Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blueberry's First Thanksgiving

Blueberry's first Thanksgiving was a cold one.

We had lunch at my brother and sis-in-law's house. Played games until late. Poor little Blueberry only took one short nap that whole time (other than the catnap on my shoulder). Was remarkably cheerful though. After all--people were around! She really is a social bug.

Blueberry is introduced to gaming at a young age.

Blueberry with her Auntie Joy

Uncle Jonathan and his Charlaberry.

Nom. Nom. Nom. Blueberry's favorite snack.

Check out the cute boots from England!

She collapsed into bed with Mummy at the end of the day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Misaligned Stars, Bad Fates, and a Severe Dose of Sleep Deprivation

So this story starts last Friday when Blueberry got her second round of shots. Despite it making her feel not so great, there was a bonus (or so I thought) in that she slept really well that night. In fact, I got the most sleep in one night that I've gotten since she came home from the hospital. Combine that with the fact that I've really been working on her napping and she's finally started taking longer naps during the day, I was elated.

And then Sunday hit. And I got some stomach thingy. Seemed to be a 24 hour bug. Got over it quickly, but it was enough to wipe me out.

And then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday hit. Blueberry apparently decided that napping was a bad idea--in fact sleep in general was not her friend--and I was more tired than ever. Actually, I think to some degree that part of the problem was that my body had finally gotten a full nights rest and it wanted more and was not happy about getting even less.

Then we got to Wednesday night. It was 3am, and as I lay in bed with a (sleeping!) child in her bassinet near me and a snoring husband, I realized something. My body has forgotten how to sleep. Literally. I felt like I literally could no longer sleep. I know understand why sleep deprivation is considered a torture and/or brain washing mechanism.

By Thursday morning I was exhausted. I literally woke up from the semi-sleep I'd finally manged to fall into and started crying. And I couldn't stop. All morning as I struggled to take care of my little girl, I would just start crying for no reason. Finally, it got so bad that I asked my husband to come home. He came home to a weeping, over-the-top dramatic wife, one wired little baby (because of course she wouldn't sleep either), and general chaos. He nicely watched Blueberry the rest of the afternoon as I struggled (and it was a struggle) to take a nap and get some rest.

Friday was a little bit better, but a big question was then being dealt with.

We were scheduled to leave on Sunday morning for Texas. More precisely, to Tulsa first to spend the night with some friends and then to Austin on Monday to spend Thanksgiving with Chris' aunt and uncle. We wanted to break up the otherwise 10 hour (not counting baby stops) trip into two chunks--hopefully more manageable.

My job the entire week was to get ready for that trip. Except I was in such a zombie state all week that I hadn't done anything yet. Plus, in an effort to help out the sleeping baby issues, we decided to try putting her in her big crib in her room. The logic being that I think we were waking her up at night (which was causing all sorts of fun and games and contributing to the sleep issues). But if we were going to start trying to change her sleep patterns a bit, was that wise to do so for a few days and then completely mess her up as we took a trip?

So the question was: should we go?

Friday night we pretty much decided to not go. I was still wiped out and not sure I could handle the trip.

Friday night, I slept pretty well, and actually woke up feeling better than I had all week. Blueberry slept well in her crib, and the world seemed a slightly happier place.

Well, then I felt I had to revisit the question (my sudden reversal gave my husband whiplash)--could we go to Austin? We finally decided to try it. So I spent all day Saturday doing laundry and trying to get ready.

Got about 3/4 of the way packed. Hit the evening. I was tired and done and going to finish packing in the morning.

Phone rings. Friends in Tulsa. "Our toilets are broken. If we can't get them fixed, we don't know if we're going to be able to host anybody!" Hmmm....that's interesting. They were to call us in the morning to up date us.

Half an hour goes by. Watch one episode of The Big Bang Theory. Phone rings. Chris' uncle. "Your aunt is not feeling well. Monday is probably not going to be a good day to arrive." Hmmm...that's doubly interesting.

Now what? Try to drive it all in one day later in the week next week? See if Tulsa friends might be able to host us later in the week (assuming their toilets get fixed)?

We slept on it (Blueberry came to bed with me--couldn't handle the thought of getting up in the middle of the night!).

Woke up the next morning to a phone call from Tulsa informing us that the toilets were, theoretically, fixed. Theory and toilets are not a good combination.

After further discussion regarding various aspects of the trip and a realization that the Fates are apparently against us going on this trip, the stars are not aligned, and I really am still exhausted, and Chris is now suffering from multiple cases of whiplash as we keep changing our minds, we finally decided to just call it off.

We counted it up. From start to finish, we changed our minds on plans for this trip six different times. But we're finally settled. I'm starting to unpack (go figure!), and we're staying here for Thanksgiving! It's all craziness.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blueberry's Birth Story Part III

Click here for Part I and here for Part II...

Those first few precious moments of baby gazing were so incredible. Holding her tiny little (purple!) feet. Watching her big blue eyes just stare at me...my heart melted.

My baby sister and Adam and had been at the hospital almost the whole time (poor thing--I think I traumatized her from wanting to have kids!). They came in and saw Blueberry right away. And of course there were phone calls to make to anxious parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles.

And trying to feed Blueberry that first time! Well, she licked a lot. That was about as good as it got. It was so cute though. The pediatrician was actually the one who helped me figure out what I was doing. It seemed so easy sounding reading about it but actually doing it was not quite as simple!

Other Reflections:

I was prepared. I did everything I could to make sure I was ready for the whole birth/labor process. It's hard not knowing exactly what you're getting into. But I'm very grateful for all the hours I spent reading and preparing with Chris ahead of time.

The breathing really worked. Focusing through what I was feeling was what helped the most. Recognizing the tenseness of my body and trying to relax gave me something to do that I could control in a situation where I felt so much was out of my control.

Chris was incredible. He was my support. I don't think I would have made it through alive without him there.

On the actual experience--I do wish things had been a lot better than they were. I left the hospital with a very bad taste in my mouth. Our next child very well may be born at home just because I don't want to risk having that kind of experience again. I will definitely be finding a different practice if we decide to go the hospital route as I do not want to risk ever having that man again.

Once again, I feel a lack of faith in the medical system. A process that my body was designed to do was treated as a problem. Every natural instinct that I had was ignored. Most of the things that I wanted to do that I knew would have helped the situation, I was kept from doing. It's the bizarrest thing. Why do we have a system that treats the most natural experience in the world as a medical problem to be fixed? Do problems happen? Sure. And the medical system can be there. But I felt like more problems were being caused in this case than were being helped.

I did find strength in myself that I never imagined I had. I know what I can handle, and I know that I can do this again in the future. And I also know that I will be a lot more assertive in the future when it comes to things like this. I'm tired of being pushed around by doctors.

Side Note on Three "Coincidences":

1. We had a great nurse in our patient room. The first words out of her mouth were "So, how did you get dengue fever?" Now, that may not seem so extraordinary except for the minor detail that she was literally the first person all day who not only knew what dengue fever is but knew how to pronounce it correctly! Turned out that she just happened to be a former missionary in the same mission as my parents who knew a lot of the same people I know as she and her husband had been to Bangkok frequently, and who was on her second to last shift at the hospital as she and her husband were going back out as missionaries!

She was a blessing as I was able to talk to her relatively freely about my experience with the doctor. Turns out he's pretty much a jerk to everybody. She had even had to report him before for abuse of staff and abuse of patients. Knowing that my impressions of him were not just because of how I was feeling has been helpful. I tend to be someone who second-guesses my responses to people, even though I'm told that I'm normally pretty accurate with how I'm reading someone, I still have doubts. Knowing that I wasn't crazy but he really was not a good doctor to work with has helped.

2. There was a girl that was in the two classes Chris and I attended before Blueberry was born (the birth class and the baby care class). We had talked in the second class as we recognized each other and were due right around the same time. Well, the second night at the hospital, Chris was walking down the hall, when who should he run into but this girl! She had her baby just a few hours after Blueberry was born. We've run into each other several times since then and are now friends on Facebook. It's been kind of fun having a random birth-friend.

3. Although I did not get my week of relaxation that I so desperately wanted before Blueberry arrived, the timing was impeccable in another sense. As I mentioned in Part I, my husband's grandparents (who live several states away) were in town that particular weekend. They were scheduled to leave town Tuesday morning, and had actually been discussing leaving a day earlier! If Blueberry had waited even one more day, they would not have been around for the birth. Meaning, they probably wouldn't have seen her for at least four months if not even longer. And it meant a lot to us, and I know it meant a lot to them, that they were able to be here right away.

I don't believe in coincidence. God has to perfect of a plan for that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blueberry's Birth Story Part II

Continuation of...Blueberry's birth Story Part I

They took us to our delivery room and then the poking and the prodding began. First was the IV--even though I had tried on multiple occasions to request only a hep-lock in case of emergency, it was hospital policy that everybody be hooked up to an IV. Then the antibiotics drip. But the worst was the monitor. Now, I know they have a walking monitor. But the hospital and doctors don't like it as much because it doesn't give as perfect readings as the stupid waist/external monitor does. But that external monitor increased my back labor tenfold. I am just grateful that they didn't try to force me to have a catheter instead of being able to walk to the bathroom because the only relief I could get from the monitor was when I could take it off to use the restroom (which I therefore did, a lot).

This is where I get really frustrated. The IV, ok, I understand why they want that attached. But I did not have to be hooked up to their monitor like I was. And the antibiotics, I didn't want. And they were so poorly put in that it literally took two weeks before the vein in the back of my hand went back to normal because it had been so severely hurt from the antibiotic needle.

In the world of hindsight, there are a number of things that I should have just refused to allow. I don't think I really realized (or had the brain power to realize) that I could have just refused some of the stuff that went on. I had that right. Live and learn, I guess.

Any ways, they finally got us "settled" and left us alone for 5 minutes. They also finally gave me a birth ball which I used tons for the next 8 hours.

Well, this is where it gets fun (and more hazy for me). Basically, my dilation progress stopped. My theory is that the back labor probably had something to do with it (I recently discovered with doing a smidgen of research that a baby facing the wrong way can by itself cause a longer labor or a break in progress. Would have been nice if the doctor had bothered to find that out for himself). I also know that how uncomfortable and stressed I felt definitely had something to do with it. Because of the monitor they had me on, I couldn't walk. I could sit on the birth ball, which helped, but getting up and walking was only permitted for so long as it took me to go to the bathroom.

Also, heat was not allowed. Hot packs, hot shower. Nothing. I respond really well to heat. When I'm stressed or my muscles are tense, what I instinctively gravitate to is heat. A hot bath. A hot compress. Even a hot drink. Instead--cold ice chips (we did sneak in some food and Chris had water which I drank as much as I wanted whenever the nurses weren't in the room), cold compress if I wanted that (as if!), and that was it.

To be honest, I felt trapped. I was stuck in positions that I didn't want to be in, wearing clothes that did nothing but get in the way, denied the things that would have helped me, and the people who were supposedly there to help us did nothing but cause more pain and more frustration.

It was around 4:30 or so that my doctor came in and we discussed breaking my water to see if that would help me progress. He was not on call that night, and it was actually a different doctor than the on-call doctor who came in to break my water. I actually liked that doctor quite a bit--he managed to make me laugh which was saying something. I think it was about 5:30ish that they broke my water.

Good grief. I never knew I had that much liquid inside of me. It's no wonder I looked like a basketball!

Well, it didn't really help that much. Maybe a little bit, but things were still going slowly.

I think it was about 7pm that everything got even more tough.

The on-call doctor is a man that I never saw clearly. I had taken my glasses off for most of this, and so I never saw his face distinctly. I pray that I never do because I don't actually want to know the face of the man that I despise so much.

What happened was this, I was still not getting anywhere. The nurse came in to tell us that if I didn't dilate faster (like I had much control over that!), they were going to put me on Pitocin.

Here's the thing. I was doing all of this with no epidural. No pain meds. I didn't spend the last nine months of my life eating as carefully as I could and avoiding all drugs to suddenly load my baby up with as many drugs as her little body could handle before she's even born.

I did NOT want to be induced though without anything to take the edge off. I honestly didn't think I could go any longer with that kind of increased intensity. Naturally, sure I would have been OK with the gradual increase of contractions. But to have them forced like that. No. Not my cup of tea. Besides, I was concerned about the probability of have a C-section if I did go on Pitocin.

Now, I did know that an epidural would not help the back labor. That's the dirty little secret they don't bother telling you when the wonders of the epidural are being touted. It's for contractions only. Back labor--not going to be touched. But my thought was that if I wasn't dealing with the contractions as much, then maybe I could handle the back labor a bit better.

Well, we told the nurse not yet. We kept going trying different positions, going to the bathroom frequently, etc.

The nurse came in several times to inform us that I was going to be put on Pitocin. Which we continued to fight against. Finally, I had found a position (temporarily) in the bed that was helping a little bit. It was quiet. I was focused. Chris was being the amazing man that he was the entire time. And in bursts the on-call doctor.

Now, from my perspective, all I can see is a blurry shape of a very tall man with a very loud, very deep voice, his arms crossed, and expressing very loudly (Chris says he wasn't yelling, but it was close enough in my books) that if I didn't go on the Pitocin, I was going to have a C-section in an hour.

We asked why a C-section. The only answer I was given was the labor was taking to long and with my water broken, infection was going to set in (please keep in mind that at this point, it had barely been a few hours since my water was broken). The baby was fine. If they had quit checking my progress every five minutes (slight exaggeration there, I suppose, but not by much!), that would definitely limit the likelihood of infection. The other hinted at answer was that because the monitor kept shifting around so they weren't getting clear, constant readings (which don't even get me started on the shifting monitor. The whole time I was in labor they were coming in to adjust it because it just didn't fit my belly! I was ALL belly at that point, and the monitor wasn't designed to fit around my particular shape). As far as we can tell, that was the real reason. He just didn't like not having his constant readings. That or he didn't want to deal with me anymore. Blueberry was not in any distress. I was just taking to much of their time.

I told him I didn't want a C-section. Chris and I had talked earlier (with the warnings the nurse had given us), and agreed to request the epidural if we finally got to the point of having to go on the Pitocin. So I told him that fine, I would go on the Pitocin, but I wanted the epidural.

And he told me no! As he put it, I came in not wanting an epidural and I needed to deal with not having one now. Bah! So, there you have it. I wasn't going to get one. It was certainly wasn't because I was too far dilated. His reasoning was that an epidural can slow up labor and the whole reason they wanted to put me on Pitocin was because they were trying to speed things up.

I finally told him that I wanted to talk to my husband before I made my decision. At this point, he became even more of a bully telling us that we'd had an hour to discuss before this and he wanted an answer now or he was going to make me have a C-section. After all, and I quote, "I'm looking out for the well-being of the baby!" Like that wasn't something we were factoring into all of this! Jerk! He made me so mad. I kept telling him that I was going to have some privacy and I was going to talk to my husband first.

Fortunately, it was right around that time that he got called into another room for the delivery. The nurse came back in and by this time, I was crying. She didn't have much in the way of comfort; although, apparently that doctor had a reputation of being a bully to everybody. Needless to say, the additional stress was not helping the situation at all or aiding my ability to deal with the back pain or focus through contractions.

Finally, Chris pulled the monitor off, helped me get up, and we spent every minute that the doctor was out of the room walking. Regardless of their stupid machines and monitoring. The ironic thing was that the nurse came back in and praised us for being up and walking! That's what I had been wanting to do since 12:30 in the afternoon, and they wouldn't let me!

Unfortunately, even though we walked for about an hour, it didn't do enough. I was still not progressing fast enough. It had helped, but I still wasn't far enough. So finally, I believe around 9pm, they hooked me up to yet another machine and the Pitocin started.

I swear, I could feel every drop entering my body. It did the trick. Definitely increased the contractions and definitely sped up the dilation. But I thought I was going to die. Again, though, the worst of it all was not the contractions. Even with the Pitocin, they weren't what was hurting so much. What was really killing me was the back labor. And the increased contractions, of course, only increased that pain.

Off and on that afternoon/evening, we had been on the phone with Chris' aunt who has done this six times now. She was giving us good advice and encouragement. One of the pieces was really funny though. Basically it was to talk to Blueberry. Tell her how much we wanted to see her, and how she needed to come out. Well, Chris did a good job with that. He told me to talk to her, and I told him that there was no way I was doing any talking to Blueberry, I was praying my heart out! He could talk to her!

Well, long story short, by around 10:30 I was ready to push. Oh my. That was fun. Actually, while it hurt, I much preferred it to the contractions. But what didn't help was the fact that the back pain just kept going, and once I was really ready to start pushing, they insisted on me being on my back which was just pure torture. What was even worse was when they stuck me in the stupid stirrups and made me push from that angle. I was not a silent sufferer. I will never make that claim. I definitely made myself heard. And I'm glad of it.

By the way, birth plans--useless. They don't read them. They don't listen to them. As a patient, I felt like I had no rights. I was not allowed to be in charge of my own body. Maybe some places it's better, but this particular hospital was useless.

Fortunately, after all the labor, pushing was actually pretty fast. At 11:12 pm, out popped my Blueberry. She promptly held up her head and looked around--which impressed everybody.

After that, it was all stitching me up (yes, they did an episiotomy--another thing I had requested not to have as I would have preferred the tear), holding the baby, running their tests. Oh the relief of it all being done. The back labor stopped immediately. Such relief. The doctor, charming man that he was, came in only for the delivery, stuck around long enough to stitch me up, and left. I honestly don't remember him saying anything to us afterwords. Maybe he did, but my impression was that he was just doing his job and was in a hurry to be out of there and he could care less that he was actually dealing with humans.

But the moment when they placed that wet little bundle on my chest and I looked into her beautiful eyes, was perfect. Was she worth it? Absolutely. Without a doubt.

Continued in Part III...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blueberry's Birth Story Part I

OK, so writing this has been rattling around in my head for the last three months. For the purpose of record as well as for reflection and catharsis, I give you Blueberry's birth story.

This story really starts on Friday, August 6. On that day, I packed up my bag at work, bringing home the last few things i didn't want to leave in my office during my maternity leave and I blithely skipped--ok, ok--waddled to my car with the knowledge that my baby was due any day, and I didn't have to worry about work again for 12 weeks.

Kind of. I had actually been able to do some work from home for the previous few weeks, and I left knowing there were a few things that I needed to get written for work the following week. But that was fine. I had decided to leave work nearly two weeks before Blueberry was technically due, as that should give me a bit of time to finish those loose ends as well as relax and get those final projects around the house done that I still wanted to attempt before Blueberry was to show up on the scene.

That weekend was rough. I was so tired and moody. I told Chris that I thought I was just decompressing from all the stress I'd been under at work for the last, well, year. I slept a lot. Sunday morning I couldn't even get to of bed to go to church. I tried, but I wound up sleeping instead followed by a two hour nap in the afternoon.

Sunday evening, we went out to eat with Chris' grandparents who just happened to be in town that weekend. I remember sitting at dinner with them and his grandmother hopefully (they live rather far away) asking me how I was feeling. I told them, honestly enough, that while I'd been having regular Braxton Hicks contractions (which I'd been having for weeks), when I saw the doctor four days earlier, he said I wasn't dilated at all, and I really didn't expect to see Blueberry in the too near future.

And truthfully, I kind of wanted a few days at home to relax before she came. I had been telling her for weeks--come anytime after the 12th!

Sunday night I went to bed with my 10 pillows (my gracious husband had moved himself to sleeping on the futon weeks ago as me and my pillows had slowly taken over the entire bed). I slept for about 2.5 hours.

Then I woke up. It was around 1am. I felt like I was cramping like I was about to start my period. I also started having to go to the bathroom. A lot. Now, I know being pregnant is all about having to go to the bathroom lots, but this was ridiculous. I mean, we're talking every 5 minutes. Which when you're lugging a bowling ball around with you every time you get in and out of bed, was not impressive!

Maybe it was the fuzzy brain or maybe it was just that I really wasn't sure what a contraction was going to feel like--it's kind of hard to get a good description--it took me about an hour before it suddenly hit me that, oh hey, I think I'm having contractions.

Obviously they weren't that intense at this point; however, they were just uncomfortable enough to make it impossible for me to fall back to sleep. Eventually I got up, deciding to stay up for a few hours to see where this was going to go. After all, I know it's not that unusual for people to have contractions off and on for quite awhile (read days or even weeks) before they actually start going into labor.

Well, several hours later I had taken care of some emails (I remember sending an email to Hillery answering a question about something or other and putting in there the reason I was up at the ungodly hour of 2 or 3am...needless to say, I had her on tenterhooks for several hours that day as I failed to call her and update her until later that afternoon), read some blogs, played a few games, and it was becoming apparent that (a) these weren't going away and (b) they were actually getting distinctly closer together.

Finally, it was around 5:30am. I hadn't woken up Chris yet because if I wasn't really in full labor, he would need to go to work in the morning. I decided to give it a little bit longer and see how things were going. Finally, around 6:30am, since he needed to wake up any ways, I went in and sat on the futon. I gently shook him awake and when he looked up at me, I told him what was going on. My ever silly husband's first words out of his mouth were, "I guess we won't be watching Doctor Who with Joy and Adam [my sister and her fiance] tonight!"

After punching him, we talked about what to do. He got up, had a shower, had some breakfast, as we started to time contractions. In the meantime, I piddled around the house doing various things (tried laying down to nap--not going to happen!). Set up the pack'n'play, finished putting the final few things in my hospital bag, took a shower myself, put the dishes away in the dishwasher, even answered a Skype call from work! Movement. That was all I could think--I need to move. I wanted to move.

Chris did a few jobs as well (put the diaper sprayer on the toilet for one!) and mid-morning made some phone calls: my parents, brother, and sister, his parents, his grandparents (they were scheduled to leave town the next day--thought they might want to have some time to rethink that plan!). Nothing definite but just an update on the goings-on of the morning.

As time went on and the contractions slowly increased in intensity. The movement began to be inter spaced with sitting on my exercise ball as that really helped the contractions. Basically, get up and do something, rolling the ball with me, sit down and breathe.

Finally, around 11am, we decided we should go to the hospital. Movement was increasingly becoming more painful. And laying down was not much better. The problem I was beginning to deal with more intensely every passing hour was the back labor. The contractions I could breathe through just fine, but I had severe pain across my lower back that wouldn't stop, contraction or no contraction (Blueberry had the back of her head to my back, which seems to be the primary cause of back labor like that). That was definitely the worst part of everything. No way to get comfortable. No breaks ever. It was just a constant, painful, pressure across my lower back. It started almost as soon as the contractions started and lasted the entire labor.

Any ways, I sat on the exercise ball, breathing through contractions, as Chris went and finished loading up the car. Finally, armed with a pillow that did little to make me more comfortable, but was great for squeezing, we set off. That was the longest car ride of my life! So uncomfortable. I'm grateful we live only 20 minutes away.

When we arrived at the hospital, Chris dropped me off at the door and I waited in the vestibule for him to park (I didn't want to have to walk any farther than necessary at that point). They admitted us and the annoying began.

I had pre-registered, naively assuming that the tons of questions I had answered already were all that I needed. Nope. 20 minutes later, they finish firing questions off at me. Then they checked me to see how far I was dilated (second to the back labor, having to lie down so they could check my dilation was one of the absolute most painful part of the whole thing--the back labor actually was part of that pain. Laying flat on my back was like stabbing me with a knife. I seriously wanted to kick the nurse every time they did this).

At this point, I was only at 4. They don't like to admit someone until they're at a 5. Little did I know that as much as I didn't want to have to drive home again if they didn't admit us, it might have been better for me if they hadn't.

Any ways, we began to walk. For about an hour, we walked the halls of the labor and delivery wing, stopping every few feet. What was really frustrating was that there was one thing that gave me some relief to my back, and that was sitting on the exercise ball. But they wouldn't give us a birth ball to use until they admitted us. Torture for an hour.

Finally, they checked again, and I was close enough to a five that they decided to go ahead and admit us.

Friday, November 12, 2010


It has taken me 24 years, but I would like to go on public record with this statement.

Mum, I forgive you for the mud picture.

For those of you who are confused, I will explain.

Allow me to set the scene: A dirt/gravel soi (small road) in Northeast Thailand. Sweltering afternoon sun with a hint of the rainstorm soon to come, for it is the middle of monsoon season. A little, blond, farang (white) girl of 5 years rides her bike to the neighbors house--a trek she takes on a regular basis. All of the sudden she falls off said bike and lands face-first in a huge mud puddle (obligingly left there by one of the more recent storms). She gets up. Is covered from head to foot in mud. Shaken, crying, and a mess, she trudges back to her home, bawling, desperate for the help of her ever-loving mother.

And what does said mother do? She laughs and takes a picture before helping her pathetic 5 year, mud-coated daughter.

And said daughter holds this incident against her mother for the next 24 years. Very useful weapon in giving mum a hard time.

Sadly, upon entering parenthood, I find myself in a terrible dilemma. Either I must give up my diabolical, parenting ways or forgive my mother for laughing (ok, ok, I'll admit it was funny) at my tragedy.

What ways am I referring to? Well, in all honesty, I just have to laugh sometimes when my darling daughter is crying or otherwise frustrated with the world. Her facial expressions when she's pouting or frustrated can be hysterical. Am I a terrible parent for finding some of the funniest things about Blueberry to be when she is not happy? For example:

1. The pouty face she makes when she feels she's not having her needs met fast enough. Comes just prior to the all-out wail. The pathetic tremble of the turned, down lower-lip--priceless.

2. The way she beats on me when her food is not cooperating as she would like. I guess trying to beat me into submission?

3. When she smacks herself in the face while beating on me because she really hasn't quite made the connection that her hands belong to her and are completely in her control. And the look of surprise on her face that goes along with the sudden blow.

These and other such moments, all little things, yet rather funny in their own way. Is this some genetic problem that I've inherited from my otherwise wonderful mother or do all parents have this slightly evil side to them?

Either way, for the sake of not being hypocritical, I find myself in a place in which I have to confess forgiveness for my mother. So here is my confession.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daybook - November 10

Outside my window...it is dark outside. Daylight savings time has come again and is making me sad, again. I liked having light in the evenings! And now it is all gone. So sad.

I am thinking...that I'm trying to not be too optimistic about having gotten somewhere good in terms of Blueberry sleeping. There's a little bubble of hope that I kept squashing in a desperate bid to remind myself that we've had hope before--and had it destroyed :) I am also thinking that I've been thinking about sleep a lot lately. I guess that's what comes of feeling sleep deprived!

I am thankful for...a couple of very good sleeping days for Blueberry. Which means productivity and sleep for her mummy!

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...How to sleep.

From the kitchen...I made stir fry last night and fried rice tonight. Apparently it's a week of heavy usage for the wok.

I am wearing...jeans, pink socks, and a long-sleeve shirt. I'm, happily, only a few pounds shy of my pre-pregnancy weight, and fitting back into most of my old clothes. I say most because a lot of my old tops are either (a) not conducive to easy breastfeeding or (b) not quite fitting right anymore (thank you breastfeeding).

I am creating...leggings from socks for Blueberry to wear because I hate pants on her but her little legs get so cold otherwise. (Thank you Hillery for the idea).

I am going...to start working (part time, from home) for my old job again starting tomorrow. Not a ton of hours, but every little bit will help.

I am reading.. .Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell and Star of Light by Patricia St John (to Blueberry)

I am hoping...to get another good couple of chunks of sleep tonight.

I am hearing...the static of the baby monitor. The blowing of the fan. And nothing else. Sweet silence.

Around the house...I've made progress on piles! And my bathroom is clean--miracle of miracles.

One of my favorite things...writing. I love to write. I just wish I had more time to devote to creative writing.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Friday--shots for Blueberry (boo); friends coming over in the evening to test out Chris' game (I'll probably just watch as I, or rather Blueberry, might hold up the process otherwise)
Weekend--spend time with husband.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Want to join in? Go check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Daybook - November 6 and 7, 2010

Outside my window...the leaves are almost all gone from our lovely red tree. It's brilliant sunshine out; however, it appears warmer than it actually is. Friday, the high was in the 40's! We're supposed to warm up the next few days and then plunge back into cooler weather again. Boo hiss! On a happy note, boots are now in season again!

I am thinking...that I'm not really sure what happened to 2010. It's November already, and this fact is puzzling me. It seems like just yesterday that it was November 2009 and a hope that I had was only still a dream--and is now reality.

I am thankful for...a husband who cleaned up diapers, and ran the dishwasher for me last night while I went to bed super early with Blueberry. And then who took her this morning so I could sleep in.

From the learning rooms...[or in our case--the learning brain]...Blueberry is discovering her thumb (sometimes confused with her entire fist). She is also, apparently, beginning to teeth. This has made for a few fussy days. How long does teething last? Her little brain is working all day long, every day. The other day, when Skyping my parents, we could see her really registering their images as being peopleish. That was definitely a first and rather fun! Oh, and she is discovering the charms of the squeal. Most entertaining.

From the kitchen...comes a successful GF adventure! Growing up, one of my family's favorite meals was Navajo Tacos (sometimes called Indian Fry Bread). I've tried to make GF Fry Bread before and not been happy with the results. Edible but quite dense. I'm so proud of myself as I figured out what a good flour mix would be to make the Fry Bread better, and it worked! Really good tasting bread (confirmed by my brother and sister and sister-in-law: non GF eaters, and two individuals who also grew up eating Fry Bread on a regular basis--that's always the test is if someone who doesn't have to eat GF likes the GF goods). Experimentation success! Give self pat on the back.

I am wearing...jeans and a new nursing sweatshirt. I needed some clothes more conducive to breastfeeding on the go, so with my husband's blessing, I spent a bit of money and got three nice tops that should help that area. Very cute and functional.

I am creating...plans and dreams for the next few months. Thanksgiving (to Austin--can't wait to meet the newest little cousin and of course spend some time playing with other cousins and catching up with a wonderful Aunt and Uncle--also, first long car ride with the Blueberry, could be interesting), Christmas (to Arizona--first airplane ride with the Blueberry), and then hopefully a trip in the spring back to Arizona. Why all the trips to Arizona? My APs are currently residing in the big city of Phoenix (Sun City to be more exact) for this year, teaching at the Native American Bible College there. They live very close to Chris' grandparents, so we're hoping that the spring trip we can coordinate seeing them as well.

I am going...to shop at our new Price Cutters tomorrow. Very excited about this store. It is super close (which we have a Dillons and a WalMart that aren't horrifically far away from us, but still a good 10 minute drive). Close, as in, maybe a two or three minute drive. If it weren't for the rather large road to be crossed, it would be easy biking/walking distance. And when Blueberry and I briefly stopped in on Friday, we found it has a fantastic GF section! And, just to make me even happier, they have some international sections in which the UK section had this delightful drink that I've always loved drinking whenever in England--Ribena. Bit expensive, but a fun treat.

I am reading.. .The Little Prince (not done yet) and The Hermit of Eyton Forest (new author for me--Ellis Peters; mystery series set in medieval England--enjoyed the first one I read, now to go back and start at the beginning of the series!)

I am hoping...to continue on this (apparently) better nap pattern for Blueberry this next week. Been reading information on baby sleep patterns and I realized that I've not been catching her early enough during the day to get her to lay down for a nap before her second wind kicks in. So far it has been successful, or at least more successful. So that's been a blessing.

I am hearing...the chatter of my silly little daughter. She really is a very social girl! Must take a break to have a conversation with her. Makes Chris laugh at us.

Around the house...my piles are still in existence. This last week was not very helpful towards tackling them. In truth, it was a rough week. Not entirely sure why. Teething baby definitely had something to do with it. And, I guess we did have a lot going on. Had MOPS on Tuesday morning, then I had to go into work to get my "Blue folder" during work chapel (certificate they give to people who are leaving, marking how long they've worked at the university). Thursday was dance (I was so tired, I will admit to having to leave a bit early), and Friday we left Blueberry with a wonderful babysitter while we went to see TSO. Made for a very, very late night, and Saturday was a very sleepy day around here.

One of my favorite things...baths. I love hot baths. My talented brother is supposed to be installing a new (and much needed) hot water heater soon, and I'm looking forward to being able to take a long bath again. Our current water is ok during the summer, but as soon as it gets the tinsiest bit cold around here, our access to hot water diminishes rapidly. Most frustrating.

On a side note of baths--Blueberry apparently takes after her mother and also loves baths. Loves them so much that if you really want her to throw a good temper tantrum, take her out of the bath!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Well, as it is Sunday, I'm looking at this next week. Need to go grocery shopping. Still working out my insurance. Have to take Blueberry for a shot on Friday (boo). Don't have much in the way of plans beyond that. At least, not plans outside of the house. Around home--clean! Put away piles! Start working on Christmas presents/cards. And play with my ever-charming daughter.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Want to join in? Go check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

One Year Ago Today

On this day, one year ago, we completely changed our lives. We drove away from jobs and home and loved ones to a new adventure of the very m...