj had cell phones. Tj would tell me when he wanted to pass and I would pull out and clear the way for them. It was a bit of a pain, as following can be, but not bad really. It’s a little harder driving three cars than one, but we made it fine. We only made one stop in six hours…I was completely surprised that Gonzo’s girls could go that long w/o stopping. Once we got to the base we all had to stop at the gate…Tj and Gonzo needed passes, and I needed to renew mine. We drove to the Navy Lodge and got Gonzo checked in, and then I went to the Video Mart (Subway and a movie) and Tj checked us into Billeting. We’d said we’d get an early start the next morning so I called them at 8am and caught them sleeping, oops! I said I’d call back at 10. About half an hour or so later Gonzo asked if Grace needed to be there as we made our rounds at the Security office that morning…she wanted to do some home schooling with the girls. We thought that would be fine, so we said we’d be at Gonzo’s at 10. He called at a quarter till with another question, and then said he was ready to go…Tj said we’d be there in five minutes, Gonzo said he’d be outside in two. We drove over there and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally Tj went to his apartment…10 minutes later he was back with Gonzo. We’d told Gonzo that we were going straight to the Security office to check in there…the first thing Gonzo said when he came out to the car was ‘Are we going to get breakfast now?’ I just don’t get him…I’m the first to admit that I can eat at any time, at any place; I’m always hungry. But when someone tells me that they’re coming by to pick me up for work I make sure I’ve eaten before I tell them I’m ready to go.

Anyway, we drove to the office and got down to business. Not surprisingly everything was chaos. When we came here two years ago we were required to make a stop in Madrid. The only thing we really did was hear the “You’re my babies” speech by Titi Fernandez, get introduced to a bunch of people we’ve never seen since, try not to pass out from the heat in the very nice hotel we stayed in (apparently the a/c isn’t turned on until June or later…fine this year…horrid two years ago), and wonder why such a lavish hotel should have a strong sewer smell in 2002. Apparently this is the same thing that the Gonzos did. However, when we got to Raphael Seba’s office and tried to get Gonzo a driver’s license Seba said Gonzo hadn’t checked in with ODC in Madrid and filled out paperwork like he should’ve. Background Story: When we came to Spain this wasn’t an issue…we did have to jump through a lot of hoops, but we did the same thing that our predecessors did. Also, since our car wasn’t in we didn’t need our license right away. The problem this time is that Gonzo’s car is sitting at Rota and they won’t let him take it. All the paperwork will probably be finished by next Wednesday or Thursday, but he can’t just sit around waiting. During all of this we got pulled into Seba’s office and chewed out by him for not doing what needed to be done. I’d called Seba a few days before we got there, so he was telling us that we were laying down on the job…the fact of the matter is that new people report to Madrid, and Titi is supposed to take care of them. Seba went on and on about us not doing whatever…we all just kept quiet because everytime we pointed out a fact he just started over at the beginning. The long and the short of it is that Gonzo’ll have to do some running around, but in the end it’ll all work out. And just like we’ve done for two years, I heard him say that day “Well, I’ll get this straightened out so that when the next people come…”.

I guess that’s the funnest thing about this whole situation to me. We’ve spent two years doing stuff the hard way and fixing things for ‘the next people’, and now they’re here and they don’t want to hear what we have to say. Joe and Dawn fought every time they drove us out to Rota…they could never remember how they drove through Jerez de la Frontera. It was a 30-minute argument with Tj and me sitting mute in the backseat vowing to ourselves never to fight in public every time. So every time Tj and I drove out to Rota I wrote and checked my directions…I was so proud that the new people would never have that trouble. Now Gonzo wants to find his own way out to Rota. Another thing…the US Government gives us a discount on our gas out here…it’s about 90 cents per liter which translates to about $3.40 per gallon…with the coupon we pay about $2.08 per gallon. But you can only get gas coupons after you have your car registered in Spain. Tj’s told Gonzo that a couple of times. It’s just a fact…it’s just one of the things that you have to deal with when you move here. But when Tj went to pick up our gas coupons the woman behind the counter told him that Gonzo had tried to get the coupons! I don’t know why we drove them out to Rota and went with him to all of those appointments if he was just gonna ignore everything we said and do it on his own. It’s just so annoying and rude.

One thing, though, Gonzo may be extremely lucky in the housing department; he says he’s found a brand new house that was for sale, but the owner is willing to rent. People often thought that Tj and I had trouble finding a place to live because we’re not fluent in Spanish. However, Mike and Pilar got here only a few months after us, she’s a native of Zaragoza (a city near Madrid) so obviously her Spanish is perfect. They looked even harder than we did; they talked to people in every house in our neighborhood, stopped at each rental/for sale house…they just had no luck here. The house that Gonzo found is newly on the market; Grace says that the butano tank is filled up yearly!! (Our house uses 5-gallon butano tanks, and our water heater and stove run off of those tanks. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been in the shower and the butano has run out without warning…if Tj’s here he changes the tank, if not I have to get out of the shower and do it. Suffice it to say it’s a major pain in the butt.) Another great thing about the new house is that it has central a/c and heat!!! I’m so jealous. It sounds great…it’s got to be a much better house than ours…but Grace says that she wants ours! She likes the fact that our house has a large yard; the new house has a typical Spanish yard: it’s all tile. We’ll just have to see how this turns out.

Well, if this isn’t the longest entry I’ve written it’s mighty close. I’ve got to get moving, though. Fran and Teresa have invited us and the Gonzos over for lunch at 1pm. I still have so much to blog, but it’ll just have to wait.

You may not be able to tell Iím beautiful from looking at me,
but I am.

I found this quote ages ago and thought it was fun.

Well, I still can’t believe it. How can I not feel anything different? I didn’t think about it at all yesterday, but today I have a tiny tiny fear that somehow they looked at someone else’s test…surely it wasn’t meant to be this easy.

I dreamed all night long…I remember waking up once and thinking ‘now that was an interesting dream, maybe I should blog some of my dreams’; and then when I awoke I couldn’t remember that dream! One that I can remember is from Monday night: The house I lived in required a walk across a hanging wooden bridge. When I crossed the bridge I saw a baby sitting on a blanket or rug on the floor…it wasn’t my baby, it could’ve been a sister/brother…I think we were related. I think I felt something not right then…I picked the baby up and went back over the bridge. Someone else was with me both times over the bridge; I think the first time it was Papa, and somewhere he turned into Al. Then we were walking through these fabulously decorated rooms…kinda like Botany Bay, warm browns, and things everywhere. As Al and I quickly walked I could see things out of the corner of my eye changing…then I saw a lampshade that was yellow, when I looked back it had turned colors. I looked at Al and asked if she saw that; I positioned the baby like a football…I knew we were going to be running and I wanted a firm grip. As I waited for Al to answer she just smiled at me…I knew she was It. I started running and she changed into this computer-generated-looking orange panther, fluid and rapid. I don’t remember much more than that…I ran and it jumped/flowed all around me. Then the dream changed into me, mom, Jo and Al at college…

So anyway…I woke up at 6am this morning…I hope all my excitement stops manifesting itself this way, I need some sleep. After blogging for a while I got ready, left Tj sleeping (lucky boy), and went over to the dental clinic. I’d called to make an appointment a few weeks ago. On the phone I explained that we have to drive very far to get there, so did they have any available appointments this week? The guy was extremely friendly; I asked for a Wednesday afternoon appointment because my doctor’s appointment was Wednesday morning (later I regretted not putting the dental in the morning before breakfast…it’s only logical). He offered to get me in Monday, a designated cleaning/exam appointment; but we were planning on arriving Monday, so that wouldn’t work. He said ok to the Wednesday appointment; those were usually reserved for cavities, but he said that they would be understanding of my situation. I told him that I could move it to some other time…I didn’t want to inconvenience them, and I didn’t want them to cancel me later because I wasn’t a cavity appointment. He said there would be no problem. Monday morning as I was washing dishes and getting ready to go we got a phone call from the dentist’s office…they were canceling! I immediately assumed it was because of all the malarkey I just wrote about, but they said that the dentist’s wife had just had a baby! So I decided to show up and ask if there had been any cancellations. When I got to the appointment desk this morning I waited for the woman to finish with the person on the phone and then told her I was throwing myself on her mercy (we’ve had a lot of trouble getting in to dentist’s appointments before). I recited the facts: I’d had an appointment, I’d driven six hours to get here, I was only going to be here for the week, I’d forgotten my records, and I’d just found out I was pregnant…could she do anything for me? She asked me how far along I was, and then she said that they never do anything during the first trimester; so that was that.

I went back to the room and hung around until my doctor’s appointment. Tj got dressed and went with me. Dr. Stombaugh is the nicest doctor…even Tj thought so the last time he came with me. When Dr. Stombaugh walked into the room he said “I’ve heard a rumor…” I said I’d heard it too, and hoped it was the truth. He fussed at me for forgetting my records…but there was nothing I could do at that point. We talked about the usual baby stuff…I’m supposed to walk four times a week 30 minutes each time, and I have to sweat. Yuck! I hate sweating! I can swim, though…so we’ll see. The bomb he dropped was that I can only have two glasses of tea a day!!! I love my tea…oh, and tuna…I can only have one can per week, maximum!!! I’ve been eating it about every other day; but with the mercury scare I’ll have to really cut down. Oh, well, I’m sure it won’t be such a sacrifice when I think of the baby. He also said no lifting heavy things…nothing over 25 lbs.

The doctor gave me an examination…I wasn’t expecting that! Tj stayed for the whole thing…he asked me if I wanted him to leave, but it didn’t matter to me…it was nice having him there to hold my hand. He did laugh later at how much I jump. A story from my past: the first time I ever had a full exam my doctor (Wendy Moses, in S’port) said “I’m just gonna touch your thigh”…you should’ve seen how high I jumped when she did! I was a little calmer today, but it took some concentration. After the whole thing was over and the doctor was waiting outside for me to get dressed Tj made a comment about my being ‘ducked’ by the doctor…that tool does look like a duck’s bill. *sigh* Anyway, the doc said that everything looked good…it was nice to hear that.

I told him that we weren’t planning on seeing another doctor until we moved back to America. He hemmed and hawed a minute, looking at his chart and thinking. I didn’t think that it would be a big deal…I thought women usually waited two months before going to their first appointment. I told him that if I needed to of course I’d drive back out here before then for an appointment. He didn’t want to say that I had to drive back out, but it was pushing it a little to leave the appointment until July. He said if I had any trouble (bleeding/cramping/pain) that I should come back before leaving Spain; but that if everything went smoothly that I’d be about 12 weeks when I got to Atlanta.

We left the doc’s office with congratulations and went to pick up my prescriptions. We ran a couple of errands, had lunch, and then it was time to take care of the car. We ran to the on-base car shop to get a couple of things to clean it, and then took the Toyota to a car wash. We vacuumed it out and wiped it down. We worked hard on the bugs on the front but they were pretty stubborn. I didn’t think that the car was too bad, and convinced Tj to let us stop working on the front. We went back to the room and he read the rules for shipping the car…now he’s worried (I am too, but I’m trying to help him not worry too much). Apparently the car needs to be spotless. The kicker is that the undercarriage needs to be cleaned. There was no point in cleaning it before our six-hour trip out here, and you can’t clean that at a public car wash (we haven’t found one that lets you hold the hose/scrubber); if it doesn’t pass inspection we’ll have to ask the guys there what we can do.

After all of that we met up with Gonzo and Co. for supper; that’s gotta be another entry.