Orgasmic Birth?

27 Sep

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Before I even got pregnant with Walter, I had studied to be a doula and was really passionate about it. The mothers I nannied for had had unmedicated labors, I was a fan of Ina May Gaskin, so I knew what I wanted for my own birth experience. Despite many people telling me how hard or awful it would be, I knew what I knew, pretty much ignored any nay-sayers, and ended up having the labor with Walter that I wanted.

Sure it was hard, sure it was painful, sure it was scary, but I did it. I knew I could, and I did. Thousands (millions?) of people run marathons, and I don’t think any one of them describes that as easy, but they do it for the rush and the sense of accomplishment.

Given all that, I don’t really know why, with #2, I am mostly filled with fear and anxiety about the birth. I don’t want an epidural or narcotics — and I’m mad the US does not support gas and air during labor! But I think it would be terrible to continue to feel this way up until the birth. Our minds play such an important role in how we labor… so I figure I need to study again. To delve into the world of births.

I just ordered a book on Orgasmic Births (wouldn’t that be nice!??), and I’m hoping it’ll jump start that feeling I once had that despite any fears, this is doable. More than doable.

Gosh I’m excited to meet little boy. You know, after that whole giving birth thing.

Science Experimenting

16 Sep

Walter’s most frequent request since we started homeschooling is, “Can we do another science experiment?” I bought a kit online that shows you how to do 11 different things, usually involving changing colors with acids and bases and making things fizzle. Yesterday we did a really fun one that I had never experienced before. I’m pretty sure no science teacher has ever talked to me about non-Newtonian liquids — or if they did they never showed me this really simple experiment that would make it stick in my mind.

I suggest even adults should do this one night if you haven’t already. Or if you are talking to your child about solids and liquids, this is something fun to play with.

In a bowl:

Take 1/8 cup of water (add a couple drops of food coloring if you want. We didn’t have any and it was fine without it).
Mix in 5 tbs of cornstarch.

Now, as you play with it and squeeze it and drop it and softly touch it and knock on it and try to stir it with a spoon, ask yourself, is that a solid or a liquid?

Apparently even scientists don’t know yet why it does what it does!

newton5Homeschool is cool for everyone.

The Immortal Life

13 Sep

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was an incredible follow-up book to Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. I am so glad I read Bryson’s book first, a book which David had told me to read pretty much the entire eight years I’ve known him. I recently discovered Immortal Life after listening to Bahni Turpin’s amazing narration of Yellow Crocus while searching for more of her books. Even though I wish Henrietta’s whole story was narrated by Bahni, she unfortunately only reads about two paragraphs of the entire thing. It was, instead, narrated by none other than Cassandra Campbell, who is a decent speaker but does so many books and never changes her voice, so it’s quite irritating to listen to her in every audiobook I download, apparently.

If I hadn’t just finished Bryson explaining how insanely miraculous it is that even just our cells are alive, let alone humans and the earth and the universe etc., I’m not sure I would have felt the same way about Rebecca Skloot’s book. But I did, and I was blown away by what HeLa cells have done for the world since 1952. Not only that, but what Henrietta and her family had to go through to even be able to “donate” the first line of immortal cells. It is hard for me to wrap my head around how the universe creates these situations, seemingly lucky and merely coincidental.

I really wanted to read this book for one of my two book clubs, but I eventually just couldn’t wait, not knowing when I’d be able to host again and get to pick the book everyone reads. Instead, I’ve told all my book-reading friends to read or listen to it, and gave a paper copy to my parents. I want to discuss this book with everyone I know.

Marriages Aren’t Easy: The Fable of the Incense Burner

10 Sep

But if you’re lucky — and you work hard, yada yada yada — they’re good anyway.

The weekend of July 4th we got in a huge fight. It was one of the more difficult times in our marriage, with me being so sick and blaming David (I don’t get mad during labor, I get mad during first trimester!), David working all day and then going to work on the new house every night, us living with various parents and a 3 year old, all our stuff in boxes scattered around the house, and suddenly switching from battling 2-year infertility to dealing with medical bills and un-Godly nausea… Let’s just say it all came to a head that holiday weekend. Why is it that vacations are often good times to get sick or in a fight?

While we weren’t speaking to each other, and we had just moved back in to the house for the second time, I went to buy incense to try to get rid of the horrible, poisonous smell of the house that apparently no one else could smell (thank you first trimester). I came back home and mentioned to Dave that I didn’t have any way to burn it, and without comment he then went and made an incense burner for me.

This is how I know I married a good man.

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I had no idea what he was sawing in the basement — I rarely force myself to go down there because it is very messy and dirty — prepping that 1,700 sq ft space for habitation will certainly be another fun, multi-weekend project! The loud noise made me curious (obviously), but I was patient (which is unlike me). He then came upstairs with a piece of wood with a hole cut at just the right angle and a groove for all the ash. It was hard not to feel loved, even if the fight wasn’t resolved yet.

Walter loves burning incense too since that’s one of the many fun things he learned to do at his Nini’s house. He also made me a burner later with this play-doh-like toy he has. Like father, like son, and I’m glad about that!

9,000 and counting

9 Sep

 

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Our go-to brand

I am addicted to acquiring new puzzles. Mainly because they are awesome to do, and I love finding the ones that are challenging but also fun. The fun part is extra important so I don’t pull out my hair — or Dave’s — while putting pieces together.

For David’s birthday I bought him a 9,000 piece puzzle. It might have been a present for me too, but hey, whatever brings us closer together. There’s nothing I love more than sitting at our dining room table putting together a puzzle and talking, coaxing Walter to either help or quit touching the pieces, or listening to an audiobook.

I can’t wait. So far we’ve only done at most 3,000 pieces, and that puzzle was pretty easy. I’m looking forward to seeing what 9,000 is like and how long it takes us to do. I had to measure to make sure that even just half of it would fit on our dining room table. Just barely, according to my yard stick.

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This is happening.

More Firsts for W

8 Sep

First liquor store run. Isn’t there a joke about a pregnant lady and her young kid walking in to a liquor store? Maybe it isn’t a funny one…

I was worried they wouldn’t let kids in, but heck, they have carts for the young’uns. I love our local stores!

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Clearly up to no good. Helping me pick out the good stuff (Wicked Weed Brew, Oregon Pinot Noirs, and Kentucky Bourbon) for Daddy’s birthday party.

First science experiment! Homeschool has started.

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He loved it and followed directions well.

First bonfire!

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First roasted marshmallow. Daddy and I got lucky and he didn’t want his s’more. He just wanted the graham cracker. It was s’more for us!

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I love all these firsts. Can’t wait for more, and more with #2 in the pictures too! Though I just realized, Walter did get to experience a bonfire before. I know they cooked hot dogs, but did they roast marshmallows? He and his daddy went camping a while ago in Mimi and Pop’s back yard (before we lived there), which resulted in them coming home at midnight to get W to bed. We haven’t tried again so far, but there will be back yard camping at our house sometime soon. And then eventually out in the deeper wild of course. A long time ago I nannied for a family that camped with their 6 month old and two year old. Now they live out West and camp all the time in amazingly beautiful country. Clearly I need to get a move on if we’re going to become expert nature enthusiasts. I just wish there weren’t so many mosquitoes out there too. We’ll have to go somewhere bats also like to live, I suppose.

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A year ago. My, how time flies.

Dave’s 35th Birthday (and a DIY fire pit)

7 Sep

I don’t let him rest, even on his birthday! I had a full weekend planned; by the end of it, we were exhausted, but it was fabulous.

Saturday we bought fire pit stones. No time like a party deadline to get a project done! We also went to the in-laws to play with W’s cousin, and then went home to nap so we’d all be in a good mood for dinner at Bone’s with my folks. It was a wonderful evening out, as always.

The next day, when I was pushing Walt on his swing, I said, “You’ll be going out to dinner tonight too with Nini and Grandpa to Italian,” and Walter’s response was, “But I like eating at Bone’s!” We may have set expectations too high too soon.

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Sunday, the actual birthday, we woke up fresh and ready to go, and of course the first thing we did was shower Daddy with presents. Then I got the picnic table painted while these two assembled the fire pit. First they measured, dug it out a few inches deep, then filled the space with sand to make the stones level and have a good base. After the first ring was in, they put river rocks on the bottom. It is a little less than three feet wide, as per our county ordinances.

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They also did a ring of river rocks around the outside and made sure to have some ventilation on the second row of stones. It worked out perfectly that we had leftover bricks with holes in them from the previous owner, so we used those in two spots. Of course we needed four more stones to finish the top (our calculations in-store were wrong; we used 12, not 10, stones per row), so we had to grab them before the party that night.

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What a beauty.

We quickly showered and met Dave’s family for lunch at Community Q BBQ. Yum. Best BBQ in the city. I may have ordered one or two more sides than I could eat.

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We then dropped Walter off at my mom’s so we could meet some friends at The Ultimate Escape Game. Dave had done one with the Marines at our last vacation with them in Nashville and thought it’d be a good way to celebrate. I had no real idea what to expect, but it was a blast. I’m totally ready to conquer another room after we successfully stole the recipe for the Coca Cola formula.

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Then our friends came over to our house to continue the fun. We cooked out, with everyone helping, and enjoyed some drinks and chatter and built the inaugural fire in the fire pit. Most everyone hadn’t seen the house in its near-finished glory, and it was fun to show it off. It was really great to spend extra time with our wonderful friends.

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There were several different groups singing Happy Birthday at one time.

Dave’s birthday continued the next day, since Walter was at my mom’s, by allowing us to sleep in and then watch a movie in bed. The chance to relax, especially after our busy busy weekend, was glorious. And as a parent, it’s always a blessing!

Feels good to get back into things

29 Aug

I haven’t done anything purely crafty or artsy in a while. It’s all been home DIY projects. My sewing machine was packed away during the move. I brought my paints with me when we stayed with the in-laws, but they too sat in their bag enjoying a long rest.

For W’s birthday I thought it would be fun to do a bean bag toss game, since we were having a backyard party. I didn’t want too many activities outside besides his new play set, but we needed at least a few other things to do. Turns out Walter needs to practice his underhand throwing anyway!

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I figured this would be a good project to get my feet wet again since it’s very easy. Sewing squares together for reusable napkins is how I started sewing in the first place! I did the exact same thing but I filled them with lentils before I sewed them closed. Finishing the first one felt really good. And my machine only got mad at me once for trying to sew through a lentil.

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We also made our own board! Walter did the design and painted everything. I only taped the lines, and Dave cut the hole. I also glued on the letters that W painted. The glitter lines between the paint were a little more hands on and involved all three of us. Dave was excited to find glitter everywhere for the next few days. W placed and painted the white stars as well (while we held the stencil). We were thrilled with his patriotic spirit!

The Universe’s Perfect and Ironic Timing

28 Aug

I’ve always wanted more than one child, and for two years we waited and wondered and worked to “make” that happen. You never know when the right egg and sperm will meet at the right time and it’ll all work out. It’s so hard when you’re going through it because month after month you never know when the end of the pain will be (though at first it’s not so painful, it’s just exciting). We would say to ourselves, “If only we knew how much time we had to wait, then we could relax about it” and it’s true. The not knowing when or if it’ll ever happen is very difficult to wrap your head around.

In retrospect, I wouldn’t have wanted it to be any other way. With Walter, we wanted a baby, and *poof* I got pregnant. I never took anything for granted, but it’s not the same type of appreciation when you have to struggle for something. Not being able to get pregnant when I wanted not only made me more thankful for #2 but also for every moment with W.

I suffered so badly during first trimester that I’m not sure I would have survived if Walter was any younger. He had to play on his own during the days I couldn’t get out of bed except to feed him. And, because he is older, he really understands what is happening, and that just makes it that much more precious to me that he can share in this joy with us. He was worried about me when I was so sick and that was sweet too.

And just because the universe likes to make me laugh with its unique sense of humor, I got everything that I wanted all at once. That might sound like it’s perfect, and it is great, but there is that whole “be careful what you wish for” saying for a reason. We tried to sell our house for two years. While that process is a little more cut and dry than baby-making, trying to do so at the end of a recession and recoup your money can be a little on the tough side.

But this time, it worked, and we were able to buy the house we wanted in the right neighborhood for the right price. We moved in a week after I found out I was pregnant, and I was feeling great. Dave even moved all the heavy boxes for me. All our dreams were coming true!

Then, the sickness hit. I sat around in a brand new house (to us) feeling worse than I’ve ever felt in my life. I felt so bad that I wondered why in the heck I had ever wanted another baby. My brain started changing from “this is my dream house” to “this house and its smells and everything about it makes me sick”. After working very hard to sell our house and immediately buying and moving in to another one, it was unbelievably upsetting and worrisome to Dave to have his wife talking to the realtor about selling. Again.

It got so bad I made us stay with my mom for a few weeks, which of course was confusing to W, who had been such a trooper throughout our long move. When Dave would go work on the house, he would send me pictures, and looking at them made me nauseous. I didn’t want to talk about the house or even see highway signs that said “Marietta”. I reinstalled Zillow and was looking at Midtown condos for sale. Our doctor said it was the first time he had heard of this pregnancy side effect.

As a friend of mine told me while we were discussing this, I needed to give myself a break and wait it out. Basically in one tiny period of my life I had been dealing with selling, buying, and renovating a house, and infertility, fertility treatments, and first trimester. It was a lot to handle.

Thankfully, it passed. We’re on the side of hope and excitement, waiting for little boy to get here and enjoying every kick. We’re doing puzzles on our dining room table and loving our yard and the public library, and it’s all good. It’s still going to take time to adjust and figure out this new area of Atlanta, but hey, that’s what life is. The journey.

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A beautiful, full double rainbow we saw on W’s birthday weekend.

 

Baby #2 is a sweet little brother for our W

26 Aug

After too many months of crying and waiting and testing and trying, there’s nothing but joy here to say we’re expecting another baby January 2017. Just after health insurance deductibles switch to the new year!

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Already looking pretty stinkin’ cute

We had our 20 week ultrasound this morning and everything looks great! He was moving around and even sucked his thumb while we were looking. Walter enjoyed watching the ultrasound tech take pictures for a few minutes, then spent the rest of the time asking when she’d be done and talking about his cinnamon roll breakfast.

W seems just as excited for his brother as we are. He says, “My baby will be here after Christmas, and I want to keep him forever.” I’ll remind him of that sentiment when little boy #2 is old enough to mess up his Lego and magnatile creations.

It’s been a long journey to get to this point, including a first trimester that was hellish to survive, but as I feel baby moving around in there, it’s just an incredible feeling that I’m so glad I get to experience again. This procreation stuff really is a miracle.