Well, technically they're Gotholds but family is family.
It really is a blessing to have family out here on the west coast. Getting established here is taking time. Finding/making community, establishing healthy boundaries around the edges of work so that it doesn't become the only thing I do, using my time outside of work for doing things I enjoy rather than sleeping to rest up for going back to work. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my job and am thankful for the challenges it presents. I am positive about the opportunity for growth it provides for me, not to mention the service it provides for others. The thing about it right now is just that it provides not only the opportunity but the necessity for growth, rapid growth, in many areas at the same time. Often times it's overwhelming, and I feel the lack of the solid support network I left in Baltimore so the little time I am able to hang out with my family here is precious as, well you know, precious stuff. Like gold and silver and little babies that try to climb into the pool backwards.
Yesterday the Christopher Gothold family, soon to be triple the size it was last year, joined family and friends at a baby shower thrown in their honor. They received munchkins, booty/ies, a transformer/carseat, a family heirloom disguised as a crib, and many other infantile gifts. We ate some great lasagna, hypothesized about possible names(Tim suggested Thaddeus, pointing out that there seems to be a serious shortage of Thaddei in the U.S. these days), and had a couple contests. One was a baby trivia quiz. Did you know that babies are born without kneecaps? Neither did I. They are also born with extra bones, 300 in toto, that fuse together later. The other quiz was a survey of baby animal names. I am proud to say that I came out the winner. Knowing what a cygnet was paid off, in a Target gift card. Who knew? I thought that would only come in handy if I ever make it onto Jeopardy. Incindentally, does anyone know what a baby alligator is called? Without looking it up on the internet? That turned out to be the stumper.
After all the gifts were opened and packed up, and the house was returned to normal, we trekked off to Chris' mother's house to eat Gothold burritos, drink tea, and distract Chris from his studies long enough to play a rousing game of Scrabble. Kirsten, Bert(baby Gothold), and I got some quality car time on the drive out. Kirst and I did all the talking, but Bert's a really good listener.
All in all, it was a great day. A wonderful break and respite from everyday life. Since my nephew-to-be had grown significantly in his watery home since I last saw his bulge at Thanksgiving, I was hoping to feel signs of life. Alas, he was rather docile, only kicking once, though I did feel a little knee. I guess he was as calm as I was, knowing he was surrounded by friends and family who will love and accept him, even if he doesn't have any kneecaps.