Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; He has risen! Luke 24:5-6

We had the pleasure in partaking in some Pena family fun this weekend as we celebrated Easter. We went to Reagan's in-law's for their annual Easter egg hunt and confetti battle. Holder and his cousin Lauren had a blast running around searching for the hidden eggs and everyone enjoyed smashing the confetti-filled eggs all over one another. Mick and I understand that we got off pretty easy and when Oscar is here next year, we should be prepared to have them smashed inside our clothing and down our pants. Ah, something to look forward to...

Last Wednesday evening we attended a very moving service at the church we've been going to that was heavily focused on Jesus' crucifixion. That heaviness has left us anxious to celebrate the miracle of His resurrection and salvation tomorrow. We hope you enjoy your Easter holiday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Was that...?

So I'm about 96% sure that I've started to feel the baby move. I actually thought I felt something last week, but since no one can really explain what it feels like when the baby moves, I figured I'd just wait and see. Sure enough, I've felt that same odd sensation again throughout the past few days. It's almost like a little twitch that I don't seem to notice until it's over. Now I find myself sitting quietly and intensely focusing on my lower abdomen to see if I can feel it again. Things are definately progressing!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Things we've discovered

1. The clouds move ridiculously fast out here. It doesn't matter if it's stormy or windy or calm - they speed across the sky like I've never seen before.

2. Good traffic control is hard to find. Apparently this area has a real shortage of traffic engineers because the lights are exceptionally long and it's clear that the population increased too rapidly for the roadways to keep up. It is a much slower pace.

3. The weather is best categorized as "schizophrenic." Each day can vary so much, from sunny and warm to cloudy and windy to torrential rain storm and all combinations of the above.

4. The transition hasn't been as difficult as I thought it might be. What a blessing this has been! Anyone who knows me is probably aware that change is not my strong suit. In fact it's more of a duck-and-cover-until-I-stop-freaking-out kind of experience. Thankfully, God has lots of grace for us in this move.

5. I now know intimately the bathroom habits of my dog. When you control the only opportunities to "go potty," you quickly find out how many times she does her business and worry when she hasn't done it enough. I hope this is preparation for the baby, because otherwise it's just sad.

6. The people here really are very nice. Now, I never really felt like Californians were rude, but this puts a whole new meaning on helpful. The Department of Transportation has a customer service number, and they don't seem irritated that you've called it. What a concept!

7. If there was any question of whether this part of Texas was part of the Bible-belt, there isn't now. It seems as if every other billboard has an ad for a church or a slogan such as "Got Jesus?" I'm enjoying the onslaught of wholesome stimuli for a change.

8. We like it here. It's not as though we thought we wouldn't like it, but we were afraid that we might not. Oak Park is a hard act to follow, but we are enjoying the things that League City has to offer and trying not to compare too much.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

House Hunt and Baby Bump

Sorry that I haven't updated the blog in awhile. I've been well-intentioned for the past few days, but haven't been able to quite get it done.

We have been moving forward with the new house. There's so much that needs to be taken care of with a purchase like this and even though this isn't the first time we've purchased a home, I have to admit that I wasn't really as involved with the last purchase so it feels all new to me. The house is in a new development that is still well under construction. My sister and brother-in-law live in the same community and we are all excited for the rec center that is being built. It has a nice pool, playground and splash pad for kids.

The house itself is two-stories. One of the things we really liked about it is that it had the master bedroom and an additional bedroom downstairs so I won't have to tread up and down stairs all night once the baby comes. It has a formal dining room, a study (that we'll use as the baby's room), and a game room upstairs - all standard features in homes out here. It really is amazing how far your dollar can go when it comes to housing in Texas. We feel so blessed by what God has provided for us financially through the sale of the townhouse. Mick and I are not big spenders or extravagant people, but a down payment and furniture purchases can feel just that way. It has made the process both ackward and exciting.

Bella has given it her seal of approval already. We snuck her in to check it out the other day and she ran up and down the stairs, explored every inch of the backyard and panted like crazy when she finally felt satisfied that she had been everywhere - twice. She is really going to love having all that space to play!

Anyway, we are very excited as a few people have made plans to come visit this spring and we want to extend an invitation to all our friends and family that you'd have a place to stay if you make the trip!

As far as the baby is concerned, I'm finally starting to show at 15 weeks! Somedays are still bigger than others, but I do have a consistent little bump. I have to laugh because if I walk by another pregnant woman, I catch myself trying to stick it out more so that she knows I'm part of the club too. Our poor child doesn't stand a chance with a dorky mom like me, but hopefully there will be enough grace not to do too much psychological damage :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

We're here!

Although we arrived in League City on Friday afternoon, this is the first chance I've had to update the blog. It has been a really busy few days and there is much to tell, so brace yourself - this may be a long one.

The Trip:
First things first, our drive out was pretty uneventful and easy. The longest day was the leg between Tucson, AZ and Fort Stockton, TX. Although the drive time was supposed to be about eight to nine hours, it ended up being ten because we spent an hour stopped at a rest area trying to staighten out issues with our insurance change over.

Now, if you've ever taken Interstate 10 through this part of the country, you know there is a whole lotta nada between El Paso and San Antonio. (Hence the photos; what else is there to do to keep occupied?) This was especially apparent when we got to Fort Stockton, because when we arrived at 10pm, the hotel parking lot was pretty full of tired travelers, but by 8am the next morning, Mick and I seemed like the only ones left in town. Everyone else had long moved on to other destinations. Well, everyone except the scorpion that Mick found crawling towards our hotel room door to greet us in the morning.

We drove to San Antonio the next day and although Thursday and Friday held shorter drive times, they felt like the longest days because we were anxious to get to our final destination. We finally rolled into town about 2pm on Friday and were able to get settled into our new, temporary home pretty quickly. Which brings me to point number two...

The digs:
We're staying in a furnished one-bedroom apartment that backs up to a golf course. It's nice and we're getting used to having to take Bella outside everytime she needs to go to the bathroom. We thought we had it down until we tried to get away with not taking her out right before we went to bed last night. That resulted in us stumbling around at 2am trying to get dressed and braving the 30 degree temps in order to get Bella to go back to sleep. Yeah, that won't happened again.

The first night in the apartment, we discovered that the bed we were provided with made a ridiculous amount of noise when you sat on it, layed on it, moved on it, etc, so we did not get much sleep at all. After two nights of being woken up any time either of us adjusted even the slightest bit, we took the bed apart and put the matress on the floor. We ended up finding the noisy culprit, a broken box spring, so we're expecting our new, bigger, hopefully quieter bed today.

The job:
Mick's first day was yesterday and it went well. He got there early and got all the things set up and transfered over pretty quickly. He also said he went to lunch with about four other guys, all of whom had moved to Texas from California at some point. Although he mentioned that there was some training programs that they wanted him to go through, Mick was planning on bugging people for some real work to do today.

The fam:

We've been able to see my sister and mom pretty much daily since we arrived. My nephew, Holder, was with us this weekend and he enjoyed playing with Bella, who is way more interested in having him throw her ball than in interacting with the other dogs here. Missing Boswell, I guess.

On Saturday, we went down to the marina with Holder and Mom to look at the boats. Mick and I daydreamed of how cool it would be to live on a boat like our friend Ethan did in Ventura, but then we realized that having a dog and a baby in no more than a hundred square feet might not be realistic. Which brings us to...

The kid:
It's a long story, but due to the move and different diagnostic guidelines here than in CA, I got to go the the doctor yesterday and get a detailed unltrasound of the baby. Since Mick was working, my sister Reagan came with me. It took forever (our appointment was at 9:15 am and when all was said and done, it was 2:15pm) but it was really good to have Reagan there with me. I was able to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time and we also got a foreshadowing of a potential behavioral issue to come.

The ultrasound tech needed to take certain measurements, but the baby was not cooperating. After roughly 30 minutes, she told us we would need to leave and come back later in order to give the baby time to get an attitude adjustment. It's so funny because I apologized like it was somehow my fault, that I should somehow be able to get my child to behave. Whatever. We went to lunch and when we returned, the baby was much more ameanable.

It was really fun to get a glimpse of what's going on in there. The baby was "jumping" up on the side of my uterus and sliding back down. It has long monkey limbs like mom, and Reagan and I had to fight off a bad case of the giggles when it hit itself in the head. All we could think was "quit hittin' yourself!" Any how, these are the latest pics. You can see that go-go-gadget arm waving hello on top.

P.S. Although, I asked, more than once, we do not know the sex yet. We have another ultrasound on the 21st of April, so hopefully we'll find out then!

The house hunt: (last category, I promise!!!)
We started hitting the pavement over the weekend. It was crazy to realize that there would be no down time or adjustment period before we would need to start thinking about where we're going to be in a month. We have found a place that we're planning on putting an offer on this week. I'm not going to say much, because a lot needs to happen before anything is set up, but it is a two-story, 5-6 bedroom, new construction home that is across the street from the house we were considering on our house-hunting trip a few weeks ago. I'll keep you posted as the week goes on.

Whew! Love to all and I'm impressed you made it to the bottom!