Saturday, March 29, 2008

I feel guilty for not posting more often. So I am taking the easy way out and posting some recent pictures!

This is my dad with me. We tease him that he looks more pregnant than I do (he's really trying here, though.)

About a week ago my sister had a little baby shower for me at her house. It was nice because I never had a wedding shower, and didn't think I would have a baby shower either. That's one of the problems of having your friends scattered all around the globe.

I swear, my husband gets more pregnancy symptoms than I do. Right about now he's in the "nesting" stage. Last week we refinished an old dresser from my dad's house to put away the baby clothes.

And here's me at 38 weeks.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Maybe it's the weather

One of the things that has been strange for us, but particularly hard for Jorge, is how strangers in Seattle aren't very friendly. We don't get out a lot, but when we do, we're always surprised that people can walk straight past us, in our own neighborhood, and act as though they haven't even noticed our existence.

At first I thought Jorge was just making this phenomena up, but I've been testing it out lately. For the last two days, I've gone for a walk in a nearby park. I pass dozens of people, and I make a point of looking them in the eye and smiling as they pass by, and only about one in ten will smile back. Sometimes I get a curt nod. Mostly they pretend they haven't seen me and continue walking.

I find this especially funny, because at 38 weeks pregnant, I look like a laughing buddha on a good day, and Danny Devito as The Penguin on a bad one. You just have to look at me, there's no way around it. And once you do, I imagine it's hard not to smile, even just a little. I would totally smile at a little round pregnant lady if I saw one.

In Malawi, children run out to the roadside to wave at me when I drive past. As a white person, I find it's usually me who tries to avoid making eye contact, because I know half the people I encounter will either want to chat or ask me for a job. But if I say hello to anyone, anywhere in the country, it's pretty much a guarantee that I will get a warm greeting in return.

I'm hoping that it's just that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) problem that everyone talks about here. Or maybe it's the food. The high cost of living, or the credit crisis? Who knows. At any rate, Jorge is very much missing Louisiana and Africa every time he goes out for a run and people shun him as though he's a leper.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Well, today's a big day because I am officially "full-term" now, at 37 weeks. Which means there's a perfectly formed little person living inside my stomach right now.


I don't expect to be having this baby anytime soon, though, so don't get too excited, though. Did you know that the majority of babies are actually born after their due date (which is still weeks away, in my case)? And yet so many doctors now will induce labor as soon as the due date is reached. Such a strange medical system we have in the U.S.

Tomorrow my sister is holding a little mini-shower for me, with the few people I know in Seattle. Should be fun. And today we got a carseat from an unknown benefactor! Yay! So I feel pretty set: we have a car seat, a place for the baby to sleep, some diapers, and a few clothes! What else does a kid really need?

Last night we went to a basketball game, the Suns vs. the Sonics. Turns out the Sonics are about the worst team in the country, or close to it. It was kind of sad to be in a game where there were more people cheering for the opponents than the home team. But we had a good time nonetheless, and the Sonics didn't lose too badly!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Yes, I've been gone quite a while. I know I'm beginning to sound like a bit of a broken record, but life as an expectant mom in the U.S. just doesn't inspire me half as much as life as an career gal in Africa. I just feel so pedestrian writing about pregnancy, modern comforts, and daily life around the house.

But I have my public to think of, so I must soldier on and find things to write about.

Today will be a bit of a flashback, then. On the day before we left Malawi, our friend Christine hosted a big barbecue for us at her wonderful, cozy home. It was such a treat to get together with so many of our friends before flying off. I'm not sure if it made it easier or harder to go, though. But I thought it would be nice to share photos of some of the people who have really touched our lives over the last year and a half. I know it's a lot of photos, but I actually had to cut a lot of people out, so apologies to those of you I missed here!

By the way - why is it faster to upload photos to my blog in Africa? That just seems wrong.

There was a ton of food, and we even got gifts! Yay!

Our generous, gracious host Christine, dragging us in front of the crowd for toasts.

Ooh, we're being feted! That doesn't happen to me very often.

With Leslie, who has been a close friend since we first arrived. She even "rented" my husband and mother-in-law for a vacation once.

I'm sure I'm not the one making the witty remarks that made these guys smile. Must have been Jorge.

Our dear friend Cassandra, who I already miss.

Ann, who has an infectious laugh, and an inspiring sense of calm.

Jennifer, who likes to bake as much as I do!
Ali, Jorge's off-roading adventure buddy, who also happens to be a real sweetheart.

Matt, host of many a fun party, and a linchpin of social life in Lilongwe.

The lovely Mariah and Mena.
And the equally lovely (and accomplished chefs) Barbara and Alisha.
Amy and Andy, a couple I am just incredibly fond of. Look at those smiles - how could you not like these people?

Godfrey and his two oldest children. Speaking of terrific smiles...!