28 days till Due Date.

So in the tradition of what I did during the government shutdown, I’m going to try to blog more, perhaps a little each day, until the baby is born.  If I can I’ll continue after the baby is born so that I can keep everyone up to date.  Although I’m pretty sure that our first few days and weeks will seem exhausting and repetitive, maybe if I can get some text out the days won’t go by so quickly that I don’t remember all the amazing feelings.

So then to start, maybe a little about this weekend, just to get me in the writing spirit.  Today was a productive day, in fact this weekend overall was really fun and productive and at least a little bit relaxing.  Friday we went to the Anchor Bar and had some cheeseburgers.  Then to Wal-Mart to pick up a few needed items.  Then home to clean the house a little bit.  Saturday morning was the Grandma’s Marathon.  This year the weather was uncooperative for viewers (a misty/foggy 50°F) but good for runners.  Our apartment overlooks the course right on London Road.  So I woke up around 7AM and watched from the window as the half-marathoners and the wheelchair racers went by.  A little later, Sara got up and some friends came over.  I saw the winners run by from my window and then we all went down to the road to cheer the runners on. Evidently, the act of watching people run a marathon is cause for celebratory day drinking.  Since that seemed in order, I set out to have a couple of beers (at 10AM).  Well the company was good and the runners were pouring their every ounce of courage and energy into their efforts so the least we could do was cheer them on.  We saw Sara’s friend (and mine now too) Shirley as she approached us.  She looked pretty good for someone who had just run 23 miles and we cheered and encouraged and high fived her as she went by.  She did awesome, coming in almost an hour faster than she did last year.  So as the last of the marathoners went by, Sara and I had to hurry up to our computer where we participated in a Oovoo shower (oovoo is a Skype competitor that actually seems to work when Skype won’t, at least for a little while).  My family in Cincinnati was throwing a dual baby shower for us (Sara and I) and my brother Brian and his wife Julie (who is due 10 weeks after us).  Since we are less than four weeks till our due date, we weren’t able to travel to Cincinnati, hence we decided that video chatting would be the next best alternative.  It was a great afternoon, we got to see Julie open some awesome gifts, and watch as my Mom opened our wonderful things.  It is always amazing to me to see evidence of our loving and generous friends and family.  After the shower, we chilled for a little bit and the sun started to peak out from behind the Lake Superior’s misty shroud.  We took this opportunity to get in some grilling.  My father’s day (expectant fathers get to celebrate too evidently) and birthday gift was a new grill.  We went to the store and I got a steak and Sara got a salmon burger.  If you didn’t know Sara does not like steak, and I felt weird grilling her hotdogs (which she really loves now that we found a brand that is nitrate free), so the salmon burger was a delicious compromise.  The food was great and done just in time to see the wind shift and the mists roll back over the town, engulfing our neighborhood in a damp cold cloudy blanket.  It was almost enough to turn our heat back on (on the first day of summer no less) but we refrained and just resigned ourselves to wearing sweatpants and socks for a little while longer.  By the time the 10PM news came on Sara and I were both pretty tired and headed off for some much needed zzzzzz.

Sunday morning found me in a productive mood.  Because we didn’t have the fan in the window we could close the curtains all the way and block out the light, which starts to stream in about 5AM, causing Rio to think it is time to be awake and go for a walk.  This morning I got to sleep in till almost 730 which was pretty nice.  As spring has moved towards summer Rio’s internal clock has been glacially moving earlier and earlier, to the point that often we go out at 430 only to go back to sleep for a couple of hours before work.  I figure it is just training for the arrive of our bundle of sleepless joy.  So the day started well, with a bit more sleep.  Looking at my list I decided I would try to tackle a few of those things that have been hanging around for a while without being accomplished.  The first thing I did was to finish our thank you notes from our wedding (yours should be arriving anytime this week I promise).  Our tardiness does not reflect our gratitude, in fact we love all of our gifts and all of those who thought of us during our wedding.  We just got busy making other plans and preparations (AKA baby-planning), but we don’t want anyone to think we were not thinking of you so we made it a priority.  We divided them up and for a while I was ahead, then last week Sara finished all of hers, making me the slacker responsible for the tardy gratitude.  So this morning I finished them, go them all addressed and labeled and ready to head to the post office tomorrow morning.  The next thing on my list was to finish American Gods, which I did.  It was an interesting book, but not my favorite.  It was too much exposition and not enough story, but the writing was excellent and engrossing so I’ll probably read some more from that author.  Then I finished off the dishes and gave the kitchen another spot clean and started the laundry. We were trying to figure out what was for dinner (a common discussion in our house, especially since Sara has been pregnant).  The dietary desires of a pregnant wife are not something to be trifled with, so I always try to find common ground (but always have a backup plan).  I decided to make Skyline Chili from the packets.   It turned out really good.  The key was to follow the directions on the packet (who knew??).  Actually the other key was to break up the ground beef before you put it into the water and then to further break up the big chunks by rapid stirring with a fork.  Water, tomato paste, ground beef, and a spice packet and done.  It does take a while to cook down (about an hour and half), but considering you don’t pre-brown any of the beef I was OK with the longer cooking time to make sure all the burger is cooked.  I also made the risky move of transferring some of our winter stuff from the front hallway to the basement.  I’m pretty sure it isn’t going to snow anymore (at least till September), but I don’t want to tempt fate into not letting summer arrive eventually, but in the end the need for space and reason trumped superstition.  All this while, Sara, in addition to helping with a number of the previously listed tasks, just whipped out a knitted baby hat.  Turns out Sara is some sort of knitting ninja like her mom and when she puts her mind to it can knit the shit out of things.  Well the baby is getting bigger daily and sometimes when you need to sit for a while it is fun to have a little project.

Sara just whipped this out today, from a ball of yarn to a hat!

Sara just whipped this out today, from a ball of yarn to a hat!

As for me, the last thing I’m doing (and actually procrastinating doing by writing this blog post) is to answer some narrative questions about my research/science background.   and finished answering some research questions for a job opportunity.  If you don’t know this, I am currently working on finding the next great opportunity for my career.  While I love Duluth (except winter) and the lab is an amazing place to work my position is ending in December so I need to find where I will land next.  In an effort to not follow my general pattern of waiting till the last minute I’ve been applying to a number of place already, and in fact have been invited out for an in person interview.  I’ve got a number of other irons in the fire, including a couple of second rounds and few preliminary interviews.  The second round questions are what I’m working on tonight, having finished a set last week.  They are the kind of questions that are fun to answer because I get to talk about myself and what I’ve done and what I do.  Luckily I’m not too bad at that.

In the end, I’m trying to get all the productive days in I can because I’m sure at some point in the near future (t-minus 28 days) things will switch from productive to just keeping everything afloat.  At some point I’ll be happy just for a few hours of sleep and that my clothes are too dirty to wear.  But that isn’t today. Today I’m finishing things and starting things and getting things done because I can.  Hope Monday is just as good.

Our belated gratitude ready  to be mailed in the morning.

Our belated gratitude ready to be mailed in the morning.

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