Christmas Eve, Florida style.

Well, we really are sorry about the snow that everyone else is getting. It was 75 degrees in Pensacola today and a tad too humid. To celebrate our first Christmas in Florida, husband and I went to our favorite restaurant on the beach before spending an afternoon looking at waves and standing in line at Walmart (note to self: never ever shop again on December 24). Then we came home and prepared our little Christmas Eve feast, which was full of goodies from our favorite international/import grocery store.

More photos to come tomorrow for the family…until then, happy Christmas Eve!

Lunch at Hemingway's on Pensacola Beach.

Expounding on his tasty mojito.

The view from our table.

Merry Christmas Eve!

The water on the ocean side was much more rough.

Pensacola Beach.

Our little Christmas Eve feast.

Sabina and the Christmas Mouse.

(Doesn’t that sound like the title of a children’s book?)

We have a mouse in our house. Her name is Nibbles, and we are taking care of her for some friends who are out of town. She is a very pleasant creature who sleeps all day, runs on her wheel all night, and electrifies the rather hum-drum life of our dog.

Hmm, what's this?

I am guessing that many centuries have passed since any of Bean’s ancestors had to hunt for their food, and as a result she is left with only the confused remnants of instinct when it comes to rodents. The scent of mouse fills her with adrenaline but she doesn’t really know what to do next. She has shown no inclination to eat Nibbles, but if the mouse moves at all the dog is instantly on alert.

It smells intriguing...

After a time, however, such close proximity makes her uncomfortable and she wanders off to watch from a safe distance.

...But I'm not really sure what to do with it.

Josh decided to try (gently) rolling the mouse’s ball toward Sabina, and each time the mouse moved she took three careful steps backward.

Not so close!

That’s our little huntress.

As you can tell, life in our little apartment is pleasantly full right now, what with the adults, the ever-growing babe, the dog, and the Christmas mouse. This didn’t stop me from petitioning very hard for a kitten (does being pregnant make you want babies of other species as well?), but husband pointed out that the timing wasn’t great and I really wouldn’t want to smell litterbox every day. Wise man. Didn’t stop me from envisioning the perfect little mewling grey tabby, but I guess I can be patient.

Our Christmas shopping is done, our packages are shipped, and our tree is looking fuller every day, so we are planning to sit back, relax, and hope for the snow that we almost certainly won’t get. I don’t suppose that any of you folks in the Northwest would like to share?

Incubating.

(This post is thanks to Emily’s kind inquiry to see if everything is all right. Mama and bebe are still here, just very lazy. Explanation follows.)

It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it turns out that growing a baby saps your energy and leaves you disinclined to do almost any other form of work. This includes everything from sewing, vacuuming, scrubbing, doing laundry, and walking the dog to blogging. To add incentive  to the desire to sit around and read books/watch documentaries vs. engage in practical endeavors, almost everything housework-related involves some kind of unpleasant smell. And when you still throw up most days, unpleasant smells are to be avoided at all costs.

Of course, one kind of work must continue to be done: I have continued to teach even on the worst of days, although I have to say that my enthusiasm waxes and wanes. One class in particular delights in producing chaos at every opportunity and tends to fry my patience for the rest of the day. I have repeatedly warned the next class that they need to be extra quiet since all of my goodwill for the day has already been used up by grade X, but I don’t think they take me seriously. They should.

I recently went blog-surfing for the first time in weeks and it produced a feeble wave of inspiration to do some stuff around the home. I used to obsessively look at LOTS of blogs every day, so it was strange to find so much new reading material. Kind of nice. The decision to stop blog-reading was a pretty big one and came before pregnancy, actually. Prior to moving to Pensacola, I had a huge crush on all things interior design and spent weeks planning the furniture, layout, etc. of our new apartment. And then we moved here and found that we had less time, less patience, and (of course) less money than needed to create the thrifted, somewhat Scandinavian, mostly mid-century abode of my dreams. Since we were moving to The Land of Retired People, I had assumed that the thrift stores would be chock full of treasures that were just waiting to be reclaimed at fabulous prices (a Paul McCobb dining set for $75!). Wrong. Almost all the furniture in stores was dreadful and anything good on Craigslist was 60 minutes away and required a truck to move it. So after a few weeks of sitting on the floor, we got fed up and purchased a brand new, perfectly decent and very comfortable brown sofa with absolutely no design pedigree to speak of.

This was the first blow.

For most of the rest of our furniture, we borrowed a truck and drove to the nearest Ikea (6 hours away in Atlanta), which was perfectly fine with me. I heart Ikea. But the trip ended up taking longer and being considerably more stressful than anticipated, and in the end we settled on a few things that I regretted after I assembled everything and set up the living room. I don’t dislike the pieces themselves, but some of the colors just don’t work the way I wanted them to. So after weeks of planning and dreaming about my perfect new apartment, I felt like a big fat design failure. Every time I looked at another blog and compared the photos to my own home (and empty pocketbook), I felt discontent.

In the end, I decided that the best way to happiness was to just stop looking.  [I am really sorry if I used to read your blog and leave comments: I haven’t read anyone’s blog for weeks, so please don’t feel personally offended.] To add motivation to this new resolution, our Mac crashed big-time and I was left with very limited internet access. Along with the Mac, I lost my beloved Adobe Creative Suite and any chance of satisfactorily editing my photos. This, combined with the fact that our apartment gets almost no natural light, means that I just didn’t have many photos to blog about. I have to say that I am REALLY looking forward to moving someplace with better light in the future. Our current abode is of the ever-popular “shoebox” style, in which the apartment runs through the middle of the building and has a deep dark interior with precious little light on either end. The bedroom has a tiny window under our upstairs neighbor’s porch and the living room had a decent window with blinds that are usually closed unless you want to feel like everyone is checking out your furniture (hey, I do it when anyone else leaves their blinds open). So it’s grey inside at best, and my little Canon is just not up to the challenge.

BUT, I am saving up for a new camera and I think that I am getting a little bit of energy back. I put up a few Christmas-y things this weekend and we bought a $16 tree at Walmart yesterday, so little signs of holiday cheer now meet our eyes. And I have been wrapping presents like a fiend, which I always find very satisfying. I had two “good days” last week, which is a new record, so it might be that things will improve now that I have reached the end of my first trimester. If this is the case, I really do mean to start blogging again. I miss all the people I have and haven’t met who stop by here, and I’ll try to have something pretty for you to look at next time. It probaby won’t be handmade, but husband assures me that that’s okay since my biggest project is still incubating.