A room almost done

Besides the 8 other rooms nowhere near done, the front hallway is basically done except for some ceiling paint and eventually, far in the future, replacing the laminate floors with tile.  We got to class it up, right?

Craftsman Bungalow Front Hallway

And now I am in panic about finishing some of the other stuff before my mother comes for Thanksgiving and then for Christmas.  I’d really like a finished living and dining room for Christmas, but I don’t know how realistic that goal is.

I’d also like to finish everything else inside before the baby comes, but at t-minus 5.5 months, it just ain’t happening, especially with me not having the energy to paint whole rooms like I had before.  We are lucky that I’ve finally gotten the energy back to clean.

She’s Reading, Finally Really Reading

The little one turns 6 today and recently started actually reading, really reading.   I mistook our early struggles with simple books as reading, but no, there is something different now, an ease to the reading and an attempt to figure out words that have not been memorized.  That only took 3 painful years.  I credit the BOB books (I think we have 3 or 4 sets of them) and word flashcards for finally doing the trick.

I got to say I was not expecting the difficulty with this that it has been.  My ex-husband has a high IQ, I have a high IQ, why the heck is our child not reading was what was going through my mind.   It was like every image I had of parenting a child like myself has been thrown out the window.  Every idea I had about parenting before she came was basically wrong.

At the end of the day, my daughter is not me, she’s nothing at all like me, and that is truly a fantastic gift.  She’s her own little person who isn’t swayed at all by my personality or desires for her life.  She does things on her own time and her own strength of will.   She’s perfect for her and for us.  Happy Birthday little one.

A Russian Perspective on Scandinavian Men

Don’t even ask how I ventured across this, but, voila:

Scandinavians are very different in terms of expression of emotions, they are reserved. Russian women are emotional. To make them happy, you often have to tell them that they are the best, the most beautiful, the most beloved. And men have to back it up with their actions, not to mention financially. Scandinavians are known for their restraint and stinginess. They are not suited for the Russian temperament. […] Scandinavians tend to be straightforward and stick to the rules, so they try to take away children because children are the most important thing.

http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/03-06-2011/118107-russian_women-0/

Are Danes plain with their words?  Yeppers.  Are they avid rule followers?  Yes.  Do kids in mixed marriages tend to go to the Dane in custody cases?  Yes.   Can the Danes kick foreign divorced spouses out the country?  You betcha.  One of the saving graces and a huge scam loophole in the American system is that once you get a greencard, you are basically here if you don’t commit a felony.  We are about to remove conditions on my husband permanent residency, a process he could do on his own if we divorced before 2 years or I died, and after that there is nothing at all standing in the way of of a legal permanent resident staying in the country, regardless of divorce.  This is fair on several levels to the immigrant – there is less incentive to stay in abusive marriages, children born to the couple get to have both parents in the same country, and the sacrifices of moving to another country are acknowledged.   Well, don’t expect those considerations if you marry a Dane.

I do find the Danes as a whole to be restrained, exceptionally so, and also stingy with compliments, albeit not with money.

Are American women as a whole more or less emotional than Russian women?  That I can’t really quantify, but let’s say for argument sake we are about the same.  I think for me personally and probably for a lot of American women, being married to a typical Dane is going to be emotionally hard.  My husband is wonderful, he truly is, but he is no American, that is for sure.  Many times, I find myself in a position that I know he’s not trying to be hurtful or rude, but the word usage is so curt and slicing that I can’t help but feel hurt.  Hurt that he doesn’t talk to me in the gentler way that I’m used to Americans talking, especially the way that American men speaking to women, etc.  Sometimes I feel like I’m being spoken to as if I’m his annoying kid brother or something, which for him, as we’ve talked this to death, is a sign of our closeness.  If he had to put on a polite front and curb his language it would be a signal that we were drifting apart.

I don’t know how other Scando-American couples deal with this, but for us it is obviously trying to find a middle ground in which he is less curt and I am more understanding of it.    I don’t think we are quite there yet.

And a knocked up American wife update – NT scan went well, they moved up my due date so I’m now 14 weeks.  Oh and I threw up in the car this morning, while driving.  Magical.  I’m not so much afraid of losing it right now, but it still doesn’t feel REAL.  I feel like I don’t belong in the fertile girl world or the infertile one.  Despite it taking 23 months for us, because we didn’t do IVF and our IUI didn’t work, it is like infertile world = ART pregnancies and fertile world = natural pregnancies.   Also, my husband keeps vetoing my Slytherin nursery plans.  I painted the room emerald green like a month before we got pregnant, I am not painting it back.  I also really don’t like cutesy nurseries.  Yes, Slytherin/HP themed nursery, Yes?

The Adventures of Floor Sanding

So, we embarked upon the cause of sanding our nearly 100 year old floors.  As I had previously mentioned, they were a yellowy perhaps natural wood color and then the tenant last year used that terrible Minwax Polyshades stuff on top, in a black.  Now, there were boot prints in it and it had been applied over dirt and rather unevenly and begun to flake up in places to reveal the much lighter floor underneath.  Whatever you do, don’t put that stuff on your floors.   It made it double the fun to sand off as well.

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I liked the idea of the dark floors with dark trim (and yes the window trim in a tacky later edition by the homeowners that I one day hope to purge ourselves of).   Then I tried what looked to be good Minwax colors, Red Oak and Dark Walnut:

This is what it actually looks like:

Minwax red oak dark walnut

This is basically yuck.  The Dark Walnut looks like mud and the Red Oak is no good.  I have some theories as to why it doesn’t work – the Dane sanded the floor too fine or maybe the floors are not oak?   I’m going to pick up some lighter colors tomorrow, maybe Early American and see what happens.

Pregnant but Still a Bitter Infertile

Excuse Ipad typos please :)

Of course, my thoughts leading up to our NT scan are that we are going to get there and see that I’ve had a missed miscarriage.   With a return of some of my energy over the last 2 days and less nausea, I worry, but I’ve been worrying all along.  I still say, even at 10 weeks tomorrow, “if we have a baby”.  If we don’t, I’m not sure my heart can take much more and that will be it with the trying for us as it was about to be days before I found out.   For 6 weeks, I’ve been bed bound and barely awake during the day and without energy to do much at all.  I hated being pregnant with DD and I hate being pregnant now.   Just being honest.

I still get upset at women who basically brag about getting pregnant quickly, do we really all need to know that you ‘struggled’ for 3 months, really?  I think damn those stupid fertiles when I see people in the middle of immigration knocking up their partner and then whining about being separated. Too freaking bad, use some birth control.

I’m still upset at parents who don’t have the money, time, etc.  for the kids they have, having more.  I’m upset that the women who want so desperately to have a child aren’t having them, while fertile myrtles are pushing out one after another.  The universe is anything but fair.

Yep, I’m pregnant and still a shockingly bitter infertile at heart.

We Have a Ceiling!

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I am hoping that the ceiling will be completely done over the course of the next week.  As is often the case up here in the far northern reaches of Minnesota, our contractor is terribly short of workers, in fact, he’s lost all of them in the past week and is doing the work himself.  If you are looking for low unemployment rates, look no further.

In other news, which I promise to keep brief for those still suffering, we had our first ultrasound at 5+2 last week and measured 5+3, too early for a heartbeat.  Today, I’m 6+3, which is just beyond a huge milestone.   I’m scheduled for a NT scan at a hospital 2 hours away at 11+5, but nothing in the meantime.  Talk about hands off, right?  I’m still terribly worried that there is going to be a problem, but I’m trying to let myself get caught up in just feeling a little like it might be real.   Yesterday, the Dane and I were back to arguing over names.  We had agreed while still dating (now you know how much we were serious about having kids) that the first boy would be named Thor or Tor as it were.  I’m not the best at Scandinavian linguistics, but it has always bothered me that the Danes dropped the th that thurisaz stood for in old Norse, just in favor of a plain old t.  

Anyways, with the recent popularity of the Thor movies, it seems that maybe it would be a little misunderstood or cliche.  I tried in vain to get Thorfinn or Thorbjorn approved, but I think we’ve come to a compromise with Torben (Thor’s bear).   Girl’s name still stands at Dagny.

It might be presumptuous of us, but we’ll just try and believe it is real for now.

Updates

I really want to do a post on living in the far northern reaches of Minnesota because while it isn’t as different as Denmark, it is definitely different.  It will have to wait until another day.

House Update:

Our living room ceiling repair, while costing much more that we thought it would is in progress.  It is a large structural project of adding back in LDLs (big structural beams), half walls, re-doing all the ceiling framing and supports to the roof and fixing some areas of the roof.  It is really beyond what my husband or I could even begin to dare to attempt, so alas, there goes a big chunk of money.  We’ve also got to fix most of the basement supports.  We knew some of them were an issue when we put in an offer on the house,  but it took a little bit living in the house to see that yet again, the old owners messed it up.  They over-jacked one of the supports making the floors upstairs slope and leaving one of the posts basically swaying the in the wind.  *sigh*  This is just the beginnings (before with my husband’s temporary supports and after with LDL held temporarily in place).  

The before we bought it where you can see the ceiling has a sag:

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Then, of course, we have to fork out another few thousand at the end of next week to rewire this room and at least one adjoining room (I’ve requested my daughter’s as a high priority).

Pregnancy Update:  4 weeks 4 days today and no spotting and definitely darker lines.  I didn’t test yesterday and stopped testing with the FRERs a couple of days ago.  I figured I’d wait to do every other day with some of my wondfos.  I have an appointment scheduled on Monday (5 weeks) at a new obgyn and I’m not sure how that will go.  I’m also not sure that driving 45 minutes in that direction is better than 48 minutes in another to find an obgyn and hospital that does deliveries.  The hospital we’ve tentatively allied ourselves with has one of the highest c-section rates in the state – not sure if that is good or bad since I might be in need of a repeat.

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I dragged my husband along to the store to look at baby stuff because I figured that I should seize upon the rare opportunity to walk in that section without wanting to cry.   I know I’m weird, but I just needed that fleeting moment of hope and normalcy – like those normal women who decide to start TTC, 2 months later they are pregnant and of course, they feel totally comfortable in it and not checking all the time to see if they’ve started bleeding.