9/05/2008

Great with Child



With only six weeks left until my due date, I think I can finally say that I am "great with child." Up until now I've been saying that I was "good with child" or "fair with child." But it's time.

My ribs are sore from being kicked and spread apart. It gets uncomfortable to sit in the same position for too long — mostly because everything gets squished together and there's no room. This little guy (still nameless) moves all the time. Big rolling movements that you can easily see through my shirt — not just kicks and punches. It looks very much like Alien. The doctor says everything looks great and all test results have been perfect. So all is well in pregnantland except my maternity shirts are getting a little short. I may be flashing my midriff before this is all over.

It's been awhile since I've posted anything. July and August were a lot busier than I thought they'd be. Mostly because I hosted and tutored two Japanese college students: a 19-year-old boy named Takashi for two weeks in July and a 19-year-old girl named Ritsuko for three weeks in August. They stayed in our guest room, I cooked them food, and I sat down with them for two to three hours each morning and we practiced English.

Takashi and Ritsuko are two of 150 Tokyo International University students currently enrolled in a yearlong program at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. (They arrived in February and they'll go home in December.) Most of them spent the summer traveling, and a lot of them did a "homestay" with an American family for a few weeks as a part of their travels.

Overall it was a good experience, hosting these students. It paid really well and it was fun to get some experience with ESL. (By the way: does anyone know why we say The Golden Gate Bridge but not The St. Mary's Cathedral? I don't. That was one of many questions I couldn't answer about our sometimes-inconsistent language.)

There were some weird things. Number one in weirdness was my second student's excessive use of toilet paper. I'm pregnant, so I go to the bathroom more than most people. Even so, Brian and I go through maybe one roll of toilet paper a week. Maybe. When Ritsuko arrived, we had ten rolls of toilet paper in the cupboard. Seven days later, we woke up to a spent cardboard tube and an empty storage cupboard. She had used it all! Brian took an unplanned 7 a.m. trip to 7-Eleven and bought us another eight rolls. One week later, those were gone too!

The disappearance of the toilet paper remains a huge mystery. She wasn't stealing the rolls. (Once we noticed the disappearance phenomenon, we saw each roll dwindle before our very eyes.) And she didn't use the bathroom excessively. (In fact, she was out of the house for many hours most days, sightseeing.) We ended up going through at least a roll a day for the whole three weeks she was with us. I've thought about googling "Japanese girls" + "toilet paper" to see if it's a cultural thing, but I haven't done it yet. Would I just get a bunch of porn sites? What was she doing with all that toilet paper?

Anyway.... Both students had a habit of switching their L's and R's. I figured the movies probably exaggerate that issue, but it was "lice" instead of "rice" with both of them. In one exercise, I told Takashi about my family. He had to listen, then tell me about them. (He was allowed to take notes; I made it a rule that I wouldn't repeat myself.) I told him that my mother's name is Lynn. In his notes I saw him write "Rin," but he pronounced it perfectly when he said it back to me. It was funny and confusing. They also both switched H's and F's. And Ritsuko had a bad habit of ending her words with O: cat-o, post-o, etc. But I guess that if I were Japanese and every word in my language ended in a vowel or an N, it would be hard for me to come over to the USA and start ending every English word I spoke with a hard consonant.

My sister came out to visit at the end of July. We did a lot of walking and exploring. At the end of the week my feet, carrying their twenty-some new pounds, told her to go home. We went to Muir Woods while she was here, and that trip cemented Muir Woods as my favorite place in the Bay Area. I became a member while I was there, so when you come to visit me, I will take you and we can see the tallest living organisms in the world for free.

8 Comments:

Blogger Rob And Son said...

I love your belly and I hope you talk to that boy about his family back in Brooklyn!

The toilet paper thing is cracking me up! Let us know what you find out....It could be that they really want to make sure there are no skid marks.
Plus you and B only go through one roll a week, think we are a two or three'er family!
x

7:57 AM  
Blogger sooprgrll said...

first of all--you look amazing and beautiful!! sounds like the time with the students was great and hilarious. cool way to make money. love you!

9:42 AM  
Blogger fantasy weather league said...

Aw ma n, I would say you're "tremendous with child" or perhaps "magnificent with child."

Googling Japanese girls + toilet paper does, indeed, yield porn (and one police blotter).

5:39 PM  
Anonymous sister said...

Thanks for the picture! I feel like I'm back in the loop now. You look great, by the way. I agree that "magnificant with child" would be appropriate.

If you get desperate for names, Nathan and I have decided that we'll let you use C.K. Dexter Haven.

11:45 PM  
Blogger klydelanta said...

GLORIOUS with child. hands down. no question.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Johanna and Josh said...

How about a nice, strong Bible name? Methuselah, Zerubbabel
Shealtiel, Artaxerxes, or Zimri could all be nice...

1:40 PM  
Anonymous brian said...

lookin good

9:03 PM  
Blogger Abbi said...

Your guest may have used what is known as the "Toilet Paper Mitten" each time she went. Despite its name it more closely resembles a boxing glove, and is used to preserve that fresh-from-the-shower feeling.

Other possibility: for sanitary reasons, she may have laid strips on the seat. I bought my houseguests disposable paper seat covers and noticed my tp disappeared less quickly. You have to check the trash can or listen for extra flushes.

Finally, toilet tissue has a number of alt. uses: bra padding, shoe insert, Kleenex, oil-blotter...I'm afraid your tp's demise is a cold case.

You look great! Thanks for the update! Can't wait to see little Abbiluke McMullen.

11:29 AM  

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