I do, however, understand why people usually just see the movie. Reading books takes a whole lot longer and Im like "whats gonna happen? whats gonna happen?" and instead of having the answer within the hour and a half - its hours later when I get to page 462! Although my sister insists that the book is way better than the movie (which now I will likely go and see just because Im curious) and thats typically what happens.
Oh thats a good topic for comments - what movies are better than the books they are based on?
Ive discovered the inherent flaw in my moving plan. When we go to Hawaii there will be no grandparents to pass the baby off to! In order for me to read these books my mother spent endless hours playing with Ikaika. A task she was more than willing to take on, but Im no less grateful for. Being here with mom & dad is AWESOME!
The ride up was an adventure. He slept so much before the ride that somewhere around Centrailia he woke up and wanted to eat...like right now! I had to stop at a Subway and feed him in the parking lot. The car was so packed with stuff that I couldnt have fit a tic-tac in there if I wanted/needed to. There was a little hole in the backseat for Ikaika and a hole in the front seat for me and a couple patches for me to look out the windows. Wild. I still cant believe I fit all that junk in there!
Mr A has been keeping me updated on his progress in Hawaii. Hes been on several promising job interviews. This week he interviewed and did a presentation for a position as a community health educator...educating the youth of hawaii about SEX! SAFE sex, no less! Harhar. Other than that hes been playing vball, watching our friends son play basketball, and eating gallons of poi. Best of all - its 80 degrees plus every single day. I can not wait to get over there.
Thanksgiving was very fun (for me at least). Went over to brother-in-laws and had a rockin good time with the Arrayan Ohana. Gonna miss the holiday/birthday party get-togethers with those folks. There is always something to laugh about. Luckily, last night it wasnt me.
Uncle Mike said that Ikaika was "a little lovin". A perfect description!
Then this morning Mr A got on a plane for Hawaii. Sigh. I know he didnt want to go by himself and, even though I know I shouldnt since this is the best for everyone, I feel bad. He was really bummed about leaving. We were hanging out in front of security check after a lovely airport family breakfast and he was just holding Ikaika and staring at him and not wanting to give him back. Eventually he did and got on his flight. I just got a call and he has made it to Kona none the worse for wear. This is the beginning of our great adventure!
I like the airport during the holidays. I like airports in general, but during the holidays especially. The lights are hung up - its festive - and there is just a feeling in the air. The feeling of seeing someone special. The feeling of anticipation, excitement, surprise. Mix that in with the sort of delirious coma-like state most travellers are in and its the recipe for a perfect place to experience some really crazy emotions. Thats what I like about airports - all those emotions in such a small place. Peoples feelings are always intensified in an airport. I have a lot of vivid memories from travelling and I always felt very aware of myself when I was either picking someone up or dropping someone off.
All those years of flying on planes and I just realized today that the one airline I always ignored because it was just a bunch of rich people going on vacation (Hawaiian Air) is now our primary airline! And Im neither rich nor on vacation!
Whats your take on cut vs uncut? What would you do?
Just so you know that I know - there is absolutely no medical basis for Ikaika getting a circumcision so I wont accept any advice that includes such dated information. Interestingly enough, the circumcision rate in Oregon is only about 30%, which means we are in the norm over here.
*Havent watched The Hills since. Much like BFF, I cant handle crap in small doses.
Which leads to my blog topic - HATERS.
There was a girl on the show who was trying to justify how an acquaintance had accused her of being an enormously vapid sausage wallet in front of Paris. She proceeds to explain that shes always encountering "haters" and people are always "filling their mouth with my name" ...or something like that. She goes on to shed tears and recall with great pain how she used to come home from school and tell her mom that she doesnt want to be pretty anymore because the other kids dont like her. Maybe the other kids didnt like you because those are the thoughts that come out of your mouth. Just a theory.
As I laid in bed that night, my mind numb and mushy from hours staring at the shiny plastic flock of Hilton, I wondered what makes someone a "hater?" What makes a "hater" different from someone that just hates you?
Take Avril Lavigne (is that how you spell it?). I am a bonefide Avril Lavigne "hater". I hate on Avril Lavigne. I dont hate Avril - I hate on her - and here is the difference. I dont like a single thing about Avril. I dont like her music, her image, her voice, her husband, her hair, makeup, teeth, etc. You name it - I hate it. And yet, for some reason, I am uncontrollably drawn to seeking her out. When her videos come on the tv - I look at them...carefully. When her music plays in the store - I listen...intently. If she is in a magazine - I read it. And so on.
The point is that even though I dont like anything about Avril Lavigne, I go out of my way to expose myself to her because it gives me more information to support my own contempt. I want to know everything about her life so I can scrutinize it and judge it and decide it sucks. This, in fact, makes me a "hater".
Now lets look at someone like, oh say, John Mayher (is that how you spell it?). I read an article in Rolling Stone or some other magazine a long time ago where John Mayher was talking about being fluent enough in Japanese to be able to tell people off/eavesdrop of conversations after taking only high school courses (yeah right!) and fingering his girlfriend on the school bus. Puke. So I dont like John Mayher. If his video is on - I turn it off. If I hear his song - I tune it out. If I see him on a magazine cover - I leave that garbage on the shelf.
The point again is that because I truly hate John Mayher I completely ignore his existence. I dont acknowledge him as far as I can avoid it and only recently have I been able to enjoy the cover of Your Body is a Wonderland that our friends band sings. (Its always bothered me that Kaloku sings John Mayher material - but their voices are well matched and I guess the song is nice if its not sung by JM himself).
When you actually hate/dislike someone or something, you ignore them and couldnt possibly care less about what they think or do because its so darn unimportant and uninteresting. When you are being a "hater" or "hating on" someone or something, you seek out the details in hopes of finding raw material you can use to further your own mission of hating them more.
So when we examine the acrimonious relationships we inevidably have in our lives, are we just "hating" or are we "haters"?
Ill let you gnaw on that for awhile. TTYL.
Im going to start calling this The Poop Baby Blog.
So back to the topic of my sons bowel movements...
I realized last night that I havent changed a really poopful diaper for quite awhile. Thank you EC. But on that same line of thought - Ikaika has developed a little diaper rash thing. Not like full blown toddler diaper rash (those are gnarly) more like just redness and callousness between the cheeks. Problem is that Im not sure where the redness is coming from. Hes not sitting in poo, as I explained earlier. We use cloth during the day but Mr A insists that he will sleep better if hes in 'sposies. So which is causing the sore-butt syndrome?
In regards to treating the symptoms: This morning I sat him in a little tub full of sitz herbs and baking soda. It seemed to help the irritation and he smelled good afterwards. Ive used Balmex and it didnt do much except get all over my hands. Gross. Lano-something was of a nicer consistency and seemed to make his skin soft but I only had a sample packet and its gone now. Mr A has been putting A&D on him (you know those old men and their A&D) even though I keep telling him that stuff has fish oil in it and its going to make the diapers stink. No one listens to me...
Good Lord, Mom, leave me alone!
You cant exactly tell in these pics but hes getting big, as babies do. Our neighbors granddaughter is a little over 3 months and shes still smaller than he is (then again, in this neighborhood, the mothers lifestyle choices may be called into question). I hope he slows down a little or Im going to need a weight belt just to get him in and out of his bassinet! Ohhh my back!
cock-eyed baby love
So we have been ECing part time. I havent gotten up the gusto to commit to a full day of no diaper. I think when we live someplace a bit warmer Ill give that a go. For now we offer Ika the opportunity to shishi/doodoo at the most convenient times for us. During a diaper change or right after he wakes up are the best times to catch something.
Heres how it works: we "offer the bucket" by holding him under this thighs in a modified squat and then we cue him by making a "psst" sound. The cue is supposed to help him know its time to relax his bowels or bladder. And we just hold him there over the sink/bucket/toilet and talk to him or cue him until he goes or until we give up.
I would say that 4 out of 5 times we will get something for our efforts. Sometimes we get both #1 and #2, which is rad. Other times I get one or the other and then I put a diaper on him and whichever one I didnt get in the bucket is now in the diaper (so frustrating!). Yet another option is nothing happening, but thats less likely since we only EC at the most opportune times.
If you could only see how excited Mr A gets when we catch something - something BIG - in the sink...you would think we are insane. Tonight we went to a volleyball game at Clackamas CC and I was changing his diaper in the restroom. Well, since it was right there I offered him the potty and he went! In a public bathroom! Its a portable skill! Very exciting stuff.
So why are we doing this? Well, for starters its fun/cool to think that your kid can pee on command (which, by the way, isnt exactly what he is doing - but its fun to think it is).
The main reason I wanted to try the way of the bucket was OF COURSE to save money. Because Im a miser. Im frugal. Im German. If you could figure out how to do this full time imagine what you would save from never using diapers! Unreal. For the time being, Ive been using a system that is like part cloth, part disposable and part bucket. He still soils a ton of diapers but think how many more I would be changing if every shishi I caught in the toilet went into a dipe instead! The proof is in the pudding and weve gone through almost 2 packs of disposable dipes since he was born. Thats about 80 diapers in 3 weeks. I think thats below average.
Oh and by the way... Cloth diapers, in my opinion, are NOT as hard as people want to make them seem. The technology of cloth nowadays means that if I had the money I would be using the tricked out cloth dipes and they would be stupid easy. Ive been using mostly recycled tshirt diapers and regular ole prefolds and I would still consider it to be very easy. And when you use cloth diapers theres no reason to not use cloth wipes, too. Throw it in a bucket and when the bucket gets full throw that in the washer.
Mr A, who did the cloth thing 15+ years ago, is in love with Snappis and commented several times on how great they are. Of course, they only work with prefolds or something of similarly woven fabric (NOT tshirt dipes) but I would recommend Snappis to people who want to do cloth.
- This past weekend was the World Series (go go Victorino!) so we packed the family and went up to Granny and Grandpas house in Vancouver where they believe in both cable and HD. The first time we went I packed 2 diapers. TWO diapers. What the hell was I thinking? In my defense, Ive never travelled with a baby before. Mr A, on the other hand, should have known better.
- Midwife Wendy came over for a check up today. We had to redo the PKU test because the dipshits over at Adventist did it wrong. My uterus is returning to its original state. My babys heart and lungs are healthy despite the fact that hes had a runny nose. And, in bigger news, dude has gained almost an entire pound in the last week! He was 8lbs 13oz today. Super milk machine me!
- Now the biggest news - today while Wendy and I were cleaning up, Mr A came out in the living room very excited and said that Ikaika had rolled from his stomach to his back. Being that this kid is about 8 days old I was like "yeah right." Mr A had been talking about this roll for awhile and sometimes puts the baby on his side or whatever, so I figured that this was a case of over ambitious fathering. But then I went into the bedroom and sure enough, he did it again! He was on the mattress and my brute of a son rolled himself from his tummy to his back. Mobility! I dont know if Im ready for this so soon! Im not going to be able to leave him unattended! I am, however, going to try and capture this on video so I can post the evidence. Stay tuned...
What I did not anticipate was that keeping a baby awake is near impossible when said kid wants to sleep. Mr A and I even resorted to torturing our precious baby with an ice pack this afternoon! All to no avail, as these words are being written Ikaika and his father are taking a nap together. Sigh...there goes my schedule.
Him being asleep during the day is only one half of the issue though. The other part is feeding. If he cant stay awake and alert with ice down the back of his shirt you can only imagine how difficult it is to keep him awake during breastfeeding. Come 2 o'clock when I want him 20 min on the left and 10 on the right, he just nuzzles right up there and takes a snooze! So cute, yet so frustrating!
Maybe Im just crabby today because I was up last night with a screaming, fussy baby. I am sorry to report that I have learned the hard way - chocolate, red wine, and breastmilk dont mix. My baby had a sore stomach last night and I felt really guilty! But who could blame me? He was supposed to be asleep for 3 hours while I watched Dancing With The Stars and spent quality celebration time with Mr A!
This schedule stuff seemed a whole lot easier in the book...
We didnt let the hospital staff touch him any more than absolutely necessary, including bathing him, so when we got home Saturday afternoon he was still kind of a birthy mess. Here it is folks, the very first bath!
Its funny because he doesnt really do anything but I love taking pictures of him! I need to get a good shot with his eyes open, which apparently will have to be taken after midnight :(
Weve had a few visitors so far this weekend (including but not limited to my parents: Oma Jill pictured here) and we really appreciate all the love & support from everyone! Mahalos!
Alicia also commented while she was up there that I was about 2-3cm dilated and 75% effaced. Its progress!
AND, as if that wasnt enough to leave you waiting with baited breath, she said that my bag of waters was "bulging"! Cool! Its like a giant water balloon thats on the verge of bursting(probably because my super strong contracting uterus wont give it a moments rest...). We might be having a messy day at the gym tomorrow!
Then I went to acupuncture and turned that TENS machine up as high as it would go.
If nothing else, there has been noted progress today so I feel much better, thank you. Hopefully we will be having a birthday party in the near future. You are all invited.
This picture isnt even really that great of a shot of the baby but I think the colors are interesting and if I could just figure out how to use the picture editing software on this computer and crop that hand out of the shot - I would like it simply because of the aesthetics. For now, you just need to either use your imagination or cover the hand with your finger.
Midwife Beth suggested that I try some acupuncture to help encourage the cervical ripening. Mr A and I didnt even attend a single childbirth class because we cant afford it so the thought of something as extravagant as Chinese medicine seemed laughable. Beth directed me to Working Class Acupuncture in NE PDX, which provides acupuncture in a communal setting and on a sliding scale. Right on.
I think things like acupuncture or any kind of eastern/alternative medicine has taken on an air of pretension in our society. Its almost elitist. Even though these treatments can be extremely helpful, if not MORE helpful than what you would find in a hospital, the mentality now is almost like getting a massage or reiki or whatever for an ailment is an extravagance that should compliment western medical treatment, rather than replace it. Which is funny because these treatments come from humble, communal roots. I suppose the only reason they are seem as a medical delicacy is because they are "exotic" rather than "common/normal". One would think that a prescription medication is exotic because so much complexity goes into making it, whereas with an herb all you have to do is grow the darn thing! Alas, no.
Anyhow, I really dig the idea of Chinese medicine being affordable since its unlikely that it will EVER be covered by my insurance. I wish I could find some chiropractic network that uses a similar business model.
On Monday evening, Mr A and I go down to the place and Im filling out some paperwork and Mr A is totally into it - so much so that he wants some acupuncture himself. Hes been struggling with his knees lately (I suspect he will have to get them scoped if and when he ever gets some insurance). He had gotten acupuncture for his wrist in the past and loved it, but he fell victim to the age old conundrum of alternative medicine - you need to do it quite a bit before you see results but who the hell can afford to go that often?! This presents us both with an interesting opportunity and needless to say, I was very thankful to be doing it together so I wouldnt be nervous (Im an acupuncture newbie).
We go into the treatment room and its dim and warm. There is soft music playing and beautiful panels of fabric draped across the ceiling (I think the fabric was from IKEA actually - although it wasnt too busy). There are these big comfy recliners set up in groups of 4-5. Mr A and I sit next to each other and the acupuncturist comes over and gets to work on my honeyboy. When shes done with him, she covers him with a blanket and comes over to me. She asks me some questions about my pregnancy, although I wrote down most of my information in my chart already, and proceeds to puncture me. I got needles on the top of my head and in my third eye, on my hands, in my calves and feet, and in my shoulders. Its amazing that this tiny little hair thin needle, that doesnt even go into your skin very far, sends such a sensation throughout your whole body! It was such a crazy feeling.
We kicked back, closed our eyes and relaxed. We both fell asleep for maybe an hour to and hour and a half. I woke up and was just wide awake. Not groggy or anything. Just totally awake. It was refreshing. Wonderful. I was so energized. But, sadly, I did not go into labor last night.
Today I went back. They say for labor induction you should go three times in a row and then take a rest. So today was round 2. I went in the morning because Tuesday is my afternoon at the gym, walking and such. I was all excited to relax and take a little nap. I just bounced into that treatment room and made a beeline for my comfy chair. Then the dude comes up to me and says "oh no, I want you on a table. Follow me!" WHAT? No nap?! No chair?! What is this?!
I get escorted to a table in a room that is well-lit (albeit with natural sunlight, but still...) and no music playing. He tells me to lay on my side and arrange pillows however I find to be most comfortable. He proceeds to stick about a dozen needles all in my butt cleavage and lower back. He put two needles on either side of my lumbar region and I was feeling those, let me tell you! Yikes. He put a couple in my hand and one in my pinkie toe, top of the head and the third eye.
Im laying there on my side and he says to me "now Im going to hook you up to an electrode" and Im just laughing at this point because I feel like hes trying to jump start my uterus (which probably isnt too far from the truth). That electrode was no joke. My palms were sweating profusely. But it was fairly relaxing, I started to knock out for a spell.
Eventually he came back (30-40 minutes later) and I was done. When he was taking out the needles I got quite a shock from the ones near my spine. He commented that perhaps thats where the hold up is. Like, thats where the blockage for labor might be hiding. Its an encouraging thought!
Then I went to the gym and during a phone conversation with my mom she informed me that all the ladies down at Horizon House (old folks home where mom works) say that stair climbing is better for labor induction than treadmill walking. Who am I to argue with tried and true methods? So I got my ass on the stairmaster.
All the way home in the car Im like contracting and getting pains in my "da kine" (as my husband would say) and Im thinking "oh boy! this is it!". I get home and...NOTHING! Not a damn thing. Just sat there all night and watched The Biggest Loser and felt absolutely nothing else. Arrg. Its like my body is doing everything- EVERYTHING! - everything short of actually going into labor! Its so frustrating that its almost funny!
Otherwise, today we went to church and then headed to Sah-hah-lee golf course. Mr A golfed 9 holes with 3 guys from the Salvation Army and I walked along with them (again, trying to cajole baby out of the womb). Now we just finished watching the Seahawks v. Packers game. *whimper*
The other day we rented The Chinese Connection and Rambo: First Blood. I saw the latest Rambo movie (whats it called again? Rambo IV: Bloodfest in Asia?) but I had never seen the original. I was so shocked about Rambo that I had to call my dad half way through the movie just to make sure that I wasnt imagining the substance of the plot. I really liked it! Sylvester Stallone was not only intelligible, his big breakdown speech at the end was actually quite touching! How is it possible that this thoughtful and socially conscientious movie about the plight of returning Vietnam veterans precedes the senseless dribble that is the newest Rambo?!
I was sort of imagining something along the lines of Predator or the new Rambo - a movie that is guns and blood and is entertaining only to the extent that you force yourself not to think too much. One of those movies that is built loosely around a plot that might vaguely connect somehow to a general theme of our world today (genocide in SE Asia) but the plot doesnt come off as well researched or even plausible for the most part.
Oh no, First Blood is an entertaining movie that is worth every second I have spent analyzing it. John Rambo is a model of self-restraint, quiet anguish and ingenuity. I cant believe Ive never seen this movie!
I implore you, my dear friends and family, dont be fooled by the Rambo jokes! Dont be dismissive of Rambo just because hes been parodied on SNL more times than G.W.! Give Johnny Rambo a chance - hes a small yet important piece of American history, an iconic figure of our past, and a good way to kill an hour and a half on a weekend!
Keonis 32nd b-day was on Wednesday. We went to Green Papaya downtown (12th & Morrison) to celebrate at their "Island Night". Funny how "Island Night" meant some fruity drinks on the specials list and about 20 minutes of Island music - then it was just another club until 2am. Also disappointing was the lack of desserts at this Thai/Vietnamese eatery. Lychee with chocolate?! What the f**k? Sigh. I guess you cant have it all.
When I went to my insurance and printed out a list of the pediatricians in my area that were in-network (obviously thats going to be the biggest deciding factor), it was so frustrating! "Where do I even start?" How can you possibly know based on a long list of names who is going to be even sort of compatible with you and your kid? I looked at some of their profiles on websites and such, but most pediatricians make the same bland observations about their philosophy of childcare.
I wish that insurance companies provided a search engine that was more like Eharmony or some other comparable online dating service! Cant I just narrow it down like:
So the next best thing to shooting fish in a bucket is asking people we know who have the same general medical values we do. And thats just what I did. How crazy that they all pointed us to the exact same clinic! When I called the clinic last week they said that they werent accepting any new patients. TRAGIC! But, since they came so highly recommended by so many different people (and I didnt want to spend the next three weeks having the baby while simultaneously continuing this never-ending search for an acceptable care provider), I was really persistent and eventually I got a call back today that they would be willing to take us on!
I am pleased to introduce you to Ikas new doctor, Lucy Douglass, MD!
He is just not coming out. There is absolutely nothing else I can do to hasten the process. Im walking miles, drinking gallons of my tea & tincture, eating junk, sleeping recklessly, etc. He will come when he is good and ready.
I hope its soon. Like so many other women I have fallen prey to the last minute stretch marks. My mom and Granny both didnt get stretch marks but they both had their kids earlier than this. If I had given birth a week or so ago I could have avoided the same fate. There is really no way of telling how bad/noticeable they will be post-baby, but the mere fact that they exist is frustrating nonetheless. I have been trying to coat my torso daily with aloe vera juice. I heard somewhere that this can help with cell turnover. Only time will tell.
Mr A took my body composition today at the gym. The good news is that Im still clocking in under 160, which was my modified weight goal (and thats after my super indulgent weekend of pumpkin blizzard/ice cream rampage). The bad news is that Im at 32% body fat. At four months preggo I was 22%. Talk about a steep slide! Although Im not that upset about it for two reasons. One: women need higher body fat in order to breast feed. So this just means I will be making more of that spectacular milk for my sweet baby boy. Two: even with the higher body fat percentage I still registered with a body age that is 2 years younger than my chronological age. Of course, as I have said many times before, none of this really matters. The real test is what happens after he is born and Im back to being a normal human being rather than a baby receptacle.
Haha - why am I even writing all of this?! Its so trivial. I should be thinking of something a little more insightful to write about...
Did I mention that I successfully made and froze some meals? I made about 5 meatloaves, a teri-chicken dinner, a lasagna (SO big, too big for 2 people, I should have cut it into smaller pieces before I froze it), chicken taco soup and some marinara sauce. I definitely think that freezing smaller servings (like I froze the sauce into several butter containers instead of one big Tupperware) is the way to go. The hard part is not eating all of it before the actual baby gets here!
Sadly, that wasnt any more insightful.
I have been waiting patiently for Burgerville to figure this out and start offering some g'damn pumpkin fare. When its autumn, I want pumpkin everything. I want my bread, pancakes, milkshakes, soups, EVERYTHING to be pumpkin flavored. Its been autumn for almost two weeks now! Sure, I could just buy a stupid pumpkin and make it myself. But the bliss of being so pregnant in October was supposed to be the convenience of finding the delicious pumpkin flavor everywhere I turned!
If I dont get a pumpkin milkshake by the end of next week...something bad, people. Something really bad.
As of right now the boy is still on the inside, thus disproves that. Anyone else got suggestions?
Yesterday at the gym I was going on about how it would be cool to go into labor last night and deliver the baby shortly after midnight, that way I get my October baby without having to be pregnant for one second longer than necessary.
Valerie, Mr As client at the gym, said that her mother-in-law took her out for all kinds of junk food, burgers, pie, etc. and she went into labor shortly afterwards. Hey Valerie, I like your thinking!
So on the way home Mr A and I stopped by Burgerville and I got a smoothie and then we went to Papa Murphys and got the thin crust Herb Chicken pizza and I had a Hawaiian Host Caramac for dessert - YUMMY!
I dont know if it was the fact that I got the best of the worst (I mean, I could have gone full force and just gotten a milkshake at BV and a 5 meat stuffed pizza, effectively making my meal a saturated fat bomb) but I did NOT go into labor. Im starting to think that Valerie was just being a saboteur.
We had an appointment with midwife Beth on Friday. I wanted her to check on the progress of this baby since my mom and Granny have been demanding cold, hard facts over ambiguous statements such as "everything is going well".
Heres the news, dear loved ones:
I am (or I was as of Friday) dilated 2cm and about 50% effaced. Dont know what that means? Thats because it doesnt mean anything! Really, she could have told me that I was 8cm dilated and that still wouldnt be any indication of how much longer we have until he shows up. She also estimated that the baby is about 7.5lbs.
SEVEN AND A HALF POUNDS?! ALREADY?! Good lord, get this kid out of me!
The other thing Beth told me is that she would like me to be "a little softer" before labor starts.
I was devastated! Ive been totally blessed to have this great pregnancy so far with zero complications and everything; blood pressure, heart rate, glucose, measurement, weight gain, etc. has been right on track - "perfect" even. So dont I feel like the big whiner when she gives me one ounce of criticism and I feel crushed!
Its almost the same feeling as when I was in fifth grade taking these standardized tests and Im scoring in the 99 percentile of every category and then I get like an 87% in mathematical comprehension. Being as good or better than 87% of your peers is nothing to blow your nose at, but when you are expecting to excel in the 99% range, its so disappointing!
I was so sad to have fallen short in the cervical softening category! I was expecting her to tell me that I was ahead of schedule, that the baby would just fall out of me when I stood up, that I would have this perfect delivery because I was testing into the 99 percentile for my age group!
In reality (a place I frequent), its no big deal, I should just walk around more and do some other things I wont go into detail about here. In fact, I could probably have the baby just fine the way things are right now. But I want to have a perfectly soft cervix to go along with my perfectly measuring uterus and my perfect blood pressure!
Sadly, babies and baby making isnt like a standardized test. There is no standard. People just have babies and they have them in their own way. In the end, just getting the baby out should be accomplishment enough without the pressure of competition.
And all this esoteric mind jarble just because mom and Granny had to have that stupid measurement that doesnt mean anything!
We got to talking about heimat, a word that both Granny and Marianne quickly pointed out had no direct English translation but could be described as "the home of your heart".
...Now, which direction do I want to take this article? Should this be an article discussing the intrinsic beauty and elusive character of foreign language? Or should I go on to talk about how heimat relates to my life, especially my life on the brink?
Lets start with the family since this is, after all, the baby blog.
Granny told us yesterday about how her grandfather used to talk about Germany. She said that when he spoke of Germany it was "as if Germany were the most beautiful place on earth. That there was nowhere else in the world like it and there never would be." I felt proud hearing that. It feels good to know that I come from somewhere.
Instantly, I was struck by how similar that sounds to Mr A describing Hawaii. When Mr A tells me that Hawaii is his home, he is telling me that Hawaii is his heimat. I think my husband feels displaced. He knows that his body and his family belong there, he wants to live and die there. His very sense of self is connected to that land. I imagine its miserable being away from the home of your heart. I dont think I ever fully understood what he was saying about Hawaii until I heard Granny yesterday talking about my great-great grandfather and his rueful passion for Germany.
And on to a more theoretical discussion of language...
Granny and I both believe that this is the best part of foreign language, the poetic beauty of words that never quite translate. Because a language is a package. It comes with the history and the culture of the people who speak it. Its specifically adapted to their lives, their needs.
Granny posed the questions today "how could you encompass everything that heimat means?" You can describe it, but you can not possibly give a full explanation of that word, its concept, the feelings associated with it, all in one English word.
There are lots of words like that. Just take the word for foreigner and say it in Thai (faraang), Japanese (gaijin) and Hawaiian (haole). Unique concepts, associated with totally different feelings, but for some reason they are all technically translated back to the rather benign English word "foreigner". The point is, if we never study the language, if we never speak with people who speak the language and we just tog through an English-Whatever Dictionary, we lose so much of what these words really mean to the people who use them.
I truly cant even imagine what is printed next to heimat in the English-German Dictionary. But I know what it means to me, in my lexicon and in my life. I guess in that sense, if we can get to the heart of these words, if we can hold onto these concepts rather than worry about English equivalents, then we are not only learning how to describe things as someone else would, we are expanding our own understanding of our language, our culture, and our selves.
Mr A took me out to celebrate last night, since yesterday was the actual day of full termness. We ate shabu-shabu (my to-die-for favorite that I have eaten only one other time since returning from Japan) and then got ice cream (coconut mango rice ice cream- HELLO DELICIOUS!). Im still full. Being the superstar husband that he is, Mr A showered me with compliments all night long about how great Ive done with this pregnancy and how awesome this whole experience has been, etc. Fantastic!
Speaking of Japan, we played hime-sama with Ava yesterday and I just wanted you to appreciate what a terrible job I did tying this obi! Could we call this the hanabi knot since it looks like it just exploded all over this poor child? Truly being Mr As daughter, we got her in the kimono, she pranced around and took a couple pics, then picked up the escrima stick, looked her dad straight in the eye, and said in a low challenging voice "common, lets fight!" It was Mortal Combat right there in my living room!
On the physical front, I walked on the treadmill yesterday for about an hour and a half, although I dont think I walked quite 2 miles - I was going really slowly. The strange part was that afterwards and for the rest of the night I felt as if I had been horseback riding for 6 hours straight! It wasnt exactly a "I pulled my groin muscle" feeling, but more like riding horse or bicycle when you arent used to it type feeling. I dont know what "lightening" or "dropping" is supposed to feel like but Im going to assume that is it.
I was reading People magazine (the journal of modern American consumerism) and I came across this blurb about Tori Spelling being pregnant with her second kid complete with pictures of her lounging poolside in a bikini, ethereally holding her belly and gazing into space like she was hopped up on morphine. In this article she talks about how wonderful being pregnant is (and I agree with that so no hard feelings there) but then she goes off about how with her first kid she gained *gasp* 30ish pounds but now this time she got her shit together, shes only gained 25 lbs and it all went to her "big beautiful belly" (or something equally asinine).
God I could have just screamed! Im not stupid enough to buy into the things they are selling me in People - but some women are. I am the peoples pregnancy champion! I should fight for those who dont yet understand that they should fight for themselves. GAINING ALL YOUR PREGNANCY WEIGHT IN YOUR BELLY IS BIOLOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE! Tori Spelling, whether she meant to be or not, is a damned liar! We all saw the pictures of her first pregnancy! Weve seen the ones from this one! She gained weight from her eyeballs to her ankles!
And, frankly, theres nothing wrong with that, if thats how her body is going to do it. I guess thats why the article got me so steamed. We have pregnant women running around now who are scared of "doing it wrong" because Tori Spelling, who has the luxury of being able to have any questionable evidence airbrushed, is telling us that the impossible is, in fact, possible.
When did we as a culture become so fascinated with negotiating other peoples method of bearing children? Its not even the pregnancy or the reverence for life or the empowerment of birth that we are so desperate to consume. If those were the issues at stake here I would be excited to be writing this. We as a culture are fascinated with picking women apart. judging their choices, counting down their days to weight loss and approving (begrudgingly) of only the most outlandishly perfect deliveries.
So now that its vogue to hold "the media" responsible for all of our societal problems - where does that leave a woman who just wants to have a "normal" pregnancy? Does she do what feels right for her? Does she carefully calculate her every move, trying to gain those 25 lbs in her belly and anything that strays to her upper arms must be chalked up to her own pathetic lack of self control? Should she go the other way, tossing her hands in the air saying "fuck it" and just do whatever her heart desires?
I pitch my tent in Camp Everything In Moderation.
Subsequently, I park my RV in Camp Eff You Tori Spelling.
1Tbs Shaklee Baby Shampoo
1/2Tbs Sweet Almond Oil
2 drops Tea Tree Oil
Feel the soothing relief!
Heres a muesli recipe that I mixed up today. This is amazingly filling for a early morning breakfast. Its from a raw cookbook but I like it best because its faster than cooking oatmeal.
4C rolled oats
1/2C chopped nuts (I used almonds and walnuts)
1/4C sunflower seeds
1/4C raw cane sugar
Put it all together in a can or whatever and MIX! I like it with frozen blueberries and milk but its equally good with just milk. I would recommend letting it sit on the table while you shower or something just to soften the oats up a little bit.
I also finally, after a week of being put on the to-do list, finished the crib bumper! Picture coming soon!