Monday, December 18, 2006


Charlie would like to say that teeth are obviously the work of the devil and he would like to stick with the milk meal plan indefinately.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I read the mommy blogs. I worked child care. I watched Desperate Housewives. I knew about the never peeing alone, going a couple of days without showers, that I would have extensive conversations about my child's poop. However, y'all totally left out some stuff. In the future please be sure to point out the following to the unsuspecting:

1- Finding time to poop will be a challenge. The liberty to poop at will will become a major selling point for going back to work. (unless you are a teacher and you long ago abandoned all hope of ever meeting your personal needs in a timely manner)

2- Eating lunch will be an accomplishment. Eating a lunch which requires utensils will bring a sense of accomplishment equal only to finally getting to poop.

3- The pregnancy books were not actually kidding about belly button pain.

4- You will realize that you really should have put on socks at 9 am. You will finally manage to put on the socks (after earnest effort) at 3 pm.

5- It will take you 3 months to figure out that Carter's size names go completely contrary to your assumptions and that the 3 month size is for babies up to 3 months as opposed to the Gerber stuff which is meant for babies 3-6 months old. Gnashing of teeth will occur.

6- Ugly baby clothes exist. You will receive ugly baby clothing from people who insist on pictures of the baby in it and who have never been introduced to gift receipts. Said clothing will freakishly be both cheap looking and astoundingly indestructible at the same time while fitting for eons.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Mommy Moment

I have a friend who is encroaching on the marriage issue which, of course, calls for me to give her wedding advice. I have offered up a few tidbits. First, the wedding is not really for you. It's for your family. Your opinion will only marginally matter. With that in mind... pick one thing about the wedding you really care about to get your way on. For me it was the dress. Finally, everyone has one moment that truly makes you feel you're married. For me it was the lifting of the veil by my husband followed by the kiss. For others it might be the first dance or the exchange of the rings. Whatever it is, identify it and be sure it makes it into the day.

That same defining moment exists for me as a Mother as well. When Charlie is first waking up from his nap (which he will only consent to have while being held- an improvement from last week when there could be no sleeping ever again for fear he would miss something good) or when the has seen his fill or when he has finished a wiggling extravaganza he will retreat into me. His little body nestles against my arm and chest and his soft cheek rests against my shoulder. He blinks and looks around slowly sometimes simply staring at my shirt. It is a moment where he needs me to offer security and quiet. More importantly, it is a time that he has decided he needs me. It isn't blind instinct, hunger, or reflex that gives him that quiet moment. I am not deciding what he needs because he is unable. In those moments of stillness he is asking and I am giving. There are no thoughts of doubt, no wishes to be doing something else, no wondering if I might get a nap. There is me and my little boy and the knowledge that this shoulder will be his for as long as he may need it. It is in that moment that I am Mommy.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I am nursing Charlie. In a perfect world I might go to 1 year but I would at least like to make it to the 6 month mark. I decided to nurse because I had no reason not to. The evidence is fairly clear that if you can, breastfeeding is the way to go. At the same time, I can't say that I particularly like it. I read accounts by other women that make it sound like this transcendental experience making you at one with the moon and your baby and mothers everywhere. I can't say that I ever feel like that. At best, I feel fairly indifferent about it and at other times I have fervently wished that something would happen to make it necessary to switch to formula. I imagine that some of my feelings about the issue are shaped by the fact that Charlie was a frequent and slow nurser up until the last couple of weeks. Nursing sessions generally lasted 45 minutes and happened every 1.5-2 hours with a 3 hour stretch in the dead of night if I was lucky. I got plugged ducts and thank my lucky stars that I didn't get mastitis. In the most notable instance I spent 2 days clearing 7 plugs. Even then, I thank my lucky stars. I've actually had it fairly easy with nursing. While Charlie and I took a couple of days to really get the hang of things I haven't had supply issues, latch problems, infections, etc. I must confess that I visit my nursing message board and see these women become very distraught over nursing problems, going to great lengths to continue nursing or mourning the end of their nursing days and feel befuddled. I am told to cherish the cuddle time and closeness with my child. I am advised to relish the smell of my child and the satisfaction of knowing I can feed him from my body. I do love to cuddle Charlie but I get to do that to excess when trying to get him to sleep and could cuddle him just as well while feeding him a bottle. More often then not, my child smells of spit up and dubious diaper. We certainly don't neglect keeping him clean but more than 1 bath a day seems a bit excessive... And, knowing I can provide all he needs sometimes makes me feel more like livestock than Earth Mother. At times, it seems my only identity is as a provider of food. In my darkest moments, there is resentment that yet more sleep is lost, that I will never get that 45 minutes back, resentment that my body is no longer my own. The enforced down time of nursing can be a blessing but also a source of a great deal of stress to say nothing of wondering just how much daytime television one person really needs to watch.

Over the last week or 2 Charlie has finally begun to go 3 hours during the day and at least 1 4 hours stretch at night. He has begun to become more focused while nursing so we sometimes finish in as little as 15 minutes. This is certainly helping me feel that I might actually make it to the 6 month mark but I still don't seem to feel as warmly about nursing as some do. Is this just a function of time? Maybe I would feel quite differently if I hadn't had a choice and hadn't been able to nurse.

Nursing has made me feel somewhat bad for my husband and men in general. I have been able to participate in life in a way that women always have. I bore a child and now feed him in the same way that women 3000 years ago would have. My husband, obviously, had a hand in the conception of Charlie but doesn't get to experience the same connection to the past that I do. While he does provide for the family in the pseudo-traditional sense of being the main income earner, he doesn't provide in the most traditional sense. At no point will he likely ever create shelter or hunt food for his family. He lacks the generational connection that I have now experienced. While this doesn't particularly help me feel all that more positive about nursing in the here and now, it does, at least provide an abstract solace to mull during the 4 am nursing session.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Call Me SB (social butterfly)

Charlie has discovered the world. There are fans and lights and people. Charlie would prefer to never close his eyes again for fear of missing something. He's adorable! He has started making eye contact and he smiles and he seems to know who I am. He's also starting to go 3 hours between feedings (at least until we hit a growth spurt yesterday). This, of course, leaves me with the dilema of what one does with an alert 10 week old for 2 hours after you've already covered the diaper change and feeding.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Why do all of Charlie's onsies have ironing instructions? Am I the only one who has debated how many times he can spit upon an outfit before I really have to change it?

Monday, November 13, 2006

On Aspirations

We have started to come out of the fog of newborn care. Charlie is starting to sleep for 4 hours at a stretch, key word being "starting." He's also starting to go for 2.5-3 hours between nursing sessions so we can actually do things without sprinting home all the time although our outings are far from leisurely. Charlie is also starting to agree to take naps during the afternoon without me holding him the whole time and of longer than 5 minutes duration. There was a period of time in the very recent past that I could feel myself melting away. I had become "The Boob." I had no time to call my own. No opportunity to so anything unrelated to the physical sustenance of myself or child and sustaining myself was a far second, mainly attended to in order to preserve the milk supply for the baby. With time opening in my day to think beyond the vital, I've begun to give thought to my aspirations for Charlie.

When we discussed names we decided that it had to pass the Supreme Court/plumber test. In other words, the name had to work for either vocation. There is a school superintendent named "Tiffany" around here and I always feel bad for her. At any rate, before Charlie was born I thought that I didn't care what he did as long as he was happy. As time goes on, I am beginning to think that happiness isn't enough. In addition to being happy, I would like to instill the desire to make the world a better place. I don't really care how. He might simply have a cheerful disposition that makes those around him happier. He might always say please and thank you. He might cure cancer. Of course, now the question has arisen... have I made the world a better place in my turn.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Baby Radar

How is it that Charlie can be sleeping peacefully until the exact moment that I try to do a task?

At night, we'll have finished nursing, he will be completely out, I put him in his cradle, observe for a minute or two, coax his father to coherence and enlist him to rock the cradle and then finally get to go pee. Within 15 seconds, he's crying.

In the afternoon, I will put him in his swing and he will gaciously allow me to pee (what a gentleman!) after a minute or two he falls asleep. He will sleep through the dogs barking at a squirrel and a marching band on tv but as soon as I lay down on the couch to catch a nap, wailing comences.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Crock Pot Pork Roast

So, I have discovered that the only hope in hell I have of cooking dinner these days is to do all the prep at night while my husband can keep an eye on Charlie and then cook via crock pot. He was particuarly enamored with the dish last night so I thought I would record it here both to share with any interested parties and so that I could remember what I did. Sadly, it was one of those recipes that I did no measuring for but I'll do my best...

I'm not totally sure what size the pork roast was but I'm guessing a pound so, we'll go with that.

Peel, core and roughly chop 3 granny smith apples (1 per serving of roast).

Sear/ brown (I'm not sure which would be the correct term) the roast in a hot cast iron skillet.

Put pork and apples into crock pot with 1/4 cup brown sugar, dash ground clove, 2 shakes of allspice, 1 tablespoonish of ground ginger (1-2 inches chopped fresh is better but we didn't have any) and 2 tablespoonsish of apple cider vinegar.

Cook on low for about 9 hours (longer for a bigger roast). Mash the apples up about halfway through the cooking or when you get a chance- spoon a good hunk of them on top of the roast.

In other news, life with Charlie marches on. I have now managed to get out almost all of the baby announcements. I made my own and they weren't actually designed to be mass produced after the arrival of the baby and we sent out more than 120. Happily, the Christmas card I designed was designed with baby in mind so, we have some hope of getting those out before New Year's. I suspect that the annual Christmas cookie baking spree might not happen this year though. I haven't had the heart to break it to my friends yet.

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Charlie had another weight check yesterday and was up by more than a pound from last week. His father is taking to calling him "Daddy's Little Porker."

Charlie promptly starting eating every 2 hours with gusto, around the clock, when he would have been at 39 weeks gestation which supports the doctor's suspicion that his slow gain was a function of him being so young.

Charlie very much seems to be a child that develops various skills abruptly and a bit ahead of the curve if his birth and eating are anything to go by. He is now furiously working on making his head stay up and had his first tummy time yesterday. He seems to be closing in on a smile although I'm more looking forward to eye contact.

Monday, September 25, 2006


In my sleep addled state I mistakenly wrote that the dopctor was terribly concerned about Charlie's weight. I meant to say that she WASN'T too terribly concerned.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

It gets better, right?

So, we went to the doctor again on Thursday for another weight check and Charlie was down another 3 ounces. The doctor is terribly concerned. He looks very healthy. His reflexes are good. His jaundice is quickly disapearing. He poops and pees and poops some more. She thinks that it may jsut have to do with him deciding to come so early. While he was a full term baby he is a very young full term baby.

Starting yesterday he decided to start eating every 2 hours. Dear God! I may never eat or sleep again. I am completely thrilled that this probably means he's getting with the program and will hopefully have gained some nice weight by his next weight check next week but I am really going through the ringer. The 2 hour thing continued all night and has gone into today. In addition, not only does he want to eat every 2 hours but one feeding session takes about 45 minutes. This means I get 1 hour of sleep at a time. I am so hopeful that this means he is growing and I'm commited to breastfeeding but I have to say that I could really get behind a resurgence in wet nurses. In addition to all this eating, he's also starting to have longer alert periods that I'm trying to really be responsive to in order to help him start to get the night/day concept. At this point I'm perpetually hungry but begining to feel alightly queasy at the thought of yet another granola bar (the one handed meal of choice around here), my girl parts all hurt from over use or contracting or whatever else, my neck aches from trying to sleep sitting up and nursing, and my head hurts from lack of sleep. It's a good thing he's so cute, although even that fades in allure by about 1 am.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Four Hours

Life with Charlie is going reasonably well. My sister-in-law left today and we survived the day alone while my husband was at work.

Two nights ago we had a night that made you question if you could actually do this but then last night I got a blessed 4 hours between feedings. I hadn't realized what a difference that hour could make. I slept long enough to have dreams. I didn't cry when it was time to wake up for another feeding. The benefits of breast feeding are many but it certainly isn't for wimps. Charlie tends to eat for about 45 minutes and was eating about every 3 hours so a full REM cycle was a mythical beast.

My weight is coming down. I had had this concept that since I had staying within the 25 pound range that the weight would all be gone by the time I left the hospital but I was sorely disappointed. I'm within about 7 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm still in maternity and yoga pants though. (sidebar: why do my maternity pants fit so much better now? wouldn't they make them to fit the pregnant belly?) My mid-section is still too tender to handle much in the way of waistbands. I have high hopes that I will be back in my pre-pregnancy clothing by my 6 week check-up but I'll just have to see what happens. My mind is having trouble wrapping itself around the concept that I still need to be eating a lot to support my breastfeeding at the same time as I'm losing weight.

The doctor is concerned about respiratory illness and has asked that we keep Charlie home for the 1st month. This is making me a little stir crazy since that means I can leave the house for no more than 1.5 hours if I can manage to leave within a few minutes of the completion of a nursing session.. I hadn't really realized how tethered to the house I would be until my husband and his sister went out to get some dinner and do some errands and I realized that I had to stay home. I haven't had much difficulty with PPD but that was a low point. Especially since Charlie was born so much earlier than I had expected, there are lots of little errands that didn't get done. I have had plenty of help and people are more than willing to run errands for me but there are some things I really want to do myself. The dependence on others for the errands and the amount of help I needed around the house while in the early stages of recovering from the c-section has been a bit of a trial for me. But, my recovery is going well and I'm able to most things around the house at this point. I am eagerly counting down to Charlie's 1 month birthday.

Monday, September 11, 2006


My water broke at 8:30 (ish) pm on Thursday, September 7. I was in the middle of my mammoth cleaning spree and had just finished digging around under the sink for some cleaning supplies when there was a "gush." We called the doctor and were on our way to the hospital by 9:30. Charles Allen M... (Charlie) was born via a c-section (originally scheduled for the 20th) at 11:46. He weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. I had just started my 37th week that day so he was full term and was (and is) quite healthy. My incision is healing nicely and I am becoming good friends with Tylenol with codeine. We came home on Sunday evening and we are beginning to settle in. We are both getting better at breastfeeding and my milk seems to be coming in. There have been mood swings but no signs of hard core PPD as of yet.

My mother and mother-in-law both arrived Friday morning to meet the baby and get the house prepared for our arrival home. My mother (with a small amount of help from my mother-in-law) managed to finish up the 2 weeks worth of cleaning I had anticipated in about 2 days- go Mom! Luckily the changing table (the last major baby item) arrived on that Tuesday (along with the water) and my Mom washed all the baby items while we were in the hospital so we have all of the key baby bases covered. We have plenty waiting for us to "finish up" when things settle down but we can manage for now. They have both left and my sister-in-law will be here for the next week or so to help out.

I will try to post more within the next several days.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Let there be water...

We have been inspected and the well guys are coming to fill in the moat with the pipes later today. I am currently running the empty washer with enough bleach to fell an ox and then will move on to tackle the rest of the many, many items that will need to be washed before they are safe for a baby to chew on. On the plus side, we had apparently been living with a pale imitation of water pressure and the washing machine seems to be making much better time than it used to. Unfortunately, the toilets are now deafening but you can't win them all. Now to see if the dishwasher has experienced a similar epiphany...

I am also trying to decide what sort of nursing wear to buy. I think I have decided to get 2 of the Land's End overstock poplin nightshirts. I'm a little worried that I will want short sleeves but am thinking that at $7 a pop, if it comes to it, I can hack off the sleeves and hem them myself. I'm also going for 2 of the motherhood nursing tanks with built-in bras. I am also on a quest for somewhat stylish yoga pant/ zip-up hoodie outfits. In some ways, I'm finding this even more daunting than maternity shopping. At least with the maternity wear you could make rough stabs in the dark that if you were a medium, you would probably stay a medium but I have no real guideline as to how enthusiatic Bessie and Buttercup will be.

Finally, I made a leap of faith purchase yesterday. Both of my cargo pants met their demise last spring. So, when I was at our Gap Outlet (which has $9 yoga pants but only in hideous colors) I noticed they had some rather fetching cargo pants for quite good price and bought a pair in what is the high end of my pre-pregnancy size range. We will see how foolish that was in a few weeks...

Monday, September 04, 2006

The End is Nigh

I have definitely turned a corner in this pregnancy. It has become more daunting to think of being pregnant for more than a few more weeks than it is to think of all that is involved with having a person you are responsible for. I am ready to be woken in the middle of the night by something that will be cute at times and, in all probability, love me back until the age of 12 when I will become The Most embarrassing Person On Earth (I'm working on my collection of show tunes to hum while walking about with the poor child- if you're going to go down, it might as well be in flames). After all, I'm not sleeping for more than a few hours at a time anyway. I am ready to have more than 2 sleep position choices. I am SO ready to wear something other than these 2 damn pairs of capris. B. Moss' cute dresses are calling to me and don't spoil it all by pointing out the logistical nightmare which is breastfeeding in a dress- keep the dream alive!

I also seem to have started what some would call hard core nesting but I think it's really the precipice of panic with a healthy side of staying so busy I won't notice that it's actually, gasp, September. I am still happily convinced that it is August 26th. Floor boards are my current fixation. The other night I woke up to pee and simply had to go after the floor boards in the bathroom with a baby wipe (no, we still don't have water). As soon as we get water, hopefully tomorrow, I am so going after those pesky corners in the kitchen...

The town finished installing all of it's stuff on Friday and the well guys had hoped to get us switched over but Ernesto changed the plan. The well guys couldn't finish their previous job on Thursday since we had torrential rains and flash floods- to add insult to injury, this was the first major rain we had gotten since the saga began. They offered to come in on Saturday, but since it has to be inspected before they can actually turn the water on we would have simply been staring at a big trench in the yard until Tuesday when the inspector would be able to come. So, we have our fingers crossed that tomorrow will be the magic day. Of course, today it's pouring and they're calling for rain tomorrow too...

In happy news, I have discovered the 90210 marathon on the Soap station.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A Little Something...

Yesterday I felt a little tickly something. I can't say if it was fingers or toes but they were little and there were 5 (I would assume) and they tickled. I hadn't known that they could be cute even before you could see them.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I can breathe a sigh of relief. I finished the 4th cradle sheet yesterday. The baby now has somewhere to sleep.

Now, if only we had water...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Good Heavens!

So, last night I suddenly realized that I was in week 35. I had been very happy with week 33. I was ready to hang with 33 for several more weeks. 33 and I, we're like that. In the early 30's, the pregnancy books were clearly at a loss for what to tell you. It was all summed up as, you know that stuff that sort of sucked last week? Well, this week it will suck slightly more. I am now wandering into the parts of the books where they begin to discuss things like how to tell if you're in labor and begin issuing dire warnings about packing bags and such. They all seem to also include a section about what to do if you wind up delivering at work. I'm not clear who these women are who manage to sail through the first 12 hours of labor and suddenly look up from a pleasant IM chat only to realize the baby is crowning. Nor am I clear why these women cart various pregnancy books with them to work. However, the gist seems to be that birth is messy so they offer various strategies for saving the office furniture and that you should not cut the cord.

We took our hospital tour last night. You could tell that I was the one who worked in early intervention as I was the only one asking detailed questions about level of NICU care available and wanting to know exactly how long it takes to get from our hospital to the one with the Level 3 care. There are definite advantages to delivering a small, regional hospital but a part of me longs for impersonality, hordes of residents, and incomprehensible layouts if it means my baby never will ride in an ambulance to get to the NICU. I keep telling myself that the chances that my baby will need that sort of care are infinitesimal, but we can add that to the list of irrational ideas that I can't shake, which includes the idea that my baby will be sitting on a rock in the wilderness (or at least the cow pasture out behind the hospital) until I personally have the baby in my arms. Ah, motherhood...

We are in the process of getting water. The town engineer, in what I suspect was divine intervention, apparently failed to realize that we didn't have an easement until the water guys had already laid the pipe. So, it looks like we will have water late next week (I sincerely hope since I'm waiting on the water to wash the baby stuff which needs to happen before I can pack the bag and the books are really freaking me out about the lack of bag packing thus far). But, we will have to pay for a survey which will wind up being rather expensive. Apparently, there is quite the tangle over the road and which parcels which of it goes with. Once they have figured out who owns the part of the road that the town used as an easement, we will have to convince that person to sign off on the easement. We're a little worried that it will wind up being the crazy guy on our street but the fact remains that the pipes are there so, he won't gain much by not agreeing to sign the paper. We're hoping that he will demand that we buy a couple of loads of gravel (he's a former ER doctor turned bulldozer/dumptruck operator...we don't get it either) so that he can regravel the road or something like that.

In news of the weird, my mother-in-law is completely convinced that Penny is going to drag the baby out of the cradle while the baby is sleeping. Motivation for Penny to decide to do this is still unknown and the fact that Penny is still fairly afraid of the cradle (or anything that rocks- the glider is highly worrisome for her as well we haven't put batteries in the swing yet but expect that to be quite the event) doesn't seem to mitigate her concern.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Charitable Thoughts on Morning Sickness

So, something unexpected has come out of this whole well thing. I have come away feeling almost good about my morning sickness. It turns out that it probably did what it was biologically designed to do (if a bit overly enthusiastically). Very shortly after I got pregnant, I decided that the water from our tap tasted bad so I avoided drinking it. When I did drink it, it had to go through the Brita which is less than perfect but still is another layer of filtration. After just a week or two more, I could no longer tolerate still water at all. So, any tap water I did drink was boiled prior to making a tummy soothing tea and most of the time I was mainlining ginger ale. My extended bout with morning sickness meant that I cooked very little food in my home. When I could eat, it was often in the form of pre-prepared foods like crackers or (on really good days) take out. I also followed a rule that anything I drank had to contain calories since liquids were often my main caloric source- that cut way back on the tap water consumption too. This means that the baby was probably minimally exposed to well water during the entire 1st trimester and a good hunk of the 2nd. I never really thought I could look back gratefully on 6 months of puking but, apparently I was wrong.

Thank you so much for your reassurances. I hadn't thought about the filtering effects of the placenta. They spend so much time telling you about what will pass, thoughts of what won't didn't readily occur to me.

I also keep looking out the windows. We have had flocks of hummingbirds coming to the feeders this year and they don't seem to be falling ill from pesticides. We have oodles of other birds flocking to our yard as well as squirrels and rabbits and chipmunks and butterflies. It looks like we actually have markedly more than last year and more than other people in our neighborhood. I think that at least some of the birds are those that were hatched in our trees last year. It seems to me that if things were all that bad, our spring would have been much more silent.

The town seems to understand our urgency in needing to get on the town water and have been very helpful thus far. Forms are being expedited and faxed. Work orders are already in place. We are a little apprehensive about the actual laying of the pipe. We aren't terribly sure about the status of our road, legally speaking. The town won't or doesn't like to (which is unclear) tear up private roads to lay pipe. When we bought our house we were told it was private but if you look at official maps from the town it's not marked as private, nor is the street sign. It's fairly obvious when you look at the road that it isn't maintained by the city as it's gravel. But the water guy, the town engineer, and the work order guy all signed off on the work to lay the pipe so, we're not going to raise the issue. Our biggest worry is that the very odd man who lives a little further down the road seems to think he owns the road which, according to what we can tell from the deed and such, he doesn't. But, he does own part and real estate law can be murky. We plan to plead ignorance if the matter comes up and assume that trying to stop the town, once it is in motion, will take longer than the laying of the pipe and then, eh...

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Fucking Stars and Garters

So, we're on well water. I had assumed my husband had been testing it, if not the recommended once a year, then at least periodically, but he had not. With his dawning realization that pregnancy results in an actual baby (which seems to generally happen around 7-8 months for most men), he decided to at last test the well.

It came back positive for both e. coli and coliform bacteria.

There was much freaking out.

The tests came back on Thursday afternoon and the soonest we could get the guys to come and shock the well was this morning. We can't shock the well ourselves because of the way the well was installed.

The well man took one look at the well and said "Well, there's your problem right there, your well isn't sealed." Yes, in fact, we have basically been drinking from a hole in ground for the last 3 years. The well is drilled with a drill that has a much larger circumference than the pipe that is used for the pipe that brings the water into the house. So, after they put in the pipe they are to grout it or cement it in so that the surface water doesn't just go directly into the drinking water- a significant amount of purification apparently happening with all that trickling through clay and rocks and whatnot. Instead, every time we've had a heavy rain our water was polluted with whatever happened to be around. I am so beyond horrified.

We don't generally use any chemicals on our lawn or garden for a variety of reasons- some environmental, some not wanting to figure out which chemicals we should use, and some being that we just don't care enough about crab grass and dandelions. But, the man who lived here before us was definitely not an organic guy. The well is also right next to the dog play area (it's quite nice sized). The dog poop gets cleaned up regularly but still... Our neighbors, not so organic. We're on a 1 acre lot and the well is in the middle of it so, we may have escaped the worst of contamination but who knows what I have been exposed to during my pregnancy really. The only real plus is that no one has gotten sick from our water (that we know of) and my husband keeps freshwater fish and they haven't been showing any particular problems that might indicate Really Bad Things.

Shocking the well will only be effective until our next big storm but will buy me a little time to do some laundry and such. However, our water isn't safe to drink. I can't wash any baby items since there is a cold rinse at the end of the cycle and babies chew on everything. I can't wash anything that will be used in contact with food like dishcloths, etc. All of our dishes need to be rewashed and sterilized. I can't cook with our water. When we brush our teeth, we need to use bottled water. Our water problems have just been magnified since now, we don't just need to worry about killing the bacteria but we also have to worry about chemicals and other non-biological pollutants.

We're planning on connecting to the city water if it's at all financially feasible (which it looks like it probably is) but that will take about 5 weeks (assuming the town guy gave us an accurate time estimate). The baby comes home in just over 6 weeks. This is pretty accurate since I'm having a scheduled c-section. If there is not digging happening in our yard by the week before the baby is scheduled, we're going to go ahead and shock and seal the well again. I refuse to bring my baby home to place where I won't be able to give the baby a bath, wash my hands, or wash the baby's clothing.

My husband is calling our realtor tomorrow. The well tested positive for coliform before we moved in (so, someone was supposed to tell us to re-test regularly but no one ever did). So, it was shocked but we're pretty sure they didn't wait the amount of time you need to wait before re-testing and giving the all clear. And, there's no way you can look at the well head and not see the big hole around it so it seems like there should have been some disclosure somewhere. But, Real Estate law is far from anything I know about and I have a feeling that this issue will be murky since I don't think we included "inspect well head" in our contract. We aren't particularly litigious but, if there is some way of getting help for paying for clean water or whatever, we'll take it.

Ugh! I'm so glad I went to all that effort to try to eat organic while pregnant...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Something's up...

I think that some sort of hormone shift must have occured over the last week. I became distraught yesterday when watching The Daily Show. They were doing this joke about using baby seals to seal the Alaskan pipeline. I also am starting to be a wee bit moody. And, there's totally something going on with my boobs.

Shirley has been a basket case all week for no identifiable reason. She keeps appearing stressed out when there are no identifiable stressors and it takes her an inordinate amount of time to tell me her tale of woe when I return from even very short outings.

Penny has been clingy for the last several days.

My husband has been getting progressively more schmoopy over the last day or so.

I expected at least the dogs to start getting a little wierd when I got close to my due date. I assumed I would smell different to them and such. But, I hadn't expected it to effect my husband and I certainally hadn't expected it to start at week 33.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Of Men and Dentists and Eating

Early this morning my husband and I had a bit of a tiff. It mainly revolved around the fact that he seems to have only figured out that there will be an actual baby living with us shortly in the last 2 weeks. I'm not sure what he thought was going to be the end result of this pregnancy but it didn't seem to be a baby that required things like a nursery. He had adapted wonderfully to pregnancy. The weeping, the getting me a glass of water at 3 am (what is up with this thirst?), the needing to help me out of the tub when I beached myself, puking at 4 am- all handled with good humor but the idea of a baby at the end was a distant sort of unreality. I've noticed this seems to be common among the expectant fathers. It seems that it is only in month 8 that the idea that pregnancy will end and a baby will come home (we hope and pray) really dawns on the fathers. One woman who is slightly further along than I am said that her husband woke her up after having a nightmare about the baby. When asked what the nightmare was he said that they had the baby and had to take it home and take care of it. Thankfully, realization has dawned on my husband and the nursery is close to done and things are getting ordered and such. What all of this has me wondering, however, is if this lag in realization (I had mine in mid-June) is unique to men or unique to the non-pregnant partner. In short, do lesbian couples run into this same problem? That would control for sex based differences in perception but still allow for only one member of the couple to be getting whammed in the ribs reguarly. Does anyone know?

Second, I finally went in for a dental cleaning last week. It was the most comfortable I've been in months. Everything was supported, nothing ached, I could breathe, my entire torso was happy. The cleaning itself was less than pleasant but the chair was a wonder. My husband suggested that we might get a dental chair of our own. I said that if we were planning on having a family of 10, perhaps, otherwise I'll just look forward to scheduling my late-pregnancy cleaning from now on.

Third, what is up with the baby making me need all these calories but then squishing up my stomach so much that it's impossible to actually eat? And, in one of those "wonder of pregnancy/the hell" sorts of things, drinking water in the night now causes heartburn and I required Tums! For water! Thai food for dinner- totally fine! But water- verboten! Argh!

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I think I am beginning to understand why the mommy isn't usually very involved with her shower. It's not really a matter of etiquette, instead it is a matter of keeping sane with all these damn hormones. I didn't want to include registry registry information in the baby shower invitation. I feel like the point of the shower is to come together. The gifts are great but, I didn't want to feel like there was an entrance fee or obligation. My host really wanted to include the information. So, we compromised with an insert that said something along the lines of "although a gift is not necessary, they are registered at Target under the names..." My Mother-in-Law has decreed this to be really weird. I'm just glad she didn't decide it was some sort of communist plot on my part or something. She tends to consistently search for the most negative connotation of anything I do or say so, this is actually a step forward...

The registry is giving me fits as well. There is actually a lot of psychology that goes into creating a "good" registry. I consider that to be one from which you actually get most of what you registered for and that most people won't look at and think "what was she thinking?" (as I did recently upon discovering that the bride had registered for a cherry pitter and handheld lime squeezer as well as lemon squeezer but only 2 sets of towels). I take into consideration the guests and what their expectations are. For our bridal registry I kept in mind that a number of our guests were graduate students and recent college grads with no money and made sure that there were plenty of gifts available in the $20-$40 range. I also knew that we had a hunk of people who were in the southern old guard and would consider the only appropriate wedding gift china or crystal- for them, there was the Dillard's registry. This is much more difficult with baby stuff. For the bridal registry, there were 7 different towel price ranges and I could pick according to our projected shopper, with baby stuff there is usually only the high and low option. For the bridal registry, I was picking items out for people I knew well (myself and my husband) and I was somewhat familiar with the items- I knew I preferred flannel sheets. For the baby registry I am picking items out for someone I've never met, to do tasks I've never done.

Checking on the registry also causes a hissing and a scandal on the message board I frequent. Most of the members view checking the registry as "cheating." I view it as being a responsibility. I check our registry reguarly. I want to be sure that items are still in stock. I make sure that there are still gifts in a range of prices that will appeal to a variety of gift givers. For instance, some people want to buy something cute while some people want to buy books and some want to buy something really practical. I want to make sure that no one gets to the registry only to discover that the only item still available is the $170 stroller. It just seems to me that if someone is going to the trouble of buying off the registry, it's your job to make it user friendly. Of course, it's also a thrill to discover that someone actually bought us the baby monitor...

Friday, August 04, 2006


This has been a week of accomplishments, small, but accomplishments neverless. My husband (I totally have to give him a nickname. I'm leaning towards snookums simply because there is no way I would ever get to call him that otherwise.) and I attended the breastfeeding class. The Early Inteventionist in my heart loved the class. Someone had been busting their ass with the outreach and there was a good representation of women who don't have the option to stay home indefinitely, don't have fabulous social supports, and don't have a partner cheering them on. In short, I was counting my blessings by the time I left. The Lactation Consultant was approachable and covered the topics that were pertinent to the majority of the class (if not quite for me). There was significant discussion of how to breastfeed at the mall, which pumps will still leave you time to eat lunch on your 30 minute break, and what to do if you get drunk at Applebee's (pump and dump). At the same time, the information was current and I got the impression that the LC was strongly advocating for progressive policies at the hospital. By the end of the class, I had decided on my pump (Medela Double Select) and knew that I no longer had to stress about acquiring a nursing bra since they will fit you and sell you a bra while you're there. I also have the price list and will be able to do some comparison shopping on things like lanolin and whatnot this weekend but, thus far, the prices seem reasonable.

My tomatoes show some signs of perhaps getting ripe before the summer actually ends and the gladioli and phlox have started to bloom so there are fresh flowers in the house again.

I've almost finished compiling the recipies for meals I plan to freeze and meals that Snookums (hee!) can make without a great deal of difficulty. I made sure to include all the things that other recipies leave out like "turn on exhaust fan."

I finished designing our Christmas card, birth announcement, and shower thank-you notes and should have an order in for the supplies this weekend. Of course, I had originally wanted to get the order in last week but, alas... I also received the supplies to make these really cute little baby bootie soaps that will be the shower favors. I'm a little wierded out by the amount of involvement I've had in the planning of this shower but, it just seems to be the way things are working out.

In baby news, the baby seems to be solidly in the head-down position and I have a feeling the baby is growing like mad. Once a week or so I get super hungry and then spend the next day sleeping. I assume this indicates a growth spurt on the part of the baby. While the baby still has a fixation on my right ribs, the baby seems to have shifted a bit to allow me to occasionally go a whole 2 hours without having to go to the bathroom.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Nesting and Calendar Disputes

I seem to be nesting. It's the only reason I can think of for waking up at 3 am with a burning desire to a) weed the garden b) do laundry or c) make a fall wreath to put over the fireplace. In other news, things seem to continue to chug along. Sleeping is getting somewhat better. I even seem to be ok with 8-10 hours of sleep (assuming I actually slept) instead of my peak amount of 12-14 hours a day during early pregnancy. It's amazing how much you can get done when you're conscious for more than 1/2 the day. I have noticed a few little "blips" though that I assume correspond with fetal growth spurts. I'll suddenly be ravenous and then the next day need vast quantities of sleep.

In the latest baby trick, when the baby is positioned just right, I can rub or tap her body in my rib region (in what is always a fruitless attemp to convince her to scootch over) and feel it in my heinie. I would assume that would be the vibration traveling down her body to her head which is hanging out in the very bottom of my pelvis (where she should be).

My husband has suddenly been spurred on to make great strides in preparing for the baby. I suspect he's nesting too... Although, he claims that it's actually because there are fewer than 2 calendar months left until the baby is born. This brings me to an on-going dispute between the 2 of us which shows just how boring our lives must be. I keep referring to how many months along I am via 4 week intervals, as such, I find the "What to Expect" book really irritating since they monkey with the weeks a bit to make them go along with 9 calendar months. This makes my husband happy since he argues that this makes sense since pregnancy is "9 months long." I make the argument that girl months are lunar. This means that pregnancy is actually just brushing 10 girl months by the end of 40 weeks. I support my argument with the whole thing about your period comes once a month but it actually comes every 28 days (for at least a hunk of women) so, it winds up that you get roughly 13 periods in a 1 year period. I choose to look at these disparities between girl time and standard calendar time as a lovely little way that women don't let the man get them down although, that might be reaching...

Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Biggest Parenting Fear

During the course of my life I have changed thousands of diapers. I have navigated the transition to solid foods. I have had graduate level courses that spent at least 2 sessions on potty training and have been responsible for helping potty train children that really just didn't get it. I have experienced, and worked on quelling, tantrums that involved room clears and chair throwing. I've worked with children who were not going to just develop social, motor, or communication skills in the way that many other children will and I have at least some idea of how to foster those skills. While this doesn't mean that I have ever actually been a parent it does mean that I, at least, have some idea of where to start tackling the issue. I have some clue as to what to expect. I know that I have dealt with these issues before and no one died or had to be sedated. However, I have never been responsible for or trained in how to get a child to sleep through the night. The same can be said for breast feeding. But, with breast feeding there is always the fall back position of bottle, lactation consultant, and formula. With night sleeping, there is no fall back. There is just this sea of advice mixed with horror stories (most notably my mother's). I have started reading books. I just finished "The Happiest Baby on the Block" and will start the "Baby Whisperer" tomorrow. I will give Brazelton his day in the sun and will be happy to at least give a passing nod to any other books that seem prudent. But, when it comes down to it, every baby is different and this will be the only one I will have done this with. I have had no "dry runs" with other people's children. I haven't been able to filter through and test run the various advice, distilling out the most effective strategies from each. I have never written an IEP for sleep or broken it down into it's most basic steps to figure out where it's all coming apart. I don't know the readiness indicators. I am going into the sleep abyss completely unarmed. It's terrifying.

In other news, I am flumoxed by how to sleep through the night myself and there are no books in the library devoted to this issue. My knees and ankles are all knobby and like a nice pillow to cushion them but this makes my hips sore faster and results in me having to turn over every 45 minutes or so by about 2am and every time I roll over I have to pee. I seem to be the only pregnant woman on the planet who doesn't actually find a body pillow useful. If I roll over a little to get the pressure off my hips, my belly muscles get pulled but I can't figure out where to stuff the pillow to get enough support for my belly and then I have to pee again just because what's more fun than peeing every 45 minutes for the hell of it. The baby has something going on with my right side and likes to huddle over there which makes my spine and ribs irritable so I try to lay on my left and let gravity help out but then it all goes pear shaped because I think my bladder is somewhere on my left side and, so, my ribs are happier but, of course, I have to pee. And, if I do manage the impossible and convince the baby to hang out in the middle of my uterus, making ribs, spine, and bladder happy (I am convinced my lungs are just inconsolable at this point), the baby becomes all about how many times can I simultaneously punch mommy's cervix and kick her ribs. I have some sort of mild congestion thing going so, I keep wanting to sleep propped up but my tail bone is sore from I don't know what but obviously something baby related and my ribs would like a moment of my time to discuss all of this. My spine and hips would also like me flat which brings me back to where I started with my knobby knees and ankles. Oh, and I have to pee...

I am beginning to think that I could achieve world peace if only I could sleep on my back for one night. My mother says that she did but she also (on doctor's orders) intentionally restricted her caloric intake to result in smaller babies so she wouldn't need a c-section so, I take most of her pregnancy advice with about 2 cups of salt.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Drive By Post

1- Totally craving sauerbraten (I think). It's taken me a while to figure out what the food is that I'm craving. I know it involves raisins, a creamy sauce, and meat, and I'm pretty sure it's a German food that I've only had a couple of times, at least 10 years ago.

2- How long will it take for my uterus to begin to be compared to citrus fruit again?

Monday, July 24, 2006

All Is Well

I took my 3 hour glucose test and passed- yipee! Should you ever have to sit around a hospital lab waiting area for an extended period of time I highly recommend going the route I did and bringing a laptop and a season of something to watch.

The baby is doing well. She has moved into the head down position and is enjoying both my lungs and bladder as excellent resting spots. By far, one of the oddest experiences I have had, as of yet, is the feeling of a wee foot playing with my ribs. The baby seems to revel in making her favorite rib twitch back and forth. I am currently deluding myself with the assurance that the baby will "settle" soon and I will get the use of my lungs back. Please don't disillusion me about this issue. While in the process of wandering into the head down position, I had a wee bit of concern. All the moving and adjustment of parts seems to have worn the baby out for a couple of days but she's back to making my laptop and books bounce yet again. I also had to adjust to feeling the baby in new spots. I have to say that feeling baby hiccups in my heinie is quite the new experience...

Am I the only one who always wants to giggle when she hears the word "fundus?" I either immediately leap to "There is fungus among us" (which isn't actually all that funny but always makes me giggle anyway) or to think of the Bay of Fundy which leads me to grunion runs (although the 2 are absolutely not related) and for some reason the word "grunion" totally makes me laugh. I suppose my OB has seen odder than mild hysteria brought on by the phrase "fundal height" but I was hoping to give the impression I was at least mildly well balanced. At any rate, my fundal height is precisely what it should be.

We are beginning to get inquiries as to when official viewing of the baby might occur. My husband and I have decided that while immediate family will be invited to see the baby earlier, as well as a friend or two who have agreed to offer no parenting advice while pitching in with household chores, the general viewing period will be Christmas. We think that having the masses descend in one 3-5 day period will be somewhat stressful during said period but will allows us to get the whole thing over with while only cleaning the house once. I have also requested a visit from a cleaning service shortly before they will all come. As an added bonus, there is no way we could actually accommodate more than 2 couples at our house so, hotels will be a must. In the meantime, I have been spending a good hunk of time telling people that they don't actually want to see a newborn, what they really want to see is a 3 month old. Newborns are squashy faced, have little personality, can't see, and do little but poop, sleep, and eat. 3 month olds have started to get some personality, are actually cute, and are beginning to interact with the world. We're also waving the carrot of "Baby's first Christmas" in front of their noses- we'll see how it goes...

The dogs are beginning to notice that something might be going on. My boobs are becoming increasingly fascinating with sniffing my chest sometimes taking precedence over sniffing of any other body parts. However, Shirley continues to fall asleep while I try to discuss my pregnancy with her.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Heat of the Past

Like most of the country, we are in the middle of a searing heat. There's actually a little cactus in the icon for tomorrow's weather. As a pregnant woman, I'm mostly staying in. But when I do venture out, all I can think of is my summer visits to my grandparent's house. They live in the flat farmland of southern Missouri. It was always this sort of hot at my grandparent's house in the summer. It's the sort of hot that begs for pools and sprinklers and those icy pops that come in the plastic wrapper in boxes of 100 that never have enough of the purples. When you step out the door all you can smell is the humid air, sweetened with the smell of the drying grass clippings and the roses. Dinner, served promptly at noon, features tomatoes and corn in abundance and there is nothing quite so sweet or flavorful in all creation. Someone would have picked corn up from a farm stand early in the morning, checking to be sure the ears still felt warm from being in the field. The tomatoes would be from a friend's garden, so heavy and ripe you couldn't be sure how they had stayed on the vine. As I grew older, I sometimes helped with the shucking and freezing of the corn but I was never deemed quite good enough at getting all the "milk." In the mercy of the twilight you sit on the old swingset and daydream about the books you read in the heat of the afternoon, sitting in the dark livingroom with the shades closed tight, chilly in the air conditioning (southerners like to make up for all those years spent sweating before the miracle invention) and drinking coke from a glass bottle. Before you go to bed you take a bath to cool you down and carefully count your bug bites as you apply the calmomine and wonder which you'll have more of- freckles or bug bites. Bedtime comes with thunderstorms. It seems there was always at least one good one while we would be out there. My brother didn't mind them but I was terrified of the noise and flashes. My mother would tell me stories of when she was a little girl and sit with me until the cool of the percale and the tick and whirl of the ceiling fan would lull me to sleep.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Section of my Brain Used for Witty Titles is Being Used by the Baby

We had a lovely trip up to the Northeast. We got to see all manner of people whom we had been missing, re-visited the Mecca which is Wegman's grocery, and no longer felt like the most liberal people in a 50 mile radius. The only down-side was when we went out for seafood because it was Cape Cod and I couldn't leave without some clam chowder and some sort of lobster experience (I was pretty sure clams would wind up being a mistake). I discovered that I apparently have developed a rather severe lobster aversion. The level of solicitous service you get when your waiter spots you trying desperately not to hurl in the middle of a nice restaurant is rather astounding. Happily, deep breathing averted the crisis and I was quite thankful I had decided against the lobster roll, opting for an appetizer instead.

I beached myself in the tub the other day. We recently remodeled the bathroom and got this luscious tub. It's deep and comfy and has arm rests and is apparently impossible to get out of once your center of gravity wanders up to your ribcage. I began thinking that it was at times like that that I wished we had gone for a nice Malamute or St. Bernard. A 25 pound Beagle is of little use in such a situation other than the possibility of her adding loud howls to your hollering. Unfortunately, Shirley was far too busy napping on the bath mat to offer assistance.

I failed my 1 hour diabetes screen by more than 50 points so, I'm off for my 3 hour at 7:15 on Monday morning. My spectacular failure was quite surprising as I have absolutely no risk factors but there it is. Unfortunately, I found out I failed just before we left for vacation and the main advice the nurse was able to give me was to avoid sweets and carbs. This was rather amazingly unhelpful. The information I was able to find on-line about Gestational Diabetes was pretty heavy on the "see a nutritionist as soon as possible" and very light on actual numbers I could use to make it through the next week. So, I went with the South Beach recs. I later found out that the carb limits other pregnant women had been given and the South Beach diet were rather wildly different which explains why I spent most of last week hungry. While I'm not looking forward to the fasting and multiple blood draws, I am really looking forward to getting a definitive diagnosis and seeing someone who can tell me yea or nay on the whole fruit issue.

I keep telling myself that even if I completely mess up and managed to still eat completely the wrong things over the last week and a half, the main possible side effect will be that I will have a fat baby. The problem is that I briefly worked with a little girl whose mother had very poorly controlled diabetes during pregnancy. The little girl had a compromised immune system, was on oxygen, had circulatory problems, and had severely stunted limb development. While I understand that pre-existing diabetes and gestational diabeties are 2 completely different things in terms of fetal development and I know that my ultrasound looked great, the part of me that worries that my child will be left on a rock until I get out of c-section recovery also is convinced that 1 sugar misstep will result in an abnormality that is All My Fault.

I have since received all manner of advice on what to eat and my favorite is the "make at home egg mcmuffin." After a fair amount of experimentation, I seem to have finally hit upon the microwave setting that allows for "no listeria" but falls just shy of "autoclave." The really sad thing is that this totally made my day.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Such a Homely Dog

My father came up this week to help my husband install a new handrail for the stairs. The previous handrail was a metal monstrosity featuring blinking neon lights saying "crawl through here" and "get your head stuck here." We think it was original to the house (40 some years old) and had apparently last seen maintenance upon installation. We now have a lovely oak stair rail that is woefully lacking in openings large enough for puppies or babies to fit through. While my father was here, he commented that he's really starting to "get" the fact that he's going to be a grandfather. I understand that the men in our lives have no little somethings sleeping on their bladder, jazzercising at 4:30 am, or considering the location where their lungs used to be a great vacation home but still, why does it take them such a long while to figure out that pregnancy actually does generally result in a baby?

I have recently begun to get anxious that I won't like my baby. What if I don't think the baby's cute? What if the baby has some weird birthmark? Can you really like a little being that wakes you up every 1.5 hours? What about when the kid turns 6. I don't tend to enjoy kids between 6 and 10. There have been some that I've liked but, on the whole, not my favorite developmental period. Since logical thought and the fact that most parents seem to like their kids most of the time seems to be making nary a dent in my newest pregnant lady worries, I decided to look to my dogs.

Before we got Penny I wasn't really a dog person. Dogs were ok but not pivotal to my life's happiness. Within a day of bringing her home, I was a total mush pot. Within 6 months of bringing her home, I started making her homemade puppy treats and recovering pillows for her use. I paid attention to how long I was out for and took walks in pouring rain. However, Penny is an incredibly cute dog. She is about 35 pounds making her a nice comfortable size. She has this lovely, fluffy coat and warm brown eyes. She is the sweetest dog you could imagine. When I take the dogs for walks, everyone wants to pat Penny. Unfortunately, during the 10 weeks or so that she was on some random person's farm as a wee puppy she was not astoundingly well treated and is quite shy. Enter Shirley. Shirley is generally the second choice for pats but is so very enthusiastic about being patted that everyone winds up patting her while Penny backs away.

When I found Shirley at the humane society she was quite the homely dog. She was an old dog- at least 10. She had horrible breath. She was overweight. She had dandruff and a bare spot on her tail, probably from chewing at fleas. She had had a stroke that left her face lopsided. She smelled. Her coat tended to be greasy and thin. She was also a little on the crotchety side and had arthritis that made her less that sprightly. She's sort of deaf and sort of blind and lacked "cognitive stimulation" in her previous homes. However, she had somehow managed to be brought into 3 previous homes and though a series of unfortunate events was looking for number 4. It took a little while for her to meld into our home. When she first came, she didn't realize that there were treats, soft spots to nap, pats, and attention for all and thought she needed to compete for them. She was housetrained but her manners needed some work. It took a while for good food, regular grooming, and a healthy home to take care of her weight, skin, insecurities, and coat. But still, I liked Shirley from the beginning. She's a small beagle, which works to her advantage and she's very people oriented. She doesn't totally understand other dogs but people, she knows. She will follow you around; "talk" to you; nap with you. When you get up in the morning or home in the evening you are greeted with enthusiastic "full body wags" and delighted yodels. It took a while for all this personality to show but, from the beginning, I liked her. When we're on walks, Shirley isn't the one everyone wants to pat but she's the one everyone winds up patting. She isn't the cute one but winds up being liked anyway. She took a while to get used to Penny and would break my heart but I stuck it out and kept her anyway (the fact that Penny outweighs her, is younger by 10 years, and that Shirley has almost no teeth helped a lot). I remember all this at 3 am when I'm worried about liking the baby. It seems to me that if I could like this homely dog, surely I will like my own baby.

We're traveling for the next week. See you on my return...

Monday, June 26, 2006

My Smart Little Baby

So, I've started noticing some cognitive development on the part of my fetus. The baby is starting to make movements that are feeling more deliberate. Sometimes I will get jabs in roughly the same place, at roughly the same strength, it feels much more intentional than the other random movements I feel most of the rest of the time. The baby also wallops me a good one when my stomach growls. It's happened consistenly enough to make me think it's intentional. The baby also wiggles and whaps when the baby feels "squished." When I lean against a countertop, wear a seatbelt a little too high, bend about to weed the garden or lay on my stomach, I am told, in no uncertain terms, that this is not the position of baby choice. The only complaint I have is that the baby seems to find me making noises such a "eerp," "ack," or "dwip," means that I would like the baby to make the particuarly disconcerting movement again.

In other news, I have moved up in bra size. I hadn't realized how much of the discomfort that I had been attributing to hormones was actually caused by "over constriction." However, I am now having to revert to doing up the hooks first and then twisting the feat of engineering which is now my bra into a proper position. It has left me rather hoping that if we have a girl, she will be quite well endowed. The level of lighting and dexterity required to remove the bra would at least guarantee that drunken fumbles in the backs of cars would be somewhat limited in scope. And, there is no way that one could pull off the hurried rearangements required when you hear your parents unlocking the front door or walking down the stairs. Finally, there is no wandering into the VS bra sale and picking up a cute, cheap, bra for the "full figured gal" (as I learned), ensuring that, any frilly fripperies will require a credit card and I do believe that every girl deserves cute undies but, mom will know about them, at least until age 18.

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Wasting" my education

I just read Linda Hirshman's response to the outrage her previous article telling women they should go back to work and not stay at home with their children. There were 2 comments she made that I found particuarly vexing. Although, a part of me wonders if she might not just be writing to be vexing.

First: "Worse, I said that the tasks of housekeeping and child rearing were not worthy of the full time and talents of intelligent and educated human beings. They do not require a great intellect, they are not honored and they do not involve risks and the rewards that risk brings."

The second was basically the entire second half of the article where she classifies her critics as being from one of three camps. First, a particuarly dismissive reference to "mommy bloggers" because, if we're *just* blogging about our lives, it's obviously not important. (I have to wonder how she would view the feminist diatribe I am gearing up for.) Second, religious fundamentalists and conservatives. And, third, people who only think that they are liberal feminists (me, apparently).

Might I start by saying that I am not active in the SAHM vs. Work outside the home mom debates. I truly feel that the heart of feminism is that women get to make choices about their lives. Women should have the choice as to which child rearing decisions work for them and their families. It is societies responsibility to support and enable that choice through providing adequate family leave, helping provide affordable, quality (and that is key) day care, reproductive choice (and that is sooo not limited to abortion rights) so that women can control when they actually have these children, quality pre-natal care, and helping families be aware and able to access the services which are already being provided, among other things. It is perfectly possible for a woman to choose to work outside the home and not be neglecting her child. That decision is very valid. I thank my stars that I get a choice. I want to stay home. This does not make me a superior mother. At the same time, I don't think that I am failing to define feminism as Ms Hirshman asserts. I define feminism as allowing women choice and control over their lives. Not, that we must all make the same choices for the sake of "the cause." Men are applauded for making a decision to stay home. Why should women not be afforded the same attitude? It seems like feminism rather missed the mark if girls are locked into becoming athletes, doctors, or lawyers, even if they wanted to be housewives, teachers, or nurses simply to prove the point that they can do anything the boys do. I thought the point of it all is that we can, not that we have to.

To address the rest of her apparent assumptions about me, since I'm not bowing at her feet. I am not conservative. A friend of mine put it best, my life choices have been fairly conventional but my thinking and attitudes are far from it. I got married young. I decided to wait to have sex until marriage. I do attend church. I am heterosexual. I do enjoy traditional female roles. I like cooking. I like sewing. I like being a domestic goddess. I'm also a supporter of full acceptance of homosexuality in the church. I support choice. I was pissed when our lesbian neighbors moved to Wisconsin. I want to leave this area, in large part, because I want my children to see hispanic and black children in their daily lives. And, I think the previous statements pretty soundly count me out of the fundamentalist fold.

The first quote I cited brings to mind a comment that I have heard somewhat often. "Why are you wasting your education by staying at home." I have to say that first, I was not aware that one could waste an education. Second, my degrees all revolve around children. I have never understood how one could not waste an education by helping to raise other people's children but could waste it raising one's own. In addition to using my education whenever I interact with children, it also did a marvelous job of teaching me how to be a clandestine, counter-culture expert. I spent a good part of my career being an advocate for children who were very difficult to advocate for. I learned to soften edges, bargin, barter, and flatter, all in pursuit of my goal. I learned about protective coloring and blending in. I learned how to be a steel magnolia. I learned to plant seeds and find subtle, small victories, that lead to much larger change. I now delight in fitting right into the little old ladies at women's club and sneaking in a suggestion that we offer child care for our events or that, if we're having trouble finding a speaker, we invite one of the leading women from the Virginia legislature. When, at book club, I hear it suggested that all the kids with behavior problems belong in a special class, I can counter with asking how much French you actually learned in high school as that would be commensurate with how many social skills the kids would learn, far from their peers, with no one to model or practice with. At church council, I offer the perspective that not everyone actually has the books of the bible memorized. When college students in Sunday School argue that sex shouldn't be touched on with high schoolers at church events, even when they bring it up themselves, I ask how Christian it is to let them wander into the danger of unprotected sex. When I am at Bunko, I share that Canada is not quite as wacko as one might think with their socialized medicine and better family leave. And, when it is implied that I am a conservative fundamentalist because I happen to make some of the same choices, with no inspection of the motivation, I say something. My education is what gave me the ability to look at her statements critically, to rebut them in an organized fashion, to access the internet, and to make up my own mind. My education allows me to understand how the media can distort perception, how to learn on my own, how to look at parenting advice books critically and take what I need from them while not being paralyzed with fear from some of the more alarmist statements or become an adherent to some of the more extremist advice. My education taught me how to not get "squirted" when changing a little boy. I would say that all of these are valuable. If I am "just" a "mommy blogger," so be it. But, I am also a thinking, impassioned feminist for choice of all kind, not simply reproductive. I can't help but think that she would be better serving the cause by adding to the recognized value of "women's work" and leaving the marginalization to the other misogynists.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Holy Toledo, Batman, We're Having a Baby!

So, I suspect that this happens to many a first time pregnant woman but, in my case, I'm blaming the morning sickness. Up until the last couple of days I have known that there was a far off day in which there would be a baby joining our family. There is only so much denial possible when said baby is wailing on your intestines. However, the baby was always coming "after" something. The baby would come after we finished the bathroom remodel, finished the nursery, after the summer, and, this is where the morning sickness comes in, well AFTER the first trimester. Since I kept up with all the fun parts of the first trimester well into the second (and am still having a nodding acquaintance with them), it was only yesterday that I finally realized that I am down to my last 3 months. This came up most notably when contemplating ordering the glider which has a 12 week lead time. While I wanted to order it in March, it is now June, and we're just managing to do it. It was quite the startling moment when I realized that there was at least some possibility that the baby will beat the glider. It has begun to dawn on me that when we bring the baby home it will actually be ours, living here. There will be no one picking the baby up in 3 hours and paying me $10. When the baby cries and cries at 3 am there will be no glimmer of hope that it's parents will be home soon. It's all on me and my husband. I realize that there are fantastic parts to being a parent but, at the moment, I'm having to work a bit to see past the marathon crying sessions, 3 am feedings, and potty training, I should probably just try to go to a park today and make a point to see how may adorable smiling, sleeping, babies I can find.

To make things more exciting around here, my husband decided that if we have a boy we will not be having him circumcised. I had left this decision up to him feeling that he had better grounds to make a decision than I would. I am fine with the decision and wouldn't have left it up to him if I had had strong feelings. But, he choose to tell me about this just as the reality of the baby being ours, ALWAYS, was just sinking in. There was minor hysteria as I realized I had never even seen a "turtleneck" let alone would I be able to identify if something was wrong or how one properly cares for it. Then there was the hurdle of figuring out how to find information about the care of said appendage without winding up in porno pop-up hell. Happily, he had already scoped the issue out and the general feeling seems to be that soap, water, and leave-it-be are the best care options. Now, I just have to figure out how to explain things to those sweet home schooled girls down the block that we're planning on getting to babysit.

Finally, this weekend my parents brought down the cradle my father made for me when I was born and we also got the crib from some friends who have recently finished with their crib needing days. The cradle is in the carport as my father varnished it just before bringing it down and the crib is assembled in the living room, awaiting the painting of the nursery. Shirley, our older beagle, has been quite blase about the new furniture but Penny is quite worried by both items. The cradle is given a wide berth when coming in or out of the house and, for a time, she refused to even look out the door at it. The crib got barked at for a while and she now keeps a very close eye on it from across the room, lest it make any sudden moves. We assumed that the problem with the cradle was the smell of the varnish and (although she doesn't know it yet) expected trouble when it rocked but we have no idea what the issue with the crib is. In addition, we know from previous experience that she is afraid of strollers and suspect that she won't take the baby swing well. Desensitizing Penny is fast becoming one of our most important pre-baby tasks. I have tried to tell Penny that she will really enjoy the baby- they loose socks all the time and make delightfully stinky diapers but, thus far, this doesn't seem to be sinking in.

And now, I'm off for further contemplations of the benfits of a sling baby holder vs. the napsack sorts of baby carriers. I am having a lot of trouble getting past my irrational conviction that I'll bend over and the baby will just roll right out of the sling...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Soccer Balls

I informed my husband that my uterus is now approximately the size of a soccer ball. His response? "Way to go honey! Just in time for the World Cup!"

Monday, June 12, 2006

Busy Baby

I currently have quite the busy baby. Over the past week the baby has had hiccups, practiced walking, punched mommy hard enough to make her say "oof" several times, and discovered both mommy's bladder and lungs are excellent resting spots. There is also a mysterious thing that always makes me quite queasy. It's akin to the feeling you get on the down part of the roller coaster. I call it "swishing." My mom thinks that the baby is rolling around but I'm not sure. I usually feel an arm or head or something moving along my stomach when the baby rolls, but maybe the baby is rolling a different way or something. I suspect it may be when the baby is practicing sucking his thumb and is creating some sort or current or is maybe waving around his arms or feet, trying to find something pleasant to chew on. At any rate, I can say definatively that our baby is both smart and sensitive to other's feelings as he always seems to know exactly when I'm feeling most queasy and chooses that moment to get really nice and active.

In related news, to the list of "how much can I possibly..." we can now add pee. We are having a serious soap crisis at the moment, I am mightily lucky that there was a sale on hand soap the other week or I would be having a major problem. And, when you add the increased use of paper products from all the sneezing and peeing, I may be solely responsible for the deforestation of a smallish rain forest- it's a good thing I drive a hybrid to appease my guilt...

Finally, we are wandering into "viability" which is a huge relief. At this point, if the baby were born, they would at least have some way to care for him in the NICU. I will still feel a little better when we hit the 7 month mark but, I feel like this is a big step.

Friday, June 09, 2006


So, yesterday I had a book club meeting. This is not the club with the little old ladies that requires leg shaving and pearls. This is a group of slightly younger women who take bitterness and inability to see the bright side to new levels. An important side note: There are 2 main categories of people in our little town, particuarly among people who have moved here. The first group has fallen in love with the town, the area, and the people. They could never imagine why anyone would want to live elsewhere and would have the town's cute little babies, if only they could. The second group finds the area to be a backwoods purgatory. My husband and I fall within the miniscule 3rd category. We have no wish to make this our forever home but, have a very concrete understanding that there are, in fact, far worse places to live. We can list features of the town that aren't bad and can be appreciated as well as also note the myriad of things that we won't particuarly miss. The little old ladies are firmly in the first camp, the Newcomer's Book Club is firmly in the second camp. I always walk away from meetings of either camp feeling somewhat frustrated but my opportunities for socialization are rather limited and I do get some enjoyment and, most importantly, I can't figure out how to quit either group.

At any rate, we were discussing "Florence of Arabia." It's a fabulous book, full of dark humor that looks at a fictional attempt to bring women's liberation to a fundamentalist Muslim country. I had read the book once before but was anxious to re-read it after spending 2 months in Egypt this fall. The discussion covered many topics but there was one statement that really stood out to me. I told the other women that, in Egypt, children were generally assumed to be closely following marriage. While contraception certainly was known about and, I was told, was not forbidden on religious grounds, it was not at all uncommon to have a baby 9 months after the wedding. The people we met in Egypt often had difficulty with the concept that my husband and I could have been married for 5 years and not had a child. While it was never explicitly stated, I definitely got the impression that most people assumed that we had some sort of fertility problem. When I noted this to the book club, one of the women said "Oh, people in the US were thinking that too, they just didn't say it." I told her that I disagreed. While there was a group of people who were surprised we waited to have children, that was mainly the group that knew I had wanted to have children right away. For various reasons we didn't and they were, understandably, confused. The rest of the world didn't seem to have much of an opinion one way or the other. We got married young, on my 23rd birthday. My husband was in graduate school. The idea that we would want to wait for him to finish and get settled in a new town didn't seem odd to anyone. I'm sure that as I approached 30 (I'm currently 28) I would have been asked more frequently but, it seems like in today's society, while I am not considered a particuarly young mother, I'm not considered to be pushing the envelope either. It seems like, in the US, there is much less emphasis on how long you've been married and much more on how old you are.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Yes, I am planning on raising an illiterate axe murder.

I am on the children's council at church. The other day we were having a meeting and discussing a change (always painful) in the Bible we give to the 2nd graders. I am not clear why 2nd graders always get a Bible but, every church I've ever attended gives one to the 2nd graders. At any rate, I caused quite the ruckus!

When discussing the pros and cons of the various formats, I suggested that the new one was more accessible to parents who have less Bible knowledge, whih may be the families we would most like to target with outreach efforts. I also said that I expected to never sit and simply read to my child from the Bible (my point being that a study-ish Bible may not be a bad thing since most people do a fair amount of Bible study vs Bible reading, particuarly when the reader doesn't know most of the more colorful vocabulary of the Bible such as "smote"- a rare addition to the 2nd grade spelling list). This caused quite the hissing and the scandal.

The thing is that I just have never really viewed the Bible as being an ideal children's story book what with all the begetting, smoting, smiting, adultery, violence, and other various immoral behaviors. For the record, I also don't see myself pulling out King Lear, Pilgrim's Progress, or The Rights of Man for my 7 year old. I don't have any objection to reading biblically based children's books, watching Veggie Tales, or going over the Christmas and Easter stories. And, if my child requests that I read straight from the Bible, as I did, for unknown reasons at the age of 5, I will. However, I will note that I worried about my brother's well-being for weeks after hearing the Passover story. I also plan to take my child to church fairly regularly, although, I confess, it's more for social development reasons than a desire for the child to have a strong Christian background. I am one of those lost souls who still isn't totally clear on what exactly differentiates the actions of a "good Christian" and a "good person."

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by the committee's shocked response. I do know that my husband and I are some of the most liberal members of the congregation. I also know that this is the same committee that insists on having Sunday School lessons in the nursery which the current co-coordinator of the nursery and I conveniently neglect to tell the volunteers about... The one time I did give it a go, I was to be using a felt board to illustrate how Jesus waits in Heaven for us. These children were highly suspicious that their parents would ever be seen again, let alone this Jesus person I kept mentioning. On the whole, there was significantly more interest (and understanding) in re-acquainting their tummies with goldfish than the story. There was interest in the story from a little boy who kept gnawing on Jesus' felt head. I suggested that the lessons might be less than developmentally appropriate and that the children might be better served by having books about sharing, being good friends, and other morally upright topics readily available in the nursery. This suggestion was met with the definite opinion that these children were in church and they would be learning about Jesus, through felt, like all good Christian little children should.

I am apparently preparing to raise a godless heathen, perhaps the children's committee should plan a revival for the saving of the poor dear's soul.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

You are what you eat...

Two posts in one day! The sky must be falling!

In addition to adopting the sleep habits of a toddler, I also seem to be taking my eating cues from them as well. Toddlers tend to eat in spurts. You'll see them consume enough food to feed 5 hungry teenagers and then switch to a diet that would barely sustain a gnat. Research has shown that, in fact, over the course of a week, a toddler does actually consume enough calories that it averages out to being sufficient to their needs. I seem to be on the same eating plan. There are days where anything beyond 100 calorie packs and gingerale is far beyond my reach and others where 1 pizza just isn't enough. I am a little worried about what will happen if that glorious no more morning sickness day ever comes and I actually have to monitor what I eat. Will I just be so accustomed to eating when I can that I will manage to pack on 30 pounds in the last trimester?

I am actually finding my weight issues to be a bit of a social embarrassment. While most of the other mommies are trying to come up with ways to consume healthier calories and are how to keep their weight in check, I really need to know how I can pack in the most caloric punch. There is currently much discussion about how to stay hydrated while not packing on pounds (water, water, water) but gingerale is still my lifeline. If I cut out my gingerale (and how I long to do so), I would lose 300-400 calories a day which often means the difference between maintaining my weight and starting to loose. While I am trying hard to not worry about my weight gain (I have had some modest weight gain so, I haven't crossed the crucial line of losing weight) and continue to repeat the mantra of "if the doctor isn't worried, I don't need to worry," it would be nice to be able to find someone who has had a similar problem. I'm far from experiencing the hell that is hyperemesis gravidarum but, I'm also not in a situation of needing support to curb my cravings. I'm also lucky in that most of my cravings are relatively sensible and have a clear relationship to vitamin and nutrients my body needs. To post questions about such matters as what foods have the most "good fats" and which are most calorically dense to the pregnancy boards feels like a definite faux pau. So, does anyone have some advice beyond eating dried fruit and milk shakes?

In a related issue, something a friend said at one point in her first pregnancy has always stuck with me. She was well into her 7th month and stated that she could tell that "the baby was stealing" referring to noticing loosing fat in some areas to feed the baby. I found the comment somewhat jarring at the time but assumed it was because it was a period when I very much wanted to have a baby but health issues were preventing it and I found her pregnancy a little difficult for me all around. I assumed that should I have my own pregnancy, I would be more understanding of the sentiment. But now that I am pregnant and noticing some areas getting bony as my body supports this baby, I still find it to be a very irritating comment that has stuck with me. I consider it to be upon me to be sure that the baby gets sufficient calories and nutrition and have a great deal of difficulty seeing my failure to take in enough calories as somehow being the baby "stealing." Further, my friend didn't have nearly the difficulties eating that I have had so, for her, maintaining a balance of calories in/calories out was completely within her control. I wonder if it speaks to differences in how motherhood is perceived. I very much want to maintain my own sense of self and identity beyond "mommy," at the same time, I look at my role, for the next several years, to mainly be a mommy. The extent that that role shapes my life is within my control but my life will now be molded around the mommy role. For instance, I have a very thorough knowledge of the many advantages of breast feeding which will result in much loss of night time sleep and a very real time-limit to how long I can be away from the baby. At the same time, I have a very clear understanding of what a lack of down time or predictable sleep cycles have on my mood. If it comes to a point that the choice is breastfeeding or a sane, stable mommy, sanity wins hands down. With my friend, there was a more implicit feeling that the children were important but were expected to work around the rest of her life. While I think that is a valuable goal, particuarly as they grow older, and constant care is no longer needed, I'm not sure how much I can get behind this as a rearing strategy for infants. However, please note, this is not to say that all children should have one parent devoted to their full-time care, it is much more a matter of how you perceive your children's impact on your life. The contrast between looking at children as needing to fit into your existing life or looking at your life needing to fit around your children. I'm not even sure than one is better than the other and, as I don't actually have a child yet, it is all highly theoretical on my part. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

How Much Sleep Could I Possibly Need?

My husband has finally been able to start feeling the baby kick. This has prompted instruction in basic math for the baby. He switches back and forth between tapping my belly and proclaiming the corresponding number with telling the baby how many times it's kicked. I have tried to do my part by singing "The Subtraction Blues" one of the great Sesame Street songs of all time found on "The Count Counts" album. I have suggested that perhaps we should hold off on any more advanced instruction until the baby has mastered swallowing, sucking, and breathing.

I have discovered the wonder of the morning nap. I often wake up at about 6:30 and spend the next couple of hours dozing. However, by the time 2:00 rolls around I've had it. Suprisingly, if you don't really become active until about 10:00 (the magic morning sickness hour) and then require a 3 hour rest period starting at 2:00, your day is less than productive. I was delighted to find out that if I just suck it up and actually eat breakfast and such at 6:30 and then putter around on the computer until 8:30 and then take a morning nap, I feel like a complete lazy ass but can actually skip afternoon nap time. This has been a revelation. It completely kills all morning productivity but, starting at about 11:00, I can actually work on projects for most of the afternoon. It's fabulous! I can now feel like a productive member of society. I have managed to complete tasks that have hung over my head for weeks. While I am still completely awed by how much sleep it seems to take to produce a baby, not to mention the empty tundra which is my mind starting at about 5:30 every day, I do at least get to get things done. Yipee!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Things That Will Happen That I Need To Be OK With

1. My child will eat dirt.

2. My child will eat crayons, paper, and play dough.

3. My child will eat dog food. (note to self: make sure we continue to buy the good stuff)

4. My child will play in the dog's water dish and will share food with the dogs.

5. My child will share toys with Penny.

6. Penny will switch her sock stealing fixation to the baby's socks. (note to self: talk to vet about indicators for intestinal obstruction)

7. My child will have consonant confusion resulting in cringe inducing moments involving the word "truck."

8. My child will have a melt down in a highly public location. There will be looks. This will happen more than once.

9. I will have a melt down. Hopefully, not in a highly public location. This will happen more than once.

10. Should I wind up breast feeding, I will flash someone unintentionally.

11. My child will go through a period where the child WILL NOT eat anything other than 2 nutritionally questionable foods. My worries about scurvy will be unfounded.

I'm sure this list will grow...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Darn Birds and Sunshine

First, it has come to my attention that my completely irrational crush on Prince William is unabated by motherhood. On hearing news that his relationship with the lovely Katherine seems solid, I was momentarily crushed. The fact that I would be deemed unsuitable on oh so many levels doesn't seem to factor into my secret conviction that if I had met William before I met my husband than all would be different.

Second, the progesterone surge (along with the poison ivy) that was making my life miserable is nicely fading. My hips still require a bit of TLC but are not nearly as painful as they were and my morning sickness is back to a manageable level. The sleepy truck has made a re-appearance. My husband has been warned that speaking to me between 2 and 5 pm is risky at best but the baby no longer has a guaranteed middle name of "never again."

Third, I have several bird feeders in the yard and we live in a semi-rural area where we have a fairly nice bird and critter habitat. I would putter in the kitchen and they would come to the bird feeder and entertain me. However, every year, at about this time, you can hear me muttering about the damn birds and sunshine. We live high enough into the mountains that the evenings tend to be cool and the humidity is quite low for southern Virginia so, we can keep the bedroom windows open at night. The birds begin a deafening round of assorted song at about 5:15- about the time the sun begins to stream into the bedroom. We, of course, keep the blinds up so that we can have the lovely breeze. The only thing missing from our little idylic interlude (prior to the birds and sunshine) is the soft scent of magnolia blossom since our magnolia inexplicably never actually blooms. The birds begin to go on their birdy way and relative peace decends at about 6:15. Unfortunately, our neighbors let their dogs out at about 6:20. They aren't the quietest dogs but are generally not a problem except for the fact that our dogs find the whole matter of open upstairs windows highly confusing. They can hear the dogs but the barking is coming from a Brand New Location. These are obviously Brand New Invaders and should be warned away. However, the dogs can't figure out where to go to scare them away since the windows are above doggy eye level and doggie ear level. This results in much confused circling of the bedroom and barking. This, as opposed to the progesterone surge, may explain the resurgence of the sleepy truck actually...

Friday, May 19, 2006

You take the good, you take the bad...

This was quite the week in pregnancy.

I got an email informing that this was generally considered to be the most pleasant part of pregnancy. I sobbed. If this was "the best" I thought that it might be advisable to see if the ob could just knock me out for the next 4 months or so. While it looks like I will be having a c-section, my hips, at least, are totally into preparing for vaginal delivery. I am quite the loosey-goosey and I apparently had a "hormone surge" in the last week or so which resulted in my hips throwing themselves completely out of alignment which results in excruciating pain if you want to do anything wild such as roll over in bed or walk. The surge also led to a super fun resurgence of morning sickness which left me puking in not one, but 2 doctor's offices. Whoo! I keep telling myself that it can't possibly last more than another 4 months... To top the week off, there was the poison ivy. I seem to be blessed with a rather strong reaction to the weed and have been quite careful about it. But, I didn't know that the roots were also problematic so, while planting the gladioli bulbs (finally), I managed to get myself nicely exposed. Conveniently, the worst of the hip pain was on my right side while the worst of the poison ivy is on my left and I've hit that point where laying on my back results in me throwing up so, not that much sleep was happening. Happily, I saw both my Physical Therapist and OB on Wednesday. The PT put me back in alignment (and was also quite nice about me throwing up in her trash can) and the OB took pity on me and prescribed some nice steroid cream which he assured me wouldn't hurt the baby but has managed to make me feel guilty anyway- when the child needs braces at age 12, I'm pretty sure I'll be certain it's because I couldn't hold out on the poison ivy. I excel at guilt! The PT also told me that the extended morning sickness was doing fabulous things for my stomach muscles. I repeat this to myself several times a day... And, between the morning sickness, chocolate aversion, and extreme sugar sensitivity I have going, excessive weight gain is a near impossibility.

The "good" of the week was the congenital abnormalities ultrasound. The baby looks fantastic. There is a little heart and brain. There are kidneys and lungs and a nicely functioning stomach. There are 2 arms and legs and the lips look good. The baby likes to sit tailor style in the very bottom of my pelvis and chews on it's arm a lot, when it's not rubbing it's eyes in a most adorable manner. Sizewise, the baby has enjoyed feasting on my fat reserves and is smack dab in the middle of the growth chart and right on schedule for a late September delivery. I also think that the baby is almost strong enough for my husband to feel the baby kick. In other good news, I had been feeling considerable anxiety about the gestational diabetes test since sugar tends to make me throw up. I had visions of spending hours and hours knocking back glucose drink, desperately trying to keep it down. On Wednesday, the OB assured me that there were other ways of getting the information and I would only have to throw up once. A great sigh emerged, although, both the OB and my husband found it very amusing that I would think there would be this Atilla-like nurse urging me to "Drink it! AGAIN! Schnell! Schell!" Men!