Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Pregnancy makes your body do weird things. Ew. Let's leave it at that, shall we?

I feel ginormous. wah. In reality, I don't think I have gained much weight. I just feel like a giant, very round balloon. I can still squeeeeeeeeeeeze into my regular clothes, but it's not recommended. Just because I can sort-of-fit-in doesn't help because man, it gets painful wearing my regular pants. Darn. Well, since I'm officially 20 weeks along this week, I'm halfway to the finish line, and I guess it's okay to start showing off that there's a baby in there.

My sister arrives in 2 weeks! I'm going to be a busy, busy woman until she gets here. At school, we are doing an end-of-the-year performance. My class is putting on a play about the Gingerbread Man. It should be pretty cute. Sometimes when it comes to ideas for these things though, I'm not feeling quite as creative as I thought I was. I think these days I'm just over-whelmed and tired and don't have too much extra energy for anything.

Only 3 weeks until I leave Albania for good. I'm not sure I'll miss Albania. I'm sure I will be going crazy for my husband, but that's something else entirely. Living here has given me a new perspective on some things, and it's allowed me to see where my husband came from, and I can appreciate those things. Who knows? Maybe I will miss it. But for now, I'm just focused on getting my wonderful hubby back to the States so that we can start our little family :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's a....

Well, it looks like we are going to have a


We just found out yesterday. :)

I can hardly believe it. In the beginning, since day 1, I was convinced that it was a boy. I just knew it! As the time went on, though, I really had it in my mind for a little girl. I pictured little bows and dresses and "playing princess". It's going to take a little while to adjust myself to thinking "boy" but I really couldn't be happier that the baby is healthy and doing well.

At 20 weeks, the baby is the size of a "small cantaloupe" according to What to Expect... When I saw it on the ultrasound yesterday, I was amazed! It has gotten huge!

By the way, Bledi is just over-the-moon excited. He can't wait to have a little boy and has already named him. Well, we have. But Bledi started calling him by his name already! Now there is no turning back on the name! But that's okay, because I love it. I'm going to try to keep that under wraps though, as best as I can....

which probably wont last too long. ;)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

good things

I realize that a lot of my posts are about missing home, about not liking things that are different here, or other not so positive things. So I want to put a few things out there about what I've learned from living in Albania. Everyone told me that it would be a "good life experience" for me, and I totally agreed with them before I left. So, here it goes:

1. Money.
Um.... in short... maybe I wasn't so good at managing it. I'm still not, but I think I finally learned that you can't spend more money than you make. And maybe that buying expensive things (when you aren't a bazillionare) is actually a little silly.

Not knowing where to buy new stuff, like makeup, here has forced me to use up the stuff I already have. Guess what? I've been using the same tube of foundation since January. I just use it more sparingly and I will actually use the whole bottle. Shocker, I know. But before, I would just tire of it and go buy a new one. I'm actually amazed at how long I've stretched out stuff just cause I can't buy a new one. I can't believe I used to just throw away my money like that.

family members- I will let you pause for a moment so that you can start breathing again. ;)

2. Fresh food tastes so much better than any other kind of food.
Even if you do have to buy bread here every two days (because it goes bad so fast).... it's really fresh. And amazing. And I haven't eaten anything frozen (besides ice cream and a few fish sticks) since I got here. I don't miss lean-cuisine.

There are probably more things, but hey, I think that's enough life lessons for now.

On a side note, baby is mobile! It started moving around last week. At first, it was just little tiny *blips* like a small, tiny punch or a hiccup inside my belly. This week, it's getting stronger and those blips are moving all around, not just staying in the same place. It's pretty funny.

I have been trying to make the appointment to find out what baby is... pink or blue???? but I've been unsuccessful seeing as my doctor has been out of town. Never the less, I'm actively trying to name it. Man, no one tells you how difficult that is until you try to do it!!

Friday, April 30, 2010


In a day or two I will post about mom and dad's trip. It was great! It just flew by, and we all had such a great time seeing Albania. As soon as I can get some pictures uploaded, I will post all about it!

Today I was thinking about some things that I would like to get over here. Now, I really don't like to request anyone to send me anything (unless you're my mom! ;). But lately, being pregnant and all, some people have asked what I would like sent over. If you are someone who wants to send something, of course, I love getting what you send! But please don't take this as if you have to send me anything at all.

The only thing I would really like is some more healthy-type snacks. I am hungry constantly now, and although I am trying not to indulge that very much, I do need to eat pretty regularly to keep from passing out. Since I work at a school, I am stuck there all day and need to bring my snacks with me. Now, snack options are pretty limited over here as far as healthy-snacking goes. Also, I just have a taste for some things which I can't find over here. Pretzels, goldfish, chex mix (ok maybe not so healthy), trail mix, granola bars, nut mixes... these things are not found over here!

promise to post some belly-shots and vacation pics within a day or two. ;)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Visitors! Yay!

In two days, my parents will be the first ones to venture across the ocean to visit me and Bledi! I'm getting pretty excited about it. I realized it's been just about 4 months exactly since I saw them last and wow, does that seem like a long time! I have some time off from work and so does Bledi so we're going to have fun traveling Albania and venturing over to Greece for a day-trip. Poor Bledi needs a visa to go to Greece so he won't be able to make it over there with us. On May 1 he is leaving me for 4 days for a business trip to Croatia though, so I don't feel too bad for him.

Now let's just keep our fingers crossed that this stupid volcano doesn't stand in the way of their flights!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adventures in Cooking

Thanks so much to everyone who responded so kindly to me by e-mail after my last few posts. I really all of the support of my wonderful family and friends.

So, I am a sucker for going to the supermarket here. It’s a tad more expensive than the shops around our neighborhood, but they carry some things you just can’t find anywhere else! The last few nights, I have been doing the cooking at home for dinner because poor Bledi’s mom hasn’t been feeling well. I enjoy taking care of my husband, and when I cook for him, it makes him happy (although I can’t cook for beans – if you remember my post about boiling eggs, you know this!). Anyway, the fun thing about the supermarket is that it’s more similar to shopping how I shop at home. It’s not really the same, because even though they carry tartar sauce or fish sticks, you have only one or two brands to chose from – a store brand, and a more expensive brand. And yes, I bought fish sticks and tartar sauce today- every time I go there, I have been eyeing them in the freezer so I finally caved and decided to try them! The other fun (and I think this is a sarcastic “fun”) thing is that the supermarket I prefer to shop at is an Italian one called Conad. I trust the Italian food more than things made here because I know that it’s pasteurized and such. This is not always the case with food made here, and being pregnant, I just cannot take any chances with that. The fun part is me staring at packages written in Italian and trying to decipher what they say! Sometimes, the pictures only take you so far…. Especially later, when I get home and try to cook the thing. So tonight, I’m conquering hot dogs (Bledi’s absolute favorite, which we haven’t had since the States!), canned corn, and mashed potatoes (from a box. Sorry, Mom). The hot dogs and corn are basically no-brainers. The interesting part with the hot dogs was buying them… I hope I bought beef and not chicken ones. I hope 20 minutes of staring at them and trying to read Italian with no prior experience in the supermarket pays off! As for the potatoes, there are some helpful step by step pictures on the box but unfortunately it looks like yahoo! Is going to have to translate the rest for me. Of course, my husband speaks fluent Italian but he’s not home to cook dinner, and since he forgot his lunch here today (which I so lovingly made) he’s gonna be hungry when he gets home!
Here’s to cooking in another language. Let’s hope it’s edible.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kids say the darn-dest things

You know how little kids say everything they feel? Sometimes its cute, like when you see those greeting cards with how kids think about love, or something like that. I found out today, though, that sometimes this is not always the case!

As you know, I teach first grade. Fun, the kids are cute... it's great. A lot... I mean A LOT of work, but still - it's great and so far I like it. Today, three girls were discussing playing "teacher". Let's call them Emma, Grace and Megan. Okay, and for the sake of this story, I'll tell you that Megan is a chubby little girl. Has to be told for the story to make sense.

Emma says: "Let's play teacher. One of us can be Ms. Nevila, one can be Ms. Elizabeth, and one can be Ms. Katherine. Grace you can be Ms. Katherine, okay?"

Grace: "No, I can't be Ms. Katherine because I'm not fat. Megan (the chubby one) has to be Ms. Katherine because Megan is fat."

Me: (thinking to myself) ouch.ouch.ouch.ouch

Megan: "Okay, good I will be Ms. Katherine because she's beautiful."

Moral of the story is kids are always truthful about everything (and blunt!). I took it with a laugh, because I'm pregnant now, and hey - what can you do? For the next 6 months, there won't be a pound coming off of me. It was a big issue with me when I found out I was pregnant. I love this baby and I wouldn't trade being pregnant for anything in the world, especially not to be skinny again. But, to my defense, I have been struggling a lot with my weight since before the wedding (mostly due to stress) and have been having such a hard time in my weight loss efforts. My self-image and confidence is already shaky at best because of this, and because of the fact that I wasn't able to lose any of that weight before my wedding. I had a hard time smiling for pictures at my wedding, even though I was the happiest girl in the world to be getting married. I just wasn't happy with my body that day.

So, it took a while for me to accept that I'm going to be gaining a lot of weight now, even if it is for the most precious reason in the world. I've come to terms with it now, and so that's why I was able to laugh it off today. They are just little kids and they don't think badly of me or mean me any harm anyway.

In Albanian culture, it's not considered rude or impolite to tell someone that they have gained weight. I had a real shocker with an Albanian girl at work one day. Let's just say that she saw a picture of me from a few years back, and her comment to me was, "Wow, Katherine! You used to be so beautiful! What happened to you? Wow, you gained a ton of weight". Yes, exact conversation, trust me - I remember. That one stung a lot. This was before I had really accepted my weight as not going anywhere but up for the next 9 months, and I was crushed. This was already something I thought about every single day, and now this girl was pointing it out to me that, yes, Katherine - it is true. You used to be so beautiful and look what happened to you.

Oh, well... Nothing to do but just laugh it off and do the best that I can.