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We'll pretend it hasn't been forever and forego any excuses or apologies. Onward!

I am currently 25.5 weeks pregnant--i.e. about a week and a half shy of six months. Almost into trimester three! Which, based on how uncomfortable I've been lately, will probably not be the most enjoyable three months of my life, but it WILL continue to be ridiculously exciting. My belly rounds apace, I weigh a good chunk more than I ever have in my life, and I am finally (finally!) at the point where it is obvious to everyone that I am pregnant.

The little guy--yes, it's a boy! Alun was right--has been getting more and more active by the day, and let me tell you, it is WEIRD. Awesome and wonderfully distracting and smile-inducing, but weird (imagine, for example, the sensation of large bubbles popping all over against the inside of your abdomen).

Also, managing home and pregnancy and grad school is (insert adverb here) stressful, not to mention exhausting, but things continue generally to work out just fine.

And just as a note to remind everyone where exactly we're living and working and going to school, tomorrow, March Fourth (chosen for the pun on the command to "March forth") is a day of massive strikes, pickets, rallies, marches, etc. in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and Sacramento to protest all the massive budget cuts this fabulous state is handing its education system. I get off easy by not having classes on Thursdays, which means I don't have to go near any of it, but they're staging something like a two-hour march from Berkeley campus to downtown Oakland. And even the elementary school Alun teaches at will have a before-school protest and even a scheduled fire drill to symbolize the emergency status of education in California.

My professor tonight jokingly (sort of) asked us if we all had our police-encounter kits ready. (If you're bored or interested, try looking up the November 20th Berkeley protest.)

The joys.

The Big News!

For anyone who hasn't heard yet, I would like to announce that I'm having a baby!

I'm nine weeks along right now and due on June 9th. We're ridiculously excited, though the whole thing is still pretty surreal. I've been feeling pretty normal aside from being tired all the time (though for me, that's still pretty normal) and for a couple of weeks (hopefully not to be repeated--knock on wood) I was pretty nauseous and extremely picky about what I could stand to eat (which was very little). There was never actually any throwing up, which was kind of nice, except for the times when it was so terrible that I genuinely wished I would. Instead, I spent hours feeling like I might at any moment, which, trust me, is less fun that just getting it over with. EDIT: I take it back. Less than an hour after posting this (of course), it actually happened. Another milestone down, I guess?

And to that fun information I'll add that it has, in fact, put me behind in school work, since it's eating a lot of my brain time and energy--and a lot of my brain time and energy now is literally focused on eating--not that I spend all my time eating, but I still have to be careful to make sure I don't make myself sick, don't under-eat, and get at least some decent nutrition... But the professors I've told have been extremely understanding and helpful. Here's to hoping I don't get any antagonism from anyone else in the department, though I honestly don't think I will.

The thing that really amazes me at this point is how many things I suddenly have to pay attention to and think about that I never ever had to before. Like what kind of fish is in those tacos (woops), though I'm quite sure one serving of mahi won't do any harm, or whether I can pop a decongestant for my chronically stupid nose. And so on.

But to reiterate the good part, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A BABY! We're really more pleased than I can say. We've been wanting to do this, but waited until after we were settled here, had insurance, and could aim for a summer baby that would hopefully appear when we had time off--hooray for both having summers off--to actually deal with it. We're doing well so far, so hopefully it will all go off (sort of relatively almost kind of) as planned...

And while I realize I'll have plenty of time for this later (and may well get tired of it then), right now it annoys me that it isn't visibly obvious to the whole world. But hey, the poor kid is doing the best it can, and right now it's only about an inch and a half long, so I'm happy to give it some more time.

...did I mention I'm having a baby? :) :) :)

Don't Fear the Reaper

...just happens to be the song Alun is playing on Rock Band at the moment, and as I could think of no better subject line, I went ahead and plugged it in.

I'm now living in California! Granted, I've been in California since the end of June, but as of the first of August we're actually moved (with all our stuff, save a few mysteriously missing boxes) into a place that we'll actually stay in for more than, say, 32 days. Essentially, Alun and I have been in the process of moving since about June 12th, and it is a process we're quite ready to never do again. But as for the place itself, well--aside from the lack of overhead lighting, the ant problem (solved, at least for now), the fact that the soap dispenser in the dishwasher doesn't like to lock shut, and the fact that you have to drive over no less than NINE ______ing speed bumps to get to our building, it's pretty good. Last night, as I was busy being a slug and sick of being a slug and wanting something to do without actually wanting to do anything, Alun convinced me to sneak through the hole in the fence behind our building and take my 25-year-old camera to the pond there and photograph the ducks. Which I did. And really, who can complain (too much?) about a place that, whatever its faults, is so very close to so many ducks?

On another topic, the prospect of actually and finally starting school in ten days--oh wow. Until now I hadn't quite realized how close that is, and there are probably lots of things I should be doing between now and then. But anyway, the prospect of actually and finally starting school is incredibly welcome, as my brain has been sorely lacking in stimulation for the last...um, long time. Yes, I'm a bit nervous, but we'll ignore that in favor of recalling that I will be a grad student and feel awesome because of it.

It is a bit lonely being here without any family or friends (read: Provo people, I miss you) and without knowing the area well enough to just go off somewhere.

But things are going pretty well.

In Vegas

So we managed to yet again pack a trailer with all of our stuff and haul it for about three hours between Cedar and Vegas. (My dear husband is good enough to not complain about the packing or the loading or the hauling.)

And you know, there are lots of really cool things about Las Vegas. Genuinely cool. Like The Blue Man Group (seriously--freaking awesome). Like the Bellagio water show. Seriously and undeniably cool.

But I think about the billions of dollars that have gone and continue to go into making this ridiculous city look the way it does. How much money is poured into keeping thousands and thousands of gallons of water in the middle of the freaking desert. And don't get me wrong, I love being here with my family and looking at all the shiny lights, but there are a lot of things I've seen over the last couple days that just make me kind of sick to be here. Kind of sick that this place actually exists. Like the sidewalks lined with guys (and the occasional woman) wearing shirts that say "GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS direct to you in 20 minutes" and handing out cards with porn on them. The cards blow around and cover the sidewalks and get stuck in the gutters. I have a habit of looking down when I walk that I may very well have broken by the end of the week.

And again, it's quite a bit of fun to be here. But Alun's already gone on to California--left all of three hours ago--and now it just doesn't feel right to be without him.

I'm meeting him in LA on Friday; it'll be the longest we've been apart since we got married. ;_;


We successfully (pretty much) made it out of the condo on Friday! Only about eight hours or so behind our original schedule thanks to time-crunching and other little things like having to drag a trailer and then snapping a radiator hose on our dear Jeep. Mercifully the latter didn't happen until we were already in Cedar City and had everything unpacked. We were, in fact, just on our way to drop off the empty trailer when, with not four blocks to go, the poor thing started spewing smoke from the hood.

This is never a good thing.

So the hose had broken off and coolant was going everywhere and we were leaving for my grandparents' cabin that night which meant we had to get the trailer back. We even managed it, thanks to the random people parked on the same street whose SUV had a hitch on it. So it worked out, but while the rest of us were hanging out at the cabin Saturday Alun had to go back into town to fix the Jeep and drop off paperwork for the trailer. (My dad was kind enough to let us take his truck up the mountain instead of unpacking all the ridiculously heavy boxes from my poor little car.)

He came back with the proposal--and it was not by any means a welcome proposal to either of us--that we trade in our Jeep and get something newer before we head off across the desert.

We've come to the realization and decision that yes, we really need to, so yeah, we're really going to get a "new" car this week. But we both cried really love that Jeep and really don't want to see it go. So we took lots of cool pictures of it over the weekend, looking out over cliffs and being its awesome Jeeply self.

We went on our first date in that Jeep. Also had our first kiss in that Jeep.



Tiarna Bronach

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March 2010


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