Surprise Pregnancy Reveal #3

Bemusings of a Baby Life

– Story takes place December 8, 2013 at 14 weeks pregnant.

I have only missed Hagberg Christmas once.  That was last year.  And after missing last year I vowed to never miss another one, even if Josh couldn’t make the trip with me (he had to miss again this year).  Yeah, that’s how awesome my family is!

We are a family steeped in beloved traditions and boisterous celebration.  Between the singing, all the uncles sporting booming voices, the large collection of cousins, the Christmas meal, and the Christmas presents it surely is an event unlike any other!  I have always loved getting together with this family.

We are loud. I remember forewarning Josh about the very loud, very big experience he was about to have as we walked into his first Hagberg Christmas.  I told him they are overly loving and rapidly hearty question askers.  He was not disappointed.

We love to sing. In fact, every year we sing carols together and are treated to a barber shop quartet performance of “Go Tell it on the Mountain” by the Hagberg brothers.

My dad is the handsome fella on the left.  And can you tell which uncle is a professional musician? 😉

We are many.  All of us 14 cousins (17 including Joshua and my cousin’s serious boyfriends) are around the same age, only a year or two apart between each of us with lots of overlap.  Add on our parents and you get the picture!

We eat heartily!  Every year we have a Christmas spread that could feed an army.  Our army.  The traditional meal center piece is Chicken Divan.  Since we are of Swedish heritage sometimes we also serve dishes like Swedish meatballs or lefse.  But, the one food item you can count on at a Hagberg Christmas extravaganza is Grandma’s famous rice pudding.  Every year she folds a raisin into the mix and it is tradition that whoever receives the raisin in their scoop will have good luck for the year.  At least we have the bragging rights to a lucky year anyway 😉

We love to give gifts.  Over the years this tradition has morphed.  In the younger years all the cousins drew names for a gift exchange while the adults participated in a White Elephant exchange.  When a cousin reached the age of 18 we graduated into the White Elephant tradition until all the cousins were a part of the adult circle.  A couple of years back we retired the White Elephant exchange completely and now we all give gifts to Grandma and Grandpa and they have a little something special they give out to all of us.  Every year we all get a handcrafted Christmas ornament made by Grandma and then some sort of collection of very randomly appealing items.  For example, a couple of years ago all the granddaughters received a care package from Japan (Grandma and Grandpa took a vacation there that year) including the world’s smallest tube of toothpaste (which if you take a look at my “Itty Bitty” Pinterest board you will rapidly understand why a gift like that was so appealing to me), terry cloth hotel shower slippers (I use these religiously in the summers, especially when we lived in a run-down, wood floor covered apartment that refused to get clean even with daily sweeping), and a little coin purse (mine was all the bright warm colors).

To keep up with our surprise baby announcement tactic I wrote Grandma and Grandpa a Christmas card with a Christmas poem announcing the summer arrival of their first great-grandchild.  And now, I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking 🙂  I have posted the words to the Christmas poem grandma is reading below the video.

A Christmas Poem

by Kaia Calhoun

We bring you warm wishes this bright Christmas season,
Bringing cheer like caroling and bear hugs for no reason.
Our hearts are always holding you close,
And are excited to give you a great-grandchild who will love you the most!

Surprise Pregnancy Reveal #2

Bemusings of a Baby Life

– Written December 13, 2013 at 14 weeks pregnant.

– Story takes place November 28, 2013 at 12 weeks pregnant.

Before you read this blog post I recommend you read Surprise Pregnancy Reveal #1.

My second surprise pregnancy bomb drop happened on Thanksgiving and this time I got to experience the element of surprise with Joshua.

We went about Thanksgiving as usual in the Calhoun house with the addition of my parents and my brother:  mingling, watching football, cooking, and playing games.  When the food was ready we all gathered in the kitchen to sing the blessing together.  Then we simply loaded our plates and sat down.  It is a tradition in the Calhoun clan to go around the table and say what we are thankful for.  We started with Gigi so we could end with Joshua.

The responses were all so emotional and many tears were shed.  When it was my turn I sounded dull, but what more can a girl do when the biggest things she’s thankful for are related to a pregnancy her husband is about to announce?  Anyway, my response was lame amidst all the emotional and heart wrenching thankfulness outpourings.  I don’t think anyone remembers my lack luster thanksgiving because right behind me Josh said something like, “this year I am so thankful for my wife and for the baby we are having in seven months.”  Everyone erupted out of their seats with screams and shouts of surprise and joy.  I have never been good at being the center of attention so I sat there stunned until their continued reaction broke through my strained tear ducts.  I laughed with tears in my eyes as I watched Alison desperately attempt to reach me on the other side of the table for a hug.  Finally, she simply crawled under the table.

No more words necessary though, you may now watch the video I did not know was being recorded 🙂

 

Surprise Pregnancy Reveal #1

Bemusings of a Baby Life

– Written December 13, 2013 at 14 weeks pregnant.

– Story takes place November 18, 2013 at 10 weeks pregnant.

One of my favorite things about being pregnant is getting to tell people I’m pregnant.  The reactions have been beyond my expectations.

I debated for a long time about how to tell each important person.  At first I thought I should be really creative because that’s what people expect of me.  I’m glad I chose the methodology I did.  I chose the element of surprise.

My first surprise pregnancy bomb drop was delivered to my mom the week before Thanksgiving.

So you know how you have that moment before you cry when you decide whether you are going to let it loose or hold it in?  Pregnant Kaia doesn’t have that filter anymore.  At my part-time job I was on my break when the dam let loose so that tears persistently and aggressively cascaded unceasingly down my face.  I paced back and forth in the break room hyperventilating until my nose needed a good blow.  When I entered the bathroom and saw my face I marveled at my creepy bloodshot eyes and the stream of tears running down my face – I have never seen tears shed to readily and rapidly.  About 15 minutes later I had enough of a grip on myself to get back to my work place and poised to explain my extra long break to my coworker.  I called Julie into the back room and, without warning, the crying started right where it left off, hyperventilation and all.  I choked/blurted out something like, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this way but I’m pregnant and I’m super happy about it, I know you can’t tell right now but I am, we are so excited, but for no apparent reason I started crying and am completely unable to stop.”  She kind of leapt into my arms in excitement then spent a few minutes talking me through maybe why I was crying – though apparently a pregnant woman doesn’t need much, if any, reason.  We decided I was stressed because I so desperately needed to share the news with someone.  My rule though was that my family, particularly my mom, had to be the first to know. So, Julie suggested I take some time to calm down and to call my mom and ask her to come visit.  She left me to my blubbering and after a good long while I got myself mildly under control and dialed my mom.  I with an obvious tremor in my voice I simply asked her to come help me.  She didn’t even bother to ask any questions, but said she was on her way.  A good mom?  Yes.  Also, I’m sure it’s a little concerning to hear your daughter, who never cries, be an obvious wreck over the phone.

She arrived 6 hours later.  I helped her in the door and blurted out, “So guess what?”

“What?”

“I’m pregnant.”

There was only freakish screaming.  She was the most complete look of surprise I have ever seen.  She screamed and jumped into the air with arms and legs flailing as if she were aggressively creating a snow angel.  Her eyes bulged beyond reason, threatening to pop right out of their sockets, her face was torn between deciding to cascade into tears or break into a face-breaking smile.  Her screams were so loud and utterly unhindered that my dogs started jumping on her and barking at her – I’m not sure if they were worried for her health or telling her to quiet down.  The moment she realized the ruckus she was making she halfheartedly covered her mouth, eyes even wider, and kept screaming into her hand.  After all that hubbub she realized a hug had not yet taken place so she jumped into my arms the right back out to keep screaming some more.  I can’t be sure, but I swear she screamed for a straight five minutes.

This moment, Mom, I will never forget.  Love you!