Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Accidental Conservative

So, I consider myself to be very, very moderate with a healthy sprinkle of crunchy. We cloth diaper (well, my husband does and I do when I don't have an overactive gag reflex), we buy local and organic at least part of the time, we drive a hybrid car but we also vaccinate, I use an OB and have no interest in a home birth, I'm pretty sure Charlie will attend public school, etc. Yet, somehow over the last year I have managed to wander into any number of activities that are affiliated with the religious right.

I joined MOPs last year when I reached the point where I just had to get out of the house. It's somehow linked with Focus on the Family. It's an oblique link and I have had trouble finding anything on it's web site that spells it out but it's very much there. While a good portion of the programs are focused on things like discussions of quilting, ways to pamper yourself, etc, there are usually one or two talks that veer pretty heavily into realms that aren't so much on the neutral side. It's still a good way for me to meet other mommies, get a break from Charlie, and, for what you get, it's very reasonably priced but there are a few meetings that I am learning to skip.

Now, my husband and I have decided to attend Financial Peace University with a curriculum by Dave Ramsey. He doesn't spend huge amounts of time discussing faith but I think I can safely say that Jame Dobson would approve and they might even be buddies.

As a side note: No, we aren't drowning in debt or anything like that but we were raised with 2 very different philosophies of money management and this fell in our laps as a way that we can perhaps come to some middle ground about how best to go about things like budgeting. After 7.5 years of marriage, it doesn't appear that we've really gotten all that far on the issue on our own.

I joined diaper swappers the other week in hopes of finding some good deals on new itty, bitty diapers for our new itty, bitty person with an itty, bitty heinie! We generally use BumGenius, which are great. They are a one size diaper that technically fits from birth through when your child will probably be potty trained. But, I've heard that they can be a little bulky for newborns so we're looking into getting kissaluvs for the new little person to use at first. We've really liked our cloth experience. They save quite a bit of money, have helped a lot with Charlie's never ending diaper rash, and are much more environmentally friendly. They aren't nearly as much of a pain as I thought they would be in terms of washing and are as easy to use as disposables. Should you ever want to try them, we did the Try Cloth program through Jillian's Drawer's. It's fully refundable except for $10 and is a great way to get your feet wet. Anyway, so diaper swappers has a pretty large contingent of women who would probably self-identify as religious conservatives. It's one of those weird places where the really liberal, off the grid because they want to be one with nature collide with the really conservative, off the grid, make your own food, be ready for The End groups. I always find those intersections interesting if a bit bewildering since I really just wanted to get a good deal on kissaluvs.

Finally, broomhuggers, which I find to be a great resource for green cleaning tips posted a big anti-abortion post. I could see where they were coming from but it was still jarring to see abortion positions nestled between tips about how to use oregeno oil as a disinfectant and the controversy of if one should use dryer balls made from PVC that are reusable or dryer sheets that are disposable.

I am worried that soon I will manage to wander into a Huckabee rally and wind up with a picture of me shaking his hand.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ultrasound Results!

We had the big ultrasound on Thursday and we're having a GIRL! We're so very excited (especially my husband). I have already ordered 2 tiny pink onsies- crazy8 was having a clearance sale with free shipping and I had to get something for Charlie anyway... :-)

She was shy and kept her arm over her face but we got some really lovely spinal shots. The tech was also able to see that everything looked good and we have every reason to expect a perfectly healthy little person in about 4 months.

Her head is very low though and this is causing my uterus to speak up occasionally. It apparently doesn't like getting jabbed quite where she likes to stretch so, we made a quick trip to L and D on Friday but she had finally shifted by the time got there (don't they always!) and things quieted down nicely. I took it very easy yesterday and am trying to be careful today but I'll have to jump back in tomorrow. Apparently there was a big growth spurt this week (explaining my monster appetite and need for 15 hours of sleep a day) which may be irritating things as well. But that will be done soon. I'll breathe a nice sigh once we finally make it to 30 weeks though.

It really does seem to be true that each pregnancy is very different. Charlie tended to move around more. He loved to spin and swish and I never believed the books when I read that they spend 85-95% of the time asleep. He also tended to always keep me up for about 2 hours between 2 and 6 am which has carried over to his early childhood as well. This little girl moves plenty enough to keep me reassured but seems to sleep a bit more and her active time seems to be more in the evening, after dinner. She's also much more responsive to food. As soon as I have a snack (especially a sweet one), she kicks up a storm. But, she also tends to sit on things that I once considered rather important to not interfere with- like arteries and major nerves. And, since she isn't quite the acrobat that Charlie was, this means that once she finds a spot she likes, it takes a while for her to move on. As I told her on Friday, her brother never made me go to L and D in a bit of an anxious cloud. At the same time, I'm hoping this means she might be a sleeper- keep your fingers crossed! Of course, she's only just now really getting into her movement groove so, she might become twice the acrobat her brother was in the next few weeks. And, while the contractions are nerve-raking, in some ways, it's preferable to never getting to sleep through the night even before you've had the baby.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I See a Bad Moon Risin'

Charlie is right on the cusp of really starting to talk. We are seeing a real leap in his receptive language skills. And, he's now getting to the point of being able to almost tell you what he wants. Unfortunately, he often considers the problem to solely be that you just don't understand that he wants to play with the sharpie. The idea of that the sharpie is off limits is far beyond his ken and receptive abilities. "No," is still hit or miss. Thus, we are starting to get tantrums. So far they haven't been too bad but you have to remember that I've seen some real humdingers in my previous life as a special ed teacher. We have had a couple of public melt-downs that have resulted in a swift whisking away home. People have been surprisingly nice about the whole thing, carefully stepping around us as I wrestle him into his coat at PetSmart or ignoring us as I pack up his bag at the hamburger place.

We're also getting to the point that he really wants to walk while I am getting to the point where chasing a highly active toddler through a store isn't so feasible. Also, see previous discussion of "no" and add in "come here" as another phrase we really need to work on. We've actually gotten him one of those back pack baby leash things but I haven't had the where-with-all to actually use it yet. I've seen more parents with them though and they look much less like something I would put on my dog than previous versions. I suspect he won't object to wearing the backpack so much as being frustrated that I have found yet a new way to thwart his quest to obtain all the shirts at B Moss.

I sense that our little Drama King has far bigger tantrums inside him though and what parent doesn't want their child to live up to their full potential so we will soldier on and help foster his talents in full contact drama because he's gifted, you know.

Of course, all this doesn't come without the oh, so, cute as well. We have many, many discussions every day focusing on balls. I had not realized how much could be conveyed with the phrase "Uh, oh! Ball." It's a conversation starter, color commentary, and request to play (as he rolls it under the entertainment center). "Ball, mmm" is a request of an asian pear (now labeled as an apple-pair- I'm not sure if that is for cultural sensitivity or a brand thing). It only took me a few minutes to figure this out when I had a snack the other day and I was attacked by a very small, apparently very hungry marauder. Happily, he will now hold the pear himself while sitting in his highchair and gnaw on it for 10-20 minutes. On a particularly trying day last week I was able to keep him quiet and happy for a good 35 minutes in his high chair (it was one of those days where he was so sleepy he kept running into things and falling down but we really needed to make it just a little longer before nap) between a pear, watching the roomba, and watching Mommy mop. I've been amazed at how many balls Charlie can find in life. It really has made me stop and smell the roses in a fashion. But, cutest of all, is "tickle, tickle, tickle." He can't really manage 2 syllables or the "t" sound yet so it comes out as this garbled lickle, lickle, lickle involving lots of sticking out your tounge. If I wasn't already pregnant "tickle, tickle, tickle" would have us trying for another.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

For the Love of Pete!

I woke up at about 5 to make my trek to the potty and discovered that the baby had found some choice nerves to sit on over the night. My right thigh, butt, and, most oddly, labia (!) were all numb. You have not really experienced life until you have had a numb labia. I'm starting to get feeling back in all key parts but have tried to drink a bit of extra ginger ale this morning (yes, still with the morning sickness) to get her to wiggle to more comfy climes. She must be really far back today though because even when she's kicking strongly, I can't feel them from the outside.