Wow, a lot has happened since we last updated. I’d say that I’ll try to keep this short, but that would be a lie so I won’t even try to make such promises. I’ll just warn you right off the bat that this is likely to be a long post :)
I guess I’ll start with the pregnancy update since that’s been the most consuming part of my life recently (surprise!). Everything is still going really well for me. My biggest complaint is heartburn but I can still keep it at bay most of the time with just taking Tums. I’m definitely getting to be more whale-ish so I’m finding it harder to reach things on the floor or get out of bed. But overall, I’m feeling fantastic for having less than 2 weeks left! In fact, one of my favorite activities of late has been looking at the other pregnant women in my ward. I keep looking at the women who look seriously uncomfortable and thinking, man they must be ready to go any day now! Then, I’ll look up their due dates and find out… they’re a month less pregnant than I am. I’m feeling very blessed that this has been the case.
When I was at the doctor’s on Monday she told us that I was 2cm dilated and 60% effaced. Not too bad! She’d asked if I’d been feeling any contractions, and I’d said no, but apparently I was wrong. You can’t make progress without contractions. On Friday I finally figured out what the contractions feel like… and I’ve been having them for weeks. I’d just thought it was the baby pushing out on part of my stomach that was making it all hard :P . They aren’t the kind that hurt yet, but I really should start timing them since I’ve been having them come a few an hour for a day at a time off and on. They’re just kinda hard to time because since they don’t hurt… I don’t always notice them. I’ve been joking all week that I’d decided that Saturday would be a good day for Samuel to come and that I was going to talk him into it :P My family decided that if that was the case they would all pack into the car and head up since they have a 3 day weekend anyways. My little brother Kyle started praying that I’d go into labor as soon as they made that decision. He told my mom that they should just come because, “I prayed for it, and when have my prayers not been answered. Ok, maybe a couple of times.” We thought it was really cute, but also very true. Kyle has awesome child-like faith and we’ve seen more than one miracle that came from his praying for it. The weekend isn’t over yet so I guess I better be ready!
Also, in preparation for Samuel’s arrival my friends Amber and Crystal threw a baby shower for me last week! We played a few games and had some awesome food and opened presents. We are SO set now for Samuel to come! Amber took some pictures that you can see here if you’re interested. And here’s the invitation (no, it didn’t get smudged, I just figured Amber might not like her home address and phone number to be displayed for the world to see on our blog):
Which leads me to a question, how many people out there have heard that nursery rhyme saying before – “Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of” ? I’d heard it before so I thought it was super cute that Amber used that on the invitation, but most people that we’ve asked had never heard of it before. It’s part of a long poem that goes through what different kinds of people are made of. Most people I guess only know the “Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of” part of the rhyme. Apparently other people thought it was a little weird, which I guess I can understand if you’ve never heard the rhyme before :P But I thought it was cute, and now you all know :) (You can see the Wikipedia entry for the rhyme here.) Thanks so much Amber and Crystal for putting that together, and to everyone who came or couldn’t come but has dropped by since then. We so appreciate all of the things we’ve been given that will make it so much easier to bring our baby home!
One of the really fun things we’ve been able to do in the past few weeks is to go to a lot of cool concerts. Eric is taking Music 200 and one of the requirements for the class is to go to six different genres of concerts. It’s been a really good excuse for us to go on some fun dates! We went first to a combined choir concert at the Provo Tabernacle that featured BYU’s Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, Concert Choir and BYU Singers. It was a really cool concert, and they even had the audience do one of the numbers. They handed out sheet music to everyone as we came in and then at the end of the performance they had us basically sight read the music and sing with the choir. Definitely not something you could do with just any audience :P
Last week we went to the Young Ambassadors show, probably more at my request than for Eric’s requirement (for those of you who don’t know I spent 4 years on the YA’s tech crew and it is still one of the most incredible and defining experiences of my life). Their new show is still really weird to me because it is so different from the shows that I worked on. They have cut some of the performers (singers/dancers) in favor of a larger band, and the band is now on stage with the group instead of in a pit or off to the side somewhere. Actually this change I LOVE. The band has always been one of the coolest parts of the group (no offense to any performers that might read our blog) and I think it’s awesome to have them up on the stage and really part of the show. As a result of them expanding the band they no longer have a backup tape that has the instruments we lacked with a 4 piece band. This allows the band to have a lot more control over the musicality of the show rather than being tied to a click track. I can’t express enough what a great change I think this is.
The other major change that I’ve noticed is that the show has a lot less Broadway and a lot more pop-type numbers. The years I was in the group the show was entirely composed of Broadway numbers. Their current show is called “The New Music Makers” and it’s supposed to more tie together the people who have influenced music in different eras. Honestly, I don’t like this change, but I’m sure that it’s a case of what I’m used to more than anything. I just really liked the Broadway numbers and all of the acting that went along with the singing and dancing. I like watching numbers that really tell a story more than just a song. I know every song *is* a story, but it’s just different. Which isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the show, or think that they did a fantastic job, because I really enjoyed the show. I just liked the older style of show better.
Anyways, last night we went to a concert for Synthesis (an elite Jazz band at BYU). They were AWESOME. I’d seen them play at Homecoming Spectacular once and was very impressed, but it was even more fun to see them playing a whole concert. They are an incredibly talented group and it was totally worth the money that we paid to go see their show. The funniest part of the whole night though was their guest artist – Anthony Wilson. Don’t get me wrong, he was very good and extremely talented. What was funny was that Synthesis was playing some of his songs with him, and rather than allowing the conductor of Synthesis to conduct the whole thing Anthony Wilson kept trying to conduct the group, as well as the conductor, while playing the guitar. I’m sure it’s very difficult not to do that when it’s a piece that you wrote and you have a specific idea of how it should sound. It was a classic example though of what John Shurtleff (YA technical director) would call “too many chiefs and not enough Indians”.
Another result of all of these extra dates has been that we’ve found a new restaurant that we LOVE – Zupas. So far we’ve been there 3 times and had different things each time and haven’t been dissapointed once. That’s saying something! We like to get their combo meals where you get to choose a combination of 2 of either a bowl of soup, a panini or a salad (i.e. you can get a panini and soup, or a panini and salad or soup and salad). We fell in love with paninis while on our honeymoon in Paris so we’ve both opted for paninis every time. So far we’ve tried 4 different soups, 2 salads and 6 paninis and they’ve all been excellent. If you live in Utah and you haven’t yet been to Zupas… we highly recommend that you remedy that soon :)
We’ve had a few other fun things that have happened in the past few weeks. We threw a little birthday party for Eric’s best friend Levi a couple weekends ago. Eric and Levi have been friends since Eric was 5 so they go WAY back. However, they haven’t really seen each other in over 4 years as their age difference made it so that Levi was leaving on his mission about the same time Eric got home from his. I’ve really enjoyed watching the two of them just pick up where they left off, having fun playing video games, and going skiing and just having fun together. I’m especially glad that he has a friend to go skiing with him since I’m not exactly a world class skiier (I’d much rather be at home and be warm than in the snow). I’ve also enjoyed that there is now someone around who is really good competition for Eric in his video games, someone’s gotta teach him some humility ;)
We also had Eric’s friend Jason come from Taiwan and visit us for 5 days. Eric taught Jason the gospel while on his mission and Jason was finally able to get baptized within the past year while living in Russia. Jason also came over from Taiwan for our wedding and stayed with my family for a few days at that time. It was really fun to have him here, although I felt bad that we were really busy and couldn’t do too many things with him, but I think the things that we did do while he was here were pretty fun. He was here when we had Levi’s birthday party, which was cool because they don’t really make that big of a deal of birthdays in Taiwan so it was a new experience for him to go to a birthday party (even if the one we had was pretty low key). Eric also took him to Temple Square one of the afternoons and we went and had Family Home Evening with Mom & Dad Hansen in Salt Lake that night. It was especially good that Jason was here for that since Eric was speaking to their FHE group about his experiences in Taiwan that night! They hadn’t planned that at all, it just worked out that way, but it was fun that Eric had someone actually from Taiwan to help with that presentation.
Along with the presentation Eric’s parents had asked him to bring his violin and play something for the group. Can I just say how much I love watching Eric play the violin? He is an excellent violinist, but it’s not necessarily listening to him play that I love as much as watching him play. Eric is a very passionate person and you can see how much he loves playing the violin whenever he gets a chance to play – which hasn’t been often lately. I really hope that as he finishes school in a couple of months he will have more time to spend practicing. He can make beautiful music with that instrument, but more than anything I love seeing how happy it makes him to be able to make that music. (Yaknow, the day he proposed to me was after I’d seen him play violin for the first time… do you think it’s a coincidence that I accepted? ;P) If you’ve never had a chance to see or hear Eric play the violin there are some links to some mp3s and videos on his website.
So overall it’s been a busy but fun few weeks! Sorry we’ve been so lax in getting posts out regularly. Hopefully we’ll do better in the future (no guarantees though :P)
Well, this last Tuesday it was back for another semester of school for Eric. We’re still getting used to him being back in school after the nice break he’d had this summer. Luckily it doesn’t look like this semester is going to be too bad for Eric overall, although I’ll let him post about it himself. With the beginning of a new school year it means another big change for our little family – my BYU bus pass is no longer valid starting next Monday, and since I’ve graduated I don’t qualify for a new one. We only had to pay $70 for it for the entire year and I was able to get to Salt Lake City almost every weekday! We’re going to miss that convenient and VERY economical way for me to commute. We looked into buying me a monthly bus pass, however the cost of a bus pass is $160 per month, which wouldn’t really be saving us that much over what it would cost us in gas. Plus, since I can work from home sometimes or work out other ways of getting to Salt Lake on occasion it quickly becomes more economical to drive.
As sad as it may seem to be giving up the bus pass I’m actually kind of excited to be driving in. I really like the freedom I have with driving that I can come in whenever I want and leave whenever I want. It will also mean that for the first time in our married life Eric and I will be able to have similar morning schedules so we can see each other in the mornings, which I’m definitely looking forward to :) Part of the ripple effect of me starting to drive to Salt Lake every day is that I’ll be taking over our Corolla as my primary vehicle and leaving Eric home with our Cadillac. While our 1994 Cadillac Seville has held up surprisingly well so far… Eric wasn’t very comfortable with having to rely on it to get him to and from school and work every day. So, we decided it was time to get rid of our Caddy and instead invest in a scooter which Eric bought on Thursday. He’s pretty excited about it as it will get him better parking and AWESOME gas mileage (82 MPG). I’ll let him post about that as well since he can give you more details about the kind of scooter we’ve got and all that, since about as far as my technical specs go gets us through the fuel economy and the color (red).
After this long week of school and work were over we had a pretty packed Saturday to follow it up! It was actually a really fun day, if not as relaxing as our Saturdays generally are. We had 5 years worth of YA technicians over to our apartment in the morning for breakfast. I really enjoyed seeing a lot of people who I still consider to be close friends, even if they aren’t people I see very frequently (traveling the world with people tends to form some pretty strong bonds, especially when you’re working so closely with such great people). Young Ambassadors was a wonderful chapter in my life that deeply influenced me, but I’m definitely where I’m supposed to be and doing the things I’m supposed to be doing. I wish we’d taken some pictures of all the people in our apartment but I never think of taking pictures until I’m sitting down to write these posts. Oops!
After the YA breakfast I had just enough time to change my shirt (that had somehow gotten all grease splattered while standing next to Kyle cooking bacon) and head over to my friend Stephanie’s baby shower. Stephanie has been a great blessing to me for the past few months as I’ve been pregnant. She and I talk online while we’re both at work and she’s been helping me get through the weeks of pregnancy. It’s really nice to have some friends who’ve already been there to help show me the way and celebrate the little milestones that pregnant women appreciate more than most other people. Even though I didn’t really know any of the people there it was fun to meet a lot of the people who she’s told me so much about.
When I got finished with the baby shower Eric came and picked me up (yup, on his cool new scooter :) ) and we were back just in time for more friends to come over for the BYU Football game! Even though I’m not a big football fan I can really get into a game like that. It was a pretty intense game, especially since there seemed to be some bias on the part of the referees against BYU. I was very proud of our team that they were able to pull through and shine in the face of that and go on to win! It was a great game and we had a lot of fun watching it with friends.
So those are basically the highlights of our week. I’m sure Eric will have more to add in later. I’ve been feeling very blessed this week as the rumors I’d heard about the second trimester being easier than the first have proved to be true! I’m about two weeks into the second trimester, and I haven’t felt nauseous hardly at all this week. I can finally eat like a normal human being instead of a hamster! I’m hoping this can hold up for most of the rest of this pregnancy (I know there are more symptoms that rear their ugly head in the third trimester but I’ll be happy to keep the nausea at bay!) I’m a little frustrated to be 15 weeks along and still no baby bump to show for it. It’s kinda weird, I guess I never realized how long into pregnancy you can get before starting to show. I’m sure soon enough this baby will be taking up plenty of space in my body and I’ll be huge and wishing to be back to regular pre-pregnancy size. For now though, I slightly envy my friends with big tummies that can feel the babies kicking. One of the cool things is we can sorta feel where the baby is, but it’s still too low in my pelvis for anyone other than the doctor, Eric or I to feel it. I know I just need to be patient, I’ll be showing soon enough!
I almost forgot! One of the main things I wanted to do with this post is to invite everyone to take the poll in the right column about what flavor of baby we’re going to have. (sorry, I think that’s an Anderson thing to talk about a baby’s gender as a flavor… don’t ask how it started, I have no idea) Generally speaking people won’t find out until week 20 when they have the anatomy ultrasound whether it’s a boy or a girl. However, there are places in Provo/Orem where we could go and get an ultrasound as early as the end of this week to find out the baby’s gender. It would only cost us $45 for the ultrasound and an optional $10 for a DVD recording of it. But we’re not sure we want to fork out the extra cash just to know a few weeks earlier. However, my little brother Cody is apparently DYING to find out and he’s offering to put up the money for us to do it earlier :P. We’ll have to see what we choose. Another big factor is that I’m not home during the days anyways so I’d have to plan to work from home another day to go in and do it. But maybe we’ll start going crazy enough about it that we just want to find out. It will be really cool to finally get to see this baby, even if it’s just the vague images on an ultrasound. I can still remember going to my mom’s ultrasounds when she was pregnant with my younger siblings. Those were cool experiences and I’m sure it will be even cooler with our own baby.
Anyways, we’d love to hear what people think our baby will be or even just what you want it to be. Don’t ask us for our opinions, because we don’t have very solid opinions. Eric hasn’t been able to make up his mind on what he thinks it is, and I keep having very decided opinions… and then changing them (yup, I’m definitely a woman :). So much for parents’ intuition! If you do make a vote we’d love it if you left a comment stating how you voted and maybe why you think that, just so that we can sorta see who thinks what! We did leave an extra spot for people to guess both if you think we’re having twins (which there isn’t any evidence of so far, and the fact that I’m still not showing would tend to indicate against). For now voting ends on the day that I hit 20 weeks, but when we figure out when we’re going in for the ultrasound I’ll change it to that date and time instead. Happy guessing!