she got here on friday and is planning on staying for a whole five weeks! hooray! it was really important to me that she be here for the birth, and especially afterwards to help out (and i think it was important to her too). i have been fine being "alone" during this pregnancy, and haven't felt like i've been especially lonely during this time -- i've just had so much to do and plan and think about that i haven't really noticed the fact that i'm on a different continent than my sisters, girlfriends, aunts, etc. and to be fair, even if i was living in boulder, i'd still be a long ways away from a lot of the people that i know and love, since my best girls live on the west coast and my family all lives in the midwest. with the exception of bob and rae (whom i totally adore, btw), most of the people i love the most lived far, far away. so to be pregnant in boulder or to be pregnant in europe would not make much of a difference -- either way i'd be distanced from my girlfriends, my mom, my aunts, etc.
but i knew that once the baby came, i'd really want to feel that connection to my family, to the ancestors and the generations and the lineage. AND i'd want someone to talk to during the day! adam is planning on taking some time off after spruitje is born, but eventually he's going to have to go back to work. and i'll be alone with a very needy person and no one to talk to -- it's not like i can strike up a conversation with the ladies at the grocery store or anything, and i was afraid i'd go a little crazy with the lack of adult conversation. i'm afraid that i would REALLY feel the isolation of being out here, and i didn't want that. i want to feel connected and loved and supported. and so, adam and i decided to find a way to get my mom out here for a long visit.
and now she's here!
she got here on friday, and with the AWESOME help of my friend valerie who met her at the airport (THANK YOU, VALERIE! YOU'RE THE BEST EVER!!!) she was able to buy a train ticket, get on the right train, and even get a small bite to eat after her flight. she set her alarm on her cell phone to go off about 15 minutes before she was scheduled to pull into the hengelo station, and just ended up taking a long nap on the train. apparently her alarm had been going off for 20 minutes before she finally woke up, and she said that everyone on the train was just staring at her, wondering what was going on. she luckily woke up just a few minutes before the train pulled in, and people were nice enough to help her with all of her bags as she got off. adam and i met her at the station and walked her home, and none of us could believe that she was ACTUALLY HERE!
(my mom has not gotten on an airplane, or even left the united states, in 27 years. she has never flown across any ocean or gone to a country where they speak a different language. so this is a HUGE deal for her, and i know it took a lot of courage and pep-talk to get herself psyched up enough to get out here. it really means a lot to both me and adam!)
so that was friday. saturday we went to the market. (and i totally forgot my camera so i don't have any pics of that, but i'll remember this week...) she was over the moon with all the fresh fruit and all the olives and cheese and bread and fish and sausages and she met willie the guy who sells us eggs and teaches us dutch every week. (this week i learned the past-tense form of "to come." as in, "my mother came here yesterday from schiphol." i would say, "gisteren hebt mijn moeder aangekomen uit schiphol." or something like that. aangekomen. that was my new word.) she wanted to buy EVERYTHING at the market, and i had to remind her that she was going to be here for 5 weeks and that there was plenty of time to try all the different things that we had there. it was not surprising to me that she'd want to go overboard like that, because she never gets to go on vacation and has never been to a place as foreign as the netherlands, so i understand why she wanted to just do it ALL RIGHT NOW. that's very much her style anyway. but she calmed down, and i promised that we'd go to the market lots more while she's here. she seemed happy with that. it was just funny -- like a hyperactive kid at a pet store or something who wants to pet ALL the animals, because oooh they're ALL so different and cute, and what if she misses one that was especially fuzzy and sweet, so let's just go ahead and pet them ALL. she's so funny!
and the rest of the time we've just been hanging out. she made us her homemade chicken and dumpling soup, which is my FAVORITE EVER and i've been looking forward to it for at least a month now. it was like i was 8 years old all over again. and on sunday we had brunch: i woke up early and made banana bread and she made my gramma's "loaded eggs" with all these peppers and cheeses and onions (and adam actually ate them, which surprised me cuz usually he likes his eggs -- like all of his food -- plain. but he liked them! like mikey -- remember mikey from the life commercials? -- he likes it! he really likes it!). and then today we went to the grocery store and we just took our time walking up and down the aisles, inspecting all the different foods we have here, and she really enjoyed that. i'm kinda the same way, whenever i go to a foreign country i always want to see what their grocery store is like, and see what they eat and how much things cost. (like in switzerland, swear to god EVERY breakfast cereal has chocolate in it. chocolate granola, chocolate cheerios, chocolate bran flakes... it's awesome! and in france all the wine is crazycheap and delicious, and in italy they have a lot of dried and salted meats/sausages, and in ireland they have a lot of the very same things that we have in america, which kinda surprised me but not really at the same time. as examples.) so we took our time at the store and she got herself a bunch of snackies and picked up some cookies and beers to bring home to my brothers for souvenirs.
and now, after mopping my floors (!) , she is taking a nap on the couch. i'm glad she's been able to be so active -- but it's nice to know that she's comfortable enough in my home to just crash on the couch and take a nice long nap in the afternoon, just like back at her own house. it's good.
so there you have it! stay tuned for more fabulously dull stories of what we've done with mom out here! there's lots more to come!
(and no, i have not had the baby yet. i'm still pregnant. my due date is friday, but there's a full moon tomorrow -- do you think that might help jump start things? i sure hope so! fingers crossed! say prayers! light candles! let's do this thing!)