October, my birthday month, was relatively mellow. While I definitely wanted to find a way to celebrate my 23rd, I knew my options were limited because of the pandemic. It also doesn’t help that my birthday falls on Halloween, when most people would rather be at their own events than a birthday party. Jose, my family, and a handful of friends came over the weekend before my birthday to celebrate instead. We watched the Cowboys game (they lost), and cooked a seafood boil out on our patio. It was a sweet “party” even if it wasn’t as crazy as it could have been! But in reality, because I was pregnant I knew I couldn’t really party anyway.
The weekend of my birthday was spent in the east Texas countryside on a family friend’s ranch. They loaned the space out to my mother for a night so we could celebrate my birthday as well as her boyfriend’s, which was just a few days after mine. The place was huge and super fun, equipped with three fishing ponds stocked with fishies and 4-wheelers. We had a fun night and enjoyed chili dogs, cake, and the nice scenery. After leaving east Texas, Jose and I headed straight over to our friends Tracy and Jerry. They were taking us out to a reserved event with 80s music and a costume contest. The event was limited capacity, and attendees were required to actually purchase a table months in advance. The four of us had our own table in the back, and everyone was masked up. It was still a super fun time, and Jerry and Tracy actually were finalists in the costume contest!
The fillers of the month were eating lots of food, trying my best to keep it down (the baby made my life very difficult for many months lol), and praying that Trump didn’t win another election in this country.
We nestled into November very comfortably after Biden won against Trump. I cannot even explain the amount of relief after the election finally was over (of course, before the recounts and whatnot.) While I don’t agree with everything Biden did in his administration with Obama, I do think he is a much better fit for our country than Donald Trump. I have some faith that our country will restore a sense of justice, and assistance for the poor and middle class folk will be considered. I can only hope that Biden takes this pandemic (and the need for vaccinations and science) much more seriously than 45.
Jose and I spent some of our free time Christmas shopping, although a good portion of that was completed online. Jose was still working an insane amount of hours at Amazing (mandatory overtime due to Black Friday and Christmas), so I was home alone pretty often, or at my mother’s house with my sister. Madi and I planned a great deal on what we would be making for Thanksgiving, and deciding the best route to proceed because we knew seeing too many people for the holiday would be dangerous. We ended up inviting Jose’s dad and siblings over for the event, because we see them frequently anyway. My cousin Bailey also stopped by. Our family had made a ton of food- different casseroles, pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and way too many pies. Not to mention, Jose’s family brought over tamales and a huge zacahuil. I had never had a zacahuil before, and it ended up being a yummy and unique contribution to the usual Thanksgiving fare.
When Jose finally caught a break from work, he desperately wanted to travel out to Arkansas to see some of his family. I was extremely reluctant because, well, I was pregnant and throwing up all the time! But because I knew it was important to him, I eventually agreed and begrudgingly tagged along with Jose and Claudia on the 5 hour drive to Fayetteville. Of course, I complained the entire way, and in my defense I vomited the entire time we were there… In general, though, the little overnight trip was fun. We spent time out in nature, and Claudia took belated wedding photos of Jose and I in a beautiful church hidden in the woods. We also stopped along a few different viewpoints in the mountains, which was a very pretty sight with all of the fall colors in the trees. It would be fun to go again at some point, but I told Jose that I would be flying…
December began with my father and sister staying over my house. I had not seen my father in months, so it was great to catch up. We made perogies and played card games. Jose was still working overtime and didn’t get to stay over that night, because he works the overnight shift. He was exhausted all the time, and most of the time I saw him was either when he left for work or was asleep 😦
The second week in December, Jose and I attended a “friends” Thanksgiving two hours out at a lake house. (We all were negative for Covid before coming to the event.) We exchanged secret Santa gifts, ate a big meal together, and played games. The weather was freezing outside, but we also got to enjoy the outdoor firepit. Being the only pregnant (and sober) one there, I babysat while everyone else drank too much. It was fun to watch, and at least I had brought some sparkling cider with me.
Our anatomy scan for the baby went well during December, too! My mom was allowed to come into the ultrasound with me and she recorded the process of the tech scanning my belly and looking at the baby from all angles. I was so amazed how big the baby already was! He has visible bones, and is super active too. All of his measurements are normal, if not a little on the big side. My favorite part was receiving our ultrasound photos, one of which definitely shows the kid flicking us off.
Lots of animal related things happened throughout the month, too- besides our three cats being assholes (loving assholes), we stopped by the shelter to see an old 11 year old chonker named Mike. We were not planning for any more animals, but I saw Mike online and thought he was absolutely precious. We made a trip to the shelter and visited with him for half an hour, only to later discover that he was not suitable to live with any other animals, or small children- a double whammy for us with a baby on the way! Claudia’s dogs also had puppies, which are literally the cutest little creatures on Earth. The mommy dog, Zoe, had three boys and all of them are already claimed to loving homes. Safe to say it was sooo hard to not steal one!
For Christmas, we had an even smaller event than Thanksgiving. Jose and his dad came over to my mothers for Christmas Eve, and we all ate dinner together. The plan was for his dad and sister to return on Christmas day, but Claudia actually got into a bad car wreck on her way over to the house. She had to be sent to the ER for stitches on her face, which was super scary. We are all glad she is safe and okay, and as of writing this post she is actually back at work now. But whew, what a wild holiday. New Years, on the other hand, was calm as could be. Jose and I stayed at my mother’s house again with my sister to ring in the new year. We did face masks, then literally went to bed.
I appreciate anyone who has read all four (or any) parts of the series! I hope everyone has a much more enjoyable new year with more blessings, and far less stress. Although 2020 had some great moments, I am glad to be ushered into 2021.