On My Mind: February 9

Today marks the end of Week 21 of my pregnancy and I am feeling really good. Except for the pregnancy panel on my jeans, I do not feel really feel pregnant and that is the best I can ask for at this stage. I do love feeling Wiglet move inside me, though. We had our 20 week sonogram this week. Everything looks normal which is everything I hoped for. We are having (another) girl!

Knowing the baby’s gender, seeing her in the sonogram, and feeling better than I have in months is getting me into nesting mode. For me, that means sorting and pitching. I started with E’s old baby clothes – the premise to help me keep my clothes spending on Wiglet under control. She basically only needs a few newborn-sized items since, with E, we had overestimated a newborn baby’s size and ability to spit up. I love Carter’s one piece zip up pajamas! Thanks to my mother’s upcoming visits from the US, she will bring them over for me.

Next I take on getting our spare room ready to become E’s new bedroom. I really love the idea of lofting her bed, but I am terrified of her falling out of it. In the meantime, she will stay in her crib. I see a visit to IKEA in our future.

Thanks to my new IPhone and my ever growing use of my IPad, I am reading and listening to more books. Right now, I am reading, two books – “Notes from a Blue Bike” by The Art of Simple’s Tsh Oxenreider and “A Small Fortune” by Audrey Braun. I am listening to “The Stories of a Happy Marriage” by Ann Patchett. My other recent Audible downloads have been the latest books by Tori Spelling, Billy Crystal, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sue Kidd, Malcolm Gladwell, and Anna Quindlen. I have an eclectic, mostly mainstream taste that is very loyal to a dozen or so authors. I am also a sucker for celebrity autobiographies especially if they will make me laugh.

Needless to say, I am not watching much tv, but that is mostly because I have worked my way through all of the series I follow. Ann Patchett and Tsh Oxenreider, though, are pushing me to leave the tv off and make more time for the things I always wish I had more time for. So far, Ann Patchett’s book “talks” mostly about becoming a successful writer. Writing is probably my first passion and, if I am honest with myself, the one skill I hold most dear. I would love to do it for a living, but have always stuck to my more practical, more reliable and more marketable skills – namely accounting.

Ann’s advice is basically, stop the excuses and start putting in the time. And Tsh says basically the same thing about blogging, the way I could imagine myself writing for a living. So here I am, forcing words to (web)page.

I bought Tsh’s book, what I think of as “The Blue Bike”, because of a lot of parallels I see in our lives. She has (and plans in the future to) live with her family overseas. Partly from this experience, she now values living a more simple and intentional life. These are popular catch phrases especially with the 30-40 something crowd, but I like her perspective. I do not intertwine my perspective with Christianity like Tsh does, but we were raised going to church so I understand where she is coming from. Living simply and intentionally are ideals of all religions and, in my experience, the mind, body and soul’s most contended state.

For me, living in The Netherlands means living in a house half the size I’d have in the US, but three times the price and in general having far less choice on everything from cereal to diapers to shoes to cars. Having less space and choice has forced me to live slower and more intentionally. And thanks in large part to the Internet, I can digitally access as much or as little from the world as I choose. I have my bad days, but overall I am very contend. So in the coming weeks, I plan to write about what that looks like for me and my family.

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