Friday, April 25, 2008

Rusty Voicebox

I feel like 95% of the "talking" I've done over the past few weeks has been internet-based and in typed form. Now, there's nothing wrong with that. It's sure as heck cheaper than making a bunch of telephone calls. But I often wonder whether I'm losing the capability for normal human speech. I also wonder if the baby will forget what my voice sounds like. ;)

Shaun arrives today. I can tell, because the weather has turned kinda nasty. The weather gods don't want him getting homesick for the Tundra, apparently. Up until I woke up this morning (at 5am... who wakes up at 5am voluntarily? Me, apparently...), I hadn't seen a cloud in about a week. Highs have been in the lower 50s, for the most part, with little wind. This morning, however, I heard a noise that has been conspicuously absent from my life since leaving Nunapitchuk... the wind. It's 38, windy, with light rain. I feel like I'm back in the village.

In addition to my dearest darling husband, who'll be here for... well, until we go back to Nunap with the baby, a bunch of other friends will be in town for the weekend. Four friends, to be mathematically exact about the whole thing. I'm going to have social opportunities coming out of my rear end.

I just hope my voice still works. Perhaps I should sing at the top of my lungs for a while, just to make sure.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

... and Waiting

I'm here. Whilin' away the time in good old Anchorage, AK.

It's funny. After the pukey, tired, sick, miserable first two months or so, this pregnancy FLEW by. Work helped me not focus too much on how much pregnancy I had left, and pregnancy helped me not focus too much on how much school year I had left. Next thing I knew, it was April 7th, and I was leaving for Anchorage.

Now, however, time seems to have slowed to a crawl. I keep myself pretty busy... I spread out appointments so I have something to do most days, I try to get to the YMCA to swim five out of seven days per week, and I have craft projects that I haven't even TOUCHED since I've been here (although that's my plan for tomorrow afternoon). But still, without the daily distraction of work, I can't help but notice the passing of every day. The past week was probably the slowest of my entire pregnancy.

Not the most terrible week, mind you. I'll take slightly under-occupied over actively vomiting any day. It's not that I'm horrifically sick of being pregnant or anything. It's not so awful, really. I guess I'm very much aware of the passage of time. I'm not insanely bored or anything. I'm just... waiting. Like being in line at Space Mountain at Disney world. There's lots of fun stuff to look at and make the wait less mind-numbingly boring, but you're still acutely aware that you're waiting for the "real part" to start. You know you're just waiting for something to happen.

I know, I know, I know... enjoy it while it lasts. Everyone keeps telling me that.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Yup, still just chillin' in the big city. I got a bus pass and a YMCA membership for the month, so I'm set for transportation and at least an hour of entertainment per day through the end of April. Swimming is fun. I look like a beached whale, but it's lots of fun.

Good news... baby is head down and "very happy in there." I just hope he's not so happy that he decides to take after his mom and Auntie Mel and book an extended stay.

Bad news... well... there's some sad news back in Nunap that I really don't want to get into.

That's about it, really. I'm trying to fill my days with things that don't cost huge amounts of money. Sure, I could eat out at a different restaurant for every meal, and that would be QUITE entertaining and take up a lot of time... but that stuff adds up quickly. Right now, I'm enjoying having a bunch of fresh vegetables and dairy products (I've been on a yogurt kick; and apparently one company makes a tub of yogurt twice the size of the regular "large" tub of plain yogurt). And Jelly Bellies. I may have bought some Jelly Bellies. But that was my only junk food purchase, I swear. I'm tryin' to end this pregnancy on a healthy note.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Well, Here I Am

I type this at a keyboard in a house on a street (a street... not a boardwalk) in a neighborhood of a city that is connected by road to other cities. I type this having returned, carrying bags containing vegetables and yogurt and cottage cheese and maybe a bag of Jelly Bellies, from a grocery store larger than my house. I type this on unfiltered, non-school internet. I type this, in other words, from Anchorage.

Yes, I'm "waiting." That's what you do when you have a baby in the Bush. At some point, you go into Bethel or Anchorage "to wait." It's just what it sounds like. You take time off of work (over half of my maternity leave will likely be used up before the baby is even born), go somewhere, and do nothing but gaze at your navel and wonder when the baby lurking beneath it will appear.

Five hours, and I'm already kind of homesick. Sure, there are restaurants and movie theaters and stores and Other Assorted Things Not Found in the Bush, but it's not home. I'm lucky enough to have a coworker from whom I can rent a house for the month-plus I'll likely be here. Shaun will join me here when I get closer to my due date.

I'll admit it... I'm kind of homesick. Our house in the village is really nothing special, but it's our house. Home. Home containing a husband and wildly-shedding dog.

But, bare minimum, I'm homesick in a place with fresh vegetables and fruits that I won't have to cut the bad spots off of.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Intercultural Flatulence Exchange

This week has been... standardized testing week. It's also my last week of work, for the record. In addition to EVERY student, grades 3-10, having to take a test, the state of Alaska has added this year a Science test for grades 4, 8, and 10.

Several of the students in our 4th grade classroom are actually third graders according to the state, so while the rest of their class slaves away at bubble-filling, they're hanging out with me. We had some work to do, but at this point, we're just hanging out, chatting, listening to some Mexican music, and being artistic. They were especially interested in the Mexican music. We found Mexico on the globe and everything.

Suddenly, the inevitable happens, someone passes wind.

Student 1: "Student 2 FARTED! AAAAH!"

Me: "Everyone farts sometimes. It's not a big deal. But for the rest of the day, if we have to fart, let's try to go over by the door."

Student 2: "Okay."

Student 1: "Everyone farts?"

Me: "Yup."

Student 1: "Even 50 Cent?"

Me: "Yeah, if he eats a lot of beans or drinks a lot of milk or something."

Student 2: "Even Mexican people fart?"

Me: "Yes. Even Mexican people. Everyone farts."