Friday, June 30, 2006

It's picture time!

Busy coloring at Grandma's house.

Riding in Grandma's mini-van.

Pretending to be an orangutan at the zoo.

Playing at the park.

Taking a ride with Grandma (note, they weren't actually mowing, just riding!).

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Judgement

This morning I was having a conversation with my mom about some of the things I am admittedly judgemental about towards the parenting practices by other parents I know. I'm not even talking about the big things I'm pretty passionate about, like breastfeeding or not letting your little one cry it out, but more mundane, everyday sorts of things. I would be happy to name them, but being that they really are nit-picky and not a big deal and that I don't want to offend anyone (especially anyone in real life that I know who reads this!) I don't really need to go there.

Now, in my defense, I always try to acknowledge that I KNOW I'm being judgemental. I have never insinuated that someone else is doing a terrible parenting job while I've got the whole thing figured out, but you know, I'm human, and every once in a while I go off on something that bothers me.

It was really funny because I started to realize that there are definitely many things I do as a parent that other people would absolutely be against and have strong judgements against. Like extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping. I was debating with my mom over what people would generally be more strongly against-- the BFing or the co-sleeping. She voted for the BFing, I for the co-sleeping. My arguement is that it is easier to "prove" the benefits of long term Bfing over the benefits of co-sleeping. Who knows. In alot of people's minds, I'm probably going to hell for doing both. I also find it interesting that many people wouldn't bat an eyelash at seeing a toddler walking around with a bottle, or a pacifier, but a breastfeeding toddler?!?! Holy geezus, that's about as terrible as you can get! If you can imagine the conversation a mama of a pacifier-loving toddler would have, explaining that it's just too hard, their child is too attached to the "binkie". Everyone nods, smiles, ah yes, they understand. Now, a mama who nurses a toddler? "Can't you get that kid off the boob?!?!" Yep, here comes the astonishment. Like the mama must be doing something wrong to have a child who is still "on the boob" (I hate that expression, by the way). Never mind that the child and mama are benefiting physically and emotionally. Never mind that the child might actually need to still be nursing.

Obviously there are so many parenting standards in our society as a whole that aren't the most healthy for the child (or sometimes, the parent). You can back up your choices with facts, concrete evidence, anecdotal evidence, or just because you're parenting how you feel is right, but if you're doing the right thing for your child, and it's not the popular choice, well my goodness, be careful.

So, my judgements come out. I am not sure that they are in response to being judged or not, but it certainly doesn't help me keep my claws in.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A couple firsts for Iris

So today, while on vacation, I took Iris to the doctor. She has had cold symptoms for three weeks now, and that is SO not normal-- not for any kid, but certainly not for a child who is amazingly so healthy. I am so lucky I found a pediatrician to take her to 2,000 miles from home. It turns out, she has her first (and hopefully last!) ear infection. It's very mild-- or at least, it's not causing her any pain, so the doc gave me the option of giving her antibiotics. I have a prescription if I want to fill it. I'm erring on the side of not, because lord knows no child needs to be given antibiotics all willy-nilly, but being the worry wart that I am, I looked it up on the internet. Sure enough, the vast majority of ear infections clear on their own without antibiotics. We'll be waiting this one out, barring any worsening of her symptoms. I just hate that's she's still coughing and still has a boogery nose.

Iris's other first, much more exciting that the ear infection, is that she has learned how to have a conversation on the phone! She has always enjoyed pretending to talk on my cell phone, but would just sit there if you held the phone out with someone on the other end. She talked to her grandpa briefly on Saturday and has since carried on a couple good sized conversations with her dada. Of course, Matt loves it because he can interact with her while he's away from her for so long.

Last night we finally-- finally!-- got to the pool. Hmmmm, guess that would be a third first! Iris just loved it, even though her teeth chattered the whole time. Yes, it wasn't warm, but damn it, we enjoyed it. I will post pics of that later (and maybe, just maybe you'll catch a glimpse of my giant pregnant belly in one of them!) and hopefully get up some more vacation photos. I'll deal with it later when I'm not so exhausted.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Trip highlights

Somehow, amazingly, I brought Seattle weather to WI and back in the pacific northwest they are going through the heat wave that I was anticipating here! It's been rainy and barely 70 degrees every day I've been here. Having planned on spending every day either pool side or out in the yard, it's put quite the damper on our festivities.

So, the highlights so far? Well, let's see. I call the local custard place every day to inquire as what the flavor of the day is (or the F.O.D. as I have grown fond of calling it). I'm a picky custard eater, so today's chocolate chip cookie dough was the first time I was able to partake in the F.O.D. Hmmm, what else. I bought two pieces of make up yesterday-- and got a free mascara! I haven't worn much make up, well, ever, but now that I'm a gigantic pregnant woman with clear skin (finally!) I can partake in a little make up wearing. I got all dolled up today for our exciting day of lying on the couch, going to the playground and eating custard.

Tomorrow I am excited to make a frozen key lime pie in anticipation of my relatives making a drive to visit us on Wednesday. We will also be going to an indoor water park tomorrow night, because damn it!, this weather won't stop us from swimming!

I have been feeling a little bit better, with the belly pains, but every morning my nausea/morning sickness comes back pretty strongly. It sucks. I can't figure out what is going on, because this wasn't happening back home. I think lying around to make it go away is actually making the problem worse, but I don't really have much else to do here! Sigh. I have been doing a half-assed attempt at practicing my hypnosis tape, as well. Mostly because I feel so blah and I'm just not getting in to it. I also don't have a good time/place to do it. I tried to do it last night and just ended up kind of dozing off half way through it. I need to carve out time during the day. I'm going to be the worst hypnobirther ever!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Okay, now I'm just bored

I got this questionnaire from Matt's sister via email. I love filling them out, but I feel like such a boob emailing it out to people I know, so I thought I would answer it here! If anyone likes it and wants to answer the questions, too, let me know where I can read it!

1. FIRST NAME? Sybil

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not someone my mother knew personally.

4. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? The day Iris almost fell out of our window.

5. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes.

6. WHAT IS YOU FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Turkey.

7. KIDS? Yes, one and a half :)

8. WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Absolutely. I think I'm a pretty darn good friend. I have my better and worse days, but overall I work hard at my friendships.

9. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? You're reading it!

10. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Hmmmm, no, not really. I think the only people who get my sarcasm are Matt and my friend Melissa. I often fall flat when I try to be too sarcastic.

11. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS Yes.

12. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? I would have before I had kids.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I don't think they make them anymore, but I used to LOVE rice krispie treats cereal.

14. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I rarely wear shoes that tie, but no, I don't.

15. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Strong? Depends on the context. No, wait, fuck that. Not only have I given birth, but I made a conscious decision to do it again. I'm freakin' super woman!

16. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Mint ice cream with oreos in it.

17. SHOE SIZE? 11

18. RED OR PINK? I have a daughter! I love pink!

19. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Hmmmmm, my impatience, I think. I am VERY impatient.

20. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? In general I would say I miss my mom the most. Although I don't at this very moment because I'm at her house visiting!

21. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Sure, why not!

22. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? I'm wearing gray maternity shorts and no shoes.

23. LAST THING YOU ATE? A piece of yummy crusty bread with cheese and roast beef on it.

24. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Iris is sleeping and through the baby monitor the only thing I am listening to is the sound of her breathing

25. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Flamingo pink!

26. FAVORITE SMELL? My daughter's hair.

27. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Matt.

28. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? That they aren't stand-offish.

29. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes, in a "sister-in-law" sort of way.

30. FAVORITE DRINK? Right now I am loving Hansens's mandarin lime soda.

31. FAVORITE SPORT? I don't do sports, but my favorite to watch is basketball.

32. HAIR COLOR? Brown.

33. EYE COLOR? Brown.

34. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I wish I could. I have astigmatism and contacts feel horrible in my eyes!

35. FAVORITE FOOD? I usually say enchiladas, but I've eaten so much Mexican this pregnancy that I'm sort of sick of it!

36. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? Both are pretty good.

38. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? One teal and one purple tank top.

40. HUGS OR KISSES? If you're talking about the chocolate, I prefer the hugs because they are white chocolate ;)

42. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? No one.

43. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Everyone!

44. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Books?!?!? Bwa ha ha ha! Oh wait, I guess at home I am reading an assortment of pregnancy and birth books. Does that count?

45. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Looks like my parents have a cheapo one from Dell.

46. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? A great movie! My mom and I watched "The Family Stone" it was much better than I thought it would be.

47. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My daughter singing or just talking in general. Her laugh. Her breath.

48. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? I hate hate HATE the Stones. I would say Beatles.

49. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? When I visited Seattle while my home was in WI.

50. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? No, actually, not at all.

51. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? In WI in 1977.

Let's Jazzercise!

Geez! I don't know what's going on in my uterus, but it's killing me! For some reason, ever since we got to WI the babe has been doing some serious work-out routines. To the point where I have to breathe deeply and the tumbles and jabs are stopping me in my tracks. To make matters worse, I think I'm having braxton hicks or something, because my uterus just isn't as happy as it used to be. If I'm still so uncomfortable tomorrow I might be placing a call to my midwives just to be reassured everything is okay. I've been relaxing more than I have in a long time and hardly do anything physical (compared with how life was at home), so I'm not sure why I'm so uncomfortable. My great terror moment came when I thought about having my baby born prematurely while I'm in WI and having to stay here in the hospital for weeks and weeks. Okay, erasing that thought from my brain. I just don't remember things being so, well, painful with the last pregnancy, although I'm sure my uterine and stomach muscles aren't as strong as they once were.

This afternoon I sat down with my hypnosis tape for the first time. I felt kind of silly. I just kept thinking "hmmm, I better start to go deeper and deeper or I'm totally screwed!" No better way to relax in to hypnosis than to freak yourself out, huh? I am sure it will get easier. I have to practice one to two times a day until my next appointment. Not sure what frequency the assignments will be after that.

Besides my uterus feeling like crap, the trip is still going reasonably well. My mom bought Iris a plastic wading pool yesterday and while we were eating dinner outside all Iris wanted to do was jump in to it, so I stripped her down and she shivered through almost an hour of swimming before we pulled her out. Today we relaxed all morning-- even Iris! She spent almost half an hour with me snuggled up on the couch watching her Laurie Berkner video. This kind of behavior is almost unheard of. She's much more a go, go, go kind of girl. She's also been super clingy. Not even wanting me to walk out of her sight for a moment. I am sure as she gets more used to being here it will get easier. It's just a bit hard for me because my mom really wants to be able to spend time with her, but Iris wants to stay glued to my leg.

Today we ventured to the zoo in Madison. It was depressing and neat at the same time. It's a very small zoo, with very small exhibits. Such small exhibits made me feel sad for the animals, but at the same time, we were able to get alot closer to them than you can at the Seattle zoo. Tomorrow we hope to get to the beach, which we've been talking about for a few days. If not, there's many more days of the vacation left!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Travelling as an attached parent

Iris and I spent most of the day yesterday travelling to WI. She was an absolute dream about all of it. Even better than I had hoped she would be. We didn't actually get back to my parents house until 12:30 in the morning (local time-- which was 10:30 on our time) so over ten hours total of travel, the vast majority of them spent strapped in to a car seat, she was seriously a trooper. Today, as expected, we relaxed the entire day. After having so many days of being crazy busy it felt a little wierd to just be hanging out. I am sure than after a few days I will easily fall in to the routine of eating and relaxing :)

Over the past few trips I have made with Iris it is starting to become clearer to me how much harder it is to travel as an attached parent, with an attached child. The biggest thing I am finding to be the challenge is sleeping arrangements. We have made several trips to see Matt's parents through Iris's life and this is the third time she's been to WI. All of the grandparents are sweet enough to set up a pack-n-play for Iris to sleep-- but there's one catch. One BIG catch. Iris doesn't sleep in pack-n-plays. She sleeps in bed. With me. The scenario usually plays out as follows: I lay her in the pack-n-play much to her serious protests. I don't feel safe putting her in the bed without me there because they are always high off the ground with no protection from rolling off. So, she screams "that one!" and points to the bed, to which I try to explain that she can only sleep in that bed with mama. She doesn't buy it. She falls asleep after much anguish only to promptly awaken about half an hour later, and will continue that pattern until she gets to sleep in the regular bed. This isn't such a problem when I actually can eventually take her in to bed with me (although my parent's full sized bed is mighty small for a pregnant mama and a two year old!) but sometimes I can't. Like the hellish several nights we spent at my sister's house last holiday season. Iris was in the pack-n-play and I was on the couch next to her. No bed. When Iris woke up, which she did about a million times because not only was she in a bed she hated but because she was also totally stuffed up since my sister's home is a germ factory, I dragged her on to the couch. With me. Two of us. On a couch. I am sure it threw safe co-sleeping rules straight out the window, but it certainly wasn't very comfortable and led to many lost hours of sleep. My sister wants us to come and visit her for a week while we are in WI on this trip. I want to see her, of course, but I can't handle another sleeping situation like that, especially while I'm pregnant.

I just don't really know what to do about it. Recently Matt's parents gave their guest bed, which was queen sized and perfect, to Matt. They are replacing it with a twin sized bed. Not the best for co-sleeping with Iris and impossible for me to so-sleep with two children. All of the places we visit are now almost nightmarish to sleep at. I don't want to make it my hosts problem-- what are they going to do, buy new beds? But I also don't know how to solve it. Do I lug a giant inflatable queen sized mattress everywhere I go so my children and I can sleep as we are accustomed? Hmmmm, not such a bad idea! I want to be a gracious house guest, but I'm not going to force my daughter to scream her head off every time she has to go to sleep in a pack-n-play, and then proceed to awaken with her every hour while she freaks out about where she is. I just want her in bed with me. I suppose sleeping on the floor is a possibility, but being as pregnant as I am and/or sleeping on a hardwood floor-- not so appealing.

Ugh. I just wish it was easier.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

My first hypnosis for birth appointment

I have been really excited to do hypnosis with the birth of this baby for a LONG time. I think I started looking in to it before I even conceived. Tonight was my first appointment with the woman I'll be working with. She doesn't do strictly "hypnobirthing" because apparently that's a trademarked course, rather she has gathered years and years of experience as a hypnotherapist, doula, childbirth educator and midwifery student and rolled it in to her own thing she calls "hypnosis for birth".

Tonight we just started by talking about my first birth experience, what hypnosis in childbirth looks like and how it can help. We did one simple little exercise that she used to demonstrate how you can get your mind to go somewhere else and she sent me home with a tape to practice with (every day!) until I see her again.

To be honest, even though I was super excited about the testimonials I had read about hypnosis in childbirth, I was a bit nervous about how that would actually work for me. I wasn't sure it wouldn't be to "out there" for my sensibilities. Luckily, it isn't. She described the state of relaxation akin to the relaxing we do at the end of each yoga session, just on a deeper level and something I can relax in to on cue. Even if I find I'm not that great at getting in to full hypnosis mode, I'll still greatly benefit from understanding the importance of relaxation-- an important point I missed during my last birth experience.

So over the next few weeks at my parents house (Iris and I leave in the morning!) I'll be taking some time to work on my hypnosis tape and hopefully get in a few yoga moves so I can keep on top of my practice.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

My goodness, the weekend is over!

I can't believe the craziness of the weekend is behind us. Yesterday we went down to the Solstice Parade in Fremont. We rode the bus, which Iris was looking forward to for quite a few days. The parade was fun, the biggest thing this particular parade is known for is the naked bicyclists. And, um, yeah, they really are naked. Some are naked except for a g-string, some are naked except for strategic body paint, and some are straight up naked without a single thing to cover them. Oh, and they ride bikes. I can't think of many things I would like less than biking naked, but whatever. As soon as I can get the photos on my computer I'll be sure to post them (oh, not of the bicyclists, just of the parade!).

We got home WAY past Iris's nap time but luckily she went down easily and took a normal nap. I attempted to make some cupcakes for her birthday, but they turned out pretty miserably so I decided to throw them out and re-make something else. Matt's parents took us out to dinner at a really Mexican restaurant none of us had never been to. It was a super lovely dinner. I tried again to do some baking after Iris went to bed. This time I made the same carrot cake I made for her birthday last year. All went reasonably well until I was mixing everything together and realized the only part of the recipe I hadn't doubled was the butter. Grrr! I tried to cream the butter in after everything was mixed, and to my surprise it actually worked out decently.

This morning I had another cake fiasco. I attempted to make the same cream cheese frosting I had made for the cake last year. The point of the recipe is to beat on high with a hand mixer until it's light and fluffy like whipped cream. I beat the shit out of it for about 15 minutes and it was still runny goo. I was so mad. I decided to just throw in a bunch more powdered sugar and a little more butter and turn it in to reasonably normal frosting. It still wasn't quite right, but it did the trick. Matt's family and a few friends came over for present opening and cake, which was alot of fun. Again, pictures to follow as soon I get them on my computer.

That was pretty much the bulk of the birthday festivities/Father's day. We were supposed to go to a kid's dance party put on by a local radio station, but Iris went down for her nap pretty late and still spent most of it awake and coughing. I'm starting to get really, really pissed that our colds are STILL hanging on-- it's been a week and a half! In the past few days she hasn't been coughing hardly at all, but today she was a bunch. I got her some cough suppressant which doesn't seem to be helping that much. Hopefully she can sleep tonight. She was pretty upset about going to bed, she just wanted to stay up and play with her cool new toys.

Now I just have to spend the next couple of days focusing on getting ready for our trip! Yikes. So much still to do.

Oh, and my new camera is really amazing. I just love it. It's one of the few things I've spent that much money on that I didn't immediately have buyer's remorse about. Now the only problem is I can't get the software loaded on to my computer. I keep getting some wierd error message from the program I'm installing. I'll have to call the company in the morning to try and figure it out. I have such a rotten laptop, I really want a new one VERY badly. I keep joking with Matt that I'm going to drop this thing in the water, as well!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Adventures in nursing a two year old

I knew that when my daughter was born that I was 100% committed to breastfeeding her. I feel lucky that the two of us encountered few hurdles along the way to the goal of exclusively nursing. She hasn't had a sip of formula in her life. I'm pretty proud of that. The latest thing I'm extremely proud of us is that we are still nursing strong at two years old, despite the slight set-back of my pregnancy throwing my milk supply for a loop. Luckily, Iris LOVES to "nursey booby" so there is no end in sight of this incredible bond we share. I just realized this morning that my colostrum has come in and strongly suspect that is the reason Iris has been demanding to nurse several times a day. She would also nurse for an hour, if I let her, but unfortunately the extreme sensitivity I've been feeling lately makes it pretty tough for me to nurse for longer than about ten minutes. Most of the time she throws a huge fit when I un-latch her. It makes me really sad :(

This milestone makes me think alot about the future. About nursing my two children at the same time, Iris eventually weaning, nursing only my second daughter and then having her eventually wean. Part of me thinks, whew!, what a long nursing trip I have ahead of me, and part of me feels sad just thinking about the end of it. The only thing I'm truly looking forward to is buying some nice bras that don't flip open in the front.

I've become quite surprised at my, um, exuberance, about breastfeeding. Before my daughter was born I couldn't have cared less what other people choose to do and all I knew was that breastmilk was cheaper and healthier than formula, so I was sold. Now that I have learned so much about breastfeeding and experienced the intense joy and satisfaction of feeding my daughter this way, I'm much more passionate about the topic.

I am also very fortunate to live in a community of people who support the decisions I have made about breastfeeding. My mother breastfed me, all of my nieces and nephews were breastfed, I actually know very few children who were never breastfed. Everyone around me supports (okay, at least they don't openly NOT support) breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding. I've nursed in public numerous times, without so much as a stray glance in my direction. I pumped every day I worked in a special room with a supplied pump, set up by the company I worked for. The city I live in has an amazing amount of resources available for breastfeeding mamas, as well. Again, I feel lucky, as I know this is a sort of breastfeeding utopia that many, many women don't have in their own communities. I just think, this is how it SHOULD be. EVERY woman should live in such a community as mine. Who knows, if every woman did, then maybe every baby would be breastfed. What an amazing thing to imagine.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pretty sure I'm going to explode

So, this weekend is Iris's second birthday and on Wednesday she and I leave to go to WI for three weeks. Needless to say, I have more than a bit to get ready. I made myself a list last night of every single thing I HAVE to get done each day (right down to "open presents" on Iris's birthday) and I'm already having a breakdown!

I've also made a point to fit in fun things, so Iris (and I) don't spend most of the days freaking out because we haven't played at all. This morning we went to the park-- the same park I wrote about in my last post, actually. It was really fun and I brought my camera along so I could get some pictures. Well, as is my luck, Iris and I were standing right on the edge of the water and I bent down to roll up her pants. Just as I was doing this, my camera fell out of my bag straight in to the water. I looked at it and thought it would be just fine. Of course, no, it's not, it's completely shot. I started panicking. We have a birthday this weekend! A trip next week! How can I not document this all?!?! I came home and told Matt what happened and he okayed me getting a new camera. So I quickly researched and almost immediately ordered this camera. It should be here tomorrow! Yay! I have now dropped two very expensive pieces of electronics in the water and had them replaced with even nicer versions. Hmmmm, I am now wondering what else I can ruin? Hee hee.

I also discovered today that our monthly budget is almost 100% gone. Okay, it's like 95% gone. It's only the 15th, if you're keeping track. I think between Iris's birthday and our trip coming up, the budget is completely shot. Plus, our budget has drastically cut down on the amount of money we used to spend on things (like groceries), which has been hard for me to shop around. Next month, however, is a new month, and I'll start over again diligently budgeting every cent. I have some new ideas for keeping on top of the expenses. These ideas include acquiring a new day planner so that I can keep track of things like coupons, receipts, and the cash I need to buy things. I think I am going to go the "cash only" route for a few months to see if that works. Handing over a plastic card to make purchases is just far too easy, and damn if it isn't hard to remember to write all the purchases down when I get home.

We did sort of good buying things for Iris for her birthday. On one hand, the bulk of her presents are a shit load of nice board books from Goodwill, as well as a big box of wooden blocks from Goodwill (about $16 total) but we also bought her a Kettler trike several weeks ago and then just yesterday I absolutely couldn't NOT buy her these shoes. I mean, my goodness, you can't walk a block in Seattle without seeing someone in Keen shoes (and for the record, I owned a pair WAY before they were popular!). That set us back, um, well, let's say more than I've ever spent on a pair of shoes for her, ever. They are actually really practical, they are comfortable and can also be worn in the water, even though there is leather on them.

I'll be sure to write more about her birthday after the fact, and also include some pictures from my fantastic new camera!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Afternoon at the park

Today I brought Iris to a park we had never been to before. I didn't realize before we go there, but it is right on Puget Sound, so needless to say, it was a gorgeous park. The play structure was a bit paltry, but being that it was surrounded by woods and water, that wasn't such a big deal. The only thing I really disliked was that there was a high caged stairway that went between the park and the beach/water because there are train tracks seperating the two and the stairway had to go over the top of it. Iris and I were both a bit scared to walk over it, actually! Anyways, the beach was amazing. It was so cool to watch Iris wander around and pick up rocks and throw a few in the water. It sounds so simple, and it was, but it was still pretty cool.

After our jaunt on the beach, we went back up to the playground and Iris worked on getting rid of the fear of the swings that I so horribly implanted in her. You see, Iris used to LOVE swings. We would go to the park and I would not be able to get her off the swing for what seemed like hours. She got really good at swinging on "big girl" swings and preferred them to the baby swings. That is, until the day that I set her on the swing and gave her a push and she promptly flipped right off and started screaming. Ever since that day, she's hated the swings. So today, she asked to swing in the baby swings. The first two times I put her in she asked to get right back down, but the third time, she was enjoying herself for a while, and that was nice to see. An older girl coaxed Iris on to this big teeter-totter thing with springs in it. She was standing on it, in the middle, and Iris sat on the end. This older girl was super sweet with Iris, singing for her and talking to her alot. Most older kids don't really care to interact with toddlers, so far as I have experienced. Who knows, maybe she had younger siblings or something. I couldn't help but notice that this girl, who was no more than 10, had the coolest haircut I've seen in a long time. And not a "wow, that's cute on a 10 year old" way, but in a way that I seriously contemplated asking her for the name of her stylist. She had really cool hair.

It always amazes me when I find something new to do in Seattle. I've lived here almost 5 years and there is actually very little of the city that I have explored. Having Iris to help see new things is so much fun. Not only do I get to experience new things, but I get to experience alot of them through her big, curious eyes. They are infinitely more interesting to look through than my tired, cranky, bitter eyes.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Oh, the things I learn

Last week I aquired a big tub full of old issues of Parenting and Parents magazine. I am in serious heavan, as I LOVE reading magazines. I used to subscribe to a bunch, but now don't really have the money to. Sigh.

So, I'm learning all sorts of interesting things from these magazines. Like how to ease tantrums, put the romance back in my marraige and that (suprise!) most sicknesses can be avoided by stringent hand washing. The most suprising thing, by far, that I have learned is that in a poll, more parents would rather sleep with their pets than their own children. I know that I live in a bubble of parents who actually welcome their children in to their bed, but this was a saddening statistic to read. Okay, so Parents isn't the end-all, be-all of information, but still. It made me sad.

I have also discovered something good over the past few nights-- and that is, Iris is a more sound sleeper than I thought she was! I've been up trying to hack up a lung for several nights straight and Miss Iris sleeps right through it. Through the hacking and nose blowing and getting up to pee and get water. She snoozes away. I have been worried about how co-sleeping will work with Iris and the new babe, but now wonder if maybe it will be easier than I thought. I just don't want to interupt Iris's sleep more than needed.

Oh, and on one other note, I've become less convinced Eloise is the best name for our new baby. One of my big naming issues is wanting to choose a name that is very unpopular (i.e. if it's in the top 1000 names for the last decade, it's not for us!) So, Eloise fits the bill, but unfortunately the totally adorable nickname, Ellie, doesn't. It's been in the top 200 the last few years. Ella, another name obviously very similar, was number 22 last year! Ugh! Yes, I'm obviously a huge freak, but these are the things that keep me awake at night. I had no idea both of these variations were so popular until I started reading this huge stack of magazines. It seems like every third article someone has a daughter named Ella or Ellie. Can I name my daughter Eloise and keep it at that? Will everyone just try to shorten it anyways? Oh, the dilemma! Beatrice is starting to sound better and better to me, now.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

My newest obsession

Is it just me, or is Dan Zanes (from Dan Zanes House Party on Playhouse Disney) totally foxy? I wish I had a photo of him to show everyone, but if you don't know, take my word for it. He's dreamy. He has crazy hair and sings songs for kids. Yummy.

Okay, here's a photo I got off of his website. He looks totally scrawny and like I could crush him just by sitting too close, but none-the-less, he's dreamy!

I have won the swimsuit challenge!

Despite waking up this morning the sickest of these past few days, it's been a pretty good day. Melissa and her son were so kind as to accompany me shopping, so I FINALLY got a swimsuit and also a few other maternity things I can wear when it's about 160 degrees in WI. My swimsuit secret is this: I got the bottoms at Old Navy. They are "boy shorts" and have a slight belly panel so they don't sit super low. Because their swimsuit tops don't fit my gigantic boobies I went to Target and bought a plus sized tankini top that almost covers my tummy, but thanks to the awesome boy shorts with the panel, voila!, problem solved. I am now somewhat happy, even though I've paid almost $40 for a swimsuit I will most likely only wear while I am on vacation. Oh, well.

For anyone who cares, no, I will not be posting pictures of my very pregnant self in this get-up. If you want to see it in action you'll have to catch me at the waterpark :)

Friday, June 09, 2006

I need to vent!

Ever have one of those days where it seems that everything sucks? I had one of those today. I didn't even realize it until just now and I'm like man, today sucked. I'm so worn out :(

I was hoping to get to see Melissa and her son today, but it turns out Melissa had to work. I always really look forward to spending time with them because Iris and her son have so much fun together and I get a bit of a break connecting with a good friend. She is also less of a germophobe than me and wouldn't have had a problem letting her son play with my sickly child! So, we decide to get out of the house and swing by the library before heading to Trader Joe's to go grocery shopping. Our library annoys me because there is no drive-thru to return your books. There are like three street spots out front, otherwise you have to drive in to the garage and go upstairs to return your stuff. Of course, there was no where to pull over for the book drop and the garage was closed, so I couldn't return the DVD's that were already well overdue. Okay, off to Trader Joe's. I have a serious love/hate relationship with that store. I shop there because there are so many staples that are great prices, but they are ALWAYS out of something that I only buy there. It totally irritates me. Iris had such a hard time going down for nap today, as well. It most likely was because she is sick, but since I don't feel so hot myself, I was just thinking "please, for the love of god, child, go to sleep!" Fortunately, she did eventually. Then while I tried to relax all I could smell was gas, or some kind of fumes of the like. It was hurting my throat and making me sick. I later find out it's my awful downstairs neighbors, who are STILL working on their stupid moped outside. It is just sitting there now, letting the fumes waft all over the place, most notably in to our apartment. As if their incessant chain-smoking wasn't enough, now I have to deal with this. Grrrr.

So, after lunch I got the brilliant idea to go back to the library. On the way I decide to stop by the PCC (which is a local natural foods co-op). For some unknown reason I always go to the one that is super hard to get to and park at. The traffic SUCKS in that neighborhood, which is now compounded by the construction they are doing. This sotre also has the worst parking garage in the history of the world, you finally get there and have to eek your way around before trying to squeeze in to a spot. Shopping wasn't so bad, but by the time we get back to the car, cars have parked on either side of me. We're all square in our spaces, but I still literally had to press my huge pregnant belly in to the side of the car so I could stuff myself in to the car. Fun. At the library the elevator was broken, so I attempted to calm Iris down while she screamed "elevator!" trying to tell her it was broken and that's why we were walking all the way around the outside. Hmmm, more fun.

Okay, now we're home again. I want to crawl on to the sofa, but dinner needs to be made, laundry needs to be done, dishes need to be washed, and most notably, I need a shower. The work of a SAHM is 24/7, isn't it. Why didn't I get the memo? It's 5:45, I've been going since 8:00 (other than the half hour stint I got on the couch) and there is no end in site. I need some kind of clock so I can punch in and out.

The snot has descended

I was crossing my fingers that we would avoid the sicky bug that is going around, but alas, Iris woke up yesterday with a cough and a faucet of green snot. Yay! I have had a sore throat and a minor cough for a few days, as well, but nothing too bad. We're both pretty tired, as well, despite being in bed almost 12 hours last night. It sucks to not be able to call in sick from being a SAHM when you need the day off! I keep saying how lucky we've been, I think this is the third time Iris has been sick in a year. She's healthier than me! She also has been asking to nurse much more than she normally does. I am sure that it's alot for comfort, but I can't help but wonder if she knows it's going to help her get better faster. Being sick myself, I'm not a big fan of more and longer nursing sessions, but anything that helps her get better faster, I'm all for!

It is fortunate that most of the mamas I know aren't as big of germophobes as I am. Iris and I were scheduled to babysit for a little boy for a couple of hours, when I called his mama to let her know about the snot, she didn't have a problem with it. My friend Julia didn't mind, either, and was able to give me a much needed break babysitting Iris so I could go to another midwife appointment.

My midwives hadn't told me that yesterday's appointment was the one where I get my Rhogam shot. I'm pretty glad, actually, because I dread getting it and that way I didn't have time to worry about it. They drew blood again, as well, apparently they needed to for the Rhogam shot (to see if I've already produced antibodies or something). At my last appointment two weeks ago I had a blood draw, this time as well, AND a shot. Man, pregnant women need to be tough! LOL. I mean, of course they do, to give birth and all, but I forgot about all the poking and proding that goes in to being pregnant. I didn't want to get the Rhogam shot, as this is the last time I will be pregnant, but I figured, well, I might as well. Just in case I have a severe case of amnesia and feel like putting myself through the hell of pregnancy again.

I also was given some more supplies to add to my birth kit, which was nice. I thought I was going to have to spend about $40 on a birth kit, but my midwife gave me about half of the things I need so I only need to buy some chux pads and a couple of other things. It's always good news to find out you're saving some money!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Third trimester already?!?!

Holy crap, this pregnancy is moving fast. I swear the last one was about 3 years long, but this one? Hmmmm, didn't I just get the positive test yesterday? Iris is growing WAY too fast. I think my life is just flying by because how fast she is growing. Now, because of her, everything is going fast. Next thing I know I'm going to be calling my daughter's while they are away at college begging them to come home and visit.

Actually, it recently occured to me that there is a sad flip side to having babies close together-- they'll be leaving me with an empty nest earlier. I will have children at home for approximately 20 years. That's it? Man, I used to think that would be great, I'll still be young enough to enjoy my life and do fun things. Now I just imagine I'll be old and sad and wishing I had more children to keep me company. *sniffle*

Anyways, for a while, it felt like I had alot of time to prepare for this new baby coming, and now with a 3 week trip taking up the next 12 weeks, well, I'm losing time quickly. I think I'm ready. I mean, I hope I'm ready. There are definitely moments where I think oh my god, I'm going to have this baby, and if all goes well, she'll be born in my home. It almost feels surreal. The birth plan I've made for this baby is so far off track from what happened during Iris's birth that it almost feels impossible. I keep telling myself that it actually won't be that much harder. If Iris had been born in a reasonable length of time, I would have been able to deliver her without drugs. Even though I had an epidural, let's just say I definitely felt everything during pushing. It was suprising, because I didn't expect to, seeing as how I couldn't even feel contractions. So, that's my little pep-talk. I went through hours and hours of labor drug free, and might as well not have had the drugs while I was pushing, so damn it, I can do it 100% drug free this next time! Wierdly, the number one thing on my mind is Iris. I think having her here will keep me more level-headed, more focused. I don't want to lose it in front of her, and I don't want to create a situation that causes more fear and tension than there needs to be. I think last time I needed someone, or something, to keep me more focused on what I was doing, what my goals were, and what I needed to do to deliver my baby. She's going to be my focus this time.

There's a woman in my yoga class who seems really cool. She is planning a homebirth with her first baby and just found out last week that her baby is breech. It must be so frustrating. I am sending her lots of of good vibes and happy turning vibes to the baby. I hope it all works out for her.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I hate clothes!!!!!!!!!!

So, I'm 6' tall. Not a super skinny girl, I'm curvy and um, top heavy. It's never been easy for me to find clothes that fit me. This problem started way back in junior high when I bought pants three sizes too big so the length fit correctly then cinched in the waist with a belt. You could imagine how cool I looked! As clothing styles shrunk more and more over the years, well, I was screwed. That was basically how "normal" clothes fit me to begin with. And let me tell ya, tight clothes on my boobs, belly and butt? not pretty. Not at all.

So, pregnancy just compounds the problem exponentially. It's insane. My last pregnancy I started a lit bit lighter than this one, maybe 10 lbs or so. I wore baggy shirts and skirts but also found that Old Navy maternity jeans (they come in tall!) fit me well. I don't know what happened, but Old Navy jeans are not workin' this time. Not at all. I put them on and walk two feet and they slide down my hips. I can't buy them any tighter cause then I lose circulation in my thighs. So, I've been wearing normal yoga pants tucked under my belly about 90% of the time. The other 10% I wear maternity skirts. Which I hate, by the way, because I can't stand it when my thighs touch together. Eeeeewwwww! It's such a yucky feeling. So I waddle around like a duck in my skirts. You have NO idea how totally attractive this is. All I wear on top is t-shirts and tank tops. I wish I had money to spend on better nursing bras, better fitting pants, a wider variety of shirts. But, we hardly have the money for regular clothes, let alone clothes I can wear, at most, a few months. I bought a pair of shorts from Motherhood Maternity yesterday so I have something to wear in WI. I thought they were great in the two seconds I tried them on in the store (albeit a little short). MM has a no return policy on sale clothes, but I figured they were fine. Wrong. I put them on today, walked around a little bit, and they come sliding down my butt. Awesome. So now I have one pair of shorts and to wear them, I have to hike them up about 50 times a day.

I just hate clothes. I use to say I hate my body, because I can't find clothes to fit it, but I don't hate my body. I like my body just fine. It serves me well. Sure, I plan on whipping myself in to shape after having this baby, which is also my last, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with me now. I just hate that if you're not built like one specific body type, then you have to spend insane amounts of money and time on finding anything-- anything!-- even remotely cute to wear.

My sister got a breast reduction just over a year ago. She was pretty top heavy, just like me. She looks fantastic now. Really, really fantastic. She can wear normal clothes and is just as cute as can be. I thought she was pretty cute before, actually, but she is really cute now. As much as I think I wouldn't ever get surgery to alter my body, damn if I don't want a boob job myself. I would like to be a nice B :).

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mama's afternoon out

Melissa and I went to see The Break Up today. I had wanted to see it ever since I first heard about, but was disappointed by the reviews I read. Turns out that I thought the movie was fantastic! It had just about everything I love in a movie-- a super hot leading male, a funny and cute leading female, lots of funny side-kicks, it was witty, sad, touching and just over all a great movie. The ending was also unpredictable (at least, to me it was, I can never figure out where movies are going!).

After the movie we went shopping. I went through a small nervous breakdown trying to squeeze my gigantic knockers in to a bathing suit top, but besides that found a few good purchases, mostly for Iris. I bought some WAY too short shorts for myself for the trip back to WI, I figured if the weather is going to be hotter than it is here (which it will) then I need something more to wear than yoga pants. Now I just need to find a damn bathing suit!

My first weekend home was pretty darn good. Yesterday we went to the farmer's market and got some great things. In the afternoon Matt played kickball-- he's on an actual team on an actual league-- while Iris and I played with friends on the playground. We had dinner with Melissa's family last night, which was really nice. Our first friends over to use our new kitchen table! Today Melissa and I were out at the movies/shopping most of the day and Matt made us steak on the grill for dinner. Now he's giving Iris a bath. Sigh. I could get used to this!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Baby naming dliemmas

Matt and I are pretty settled on naming the baby Eloise. We love the name, and also like Ellie for short. Even though it's scary close to Ella, which has become insanely popular lately (I have a thing against naming my children popular names).

So, now we're stuck on a first middle name. The baby will have Matt's last name as her second middle name and my last name as her last name. Because of this, and because of the number of syllables of her first name, we want a name with preferably one syllable that doesn't begin with S or A (or E, but not many one-syllable names begin with E, do they?)

Of course, I made a silly baby name poll. You feel like having a say on this baby's name? I hope you do! Someone needs an opinion!

Also, feel free to add other suggestions in the comments field. We're open to anything!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Some recent milestones

As a mama, you're constantly noticing all of the incredibly brilliant things that your child does. I'm no exception :)

Recently Iris started to play music and sing at the same time. She grabbed her drum and started beating it with measuring spoons and then began singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" It was pretty adorable, to say they least. Good things she's so freakin' talented!

We also went to McDonald's playland for the first time today. Yeah, um-hmmm, I can see those disapproving shakes of your head. It was on a whim. I was having a craving for the dollar menu McChicken sandwiches and had promised Iris french fries for doing such a great job shopping with me earlier (enough with the head shaking!). SO, we pull in to McD's (yes, we're on a shortened-name basis, now) and spotted the playland through the window and thought she might enjoy checking it out. I didn't realize that it's technically for children 3-12, not having ever been there beofre and all, but luckily there were only two older, well-behaved, boys there so she was able to play. I am not sure if all play structures are built the same way, but this one was a tall, enclosed maze of ladders and slides. I figured I would let Iris try it once and secretly started developing a back-up plan of how I would fit my very pregnant body through the tubes to get her out if she started screaming. Well, she did a great job. I was actually really proud of how brave she was. On her last pass through she climbed all the way to the very top slide (there was surely no way I could have gotten her down if she had freaked out up there!) and was, as expected, a little pissed that it was time to go home. I think I'll wait until she's three before we go back again (I mean, never! We'll never be back again!) but it was a fun thing to do on a whim. Plus, I got a McChicken sandwich. Yum!

If you haven't seen it, check out the picture I posted of the tree limb a couple of posts back. I just added it today.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Whatever you do, don't visit this website!

Okay, I'm being sarcastic. Really. Urban Baby Runway is my newest latest obsession. It was started by a mama who goes by mamac-ta, a mama who has exquisite taste in children's fashion. She reviews everything from books to cloth dipes to t-shirts. And I'm hooked. Every single thing I convince myself I can't live without owning. Damn her! She even runs contests, the most recent one of which, I won! Yay!

Due to her suggestions, I've already purchased BabyLegs, Fuzzi Bunz, bublove t-shirts and the book Urban Babies Wear Black. And I'm now the proud owner of a bib and burp cloth fancier than most of the clothes I own, thanks to the recent contest.

I actually highly recommend you check out the site. Then go forth and purchase wildly. Pretty soon mamac-ta will have her very own online store up and running and then you can get your shopping fix filled in one simple stop instead of flying willy-nilly all over the net ensuring your child looks as hip as can be.

The anxieties just keep getting worse, don't they . . .

As I started sharing the story of Iris's near fall from our window, many people began sharing stories with me of narrow misses their own children have experienced. Apparently this is something all of us go through. I had no idea. It's helpful to talk about it and get a handle on how common these occurances actually are. Not that it makes it any better, on the contrary! I'm more anxious than ever! I can't imagine it gets easier.

Speaking of anxieties, here's one I'm sure not many people think about-- yesterday there were a ton of people at a local park. I was there pulling double duty on two different playgroups I am a part of. It was a beautiful, sunny, breeze-less day. Out of no where a HUGE limb of a tree just fell off. I mean HUGE. Easily 20-30 feet long and wide enough that I don't think I could have put my arms around it at the widest part. Amazingly, it fell in to a part of the road where no cars were parked (there were cars lining every other inch of the street) and no people underneath it (even though there were dozens of people at the park). It was crazy! I was talking with my friend Julia tonight, who was there to see the tree limb fall, and we were like, great, now I have to add falling tree limbs to my list of anxieties. Are we supposed to go walking around gazing up at trees while trying to determine the likelihood it's going to lose a limb at any moment? Yikes. That's it, only shade-less parks for us from now on!

It's amazing anyone survives at all, I've determined.

ETA:
Here's a picture one of the other mamas got of the tree limb


Here's Iris playing in the dirt (and thankfully being missed by giant tree limbs!)