Phase one of the move

The big move is now about three months away, so phase one has begun!

It started with my reduced hours at work. We gave up bébé’s October spot at a creche, and the plan was for me to stay home with him and pack/sell all of our stuff. We were a little sad to give up his spot, since it was a really nice Enlgish creche in Luxembourg, but it made zero sense to only pay for three months. I originally wanted to stop working entirely, but after discussing it with my boss and my mother-in-law, I’m in the office 2 days a week until the end of the year. A little extra money will help with the move, I know all my projects are understood by my replacement, and bébé gets more time with mamie. Everyone wins!

This was the first week of the new schedule, and it went pretty well. The days I work are very long for everyone, since bébé has to be woken up a little earlier than usual so my husband can drop him off at mamie’s house on his way to work. They got home both days about half an hour after his normal bedtime, but he naps really well during the day now, so he’s not delirious from lack of sleep or anything.

Our days together with me at home involve lots of playing, lots of park visits, and lots of organizing and picture taking during nap times. We’ve managed to sell a few things both to friends and online, but the big push to sell will come at the beginning of December with phase two! Phase one is hard because we’re still using a lot of the things we want to sell, like our refrigerator and bed. So for now, I’m mainly clearing out bookshelves, sorting through books and dvds, and selling all of the kitchen gadgets we’ve accumulated over the years that sadly won’t work in the States. It’s hard to imagine life without a raclette machine, but my mother said she found a crockpot on sale and is saving it for us, and I’ve never had one before, so at least I have something to look forward to when we arrive!

Long distance running is (kind of) like giving birth

Last weekend my husband and I ran a half marathon. It was his second, and my fourth. However, it was the first time we’ve run a race together. I usually manage to motivate myself pretty well, but I hadn’t run a half since 2009, and I knew I’d need a little extra encouragement. The half he did this summer went well (he finished just under 2 hours), so he  didn’t feel any pressure to push himself, and ran along with me for the whole 2 hours and 22 minutes it took me to finish. Which is actually my second best time, after the first one I ran in 2007 in 2:10. And just in case you’re interested, I did one in Germany in 2008 in 2:38 (I blame the hail), and another in Annecy in 2009 in 2:27.

Even if it was my second best race, this was a hard one for me, despite the gorgeous weather and totally flat route. While running long distance is really nothing like giving birth, in some ways, it kind of is . . .

  • I pictured it going a certain way, but it was different than I’d imagined
  • Breathing was very important
  • The food and water provided was not sufficient
  • At various moments I felt terribly sick
  • I said things like “This was a stupid idea,” “I can’t do this,” and “Ahhh everything hurts!”
  • My husband was wonderfully encouraging and said things like “You can do this!” “You’re doing great!” “I’m so proud of you!” “Just a little longer!”
  • After a certain point, words were impossible, and I communicated via grunts
  • It seemed endless, but actually went quicker than expected
  • Walking the day after was all sorts of painful
  • While it was happening, I was sure I would never do it again, yet once the pain faded, I started to think “Maybe another wouldn’t be so bad . . .”

It was my husband’s encouragement that first made me think of all the similarities, since he was saying, word for word, the exact same things as during labor. And just like last July, he saw how hard it was for me and helped me the best he could, but in the end, no one else could do it for me, I had to do it myself.

I’m not in any way an expert in running, or giving birth, but having someone there next to you the whole time rooting for you definitely makes a difference!