Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?!

This, is a picture of an infant husband.

Be forewarned.

He's enormous.

As in, elephant enormous.

As in, "where the heck did his waist go?" enormous.

And "Why does his torso just end in two little stumps?" enormous.

And as in, "Is it really possible for a 2 month old to have double chins?" enormous.

This has put the fear of God into me.

My child birthing experience might require more than the average drugs. and procedures. and possibly a veterinary scale.

Seriously! Something that large is going to come out of me? Or rather, be in me?

I'm sparing you the pain from seeing a picture of infant me however.

Though I was not huge (errm in the 6 pound range,) I was however, not a cute baby.

I'd burn all of my baby pictures if it was allowed.

Even as a child, I'd look at pictures and say "ewwww, what was wrong with me?" My mother would smile sweetly and say "Nothing honey, you were precious."

Why not just call me "special," already?

By toddler hood I had grown into my face, my eyes had lost that creepy cross eyed-misplaced look, and my head had lost all resemblance of a potato.

Praise the Lord!

So, with the combined forces of massive Paternal genes and hideous baby Maternal genes....

I'm really up a creek without a paddle, now, aren't I?

I kid, I kid.

We're so excited about this whole pregnancy thing, but have yet to find the words to explain how we are feeling and what we are doing.

I blame that on the language school. It turns my brain into a form of tomato soup, everyday by 2 pm.

I come home.

I sleep for 3-4 hours.

I make dinner. Or, send Ian out to pick up dinner.

Then try to concentrate for an hour or two on homework before my brain completely sizzles out.

Which explains my lack of blogging posts during the last week or two.

I apologize for my absence.

I can't promise I am back in full blogging swing, but hopefully we're at least on the upswing of this slump.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sleepover, Language School, and American Day

Alot has happened this week.

The most impressive being the fact that we announced our pregnancy to the world via blogger and facebook.
The least impressive being that I burned our dinner one night.

The in between stuff seems to be what I want to blog about now, so here it is:

Our wall unit air conditioner in our bedroom rudely awakened us at 6 am on Wednesday morning.

I was not pleased.

With a roar and a hurumph the Condenser would kick on every 3-5 minutes. You simply can not sleep through a noise like that.

I tried to ignore it for a half an hour, then I gave up and got up.

Boo. Hiss.

It happened again Thursday morning. Only, this time it was at 4:30 am.

Ian and I blindly stumbled into our guest bedroom and crammed ourselves onto our twin bed.

Turns out, two grown adults don't fit too comfortably on a twin bed.

Married or not.

We borrowed and air mattress from our friends and our ac guy came and pulled out our unit that day. We sealed the hole in our wall with a blanket and sealed off that room by closing and locking that bedroom door.

Thursday night and Friday night Ian and I had a "sleepover," of sorts in our guest bedroom. He got the queen sized air mattress, I got the lovely twin sized real bed.

Our sleepover was made complete by a rousing round of M.A.S.H.

Remember M.A.S.H.?

Well Ian didn't know what it was, so I taught him.

He was amused until he was married to Hillary Clinton, living in Bucksnort, TN, with 15 children, and a pet Rhino. Ha!

He tried to get payback on me but I got the normal end of MASH by literally getting the most normal of everything. Awesome.

In regards to what we do during the day, as of Tuesday, we go to language school for 4 1/2 hours, five days a week.

It's brutal.

But in a good way.

In the way that your brain feels like Cheese Whiz and your eyes are so glazed over they could be a Krispy Kreme.

Mmm, Krispy Kreme.

It makes me really feel bad for all of my students, in the past, who were English language learners and were put into mainstream classrooms. How overwhelmed they must have been. How frustrated! I feel so badly for not going the extra mile to make sure they had a good foundation to build on.

But, however difficult it may be, I at least can read 6 letters now in Arabic (amazing) and can almost say Hey, how are you doing, what is your name, etc.

If only I can stop asking the women how their wives are. It gets me in trouble every time. They really frown on that here.

Our school week runs Sunday through Thursday, with our weekend being Friday and Saturday. This isn't the country I live in's weekend (theirs is Thursday and Friday,) but it is the bordering country, and since some of the students and teachers commute, they figure it is easier this way.

I don't think I ever knew that other countries might not share our same work week, did you?

So, on Friday, which acts like an American Saturday, we took an American Day! They encourage you to kind of "shut down," every once and awhile, talk only in English, do only American things (or things that are comfortable,) and eat your favorite foods. It helps you maintain your sanity.

So, we hopped the border (legally, of course,) and headed to a super nice mall. And by nice, I mean probably as nice as the nicest mall in America. Ski Slope, Amusement park, Movie theater and all.

We ate lunch at Pizza Hut (YUM!) and had ice cream at Coldstone. We bought me a pair of linen pants (very practical here,) and a maternity shirt to grow into at H&M. We also bought things for our home, including new curtains and sheets. YAY!

After all of that walking, it was time for some more American food, by hoping on over to another nearby mall and eating at Chili's with friends.

The verdict? Cajun Chicken Pasta tastes the same, even over here.

And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How We Told Them....

This is part two in our very long pregnancy story, please read Part One HERE.

Tuesday, August 17th rolled around. It was the day before our departure for the Middle East. We had previously scheduled final Skype dates with both sets of parents and siblings, so we decided to keep them as to not arouse suspicion.

First up, were my in laws and brother in law. We chatted like normal and about 20 minutes in Ian held up my "What to Expect," book saying I got a new book. It took a minute to soak in. They read it out loud and then were kind of quiet for a little before getting all excited! My mother in law kicked her youngest out of the chair so she could sit closer and ask all sorts of questions. They are pretty excited!

Next up, were my parents. My momma had known all along that we were trying and that we were having issues, and just a handful of days prior I had told her that I didn't know what was going to happen. Which was true, it was the day or two before when we tested.

And about 30 seconds before we were going to tell them, there was a knock at our door. It was some friends of ours that we had made and one of our supervisors! They wanted to take us out to dinner on our last night. I freaked out a little bit because we had all of the pregnancy books out on the table and a few pieces of baby clothing. I shoved everything under a blanket and asked my parents if we could call them right back. Ha! I don't think I was the best host to our friends....I just couldn't wait to get back on and tell them! Sorry Joan, Tim, and Marsha!!

We told them the same way, with the "What to Expect," book. My momma cried almost instantly and my Dad got his wonderful smile on!

My parents were overjoyed and quickly set about figuring out their "Grandparent Names."
Next up, we told my sister.

In the same way.

Are you seeing a pattern here?

Heather was excited when I told her she was going to be an aunt!

Unfortunately, in the midst of all of the phone call chaos, I forgot to take her picture. Sorry sis!

Next up, was Ian's brother, my other brother in law, Sid. He had originally tried to skype in with his family on the first call, but three way wasn't allowing video, so that was a bust. He sat there and waited the entire time!

Way to go, Sid. He was so excited as well.

It was a little bittersweet telling everyone. You could see that they were excited, and then a wave of sadness and disappointment would wash over them as they realized that this precious little baby would be born in a foreign country, not surrounded by the family.

Telling friends was a different story altogether. Let's see, we waited three whole weeks before telling another soul. And when we did, it came out all in one big, fast, and furious blob.

My friend Courtney, who I skype with really regularly (ha, probably 2 times a week, if not more!) was told first, because I didn't know when I would talk with her next. She's been praying with me through alot of this and is probably the most open and candid in asking me how it was going.

Then, three days later I got to skype in (very early, I might add, thanks to the time difference, it was 4:30 am my time) to Girls Night! Four of my closest girl friends were there, and they are my childhood friends. We spent the hour or so rotating through one of them giving me an update, then me giving an update, then one of them, then me...etc. Finally, on my last "turn," I held up the book and waited. They read it out loud and were seriously confused until I said "I'm pregnant!!"

Of course they freaked out when I told them how long I had kept it from them. But a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!

After that I gave my Momma and Mother-in-Law permission to tell family. I heard that my grandma and great aunt were super pleased, that my aunt cried and cried, and my uncle said something along the lines of "That's Great..." He's super mellow though, ha! I would have told them myself, but they aren't on skype yet (I bet they will be soon!) plus I knew my Momma would love to do it!

We told Ian's best friends John, Sam, and Tim, over the phone and Skype. Tim, is also super mellow so he wasn't super joyful, but Sam and John, for being men, were REALLY excited for us! It helped us get even more excited to know all of the great men that this baby will have in its life.

I FINALLY got ahold of Mrs. Angela, a close family friend after leaving a message saying "You never answer your phone the first time. I know you don't recognize this number, but it's me, so I'll call back in 10 minutes and you better pick up. I really need to talk to you!" When I called back, before she even said "Hi," she said "You're Pregnant!" haha.

I had to tell Mrs. Emily, another family friend, through email (boo,) because of phone issues, and my dear friend Raphaela had to find out through Facebook (hahahaha,) because she is a very hard person to get in touch with. Actually, the day I was going to get her to call me, she announced to the world that she was shutting down her facebook (my only form of communication with her since our move here,) and just like that I had no way to get in touch with her!

The next day, she got bored, re initiated her Facebook and saw that 2 of her friends had gotten engaged, 2 had started a relationship, and I had announced my pregnancy! Haha, what a sad day for her. She swears she'll never shut it down again.

The Facebook and Blogger response has been so encouraging during these strange days! Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers!

Well, that's it for now. Part three will be on it's way tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

All The Juicy Details...

Well, not all of them, I am a lady after all!

But somehow, "Most of the Juicy Details," doesn't have a great ring to it, does it?


First off, I wanted to thank all of you for your awesome support! We are so excited to have this baby, but I know how discouraging it can be to be wanting to be in this phase of life, and you keep having to read about other people's pregnancies. Don't lose hope!

Solomon was so right when he said "For everything there is a season,"

With that being said, here's a little about our story. Not many of people know this stuff because I thought it was too private to write about before we got pregnant.

I came off of Birth Control in July of 2009 after reading several articles in a book store about how long it can take the female body to re regulate itself (averages are in the 6 month - 1 year range before a woman even begins to ovulate!)

I was shocked when I read this. I'll be honest. Right before I got married, I went to the Dr., asked to be put on a certain pill, and she prescribed it without further discussion. I never even read the instruction packet. Just took it every morning for over a year, not thinking about the serious health implications. When I began to research and find out that it was possible for some women NEVER to be able to ovulate naturally after coming off of the pill, I freaked out. That was NOT what I had signed up for.

So, I talked it over with Ian (this was in Late June 2009,) and we decided I would finish the pack I was on and come off of it. We had already realized we were ready for kids months earlier, but were waiting until we got overseas/ had a job to begin trying.

I had a gut feeling that it would not be a fast process.

Anyways, Callie, over at Through Clouded Glass, went off the pill about 3 weeks before I did, and we shared prayer requests with each other over facebook for almost a year (Thanks, Callie!)

I went about 7 months without ovulating and with having very irregular cycles. This was shocking to me, as before the pill, I was Regular Betty. Every 4th Tuesday at 10 am. For 10 years.


I went to my yearly check up in January as panic was beginning to rise, but my Dr. told me that she took a year, and that she wouldn't really be worried until that year mark hit.

Except, we knew we would be in the Middle East at a year, so that was pretty scary.

By February, I had really relaxed about it. I took the time to pray over other people's pregnancies and focus on what God was trying to teach me right then.

My close friend, who was in Virginia and Canada with me announced her second pregnancy in May.

I'll admit, I was confused, and hurt. I asked God, "Why do they get two babies and I can't even have one?" My confusion and sorrow turned to joy when I heard God saying "this is not your time. Trust in Me."

The summer in Vancouver passed without much change. I had given up charting and doing any over the counter OPK. I just couldn't spot that big "O," worth anything!

I became semi obsessed with adoption. I researched how expats could adopt while overseas. I crunched the numbers (we have massive school debt and would want that to be paid off.) I prayed about it. I knew that we couldn't even begin down that road for 3-5 years. Bleh.

And then, wouldn't you know it, July came and went, and the date for my next cycle came and went. I wasn't going to get my hopes up. I had tested for almost 8 months out of the 12, when I felt I was "late," or tired, bloated, nauseous, etc. Every negative broke my heart and I didn't want to do that again. I had even had a struggle with God, when I set a date for testing one month, if I was three days late. I heard that still small voice say, "No, wait until the 5th day," but I ignored it. Another negative, and wouldn't you know it, on the fifth day, I started my cycle.

Lesson learned.

So, two months prior, when I had used my last test, I didn't buy another set. And I told Ian not to let me.

So we didn't.

In early August, as I was one week late, Ian and stopped by the drug store and picked up a pack, not thinking we were actually going to use it, just wanted a pack to Pack into our luggage. That same day I experienced what I can only call "bobble head syndrome." Ian had a grand old time cracking up as I experienced extreme vertigo for almost 24 hours. Walking was near impossible. Sitting up left my head bobbing back and forth. My appetite was completely lost.

And I was running warm, which was odd, seeing as Vancouver dipped down into the 60's that week.

I made myself wait until Saturday, August 14th, exactly two years and two months from the day we were married. I woke up early and slipped into the bathroom, tested, then left it on the counter while I shakily sat on the floor and slipped on my contacts. Those three minutes were so long. I had done that exact same routine so many times before. I prayed "Please God, shield my heart. Let me rest in You. Not in my own earthly desires."

And then, I stood up. There on the counter, sat the positive pregnancy test!

I stared in disbelief. Usually the tests I had used had been hard to read, but this was a very easy to read digital test, so there it was...clearly a positive!!

I slipped back into bed with Ian and tried to lay very still. My heart was just bursting! I waited for as long as I could, then I snuggled up to Ian, waking him up.

"Guess what? You're going to be a Daddy!"

Ian was overjoyed, if not a little groggy! ha!

We spent the next three days on cloud nine.

More on the details later..... Thanks for sticking around for such a long story!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Going Public

I had great plans of uploading my first Vlog entry.
It wasn't groundbreaking or anything. I wanted to keep track of our progress with language learning, so I thought that every couple of months I would do a video on what I've learned and how I am feeling about this tough process.

However, my internet had other ideas, and was taking too long.
So I canceled the uploading and set about working on my never ending paper.

Instead, my mind wandered.
And Ian made phone calls.
First to my Father In Law to wish him a Happy Birthday (We love you!)
Then to his friend, Tim, because he has been trying to get in touch with him.

And then he did!
I was totally shocked.
With that phone call, I am totally free to tell you, dear friends, that.....

We're Expecting!!!!!

I wish I had a more creative way to tell you, but, my creative resources are rather limited these days.

We're due around April 10th, putting me at about 11 weeks along!

More on the details later, I promise.

For now, I'm headed to bed to dream about the beautiful days ahead and thanking the Lord for this well timed blessing!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fill In the Blank Friday

1. The strangest thing I've ever eaten is
Chicken Hearts! And I liked them. In Brazil they grill them on skewers and they taste like little salty sausages. Yum.

2. I wouldn't be caught dead in:High Couture. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me. As do those Jean Leggings. Sorry if you like them, but so strange!

3. When I am 75 I will....
Be busy, busy, busy! Ian and I have no plans of "retiring," like most people do. It's hard to convince myself that playing golf and driving an RV is a good way to s
pend the last 20 to 30 years of life that God gives you.

4. If I had to be named after a place I would want to be named...
Um, ? Maybe Georgia, or Savannah. I love the name Madison, as well. But none
of those names seem to fit me.

5. My name is...
Brittney. It's the phonetic way to spell it. Not Britt-A-Nee (Brittany,) or Britt-Nay (how some not so smart people may try to say my name. I love my spelling. Though it could be one "T" less and still be phonetic.

6. My all time favorite photo is:

My friend Ben and I in London, England, at a restaurant, where we were given stale bread and "lemonade," which tasted remarkably like Airborne. We were not pleased, haha.

My friends and I at the Magic Kingdom one day. My friend Austin (in the white,) had free tickets so we headed out there one evening to hang out. (I'm on the right, in the turquoise, holding Ian's hand.) All three of the other ladies are some of my best friends. In fact, I just skyped with them all on Wednesday!

7. If I could afford it I would:
Fly people out to see me on a weekly basis. Or maybe monthly. Or maybe I would fly home. And get some Panera's and Chick-Fil-A. And Bacon. And Smoothies. And Bagels. Oooh, and Barbecue Pork! Maybe I wouldn't spend time with people at all. Just eat comfort food all day and night. That would be awesome.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I finally baked in our kitchen, yesterday. It was not as successful as one would hope. The {gas} oven, doesn't really have gradual markings, and I'm pretty sure it jumps from 350 to 380, with those temperatures actually being 10 degrees warmer than they say. So, nevertheless, the first batch came out horribly burnt (sweet Ian said he would eat them and that they'd be "perfect for dunking,") and the second batch came out just under baked. Which wouldn't be horrible except for the fact that I obviously wasn't paying attention and bought regular sugar, with giant sized crystals.

Meaning, every time I take a bite of that batch of cookies, I can hear the crunching of the sugar crystals. The guilt haunts me. There is something so wrong with that.

I was making said cookies for a get together last night but my perfectionism insisted I bring something else. Luckily, I had just made my Great Aunt's Amish Salad, aka Orange Fluff. It is AWESOME. Even in the Middle East. Thanks Aunt Raeola and Grandma!

An amazing feature of living here in this desert, is how dry everything is. I know, I should have already realized that.

But really, listen.

The drawbacks may be the horribly dry skin, lips, and never ending quest for hydration.

But the positives? Oh the positives.

I can leave a plate of my newly made cookies on the counter. Overnight. And they won't be stale.

Amazing, right?

Yes, I was super pleased to realize that. Then I was pretty bummed when I realized my late night logic didn't follow through, when I put the uncovered cookie dough into the fridge.

Hard as a rock.


And the cookie dough is the best part.

{Usually. Except when you can literally see the undissolved sugar crystals. Yesterday might have been my first time saying "no thanks," to that. My parents would be so proud. They are cookie dough haters.}

Can I just mention here, how much more sense the Customary System of measurement, read, the American system, makes to me? And how, even though I did all of that moving the decimal junk and +32 then multiply by 2, thing in school, and even taught it to my own schoolchildren, it still leaves me baffled most days. I've gotten to where several of my 'favorites,' are unit conversion pages. ha. If only I could say "I've got an app for that."

{On a note, I'm sure there is an app, I just don't have an app using device.}

And, as I sit here, typing this post, I am once again putting off the writing of that paper I told you I was writing.

A month ago.

No, seriously.

It's do in one week so I'm having to kick into gear.

I'm also daydreaming about the start of Fall television.

Grey's Anatomy.

The Office (eh. I have mixed feelings about a whole other season of this show continuing on.)

The Biggest LOSER!!!!!!

I think I am going to use my spending money to buy a seasons pass via iTunes. Then, the shows will automatically download when I turn on my computer and I won't have to see that horrible symbol of a cash sign, which means that that particular episode is only available for purchase. Ha. I will have given into the system but I'll have tv!!

Not that I'll have a horrible amount of time, considering our language school starts next Tuesday. YAY! I am so pumped to learn Arabic. More on that later.

And tonight? Tonight I get to skype into my girls night, which has been going strong for almost 4 years. Crazy. Wish I could be there in person but I'll take video chatting over nothing!

Oh, and thanks for all of your prayers. I'm feeling MUCH better. Still no appetite but I'm not too worried.

{Typed while listening to David Garrett's cover of Thunderstruck. Amazing. Please check him out on iTunes. His Smooth Criminal cover is amazing.}

Monday, September 6, 2010


It's 12:36 am, on Tuesday morning, and I should be headed to bed.

Instead, I'm fighting the urge to stay up until 2:45. Again. Our schedule is way off right now.

Ian and I just finished the last of our "labor day," festivities, expatriate style.

Chocolate chip pancakes with sugar free (yuck) syrup. The final episode of Lois and Clark, and a snuggle in bed as we watched Bridge to Terabithia.

Ian liked it, though it was a little more sad than he was expecting. Apparenlty he never read the book. Poor deprived child.

I spent the majority of our labor day in bed or rushing to the bathroom, thanks to a non blogable stomach virus I've had yesterday and today. I thought it was food poisoning, but it's lasting a bit longer than that usually lasts.

Too Much Information?

My bad.

Words are still escaping me as to the nature of our adjustment to this new country. I'm sure my inability to write about it is some form of culture shock, but I choose to shrug it off.

And I still am not into taking pictures.

I know. I know. I really should.
It's just that, well.
It's all a little bit confusing.

It's so hot out that we aren't doing much exploring right now. Mainly staying inside and putting the finishing touches on unpacking. And when we do go out? Well, it's with other people that are security conscious, much like us. Which means that I can't really take pictures of them. Boo.

As I type all of this, my all time favorite comfort cd is loading into my iTunes. I am not sure why I never loaded it, but I guess I haven't really thought about it in a couple of years.

It's by a band called Ninth Hour, which was a small Christian band that played at my 8th and 9th grade camp. I'm pretty sure they aren't together anymore.

{You can actually find the CD, called Awake and Dreaming, on Amazon, used, for less than 10 bucks. It's an awesome CD!}

My favorite song was called Lindsay's Song, and was a sweet song of peace and comfort. I used to fall asleep to it on repeat during my high school days.

And today? Today I'm praising God for this reminder of His Love and Peace during these trying days.

Lindsay's Song

Walk besides, walk besides
Still waters once again.

Lose your mind,
Lose your mind.

Set your heart at rest,
Oh one more time.

Throw away your doubts,
Throw away your fears,
and dance on by,
dance on by.

Even though the sky don't look
so sunny today,
You're okay.

Cause the One who paints the night,
He will be your light.

Let Him hold you in His arms,
And that's where you'll find peace.

Cause He can wipe away your tears,
I'll pray for you,
Pray for me.

Won't you lay down, sister, lay down,
In the green grass.
Lay down once more.

Let the wings,
Let the wings of His love,
Come and carry you away.

Cause he knows your hopes,
and He knows your dreams,
So sail away,
Sail away.

Even though the waters looks so,
Troubled today.
You're okay.

Cause the One who calms the storms,
He will keep you safe and warm.

Let Him hold you in His arms,
And that's where you'll find peace.

Cause He can wash away your fears,
I'll pray for you.

If He holds the birds of the air,
And He makes the flowers bloom.
Don't you worry,
No, don't fear,
How much more precious are you.

Child of God,
Child of God,
Come and rest your weary soul.

Come and take His hand,
Take His hand,
You don't have to walk alone.

Cause He will be your shelter,
He will be your strength,
So hold on tight,
Please hold on tight.

Even when the winds seems to carry you away,
You're okay.

Cause the One who holds the stars,
He is right there where you are.

So let Him hold You in His arms,
And that's where you'll find peace.

Cause He can wipe away your tears,
I'll pray for you,
Pray for me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Let There Be Water!!

If you have traveled anywhere outside of the USA, you have probably been given the advice "Don't Drink The Water!"

This holds true in almost any place, for a variety of reasons, even if the city is modernized/westernized. Since water is treated in each US city using a certain chemical mixture (for example, FL uses a Chlorine heavy treatment,) your stomach is used to this combination. Travel to a place that treats their water differently, even if the water is bacteria/amoeba free, the chemical treatment can really mess you up!

All that being said, we live in a place that {maybe} treats their water, but probably has amoebas/worms in the water.

So...I'm not going to drink that, if at all possible, though I may use it to brush my teeth.

And by may, I mean, I totally do.

So, it's pretty common to see water coolers in people's houses, and we bought ours over a week ago. Unfortunately our motivation stopped there, and we never unboxed it or bought water jugs for it. Until tonight!

Ian unboxed it and carried into the kitchen, where he promptly put on a new water bottle, only to have it all come gushing out an open valve on the back. Ha!

Luckily {I guess,} the kitchens and bathroom all have these open drains that you can just squeegee water right into.

Have I ever mentioned my fear of drains? NO?! It was completely logical, I promise. I was convinced, for most of my teenage years that someone could easily be standing underneath our shower drain looking up. It freaked me out.

Did I ever mention I lived in FL, where you can't dig down 2 feet without hitting water/rock? So clearly it would make sense for a PERSON to be living under my drain. Ha.

Since we're talking about weird fears here, let me also inform you that I was convinced you shouldn't breathe the air in a closed garage. So, whenever I was sent out into our garage to fetch something, I would hold my breath the entire time. That fear served me well in developing a freakishly large lung capacity.

My swim coach thanked my weird fears later.

Right. Water.

Finally, we got it cleaned up, valve closed, and reattempted the water jug insertion.

Now to wait for the cool water to cool off!