Saturday, June 28, 2008

As Heard in Target

In the women's dress section: "When, when, when, when, I become a woooman, I'm gonna have a peeeriod."

Yes. Others heard it too. OY!

Friday, June 27, 2008

School Stuff

I'm in a period of research and decision as I try to figure out what in the world I'm going to do with Frannie and school. I still don't know if I want to send her to traditional kindergarden or do the homeschooling thing. I think it is going to take me a long time to really figure this out, and even after I make my decision, I'm sure I'll still feel somewhat unsure of myself ("Did I make the right decision?") So, for the time being, I'm trying some new things. The above picture is a macaroni letter poster that she made and some "letter search" worksheets I made for her. She is now a confirmed lefty so she's finally getting better at holding a marker and making circles and things. She is learning the letters of the alphabet but does not yet understand that putting the letters together is what forms words. She thinks the letter is a word. Or rather, she thinks the letter represents many words. "M is for Mom! and Mickey Mouse!" so whenever she sees the letter M she thinks it says Mom or Mickey Mouse. She'll figure it out in time. So far she recognizes A, B, C, F, H, I, J, M, N, O, P, R, S, V, W, Y. Just uppercase mostly. I have also stepped up the reading-aloud. I have a "date" with the library on Wednesdays and instead of only visiting the movie section, hey! might as well check out them neat books too! I never really know what to get since there are so many, so I've taken to clearing out the display books.

As for me, I'm currently reading a homeschooling book called The Well-Trained Mind It is a book about classical education and it is appealing to me because the whole reason I started considering homeschooling in the first place is because I simply want my children to get a good education. This book is all about how to structure a good classical education. As I read more, I'll figure out what that really means (I'm only on pg 14 so far).

This is slightly off-topic but one of the things the author of The Well-Trained Mind talks about right off is that this style of classical education called "the trivium" is how school-systems used to teach. My father once showed me an 8th grade test taken by my great-grandmother Verneize. She only had formal-schooling to the eighth grade and was apparently embarrased by that. She, like my great grandfather, was from a poor farming family in Oklahoma. (Dad, help me if I don't have my facts straight.) Anyways, I saw this test (mind you I was 19 years old) and could barely answer any of the questions. It was HARD! There were so many grammer questions I had no clue about. There were poetry questions that just flew over my head. I could only easily do the math. It was humbling, to say the least, to see that she was clearly better-educated as an eighth grader than I was as a new college student. So some of my motivation to consider homeschooling, and a classical education, comes from that experience many years ago.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Literary Meme

Note: I don't really know what a meme is. I just keep seeing the word so now I'm using it. Anyways, friend Lauren has a blog and I'm using her idea!

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people and acknowledge who tagged you.

From The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet:

"Then on holy days, when people come from all over the country to hear the services in the cathedral, we gather farthings galore."

It seems to me we might man the bridge on holy days only, and give you a fire out of the proceeds," said Philip.

Paul looked anxious.

Well I can't say those sentences were magical but I will say the book is very good. I'm finshing it tonight (hopefully).

The Police Officer

I've decided that when God formed me in the womb, he gave me the heart of a Police Officer. Everywhere I go, since I was a child, I have some need to right the wrongs of this world. My latest example is me yelling at some woman at the wading pool two days ago because she was letting the baby she was watching (about 15 months old) practically drown in a foot and a half of water. She's over under a tree yaking away while this baby keeps losing her balance and going underwater. Kids are pulling her up, other moms are pulling her up, and time and time again this woman is just oblivious. Anyways, I just couldn't take it anymore and picked the baby up and hoisted her out of the pool and gave her to the woman and told her she needed to watch better because the baby keeps falling. Yes some testy words were exchanged, but by then I didn't care because I was all hopped up from watching this baby flail in the water for the last 10 minutes. (I did go home and write a letter to the City of Claremont about their "staff" that monitors the pool as well.)

It seems I'm always finding myself in some situation where I'm writing letters and the like. I guess I just can't ignore stuff. Some might call that bad, others might call it good. I've always been this way, so I figure I might as well just run with it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Various June Pics

Ok. Let me do a rundown of what we've got here. We have Fran w/ her gpa Tom in the hotel room in Santa Barbara. That's my friend Nataki w/ her baby sleeping dumpling Naomi. Then there are several from JJ's party. I think the pic w/ Annie is a classic. Then we've got several from cousin Eleni's graduation in Santa Barbara.

We've had a fairly busy month!

Yesterday was Dad's birthday and of course Bryan's was the day before that. We went to Vince's Spaghetti House for dinner w/ Dad, Bryan, Stephanie, Mom, and us. Father's Day was last Sunday. Now this weekend Jason is going on a business trip. July is fast approaching and I can't believe it. The big news for July (so far anyways) is that I've signed Frannie up for ballet and she starts on the 7th. I know she is going to L-O-V-E it, and I will too since this is the beginning of my master-plan to turn my children into dancers WHA ha ha ha ha!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Heavy Heart

A friend's baby is in NICU and not doing too well. It is unknown what the baby's condition will be, but there is likely damage that will not result in complete healing.

Her baby has been on my mind for the past few days. I think about her, and her husband. They have two girls, and this was their first son. I can't imagine.

I have been holding my children a little tighter since this happened. I am so grateful for my children.

My father has a saying that I always remember when I'm discouraged about something in my life. He says "Well if this is the worst thing that ever happens to you, then consider yourself lucky." It is times like this, when something REALLY BAD happens to someone that I nod to myself that yes, this is so true. The small annoyances of life are really nothing. They are problems of luxury.

This baby and her family are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. Please keep them in yours. His name is River.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Favorite sayings- Mom I'm so sirsty
Look! We're matchy matchy now!
NO! JJ! Get awaaaay! Mom! He's boddering me!
Favorite book- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Favorite tv show- Super Y
Favorite thing to wear- Snow White dress (Mom? Can I wear my big girly girl dress?)
Favorite shoes- "sparklies" and Snow White high heels
Favorite thing to do- play with her "freends" "go somewhere"
Favorite food- cheese and pretzels
Favorite drink- orange juice
Favorite place to play- in the garage w/ the garage door opened


Favorite sayings- general babbling. DAH! AAAAH! Dguh Dguh Dguh! Maaaa! (this is me)Did did did did! (this is Dad) High pitched squeal (this is the cat)
Favorite book- whatever Frannie is reading. He hates being left out. He wants to steal the book.
Favorite thing to wear- nothing. Being naked is so much more fun! We all know that. He recently discovered his "friend for life" and how to take his diaper off.
Favorite shoes- right now he wears these little blue Nike sandals and his soft soled brown slipper-shoes.
Favorite thing to do- play with sister. Eat things in the backyard. Walk all over.
Favorite food- cheese
Favorite drink- milk
Favorite place to play- in the garage w/ Frannie

I'm up

It's 3:10 am and I'm on the computer because a certain someone wakes up at night and tonight I couldn't fall asleep afterward. Now I'm reaaaally tired which is good so hopefully I'll fall asleep quickly.

(See how he mocks me?)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What I wish people understood about natural birth

I very rarely tell people my birth stories. I almost never mention how Adam was born. Why? I hate getting "crazy eyes". I know I'm not crazy though. I think I'm the normal one. Anyways, because I don't like getting "crazy eyes" or the flabbergasted "oh I'd NEVER do that!" in reference to birth w/o drugs, I thought I'd take my little space on the web to say what I never seem to have the words to say in person.

1- The pain of natural childbirth doesn't take anything away from your life. It adds to your life. Just like very hard exercise, while you are doing it you want to be done. You will sweat, and struggle, and maybe even groan or scream w/ frustration. But when it's over, even though you are exhausted, you feel amazing. You DID it.

2. The whole thing isn't painful. Mostly right before pushing. And you get breaks. I think people think you are in one continuous wave of agony for hours and hours. Many parts of labor/birth feel good.

3. Birth is a lot easier at home. No needles, no rude people (not that they're all rude it's just that there are no other people to contend with), no schedules, no beeping noises. You eat, drink, move, however you want. When you are birthing in these conditions you aren't doing the things that tend to cause problems. It is safer for mom and safer for baby this way. (At least in my view. I'm sure someone could argue with me about this.)

4. When things go wrong in birth it usually isn't the woman's fault. Drugs, interventions, interruptions, a staff who doesn't want to wait, a staff who doesn't believe in a woman's ability to birth, and bad prenatal care are usually at fault. I get sad when women blame themselves for a disappointing birth rather than pointing the finger at the intervention or drug or lack of proper prenatal counseling (on nutrition, optimal fetal positioning etc..) that caused the problem. It seems many cling even harder to medical management rather than abandoning the source of the problem.

I hope one day "medical birth" will get crazy eyes, and not normal birth!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Adam's Birth Story

In honor of my sweet boy's birthday tomorrow, I am posting the birth story I wrote to an online forum called GCM (Gentle Christian Mothers). This day and memory continues to be a source of joy.
"I was planning a homebirth (had one for my dd too) but not planning an unassisted childbirth. But you know what? It was really awesome. And you know what is even better? My husband is a true stud rock-star. He was so wonderfully great through the whole thing.

Basically to make it short, I didn't even really KNOW I was in labor until 1pm when I finally lost my mucous plug and things started getting more serious. I had been having contractions since 6 am but they were always 5 mins or more apart and not very painful at all. I did housework all day. I did several loads of laundry, put dinner in the crockpot, scrubbed my bathroom, vaccummed, all that stuff. But I still wasn't positive it was real labor because I hadn't lost the mucous plug and the contractions didn't seem to be getting closer together. Anyways, I did call my husband to come home from work at noon because although I wasn't sure I was in real labor, I did know that we would probably have a baby in the next day or so and I wanted him home to help take care of our daughter. At 1 pm when I did lose my mucous plug I thought I had hours of labor ahead of me. We called the midwife to give her a heads up. But my labor kept getting harder and harder really fast. I started getting incredibly irritated and snapped at my husband to GET OUT of the bedroom. Thinking from this side of things I should have known I was in hard active labor and entering transition, but when it's YOU and you're in the middle of it all, it is really hard to believe that things could be progressing so fast. The contractions started getting more and more intense and I was having to breathe deeply and concentrate to get through them. I kept pacing around my bedroom like a distracted animal. I swear it hurt more lying down. It was better to just walk walk walk the same path around my bedroom and then stop and do this toe-to-toe heel grind dance through contractions.

Anyways, after I bit my husband's head off to GET OUT of the bedroom I just started crying and sobbing. I was emotional, in pain. I decided to get into the shower to feel better. The contractions were getting so hard. I started crying out during the contractions. This primal high-pitched howl that reverberated against the shower walls.. And there it was. That moment when you feel during a contraction to just relax and bulge your kegel out. Part of you wants to hold it in because you don't WANT the pain to get worse. But it's like you know, you have to do this. You must go forward. So I bulge my kegel out and there it is...the grunting. And it hurts so bad. I'm in transition and I'm grunting at the same time and I suddenly know I'm going to be having this baby soon.

I yell to Jason from the shower to "Call LORI!!" He calls her to come, but doesn't yet know how serious things are. I get out of the shower and dry off and walk back into the bedroom. I'm still crying and I head over to brace myself against our dresser when another contraction comes. And it really hurts. I scream out during because I just have to. I have to let it out somehow. I moan out "Jason I'm pushing...the baby is coming!" And he hears me grunt through a contraction and then he knows. This is real. This baby is coming. I tell him he needs to catch the baby. So he throws down towels and chux pads onto the floor and puts a pillow in between my feet. He asks if I can kneel down or move to the bed and I tell him no I can't. And it comes again. That contraction that makes you understand why women get epidurals. And then I start talking to God asking in whisper "What is happening to me?"

My Jason, though was amazing. Right when I needed to hear it he says to me so calmly "You're fine. You're fine. You're having a baby sweetheart. You've done this before." With my world turning inside out, my man was there for me. My calm strong comfort. Letting me know it was ok. And his words did ease my pain a little bit. It made me less afraid of all that I was feeling. It was happening so fast. And then a contraction comes again and this time when I push through it, the pushing feels good. I know the baby is moving down. I feel my skin start to stretch. I don't want to tear, so I endure the stretching. I push some more and I can feel this baby's head pushing through the center of my thighs. That BIG stretch between my legs, a pop of water...and the head is out. I can hear my husband crying with excitement telling me the head is out. I ask him to feel around the neck for a cord and he says nothing is there.

This whole time I was not afraid for the baby's health. I have always heard that fast babies tend to be very healthy. I knew once he told me there was no cord, that my baby would be born alive and healthy w/ no problems. During that time when the head was out Jason says he saw the baby's eyes were closed but the mouth would open. He thought I should hurry up and push "eh...honey? Can you push him out?", but I knew it was ok, and I knew to wait for the contraction. When the next contraction came I pushed the rest of his body out into Jason's hands. It was a little more than 20 minutes since I had told him to call the midwife. Less than 2 hours after I lost the mucous plug.

We learned in that moment that we'd had a son. Something we'd waited to know. My legs were shaking. I was still standing up with the baby born behind me. Glad this big part was over. Adam cried the moment he came out. I could hear that he was healthy. Jason was crying. I was too tired to cry.

The baby stayed behind me for a bit as I gathered myself. We had to shuffle over to the bed and do this uncomfortable twister move to get the baby to the front of me so I could see him. THAT'S when I cried. When I could see him. I was kind of worried about the placenta so I tried putting the baby to breast, but I soon started to feel another contraction and I was relieved when the placenta plopped out. I knew it was over and we were ok.

5 mins later Lori arrived, probably ready for a mother in active labor. She was NOT expecting the whole thing to be over already!

Ok, so I said this would be a short story, but I guess I lied!!!

All in all, this birth was more painful than the first, but my recovery has been shockingly easy. And my husband and I just have this deeper love. It was like that with our first birth too.

Thanks for all the support you've given me during this pregnancy!


Happy Birthday my sweet baby boy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Kids

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Goin' to church

Well Jason and I (and the kids of course) are back to going to our old San Dimas UCC church. We've been to a lot of different churches over the past two months or so. It seems we keep going to different ones and there is always something that isn't right.

1. Pilgrim Congregational- Jason says it's too dark in there. Francesca is pretty much the only child. I liked the service a lot. I felt it was reverent and I like singing the hymns. Francesca agrees it's too dark. She calls it "the scary one".

2. Faith Lutheran- I like it because my friend Jamie goes there and I like the other church members and I love pastor Berkedal. I pretty much hate the service though. Too contemporary. I just can't get past electric guitars and the vibe of bibletainment. Jason doesn't like it because Francesca escaped out of the Sunday school class and was wandering outside of the church all by herself. He was very angry about that.

3. Hope Lutheran- Jason and I both like it because our friends Nataki and Jason go there. It is always nice to have a friend to go to church with and sit with. Also they have their girls Miriam and Naomi for Frannie and Adam to play with. Once again though, I have a problem with the service. It feels very disconnected. There are so many page-turnings in the book that it just gets lost on me. Also, there is something very somber about the church. I don't feel a "heart" to the place. I'm not sure why.

In addition to these three I've been to: Glendora Friends Church, Our Lady of the Assumption, Good Shepherd, United Methodist in San Dimas, CCV, First Baptist, Christ Church Scientist, Holy Name of Mary, and I think that's it. Maybe I'm missing one...

So after all of this we're back at San Dimas Community United Church of Christ. This is the very first church we ever went to years and years ago before we were even married, back when Rev. Rex was the interim pastor. Jason just picked the church out of the clear blue sky and the people were so friendly to us, that that's where we went. There are various reasons why we always leave and then come back again. This time around the reason we're back is because Jason wanted to try it one more time. We'd spent several weeks trying other ones and it had been over a year since we'd been to the UCC. I was a bit sheepish seeing everyone since I left while still pregnant and of course Adam is coming up on his first birthday. But they were so happy to see us and it was like visiting relatives. My friend Lorelei goes there now and she's a principle singer in the choir. I love hearing her sing. There are a lot more children at this church too. Francesca loves playing with Lorelei's kids Clara and Sethy, and I like seeing my friend every week! Being that we've been going there off and on for the last 10 years, and each time we leave we find ourselves back there, I guess this is just where we're supposed to be.