Monday, July 31, 2006

Amusing Iris moments

This morning my dear, sweet, amazing daughter blessed me by sleeping in until 10:00 am. I had a terrible night's sleep, which probably caused her to not sleep very well, but I am so grateful she gave her mama a break!

So, now that I am well rested (and still in my pj's at 11:30 in the morning!) and have lots of lovey positive feelings about my little sleeper, I thought it would be fun to share some cute things about her.

Her newest phrase is "I like . . ." for instance "I like avocados!" "I like breakfast!" "I like pancakes!" she will say it about just about anything. Well, anything that she actually likes. It's cute, also, because she is starting to use the pronoun "I" correctly. Lots of times she will either say "Icey need help?" (she calls herself Icey, as do we, because it's the first way she ever tried to say her own name and it stuck). She will also say "Do you need help?" when really she means that she needs help.

She also has completely reverted to a newborn stage of wanting to be wrapped up tightly before she falls asleep. She says "wrappy Iris?" and I have to take her fleece blankie and wrap it around her so she looks like a burrito. Even when it was in the upper 90's she was asking me to do this for her!

She has started to talk more about what people and animals say. Not just the standard "what does a doggy say?" "woof!" but things a bit more complex. We'll ask her something like "what does mama say?" and she'll come up with an answer. Fortunately, her answer to that was "hug!" and not something like "don't color on the table!" or "get that out of your mouth!". The other day I asked her what Grandpa says and she came up with "put your shoes on!". Honestly, no clue where that came from, but terribly original, none-the-less.

And, last but certainly not least, peeing and pooping on the potty. Her favorite part of the whole ritual is saying goodbye to the pee and poop in the toilet before we flush them away. Now, because she is my daughter and everything she does in infinitely adorable, watching her stick her face in the toilet bowl and say "goodbye poopy!" almost brings tears to my eyes. If I had to watch any other child do this, I would probably hurl. What is it about our own children's bodily functions that we aren't opposed to, but when other children have them it completely grosses us out? Hmmmmm.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Weekend

Blech. What a crap-tastic weekend (I'd like to thank Melissa for coming up with that word, it's very fitting!). I'm so exhausted. A few noteworthy things did happen, however, so I'll write about those.

Unfortunately my doula had to miss our second "get to know you" appointment. She is actually a midwife in training and was called to a birth on Friday night right as she was getting ready to come over here. She then got called to another birth not long after she got home from the first one. I'm starting to get a bit nervous! She is actually a friend of mine from a few years back, and when I was barely in to my second trimester, she told me that if I needed her at all, she would be at my birth for free, in whatever capacity I needed her. I was kind of bummed about the doulas I was finding (who charge ALOT) and so she agreed to just be my doula. Now I can barely get ahold of her! I am hoping that when I go in to labor my birth is just as important as the other things she's got going on. I will really, really need her there. Guess we'll talk about all this when I finally meet with her!

Today Iris and I went to a cool store in Seattle called Birth and Beyond to get my belly casting kit for the Baby Celebration that will be next Sunday. I was also really excited because all of their books were 70% off through the end of the month and they had one called "Michele the Nursing Toddler" that I had wanted to get for Iris and I've come VERY close to paying full price for it. Yay for procrastination! I was reading all about the different things you can do with the belly casts so I have lots of fun ideas. One thing you can do is have your hands cast in to it, on your belly or your breasts or something. I thought that looked neat. You can also cast a child's hands in to (ie Iris!) but the only problem with that is she would have to stay still for five full minutes while it's done. How cute would the cast be with her hands on my belly? If that doesn't work out we can always paint it afterwards and put her hand prints on it. There are so many great ideas to paint casts, my mind is spinning! It is certainly a project I would have to complete before the babe's arrival, as lord knows I would have no time afterwards. I just hope the gals who are coming to the party will be in to helping with it. However, I guess I really only need one person to help :)

Iris and I also tried braving the Ballard Seafood Festival. It was a good idea, in theory. Unfortunately we had to park many blocks away, and I didn't bring the stroller. Then it rained for almost the entire time we were there. It made finding a place to stay dry really hard, as well as finding and eating food really hard. We decided to pack it in and come home, totally soaking wet. A nice long nap made up for the effort, however. We spent alot of time in a great kid's store called Clover. They had a Brio train table set up for kids to play on and Iris was glued to it. It bought us almost half an hour out the rain and I was able to find the perfect card for Melissa's son's second birthday, which is in two weeks. I love the store except for everything is so expensive. They sell cool wooden toys and musical instruments and bedding and clothes, but it's all way out of my price range. I've purchased a few small things for Iris there over the past couple of years, but mostly I have to stay away from it.

Tonight was the last night of the week's worth of menus I made, courtesy of my friend Julia. She put a menu and shopping list together so it was super easy to follow. I actually tweaked her lasagna recipe to a manicotti one (VERY bad associations with lasagna . . . ) but other than that our week was super yummy. I haven't heard from her about another menu, so I tried putting one together on my own. I'm not very good at it :( The thing I liked about her menus is that she was good at using the left-overs from one meal to be a part of the next days meal, therfor cutting down on how much time it takes to cook. The best one this week was a crock pot pot roast one night and then using the left over pot roast for stew the next night. Holy jeebies that was a good couple of meals!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Interesting news

You may, or may not, have heard of the recent Washington Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage. In case you haven't, they ruled 5-4 against gay marriage. I hadn't been following this story very closely. In all honesty, I wasn't even worried about it. Washington seems, at least they have until now, like such a progressive state. For instance, last fall we just voted to enact the most stringent smoking ban in the country (don't even get me started how happy that makes me!). Gay marriage? Well, that's a no-brainer. Of course it will become legal. What do we live in, medieval times?

Apparently we do. And suddenly, I've become a news junkie surrounding this topic. It makes my blood boil. Seriously. One of the justices who voted against gay marriage claims that the intention of marriage was to create a partnerhood which is conducive to bearing and raising children by the children's biological parents. Okay, I get this. I really do. In an ideal world, we would all be happy little nuclear families in which a healthy, stable man and a healthy stable woman would join together and create healthy, stable children. Um, yeah right. So, in the real world, 50% of marriages end in divorce (and that's just first marriages!. Many, many couples, gay or straight, choose to create families out of wedlock (ah hem, yours truly is one of them!) It certainly doesn't make us any less, or any more, committed to our relationship OR to our children than heterosexuals who choose to marry.

I feel lucky in that many companies, maybe this is a Washington state thing?, are progressive enough to offer benefits to an employees domestic partner--same or opposite sex. Right now Matt and I have little reason to actually legally marry. Hell, we're basically ARE married, just without the papers. Maybe some day we'll have enough money for the ring, the ceremony, the party, etc etc. Until then, we'll be just fine. Now I'm just seething over this ruling. Over the fact that two people who are strongly committed to each other and should have the same legal rights as everyone else, don't. It makes me not even want to be married, ever, because in the eyes of the law I believe the institution of marriage is a complete joke. And what about all those people who choose to marry and never have children? They get to buck the legally intended concept of marriage, but they still have the right to do it. The whole thing just makes me sick. And sad. I'm pissed that this issue is even in the hands of our legal system at all. I hope to see more about this in the news in the future. It can't be too far off in the future that two people who choose to be married, for any reason, will be able to. At least, I'm naive enough to believe that.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Not only do I get sucked in to mainstream magazines (a la my recent obsession with all the back issues of Parenting and Parents) I also get sucked in to mainstream television shows, like Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby on TLC. Every once in a while I catch an episode that is amazing, like a few months ago Baby Story ran a weeks worth of homebirth episodes that were incredible. I even wrote TLC a letter thanking them for showing homebirth in such a positive light!

Okay, so today I watch Surviving Motherhood on TLC. I hardly ever catch this show, and I don't mean to sound like I know everything there is to know about motherhood, but let me tell ya, the women on this show are SO dense! Today's episode was about weaning. When I saw that was the topic I just thought, oh mama, am I a glutton for punishment. Of course I didn't think that they were all going to sit around and advocate child led weaning, but I still have my undies in a bundle. So, there's about six mamas sitting around talking. One of these mamas NEVER EVEN BREASTFED HER OWN CHILD. Okay, um, so why is she on the show? Why in the world would a mama take breastfeeding advice from a woman who never even did it once? And not only did she not breastfeed, but she just decided not to because, you know, she wasn't breastfed, so it was also the right choice for her child (yes, my eyes are rolling VERY far in to the back of my head!). My fuzzy pregnant mind is a bit unclear on this next bit, but I am pretty sure it was Miss I-Didn't-Need-to-Breastfeed who proclaimed that any mama who nurses her child long enough that the child is able to ask to nurse, then that mama is only doing it for herself. Well, it's good to know she's got THAT part figured out! Grrrr.

Honestly, the mamas on the show were all complete idiots. The one thing that I was happy about was that the expert who provided the "expert moment" did make a point of saying that, for those who choose to breastfeed, breastmilk is essential during a child's first year of life, but that it continues to provide nutrition for children who continue to breastfeed after that. She never once insinuated that breastfeeding past a year is something that mamas shouldn't be doing. Rather she said that it's a two person game, and if either person wants to be done playing, then it's time to stop. That makes sense to me. I appreciated that she provided much more balanced information than the typical garbage that is out there.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gifts galore!

I very foolishly set up the new babe's Fisher Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker yesterday. Of course, I thought I was just tackling another project on the to-do list, but now Iris has adopted the rocker for her own. I keep telling her how nice it is that her baby sister is sharing the rocker with her, but she couldn't care less. I think we might have to buy another one. The last thing Iris needs is another small piece of furniture in the house, but I don't want to make it look like the new baby is taking the rocker away from her. Maybe it will just be an early "birth day" gift? Matt and I were talking about getting something for Iris, from her new sister, but maybe the rocker will have to suffice.

I have also, half jokingly, bugged Matt about a "push present". Apparently it's something all the stars are doing, as I learned on a recent show on VH1. Of course, all the celebrities get diamonds and other assorted jewelry. Us lowly folk have to set our sights a bit lower. So we decided that the new couch I have my heart set on will be my present. Yay! I had originally been rallying hard for a new laptop, but I think it's still a bit extravagant for us. Since our current couch is actually a very old, lumpy, stinky futon on a rickety frame, I think getting a new couch is a pretty solid purchase.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The heat wave is over!

Living in such extreme heat (okay, extreme for Seattle!) over the past few days has completely drained me. It almost feels like I was sick or something, and am finally getting better. I couldn't hardly function at all other than handling the basic needs of eating, sleeping and taking cold showers. Today is much better. It was 61 degrees when Iris and I woke up at just after 9:00 am. We've been letting her stay up later because, well, the later it gets the cooler the bedroom is for sleeping. I don't mind her being up late since sleeping until 9:00 is fine by me!

In other news, a friend from yoga class finally had her baby. She was almost three weeks over due. I am feeling sad for her because she was planning a homebirth and ended up with a c-section. The very brief email announcement said the c-section was after a long labor, but didn't say if she went in to labor naturally or was induced. I will be interested to hear. This is also the same friend whose baby was lying breech for a while and she did a bunch of stuff to get the baby to turn (which it finally did). It makes my heart heavy to hear of birth stories that end up so different from the plan. Especially any woman who ends up with a c-section who wasn't planning one. Of course, as a mama who is also planning a homebirth it kind of shocked me. No where in my entire line of planning for this birth have I considered even going to the hospital, let alone ending up with a c-section. I would just be devastated. Of course I would be happy if the baby was healthy, and I was healthy, but losing the dream of having the birth you envisioned can be really hard for many women to deal with. Iris's birth still weighs on me from time to time, especially throughout the planning of this baby's birth. I am sad that hers turned out how it did, especially knowing now that so many things could have likely been preventable. Also because I might truly have the ultimate birth experience (in my mind) with this birth, and for some odd reason that makes me sad. I don't want to remember Iris's birth as horrible and the new baby's birth as incredible. I don't want that to cloud my memories or feelings. Sigh.

When Matt and I met with the woman teaching us the hypnosis we did a small exercise to let go of the negative emotions we had surrounding our previous birth experience. At the time I was thinking, hmmmm, I am not sure if that's going to be enough, but thanks! Well, since that appointment, I have felt much more excited about this birth than I already was. Not to say that I wasn't excited before, as I was, but it was excitement mixed with huge amounts of fear and apprehension about birth in general. Now, I'm just 100% excited. Okay, 99% :) Almost to the point that I am feeling sad that the due date is almost here because once it's over, it's over. Like planning for a wedding or something!

I'm just dreading that this heat will return just in time for the birth. I wonder if my friend had labor problems because of the heat-- I am sure laboring at home in 90 plus weather is enough to wear out any mama.

Monday, July 24, 2006

My little Renoir!

Iris gets a huge amount of compliments on her looks. Now, I'm not saying that she's any cuter than any other child, but I can't take her anywhere without someone commenting-- and usually it's because of her hair. Granted, her hair is gorgeous. Being a red head with that lighter strawberry blond-ish sort of thing going on is quite striking. She's got very fair skin, as well, so it all goes together nicely. People LOVE to comment on red heads! Today she got such a sweet comment. A little old lady was walking through the parking lot as we were loading our groceries in to the car. She stopped and said "My what a beautiful child! She looks like she stepped out of a Renoir painting!" Now, shucks, what am I supposed to say to that? I just responded with "what a sweet compliment!" and smiled.

Of course, Iris looks NOTHING like me. Most of the time people comment on her hair and then say "where does she get it from?". Yep, I'm just the vehicle that created a child that, had I not pushed her out, I would swear doesn't belong to me.

Anyways, I appreciate the compliments. I also like that it gives strangers something to chat with me about. I'm a shy person, in general, but I don't mind at all when people want to stop me to praise my child.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Funny stuff

So Matt and I have been practicing our homework for the hypnosis for birth. The assignment is to practice contractions every night. I have to relax and do my thing while he times me and does his part.

What I have to do is hold a bag of ice in my hand for one minute and, pretending the pain of holding ice represents a contraction, do my breathing/visualization thing. At the beginning of each contraction Matt runs his hands down each of my arms to provide a physical cue to relax. Pretty soon I will add my chosen music and scent to the mix to fully overload my senses :) Okay, here's where the funny part comes in. Being that it's eight million degrees outside, even at night, holding the ice feels pretty darn good. I even sat with a bag of ice on my head while we went through the whole thing. I feel like I'm just amazingly good at this whole hypnosis thing, when in reality, the ice is a pretty welcome relief from the heat. Matt asked me how many practice contractions I wanted to do and I replied "I could do this all night!"

Maybe to make the practices harder for me I should be poked with a sharp, hot skewer. One hundred times. All over my body. That should come close to imitating labor pains :)

Such a trooper!

In case anyone's wondering, it's been hotter than hell in Seattle over the weekend. Literally. WAY hotter. Obviously, for me the heat is compounded by the fact I have about 30 tons of baby on my belly and 20 tons of boobs on my chest. On Friday Iris and I went to Target to buy a fan. We didn't even own one. I am sure if you are reading this from any other part of the country you're laughing as you sit in your comfortably air conditioned house, but yes, we didn't even own a fan. So now we own one. I make sure it is pointed at me pretty much every moment I'm in our apartment. I wouldn't mind just dragging the whole family to a mall or some place that actually is air conditioned, but then I have such guilt for leaving our poor doggy at home to suffer. Aren't I a great pet owner for having such empathy?

Even in the midst of this heat wave, Matt and I had long ago made plans to join some friends at a show Saturday night. I was planning on it being my last hurrah before this baby comes. My favorite band, The Long Winters, was having a cd release show at a club in Capital Hill. This is a good link to use if you want to see their myspace page and hear some music. Conveniently (note my deep sarcasm), the club was not air conditioned. We spent almost an hour there waiting for them to come on stage and by the time they did, I lasted for about half an hour of the set. I've seen this band live quite a few times, and it was actually the babe's second time hearing them while in utero. On the way out of the show we stopped and had belgian frites (think thickly cut square french fries) at a little place right next door to the club. I imagine that if it was much cooler out, and I had drank a few beers, the frites would have been even tastier, but they were quite delicious. I had heard so much about them I figured I better give them a try while I had a chance! Mmmmmm . . . .

Now we're on the last day of the heat. I am hoping to get through this in one piece. I think I'm poised to make it through considerably well, considering the physical obstacles. Hopefully today Matt can pick up the bed frame I want so that the mattress Iris and I sleep on can finally, after a year and a half, be off the ground. I would have liked to have gotten it much earlier in the pregnancy (it's no easy feat hauling myself off the floor every morning!) but luckily it's coming before the baby is here. We'll be hooking up the co-sleeper to it in preparation for the new babe and also to keep Iris from tumbling off the side of the bed while I'm not in it.

In case you're wondering, peeing and pooping on the potty has lost a little of it's novelty, but Iris still usually goes on it at least once a day. This morning she woke up and asked to sit on the potty to make a poopy!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ah ha!

So apparently I am better at the hypnosis thing than I previously thought. Matt and I went to the second appointment tonight and I was pretty nervous about it. When she asked what I thought about working with the guided relaxation tape she gave me I just told her how it was really going-- that I spent the first half of the tape struggling to keep my mind focused and envision the garden I was supposed to be walking through, and the second half of it asleep. Turns out, my experience was pretty much fine. This tape was just the foundation for what we were going to be working on as part of my actual skills to be used in labor. None of which include envisioning walking down a flight of stairs in to a garden, which my tape was having me go through every night. Thank goodness!

Tonight we did "practice" contractions and I learned how to relax, visualize a few simple things and breathe. Matt learned what he had to do as a physical trigger to help me go deeper in to the relaxation. It was really, really cool actually. The woman we are learning it from said I did very well and was catching on quickly. Yay! That was so good to hear after feeling so freakin' defeated struggling over my guided relaxation tape.

I am also getting much more excited about this birth now that I know so much more about what the hypnosis will look like while I'm in labor. The only thing I'm worried about at this point is finding some of that "woo woo" relaxation music to play while I'm in the deep stages of labor. In the beginning we'll be listening to all the fun music that I love that puts me in a good mood, but for the rough stuff, I need more meditative, relaxing music to coincide with the hypnosis. I have NO idea where to pick up something like this. My yoga teacher plays some interesting stuff at the end of class, so I will probably just get something she recommends.

It's so dang exciting that it's all coming together.

Today Matt and I also went to an appointment with the midwives. The one we met with is so dang sweet. She was just saying how awesome this birth was going to be, especially compared with my last one when everything in my life was so sucky, except for the fact that I was about to become a mother. My life couldn't be more different now than it was then. I think that this will all reflect in how this labor and birth plays out.

Our doula will be coming over on Sunday to talk about things. I'm excited to meet with her and talk and bond a bit more.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Updates and a celebration

Well, the potty action hasn't slowed down one bit. After yesterday's pee pee episode, today Iris pooped on the toilet three times! Woo Hoo! I swear that the novelty of this will wear off (won't it?) and my daughter's bodily functions will no longer plague my blog. Until then, well, I'll be chronicling every pee and poop.

We had a great day today. Iris and I were both in good moods, which helped. Neither of us threw a single tantrum! What a good day! We met our weekly play group at the park this morning and we both got to see some friends we hadn't seen in a while. I liked the park we were at, it was small and all the mamas there were really nice (not just the ones I already knew) and the play equipment seemed to really intrigue Iris. It probably helped that our very first event of the day was getting out and running around, maybe I'm on to something? I also had yoga tonight. Having all that time off from when I was out of town has made a wreck of my body. I also seem to be MUCH bigger in the belly now, because it's much harder to do yoga now. I'm hoping that I can limber up and strengthen myself back up a bit before the birth.

I also decided to throw myself a baby celebration. Sort of like a blessingway ceremony, just not as "hippy-ish". I would secretly love to have something with my feet being washed, hair braided, women chanting, etc etc, but I think just about every person I'm inviting would rather fall over dead than partake in such a ceremony. Sigh. Usually parties of this sort are thrown by someone else, but alas, I had to buckle down and throw it myself. Matt kindly offered to be the one to send out the invites, but it would have been pretty obvious he wasn't the one behind it. I just had such a lovely baby shower celebrating Iris's arrival, and I don't want this baby, or this pregnancy, to be left out. This baby deserves a celebration, even if she's not the first born! Hopefully Matt and I can come up with something that is important and meaningful and yet doesn't make everyone uncomfortable. Times like these make me wish I still had a plethora of dread-locked, smock dress wearin', patchouli smelling girlfriends to really through a blessing way ceremony! We are asking everyone to bring a candle to the ceremony that we can have to burn at the birth. I am toying with the idea of having the women help me do a belly cast. I didn't do one with Iris, but I did to maternity portraits with her. I think a cast might be a neat way to immortalize this baby's time in the womb. I don't think a belly cast is too out-there for the women who will be in attendance. We'll see :)

On that note, if anyone else has suggestions for a more modern blessingway ceremony, let me know!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Oh! Fun news!

Iris went pee pee on the potty this morning. For the first time ever. I know this doesn't signify the start of potty training or anything, and I don't necessarily want it to, but it was still exciting :) She was so proud of herself, too!

Just one more thing I miss about not being pregnant

I have been sad that I can't carry Iris in a sling while I'm pregnant. Obviously, some women do this, but even carrying Iris just a little ways in my arms is so tiring for me, attempting to wrap her 30 lb body up in my ABC (Asian Baby Carrier) would just be WAY too much strain on me. Sigh. I wonder if by the time my body is ready to carry her again if she'll be too big and/or not want to be carried in a sling.

There are so many things about this pregnancy that are hard on both Iris and I. Nursing has been hard. My body being huge has been hard. The morning sickness was hard. My patience has been non-existent. I can't play with her like I used to be able to, I can't carry her like I used to be able to, I can't do most anything like I used to be able to! Grrrr. It feels like it's just the practice for when the baby comes, and I will still no longer have everything I want to be able to give to Iris. I wasn't prepared for it to begin so soon. I just thought, yeah, let's have another baby! without accounting for the fact that having another baby would start taking a toll on me about six weeks from conception. I'm ready for the pregnancy to be over. I'm ready for our new family member to be here and I'm ready to start getting back to my old body and self.

I know things will be different when the new baby is here. It will never go back to how it used to be. Hopefully things will be better, harder, but better. Hopefully Iris will gain so much from having a baby sister she won't feel like she's lost so much of me, but instead gained more of a family.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Birth fears

As I attempt to practice my hypnosis for birth tape I am always struck by how simple the message is that I am hearing. I can be strong, confident, calm and without fear during the birth of this baby. Well, that's all fine and good, but considering my last birth I was a flailing mess and the eptiome of what every birthing woman should be striving to NOT look like, this simple message often feels like a giant load of crap to me. I shouldn't be admiting this. I mean, we are spending a good deal of time and money on this birthing techinique, and damn it all, it better work! But I can't quite figure out how I'm going to get over the fact that the rosey picture of birth that my tape is painting is so far from my experience, it truly is comical.

I want to believe the message. I absolutely, down to my soul want to believe I can be strong, confident and calm during the birth of this baby. I have so many fears wrapped up in what this experience is going to hold for me, I wonder if I'm just kidding, or at the very least sabotaging, myself.

It is interesting to me how women work through their birth fears and go from having one bad experience to having one amazing one. My sister is one of those people. All the drugs and all the problems with her first to the second being so "easy" that she has said she could have had her son at home unassisted. I should have tapped more in to her brain about how was able to go there. And many, many women have this experience. How? Do they just really have an easy birth the second (or subsequent) time around or have they prepared themselves so thoroughly that they are ready for any challenge thrown at them? Of course, it could very well be a combination of the two.

My strongest birth fear is that I'm going to have to be transferred to the hospital again. Now, if I were to be transferred for an unavoidable emergency, okay, I could probably live with that, but I have this sinking feeling I'm be the first woman in history to be transferred twice because I just couldn't get through it. I'll be calling everyone from the hospital saying "yep, I'm back here again." And the fear isn't even so much that I would get transferred, it's that I now feel like I CAN'T get transferred. Like I already used my "get out of jail free" card or something.

I keep having these surreal moments of looking around my bedroom and the rest of our apartment while thinking to myself "this is where I'm going to have this baby!" I start to imagine myself in labor, or where the birth tub will be, or where the baby will be born. I imagine all the people here who will be helping with the birth. I think it helps me to visualize the birthing space as often as I need to. When I was at the birth center last time I had a hard time imagining that is where my baby would be born. Not suprisingly, she wasn't born there, but in a hospital I had never set foot in until I was late in to my labor.

There are so many things that will be different this time around. I hope it's enough. I hope that these are the pieces I need in place in order to make this all work.

Friday, July 14, 2006

More random thoughts on magazine information

I'm almost through the stack of old Parents and Parenting magazines that Melissa gave me. Today I was reading one and was struck by a letter to the editor. The mother who wrote the letter was referring to information Parents had published about not spanking their children. She states in her pro-spanking letter "As the number of spanking parents has decreased, America has become increasingly violent." Hmmm, interesting theory. I just love when parents can just randomly connect two completely unrelated things and decide that they are, in fact, directly linked. What a great way to justify the abuse of your child.

I was also struck by an article written in two separate current parenting magazines. One is in Mothering, the other in Parents (or Parenting, I can't remember which). The one in Parents is about protecting your child from SIDS, and, as is usual in mainstream parenting magazines, it states that parents should not co-sleep, due to the link between co-sleeping and SIDS. In Mothering is an article about yet another benefit of co-sleeping, to add to the list that already includes bonding and attachment, easy access to breastfeeding and protection from SIDS. Now, being a co-sleeper myself I obviously side with Mothering on this issue, but I find it interesting that, depending on what you're reading, you'll either be told "hey, your kid will die if you do this" or "you'll have the healthiest kid ever!" (exaggeration mine). Of course, Mothering also publishes articles contradicting the usual drivel about the necessity of vaccinations, among other issues, but having read these two articles in the same day as each other, it really stood out to me.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Oh. My. GOD.

So the funniest, and sassiest, thing that Iris does lately is say "Oh. My. GOD." Not only that, but she just started to occasionally add on to the end "that. is so. funny." like she's 15, I swear! We try to redirect her by having her say "oh my goodness!" or "oh my monster!" (a fun alternative my sister came up with) but nope, "oh my god" has stuck. We've got Matt's mom to thank for dropping that one enough times for it to stick in her head! Which I find slightly amusing considering she's the most religious person Iris spends any time around. I tell myself that it could be worse, but Iris's impecable sense of timing and inflection have made this truly a spectacular display of words.

So tomorrow we fly back to Seattle. I am very much excited to get back home, but at the same time have gotten really sad about leaving here. After the new baby comes I have no idea when we will be able to afford to come back again. I'm sad to think that one more Christmas will most likely go by where we won't be with my family. I also expected to get more "done" while I was here. What exactly I mean by that, I'm not sure. I mostly spent my days fighting the heat and my complete exhaustion. We didn't even get to see my dad's sailboat. There is much left to dot o get ready for this baby, including learn my hypnosis for birth, coordinate birth stuff with the doula, buy the rest of the things I need, and just all around really mentally prepare myself for this birth. I had a little mental freak out the other night thinking about the birth. I just thought, wait a second, how the hell am I actually going to pull this off? Everyone I've seen here includes a "can't wait to get the birth announcement!" in their parting comments and it just started to really make me more nervous about the birth than I've been thus far. Turns out I'm going to have to birth this baby, you know, so I can send out the damn announcements. Yikes. I thought being here would help me relax and better prepare for everything, but it turns out I haven't done a single thing to really help. Not done yoga, not eaten right, barely did my hypnosis tapes, nothing. When I left Seattle I was really on the right track and now I'm so far off of it, I can barely see it. I hope a few days at home, being back in my own environment and getting in to baby-mode will really help boost my confidence about everything.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Breast envy

It's been creeping in for a little while now, but I am pretty sure I have caught full fledged breast envy. I've talked a little bit in my blog about the "issues" I have with lugging around gigantic boobies, but as time goes on, my issues are just turning in to complete hatred of the size of my chest. My sister had a breast reduction surgery about a year and a half ago, and I am pretty sure my envy stems from A) seeing how great (and small!) her boobies are, and B) hearing her talk about how glad she was she had the surgery.

I've always been heavy chested. Until Iris was born, I was fairly okay with being a DD cup size. I could still just barely fit in to the awesome bras at Victoria's Secret even if I couldn't ever really wear a normal button up shirt or anything even remotely in fashion on my top half. After Iris was born I struggled with what to do for bras and never found the right blend of form, fit AND function. Several months ago I bought two very expensive nursing bras that fit me well. At that point I was up to an F cup size, so these bras weren't easy to come by. They were, however, pretty and they fit me. I figured I would get lots of use out of them with another nursling on the way. I am now growing out of these bras. God, what would that make me, a G?!?! I am pretty sure it's because my milk is "coming in" (although I'm not exactly sure how that works since I'm already nursing, but whatever). I wear two bras at once now to keep everything in place. My nursing bra and then a cotton sports bra type thing over the top. I know, at least freakin' hope, that they will go back down after nursing is established with the new baby, but who knows. What if they don't? At least now they're not TOO huge compared to my giant belly, but without the belly to temper the boobies, I'll look and feel absolutely ridiculous.

I want a breast reduction surgery. I want it so badly I'm scared it's going to seriously affect the nursing relationship I will have with the next baby. My sister admitted to me that she had issues nursing because of being uncomfortable with the size of her breasts. I always thought "why the heck would that bother you?" but now I know. I really, really know. In my ideal world I would be a B cup. At the most. I want to be able to run free without a bra, let alone two at the same time. I struggle with the vanity of a surgery like that, but now I just don't care. I can't imagine getting to a place where I am okay with never being able to buy normal clothes, normal bras, normal swimsuits. A place where I am comfortable with the size, weight and unwieldly-ness--the sheer magnitude-- of the masses on my chest.

It's conflicting to feel so proud of my accomplishments breastfeeding and at the same time so angry towards the breasts that have nourished one child for over two years and will nourish the next baby for hopefully as long. I look at them with disdain and yet also thank heavans that they have been as good to me and my babies as they have. I am curious if there are many staunch breastfeeding advocates out there who feel similarily about their breasts. I'll bet if I start asking around on mothering.com I'd maybe find a few. It woudl be interesting.

More vacation updates

So, besides dealing with all the car drama, Iris and I had a fun weekend visiting my sister and her family. We were there for four days and spent most of the time lounging in the backyard while the kids ran around and played. It was quite lovely except for the fact that a gigantic pregnant woman from Seattle and midwest heat don't really mix so well. I am glad to be back in the chilly air-conditioning of my parents house. I don't even want to go outside, which is boding well for me considering Iris doesn't want to, either. It turns out she's still sick, or sick again, or something because a couple of days ago her cough and boogers came back worse than before. Her symptoms are exactly the same as they were last week, which leads me to suspect they are part of the same virus. I am going to cave in and get the antibiotics today. She was up over two hours last night coughing and now is attempting to take her nap in between between coughing fits. Ugh. I just wish this stupid thing would go away! It's insane, going on FIVE weeks. I called the doctor's office that looked at her last week and they said I can either bring her back in to have her looked at again or just give her the medicine. It is already Friday afternoon and she's a little crabby butt today, so I decided to err on the side of the medicine. We'll see how it works. I just really, really don't want her to be this sick when we fly home. Funny how I thought that almost three weeks ago when we flew out here!

I'm definitely ready to get back home. Even though I've spent lots of time in air conditioning, relaxing in front of the television since I've been here, I'm totally wiped out. I haven't had a single break from mama time other than a two hour jaunt to the grocery store last night with my dad. I don't get to sleep in late or even take a shower alone. It's exhausting being on mama duty 24-7 for three weeks straight. At least at home I have plenty of time off to re-group and do my own thing while Matt and Iris spend their time together. I have hardly had the time to even do my hypnosis for birth tape, most of the time when I try to do it while Iris is sleeping I'm so tired that I just fall asleep two minutes in to it. Maybe it's still working subconsciously? :) So, yep, three weeks is a good long time to make sure I can go back home with a refreshed new attitude.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Car update

Well, the car is totally back to new. Probably better than new because the guy that removed the spray paint made the exterior look all nice and pretty. Luckily it was ALOT easier than we thought it was going to be to get it fixed. We assumed the car would have to be repainted, but it turns out spray paint can come off of cars (who knew?) so it was just cleaned off and spiffed up. I seems that the crazy man screaming about the dog and the actual stray dog weren't even related. How bizarre is that? A dog walker in our neighborhood lost the dog, who belonged to someone who lived all the way across town (on an interesting side note, my dog was once lost by a dog walker. I really don't trust those people!) So, no one seems to think the dog's owner or the dog walker was the person interacting with Matt. Also, there was a word sprayed on the back windshield that said "SPAT". At first Matt nor the cop thought it was a tagger, but Matt realized he had seen that word spray painted on the dumpster at the corner mini-mart. So, it was a tagger. A really, really crappy one at that. I mean, come on, if you're going to tag a frickin' grocery getter, you really ought to have at least a little talent. I'm concerned that this a-hole lives in our neighborhood, or at least obviously spends time in it, and could possibly come and do it again. At least he doesn't seem violent, as he never actually approached Matt, and spray painting a car is a pretty chicken shit way to act out aggression towards someone. Who knows. I just hope this is the end of it.

I meant to write some fun updates about our trip, but I'll save that for another day. We're taking Iris to her first Fourth of July fireworks tonight! Yay!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Some car pictures





Aren't these lovely? Matt actually had to drive the car to the car repair place while it looked like this. I got a bit of a chuckle thinking about it :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The worst weekend ever . . .

. . . luckily didn't directly belong to me. I talked to my good friend Melissa today, she and her family were rear-ended yesterday by an SUV on their way to a camping trip. They are all relatively fine. Melissa is okay, thank god the baby in her tummy and her toddler (Iris's BFF) are okay, but her husband can't see out of one eye. It sounds like they don't yet know how serious it is, but will find out tomorrow. They were hit from behind and then slammed in to the car in front of them, so their Volvo station wagon was crumpled from both ends. It was SO scary to hear about. Melissa had to get an ultrasound to make sure there was nothing wrong with the baby. Her almost two year old was in the back seat of their car. The worst that happened to him is his leg was bruised where his car seat strap was. Melissa's hit her fair share of crappy lucky during this pregnancy. I am very much hoping it's smooth sailing for the rest of the pregnancy.

I also heard from Matt this evening. Someone vandalized the outside of our car last night. Using spray paint to write obscenities over most of the car. It's sort of a long story, but it sounds like some random guy stopped Matt and his friend while they were coming home at 2:00 am and was accusing them of taking his dog. They were, of course, saying "no man, sorry" and walked in to the house. The next morning they saw the car. The downstairs neighbors were outside at 3:15 am and the damage was already done. The odd part of the story is that a stray dog actually did run in to our downstairs neighbors apartment (they keep their doors open alot of the time) and the dog had tags on it. When the police came today they said they would investigate the crime and also the location the dog came from. It seems almost 100% sure that the dog's actual owner did the damage to our car. There wasn't any damage done to any other car in our parking lot or any car on the street, so obviously our car was directly targeted. I can't wait to hear if the police find this dog owner and if they can determine he was the cause of the damage. Either way, A) This screws us up for money. Our deductible isn't that low and with me just quitting my job and a new baby on the way, yeah, not much money left over to get a new paint job on the ol' station wagon. and, B) it's more than a little freaky to know some crazy person out there thinks Matt stole his dog and has already done something so vicious to our property. Matt explained to the police officer that he was really worried because, you know, we have small children and all. It sounds like the cop took it pretty seriously.

I'm just trying to take deep breaths and let go because there's nothing I can do about our car. The damage is done, and now Matt is doing an awesome job taking all the right steps to get it taken care of. When I get home, more than likely the car will look as good as new and all I will have to deal with is the credit card payments.

Sigh.

I'm thanking the heavens my friends are pretty much okay, and the worst this crazy person did to our family is ruin the paint job on our car.