Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One big stressor avoided

So I've been waiting and waiting for my cloth diaper exchange to take place in the mail. I had insured the box I sent the wrong-colored ones back in, but it had NOT shown up according to the cotton babies website. Grrr. So I took Gretchen's advice and bought some disposable diapers for peace of mind. That worked for a little bit, but then Christmas came and went and this week came and still no sign of the box arriving at their warehouse in St. Louis. And then I found myself completely unworried yesterday. I thought to myself "no big deal, it's insured, I'm sure everything will be fine". These are unexpected words bouncing around my mind, which is usually racing and fearing the worst about things like this. But THEN!

That same evening I was chillin' with M and the doorbell rang. It was the glorious UPS man with a package full of correct-colored diapers. Hallelujah! But the diaper website still says they're waiting for my package to arrive there. ? Was this the work of some good samaritan at Cotton Babies that took pity on my plight? I have called them a few times the past weeks just to see if it was there, but not logged into the computer: no luck. (I have also called the post office: worthless bunch of hooligans losing my stuff. If they screwed over my nice friends at CB then I will collect that insurance money and give it back.)

Either way, I happily prepared the final touches on my nest. I washed and folded my diapers and looked satisfactorily around at E's room. I feel like things are falling into place and I'm maybe, possibly, even moderately ready for all the changes about to take place. I have been meditating a bit for clarity and well-being. I have a hard time visualizing what to expect in big life changes beforehand. This is a problem because I am so visual in the first place. In order to feel prepared and not-crazy I have to see things coming, even if it's vague. I finally can see baby E coming and being here. Does that sound crazy? I think most women can see and accept their babies in utero more readily than I can. For me it takes more work. My point is that my meditative times have paid off a little in this regard. I want to enjoy E when he comes, not stress out about every little thing (I already did that with M, and I regret not just holding him and being there.) I think E will come out when he's ready. And when I'm truly ready. That feels just about right.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

TMI

For everyone who is wondering, I'm still pregnant. I met with my OB yesterday after a fairly funny-in-retrospect freak out. Let me backtrack a little: Both Saturday and Sunday nights were spent on the couch with a breast pump on the lowest setting to try and induce myself into labor. Both times I was able to get my contractions going for over an hour at 3-5 minutes apart. But both times I stopped pumping the contractions died down and eventually went away.

So Monday morning I called the nurse in tears saying that E had measured big over a week and a half ago, and now he was probably huge, and I wouldn't be able to push him out, and I would have to have a c-section, and nothing was happening without a breast pump, and I was panicking, and I needed to be induced NOW. She was really nice and said not to worry. E's measurements are plus or minus up to 2 pounds, and he probably wouldn't be much bigger than M was. Then she put me on hold and got me an appointment for a few hours later on my (very nice and understanding) Dr.'s lunch hour. So I met with Dr. Mayer and she calmed me down. She said she wasn't worried and that I would be able to get him out. She also teased me about having a meltdown and gave me a hug. Apparently I just needed validation and love, because after that I felt much better about everything.

Well, not for the next part: while I was there Dr. Mayer stripped my membranes. There are such lovely phrases used at the end of pregnancy, no? It was not fun, but worth it, because today things are moving along. I've had a few more painful contractions on my own, and I lost more of my mucous plug. If any more than that happens, I'll update the old k-land here.

(I also went to the chiropractor today and my back feels wonderful for once! So I think I'm ready. Now it's off to nap :))

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two Fakeouts So Far

Last Thursday I thought I was going to have to eat my words about not having E for a while. I was having...symptoms, we'll just put it that way. But then, nothing. Fakeout number one. So then Sunday night comes along and I have a bunch of Braxton-Hicks contractions (is that how you spell it?). I started timing them when they started to hurt a little. For 2 hours they were pretty much 3-7 minutes apart. And then they stopped. Fakeout number two.

Since Sunday, I've had sporadic contractions but not enough to time them or anything. Also, I went to the OB this morning and there was pretty much nothing new to report. I'm still at a 2, but she says I'm very soft so it could be any day. Her words were that it now just depends on when my body decides to go into labor. She also said on her way out the door that she was on call Christmas day and maybe she would see me. Does that mean anything?! I don't know.

Hopefully my body decides to go into labor no earlier than Christmas morning around 11am. That way I can at least see little M's face when he sees that Santa brought him "lots of trains and special crayons" just like he has stated so many times :). Not to mention the little bike with training wheels that R purchased last night at Toys r Us three days before Christmas (not recommended).

I'm just torn because E is already pretty big. I think he's going to come out at 8 1/2 pounds, maybe more. Just 2 more days little guy!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Final Ultrasound (for my belly, not E's kidneys)

Today was my last ultrasound while gestating. E will get another ultrasound on his kidneys in the hospital once he's born, but that's another story. The long and short of today's visit was: we can't see anything new. Wow, exciting!

Alright I am exaggerating a little bit. Some of the information was interesting. For example, according to E's measurements he would have an estimated date of arrival 1 week early. This is because I'm 38 weeks and his measurements added up to 39 weeks. When am I due again? Oh yeah, New Year's Day. And when is a week before that? Oh yeah, CHRISTMAS FREAKING DAY! No!! So help me if the one time these measurements are accurate are with me. In my defense the doctor today and my OB both said "who knows?" even with all the guesswork. So it could be tomorrow or it could be in 2 weeks. We shall see.

Also, according to all his measurements he weighs (drum roll please) 8 pounds 2 ounces. This weight is in the 85th percentile, and I think his head circumference is also on the bigger side. However, lest you laugh at me and my plight, Dr. Solomon did say that the fact that his head is SO low in my pelvis right now means I probably won't have much trouble. She said most people think of whether or not their skin can stretch over a large baby, when that isn't really the problem. It is really whether or not your pelvic bones are wide enough. Hence, the fact that his head is pretty much hanging out in my pelvic bowl comfortably today, means he'll probably come out just fine. Hooray! No C-sections please!

P.S. I HATE the post office. I mailed back some cloth diapers that were the wrong color to exchange them for other colors. But their stupid slow service is driving my nesting self crazy. Do you know how much better I would feel if I just knew they had received the package and were sending my news ones? Huh?! The answer is: a LOT.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yet another prego update

I went to the ob/gyn this morning and.....only a "barely 2cm dilated, and about 50% effaced" was pronounced. I am still very okay with this as I want to get through Christmas pregnant. Then my doctor said: "I think you'll see Christmas pregnant". Woohoo! No hospital Christmases please.

Plus there's the whole intuition thing. I just don't think it's happening for about 2 weeks. I think I will either be a couple of days early or right on the date of January 1st. We shall see. I'm taking bets. You win, hmm, something. My respect? Bragging rights? Cookies in about 6 months when I finally remember to make them AND have time to do so? Take your pick.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Of Course

Of course I would be without a R when what happened last night happened. (R is in Utah for ONE night, just one.) So there we were, me and Camille, talking. It's about 10:30 at night, and there's a storm brewing outside, and Miles's toys are scattered about in the backyard, and we hear something banging. It doesn't sound like toys, or wind, it sounds like a person. A person banging on the glass door right next to where we are talking.

So we both jump up and I do something I've never had occasion to do before: call 911. Camille saw me through my first time and it wasn't so bad. I was mostly surprised by how long I was on hold. On hold for 911! Seriously? I was waiting for about a minute to a minute and half. What if we needed an ambulance? Yikes. Regardless, I spoke to the nice man, gave him my address and name and an officer showed up within 10 minutes to check it out. It turns out that it was nothing other than wind, or perhaps the stupid bush outside the master bedroom door. I personally think it really was a person, but perhaps a neighbor out in their backyard or something?

I was scolded for a few things like not locking our gate, and not having motion sensors for the lights in the back. He also said to get better locks on the sliding glass doors. Seeing as we have freaking 3 sets of doors (I'm not a big fan, particularly for the safety reason), I will take his advice to heart.

After all this I proceeded to not calm down enough to fall asleep for another 4 hours. Around 2:30am or so I finally went to bed. With a light on. I'm such a baby! And yet I'm having a baby. I wonder if my children would question my abilities if they could read and comprehend what I write here on my blog sometimes...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Trader Joe's, how I love thee

I just had Candy Cane Joe Joe's for breakfast. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bum Genius: Aptly Named

Well, I am now committed. I have purchased Bum Genius cloth diapers. And a trash can and mild detergent. I'm excited! Is that weird? Probably.

I used the Cotton Babies website and they have been great. I would highly recommend them, both for the customer service, and also the price. I don't think I found a better deal for buying in bulk. Plus they have pretty much everything on one website, including information, Q&A, recommendations, pictures. I like that.

The diapers are so cute! The tiny ones are SO tiny! I only got 12 of those out of worry for a good fit when E is brand new. Then I bought 24 of the one-size fits all type for when E grows a little bit. I got a few in yellow, green and blue. I am quite impressed with how cool these diapers are. They have snaps that allow them to fit a baby all the way up to 35 pounds. They are considered "pocket diapers" which means that you insert a little washcloth-type piece of material into the pocket. Then you can line the diaper with a flushable soft tissue liner to keep poop off the material. Then you throw the liner (with the mess) into the toilet and toss your diaper into the trash can with a lid. (This bit of information is what simplified it enough for me to take the plunge.)

Every 2 days you launder the diapers by one cold wash and one warm wash in the washer. You have to use a very mild detergent. I found a great website with a very comprehensive list. (I found this detergent at Whole Foods and on amazon.com, and it has 5/5 stars according to a few sources, so that's what I'm using.) Then you can either dry them in the dryer or on a rack. I'm going for the rack-drying method what with the sun all up in my business all the time in AZ. Now it'll be working FOR me instead of AGAINST me. Ha, joke's on you sun!

I also got this little wet bag for when I go out and about with E. I'll mostly use it for diaper bag outings. I'm debating whether or not to get this sprayer because I'm not sure I need it or not. Even after all these purchases, the total comes to the same amount we would spend on disposable diapers in about 6-8 months. Clearly a bargain. And green too! I really DO feel satisfied knowing that I'm doing my part not adding plastic mounds to the garbage dumps.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

And I'm still a 1

No change here! I AM actually excited about this. Do you know how many things I still need to do before this baby comes? Let me list them, just for my own benefit: meet La Leche League folks, buy detergent for my cloth diapers, remedy the cloth diaper exchange situation (wrong colors, also lots of crying and swearing from a certain overwhelmed, nesting prego...), buy several things like Pack 'n' Play sheets and Aveeno lotion, move dressers around and organize clothing in both boys' rooms, clean the house in general, hang up the last remaining pictures, call about breast pump rentals, mail Christmas things to a sister, a nephew, and a grandma, etc. There's probably more, but once this list is diminished I will feel much better about going into labor. Phew.

Plus R is going out of town briefly this weekend, and now I do not have to worry about going into labor for the next few days. Also, December is a fun month. In the next 2 weeks I have 2 Christmas parties to attend and one book club meeting where there will be a cookie exchange. I don't want to miss all the fun. Especially when after little E makes his debut I will be holed up for a few months just trying to survive. Yikes! Such is the price we pay for dear little people. I am looking forward very much to meeting this little man :)

P.S. I love IKEA! I found train tracks for M there today for MUCH less than what Amazon had it available for. I also found a few odds and ends for E's room which was very satisfying. I continue to build the nest...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

9 to go

So I'm one centimeter dilated as of yesterday. Only 9 cm to go! However, don't get too excited. My doc still says we're looking at the first of January. Sigh. No, it's a good thing. I want E nice and plump when he comes out. That way I can be special with the breast pump as I have NO idea what I'm doing. Thank goodness for nurses and lactation specialists.

I also want to clean the entire house and organize pretty much everything. I spontaneously decided to bleach the whole bathroom today. This is very uncharacteristic of how I've been feeling this pregnancy up until now. Nesting is very real my friends, and it's a good thing or I would be too sleepy to do anything productive. I thank the evolution that brought me this obsession.

I got the pack 'n' play today, and the cloth diapers are coming next week. Once I get all the clothes into the dresser and closet I think I will feel a little more ready. I might even have time to decorate a little. I never had a chance with M because we were renting crappy apartments and it didn't seem worth it. But I love the new house and the blue walls in the boy's rooms. No white, hooray!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

E Update

We had another ultrasound today and got, yet again, not much news: E still has cleft lip and palate. It still looks like bilateral cleft lip, and unilateral cleft palate. His movement is good. He is measuring within normal limits (about a week to a week and half ahead of schedule.) He weighs about 6 lbs. 5 oz. My amniotic fluid level is good. I'm not dilating or effacing at all, so no baby today at least. :)

There was new information on the kidney issue, but whether or not it is a horseshoe kidney is still debatable. We have to wait to get that one ruled out. They just can't tell if he has two kidneys, or one big kidney. It is too hard to see on that wiggly little guy. So we will have a renal ultrasound and get a few answers when he is born.

However, they DO know now that the fluid-filled cysts he has in his kidney is only in one of the kidneys (as long as there are, in fact, 2 kidneys). The kidney that has the cysts is now manifesting specifically as a "Poly-Cystic Kidney". Treatment is basically nothing. E will get renal ultrasounds to track the cysts. They should observe the cysts shrinking away into nothing over time. It could take a few years, but they shouldn't be painful or cause any problems. Apparently we are supposed to get a pediatric nephrologist (sp?), not a regular one. (Worst case scenario: they DO cause problems and he has a kidney removed.) Good news: his other kidney has no cysts, is in the right place, is functioning normally. So there you go.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Zany Eric Snider, You!

Oh my, this is what I needed to read after all the unpleasantness as of late. Just leave it to utter non-political-correctness to do the trick for me :) Enjoy! Here's the link if you want to read the article on Eric Snider's website (which is a website I highly recommend.):(http://www.ericdsnider.com/snide/the-gay-marriage-column/)

THE GAY MARRIAGE COLUMN by Eric D. Snider

Well! There has been quite a rhubarb over this whole gay marriage thing! If you'll permit me, I'd like to employ my usual measured, careful analysis of this controversy to see if I can help us understand both sides a little better.

On the one side, you have the fags. The fags, the queers, the dykes, and the lesbos. They want the government to let them marry each other the same way people of the opposite sex marry each other, i.e., expensively, and followed by a lifetime of sexless drudgery. The homos also want to require kindergarten teachers to promote homosexuality to their students, complete with visual aids and in-class demonstrations; they want to destroy the traditional family unit and replace it with a society where everyone just walks around naked all the time, sometimes pausing in the street to do it with a stranger; they want the First Amendment rewritten to make all churches illegal except for the ones with fashionable interior design; and they want the national anthem replaced with something by Sondheim.

On the other side, you have the religious nutjobs -- the zealots, the whackos, the crusaders, the cultists. These bigots want to enforce Christianity -- their particular brand of it, of course, since all the other kinds of Christianity are wicked -- throughout the land, first by putting up Nativity scenes in federal courthouses, and eventually by replacing every American city's street lights with giant crucifixes and all state constitutions with copies of Guideposts magazine. They believe that gays are second-class citizens whose deviant behavior strips them of any rights under the Constitution, and that if the gays want to get married they should all just move to an island somewhere, start their own little gay-marriage colony, and eventually kill each other with AIDS (which religious people believe is spontaneously generated, like fire, when you rub two gays together).

There. Have I summed everything up?

California's recent vote on Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state, was a close one -- 52% in favor of the ban, 48% against. What especially frustrated those opposing the proposition was that early polling had indicated a handy majority of voters agreed with them. It wasn't until a certain church got involved -- a certain church known as the Latter-day Saint LDS Church of the Mormons -- that the tide turned the other way. For those in favor of gay marriage, it was like playing a game of basketball where your team is outperforming the other team until the fourth quarter, when suddenly they bring in 750,000 extra players. The analogy is imperfect, because in this case the extra players did not violate the rules of the game, and because of course gays don't play basketball, but you get the idea.

The LDS Church made the unusual move of specifically encouraging its members in California to not just vote for Prop 8, but to donate their time and money to encourage others to vote for it, too. And for the most part, rank-and-file Mormons responded to their leaders' directions the way they usually do: they had a meeting, served refreshments, ran over by about 10 minutes, declared Democrats evil, talked about BYU football for a while, and then went out and did what had been asked of them. About $40 million was raised in support of Prop 8, and at least half of that was contributed by Mormons. Many church members also canvassed neighborhoods and made phone calls for Prop 8. It was an all-out effort, and there's no disputing it was the Mormon involvement that got Prop 8 passed. Mormons should be proud to know that their efforts paid off.

Strangely, however, now that gay-marriage proponents are expressing outrage and anger at the Mormons, many church members are acting like their involvement was inconsequential. They're celebrating on Election Night, and then the next day saying, "What? Why are you mad at US? We weren't the only ones!" There have also been several instances where it has become known that someone donated money to Prop 8 -- political contributions are a matter of public record -- and people have boycotted their businesses in response. This, too, has left some Prop 8 supporters hurt and confused.

What people failed to realize, I guess, is that when you get involved in a political issue, you don't get to choose what kind of response you get. You don't get to accept the congratulations for your victory but refuse the jeers from the losing side. That doesn't excuse the illegal reactions, of course. The physical threats, the vandalism, that's all out of bounds, obviously. But refusing to patronize a business whose owner contributed to a political cause you disagree with is a perfectly legal and reasonable thing to do. If you're going to take a stand for something, you have to accept that there's going to be a negative reaction from those who disagree with that stand.

A man named Dave Leatherby, owner of an ice cream shop in Sacramento and a devout Catholic, contributed, with his family, about $20,000 in support of the gay-marriage ban. He's now shocked and bewildered that the people who view his contribution as an attack on their civil rights are boycotting his business. According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, "he is particularly confused because his business has participated in the annual gay pride Rainbow Festival." Which is sort of like saying, "Sure, I punched you in the face and threw you in a ditch. But don't forget -- I also came to your birthday party last year!"

Some of the boycotting takes things too far, though. Some activists are calling for a boycott of the entire state of Utah, including the gay-friendly Sundance Film Festival, which is held in Utah's most liberal town, Park City. That's like boycotting Nevada because you don't like hookers. I guess "Utah" equals "Mormonism" in the same broad, stereotypical, mostly-true-but-not-entirely sense that "gay" equals "un-athletic."

Then there was the head of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center organizing a drive to send protest postcards to LDS Church "president Thomas Munson," whose last name is actually Monson. Or gay columnist Dan Savage saying on CNN that a letter in support of Prop 8 had been read over the pulpit at all Mormon "temples," unaware that Mormon temples are quite different from the regular Mormon churches, which is where the letter was actually read. (Ask any Mormon -- the difference is huge.) Or the various calls to hold protests at Mormon temples on a Sunday, apparently unaware that Mormon temples are closed and empty on Sundays, because all the Mormons are at their churches. (See? Told you there was a difference.)

What we're finding is that the average gay activist knows as much about Mormons as the average Mormon knows about gays, i.e., mostly unflattering half-truths that they once heard from someone who doesn't like them.

There are some legal misunderstandings, too. Many Prop 8 opponents are saying the LDS Church's involvement in this political issue means it should have its tax-exempt status revoked. This refers to section 501(c)(3) of U.S. Title Code 26, which a lot of people didn't read because they heard it wasn't as good as U.S. Title Code 25, so I'll summarize it. It's laying out which groups are exempt from taxation, and it includes:

"Corporations ... organized and operated exclusively for religious ... purposes ... no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation." (The ellipses are to simplify the sentence by removing the parts that don't apply here.)

Now, I'm not a lawyer, but the church's lawyers are lawyers, and I'm guessing their defense lies in the word "substantial." You'd have a hard time showing that the church's attempt to influence the passage of Prop 8 constituted a "substantial" part of its activities, given that it's a worldwide church with billions of dollars in holdings and 13 million members. Only a small fraction of that money and those members reside in California. "Revoke their tax-exempt status!" makes sense until you actually read what the law says. Then you can see it's not so cut-and-dried.

But some Prop 8 supporters have been misunderstanding the law, too. I've been hearing a lot of this lately: "Prop 8 opponents should just drop it. The people have spoken and the measure has passed! It's over!" And that's a lame argument. Are you saying that if the outcome had been the other way around, you'd be saying, "Oh well! We lost. Time to move on and just accept gay marriage"? Of course not. "You lost! Get over it!" reeks of gloating and smugness, and it's as unhelpful as a lesbian in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.

Most of these people were upset that there even had to be a vote, considering Californians had already banned gay marriage once before, only to have that law struck down by the state Supreme Court. They complain that it's not fair for the court to go against the will of The People. Well, that argument's as useless and hollow as Bill O'Reilly's head. There's not a gentle way of saying this, so I'll just spit it out: It doesn't matter what The People want. Part of what the U.S. Supreme Court and the individual state supreme courts do is compare the will of The People against the state and U.S. constitutions. Those documents trump everything else. If The People vote for something that the Supreme Court determines is a violation of the Constitution, then it doesn't matter how many of The People voted for it. It's out, period.

So the issue isn't whether the state Supreme Court should be overruling The People, because the answer is yes, it should, if what The People want is unconstitutional. The issue is whether the Supreme Court was correct when it determined that a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. That's the question, and obviously there are strong arguments on both sides. Even the court itself was divided, 4-3, and if seven robe-wearing old people whose names you wouldn't recognize can't agree on something unanimously, then what hope is there for the rest of us?

As usual with these things, both sides are convinced of their own moral rightness, and each side is upset that its intolerance is not being greeted with more tolerance by the other side. Everyone claims to want to reach an "understanding" or a "compromise," but all they really mean is that they want the other side to give up and back down.

This is all wrong! Gays and Mormons should focus not on their differences but on what they have in common. They both love being persecuted and telling the world what martyrs they are, for example. They both love Disneyland. They both prefer Mitt Romney over John McCain. They're both always well represented on "American Idol." They're both unwelcome in Alabama. They're both suspicious of Catholic priests. The list goes on and on.

As these emotionally charged debates continue, it's important to remember what we share -- our desire for happiness, our inherent worth as human beings, and our gratitude to live in a country that lets us hash these things out without anyone having to raise an army or execute any dissenters. In the stirring words of our national anthem, let's send in the clowns.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pie Heaven

So I'm making various kinds of pie for Thanksgiving and need to enlist help. So far I've got recipes for a great apple pie, mixed berry pie, and pumpkin pie. They are all tried and true. I'm pretty convinced that the pecan pie recipe I have from Martha Stewart is going to be good too, so that's the fourth one.

Pie number five is more problematic. I want to make some kind of chocolate pie, but there are so many and I cannot choose one. Any suggestions? Your favorites, or real crowd-pleasers? Thanks!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Heartburn

Sorrowful: The impending labor. The baby that needs help. The feeding and the pumping and feeding and the pumping. How long will I make it? The surgery and then the other surgery. The RSV season, the germs, the people, the well-wishers. The hormones running rampant. The recovery. The weight loss and nutritional dilemma. The politics that have taken over my mind for so long. The fallout. The people justifying. The statements too late. Being a square peg..you know the rest.

Also, I really do have heartburn. Bad. Stupid orange juice. Thank goodness for chocolate milk in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Taggage

1. Answer the six "8" items
2. Let each person know they have been tagged

8 Favorite TV Shows
1.
The Sopranos
2. House
3. 30 Rock
4. Arrested Development
5. Heroes
6. Grey's Anatomy
7. Lost
8. 24

8 Things I did yesterday
1. voted
2. went to a party and had 7 layer dip
3. took a nap
4. read The Host
5. met a feminist
6. thought about going into labor (less than 2 months left)
7. loved talking to R, as per usual
8. witnessed Obama's speech and got the chills

8 Things I look forward to
1. February 2009 for political reasons
2. New Year's Day for baby reasons
3. watching the Colbert Report with R every day
4. the holidays
5. napping
6. getting the baby's room ready
7. the feeling I get after doing yoga
8. starting to run again

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. Mastro's
2. In-n-out Burger
3. Oregano's
4. Tia Rosa's
5. Yuri's
6. Serrano's
7. Jamba Juice
8. any bistro-type place: Wildflower Cafe, Great Harvest, House of Tricks, etc.

8 Things on my wish list

1. kitchen gadgets (tongs, mortar & pestle, pastry scraper, a zester, a new Kitchen Aid!)
2. Radiohead b-sides

3. a really nice camera
4. Juno DVD
5. a piano
6. various books
7. Wii
8. a tattoo

8 people I tag (if you choose to participate and haven't already done so)

1. Kristen (AZ)
2. Kristen (MI)
3. Claire
4. Melissa
5. Travis
6. Brian
7. Heather
8. Shane and Nikki

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Acclimatizing

So AZ isn't so bad. We open the windows and night and have fresh air. Hallelujah! We have some friends too. I'm not so keen on constantly saying I want to leave the 6 month summers anymore now that I have some friends to call my very own. :) There's also something to be said for knowing an area too. I have to say some of my acclimatizing has to do with the Children's Museum, preschool, gymnastics, my gym, and various stores like Trader Joe's where I feel like everyone knows my name. Maybe AZ is growing on me after all...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Affirmation link

I found this very interesting, and enlightening.

Letter from Joseph Dallin to Richard Wilkins

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Come and see the Prego dance!

Hi friends and family,

As you know, I am a dancer. A modern dancer to be exact, and my first (and last) pregnant performance is coming in just a few days at ASU.

This weekend is the run of "Common Ground", an Emerging Artist ASU modern dance performance. My good friend from back at BYU, Sara Malan-McDonald, has choreographed beautiful work for us to see. I can only get a certain number of tickets for the student price of $7, so let me know if you want a cheaper ticket and I'll try to hook you up. Otherwise, you can check out this link for ticket information: http://herbergercollege.asu.edu/calendar/eventOne.php?ID=1324%3C.

Somehow I have ended up in a lot of the program: I'm the facilitator for the movement experience at the beginning of the concert. I helped choreograph the first piece called "Push/Pull". I'm also in Sara's solo project in all my pregnant glory. You should all come and see if I can keep my balance. There are performances Friday evening, Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon. Please support the local arts!

Below is the email I got from Sara explaining a little more about the concert and it's choreographers. They have all worked so hard. I hope to see some of you there! Feel free to email me with any questions or write a comment here on the blog.
K
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Dear Friends and Family,

I am very proud to invite you to Emerging Artist 1, October 24th- 26th presented by ASU Herberger College Dance's MFA students, Sara Malan-McDonald and Holly Wooldridge. Sara Malan-McDonald and Holly Wooldridge find common ground in their thesis projects as they question: who gets to dance, how do we frame dance and how do we experience contemporary dance?

Holly Wooldridge explores the dancer's experience in relationship to Antonio Damasio's ideas on consciousness in two unique and kinetic pieces: The Feeling of What Happens, set to the music of French composer Francis Dhomont, is an intimate journey that explores the complexity of human consciousness. Light, a key component in the piece, serves as a metaphor for a heightened level of awareness. It sculpts our focus, confronts the performers, and defines the space we all inhabit. You Are Here was created in collaboration with nine members of the Mesa Center for the Arts Off Center Dance Company in a site-specific piece set in a long hallway outside the Dance Studio Theatre. As the nine dancers manipulate their way in, out and through the space, they transform it from a boring campus hallway into an energetic, colorful space that shrinks and expands with the directional tug and pull of movement.

Sara Malan-McDonald strongly believes that everyone has a story and each story deserves telling. She explores and encourages storytelling through movement in two collaborative dance works: Push / Pull is a collaborative, inter generational dance project exploring relationships of power in the classroom and studio. This highly physical and emotional work offers an insider's view of performers' experiences in the roles of teacher and student and encourages audience members to examine alternatives to an authoritarian teaching model. A Place of Crossing, choreographed by Mary Fitzgerald, is a physical exploration of Sara's personal spiritual journey. Accompanied by a chorus of individuals who have been present at places of crossing throughout her life, Sara wrestles with making sense of her life at this time of change. Watch for gestures inspired by Buddhist and Christian iconography.

For more information regarding the process of my thesis project I encourage you to visit my blog: http://saramfa.blogspot.com/
Tickets can be purchased online, via phone or at the door.
www.herbergercollege.asu.edu/tickets
480.965.6447

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No on Prop 8, No on Prop 102

So many Mormons are publicly and actively supporting Prop 8 in California (and Prop 102 here in Arizona) that people may assume that I support these Props just by being Mormon.

I want people to know that some of us are also on the other side. I'm against Prop 8. I just wanted to state it publicly here. I urge you to give money to the No on Prop 8 campaign if you are able, even if you do not live in California. Or just put up a sign in your yard. Or just privately vote and make a difference. They can use your help.

Please also visit MormonsForMarriage to see some of the reasons I have for being against Prop 8. And to see a list of how many donations there are from Mormons to the Yes on Prop 8 campaign, see this link, then look for the "Pages" sidebar and click on "Mormons for Proposition 8 Donors". The spreadsheet it pulls up tracks the money given by Mormons to push Prop 8 through. This massive donation dollar amount in support of Prop 8 is why I feel so strongly about getting some donations to the other side to even it out. See the links below to contribute to No on Prop 8.

The message below is a plea from a friend in California right now. There are useful links at the bottom if you are interested.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Friends,

In just three weeks, California voters will decide whether to change the California Constitution to single out gay and lesbian couples and eliminate their fundamental right to marry. I believe this is inconsistent with Mormon values and in this final hour I urge you to do what you can to defeat Proposition 8.

So many of us from LDS backgrounds value our own Constitutional protections and believe strongly that the Constitution should protect freedoms, not take them away. Regardless of how any one person or faith feels about marriage for same-sex couples, we know that it is wrong to use the Constitution to treat a group of people unfairly.

The truth is that passing Prop 8 would hurt gay and lesbian couples – our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors – and devalue their relationships and their lives. Coming from Mormon backgrounds, we believe in the importance of families and want all families to be treated equally and fairly, which includes having the right to marry the person you love.

As you may already know, proponents of Prop 8 have a significant fundraising advantage and are currently blanketing the airwaves with advertisements that contain misinformation designed to scare voters into voting Yes on Prop 8. Despite what the Yes on 8 Campaign would have us believe, the vote on Prop 8 is not about what children are taught in school, whether churches will lose their tax-exempt status, or whether people of faith may define marriage however they choose. The proposition mentions none of these things. The vote is about whether the State of California should take away the right of a group of people to get married and enjoy the dignity and respect that comes with marriage. Doing this would be profoundly wrong.

I call on all people from LDS backgrounds – active members and former members alike, those in California, Utah, and across the country – to make a personal sacrifice and donate to the No on 8 Campaign. You may do so at the following URL:

http://www.actblue.com/page/mormonsagainst8

If you haven't donated yet, please do so; if you already have, please consider doing so again. And please enlist your friends and family by forwarding this message to 10 people.

For those who would like to volunteer to call undecided voters in these final weeks, please contact the No on 8 Campaign to learn how to sign up. You may volunteer at phone banks across California, or you may also phone bank remotely from your home anywhere across the country. Go to this URL to sign up:

http://www.noonprop8.com/action/phone-bank

Thank you for helping to defend the fundamental right to marry for all Californians. Contribute as much as you can today and remember to VOTE NO ON PROP 8!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Jolly Happy Fun Time

I discovered a wonderful thing today. Well two, actually: 1. The mailed coupon you actually use (like for a museum). 2. The Children's Museum of Phoenix.

M spent 2 hours completely happy and distracted and most importantly, NOT bored. This is important because I've been a pregnant worthless slug for a while now. And there is no preschool this week. I'm pretty sure I'm the most boring mom ever. But not today! Today I was super-cool-mom just by driving somewhere, sitting in an air conditioned building, and occasionally saying "wow!" The museum is so great! It's very hands on, has lots of things to do involving running around, has a craft room (free!), and has strategically placed chairs for those of us with swollen feet and a tendency for feeling faint.

So, y'all should go try it out. I liked it so much I bought a membership for a year. M and I both will be happier for it.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pajama Party

Well, M was up at about 1:30 this morning yelling for his water because he wanted to put it up his nose. This is because it's been really dry here in AZ and he's getting over a cold. Plus, sometimes we squirt saline drops up his nose so he thought his water sippy would do the trick. He is a strange child. In fact, he asks for those drops sometimes which I find amazing considering how loud he screamed as a baby when we did that to him. Oh man!

He rolled around trying to fall asleep for another 3 hours. This was after he had a humidifier, nose drops, more water, a potty break, vitamins, allergy medicine, and a stern talking-to by his father.

I figured since I was up anyways I would watch the monitor and surf the information superhighway. Then I watched Sex and the City and Conan. And then he finally fell asleep and so did I. With my five pillows. I'm not kidding. Four to be propped up on and one to hold. It's ridiculous. And I have 3 more months to go of weird loose bones while sleeping. I'm just glad it's my favorite time of the year! Perhaps this will distract me from all pregnancy woes.

P.S. In honor of the first day of October I'm making the pumpkin cookies I like so well today, with M.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Initials

So I've changed all the first names on my blog to first initials. If anyone has my blog listed on their blog, would you mind just putting it under "k-land" like the title here? Thanks! (I don't want to go totally private, this is my compromise :))

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ranting

So IN CHURCH today I was told how to vote on Prop 102. Prop 102 in Arizona states that marriage is defined as one man and one woman.

Here's what I DON'T have a problem with:
  • The Church taking a moral stance.
  • Mormons, who have given this ample thought, voting yes on Prop 102.
  • People in general feeling differently from me. It's fine.
Here's what I DO have a problem with:
  • The Church taking a political stance: especially after saying they officially do not take a stance.
  • Mormons voting yes on Prop 102, for the sole reason that the Church told them so.
  • Being told in church that "they aren't telling us how to vote, but go vote yes on Prop 102." Contradictory? Out of line? In this Mormon Democrat blogger's opinion, yes.
  • Hearing fear tactics that are misleading. See this (fear tactics) but only if you then see this (a legal breakdown of the tactics).
  • Mormons taking a suggestion from the First Presidency and making it into Doctrine, capital "D". Again, in this Mormon Democrat blogger's opinion, it's not doctrine. Fortunately I was also at least told in today's (appalling) lesson at least, that we should ultimately vote on our conscience. I will.
Alrighty. Sorry if this offends, but it's my blog.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ultrasound Follow-up

We saw Dr. S yesterday, our perinatologist (sp?), and she had this to say:

KIDNEYS:
  • my amniotic fluid level is normal, which is especially good with E because it means that he's peeing a lot (amniotic fluid is glorified baby pee I'm told :)), which means that his kidneys are functioning the way they should.
  • they still can't tell whether or not he has a connected horseshoe kidney, or just abnormally shaped individual kidneys. (We go back in October to follow up again; the older he gets, the better they can see and diagnose.)
  • he does, however, have 3 fluid-filled cysts (benign) towards the left side of his kidney(s): this doesn't affect function of the kidneys, and most people have them and don't know it; it's not as common in fetuses and infants, but cysts DO run in R's family...)
  • when E is born, they will do a renal ultrasound to make sure his kidneys are okay; I don't know how often he'll need this done, but I'm assuming they keep an eye on him for things like urinary tract infections and kidney infections.
CLEFT LIP/PALATE
  • his cleft lip and palate also look fine, the width being an average size: right cleft lip, right cleft palate
  • however, they saw a little shadow on his LEFT lip (but NOT the palate). So it's possible that he has a slight cleft on the left lip as well: obviously it's not nearly as wide since they cannot tell if it is there or not. In October maybe they'll be able to tell if he has the two cleft lips or not (two cleft lips are called "bilateral cleft lip": as opposed to just one which is called "unilateral cleft lip")
  • this is also something they will be able to see more clearly as he gets older. It doesn't affect his surgery either way, nor his chances of recovering well. It DOES affect how he'll be able to eat, so I'm hoping that he'll have a strong sucking instinct to make up for all this :)
So, nothing scary. We're just filling in the blanks at this point. I feel somewhat prepared for how he'll look, but you never know. R is worried about it too. I think we have some challenges ahead with feeding, but fortunately other people have done this before and we can ask them questions and get their help.

To all those planning to visit:
  • Prepare yourself so that R and I won't stress out about your reaction to E's appearance. Look up pictures of cleft lips and palates. Look at before and after photos. It really helps. Even with preparation, it will still be surprising. Don't be embarassed, we're going through it together.
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions about E's recovery, or eating, or anything like that. We'll be happy to answer, and it's quite complicated. You should have questions.
  • Don't worry about your kids asking blunt questions. We have a 3 year old, we're used to it! But seriously, it won't offend us, just come and be yourself.
  • Please don't say things like: "I can't even tell." or "Don't worry, he'll be so handsome after surgery." We want to love him the way he is, both before AND after surgery.
Well, I think those are all my thoughts for today. I think I'll find some before and after pictures myself and post them here so you can see them. To start out, click here to go to the Cleft Advocate photo gallery. Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, and love. We're doing much better :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another Favorite Couple Websites

I've been gearing up for having another baby in the house. In light of recent Bisphenol A discoveries, as well as not-so-recent concerns about PVC, pthalates, and lead, I have been reading up on sippy cups, bottles, toys, dishes, Tupperware, etc.

I really like the comprehensive lists that I have found. They aren't all inclusive and I still have a lot of unanswered questions (mostly about specific toys), but they help. I was happy to find that that sippy cups we already use are relatively safe. They are the Playtex insulator brand. And the "Take n' Toss" utensils, bowls, cups, and straws that we have are also at least BPA-free. Please take the time to find replacements if you are using a hazardous product currently.

Also, for reference in other daily products:
  • survey of common children's brands, and their toxicity
  • quick rundown of ingredients to avoid (in personal care products)
  • list of "Top 5" products and their rating: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, liquid soap, toothpaste, sunscreen, baby wipes, lotion/moisturizer, diaper cream, baby powder, play makeup

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baby Wraps

So instead of getting a Baby Bjorn carrier I think I will get one of those nifty stretchy wrap thingys. My friend J recommended one, and after looking them up online today I think I agree. The people on Amazon that reviewed the Baby Bjorn said that it's great but only works if your baby is smaller (15 pounds or less). But these wrap thingys go up to 30 or 35 pounds. Plus they look pretty versatile. My SIL has one, but I don't remember which brand. The one I like is here, and it's, shockingly, on my wish list.

I think I'm going to attempt to make my own baby food this time around, by the way. We have a really cool local co-op that has organic food baskets every other weekend. So we'll see. I will accept any encouragement from folks who have tried it. I already have a good cookbook to go from: First Meals by Annabel Karmel. I'm doing it!

Monday, September 22, 2008

P.S.

I've added things to the wish lists, including little notes of explanation, about the various baby gear discoveries I have been making. It makes a nesting mom feel prepared.

Cleft Discoveries

I've been trying to gain some understanding of what to expect after E is born. I mostly wonder about what it will be like trying to breastfeed him. It sounds like anything goes: he could latch, he might not, he might take to a Medela Special Needs feeder, or a Mead Johnson/Ross nipple, or a Pigeon Bottle, he might spit up a lot, he might have milk come out his nose and choke, sheesh. So far I've procured a 12 pack of cloth diapers for burp cloths, and one Medela bottle from the surgeon. Plus, this link explains distinctions between the three kinds of bottles available. Slowly but surely I'm feeling knowledgeable. I'm leaning towards the Medela bottles because they are made of safe plastic. It is the most expensive bottle, but it has no BPA, no pthalates, no PVC, no lead, etc. But guess what option I thought of? Glass bottles.

I know, I know, they could break and they are heavier, but what about this?!! They make glass bottles with a silicone "skin" so that it doesn't break, slip, etc. The ones I found are ever so cute (polka dots, I'm a sucker), and also happen to fit the nipple size of a Medela Special Needs feeder. I found this out with the help of a lovely online messageboard for cleft palate folks. It's so nice to talk to people who have already done the trial and error work for you. Anyways, I think these glass bottles will last a long time without wearing out, they will be easier to heat if I decide to do so, they hold more milk, and will generally end up being less expensive. They are about $12 a bottle.

On the other hand, there are also these bottles by Green to Grow. They are cheaper than the Medela bottles, made of plastic, but with the same benefit of being free of all those bad plastic things I already listed. Again, they fit the Medela nipple size=lucky me. Also, this brand is at Whole Foods, so I can go look at them and bring the bottle I have to make sure it fits.

This morning: didn't know anything about these bottles other than how expensive they were. Now I know: where to buy Medela bottles and teats, where to buy other bottles that are cheaper, safe, and still fit the Medela teats. Hooray! Now, I just need to bug people about breast pumps...

Friday, September 19, 2008

new link list: wishing!

So I went a little crazy with the Cheez Whiz and put wish list links on my side bar to your immediate left. Look at them! Look at them now! Please feel free to buy me everything in the world I want for myself, my R and my kids. If you don't, we are not friends anymore. No pressure.

But seriously, E's is mostly diapers and breastfeeding paraphernalia. I will add more things that are fun as I begin nesting more ferociously in the next 2-3 months. I also need to get out all the bins full of clothes and toys from when M was a wee one and go through them. That will help me nest a little more responsibly. I feel so organized!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

R's response to my Radiohead post

=Hi friends,
I've never had a guest blogger before, but I find my husband so funny that I thought I would post the comment he made about my previous post idolizing/worshiping Radiohead. So please enjoy:

Hey Cyberbuddies-


I don't usually get involved with K's blog, but I figured I would add my two cents.

This was a great show, possibly outstripping "Ska Patrick's Day" or even The Brad Mehldau Trio as my favorite show that I've been to. In fact, it was so good that Radiohead may finally have obtained my elusive favorite band status (competing with such heavyweights as Pink Floyd and the Miles Davis Quintet of the late sixties.

My only complaints were the opening band, which was openly satanic. That didn't bother me so much as their satanic refusal to play more than one chord per song or sing in-key. They sucked. And they just kept going on and on.

My other complaint (more of a wish) is that Radiohead didn't play at least one of the following songs from OK Computer: "let down" "subterranean homesick alien" or "electioneering." But most of the chart-topping hits were there, so I can't complain.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Dance in October

Here's the link to buy tickets and get information on times and places. Please come! More information as the performance date nears.

Visit to the surgeon

The surgeon we have for E seems really great. My friend A who has had 2 children with cleft lip/palate recommended using The Cleft Palate Foundation to find teams in our area. So the doctor my OB/GYN recommended happens to be the head of one of the AZ teams. Hooray! R and I met him this morning and he seems great. The nurse talked to us as well, mostly about breastfeeding issues, and we got a special needs feeder from her to try and get used to.

So E will have the lip surgery around 2.5-3 months (10 weeks or so), and he has to weigh 10 pounds. I think there is a rule of 10s: 10 weeks, 10 pounds, 10mg (?) of hemoglobin. Then, the palate surgery will be at 6-7 months. Both surgeries are overnight stay, and I think he said that the lip surgery was about 60 minutes of anesthesia. I'm not sure if the palate one is longer, so I'll let you know when I find out. E is due January 1st, so that puts him in surgery around March, which they said is good because RSV season will be about over.

That reminds me: I'm publicly announcing that I'm not taking E anywhere for the first 3 months. If you want to come over and see him you must wash hands and not be sick at all! I may even keep some face masks available. Not kidding. I don't want him catching anything on top of everything else. So, y'all know :)

I'll keep you posted on any new information. The next bit will probably come after the ultrasound next week. Fingers crossed that everything looks great in there!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Speechless, or not.

So, Radiohead. Need I say more?
They played everything I wanted to hear with the exception of one song, they sounded amazing, I was able to wear my Vans and a sweater (I love California!!), we took pictures, we danced and even clapped (which we don't do), and generally felt the love. It was one of the most singularly amazing experiences of my life. I think you might not totally appreciate it, unless you are already a devoted fan. Radiohead, in my honest opinion, takes artistry to a new level. The stage design, the camera work, the sound design, not to mention the music itself, and not to mention the artists themselves, were all perfection. It's transcending! My only missing piece: a Radiohead T-shirt, which I did not want to wait in line for. So I shall buy one on the the website. Okay, pictures:
prior to the concert
during the concert
blue stage
green-purple stage

So, in conclusion: the best thing ever! With my birthday money I have purchased/received 2 more Radiohead CDs: Pablo Honey (which I used to own, but lost), and I Might Be wrong (a collection of live songs). I've also gone a little crazy looking up EPs and b-sides and whatnot. My amazon wish list is chock full.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Second Half of Test Results

Good news: the full chromosome analysis is back and is completely normal. Of course, there's always something more it could be, so they're going to run another test that looks really close at tiny parts of the chromosomes to rule a few more things out. But I don't think that it will be anything that rare.

The geneticist herself said that even though unrelated birth defects usually indicate an underlying problem, she has seen this happen before with her own eyes: two unrelated birth defects that just happen. I think E is one like that :) Thanks for all your prayers, thoughts, fasts, hopes, and wishes. I already felt like I dodged a bullet with M coming out perfect, so now I really feel like I'm beating the odds. I think we may just be a family of four after this little scare. Wow.

The plan now:
  • See a cranio-facial surgeon next Tuesday. He'll be taking care of the lip and palate surgeries that happen around 3 months old and 12 months old, respectively. When we meet we get to ask all kinds of questions and hear the plan for the first year of E's life. I'm guessing that I will have yet another ultrasound so they can track his development and plan for surgery with as much information as possible. I'll keep you posted on how he looks at various checkpoints along the way.
  • Go to my regular OB/GYN checkup next Thursday. I'm assuming they'll put us in contact with a pediatrician a little earlier than usual. I like the one M has, so I may call and set up something with her in a few weeks. I'm also assuming they'll put us in contact with a pedatric geneticist to make sure everything is good at the birth.
  • Meet with the La Leche League to gain support for breastfeeding issues that will inevitably come up. Also, try and find "special needs feeder" bottles and nipples made with safe plastic (no pthalates, no biphesonol-A) for E in case he can't latch. (Special needs feeders are specifically made for cleft lip/cleft palate babies to help them eat). Plea: anyone who knows anything about this please share!
  • Go to another ultrasound on September 26th to track growth, kidney development, and cleft lip/palate development.
So there you go. Updates. Finally! I've been pacing for the last few days, and now I'm just going to chill, do some yoga, have some reading time, and watch the Sopranos with R. Phew.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

First Half of Test Results Back

The geneticist called just now and said the major chromosomal problems have come back negative. So that means there's no Trisomy 13, 18, or 21 (Down's), and the X and Y chromosomes are in tact. Now we wait for the testing to come back for any partial chromosomal abnormalities. The geneticist sounded hopeful though, so that's a small relief. More news to come late this week or early next week, to rule it ALL out. We're still praying and fasting.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Please

Anyone who is reading this and is willing to give some time over to praying and fasting for my little baby can consider themself welcome.

The ultrasounds we had last Thursday and Friday show that E has cleft lip, cleft palate, but also what is called a "horseshoe kidney". His kidneys never separated into two separate kidneys. Each of these defects isn't deadly, and though they require surgery, we feel like they are something we can handle. They can be fairly benign.

Something we are not sure we can handle without spiritual support is this: they did an amniocentesis on Friday as well, because it's possible he is sicker than he looks. We're praying that the problems stop with what we know, but the results from the amniocentesis aren't coming back until Wednesday (for various Trisomy syndromes, etc.) of this week, and another week later for the rest of the testing. They are doing a full range of genetic testing that we are hoping come back completely negative. We pray that his brain and all his mental faculties are in tact, and ask for anyone's help who's willing to give it. Fortunately, his body looks pretty strong and normal in every other way. We only are asking God that his problems end where they are. I'll update information again when I can. Please help just by thinking of him.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ultrasound Verdict

So the verdict is in, and my maternal intuition is...wrong! It's a boy! I figure now that I know I'm always getting the opposite of what I think, I can still predict accurately what will happen :) I'm going into another ultrasound next week to rule out the possibility of cleft lip. I'm genuinely not worried about it even if the little guy ends up having a cleft lip. The treatment isn't bad (surgery) and isn't life threatening. Plus, my doctor wasn't sure it was there, she's just being careful. I'll post an update next week. Also, they moved my due date earlier since the little guy measured 2 weeks ahead of schedule. So now it's January 1st. Happy new year!

I'm so excited to have a boy! I would've been equally excited for a girl, but the thing that was so surprising today was that I really thought they would see girl parts in there. R was shocked too. We love the idea of two little brothers romping around. We haven't decided on names definitively like we thought, but here are some front runners: Eli, Leonard, Aidan, Dillon, Elliott, Finn, Ian, Oliver, Marley and River. There's more than that too so who knows what we'll end up on. R and I still really like Eli. I like Finn and Oliver, but R's not crazy about Finn. River is also one we both like. Anyways, it's up in the air. Feel free to vote for your favorite!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It was only a matter of time

I have started swelling. I'm only 18 weeks pregnant and I have to put my feet up all the time. I wish I could hover in a "feet up" position while I got things done. On the plus side, M is starting preschool on Monday and it's a 4-day-per-week program. He gets Wednesday's off, and on those mornings we have gymnastics. Lest anyone worry about the poor Boy: he needs this. He would probably happily run around outside/with other crazy kids for 4 hours a day, every day. In fact, I need to think of more things to get him into! Perhaps a swim class or a play group in the afternoons. Anyways, such is the life of the mother of a hyper blend of R and me (he never really had a chance against those genes).

We're down to the last 5 days before the ultrasound!!! I just know it's going to be a girl, if only because I bragged in an earlier post about how we were so decisive about names, and now the girl-name list is growing day by day while the boy-name list stays at pretty much one: Eli. The girl names were just Edie or Zooey, but now they include Grace (Gracie), Ksenia (said Kassenia, shortened to either Senia or Kassie), or Natalie. I suppose we've also considered Leonard for a boy. So this isn't good. By the time the kid is born I'll have top 20 lists with me in the hospital and be asking every nurse that goes by what my child "looks like". Sheesh.

At the risk of scaring anyone about my testimony, I'm still going to point out my new links on the left side bar of my blog (see "linky links"). Please don't feel obligated, as I know many people feel strongly against my political leanings. It's just that this is my genuine feeling right now, and if anyone agrees with me I want to make the information I have available to them. In short, I do not support Prop 8 in California, in spite of what the Church has said lately. I feel that the separation of church and state is violation, even though they mean very well. I think if you are like-minded to me, you will find the sites helpful in finding your voice. If you disagree, still take a visit and get familiar with the other side. I think it's a valid response, and the websites I have listed are very respectful while also in disagreement with the Church's stance. I feel very respectful of both sides of this issue as well, so you all know. (Soapbox complete.)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Gender

So at the risk of sounding like I'm prophesying I am going to come right out and say it: I think I'm having a girl. I am willing to say it finally. Ever since I found out I was pregnant I have thought I am having a girl. But I haven't told anyone. Not even R until today. And now all of you know :) I haven't had any dreams, and I haven't had any impressions. I just think it's a girl. Now the fun begins, because we will see if I'm right. On August 21st I'll have the answer and we'll see just how intuitive I am with my belly.

On the other hand, even though I really do think it's going to be a girl, I want to have a boy. It's not an issue of unhappiness if I don't get what I want, it's just that if I could pick, I would check the boy box. There's no specific reason, even though it was be nice to have more boys in the family on R's side (M is the only male grandchild out of 6, and there's one more on the way beside mine, so if those 2 end up being girls then he'll be seriously surrounded.) Also, we have boy clothes. And a blue room. Plus I already have a boy, so I feel slightly prepared for another. Like I said, we will see...

Friday, August 01, 2008

Pants

Now it's really official, because I'm wearing my maternity pants. They don't have a panel or anything, but they are stealthily elastic-banded in the back to give this wiggly kid some more stretching room. I'm only 16 weeks, so I'm a little bummed that I'm already into the wearing of big clothes, but it also makes it a little more real. And that much closer to the January due date! I can't wait to find out if we're having a boy or a girl either. My sis-in-law is due in a few weeks and she's not finding out until the kid comes out, so I'm pretty excited about that. She's brave.

I'm very impressed with my ability to feel the baby kicking this early. I didn't feel M until about 20 weeks, and I felt this little person last week when I was only 15 weeks. So, skillz.

In unrelated news, we've moved! I love our new place which while being a rental is much nicer than anything we've lived in before. We love the location, the layout, the garage, the space! We have 3 bedrooms which is good since our family is growing, so I guess the move is somewhat related to pregnancy. I think we'll stay for 2 years or so and then look to swoop in and buy a house for an excellent deal. We were kicking ourselves 4 years ago when we were moving to Michigan. We kept thinking how we would be screwed with outrageous prices on houses in Arizona after graduating. Thanks crappy economy! We appreciate it.

Friday, July 04, 2008

A New Line

So my sister's hubby is a pretty awesome guy. For those of you who don't know him, we lived in Provo at the same time while going to school, and my roommates and I hung out with him and his friends for a long time. We went to shows and saw The Aquabats!, Spitball, Chump, etc. It was sweet! Anyways, he ended up marrying my sister and now we get to be friends for a long time :) So B has decided to start a new clothing label and I just went to the website. I thought I would give it a little plug here on my humble blog. It's www.solostars.net. I'm thinking that M needs a little skater T-shirt to bash around in. Go check it out when you get a sec!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Well it's official...

...I'm pregnant and allowed to tell people. I'm hitting 12 weeks on Wednesday, but today I had my appointment and the Doppler thingy picked up a heartbeat. Phew! I haven't advertised this, but I miscarried last November and so I was nervous that I would again this time. However, this time there was happy news :)

We will find out what we're having in August sometime. If it's a girl: Zooey Lyn or Edith Lyn (Edie for short), or if it's a boy: Eli James. We're quite decisive. Surprising, I know. No jokes about if I'm still considering "Pencil" or "Seven (Evan for short)".

Symptoms: tired all the time!, nauseous some of the time, dizzy almost all the time. Craving: Taco Bell bean burritos with lots of red sauce, nectarines, zesty pickles (such a cliche, but does this count as a craving if I eat these regularly?), and various soups. Telling M: he sometimes thinks he has a baby in his belly, and he sometimes says he wants to poke/hit the baby. Yikes! When I'm due: January 16th, but I had M 10 days early.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Death Cab For Crappy

I don't know who listens to Death Cab For Cutie, but if you do then you may have considered going to their concert. They are currently touring with their new album Narrow Stairs. I think I should have paid attention to these thoughts from the day of the concert:
  • I don't love the new album (I really like Plans and I like most of Transatlanticism, but I only dig about 3 tracks on Narrow Stairs)
  • it occurred to me that they're a pretty chillin' band that I listen to for driving in the car or other such semi-paying-attention-type tasks
  • the tickets were $32 each, and the fact that I wondered if it would be worth the money before the concert should have told me to sell, sell, sell
  • they don't play the most difficult music ever, it's pretty straightforward
  • I considered selling our tickets all the way up until we arrived at the concert entrance
  • it's not like they're freaking Radiohead*, what could I expect!
So clearly, R and I should have listened to ourselves. Maybe we're a little too familiar with opportunity cost due to my limited background in economics and R's majoring in economics, but we just couldn't get over the fact that it just wasn't $32 worth of fun. Not to mention that we now get a babysitter, so there's another $20. They weren't bad, they just weren't worth the money. Sad! Unfortunately, it's now kind of ruined their music for me. At the very least I need a break, but the mediocre live performance might hang around in my head for a long time.


*Radiohead is truly my favorite, and maybe it's not fair to compare other bands to them. I have to mention here that I AM GOING TO RADIOHEAD IN SAN DIEGO COME AUGUST!!! I cannot tell you how momentous an occasion this is. I've never been to Radiohead even though I have adored them since high school and OK Computer. I cried when the Hail to the Thief came to Salt Lake City and Ryan and I were so poor that we couldn't go and so I bought the CD and we drove around listening to it. This has been a long time coming. You'd better believe that I'm going to be writing about this again, and again...

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Last Two Days

First, my last post was my 100th post, and I forgot all about it. I looked today before posting this very moment, and there it was, 100 posts. We've been through a lot together, huh guys? Sniff.

Secondly, M was quite ill yesterday. He had woken up during the night to throw up, or frow up depending on the person you ask, and we thought that he would be okay afterwards since he had no fever and fell back asleep. Well, we need one of those ear thermometers, obviously. After that next morning, I promptly sucked it up and paid $30 for one.

In the morning, I was washing all his bedding and then I gave him a bath. And he just started shaking, and crying, and generally acting angry and strange. This is significant, because even when he's sick, he acts pretty normal, and this was abnormal. He was burning up and had chills that scared. the. crap. out. of. me. So I freaked out, didn't even check his temperature, we did Tylenol, and then I called the doctor. He said he could see him right then or I would've gone to urgent care or the emergency room or something.

By the time we saw the doctor, M felt a little better, but he was still acting really weird, like asking me to hold him, which he NEVER does. (I always have to sneak up on him and hug him before he runs away.) So they take his temperature, and he's had Tylenol mind you, and it was 102.9. Yikes a little! I kept my cool because there was this scare once when he was 1 where we got to the doctor and his fever was 105.3, and THAT was scary. But this was scary too, because he was acting so strangely on top of the near 103 temperature.

He has a bacterial infection that is only in his sinuses and nose, not the ears thanks to the tubes or it would've been even worse. So he's now taking Motrin and Tylenol and his Azithromycin. I'm generally not medicine woman, but thank goodness for people who know more than me, and have prescription pads ready and waiting. He's much happier today, but not allowed to swim in the 105 degree weather. Mean mommy, huh?

So, while all this was happening, I was supposed to be at the dentist getting a sore tooth checked. I called them in the middle of my freak out (after we were driving to the doctor) to reschedule for this morning. That brings us to today. Finally! We get to talk about my teeth.

Beware, I'm a little obsessed with my teeth. It's because they are not so great and I must brush (with a Sonicare), floss and rinse with Listerine at least twice a day, sometimes adding more brushings in between. And yet, I still get cavities and more anxiety about "what will they find this time!?". I have an intense fear of the dentist, but I make myself go every 6 months like you're supposed to. In my defense, I think my fear of dentists would be markedly worse if I didn't face up to it twice a year. I tell myself this so I feel better about the anxiety that I DO have.

Oh, and they found 2 cavities, as per usual. One of them should be a gold crown, because it's a filling that keeps cracking. And I need two cleanings, two! And then I need to be fitted for a guard since I grind my teeth at night. AND, I need to get braces next January. Braces!!! Oh, and I have a crossbite, that supposedly didn't get fixed like it was supposed to when I was a kid, even though I wore that stupid appliance and turned the key in it every day. So the braces are for that, and also other things, like my TMJ, and the fact that I don't put my tongue in the right place when I swallow. Okay, rant is over. I'm just venting a little. A certain husband of mine never goes to the dentist, like not once on his entire mission, and then they clean his teeth and say "looks good, keep up the good genes". Unfair.

Alright, don't worry, I'm not actually as mad as I sound. I'm just a little, well, flabbergasted, you know? I'll go to my cleaning and my fillings over the next couple of weeks, and then it will be behind me. And next year you can all call me metal mouth and I'll have Awkward Adolescence Part II. But I won't swallow wrong anymore, and maybe I'll even have a sweet gold tooth like a pirate.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Massage, a Sunburn, and Two Filet Mignons

What a weekend! R's firm does one weekend every year in the summer where everyone and their spouses are invited to get out of the valley and drive to stay at a pretty sweet hotel. Then you proceed to eat and drink and play games and swim and get spa treatments and take naps. And the best part is that the tab is on the firm. Hello free massage!

(We went 2 years ago when M was almost 1 (he stayed with Grandma) and it was a blast, but we didn't really know anyone (R was a summer clerk without a job offer yet). And last year we had moved to AZ after R's graduation only 3 days prior to the retreat, so we missed it. But this year M is more than old enough to be without us for 2 days, again with Grandma, and we have no babies currently, plus we know a lot more people that were there this year. It was so fun!)

We drove up to Sedona on Friday at about noon, and it's so beautiful up there. The temperatures are much more mild, and the red rocks are spectacular. We stayed at the Hilton, so we checked in, mingled in the hospitality suite for the afternoon as people arrived, ate snacks, and then lazed around the pool until dinner. Then we walked down the road to Cucina Rustica. Let's just say that it was the best filet mignon that I have EVER had, and they're always pretty good, right?! It was served with this Gorgonzola cream sauce and crispy potatoes and vegetables sauteed in butter...yum! So, dinner was great! Then I went to bed, but R stayed up to watch all the folks that were already drunk at dinner go back to the hospitality suite and keep on going. I'm sure it was quite entertaining, but I was sleepy :)

Saturday was the laziest day I've had in a while. We got up and hiked a little bit in the morning, but it was leisurely and slow. We saw Cathedral Rock, took a few pictures, and got breakfast at the Desert Flour bakery. We laid out with friends at the pool some more and proceeded to get sunburned in the shade and in about an hour (stupid elevation). Then, we ate lunch outside and drank (virgin) strawberry daiquiri's. Around then we put R down for a nap and I was off to the spa. I had my cucumber water, and my book and waited for my masseuse, who then pulverized my muscles for about and hour and a half. I walked back to our room in a daze, collapsed in a heap and then we were off to the hospitality suite again to snack and play cards until dinner. Dinner wasn't as good the second night, but I did have another filet mignon, and it was tasty. I went to bed early again, but R stayed up again, and there was much playing of ping pong and various shenanigans.

M was sorely missed, so we left the hotel as early as we could and sped home to see the little guy. He was jumping up and down when we came in and it melted my little heart! Back together at last :)


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Environmental Working Group

I'm on my soapbox today, and it's my latest discovery thanks to a friend of mine. You might not care, but I shall ramble anyhow. I have discovered that my makeups, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes, hand soaps, detergents, pots and pans, water bottles, baby soaps and lotions, wipers, sunscreens and the like have possible contaminants in them, depending on the brand. This lovely website lists them and helps you find the safer alternatives. (Hooray! I don't have to do any research!) The point is to have information and make better choices. It's not hard, and it's more of a process than an overnight retooling of life. For example, I haven't replaced any of my makeup, but I did replace my lotions and hair products. I changed M's baby soap and lotion and wipers (but not diapers and pull-ups). It's a gradual shift to a more informed lifestyle. I feel proud of myself :)

www.ewg.org is the main site
this is their database called Skin Deep (search for info on specific things in your house)

This website has given me a new appreciation of the simple life. No more millions of bath and body products, no more wondering if my shampoo has junk in it I shouldn't be using while pregnant or breastfeeding (and therefore, probably all the time, huh?), no more wondering if I'm being as safe as I can without any real information, besides a hunch. Now I have the information! I've suspected for a long time that maybe laundry detergent and baby lotion and hair products could have a few less than desirable ingredients. But I lacked the knowhow of how to find out. Other websites seemed to smack of conspiracy theories, so I didn't trust them. And even though I trusted other like-minded people, it was hard to take their information seriously when I heard from them, and they usually "heard it somewhere".

Now please don't either dismiss this outright, or read everything and freak out that it's too much. Start small and make some safer choices in the future. It's pretty easy to pick a few things and then feel like you're increasing your awareness and getting healthier.

If you think this is a bunch of overreacting, please read information on the website yourself. You can pick and choose what to read about, and then please let me know your thoughts. It covers chemicals and toxins in foods and also household products. I also just read about how plastic water bottles can leach chemicals into your your everyday water. They recommend getting stainless steel water bottles, or glass (I prefer the stainless steel). I think this might be a good place to buy one if you're interested. I'll probably get mine on amazon.com.

A list of things I switched to:
  • For lotion I only use coconut oil, olive oil, Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Aquaphor, or Eucerin Calming Creme. The two oils are about as safe as you can get, and M thinks they're great!
  • For shampoo I use Castile Soap from Trader Joe's, because it's cheaper than the real Castille Soap.
  • For bar soap I use Kirk's Castile Soap, and I use it on my face too (no more Neutrogena face wash!).
  • Conditioner is hard to find cheap, which may motivate me to cut my hair off again.
  • For hand soap we use Castile Soap or Trader Joe's Orange Blossom Honey French Liquid Soap.
  • For toothpaste I use a Trader Joe's brand of peppermint toothpaste that doesn't have any bad stuff in it except flouride, but my teeth suck so I need it I think.
  • For dishwasher detergent we use the regular stuff, but we don't shut the little door to lock in the granules. According to the technician we asked, he recommends this anyways, since your dishes still get clean, but the soap is rinsed off twice.
  • For laundry detergent we use the environmental one from Costco called Wintree. We also don't use any dryer sheets anymore (formaldehyde) and we avoid spray 'n' wash when possible.
  • For sunscreen I splurged and bought a really overpriced $30 tube by UV Natural from Whole Foods. I later learned that there is a CVS brand that only has zinc oxide in it, so I'll look for that soon since the swimming season here in AZ has arrived.
So there you go. My big list of things that you might not ever even want to know! Things I was already doing before discovering the website include:
  • washing fruits and veggies with produce wash: Fit spray (at the grocery store) or mild Dawn knockoffs like my "Ultra Dishmate" by Environmentally Friendly Products I found at the local Fresh 'n' Easy
  • microwaving foods on paper towels or in glass/ceramic dishes, NOT plastic containers of any kind
  • cooking with stainless steel pots and pans, baking sheets, etc. NOT teflon, non-stick coated things, or aluminum
So, again, there you go. Soapbox is finito :)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sudoku and Quotable Quotes

So I love doing sudoku puzzles. Who knew? I flew to California a few weeks ago to see my cousin Lauren get sealed in the Oakland Temple. And to see my sisters and bro-in-law and cutest nephew ever! And also a lot more family and friends. But the point is that I tried my first sudoku puzzle and there's no going back. I now have 3 sudoku workbooks that I'm filling out. Book one is almost filled in. M calls them my number games and occasionally says things like "Mom, put a 6 right here." in perfect bossy-2-year-old fashion.

Can you believe that my child is nearly 3 years old? That he's going to be in preschool in September? That he's potty trained and sleeping in a big boy bed? That does all kinds of things by himself, including but not limited to: going potty, carrying bags, drawing and painting pictures, calling people on the phone, brushing his teeth, eating and drinking things (without help!), playing F-Zero and shutting his bedroom door at night before bed.That he wants a Jupiter cake and friends to come to his birthday party (last year he didn't know what a birthday was!)? I'm freaking out! But that brings me to my next subject: recent M quotes.

  • I want to see the mobsters. (meaning lobsters at the grocery store)
  • We live on Chandler Booger. (meaning Chandler Blvd.)
  • Hi I'm M. I'm 2. On my birfday I'll be free. (meaning three.)
Ha! Anyways, I promise to write sooner next time. Not, say, skipping months at a time.

By the way, in case anyone thought I had lost the dancing bug about the same time I was getting sick of the BYU program, it's back! I went to rehearsal today and had a marvelous time with my pal S. Her choreography is sweet.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Two Movies and a Book

This week I've decided that I can't take any more excellent, yet violent and disturbing, movies. Don't get me wrong, I loved both movies I'm about to talk about. I just need a little less gravity and grittiness for a while. I don't really want any cotton candy movies either, just good movies with a different feel and tone.

On Monday R and I watched The Departed. It's a nearly perfect movie with amazing performances by all, most of all Leonardo DiCaprio, and Mark Wahlberg is hilarious. But still, it was a pretty raw movie, and I thought "that was worth it, but I need a break". Then Friday night rolled around and I really wanted to see There Will Be Blood. Daniel Day-Lewis was purported to be amazing, and I now confirm that he truly was. I could not rip my eyes off the screen. But again, pretty disturbing stuff. It's based off an Upton Sinclair novel called "Oil!", and as R and I talked afterwards he said that the point was probably to show the ultimate capitalist. I agree. It's pretty horrible. I've been thinking of it all day. Yikes. Anyways, see either of these movies if you 1) are breaking the R-rated movie rule and, 2) want to have the crap scared out of you.

As for my book, I did in fact finish Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, and it was great. Please read it. I'm even going to say: if you are Mormon, I think you have an obligation to know you history. Argue if you will, but I have said it. You don't have to read it now, just sometime. Think about it. If you aren't Mormon, but are so very curious about Joseph Smith, please read this history! Richard Lyman Bushman wrote it as a historian but also as a practicing Mormon, so take that for what it's worth. I am now reading Richard Lyman Bushman's diary from the publication of Rough Stone Rolling, which is also illuminating. So.

Alas, I must go and drive to ASU. I'm in my friends S's masters project to be performed in October. A-dancing I shall go. Please come see it in October. It's already well on it's way to be worth experiencing. I shall blog more on it as the date approaches.

P.S. Calling all women: I also just read a book called "Taking Charge of Your Fertility", and would recommend it to everyone. It's all about knowing your body and feeling like you know what's going on. It is for those both sexually active and not, trying to get pregnant and not, and
young and old. Please check it out. If you have a easily grossed-out husband, use caution with what you share from the book! I found this out the hard way, and am still getting teased on a daily basis whenever a talk to a female. (Are you talking about your cycles? etc. :))

P.P.S. Pardon the poor grammar and haphazard thoughts!