Saturday, May 31, 2008
Breastfeeding isn't easy, at least for me. It may have seemed like that with Lil"bug, but the first six weeks were really hard. We saw the lactation consultant more than friends and family during that time. I tried every gadget known to Medela. Ultimately some things worked and some just drained my confidence. Some of those gadgets are so dehumanizing.
This time, Blueberry has a voracious latch BUT my nipples are still inverted (which means they pop in instead of out). She can't really get a mouth full. Luckily when the engorgement of milk coming in came- I'd just squirt her mouth full over and over, use the breast pump to keep high production, and called it good. That got us out of the hospital with minimum concern from the nurses. Still she was frustrated at every feeding and that is not good.
The thing is, I knew that when that phase calmed down we'd both be in trouble and she would not have learned to latch properly. I have a postpartum doula coming soon, but not soon enough. So in a quiet moment in the middle of the night I decided to get another set of silicon breast shields. I remembered that Lil'Bug learned how to latch using these and at 6 weeks old she had the hang of it, how much she was supposed to suck and how hard, and it was a good 3 years more after that.
I was right. I just fed Blueberry the best, longest feeding she has ever done. No crying, no head nodding trying to get a mouthful, no arching back. 30 minutes of continuous, productive latch with good suction.
I hate using plastic, but really, this is working. I wonder how many moms have given up either not knowing about the aid or intimidation from hospital staff about starving their babies. With Lil'Bug that last factor contributed to the start of my postpartum depression. This time, I actually rolled my eyes at one of the nurses. When they warned me about how I'd have to supplement, I responded, "Or I could pump breast milk and feed the measurable amounts to her, right?" Yes. So why exactly, in my situation, would formula be even mentioned. Gah.
That said, my babes are lucky I am so stubborn.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
later I will post a picture of little babe's hair. It is amazing!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
MamaP was nothing short of heroic in her attempt to VBAC. Ultimately, complications related to thick meconium in the bag of waters and worsening fever caused us to make the decision for a C-section delivery. We are extremely pleased with the result - from the beginning, success for us was defined by our family walking out of the hospital together.
Junebug successfully latched onto the breast as soon as Mama was able, and has since nursed again. Currently mama is glowing, and baby is sleeping.
Thanks for all the support we received on the blog and in email - it really helped keep MamaP's spirits up.
We named her Holly Evangeline.
We were admitted into the hospital room where she is now laboring. Everything is going fine for both mama and baby.
Monday, May 26, 2008
We had violent wind, lots of lightning and thunder, and rain, but that's it for here. Our house shook. That only happens in a handful of storms every year.
Lil'Bug slept right on through it. I had contractions every 4 minutes for a while (so I did not sleep) but then they eased off and I slept in bits, only waking every 30 minutes or so. I dreamed of contractions, so I thought I was awake ALL night. I also dreamed of the skies over my aunts home in Colorado when storms would roll through there, the wall clouds on the horizon, the greenish tinge, the way the air crackled.
This morning the sun is shining and I'm only writhing and screaming every 7.5 minutes. I'm getting the hang of it. I feel more rested today, but still moving slowly. Eating small meals, puttering around again. We have a Dr. appointment on Tuesday with an ultrasound, so either I'll make it until then or I won't. Right now we are all about reaching those small milestones.
My poor Dearest. I am getting more sleep than he is and he is outside right now doing yard work. He's been re-reading all our labour books, cooking all the meals, chasing Lil'Bug and a million other things that I normally help with or do.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Sometimes I was grateful for the alone time and sometimes I really wished that they would come home soon and hug me. Those urges were about 5 minutes apart. :)
There have been moments of reflection today where I was just about ready to throw in the towel and just schedule surgery. The pain is worse that my last recovery and at least I could take pain meds then. Then I focus, breathe, scream a little, and remember that at least I am dealing with this now and not while trying to nurse a newborn. I remember how much is sucks to not drive, but better now than a whole additional six weeks. I remember that I am not alone; though prodromal labour is rare, many women have come through it.
I was strong enough to go home from the hospital. I am glad my water did not break, even though it was a bit embarrassing to be told by the nurse it was likely that I wet myself (or it was the mucus plug dissolving plus fluid). Water breaking so early would not be a good thing for a VBAC attempt.
Messages of comfort and prayer keep flowing in just when I need them. Thank you, thank you.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
My water did not, in fact, break. It was a gushy fluid but not amniotic. We finally called the Dr. in the afternoon and she wanted us to come in and get checked, I bristled because she didn't even ask about contractions and simply wanted me to labor NOT at home since I am VBAC.
So we met with our Doula first and then went in. My plug is gone, possible that was part of the fluid that trickled, and my cervix is not dilated but starting to get ready to. The exam was painful. I am tired. The Dr. wanted to observe my contractions but ultimately let us go home.
Did I mention I am tired? Prodromal labour sucks. On the other hand, it is a blessing that my water did not actually break or I'd be under the knife right now.
That said, I am going to rest now.
We are slowly laboring at home. We spoke to our doula this morning about how long we have before we go into the hospital, and decided to labor at home as long as possible. Could be until tomorrow morning, as long as I don't get a fever or bleed. I'm not having regular contractions, but the ones I do have a strong, about 7 minutes apart.
We woke Lil'Bug up and she was soooo happy. She hugged my belly. Now she is as Nana's watching another Land Before Time sequel and eating ice cream. We plan on heading out to visit her at lunch time. We'll bring her home later today and with us to the hospital if she wants to go.
So, what I am doing in the meantime is alternately resting, reading, movie watching, laundry, and cleaning. Dearest planted peppers and is outside now trimming the lilacs. We're keeping busy. An anxious, excited busy, but still!
Friday, May 23, 2008
I am a putterer when it comes to labor. Seriously. I have had regular contractions for almost a week now. A notch up from Braxton Hicks, longer periods each day, stronger each day. There is a name for this kind of labor: Prodromal Labour.
It is described as torture. It is described as confusing, discouraging, and degrading (people don't believe you and you stop believing it too). Then someone wrote that simply knowing that it is progression, though slow, is encouraging. That every contraction and pain now is one I won't face on the big day.
That was a turning point for me. I am a putterer. My labour will be slow because I need it to be, to get ready. There are theories that it helps prepare for big babies and mine might certainly be since Lil'Bug was 9 lbs 6oz when she was born. I also had this painful pre-labour time that sent us to the hospital early with her. It was not quite as intense as this time, but still there. It is not faking me out, since I know it is just part of the whole process.
Also, in researching I found that the contractions are so painful because of the positions I shift to. So, today I've tried others and I feel much better.
The Dr. appointment: all is the same, good stats, healthy babe. Ultrasound next week to double check some things. That's about it. It is a waiting game now.
Here is the link to the student's essay:
His mother's response to the controversy
Sandra Dodd's link to the issue at hand.....
The last two generated a lot of other discussions and links, but I'm not going to list all 100+! I'm also going to let you get to the offended's blog through the other links. I'd rather not generate more traffic to hers if I can help it!
I don't typically discuss details about my teaching or students but this one I'd thought I'd share. The thing that really peaked my interest was the way that the offended blogger approached discussion in the comments. I also teach Argument 106 and she kept dropping vocab terms to dismantle the arguments of others, but not quite getting them right. Also, if this was in the confines of my classroom, the offended mom would be explaining such an unprofessional reaction to the Provost. She called his writing horseshit and emotional blackmail. I usually explain the rules of engagement in the classroom (online) as how we would be expected to treat each other in the "real world".....so much for that, eh?
That said, I really enjoyed this student's essay. I am glad he published it. I am glad that it is generating discussion. Discussion leads to learning about others and ourselves, even if one doesn't agree with the original premise.
In fact, I might have been on her side of the fence at one time in my parenting life. It took a while for me to understand my child and myself enough to finally allow video games in my home. It took me even more time to overcome resentment and guilt and such that I was unknowingly (or un-admittedly) passing on to my family. It takes a community of learning and kindness to help us through times like those. A wonderful mentor said to me, when I was fed up with a mom bully and her kids at park day and wanted to start a new park day, that the greater change will come when we open ourselves up to such encounters, "you never know who might stumble across a group of unschoolers and have their own minds changed for more peaceful and respectful family relationships," she wisely said.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Ours is pretty simple. We were teenagers. :)
The first time I met Dearest it was a bit unusual. I had just moved to Iowa from Illinois and felt really out of place. I drove around sometimes just getting the feel of the new place. There was a high school DJ'd radio station and one night I heard the strangest combination of songs......
Violent Femmes, Benny Goodman, and TMBG mixed with some Christian punk. ??? I had to meet the DJ.
So I drove to the station and walked in. That's the first time I met Dearest. He was polite and sweet, but very busy.
The next time, I was eating beef jerky at the high school voc-tech campus and he thought that was pretty cool. Girls don't usually eat beef jerky?
The next time, (sense a pattern?) it was at a punk show. Still, I thought he was sweet and really cute but my life had gotten quite crazy by then.
Finally, I ended up in the program that ran the radio station and he spent a lot of time there too. He was reading a J. D. Salinger book that was not Catcher in the Rye (at the time I thought I was the only person on earth who knew Salinger wrote other books......) and we struck up a conversation.
So then we were friends. That was about it. Friends. Then good friends. Then good friends who spent a lot of time together.
One night he called me at 11 PM and invited me to go fishing. It was the end of my sister day with Aunt Bee so I asked if she could come along, explaining a bit about sister day. Aunt Bee was bitter and 11 years old, but said yes too. She wanted to ride in his very cool VW Bug.
We headed off for fishing in the moonlight. No fish were caught. In fact Aunt Bee threw rocks at Dearest and pouted the whole time. She tried to fish and ended up losing some of his best lures. The funny thing is, after the excursion she said, "You'll never date him." Why? "He's cute and nice and you only date losers." Thanks Aunt Bee. (BTW, I never dated another loser again in my life. Also, ha ha. I married the cute and nice guy AB threw rocks at!)
Back to the story at hand-
Still, we were not ready. Suddenly we were good friends who were not dating anyone else. Then good friends who secretly had crushes on the other but didn't want to mess with the friendship and then......
Then one night he showed up at the bookstore where I worked. At closing, he asked if I had ever seen the badminton sculpture at the KC Art Museum. No? Ok, let's go. Tonight?
It was a blizzard in December, we left Iowa at 1 AM for KC. Nuts, I know. We had a blast. Two days of art museum bliss, meeting his friends and family, eating at some neat places.
When it was all said and done and he dropped me off at home, he said, "You are beautiful." Then he left. He left me speechless. I was in shock. He was messing with our friendship! Part of me was scared and the other absolutely gleeful. This is a photo of me the next day.
I showed up at his work and invited him over to watch movies. That December was a whirlwind.
Christmas Eve, 1996 we kissed for the first time. That was it. We began our life together.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
We had a great child labor thing going for a while. It was her job to pick and gather all the dandelions and bury them in a hole by the back fence. Then....someone showed her that, un-picked, those pesky weeds turn into wishing flowers. Sigh. She has made thousands of wishes that her sister would hurry up and be born. Thousands.
The innocence of childhood. Cape, t-shirt, denim shorts, and....black patten leather princess shoes? My sweet days.
Yum. Spinach. I will have my first garden fresh spinach salad tomorrow and then use some for lasagnas to freeze for the first week June Bug babe is home.
The other part of my salad mix: lettuce and various greens. So tender are they when fresh and young. Drool....
Strawberriest blossoms. Two different kinds. Lovely with morning dew......or wait...no Lil'Bug do not spray Mama with the hose while I have the camera out here! AGH!
And last....we planted blueberries. Again. We are the gardeners of ever innocent hopefulness. Every blueberry plant we have ever planted has died. This one has blossoms! Ok, to be fair, it came with the the blossom buds, but still!
But first, the diapers. This time we are going cloth. Why? Have you ever felt a disposable? Very plastic-y. A contrast to the softness of a wee babe's skin. PLUS- Disposables are really expensive. The off-brands gave Lil'Bug hideous, bloody rashes, so we always had to buy the super expensive kind, even in bulk, it adds up. We are trying to cut costs where we can. The initial investment is offset by the fact that we are not replacing some of the plastic mainstream items and that we kept what we did use (swing, exersaucer, highchair). Also, the initial investment is nothing compared to what we paid in diapers the first 6 months with Lil'Bug. Goodness, could that little baby poop!
Pocket diapers are funny little things. They have an outside, breathable, waterproof cover, fleece inside and then a pocket between the two. In that pocket goes an absorbent insert. Why not just sew the insert in? Well, if left in (called an All In One Diaper) it takes a really long time to dry after washing and only one option for absorbency. So with the removable insert, faster dry times and you can upgrade the stuffer if the babe is a heavy wetter. Very cool.
Aren't they pretty? :) I am excited to use them. The style we got adjusts with the size of the baby, so one batch is all we'll need until potty training- newborn through 35 pounds. At 16$ a piece, that's not so bad! That's why we went with this model over others, the cost savings in sizes. I wanted to buy handmade from a local WAHM, but the size flexibility made this investment doable for us. However, I did buy 12 traditional prefolds with a fleece cover as a back up diapering option from her. There may come a time we need such back ups! LOL. Also, prefolds are really versatile as changing pads, burp clothes, etc.
Right. No. I was following my own drummer by that point. (Which is funny, since Dearest Husband is in fact a drummer.......)
A good friend of mine offered to take the pictures and liked my ideas for settings. He had a couple of his own to add to the portfolio as well. Some worked out, some didn't. There was a neat one by the blood bank sign, another on an Interstate bridge, and several in a historic cemetery. This one is by a train that is/was? parked downtown. They were taken just after an April snowstorm, so yes, I was freezing!
This, a scanned in wallet size photo, is the only picture that survived. Even the negatives were destroyed by a very unhappy family member. A shame really. Aunt Bee hid it away and held on to it. She at least liked it! :)
You know what? I love this photo and all it represents.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
My husband just happened to have parked in their garage, a 1971 Super Beetle. His was white, beautiful interior, pristine exterior, and had a working radio. My car was an orange 1971 Super Beetle and nothing worked very well but the brakes! At more than one point I had to duct tape the AXEL. Think about that. My car always smelled like gasoline BUT got really good gas mileage. The first conversation I ever had with my future FIL was about the two cars.
It does seem strange to me now thinking about that day. I never would have guessed that I'd be spending holidays at that house with that family from that year on. Dearest and I began spending a lot of time together after that day. That said, I am going to continue on with Evie's love story challenge this week! (BTW, Aunt Bee provided me with these pictures, making it all possible! Thank you Aunt Bee!)
Monday, May 19, 2008
That said, she is part of a few of my favorite memories as an adult. She went with me on my first "not really a date" with Dearest Husband (ok, to be fair, she threw rocks at him and lost his fishing equipment but still.....she was 11 years old). She stood by me at my wedding. She's been a good aunt to my Lil'Bug. She's stood by me many other times as well. She's a neat person and I wish I had known her better growing up.
What I hope for my daughters is a little bit more. I hope that they know each other early and love each other dearly. I want them to enjoy each other and play together.
So, here's to you Aunt Bee. We've had to work at the whole sister thing but it has been well worth it! The picture is from 10 years ago. She was in a Midsummer's Night Dream and I somehow got caught in a photo backstage with her! Aunt Bee is on the left.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
We got up. I started having contractions. This was unusual to happen in the morning. Dare I hope? Went to music class. Lil'Bug did not get along with the substitute teacher and long story short, we left early.
And.....headed to the farmer's market! Whoo Hoo! Fresh strawberries and apples and almost the balance of our tomato plant needs. More contractions? Hmmmm.
Noon. Lil'Bug and I head to Nana's house. Nana takes me to have my toes and nails done. Chair massage too. Fumes make me woozy, but more contractions!
We head back to Nana's house and take Great Grandma swimming. Fun stuff. Lil'Bug is a fish in water. We splash and play for 30 minutes or so. More contractions. Dare I start to time them?
After we stay the afternoon at Nana's watching movies and I lay down. Contractions get so bad I call Dearest home from band practice early. They are 3 minutes apart at that point.
We get excited. Dearest packs the car. Lil'Bug stays at Nana and Pawpaw's house for a sleepover., while we go home to "labor". There is no way I am going in early to the hospital.
2-3 minutes apart. All night long. I sleep a little. Around 2 AM I ask Dearest to get up with me and watch Pirates of the Caribbean. He states that if I don't produce a baby soon I will own him big time for getting up in the middle of the night to watch a Johnny Depp pirate zombie movie. Whatever. I get excited. I bounce around on the labor ball for a while, lay on the couch, send some emails, eat, watch Johnny Depp exchange clever dialogue with Orlando Bloom.
Around 4 AM I fall asleep again. Contractions still 2-3 minutes apart. Stronger still.
Wake up around 7. Contractions only when I change position? We eat and putter around and go for a walk at the park. They pick up again, very strong. Lots of pressure. We head to the hospital! Did we wait long enough? Will I be at an eight cm, or deliver in the lobby?
Zero. I am dilated at zero. ????
We head to Nana's to get Lil'Bug and then home. I sleep for 5 hours. Contractions just about gone, when they do sneak up, not so strong.
No baby yet. I cry a little. I was right. Fake Out Labor kicked up a notch, and weeks left to endure.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
She says, "I just wanted to let you know, I'm having people over at 3."
Silence. Blank stare on my part. I could not figure out what she was getting at? I don't care if she has company over. Did she think I am too hideously pregnant and/or slovenly to be seen in the front yard? I mean, I've gained weight and I had jelly stains on my shirt from lunch, but I still think I am fairly presentable most days, that day included. OR maybe she was trying to invite us? Ug. Wait, maybe she's just excited to share the news of her gathering?
"There will be a church bus."
Ok, I am married and pregnant and still cannot figure out why I should care if a church bus is coming to her house. So I say, "How nice for you."
Dearest emerges from the back yard and she repeats her vague statements. HE GETS IT (though how, I have no idea, telepathy?). His truck is parked on the street. She wants it moved. Off the public street. We are the only family without off street parking so of course we park on the street, but she thinks we should only park in front of our own house. That's fine, but wouldn't it be easier to say, "Hey, would you mind moving your truck so my guests don't have to walk as far?" Instead we have to guess at what she wants: very, and ineffectively, passive aggressive.
Oh, and I heard from OTHER neighbors that she is really upset about us parking "near" her house. She can't understand why we are doing it and she's been complaining loudly to all who will listen. Not us, of course. That would be too effective......gah. Also, we have lived here almost 10 years and have always parked in the same places. Did I mention there is free parking on the public street and we don't have off street parking? Gah.
That bugs me.
This is the same lady who complained that my little girl and her friend were laughing and squealing too loud in our backyard in the middle of the day. I mean, we live in a very urban neighborhood where cars thump bass at all hours, sirens accentuate the birds chirping, train whistles blow, street people yell at each other, people honk instead of using door bells, etc.....all that and she has a problem with little girls playing enthusiastically outside in the afternoon?
Years ago I'd have plenty more to say to her. Now I think it is amusing and also a little bit sad. I am not going to ask my child to contain her glee though and we will continue to park our cars on the street (where else? Ooooh, maybe in our yard, on blocks! *evil grin*).
But still, the point of this reflection is that I really am too easily bugged by things. I think in the last year that I have really relaxed quite a bit and let go, but I have many roads to walk on before I really learn. It's not just that things bug me, but that I lay awake at night letting the anxiety attack me. It's just not good.
However, I am finding words to effectively communicate what bugs me and fix it.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Yes and no.
I watched as the dead browns and greys turned a hazy yellow on the horizon. I watched as the yellow gave way to a very light green, still sparse. Still, some other spots turned purple (red buds) and some exploded with white blossoms and then released the petals like snow. The maples were a deep, deep red-purple. The oak trees, tall and ancient, were the last to even think of greening, standing skeletal until the very end.
Then today, everything is green. The leaves are dark green, full, and soaking up the sunshine. Part of me was a little worried that by stalking the greening up of Spring I would ruin some of the magic.
There is no better magic for the soul than paying attention to the natural world. It may not happen overnight, but the beauty is slow and graceful and takes the time it takes. It is that simple. Few things in nature actually happen overnight. Most, germinate and swell and slowly dance before unfolding. Much needs coaxing, rain, wind, sun, warm, the earth spinning, moonlight, and time.
So as I sit in my kitchen or out in the yard, full of life ready to burst, I have to just simply reflect that nature takes it's time with all things.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I love this park. The concept of park day this week was a dress up and play in the flowers day. Despite a bad case of the grumps, Lil'Bug had a blast! 4 hours in the sun, playing hide and seek in the lilac grove, and plenty of friendship. Good stuff there.
I had a real life moment. Actually a series of them over the past week.
It started with a freak out from me over the Cardiologist appointment and not being ready for the new baby, then.......
My Dearest has been his sweet and wonderful self, but more so because he took extra time off work to help out around the house with stupid chores he hates, take us to various medical appointments and then ice cream, and bring me anything I want anytime with no complaint. No, not fried pickles with chocolate, but still. He's made an extra effort to reassure me and ask what I need to feel better/more ready.
Friends. You know, I think I am just about over the whole, "former friend really sucked and now I'm lonely forever, waaaaaaa," thing. This past week friends both local and online have really been awesome. Phone calls, emails, and comments all at the right time saying the right things. Seriously, I really needed all the love.
This morning a friend emailed and offered to drive us to the park day (the one I was afraid we'd miss because I can't drive); it occurred to her that we can't drive right now, so she offered! It was amazingly sweet and perfectly timed. This park day is special too, it's an annual dress up in the park and play in the flowers day.
And my sweet daughters. Lil'Bug has been singing and talking to June Bug. Today she told her, as her big sister so she should listen up, it is time to come out. Sweetie, I wish it was that simple.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Iowa's one and only National park is about 8 hours from here, we've been but only for my work and only for a couple hours when Lil'Bug was about 10 months old. It's neat, but not nearby.
1/4 of the entire state is inside a National Heritage Area called Silos and Smokestacks. It's really just a gimmick to tie together some tourist stuff. The website has a neat online cirriculum thing for kids called CampSilos. The travel section has a really cool history program.
Ok..... now for the place....
We do have the Iowa State Fair (and it's grounds are part of that National Heritage Area....). The Iowa State fair is different from other fairs? Maybe.
We have the butter cow. I'm not kidding. An entire life size cow made from butter.
The artist also does a second sculpture, also life size, also butter. Last year it was Harry Potter, I kid you not.
Amazing hot dogs. I know, I don't eat hot dogs usually BUT every year I eat corn dogs and hot dogs all day long at the fair. Mmmmmm....corn dogs. They also have amazing lemonade and this pineapple freeze thing that is simply divine. They also serve fried Twinkies and Snickers but I have never eaten one.
Aside from that, last year we got to see a real live pig deliver piglets. That was cool. There are shows all day long every day and lots of stuff for kids to do hands on. That's neat.
The traditional food contests were also neat. This year I am going to enter my raspberry jam. I want to enter an "ugly" cake too, but I just won't have time (or really the skill, just the morbid and gross ideas....). We enjoy seeing the animals and vegetables.
And then, when the day is all done, we head home exhausted (and belly sick from the fried food of course....).
So now we wait. In the meantime......
I don't feel ready. I don't feel put together. My laundry is undone again. I don't have all the diapers yet. The clothes pulled from the closet are not yet bagged up to go to donation. My class isn't released to students.
It is as if all my weekend anxiety over my Lil'Bug has transformed into an full blown raging tearful pregnancy mess of OMG I am not ready yet! I am also about ready to burst.
Part of it is cabin fever. Part of it is real. Part of it is hormones. Part of it is just everything being overwhelming.
And I know we are not using a nursery, but I totally see how that helped me prepare for Lil'Bug emotionally in a way that I have not done with June Bug. There is no way I am going out and purchasing a room suite to satisfy this either. That would be stupid. I have everything I need, really (except the last 1/2 of the diapers and a washable pail liner). I even bought a Moby Wrap on clearance so I have a 3rd baby carrier option.
But still panic, panic, panic.
Through it all Dearest Husband has been wonderful. He stopped and bought onsies, socks, hats and a diaper pail (a step pedal kitchen can really) on his way home from work. We moved the dresser we use as a changing table into the bathroom and strapped the changing pad to it. He planted the tomatoes, I planted the beans. Those little things have helped me feel more ready, but still.
We still need a name.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Then he heard a heart murmur.
When Lil'Bug was born she had a faint heart murmur. We had to sleep her on her side instead of her back because of this. Then it went away. It was back? The places I observed him hear it and what he explained to us and then his referral to a Pediatric Cardiologist sent me into a minor (ok, major) heart flutter. I spent hours on the Internet. I sent even more time cuddling Lil'Bug hoping that it was nothing serious......but there were possibilities that everything was not ok. Very not ok. I laid awake at night thinking about it. I didn't blog about it because of the potential that everything would be ok and I was just blowing it out of proportion. I didn't want sympathy I didn't really deserve.
Today we saw the specialist. He and his staff were kind and efficient. Lil'Bug was cooperative but scared and I wasn't allowed in the x-ray room with her (big, fat preggo belly and all). Thank goodness for Dearest.
Lil'Bug has a murmur, an innocent murmur, with a musical tonality. We'll observe at check ups and that's it.
Tears were shed. Ice cream was had by all of us.
That's it. She's not going to drop dead during soccer practice or need heart surgery or need to be on machines or medicine or die. We feel very, very blessed. The waiting room was filled with families just like us, only some of them did not get the all clear. I cried for them tonight too.
That saying about a mother's heart walking around out in the world every time she becomes a mother to another precious babe? .....so very, very true.
I didn't think much of it until the strawberries bloomed. Usually those are crawling with big fat bumble bees, but this year they are strangely devoid of not just bees but any insects at all. True, we have been able to document a handful of buggers over the last few weeks, but come on! This is Iowa! We usually swarm in the buzzing life by now to the point most people would be begging to bathe in DDT..... (Not us, of course).
So what's the deal?
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Ten Years Ago what were you doing, Mama P?
We were buying and moving into our first house. There were tornadoes through May and June. I was a nanny and a freshman in college. Just after we moved in, Dearest proposed to me. The following January we were married. That spring was magical despite the storms.
Five Things on Today’s “To Do” List
Battle tangles in her hair
Make lasagnas for the freezer
Sunday dinner with family
Work on summer syllabus (oops, forgot until just now!)
If I were a Billionaire
I'd no doubt have to get a lawyer, first. Much of my world is litigious. Then I'd pay the balance of my student loans, but then I wouldn't be a billionaire anymore! Just kidding, sort of.
I'd love to have thousands of wilderness acres and that farm life we've dreamed of.
I'd figure out some good things to do. The interest alone would fund several endeavours. In practice though I don't like most non-profit groups. More money goes to paying people to beg for more salary money (fundraising) than to do the actual program. Operating costs are often overblown. Just saying.
Three Bad Habits
Trusting the people to the point of getting taken advantage of, then not trusting enough, and oscillating between the two extremes.
Not saying thank you often enough.
I'm a sentimental packrat.
Five Places I’ve Lived
Des Moines, Ia
Five Jobs I’ve Had
- Credit Card Customer Service (thing learned: mostly, furniture salespeople in NJ are not to be trusted).
- Museum Curator/ Site Manager (re: underpaid secretary/bookkeeper who had to wear a 1900's costume when people visited the site)
- College Professor
You know, I wouldn't trade any of those jobs for the precious one I am entrusted to now.
Tag - you’re it!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
First, construct the boxes. We used scrap wood from other projects, cut them into 4 ft lengths and 1x1 stakes at the corners to screw, (not nail) them together. The above photo shows the box upside down. The stake gets pounded into the ground so the end is cut at an angle to make that a bit easier. Dearest thinks it might be a good idea to use 4x4's instead, but 1x's are what we had on hand.
These are the two new boxes lined up where they will go so we can mark where the sod needs to be cut/dug out. Still upside down.
Now, here's the thing. Our yard used to be a parking lot when our house was cut up into 9 apartments. Before that there was a garage that burned down in this spot. So various parts of the yard have ft deep of gravel, concrete, or this:
Foundation stone, rebar rods, glass, and other debris. Then the clay soil has to be dug through and removed because of the lead in the soil. MUST be done. Our area has the highest rate of juvenile lead poisoning in the entire USA. We also have Lil'Bug tested regularly, just in case.
Anyway, the soil must be removed 12-18 inches. This is beneficial too, because clay soil is not ideal for vegetable gardening. We use the soil to build up around our foundation.
Haul away debris and bad soil. Then set the boxes with the long steak side down. Level them. Do your best anyway. Ours are levelish.
Then fill with compost, top soil, and cow manure. Top with deep cedar mulch. Plant plants.
We still don't do root veggies like carrots or beets or potatoes because of the lead issue. Can't be too careful with developing brains. Lil'Bug helped a lot with almost every step of the process. The handyman who did the heavy work (Dearest) is camera shy when in work mode.
Yes, naming a baby is an enormous task. We still have not settled on a name and have actually been calling her June Bug. We have a month or less to decide and still nada. Dearest Husband thinks he has a good name, Lil'Bug has a different one, and Nana has a third name she's decided on. Great.
With Lil'Bug it was easy, inspiration hit and that was it. This time, not so much and every name I have come up with has been either yucked at, decided that...."it's a good name for a pet fish," or just plain discarded by me a day later.
Then there is Afrog the lallygagging alligator. She saw Muppet's' Treasure Island and loves the word lallygagging. Not sure she knows what it means, but still very cute. Afrog, she says, is a funny name for an alligator because he's not a frog. Chomp chomp chomp, mmmmm, yum yum yum.
Soupy is her bear. Purple Baby, who's other name is Kate, is her baby. And then there are a whole host of other animals and babies that she plays with too. She named a pair of hotwheels, Dog and Cat. Dog is the orange one and she says a girl gets to drive Dog. Why? Because it's fast!
I think it is funnier than she finds it that she gets amusement by "naming" things other things that they are not. Does that make sense? :) Needleroozer will get it. ;)
Friday, May 9, 2008
We went to a park, no problem today to meet friends. Then driving home a car almost hit us. I hit the break in time but 1)barely, my toes extended to completely compress said brake pedal and 2) I am way to close to the steering wheel and 3)OMG OMG OMG I cannot apparently handle the stress of a close call.
Bugger that. We have plans for next week that we may just have to cancel.
My courses for summer are almost designed and ready to allow student access to. Whew. That was a challenge.
Summer/winter clothes are almost changed out.
Now I have to get to the craft room/office area and make a baby friendly nook. I have to get the baby's clothes ready, diapers washed, etc. Set up a changing area upstairs. Simple things. I am going to repack our hospital bag, again.
Oh, and food. This next week I will make an extra casserole every day and freeze it. Each one is two 4 serving meals, so that's 14 + the 10 servings of chili we have frozen (we like chili!). I think that will do.
So we will be all set for when the baby comes after this weekend. Yes, perhaps I am trying to jinx myself into going into labor before we get it all done. It won't work though. :)
As in I ate so much watermelon I'm going to burst, or the soap bubbles bursting at the touch of a tot, or the bursting open of Spring buds and leaves........a burst of energy at the end of a long day....
And then....I cleaned out my closets. I have about three bags of clothes to go to donation, all mine. Why? Most of those were "work" clothes that I have not worn for over FOUR years! Now I work from home, mostly in jeans and a punk rock t-shirts (ok, sometimes my PJ's too.....), why would I need 11 pairs of teacher pants, 25 dresses, and various other dress jackets? So I pared it down to 5 sweaters, turtlenecks, 3 dress pants, and three nice dresses (two of which are feeding friendly and the other just too cute to get rid of just yet....). I kept my comfy jeans and cargo pants (5), most of my t-shirts (about 10).
It still feels like too much. I think once I pack up for storage the winter clothes I will feel better about quantities. Am I being weird? I know people with huge rooms full of clothes and others who have even less than I do, but really, laundry should have NEVER gotten so out of hand and I think the sheer quantity of clothing was party to blame.
So why was I hanging on to so many items of clothing? Part of it was that little inkling on me that was having a hard time letting go of being in the traditional work world. I still work, but the dress code has changed! Now I will allow myself the freedom to buy more punk rock t-shirts, you know, since they are required at my new job, ;P.
I also packed up the maternity clothes that no longer fit me to go to storage. Last time I just gave them all away and then had nothing to wear this time! (You know, just in case......) Which reminds me, thank you to Saratar and LifeDreamed and my MIL for helping me with that problem! MIL actually bought and had tailored pants for me and my friends graciously lent me LOTS of clothes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
****edited to add****
Lil'Bug has gone through 3 outfits today, ruined two of mine, filthied 2 towels, and the mess continues as I pause to take note of it. There will be at least three loads of laundry by the end of her joyous rampage. Ah, the virtue of childhood! :)
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Lil'Bug and I went swimming last week. She experimented with floating, diving, and sounds under the water. Then we met friends on the kid gym equipment. Lil'Bug purposely jammed her finger into the treadmill gear to stop it a'la Brave Little Toaster because she wanted a turn and her friend didn't stop (didn't hear her ask or she didn't ask......). Yike. Her finger was purple for about a day but she's fine. Is it wrong for me to be impressed that she understood gears well enough to know that it would stop the machine?
Ok, now here's the treasure:
At dinner Dearest asked her about swimming and she told him about her sound experiments, specifically laughing under water. "What does it sound like?"
"Well, actually, it sounds like a sheep meowing."
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Lily was really impressed by how pointy her shoes were. That was hilarious. Doc is now known as Dr. Pointy Shoes.
I had to have a Strep test, but not a cervical check. She asked if I wanted one and I asked if I needed it. She said no, not really, not yet. That was good.
She asked me questions about how Lil'Bug's pregnancy and birth went, in my perspective. She had studied my file thoroughly. That was good and reassuring.
She verified that we are measuring right at date, BP, protein, and sugar are all good. I asked her about the BH contractions, she said totally normal and actually good preparation. She said, I likely just didn't feel them the first time around, but they are usually more self detectable in second pregnancies and exactly how I described too.
She went over with me some of the things we do not want to happen this time, that could lead to a C-section. If my water breaks and labor has not progressed (like last time), they will advise for surgery (like last time). She said that if I test Strep positive, I'll have the IV hook up in and get the antibiotics, but I can disconnect and not have saline after that (so I can walk around). I'll have the belly monitor on, but free movement. I knew that already. No surprises there.
She spent quite a lot of time with me. She also explained that I'll have to see the Docs now, but I can opt to just see her or whomever I choose. She'd like for me not to drive out to the other clinic unless someone else is driving because of physical logistics (don't fit behind the wheel) and distance (35 minute drive there). So I will see her at the office 2 minutes from my house. That distance is ok for now, unless I feel it isn't. I really relaxed at her concern for my daily well being, my sunburn, and my feelings in general.
So, all in all, she thinks we can do the VBAC. No reason not to try, preferable than unnecessary surgery if we can do it, she said. Now we just let nature take its course.
So that's the baby update. Now, what that means is: Driving no more than 2-5 minutes at a time? We live in a sprawled out urban area. Some regular activities are now off the table. Like one of the weekly park days. To be specific, Lil'Bug's favorite park day with her friends and the big climbing tree. So we started a new park day on a different day at the park by our house. So far so good, only one other family came, but better than nothing AND it was another unschooling family with kids Lil'Bug's age! Whoo hoo!
What that also means is: Dearest must now do the grocery shopping and run Lil'Bug out to Nana's and Pawpaw's if she goes. It means I have to find someone (like wonderful Aunt Bee) to drive us to work things when needed. It means getting the house clean enough to have play dates here. That is harder than it sounds since I can't pick up things near my feet easily like laundry and toys. But, I think I have the system beat. For larger items I've been using the sucker hose on my vacuum to grab said items and lift them up! Ha ha!
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I got a sunburn ON MY FACE even though it was only 55 degrees out? It was early and I forgot to put on face lotion w/ sunscreen as my usual routine dictates + I am pregnant = really bad sunburn. Don't worry, I've tried to photoshop this to you can't blow it up (Aunt Bee.....) to see every little maimed pore. My freckles are coming back though!We cleared out at least 10 x 10 x 4 ft of space. Whoo hoo! This was the spare room of DOOM. I think I will paint it a pale shade of pink. Maybe hand paint roses here and there. Ideas welcome. Those of you local mamas.....this is that closed off bedroom that had boxes stacked 6 ft high.I spent two days with LifeDreamed and her beautiful family, chomping on veggies and trail mix, sharing good conversation, and exchanging pregnancy sympathy with alternating (read numerous) "potty breaks". Lil'Bug and K. are complete opposites and yet were fast friends. On Friday they played together for almost 10 hours and only wearied at the very end (ok, and when they got hungry in the middle).We had a seriously good time. I am so grateful to have this friend in my life right now. I may have made more moolah at garage sales past, but this one by far was the best.
Monday, May 5, 2008
We were out in the garden working on the raised bed when she pointed and read this:
Cool. She read COW! She also picked up a book at the book store and asked to buy it. I said, "Sure, if you can tell me what it is called."
"Space. Mom, it says Space right here," she pointed to the cover title.
So now she is the proud owner of a book about space and a bag of cow poop. :) She asked to keep it a secret for a while, but finally relented to letting me blog about it. For those of you who don't know, we do not do active reading/writing lessons. We read to her a lot. She HATES the ABC song and people quizzing her on the alphabet, so we don't. She knows her letters though and can write most of them when she wants to. I suspected she was reading when I heard her screaming at Super Why last week that they got the wrong answer AGAIN, but I did not push her on it.
She will and is now reading at her own pace. She does it for curiosity and not performance. She is growing and learning naturally.
I am guessing it's a good thing anyway since a baby hasn't fallen out yet. :) I might just skip asking until I see the midwife next week. Depends on how comfortable I feel with the Doc.
I am huge, BTW. Now every time I go out someone asks if I am having twins, due yesterday, or carrying a big boy. When I say due in June, one little girl, the reply is anything from, "Right...." to "You know, docs can get it wrong, you may have twin boys in there...." Ugh. Why does pregnancy invite strangers to comment on my reproductive organs anyway? Or my weight. I know I am huge. HUGE, but that doesn't make it ok to guess my poundage. Or comment on my butt, thighs, or lack of neck (which I think is weird, since I still have a chin line). Anyway, it makes me not want to go out.
Also, I have a question for anyone who'll take it up:
What, if anything, did you take to the hospital that you ended up using? Last time we packed tons of things and used very few. So far I have PJ's, robe, socks with treads, baby outfit, de-tangler, comb, hair ties, receiving blanket, underwear, camera. That's it. Oh, and the outfit I wear there, I'll wear home. I feel like I am missing something......
So in honor of my upcoming one year blogoversary, I am resurrecting the first blog Meme I ever did: The Seven Random Things and I will update and reflect!
Seven random things (that bug me):
1) People who ask for input or ideas when really they don't want input or ideas. What they want is for you to do something for them. I would really rather they just asked directly.
*Last week I might have also added "People who do this and then when you do the implied thing for them do not say thank you." But, whatever. I will do a whole new post on this next.
2) People who think they are cars. Yes, we have sidewalks, perfectly good ones that are always cleared of debris and snow....but yet I almost run over at least 30 people while I am driving in and out of my neighborhood because they refuse to use said perfectly good sidewalks. Why? They think they are cars. Beep beep.
*Still bugs me. However, I think now that my flowers are in bloom I would rather people walk as far away from my yard as possible. I'm not driving every day anymore either, so I don't encounter the people-cars as much.
3) Itty bitty parking spaces. I am perfectly between the lines and so is the big SUV on my left....and yet, I cannot open my door and thus load groceries easily, let alone get the cart up to my car.
*There is a local mall that not only has itty bitty parking spaces but they are all at a weird non-parallel to each other angle. It is so annoying especially in winter when you can't see the lines anyway and the lines of cars snake into each other, but even in good weather this arrangement of rows make zero sense to me.
4) People who take the fact that we homeschool as a personal insult to their own parenting choices. I mean, why is this?
*I used to think that was their problem. I don't think so anymore. I think I may have come off as pompous and snotty about our choice. Perhaps that was their problem? Sometimes it is easier to blame something else than to admit that people don't like me for me. I may have more degrees than 3 elementary public school teachers combined, but that does not make me a better or more qualified homeschooler. In fact, the thing I lack would: patience. So, I am working on that.
5) Myspace. Specifically, my little sister's myspace page. I won't explain it, it just bugs me. I could link to it, but I'll just leave it to your imagination.
*This doesn't bug me anymore either. Last term I would have said my students' MySpace was the cause of much angst but I'm over that now too. People seek out what they need. I think that, if anything, a factor that bugs me is people lying on their blogs about who they are and what they do, IRL. It serves no purpose. I don't mean screen names and psudonyms, but rather hobbies and interests or crisis. At one point I had created a fictional author so I could participate on a newspaper forum and my students wouldn't recognize me. I see that as stupid now. It was me with a false background. It lasted about two weeks before I came to the conclusion that it was icky and I changed my profile to me and started a blog of my own.
6) The fact that the "beep beep" cart at the grocery store doesn't fit through the checkout lane. I don't feel bad at all about leaving it by the candy/magazine rack for store employees to deal with. I have to deal with groceries and screaming tot who wants to park the darn thing in the middle of the Doritos display.
*Still a HUGE problem.
7) Laundry. It never goes away. It multiplies when you add water and gets really ugly when you feed it after midnight.
*Yup, this too. Now that I cannot easily pick things up off the floor it is much much worse. Also, standing and folding hurts my back. As much as Lil'Bug and Dearest try and help, we are slowing losing the battle. I'd rather have Gremlins.
Perhaps we shall see some fruit this year? That would be awesome!
The same late frost was an issue with the magnolias last year. This year? Their beauty amazes me. I love magnolias!
This Spring has been full of life and wonder, even if the warmer temperatures and sunshine were late coming. It seems like the hurt and sadness that started last Spring has finally passed and we have found ourselves rooted in good ground. We've decided to stay put for another year, take the tasks of trying to sell the house more gently and enjoy the new baby and the summer and living in our home.....for once! We've always rushed around, frantic on some project, always doing it for an external factor. This summer we will simply enjoy. When we are ready, we will stick the sign in the yard and figure out where we are headed. It may be far, it may be near BUT hopefully the housing market won't be as scary!