Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Celebrating my friend with a Virtual Toast



This week I got the news that one of my old friends from my undergraduate days just finished her master’s program. This is a woman who has been working a full-time job (in a less than satisfying field) and mothering two children while slowly persuing her degree in a field that she loves and has always excelled. She has persevered through numerous challenges to meet this goal including pregnancy and raising a new baby, various health challenges, and the threat of layoff while providing the sole income for her family. This is a huge accomplishment and I am so proud of and excited for her!

Unfortunately we now live on opposite ends of the country so I cannot celebrate with her in person.

D, I hereby raise a glass in a virtual toast to your dedication, hard work, and inspiring can-do attitude. You are awesome!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gratitude Post - 6/27/11

I discovered the weekly gratitude post by Amanda at Let’s Take the Metro through Zoie at TouchstoneZ, who also posted about five things she is grateful for. What great inspiration! How could I not participate?! So, without further delay, here is my list of 5 things for which I am grateful this week.

1. Communication with SchmoopyBoy – I’ve been struggling a bit with some of SchmoopyBoy’s behavior lately. He knows how to press my buttons to get my attention. I’ve been trying to work with him on this, explaining how, when he wants more attention from me, I want him to use words and tell me “Mommy, I want more attention now.” Sometimes, I have felt like talking with my 3 year old is like talking to a brick wall. This last Saturday morning we were playing amidst a sea of giant foam letters and numbers. He wanted to find some toy or another and I suggested that we put away the letters in case the toy was under them, it would be easier to find it. I started collecting the letters to put them in their proper bag, and soon got distracted with clean-up work. SchmoopyBoy was much more interested in continuing playtime than getting involved in clean-up, and lo and behold, he exclaimed “Mommy, I need attention now!” No throwing. No hitting. Just an exclamation of his needs at that moment. I felt so gratified, of course I immediately dropped what I was doing and tackled my schmoopyboy into a fit of giggling glee. The entire day did not go quite as smoothly as that morning went, but I made a point that night at bedtime to focus on the positive and told him how much I liked it when he communicated his need for attention to me that morning using words, because it makes it so much easier for me to meet his needs when I he tells me clearly what he wants.

2. Our local CSA Farm – I know I gush about it periodically, but really it is making a difference in how we eat. The diversity of fresh vegetables forces me to be more creative in the kitchen (I keep meaning to share some of my recipe experiment successes). The quality can’t be beat, and I love being more connected with my food – knowing who grows it and how it is grown. On a related note…

3. Home-grown tomatoes – So cliché, I almost couldn’t stand to write it, but Oh good heavens the difference in flavor! Seriously, I never want to eat another store-bought tomato again. Between the little tomato plant that we are raising at home and the tomatoes from the farm, I’m hoping I won’t need to subject myself to those flavorless store-tomatoes for quite some time. nom nom nom.

4. The blogging community! – I get so much inspiration from the blogosphere. As I mentioned in my opening, this very post is inspired by bloggers Amanda and Zoie! It is uncanny how frequently I discover a series of posts that is exactly what I need to read during a particular time. (Sneak preview, I have another post in progress that is inspired by the posts these ladies wrote for the Mindful Mama Carnival. I have been conscious that I’ve been struggling with mindfulness for quite some time. Several of the posts I read during the carnival have inspired me to be more proactive in my journey. I’m hoping to have my thoughts put into place by the end of this week!)

5. Parent-toddler swimming lessons – At 27 weeks pregnant, my lower back and hips are giving me all kinds of ouchie reminders that I’ll be birthing a baby soon. I take SchmoopyBoy to a parent-toddler swim class every Sunday morning. Classes are a half hour of fun time for SchmoopyBoy, in which he is learning critical life-saving water skills, and a half hour of water pressure induced physical relief for me. I SO need to get into a pool more often!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice today



For those of us in the northern hemisphere today is the summer solstice.

Check out this link with lots of cool photos of summer solstice celebrations around the world. My uncle and aunt are at Machu Pichu as I am writing this. Hope they are having a great time!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Three Open Letters - One of them is to YOU!

Dear Ankles,

Farewell. I hope to see you again before September. If not, have a great summer resting under that layer of poof. I’ll miss you and look forward to seeing you again this fall.

Cheers,
Shana

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Dear Monsters,

It was bad enough when you first started visiting my son’s room at bedtime. Now, however, you are plaguing him all night and all day. At first you were willing to read his sign and stay out of his room. I appreciated your cooperation at that time. Now it appears that you are unwilling to negotiate, and you threaten him with your presence anywhere upstairs, as well as going so far as to haunt his dreams and following him to school. Surely you must understand that the current situation is unsustainable and unacceptable. I simply cannot allow you to continue to terrorize my child in this manner. Please vacate the premises. If we cannot come to an agreement on your departure, I will have no choice but to take evasive measures.

Thank you for cooperation in this urgent matter,
Shana

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Dear Readers,

I am currently soliciting suggestions on how to exorcize monsters from my household. Please leave any and all suggestions in the comments. Help!

Thanks!
Shana

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Updates

I wanted to start out with a follow up to my last "oh boo hoo, poor me" post. Thanks for refraining from any "would you like some cheese with your whine" comments. I'm sure I deserved a few.

Anyway, I did have a bit of a scare over the weekend, but things are looking better now. Of course after my appointment last week I pretty much freaked out. I woke up with a migraine headache on Friday, which I fought all weekend long, and my blood pressure readings were right at that borderline of where my doctor told me to go in if it hit that level (150 for the top number, 100 for the bottom, in case you are wondering). I kept making excuses for the headache - I got a kink in my neck so that is making my head hurt, the temperature reached over 100 and I'm still adjusting and figuring out how much water I need to drink to stay hydrated, blah blah blah. But then when I randomly got really nauseous on Sunday morning and threw up part of my breakfast, the husband and I decided I needed to take these symptoms seriously and I went in to the hospital. They took a bunch of labs, all of which came back completely normal. They took my blood pressure every 10-15 minutes for several hours, and while the readings were somewhat elevated, they were nowhere close to the readings I was getting on my little CVS home blood pressure gage. They suggested that the accuracy of my gage was off and I should use one at a drug store to supplement the readings I was getting at home. They also increased my medication a little bit and let me go home.

I've pretty much been fine ever since I got that confirmation. It looks like I probably suffered more from a head trip than a genuine physical problem. I'm not completely off the hook yet. I went in for my follow up appointment this morning and he's going to keep me on the higher dose of blood pressure meds, but as long as I am getting decent readings there's no need for additional unnecessary freak-outs.

I should write that on a sticky note and plaster it on my forehead.

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On a happier note, I think I found the person I want to be my doula for the birth! She doesn't have quite as much experience as the doula we spoke with a week ago (9 months versus 3 years), but she's got this amazingly calming energy. Just sitting next to her and hearing her voice you can't help but feel a little more relaxed. She actually partners with the doula we spoke with last week, so we can either hire them both as a team, or just her alone. We are just trying to decide if we want to spend a little more to have the peace of mind that we also have someone very experienced with a variety of complications and midwife skills (should the need arise), or if we want to just stick with the one person whose "vibe" for lack of a better word, just really seems to mesh well and trust that she has sufficient training and experience to deal with whatever comes up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Here we go again

I haven't been posting much besides fluff for the past several weeks because, truth be told, I haven't been in a very good head space lately and I haven't been wanting to write about it. Between pregnancy hormones making me increasingly.... shall I say, emotionally unstable, being chronically tired and sleep deprived, and the intolerable three-ness of SchmoopyBoy's behavior lately, I've been having a lot of not so great days. (Don't know what I'm talking about by intolerable three-ness? Check out the warnings left by Liz of Mom-101, then again by Annie of PhD in Parenting, and then again fairly recently by Dionna of Code Name: Mama. Intolerable three-ness, yes we are there. There's a whole post coming just on that alone, I'm sure.)

But again, I digress. What I am getting around to writing about in a very meandering and procrastinating way is the risk status of my current pregnancy and why this is turning out to be yet another not-so-great day, in which I indulge in all kinds of whining, venting and self indulgent miserating.

So yesterday we went to interview a prospective doula. My previous doula team was completely awesome and fantastic and I would totally be all over hiring either one of them again. One is now a practicing midwife, and the other is pursuing her D.O. in plans of opening a birthing center in this city. Fantastic for them, unfortunate for me. But, there are other talented doulas in the sea and I'm in the process of finding the right person for this time around. Anyway, we were talking to this doula yesterday, who is also currently in training to be a midwife. I told her about my history with PIH and pre-eclampsia and how SchmoopyBoy's birth was induced at 39 weeks because my liver started malfunctioning. She asked me how this pregnancy was going and asked if I was interested in having her check my blood pressure. I agreed, expecting it to be fine, the way its been throughout this pregnancy so far. Well, wouldn't you know it, lo and behold it was high. Like, not good high. I thought maybe I'm just a little anxious, meeting a new prospective doula, being in a overall general funk, a little stressed about this, that and another thing.

This morning I had my appointment with my OB. My blood pressure was high again. The nurse took it once, and the doctor took it himself two more times just to make sure. It was high. So now I'm back on blood pressure medication and I've been instructed to monitor my blood pressure 3 times a day and keep a log. I'm also to go back to the doctor's office in a week to see if the medication is helping, and, I'm to go directly to the Labor and Delivery section of the hospital for treatment instead of the ER if I get any severe headaches, see black spots, or start to feel really bad. (Not for delivery at 24 weeks, thank goodness, but for treatment because I'll get it immediately instead of waiting in an ER waiting room for hours and they'll know exactly what treatment to administer and be able to contact my OB immediately.)

Needless to say, I'm not happy about this development.

Sheesh, what the heck do I have to do to have one healthy, normal pregnancy that concludes with a natural labor birthing a healthy baby?!

I was really, really hoping for a natural labor this time around. I so want to experience a completely non-medicated birth. Getting induced really sucked. I got through it without any pain medication, and good heavens, it sucked so hard I won't even get into it here. Maybe another time, but not now. I still am hoping for a natural labor, but given this new development, I feel deflated and defeated. This is my fifth and last pregnancy, hopefully to conclude with my second and last child. I am done after this and I just wanted so much to have a single "normal, healthy" pregnancy. How disappointing. I am incredibly grateful to have one fabulous healthy child, and will be even more grateful if this pregnancy ends with another healthy child. I'm just disappointed I can't seem to be able to enjoy the process more.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The awesomeness of fresh blackberries

I'm not talking about handheld electronic devices here. Nor am I talking about the containers of berries that you can buy at the grocery store. I'm talking "picked that morning at the farm" fresh blackberries. Holy sweet yumminess, batman! I had no idea blackberries could be this good!

I tell you, I love my local CSA farm more and more as time goes on. This week we got 2 glorious packages of blackberries. One of them was polished off with little fanfare - no recipes, no jams, no tarts - just pick them up, pop them in your mouth, and wash your purple fingers after the nom nom frenzy.

I did use part of the second package in an impromptu smoothie, which was so good I thought I'd share. Double bonus - I was able to use up an over ripe banana that no one wanted to eat on its own as well as some of SchmoopyBoy's left over yogurt. Unfortunately there are no pictures because I pretty much inhaled the glass as soon as it hit my lips. So good.

Banana Blackberry Smoothie

1 very ripe banana
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
3/4 cup milk (or milk substitute, I used soymilk)
1/3-1/2 carton banana strawberry coconut milk yogurt

Throw all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Note: Unless you have an unusually long tongue, you can't lick the blender clean, however much you may want to. Not that I tried or anything, just saying...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The verdict is in, I'm having a...

boy!

Oh, the irony. Before we were married, I told my husband-to-be, "I hope having sons isn't really important to you. My line of women doesn't birth sons. I don't think I am even physically capable of carrying a male child to term."

At least four generations of women in my direct maternal line have only had female children. My great-grandmother birthed 8 children - all girls. My grandmother had two girls, each of which had two girls. Before SchmoopyBoy, my cousins had each had a girl.

And now, it's going to be me and a house full of testosterone. Heck, even my dog is male.

I like to joke with my friends that have girl children, "if the poop and fart jokes get too bad, I'm borrowing your kid for the day". Oh please, who am I kidding? I love me some poop and fart jokes. You people have no idea how I refrain from sharing random tooty stories. I refrain people, I do. 'Cause, darn it, toilet humor is hilarious - to me and 5 year olds at least.

But I digress. (What, me? Digressing about toots? Shocking, I know) ...ehem...

Yes, little Kickypants appears to have boy-parts. Now I will get the privilege of raising two good feminist allies. I hope I am worthy and able to live up to my expectations.