Sunday, October 30, 2005

My baby is three.

While my youngest child may technically be the one growing in my belly, Grouper is still my baby -- and my baby turned three yesterday.

THREE YEARS OLD. Of course, that still sounds pretty little to me. When Puffer turned three, it seemed so OLD. I suddenly realized that my chance to make a significant impact on his life was OVER -- and I'd probably COMPLETELY SCREWED UP the little time I'd had. Thank God I no longer believe in those studies that say it's the first three years that truly matter. I actually think children need their parents FOREVER. You know, with reasonable limitations as they get wrinkles. (Don't worry, Mom, I'm fighting mine with Arbonne products.)

I'm going to brag, and then it's going to come back and kick me in the butt, BUT... Grouper has been sleeping all night in his own bed, WITHOUT a diaper, and WITHOUT nursing until the morning!!! Somehow, he's realized that this turning 3 thing is a big deal. He's made some serious progress on using the potty over the last few weeks.

He has been pretty tired of wearing diapers, doesn't want them at night or the day, but I told him that he would have to wear one at night if he was going to nurse. Thus, he's given up night nursing besides once at bedtime. The times he's gotten cold and climbed in bed with me around 4:30 a.m., he just snuggles next to me. He has quite an incredible bladder, nonetheless.

Oh, and look who's up from his nap and ready to nurse? ;) He IS still my baby...

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The heartbeat

Today was our first midwife appointment. After an hour of chatting and catching up, we finally made it to the bedroom, so I could lay down and she could use the Doppler to try to hear the baby's heartbeat. I'm at nine weeks, so there was a chance we wouldn't be able to hear anything yet.

UberDad found the fundus first. He got pretty good at guessing fundal height correctly during the last two pregnancies. Then the midwife started listening. First she found my own heartbeat, on my side of the placenta. Then, after another minute, came the much quicker pulsing of the baby's heart. Hearing that sound the first time is so exciting! The boys were both in the room to listen, too. In that moment, the pregnancy becomes more than a combination of first trimester physical discomforts. The Baby is suddenly a reality of the current moment, not just an abstract idea or image of the future.

I found out today that one of my best friends is going to have a boy. She has two little girls already, so this was very exciting. We'll see in another two months whether she and I will be keeping our tradition of birthing opposite genders, and can trade all our baby clothes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Misc. updates

Yikes! I guess I've been ignoring my blog for a couple weeks, haven't I? Besides that last random iPod share, which apparently was difficult to find.

Anyhow, we had a great time in Anaheim. The conference was fabulous, I met the woman whose twin homebirth story I've been sharing for months, and came home inspired. The boys loved Disneyland, and we survived the crowds. My mom even let her mind leave her worries about my grandmother for a few hours.

On that subject, she's back in her own apartment after a third stint in the hospital. There's nothing wrong enough with her for them to let her stay indefinitely, but neither is she truly capable of living on her own anymore. Unfortunately, she's refusing all help from my mother, and still hallucinating terrible things about me, my dad, and my sisters. So, we're still praying and hoping nothing dreadful happens.

I had a four-day reprieve from 24-hour-sickness last week, which was lovely. Then my dear friend Emily came and helped clean my house the day of my Passion Party, which was almost more lovely. By the time I got home from a baby shower on Saturday afternoon, however, the sickness had returned. So, I've been napping a lot, and knitting some, and trying to do laundry in between.

Oddly, the reprieve from feeling pukey came at the same time as I was avoiding sugar and dairy and taking anti-yeast herbs. Then it returned after I had cake at both parties. So, I'm wondering if it's possible to rid myself of this misery by adjusting my diet again. UGH. It's SO hard to give up sugar!! The boys begged me to make banana bread Sunday night, so of course I had to oblige.

I did make a fabulous vegan minestrone soup tonight, which was perfectly healthy -- if you don't count the butter on the bread we ate with it.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A different way to think of nutrition for children

I'm listening to an interesting online radio show right now about the Chinese perspective on the infant digestive system. Go here to check it out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Feeling pukey

Where do I get these brilliant ideas? You know, the one that went something like this... plan to get pregnant in September, so that I'll be nauseated and tired all through our October trip to Disneyland and will want to sleep through the conference seminars, and then commit to hosting a party the Friday after we return, even though the house still isn't totally put back together and I haven't mopped the floors in three weeks.

I must be having a girl. At least one. 'Cause I don't remember feeling like this with either of the boys. With them, all I had to do was snack a lot. With this one, I'm snacking all the time and still feel sick pretty much 24 hours a day. My stomach, hips and butt are getting bigger by the minute, and my back hurts because I can't use my abdominal muscles or I'll feel more nauseated. 'Course, I still can't really complain, at least I'm not actually puking.

Now I have to go use the tiny bit of energy gained from my cheeseburger, fries and vanilla milkshake to pack for three days in Anaheim. So much for my healthy pregnancy diet. Give me SALT! All I want is SALT!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A quiet crafty day

We finished off a very social week with a quiet day at home today. I caught up on some housework while the boys played. Then we baked cookies together and made sock puppets.

I'm going to attempt to make as many Christmas gifts as I can this year. The budget's requiring it after a rather extravagent summer of home improvement. Plus, I'm sure I won't have my hands free for another couple years after this baby's born. This will be my winter of pregnant craftiness.

I was going to make a trip to the craft store this morning for more yarn, until I remembered to check the closet for the stash I put away after my last pregnancy. I found close to a dozen colors of yarn, half of them full skeins. The boys both want me to knit them multi-colored hats, so I needed to check what I had before making my list. Glad I did, since that'll save me at least $20.

Now, I just need to get my digital camera fixed so I can finally unload and upload the last two months of photos. I'm so bummed that I didn't get to take county fair or apple farm pics during our field trips last week. Then again, I still haven't scrapbooked the photos from those trips from the last two years. But I do want to finally get new pictures to all the grandparents. I've been really bad about that this year.

Anyhow, I'm starting to ramble. Tomorrow I get to take on a dozen three and four-year-olds in the boys' Sunday School class. I think we're going to forget table work and go for a nature walk around the church, and then build forts.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Time to change the name of this blog to Not In Her Right Mind.

This seems like a good time to share a little story from my first pregnancy with you, in hope that you will not take me overly seriously during the next seven months, and will forgive any offenses that otherwise do not fit the me you know and love.

Most of my friends know I am not a huge worrier. But when I am pregnant, I do have a slight tendency to overreact on occasion. UberDad would omit the "slight" and "on occasion" from that last sentence.

For instance... during my pregnancy with Puffer, I was working full-time for a newspaper, and got off work around 6 p.m. UberDad got off work by 4, but generally called me before he left. So, one day near the end of my pregnancy, it was close to 5 p.m., and he hadn't called, and hadn't told me of any extra meeting he had to attend. So, I called the school to check on him. This was long before we joined the rest of those living in the 21st century and actually owned cell phones. This was also before the school he worked at had phones in the classroom.

The school secretary answered the phone, and the conversation went something like this...

"Hi, this is UberDad's wife, is he still in?"

"Well, I don't know. I haven't seen him."

"Were there any meetings scheduled?"

"No, not that I know of."

"Do you think you could check to see if he's around for me?"

"Well, I can't leave the phone, there's no one else in the office to answer it."

"You can't leave the phone. And you don't know who's there and who isn't. So, WHAT'S THE POINT OF ANSWERING IT?? My husband could be DEAD on the road from a car accident, but I can't even find out whether he's still at work because YOU'RE TOTALLY USELESS!!!!"

Yes, it was just about that bad. Yes, I am ashamed. Yes, I need Jesus.

So, anyhow, if I've offended you, please forgive me. I know it's a terrible excuse, but I'm pregnant.

Defining child abuse

Dear friends and other readers, it looks like I need to do some clarifying. A good friend of mine wrote me very concerned about the reference in my last post to spanking as child abuse. I do NOT believe all spankers are child abusers. I should not have even used the term in my last post, because it is so very loaded. Some people consider even homeschooling child abuse, or at least neglect. It's not a term to be used lightly, imo.

To me, child abuse is something that would require Child Protective Services to interfere with the parent-child relationship. That would require that the child is not being cared for, physically and/or emotionally, and is truly suffering.

There are parents who are so drugged out they haven't gone grocery shopping or done laundry in a month, and their children go hungry, wear dirty clothes, and get themselves to school just to survive. They're neglected. There are children of raging drunks who watch their every move to avoid being hit. They're being abused.

There are parents who spank because they think they have to, but have no decent understanding of normal childhood behaviors, and so spank much more than they otherwise might. There are parents who don't believe in spanking, but scream and yell about every little thing the child does. The children of both these parents might be suffering and have a hard time believing their parents love them. But would the inconsistencies of foster care be any better? Doubtful.

Then there are parents who care for all their children's needs, who dole out humor and affection daily, and who also believe that children sometimes need physical discipline. Could their children be suffering inside? Maybe, at times, depends on the child. Do they know they are loved? Most likely. Are they being abused or neglected? I don't think so.

This is what I think: the more affection and attention children receive from their parents, the more negative experiences they can survive. Children are resilient. They might learn things from our mistakes that we'd rather they not. But we will not avoid making any.

I am NOT a perfect parent, as you all know. My parenting philosophy is pretty radical, and my children might not fit in perfectly with the rest of our culture. Not everyone wants to take that risk. UberDad and I are pretty different, so we figure our kids don't have much chance being normal anyhow. :) We'd rather them be free to be themselves, even if that makes our lives a little more challenging along the way. I hope that clarifies.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Just so you know, I'm not complaining.

The boys dragged me out of bed before 8 this morning because they wanted to go to church. After all my worrying and fussing about the coercive forces of Sunday School. I did not want to get up. I had just laid down. Or it felt like it. I guess it had been a solid three hours or more.

Last night I made brownies. Obviously I am no longer following the Don't Get Fat Just Because You're Pregnant diet. Instead I'm trying the Eat Every Hour to Avoid Feeling Pukey diet. I made the brownies because UberDad asked for them on Monday, and I was just finally getting around to it. Plus we had impromptu guests for dinner.

So now I must warn you: brownies are suprisingly stinky as puke. But before you empathize with the normal signs of early pregnancy -- it still wasn't my puke. It was Puffer again. Apparently three full-size brownies is one or two too many for a boy whose tummy was just starting to recover from that icky bug he'd caught. He woke up around midnight and made it to the bathroom just in time to let it out all over the towel and dirty clothes that had been left on the floor after bathtime. I was so proud of him for not puking on his bed. Of course, I had just finally fallen asleep when I heard him start coughing. UberDad actually made it to him before me, which NEVER happens.

We got the sleepy child and the bathroom cleaned up, and I only had to lie next to Grouper, who had woken up despite our attempts at puke-secrecy, for another 20 minutes before I could go back to my own bed. As I lay there trying to go to sleep again, I remembered a "humor" post someone had sent to our local homeschooling list, which I had found offensive because of a reference to spanking. And, since I couldn't relax anyhow, decided to get up and groggily write an appropriately self-righteous response to let them know that I don't find child abuse funny. So much for brilliant ideas arrived upon in the middle of the night. Now most of the people we see at Park Day are unlikely to ever speak to me again.

I went back to bed after that, but soon realized it was time for snack. Ate applesauce. Tried again. 3:30 a.m. arrived. Grouper was climbing onto the bed to nurse. Gave him one side, then had to get up for another snack. Ate some string cheese. Tried to go back to sleep, but was too hot between husband and child, plus there was a weird smell in the room I couldn't figure out. So I got up and laid down in Grouper's bed. That's where he found me at 7:30 this morning.

I was SO prepared to sleep in until 9 and skip church. As it was, Grouper didn't want to go into the Sunday School room with Puffer, so he came and sat quietly next to me through the service. NOT. He was okay for a little while, but then his best friend arrived, and the two them did everything they could to entertain themselves and the back three pews, including responding to the sermon with enthusiastic affirmations ala Black Pentecostal congregations.

A little childish noise might not be a problem in some churches. But we attend a VERY conservative Episcopal church where the children come in after the sermon for communion, and parents spend significant energy on shushing even the slightest whispered chatter. Next time Carla and I will have to sit in separate pews, or else leave the boys in Sunday School despite any protests or concern for the potential for great damage to the 3-year-old room.

Now, I'm ready for my nap. But not before I have another snack.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Found Nemo

*Sigh.* Sad news this morning. I fed the fish this morning, and noticed that Nemo wasn't coming out to eat. I looked all around the tank, and there he was -- stuck in the side of the filter. Ironic, no?

That's our second fish loss in two weeks. Last week we lost the yellow tang, still not sure how or why. UberDad found the tang. I'm a little grossed out now, and haven't told the boys yet. UberDad'll have to fish out Nemo when he get home. I just can't do it.
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