Saturday, June 26, 2010

Babymoon?--Part 2--and a water happy one

It's cold!


Just hanging out...








In honor of their 34th anniversary, Mum wanted to take ride the gondola that goes over the Spokane Falls. Chris survived his acrophobia, and we enjoyed one of the few almost hot days on our trip!




I love this picture--see the bird flying out of the way of the water?
















Looking over the falls from the bridge.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Babymoon?--Part 1--A plant filled vacation

I suppose you could call our recent(ish) vacation to Washington state a "baby-moon." More like an "escape from the town that's going to eat me alive if I don't get out of here and, oh yeah, congratulations Chris on graduating"-moon really.

Last fall a friend gifted me some frequent flyer miles as a thank you for helping out in her wedding. Combined with some other miles from my lovely parents, and we were set for an affordable vacation. So we flew out to Washington state to see my parents and the beauties of one of our favorite states.

Sadly, it was very, very cold the whole time. And before I say anything else, Heather, thank you so much for the maternity jacket as I don't know how I would have survived that trip without it! But despite the cold it was gorgeous. And relaxing.

We flew into Spokane and the next day promptly drove over the Cascades to Seattle because my Dad had services in that area. Sadly I'm missing some of the photos from this trip. Our camera was having battery issues during the first half of the trip, and while I have my mother's pictures as well, I can't figure out what I did with them. So you'll just have to miss seeing the cool picture of the peregrine we saw at the waterfalls on the way up.

The following day we enjoyed looking around Seattle a bit--primarily Pike Place market--and hanging out with some friends of our who have moved to that area. For those unfamiliar with the tradition of fish-throwing at Pike Place:



The Cascades:



One of the things I was loving most was all the beautiful flowers out in Seattle. That is something the Midwest really does lack--at least where we live it feels lacking--real Spring.





Friends (and my APs) we stayed with while in Washington. Friends who have been in our lives for, well, longer than I've been alive.



We were going to go visit Mt. Saint Helen's (a place of some significance for my life at least even though I've never been there), but it went and snowed about 8 inches the night before, and we decided to just drive straight through the Cascades instead and admire the snow from the safety and warmth of the car.



As we drove through the pass, just on the other side of the Cascades--still cold but no snow!


What I hope to not end up looking like at the end of all this (although he's a pretty good representation of how I feel sometimes!)...



Being Silly in Spokane--home of the Bloomsday Marathon


Nana (to be) and me--apparently I have inherited my love of taking plant photographs from her.



Cacti at a greenhouse in Spokane. Love some of the names:




(Ok, ok, it's a cane not a cacti. But did it really deserve the name?)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

32 weeks & 13 Things No One Told Me Before Getting Pregnant

Disclaimer: I've actually, despite the aches and pains and throwing up and and swelling and occasional meltdowns (*ahem* very occasional.......), enjoyed being pregnant. What I write below is not intended as a list of complaints (indeed--they're not all negative), but simply some observations that I've personally made over the last few months as things that I never really realized before I got pregnant!

1. Your body, size, weight, how you feel, and everything else suddenly becomes a point of public discussion. Everyone (and I'm talking everyone here--including random people in stores!) feels entitled to an opinion, and has no hesitation on expressing said opinion. And, everybody (aka--women) will compare you with how they looked, how their friends looked, how much they weighed, what they felt like, etc. And for some reason, some people feel that they absolutely must tell you the worst horror stories of birthing that they can come up with. So encouraging, let me tell you!

2. Your body--well your stomach--suddenly also becomes an area of public domain in terms of touch. Fortunately, I don't mind. I actually find it kind of funny. But if an individual has issues with people touching them, I could see this driving someone insane!

3. 9 months of pregnancy is a lie. Do the math. You're pregnant for 10 months, unless you want to calculate in there all the months with extra weeks and days and it's just one confusing mess. And it's even more confusing explaining to someone who has never been pregnant or who has never tried to do the pregnancy math before why it really is easier to count in weeks and not months because the months don't add up right!

4. Getting out of bed is a very difficult business when you're trying to sit up with someone weighing you down.

5. Heartburn is not fun. And I never knew that pregnancy could give you heartburn. I've never had heartburn before in my life--until recently. Not my idea of a good time. However, I did (well, Chris discovered) that about 1/4 tsp of baking soda and 4oz of water will actually clear up heartburn. Yay for non-toxic cures!

6. Your body has a mind of its own. Before we got pregnant, I had read things like "every pregnancy is different" yadda, yadda...I'm realizing exactly how true it is. But more, I've realized that I have relatively little control over most of it. I can be really, really careful about what I'm eating, how many calories, etc, and I put on 2lbs in a week. But then I can have a week or so where I'm not as careful and I lose weight! I've given up worrying about it. I'm not overeating, I eat a healthy diet, my vitamin levels and everything are all showing fine (even without prenatals), and unless my doctor is worried--I'm not going to. Got enough on my mind otherwise.

7. Your OB/GYN might not be your biggest medical support in pregnancy; your chiropractor might be. I honestly don't know how I would have survived the last few months if I had not decided to go see a chiropractor. I wonder sometimes if it has something to do with all my years of dance, and having my posture forcibly changed so dramatically that my body doesn't know how to cope with it.

8. 2am is apparently a great time of day to work out. The weird thing is that it's not Blueberry waking me up in the middle of the night. A lot of people talk about not being able to sleep because the baby is moving around. I've just had insomnia, I guess. Or my body's been doing it's best to prepare me for 2am feedings.

9. Your skin is way more flexible and stretchy than you ever could have imagined--it can even become transparent. Who'd a thunk?!

10. Having arms and legs and feet and elbows and toes poking around inside is just weird--in a cool way. People always talk about feeling baby move, but the oddness of the sensation of having an entity essentially entirely separate from your own bouncing around inside regardless of what you might be doing is almost beyond description.

11. The brain becomes a very weird place when pregnant. There's no other words for it--it's just bizarre! Weird thoughts, especially when I'm trying to sleep, flit through my mind. Dreams are more vivid than I ever thought possible. And of course throw in a few hormones into the mix, and sometimes I seriously think I'm becoming insane!

12. My doctor very nicely reminded me that if/when my belly button pops, it doesn't mean the baby is done. So far no pop yet, but every day I check anxiously to see if it's any closer. I'd really rather my nice little in-e stays an that way rather than becoming an out-e!

13. The Linea Nigra (I think I spelled that correctly) is the oddest looking thing. I keep thinking I should find a handle somewhere at the top or bottom of this enormous line running straight down the middle of my belly that I could just use to zip this little girl right out. Chris thinks that's how God originally intended childbirth, but the Fall messed up that whole plan. Not quite sure what I think about that...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To Papa

Happy Father's Day, my Daddy.

You are an inspiration to my life. I am so grateful that my view of our Father in heaven is and always has been developed in the beautiful light of the view I have of my father on earth. I am proud to be known as your daughter and so grateful that my own daughter will grow up knowing such a godly man as her grandfather.

I love you.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Really?

So I ran across this brief article on Hotair today:

[I]ncreasingly, some educators and other professionals who work with children are asking a question that might surprise their parents: Should a child really have a best friend?

Most children naturally seek close friends. In a survey of nearly 3,000 Americans ages 8 to 24 conducted last year by Harris Interactive, 94 percent said they had at least one close friend. But the classic best-friend bond — the two special pals who share secrets and exploits, who gravitate to each other on the playground and who head out the door together every day after school — signals potential trouble for school officials intent on discouraging anything that hints of exclusivity, in part because of concerns about cliques and bullying.

“I think it is kids’ preference to pair up and have that one best friend. As adults — teachers and counselors — we try to encourage them not to do that,” said Christine Laycob, director of counseling at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis. “We try to talk to kids and work with them to get them to have big groups of friends and not be so possessive about friends.”

“Parents sometimes say Johnny needs that one special friend,” she continued. “We say he doesn’t need a best friend.”


Seriously? This is ridiculous. Name the adult who does not have or at least does not crave that "best friend." Yeah, there are issues that sometimes arise with the idea of best friends, but going against that natural instinct is insane. Just look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs--the third level is love and belonging. Most people find that love and belonging is an intimate thing--not something you find in the large group setting.

I've been part of close-knit, large groups before. And within those groups you will find bonds that exist that are stronger between individuals than those that exist with the group in general.

And then what about gangs? There is a group setting in which members will often talk about being a part because of the sense of "belonging" they have found. Is that really what we want to encourage?

And what about all the kids who are helped because they do have that one person they feel who really cares about them--especially in a society of divorce where children are frequently left feeling unwanted, in the way, or otherwise abandoned? Are we now fighting the essential human instinct to find that one person who truly understands us, cares about us?

Can kids take it too far? Sure. I also know a lot of adults who take their intimate relationships too far as well. But that then leaves the range of healthy relationship. Shouldn't they just be arguing that we teach kids what a healthy relationship should look and feel and act like? Rather than fighting against the entire system of "my best friend"?

Ridiculous!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Updates In the Animal Kingdom

Dogs are doing well; although, they've had a lot of comings and goings in their lives the last month.

First of all is the rabbit who lives in the backyard who continues to taunt the dogs with its existence. I swear the thing will sit outside our back door and in a French accent (it immigrated a few years ago) mocks the dogs for not being able to catch it! Name: Unknown. Won't stick around long enough to ask it.

Chris recently found one of his strays. This one stayed only for a day and other than a brief pet by me was examined only from the other end of a camera lens. Cute kitten though! Name: Gen. As in...Allergen.



We are also fish fostering for the summer again. My friend Amber teaches, and since she has two cats at home, for the last two summers we have taken in her classroom fish to avoid any tormenting or death of said fish. Name: Logan. Very quiet and well-behaved. Probably enjoys the respite from random fingers and things being dropped into his tank.

Amber also has acquired a puppy! Name: Nugget. Adorable, adorable puppy. Nugget and Amber came over the other day so we could meet him and also so Nugget could become a little more socialized with other dogs.

Mara Jade did fine and Nugget quite liked her....seemed to think there should be some milk somewhere to get out of her. Don't think Mara quite knew what to think about that!




Calista did her best to be good. But she's just so big! And drooly....Nugget eventually wouldn't cower when she came near, but he was hesitant to leave the safety of Amber's lap as well. And really, who could blame him? Crushing was a definite possibility!