So...we have decided on a name...(drum roll)...she'll be Olivia. I've always liked this name, and there's something to be said about classic names that will always sound great and never go "out of fashion". We were contemplating on a more "trendier" name but nothing really sounded good. Plus she'll have a slew of neat nicknames that we can use: Olive, Liv, etc. And overall it just rolls off the tongue nicely and it's feminine but not too feminine, and it's strong and likable. Lastly it's probably not as popular as a few years or decades back so I'm hoping there will be less "Olivias" out there for her age group when she gets older. As for her middle name, I'm still waiting for my parents' help on that. We'd like it to be a Chinese name but no final choices yet.
So catching back up to a few weeks ago I finished my Basic Instructor Course (BIC) - yeah! We actually had a really nice group and all got along great. The class probably could have been compressed quite a bit but I still learned a lot about lesson preparations, instructor mannerisms, communicating the materials to a group, etc. I also finished the Lamaze class, which was useful but I'm not sure what techniques I'll actually be using in labor. Also, based on first-hand knowledge and experience, my friend Katy Gannon recommended Hypnobirthing, which basically trains the laboring woman to be (as much as possible) in complete relaxation during labor. Sounds crazy but it totally worked for her and to be frank the philosophy sounds really good. So I've been trying to devote a bit of time practicing some of the techniques - we'll see how it goes! I've also had great email and IM conversations back and forth from a good friend Vanessa from high school. It's wonderful to have friends who have already "been there" for labor and afterwards!
I've also been adjusting to my new job. No real instructing hours yet - I've been mainly involved with learning my way around the organization and our mission, and since there's a large flux of personnel as well as the moving around of personnel it's been difficult. I'll definitely be staying in the division but I'm not sure if I'll stay where I am now as one of the branch chiefs - I'm not worried though - it'll all get worked out. I do have to say that so far I really like all the people in the office. Overall everyone's really positive, even though they've been hit hard with recent deployments in support of Japan's radiation assessments, not to mention a lot of people, including the main boss, rotating out soon. They also threw me a work baby-shower, which was completely unexpected and surprising since I just got there. But it was really nice to receive some additional things that the baby will need.
Speaking of baby showers, our friends Jackie, Mark, Tara, Bekah and Mrs. G all helped in throwing us a coed shower. It was beautiful and really nicely put together - we are very lucky to have such wonderful friends. I'll definitely try to get some pics up of those! The baby's room is pretty much all done too. Nick and I have been making weekly trips to Babies'R'Us and Target just to see what lose ends we need to tie up in terms of getting Olivia anything else she might need. I've also started to pack my bag...I know...it should be done, but I'm just not as in a rush as I probably should be. Lots of people at work keep reminding me I really should have everything ready to go...we're getting there! :-)
As if I don't have enough to do I'm cramming for my annual Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT) for Chinese Mandarin. Yes, every year I have to re-test and every year I end up cramming. Maybe I'll actually keep up with just an hour or two of studying every week or every other week...that's always my goal! But truly, speaking of languages, my plan is to teach Olivia Chinese. This will be a touch challenge as I've read to be very effective at raising a bi-lingual babe it's good for one parent to stick with language. I will try my very best!
Lastly, I have to say that I really miss running and can't wait to get back into it. Nick and I are running the 10K this year the AF marathon, hopefully I'll be able to jog most of it - as I can't really start to train until 6 weeks after the baby - which means I pretty much have no time to run before the race. But I've been active throughout this pregnancy so hopefully that'll help.
Well it's been about 2 hours and I'm going to try to get some shut-eye before our morning walk. I'll try to make more frequent updates and load some photos soon!