Showing posts from 2006

At last, the complete birth story. Long. now with a picture

On the 3rd night of Hanukah our 3rd little light came into the world. I think I may have coughed her out. I’ve had a cold for a couple of weeks now, one of the kind that linger in the lungs and lead to prolonged fits of coughing and choking. I noticed on the Thursday before the Baby was born that after a coughing fit I would start to have a contraction. They weren’t very strong. I assumed they were just Braxton-Hicks and was pretty much able to ignore them for a couple of days. I laughed to myself a day or two later when I reread the instruction sheet on when to call the midwife and right at the top it said when you start feeling contractions in your back. Oh yeah. So I coughed and contracted and continued to expect to have a baby at the end of the month at the earliest. Other people around me seem to have clued into what was going on before I did. Maybe they saw my slight winces on Friday night during the Shabbat meal as I contracted at the dinner table. Maybe they noticed me stopping

To my Girl as you turn 3 *updated with cake picture

How did someone so silly and funny and full of joy come from me? You always seem a little bit too radiant, too intense, too full of life compared to the others around you. Your light seems to burn a little bit more brightly than every one else’s. You love to have an audience; you will execute strange faces, and loud excited sounds for the benefit of any one watching. You have been learning from your aunties how to dance and are just recently able to perform isolation movements with your shoulders and hips like you’ve been jazz dancing for years already. You look like such a girl and a little lady all rolled into one when you throw your shoulders back and move to the music. Somehow everything you do is entertaining. Your brother tries to imitate you in your silliness and attention getting, but somehow it doesn’t seem to work as well for him. Except you, you find him vastly entertaining most days. I love to sit and listen to you belly laugh as he goes into crazier and crazier antic

It's a girl

Well, one week ago I gave birth to a baby girl, at 3:10 am, in my MIL's bathtub, with my husband, MIL/doula and midwife in attendance, in what was quite possibly the most beautiful perfect birth I've ever seen, and it was mine. She was 6 lbs 4 oz, she has dark hair and eyes, which breaks the freaky blond streak we've been on. (We are both dark but our first two kids got the throw back genes to their grandparents.) She finally has a name, we spent a long time debating it, the Boy wanted her name to mean rejoice. The translation of her name is wisdom rejoice god is good, only it's in other languages and prettier sounding. I've since been camped out at the in-laws in bed with my baby while other people take care of my older children and the cooking and cleaning and holiday excursions and birthday party preparations. I've been to 2 Christmas dinners, one of which was way more fun than the other, and made it to church yesterday. Now I'm back home and finding out

Here we go

So sometime in the next couple of days, unless things reverse themselves, we should be meeting Schmitty for the first time. AAAAHHHH!!!! This is about 3 weeks ahead of schedule so I have a ton of things that aren't finished the way I want them to be but that's what birth is all about right, letting go and letting things happen. Thankfully I'll have help with throwing the Girl her birthday party on Friday and I've already got her presents ready. The genius husband can make a great birthday cake so she'll get her horsie cake. I'm off to try and get some sleep before things get carried away. The GH is off to buy me some labor snacks. I'll be back in a week or so.

Ramblings of my sleep deprived brain

The modem and my computer just suddenly stopped talking to each other last night right as I was posting again. That post is locked on to my suddenly internetless computer so I bring you something else on the Genius Husband's machine instead. Happy Hanukah. We enter the holiday week with hacking coughs all round. The girl stayed awake all night coughing, so guess who stayed awake all night with her? This normally unpleasant experience was confounded by the fact that I have the same cough, I'm so pregnant that finding a comfortable position to sleep in is a real challenge, and the coughing started to bring on mild contractions yesterday. Every time I got just a little bit comfortable, her majesty would start screeching from her bed the latest demand of the evening. "I want water!" "I want a blanket!" "I DON'T want a blanket." This was all puncuated with loud, deep, pathetic sounding coughs that had me weighing the merits of cough suppressants

Baby thoughts-3 1/2 weeks to go

Look, I have a picture of my pregnant belly. Actually I have a couple more of other subjects too thanks to last weekend borrowing a digital camera. My Milly took this one. So here is your first close-up of Schmidtty. You see, the Boy is convinced that this is also a boy child, and that we should name it John, because that is a boy's name that he likes. The Girl is convinced that it is a girl child, but when asked what she thinks we should name it she replies "Baby Jake." We have a friend we see often who bears the same name. My youngest sister in law put this all together and dubbed the child Schmidtty, or Schmidt for short. It stuck, and will until we find another name. [Man I need to get on this baby name thing I'm running out of time. Usually I start with meaning and work from there, but what I know this child's name should mean and what I can find that has that meaning doesn't really work that well. Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, these have all failed me. I sho

It was bound to happen someday

This morning the relative quiet of the predawn dimness in our bedroom, when the children are still sleeping and the alarm hasn't yet gone off, was shattered by a three-year-old voice suddenly asking, "Mommy, what's daddy doing to you?"

the "not fake" family letter

I love getting yearly letters from friends and family, I like the photos and the updates, I like to stay in touch. I also like the inner chuckle I get when I read the subtle bragging that some people include, the aside references to the shiny new car, the number of degrees their kids have now, the successes that they feel proud of and want everyone to know about. I chuckle because I know that those letters don’t tell the whole story, and I enjoy the irony of keeping in touch with people by only showing the best face to them, and never letting them get too close. I get a lot of news letters, my dad is from a family of 11, my mom is from a family of 8, and I have many friends as well who keep in touch this way. While most of the letters I get are the typical look at our beautiful children, life, home, cars, vacations, etc. Some few of my aunts and uncles have decided to break out of the mid-western best face forward mode and actually share how they really are, what they have gone throug

Humble Pie

Ever hurt someone unintentionally, over and over again, not knowing that you're doing it? Ever find out from someone else and learn that they haven't said anything because they love you and want to cut you a lot of slack because they know you're going through a difficult time right now, and so they just let you keep hurting them instead? Ever feel really, really crummy? Feel even more so after you apologize and they forgive you without even trying to make you feel bad? Yeah that was my day, how was yours?

Random bits of weirdness from this week.

After a sibling fight the Girl came running to me describing all of the dire means by which she had been insulted and concluded with, “He took my feelings away.” My SIL came into the room with blue stained hands after a Tie-dying project. “I killed them, all of them, hundreds of little Smurfs, I rang their necks one by one and now they are dead.” [Imagine maniacal laughter in the appropriate places.] The Girl again. “Mommy, there is a dinosaur in our house and it’s going to poop on you, and on the Boy and on me and on daddy and then these robots came and killed it.” [Said with wide eyes and intense excitement.]

Over Reacting

The Girl has a temper; she has strong screaming reactions to every hurt, every disappointment, and every irritation. Part of it is her age; she is not yet old enough to have learned more measured emotional responses. Part of it is her personality, her female essence even at this age, and her strength. I rejoice that she is so confident, so sure of her space and her boundaries that she is able to summarily reject any unwanted contact, physical and emotional, she will not tolerate violations. She also will not tolerate not getting her way. So it’s my job to teach her to have self-control, to be kind and generous and thoughtful, without damaging the strength that is in her, without violating boundaries that it is good for her to have. That should be easy right? I hear you all laughing. I have vague memories of teaching her brother the same but they are hazy and distant. I remember forcing him to deal with me when he was having a temper tantrum, I remember that I would not let him rage al

This is the Flu that never ends….

Yes it goes on and on my friends. Some people starting throwing up not knowing what it was And they’ll continue throwing up forever just because… This is the Flu that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friends I’m doing laundry by the bucketful, there’s vomit in my rug My children won’t stop getting sick forever just because… This is the flu that never ends Yes it goes on and on my friends. They’re acting fine at breakfast time, they’re cranky when it’s lunch They spend the nighttime throwing up forever just because… This is the flu that never ends…. This is a product of my sleep-deprived brain some time Saturday night as one of the children missed the puke bowl for the second time in less than half an hour. Seriously, wouldn’t you think that a child who hasn’t vomited or had diarrhea in more than 36 hours was better? Never again people, they are just waiting until you let your guard down to throw–up all over your bed after you’ve just reached a blissful state of dead to the world

Will someone please bring back the housedress?

...and make it cool? Do you remember housedresses? I barely do. My mother never wore one that’s for sure, but my grandmother did. I remember seeing them in the Sears catalogue as well and wondering what they were for, this was before I saw my grandmother wearing one in the mornings. For everyone who has no idea what I’m talking about, they were like a wrap around dress. You stuck your arms in the sleeves and this little string went through a hole and wrapped around and tied together in the back. It looked like a dress, but wore like a robe. You wouldn’t leave the house to go to the store in one, but you weren’t totally embarrassed if the UPS man came to the door and you were still wearing nothing but a bathrobe, or pajamas, or even an African style sarong just sort of randomly tucked around yourself like a towel, hypothetically speaking of course. It was kind of like the work outfit for a housewife. I have never been a flybaby, but every so often I have read the FlyLady’s website

One of those weeks

The boy is singing, “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” to himself right now. Once again the Genius Husband left his itunes running on the laptop after leaving the house for work, and my children have been getting their daily dose of classic rock’n’roll. He has no idea what the song is about, but he’s singing it. That’s not what I was going to write about. Ever have one of those days? Ever have a couple of those days in a row and realize it’s becoming one of those weeks? We are in the middle of one of those weeks or have we begun the second? The staph infection is slowly clearing up. We are very vigilant so even though new spots keep popping up we have been able to treat them right away and they go away before becoming a problem. That was last week, and so I was just beginning to relax and thing that there may be an end in sight to the laundry and the disinfecting, and the hyper vigilant parent mode I’ve been in. Yesterday morning the Girl vomited all over the ground while we were at church, tw

Small Joys Friday

We went to SoupPlantation this week, my favorite buffet restaurant of all time because it has a really long salad bar, soups made from scratch, fresh breads and corn bread and flavored butters. (Unless you count Onami’s with their sushi bar.) That was fun, but what I remember it for was when I took the Girl to the bathroom after we ate. She stood listening to the piped in bathroom music while standing next to a wall. Her knees started to bend a little and she started bouncing to the music. “Mommy, I going to dance.” She announced. I said okay, so she moved around a little bit, selecting the tile from which to begin her dancing. She stopped at one, and then looked up at me again, and said once more, “I going to dance now Mommy.” But apparently that one wasn’t good enough either and she moved around like this a few more times before finally she started to spin around in circles as fast as she could, which is what she thinks of as dancing. When there is music, we should be dancing. That

I am surrounded by yucky things.

It turns out that the strange bacterial rash that my children have is actually a STAPH INFECTION! My little girl has a staph infection growing on her cheek! I’m a totally calm, NOT! One by one all of their other little cuts and bruises have are in danger of becoming infected and some already have. The boy had a harmless looking hangnail on his finger and a scrape that he got this weekend on a knuckle, they are no both turning into oozing festering cesspools of puss. This morning I stood them both in front of me naked and applied oregano oil (Very strong, stings a lot, kills everything bacterial including staph.) to every tiny little nick and cut on their bodies to keep this thing from spreading. We are alternating with staphoccocal stagnia at night, if you care. The Boy is taking it bravely, not complaining about how much it must sting. The Girl cries at me for at least half an hour after each application that her owies hurt and she needs hugs. I feel for her, but I would rather she l

I Love my Midwife!

Okay, maybe not love, but I have definitely developed an intense appreciation for her. My 1/2 hour appointment today extended an extra hour as she talked to me about my depression, made me a homeopathic remedy, gave me really long list of supplements to start taking and basically took a lot of time to make sure I was taken care of. That’s pretty excellent for a health professional don’t you think? I’ll let you know what they are if I notice them working and then maybe other people who are in the middle of this will get some help too. (If they start working my husband may also fall in love with our midwife, because he misses me and isn’t all that fond of the totally other person I become under the influence of pregnancy hormones.) My favorite part is that starting the last month of my pregnancy they come to visit me every week, and after the baby they come to my house until 4 weeks after to do their follow-up care. There’s nothing like lying in your own bed and having them come to you

Weekend Refugees

The kids had a great weekend at their Bema’s house. (Yes the family has weird nicknames; this one is short for Big Ma, or my mother in law.) You can tell they enjoyed themselves by the number of bloody openings their bodies are covered with. The Girl prefers to not wear shoes as she tears around on several (fenced) acres with the dogs, whom she affectionately refers to as wolves since she watched Babe last month, and they are the same breed as the sheep dogs on that movie. The dogs lavish her with affection, and occasionally frustrate her with their over protectiveness. When they decide she shouldn’t go a certain way, or they all want her to pet them simultaneously, they will surround her with their bodies and keep her trapped between them until she screams in frustration and we go running outside and rescue her by calling the dogs. This is part of their inherent herding instinct; small things should be carefully guarded and kept safe. They take their job seriously these dogs she is n

Small Joys Friday

It’s Friday already. This week has been full. Birthday parties will do that. We got the Boy a scooter for his birthday gift. I had no idea he would be able to ride it already, but he took off on it like he’s been riding one all his life. He’s ridden it with me as we go on our errand walks two days this week and I watch him pull away from me in baggy camouflage shorts and skate shoes with a red T-shirt riding with all the confidence of a boy who was born to do this kind of thing. He looks like a miniature teenager from behind and I enjoy the bitter sweetness of watching my child grow up. The Girl has emerged this week in true girl fashion, showing a new gift for organization. I turned around to see why she hadn’t come in yet one day and saw her arranging all of the shoes on our front step into a tidy row, pairs together, all toes facing the same direction. She is now lining up her brother’s cars as well. Today I told them to both clean up their mess while I made dinner. She normally n

Score one for the underdog

This Sunday the kids and I spent the afternoon taking advantage of one of the many great things about living I San Diego, if you can drive to them that is. We went to Mission Bay and played at one of the gigantic playgrounds there near the water while the Genius Husband had lunch with his dad and brothers. It was a perfect day; the sun shone but there was a breeze that kept things cool and big shade trees. I had time to almost complete a sweater I’ve been knitting for the Girl for a very long time while I watched them play. I love the way the Girl now pretends to feed every toy animal she comes across, including the plastic fish on a giant spring who received many generous handfuls of sand to satisfy it’s appetite. The day was even more memorable toward the end because of a little boy who became fast friends with my Boy. They played all of the games together that little boys do, blending into each other’s worlds of make-believe seamlessly. At one point they were playing with two larg

A letter to my boy on the day that you turn five.

You are suddenly a boy, all traces of the baby and toddler have vanished, except that you still like a hug and to snuggle from time to time, which is good, because I still need them too. Your wrists no longer have that little baby crease in them. You are strong and lean, your body ripples with muscles; you have no baby fat left. I watched you on Sunday when we went out for lunch with friends and family. You sat over at the kid’s table with the other boys, you ate an entire In’n’Out cheeseburger, with nothing on it but cheese of course, and still had room for fries. You were independent and confident, and I was so glad the one moment you remembered me and ran over because you wanted a hug. You are growing up so fast. I love watching you as you gain even more physical prowess. You ride your bike, you do flips, no hands, on my bed and on the trampoline, and you can cartwheel, and roll. You can climb to very high places very fast. You are a fast runner, and you have managed to hurt your

Small Joys Fridays

The new blog is up, though it requires much work still, you can go on over and read my first post on shopping for basic pantry items. It’s small joys Friday again, and I’m glad I have started this because it forces my heavily pessimistic self to remember the myriad of ways in which I am truly blessed. This week I had a good talk with a dear friend whom I saw in person instead of on the phone. I held an absolutely delicious baby boy, 2 1/2 months old, and he smiled at me for over an hour. The genius husband volunteered to cook dinner this week, two nights in a row. I finally got my pictures hung again in our new apartment and some curtains. It’s been two months since we moved in. Now it’s starting to look like home. Our TV is gone, because it’s not really ours to begin with. Some friends loaned it to us when we first moved here, and I’ve hated it ever since. I know, I sound a little nuts, let me explain. I like watching TV, a lot; I have the makings of a great couch potato. I gre

Finding Home Again

Tonight I actually have a chance to be in bed early enough that I may get adequate sleep and not be a total crank in the morning, and want to strangle my children for saying things like, “I want berries in my porridge,” at least one hundred times in an increasingly whiny voice as I prepare their breakfast, after I’ve already said “yes”. That is if I don’t spend too long writing tonight. So, I will be starting another blog devoted to eating nourishing foods, and finding and preparing them, as well as other little health tips I’ve picked up along the way. Anyone with a clever name idea? On that note, I’ve been thinking recently how much I could have learned from my grandmother if I had taken the time to pay attention. When it comes to keeping a house in order, and good food on the table, she is a total expert. Also, I just did laundry for the week, and am completely mystified as to how two or three items that went in looking not too bad came out so stained I’m thinking I should just to

Why Don’t Americans Eat Real Food?

This evening I stood in the cereal isle of Albertson’s feeling paralyzed as I stared at the hundreds of boxes in front of me. All I wanted was Cheerios, plain, whole oat Cheerios. I have been craving them the last several months of this pregnancy, plain Cheerios with milk. Actually, Cheerios would be inaccurate because what I really wanted was Trader Joe’s Oh’s, which taste better in my opinion, and cost 2 dollars less a box. But, as I have mentioned, transportation is a constant problem for me and my beloved TJ’s is too far to walk. I intended to pay the extra 2 bucks for the branding, and go home and eat. Instead, I stood staring. I don’t want a DVD puzzle in my cereal box, neither do I want a free book or any thing else but a plain box of Cheerios. I don’t want to pay an extra dollar to get the book for “Free”. Why is it that I could have gotten a “plain” box of any sugar cereal that I desired, including Honey Nut Cheerios without books and interactive computer nonsense, but a plain

Small Joys Fridays

It’s harder this week to find things that have brought joy. I’ve been depressed, and sad and irritated, and tired, wait I’ve just listed all of the symptoms of prenatal depression. It hit me hard this week. But here is what I have. Apples are in season. I know you can buy apples any time of year, but only in the fall can you get new crop apples, that are fresh and deeply colored, and don’t taste a little bit woody. And they are so inexpensive when they are in season. We have been feasting on apples here. Every day my children wake up and help themselves to apples while they wait for breakfast. I love apples; some of my best memories have apples tied to them. Any day visiting at my grandparent’s farm was a good day. Picking apples in the fall was a great day, and eating grandma’s homemade apple pie with ice cream for dessert all adds up to one of my favorite childhood memories. She made these pies for Thanksgiving, often for Christmas, and ordinary days that were made special because

Kids and Locomotion

Ever notice how children never just walk anywhere? Why walk when there are so many more interesting, and perhaps dirty ways of arriving. For instance, when the Boy is told to go and pick up something, most of the time he crawls, and rolls, and slides, and drags his head along the carpet enroute to his destination. Do you suppose he does it on purpose, just to irritate the snot out of me? My daughter embarks on similar transportation adventures. She likes to walk backwards until she slams into things, move her head around in circles while making silly faces, somehow this is moving in her opinion. She has a tendency to slide her head along the ground as she crawls as well, which is a bigger problem for her since she has hair, and when she does this 30 seconds after I have finished braiding it, and another 5 seconds before we are getting in the car to go to church or something, it makes it look as though she has just woken up with a gigantic rat snarl on her head and that I am a very ne

Adventures Without a Car

This is what life looks like in suburbia when you don’t have a car, and have to wait for other people to drive you places or walk there yourself. I have just cancelled my monthly midwife appointment for tomorrow morning, because my Milly who usually drives me is flying to Seattle with her mother tomorrow to visit an aunt dying of cancer. As frustrated as I feel, um, I’m not dying of cancer, or losing someone close to me to it. I just feel like a 13 year old asking her parents to drive her to the mall, again. So I’m shutting up now. I’ll tell you instead about a different day without a car that happened a couple of weeks ago. It’s my guide to simple errands. 1.) Remember that you have stewing meat in the fridge and need to use it soon, decide to make beef stew. 2.) Realize that for beef stew you need to buy onions, and potatoes, and hey you need several other items at the store, it’s time for a grocery run. 3.) Pull out your trusty double jogging stroller that’s easy to push and carri


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