Sunday, October 30, 2005

Stress. It's What's For Breakfast.

How stressed am I? Where should I start?

1. In less than 2 weeks I will be leaving Georgia. I haven't even begun to think about packing.

2. I will be 30 weeks pregnant when I leave.

3. I have to travel 22 hours to get to Florida. 17 hours on planes, 5 hours in layovers.

4. I have to take 3 different flights. I hate to fly. Especially take-off. I have to do that 3 times. And I can't drink or take any kind of pill to help my anxiety.

5. I will be traveling with a 3.5 year old, who I love dearly, but can be trying at the best of times. Not to mention 22 hours of travel. Without his father to help out.

6. When I arrive in Florida, I will have to adjust myself and my three year old to an 8 hour time difference. That will take a few days at the least.

7. I arrive at 12:30 AM on Sunday. Monday at 8 am I have my first OB appt. with my midwife.

8. I failed my preliminary gestational diabetes test in Georgia. The doctor here thinks the lab screwed up the test. I happen to agree. But I need to either (a) retake the test as soon as possible when I get to the US or (b) take the 3 hour glucose challenge test. I'm not looking forward to either possibility.

9. After being away from the US for almost 7.5 months, I have so many people, family and friends, who want to see Blaine and I. It's hard to accommodate everyone and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But I am going to be in my last 10 weeks of pregnancy and I have to think about my health and my son's wellbeing before thinking of who I can visit today and who I can visit tomorrow.

10. I have to spend Christmas without my husband. Who is the love of my life. My son has to spend Christmas without his father. Who is his hero. (Well, Buzz Lightyear is also his hero, but dad still ranks number 1). We've never spent Christmas apart.

11. I'm concerned that David will not make it back to the states in time for the birth of our second child. But babies come when they want and we can just hope that our timing works out well.

12. I haven't finished purchasing souvenirs and Christmas presents for everyone.

13. I need to figure out how to reorganize all of the furniture in the office (which will be the baby's room) and the living room/playroom (which will now be an office and a living room). Oh, and the furniture in Blaine's room has to be reorganized so that the playroom stuff can move into his room. Gah. I won't have time to do all this. I will have to leave my "plan" with David and he will have to do it all.

14. I have to figure out what I can ship back to Tbilisi for the baby and what will be too big and will have to be checked into baggage on the plane when we come back.

Is it any wonder I'm feeling a bit on edge these days?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Barter and Trade

There are things you just can't get in Tbilisi. You want a sub sandwich? Especially a roast beef one with provolone? Not gonna happen. You can't get decent cheddar cheese. No ricotta at all. Cream cheese? You can get it, but it's not "real" cream cheese. It has a funky taste and the texture isn't good for cheesecake. Lettuce? They only have one kind. We call it Georgian lettuce because it's not a type I've ever seen before. Forget about romaine or any other fancy shmancy variety.

But there are also things you can't get in Yerevan, Armenia. No broccoli. No lighter fluid. No spicy ketchup.

Big deal, you may be thinking. You don't live in Armenia. Who cares? Ah, but see, David goes to Armenia every 4 to 6 weeks to work. And he stays for a week or two. And he has gotten very friendly with the people at the Embassy there, friendly enough that when they found out we were going to Yerevan last weekend for a little vacation and shopping, they started emailing him and asking him to bring the things they can't get there.

We headed out to Yerevan (a 5 hour drive) with a cooler packed full of frozen broccoli from the supermarket for some of Dave's coworkers and a bag with spicy ketchup and lighter fluid for the Marine Guards. As we were passing along the goodies to the grateful folks they uttered the phrase "If there is anything we can get for you..."

Weeeeellll, according to my sources, you are supposed to be able to buy "Philadelphia" cream cheese in the grocery stores in Armenia. David and I hauled ourselves to at least 6 or 7 stores during our 2.5 days there and never found it. So, when we got back to Tbilisi, David emailed the broccoli recipient and asked if she could find us some cream cheese and he would bring it back on his next business trip. She emailed him back and told him she had scored 8 boxes of cream cheese for me! YAY!

Also available in Yerevan (and brought home in the cooler on Monday): decent cheddar cheese, romaine lettuce and, I almost fainted, OKRA. Holy cow. We had fried okra last night with our dinner and it was damn good.

Oh, and Yerevan has a new sub sandwich shop called Mr. Toaster. While we were there I was able to get a roast beef sub (the one I have been craving since I got pregnant). Unfortunately, they don't have provolone either, so I had to make do with cheddar cheese on the sub. But still. A sub. Hallelujah!

I won't even mention how I have been online researching the airports that Blaine and I have layovers at when we head home next month to see what kind of food and drink they have available. I'm gonna get my hands on a mocha frappachino in London. I can already taste it.