Thursday, June 30, 2005
I went downstairs with Elijah. When I reached the living room, I heard this little voice "hi!". Andrew was crouched by the couch -- no idea why he was crouched, but aparently he'd decided that waking Joy was like trying to wake the dead, and for some reason didn't come to me (like he always does), but instead went downstairs to amuse himself. Thankfully, I couldn't find any trouble he might have gotten himself into, so I think that he just was down here talking. (!) Starting that night though, we began putting up the baby gate at the top of the stairs when we went to bed.
Also that day, Elijah was lying on his tummy crying, and then rolled right over! That's early, I think, and it was kind of startling!
In other news, yesterday, in a moment of desparation to quell a rising fit, Joy gave Andrew her cherry chapstick, which he promptly ate. The photo above shows the little fellow in action. Greg claimed to be grossed out, but it seems to me that Greg may have done something just like that when little...(or maybe older?) =0
Monday, June 27, 2005
Some people have been wondering how we plan to pronounce Elijah's name. To clear things up:
The "E" is pronounced like the "I" in "it", and the "J" is pronounced like the soft "j" in "Ja-ja Gabor" (not sure if I spelled that name right). If you're still confused, try saying "shhhh", and then adding "voice" to it, and there! You just said a soft J! (This is similar to saying "ssssss" and adding voice to it to make a "z" sound.)
-Psyopus / The Red Death / Trivium: Mar, Binghamton, NY: Pretty much everyone needs to witness Psyopus live or recorded. The musicianship of guitarist, Christopher Arp, and drummer, Lee Fisher (formerly of Commit Suicide), is nearly without compare in the metal world. They are both extremely talented musicians. All the other bands that everning sucked.
-Ed Gein / Circle Takes the Square / From a Second Story Window: April 10th, Syracuse, NY: I don't like CTTS, but FASSW, and EG are always good.
-Monster Jam—Monster Truck Competition: June 4th, Syracuse, NY: This was Andrew's first monster truck rally. We met my Dad and Keith there, and got really good seats. Andrew wasn't sure what to think at first, because the trucks are absolutely deafening. They also had motocross racing, and small truck racing in between the monster truck runs. One of the small truck racers was from Little Meadows, and Dad said that he knew who he was. I can't remember his name. Andrew's favorite monster truck, Grave Digger was there, as well as Maximum Destruction, Bounty Hunter and a lot of other big names. Sometime I'll have to take he and Elijah to the world finals in Las Vegas.
-Blindside / Showbread / The Showdown / Symphony In Peril: June 25th, Syracuse, NY: Although I didn't really like The Showdown, it was funny to hear them talk. Not because I'm not used to hearing southern accents. I spent four years of college in North Carolina, and two-and-a-half of those were with a South Carolina room mate, with one of the thickest accents ever. It was just funny to see the reactions of all the upstate New York, hardcore kids when vocalist, Davey Bunton asked, in his thick drawl, if anyone there had never tasted sweet tea before. Probably half the people in the place raised their hands. He went on to explain that this was his first time ever in New York State, and that he already missed the heat and the food, south of the Mason Dixon (As an interesting tangent, I have actually driven down Mason Dixon road. That experience is right up there with driving down Sleater-Kinney road, in Olympia, WA, home of the band Sleater-Kinney, and driving through Bremerton, WA, home of the band MxPx). Showbread was great, as usual, and Blindside was also very good. It was nice to see them play a club, rather than the much larger crowds that I'm sure they get at the festivals.
So anyway, thank's for reading all of this. Not a lot of people care about this stuff, but it's what I like to do.
Andy Hunter: Life
Stitchie: Kingdom Ambassador
Pedro the Lion: Achilles Heel
The Aquabats: Charge!!!
Norma Jean: O’God the Aftermath
Woven Hand: Consider the Birds
Underoath: Cries of the Past
Waheed Qassemi: Vol 6.
Plumb: Candy Coated Water Drops
Mexico and Mariachis
Good call on the new Aquabats CD, Elijah, "look at you, you're a winner!"
Friday, June 24, 2005
Here's why..... The Americans, who support our troops, are the silent majority. They are not "organized" to reflect who they are, or to reflect what their opinions are.
Many Americans, like yourself, and their friends, simply want to recognize that Americans support our troops. The idea of showing Americans solidarity and support for our troops is starting Friday and continuing on each and every Friday, until this is over, that every red -blooded American who supports our young men and women, WEAR SOMETHING RED.
Word of mouth, press, TV -- let's see if we all can make the United States, on any given Friday, a sea of red much like a home football game at a University. If every one of who supports our American Troops share this with other acquaintances, fellow workers, friends, and neighbors, One can guarantee, that it will not be long before the USA will be covered in RED - and make our American Troops know there are many people thinking of their well-being.
You will feel better all day Friday when you wear Red! So let all Americans get the word out and lead by example; wear RED on Fridays
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS! WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE, BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE. FOR US, THEIR BLOOD RUNS RED!! GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
..you can unpack a house and have everything in place in 48 hours
..you string concertina wire to keep the neighbor's kids out of your
..your husband's work and dress clothes cost more than yours do
..you've changed more oil and mowed more lawns than your husband
because he's never there to do it himself
..your children say "hooah" or "roger that" instead of "ok"
..your husband does a route recon and takes a GPS for a trip to the
..you only write in pencil because EVERYTHING is subject to change
..you need a translator to talk to your civilian friends, only!
because they have no idea what DFAS,AER, TDY, ACS, NPD, PCS, and ETS
..you have a larger selection of curtains than Wal-Mart does
..you can remember where you kept the Scotch tape in your last
house, but unfortunately, not in this one
..you mark time in duty stations, not years
..you refer to friends not only by name but by the state that they
..you know that "back home" doesn't mean at the house you live in now
..you tear up when you hear "Proud to Be An American," even though
you've heard it 50 times by now
..you know that a 2 month separation IS short, no matter what your
civilian friends say
..you ALWAYS know when payday is and get ticked off if there are
more than 2 weekends during that pay period
..you know better than to go to the PX or commissary between 11:30
and 1:30 unless it's a life or death emergency
..you show your military ID to the greeter at Wal-Mart
..you know that any reference to "sand" or a "box" describes NTC at
Ft. Irwin, not your kid's backyard toys
..you find yourself explaining your husband's LES to him
..you have enough camouflage in your house to wallpaper the White
..you don't have to think about what time 21:30 is
..you've ever been referred to as "Household 6"
..you start ripping open MREs and looking for the M&Ms when you run
out of Halloween candy
..you can't remember the last time you saw a doctor who wasn't
..you've ever had a pet named Scout, Ranger or Sergeant
..the local dry cleaner knows you by your first name
..it only cost you $25 to have a child
..you find that a large number of your clothes and household items
are olive drab or loam, even though you never planned it that way
..you pick apart uniforms on TV and in the movies, even though you
used to yell at! your husband for doing the same thing
..you know what "pogey bait" is and which kinds everyone in your
husband's platoon prefers
..you wish you could go to CIF to DX your old stuff like your
..you've learned to sleep through the sounds of tanks, planes,
helicopters and artillery simulators
.you give your kids a hand receipt when they take your Tupperware to
..you can hate military life but be terrified to leave it all in the
..you defend your lifestyle no matter how bad things get because you
know there's no other life for you!
Part way through picking, Elijah got jealous that everyone else was eating, so I sat down right in the middle of the strawberry field to nurse him. First time nursing him in the baby sling, but it worked out quite well, and he was a happy camper.
For those of you who have never gone berry picking before, I urge you to try it. The extra work of picking totally pays off in the end because you have perfect, sun-ripened produce to bring home rather than whitish, tart, perhaps somewhat bruised fruit you can buy at the store.
We had to stop and get some heavy cream on the way home -- strawberry shortcake tonight!!
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Since Elijah was born exactly two weeks ago, Grace has stayed with us here and has helped me immeasurably with the little guys. She has taken it upon herself to do housework without being told what to do, cooked, and has pretty much run the household for me while I've rested and gathered strength after the marathon of labor. I cannot thank her enough; she has been a true lifesaver, as well as a great companion to me each day.
Today Hannah drove up with my mom and Joy, Christopher, Joel and Rachel to pick up Grace and drop off Joy. Joy will be with us for the next week-and-a-half (until the 4th of July weekend). As Greg said yesterday "Grace has pretty much kicked butt the past two weeks, so Joy has pretty big shoes to fill." quite high praise from someone like him. In the few hours since the "nanny swap", Joy has been proving herself to be up for the challenge. Go Joy!
Thank God for little sisters.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
"It's just weird to think that there are people who rely on boobs to survive", Grace said to me the other day. It is a weird thought if you consider it like that. Elijah, of course, doesn't think it's weird. Andrew thinks it's fascinating, and wonders if he can do it too. Greg's guys at work think it's a little embarrassing (well, especially when they come striding over to see the baby and nearly lift the blanket to "watch him sleep") But really, tiny people all over the globe are relying on breasts to keep them alive. Hmmm.
To read up more on this amazing topic, check out the book that inspired this post, Fresh Milk: The Secret Life Of Breasts by Fiona Giles for unusual real-life accounts, surveys, and even recipes. (Yes, I said recipes. Are you afraid to eat at my house?) =)
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Sunday, June 12, 2005
For the next 24 hours, Andrew didn't really even want look at me. I made it a point to hand Elijah off to someone else whenever I would come downstairs from a nap or something, or anytime Andrew would come into the room. Also, I kept pointing out that this was Andrew's Baby. Eventually, he decided to break the "Mommy-fast", came running over to me shouting "MOMMY!", and hugged me for a long time, even bestowing a kiss.
Since then, he has gotten used to the idea of having a baby around, and seems to be settling in to the role of Big Brother. Yesterday Andrew introduced Elijah to his monster truck collection, and today he showed him a ball. Also, he's asked to hold him a few times now, and is very gentle and tender, which relieves me to no end.
A note of (possible) interest to some: Elijah's umbilical cord stump fell off today, on day 4. This is very early -- usually it happens in 10-14 days. The reason (for those still interested enough to still be reading) is that we had him hooked up to the placenta for about an hour or so after his birth, and then some powdered Golden Seal (a healing, drying herb) was sprinkled on it several times at diaper changes. I'm so glad that I don't have to diaper around it anymore. Also, it's kind of gross, and you have to be so careful that you're not tugging on it while you're waiting for it to fall off, so I'm glad that's all done. =)
Saturday, June 11, 2005
All in all, I must say, I am overjoyed to have Elijah. God gave our family the perfect gift when he chose to bless us with this new little guy. And now Greg and I get the challenge, the opportunity, the thrill, of raising two men! What a privilege, and what an awesome responsibility -- one we do not take lightly. Every day I ask God to make me the very best mother I can be to my children. I know that it's going to be very hard at times, and I may wonder in those moments, on those days, if I can possibly make it through. I know, however, that God has a vested interest in our success. These little guys belong to Him first, and He will ensure that we not only "make it", but that we excel in this career of parenting.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Frank is still firmly in the tank. As suggested by Sarah Kil, I had a long serious talk with Frank yesterday, but the general sentiment seems to be that the womb is the very greatest place to be.
Now, although I feel that I'll probably be pregnant forever, I must point out that babies DO come out. This fact is somewhat muddied by the fact that doctors often insist on inducing labor, but to what end?
I have one friend who went into the hospital, seemingly in labor on her due date, but then everything stopped, so they sent her home. Two weeks later, since there seemed to be no sign of things resuming, the doctor induced her, and about a day later of NOTHING (except the terrible pain of pitocin induced contractions), they had to perform an emergency C-section due to the stress the baby and mom were in.
Hannah (my sister) was just telling me about her friend, who had supposedly been in labor for two weeks, and the doctors finally induced her. She didn't deliver for 36 HOURS (this happened just two weeks ago). As it turns out, the girl wasn't in "true" labor at all in those two weeks, it was just the stop start crampy contractions that happen before the "real thing" starts. [I had similar experiences with pre-labor contractions during the same week, as did many other pregnant women I know in the area, which seems to be due to the full moon, which has a known effect on women's hormonal pull. My midwife had me take Epsom salt baths and also take the herb Valerian before bed (an herbal sleep aid), and I was able to sleep again.]
All of this inducing and such may sound hum-drum to you, and run-0f-the-mill stories that you've heard a million times, but let me tell you: this is not normal. If the life of the mother and/or baby is actually in danger, then there can be reason to induce. However, pitocin really sucks, doesn't always work, and there are much gentler, effective ways to bring on labor, some herbal, etc.
In the situations I described, the women's bodies were obviously not ready to give birth yet, and all the doctors were doing was getting in the way of the natural progression of things. Many times if labor is induced, the baby has certain problems, often respiratory, since the lungs are last to develop. Instead of causing multiple health problems for mother and baby, I strongly believe it's best to let the body go into labor naturally, no matter how long that may take. (Once again, to clarify, if the mother's or child's life is TRUELY in danger, than inducing may be the only option -- but that's a different story.)
Now, I don't want to go two weeks overdue. I don't want to be pregnant one more day. However, I am willing to let my body and the baby prepare fully for the huge undertaking of Labor. Who would run a marathon without first completing their training? Or if they do not train fully, expect to finish well? I want my baby to be sound and healthy, and I want my body to be completely prepared in every way. Labor is bad enough without adding impatience to wreak possible havoc on both my and my baby's health.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Christafari: Gravitational Dub
Rackets and Drapes: Love Letters From Hell
Tribe: Message to the Masses 1992-2004
Shaz Sparks: Shaz Sparks
Andy Hunter: Exodus
The Red Chord: Clients
Admonish: Den Yttersta Tiden
Death List: Severed
Sarah Masen: The Dreamlife of Angels
Days of the New: Red Album
"Things I've learned from my Children (honest & no kidding):"
1. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 3 bedroom house about 4 inches deep.
2. If you spray hair spray on a nylon duster and then run over it with roller skates / blades, they can ignite.
3. A 3-year olds voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a large room.
5. You should not throw balls up when the ceiling fan is on, using the ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can then hit a ball a long way.
6. The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a ball hit by a ceiling fan.
7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh," it's already too late.
8. Brake fluid mixed with Bleach makes smoke, and lots of it.
9. A six-year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.
10. Certain bits of Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old.
11. Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
12. Super glue is forever.
13. No matter how many Jelly crystals you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water. 14. Pool filters do not like Jelly.
15. VCR's do not eject toasted sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
17. Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving and very expensive to remove.
18. You probably do not want to know what that smell really is.
19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on. Plastic toys do not like ovens.
20. The average response time for the fire brigade is about 20 minutes.
21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.
23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
24. The mind of a 6-year old is a wonderful and amazing thing.
25. 60% of men who read this will try mixing the bleach and brake fluid
SIGNS OF MENOPAUSE
1. You sell your home heating system at a yard sale.
2. Your husband jokes that instead of buying a wood stove, he is using you to heat the family room this winter. Rather than just saying you're not amused, you shoot him.
3. You have to write post-it notes with your kids' names on them.
4. The Phenobarbital dose that wiped out the Heaven's Gate Cult gives you four hours of decent rest.
5. You change your underwear after every sneeze.
For those wondering:
My belly is still growing, baby is still active and sqirming, contractions are getting harder, no end in sight.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Depending on the person (and what shape my hormones are in that day), I find myself occasionally saying "a baby, more than likely". However, if I choose to be polite (which is a choice that I'm afraid I don't always make), I respond with "We're waiting until the baby's born. I love surprises." The reaction from the younger women are almost always "are you kidding? You're not going to find out?! I HATE that!!", and from the older women, they look at me in surprise, then say, "Good for you! I never found out with my children either. That's the way it should be." I suppose that makes me old fashioned, but proudly so. The reason Greg is shocked at these reactions, is that
1) he feels that it takes a lot of balls to ask a question like that
2) what business do strangers have in our business anyway?
3) he can't understand why anyone would want to "find out" in the first place
Of course, I'm used to it, so I don't think any of those things, but I like to tell Greg about it because of his reaction. =)
The interesting thing to me is that women around my age tend to hold it against me that I'm not "finding out", which I could find offensive (though I don't), since I don't give anyone flack about finding out themselves. Anyway, I know several people now who were told that they were having girls, decorated, shopped and named accordingly, only to have the sudden shock at the end that the baby was simply being modest, and oops! It's a boy.
Besides the fact that I love surprises so much, there is another reason why it's so important for me, personally, to wait. I need something to look forward to. I love being pregnant. I love the roundness, the maternity clothes, the shameless flaunting of a hugeundous belly in a skimpy camisole. However, towards the end, the reality hits me: now I need to get this baby out. That SUCKS more than anything I can think of. I have never had such an intense, terribly painful experience/endurance test like labor and birth. Not everyone feels this way, but I felt like
A) I might possibly die,
B) I definitely wouldn't have any more children,
C) that it was crazy for ANYONE to have more than one child (or any at all!),
D) that (irrational as it may seem) I wanted my mom to make the pain go away.
Not knowing the gender adds to the suspense and excitement of the final moment, and I NEED to know that there's a heck of a treasure waiting for me at the end of all of this.
In the moments just before Andrew came out, I remember that suddenly someone said they could see his head. It was at that point that I remembered my goal, that my baby was in there, and needed to come out. With renewed energy, I pushed past the pain, and his head came out, followed by the rest of him. My aunt put him on my chest immediately, and someone said that he was a boy. I cannot describe the cascade of wonder/joy/excitement/relief/amazement/love that poured out of me, over us, in that second. We didn't even have a name for him yet.
I looked into his tiny, beautiful face and recognized him as my own baby. His miniature body changed from blue to pink as I kissed him and cuddled him, rubbing his back, talking to him, probably making no sense at all, but he was out, and he was mine. I felt like I never wanted to let him go, and all the maternal feelings that had been building in me during my pregnancy came to a huge, avalanching expression right then. It was a moment like none other, and one of the best moments of my life.
I don't hold it against anyone who "just has to know", or those who "have" to do it for the practical reasons of shopping in color code ahead of time. For me though, the waiting to find out his gender until he came out added to that "surprise package", and I would never want it to be any other way.
As I write this, I am dying with excitement to meet the little person inside me. What will they look like? What will their personality be? How much will they be like Andrew? Is this a girl or a boy? And then the all important question of the hour: when the heck will this person come out?! I do hope soon. I will keep you all posted.
Due in 6 days....
DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to eat out?
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate
DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Wow, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate
DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's my pay check.
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate
DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate
DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that dress!
ULTRA SAFE: Have some more chocolate.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
me, because all that he wanted was the chocolate thing!
I now let him have a chocolate chip cookie on occasion if it's not too close to bedtime. The Andrew-style of eating this sort of cookie is to poke his little fingers into the molten chocolate chips, licking it off over and over, and ending up looking like the picture I've included with this post. He does end up eating the entire cookie, but he feels it's important to dig out all the chips first.
Greg does not understand the chocolate obsession, as he can't stand the stuff himself, but this experience with Andrew has caused me to wonder if the love for chocolate is simply inborn. Even though I adore good chocolate, I certainly didn't teach Andrew to love it, because I didn't even want him to know about it yet, so for him it couldn't be a learned thing. Makes you wonder....