Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Wizbang Good Day

Today was one of those days when I feel like we spent every minute doing something. It doesn't seem like we have those very often, even though I would really like to spend more time REALLY living. So I am just content and full today.

We got up this morning at 6:15, which may not seem too early for some, but for an insomniac like me it is pretty freaking early. We ate a quick breakfast and then pulled John in his wagon down to our local park.

When we got home I cleaned up a little and the boys played with Duplos. Josh built John the cutest elephant.

Then John and I made blueberry muffins.  

After naptime John and I went outside to play. He wanted to wash his gator and then we pulled out the pool and fantastically trashy fringed umbrella. (That umbrella was at my mom's house when she bought it. It may be ugly, but John and I get sooo much use out of it because it is light enough to carry around easily.)

We ended up playing out there for over two hours. Then came inside and went back out into the front yard to play.  Needless to say, John fell asleep instantly when I put him down.

Not much substance to this post, but I am full of joy and just had to share it :)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Crafties

I haven't been doing a very good job of documenting my crafting lately, but here are a few pictures of some of the latest goodies I've made for John.

Two gnomes, two pumpkins and a toadstool for our fall nature table (if I ever find a place to put the fall nature table lol). I got the ideas and patterns from Twig and Toadstool, an awesome crafting and Waldorf blog.

I made these little pumpkins for a 5 Little Pumpkins fingerplay

5 little pumpkins sat on a gate
The first one said, "oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "well, I don't care."
The fourth one said, "let's run and run and run."
The fifth one said, "isn't Halloween fun!"

Then WHOOSH went the wind
and OUT went the lights
and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

John has been enamored of these guys and really likes to help me say the rhyme.

John and Daddy built a LEGO firetruck, so I made this little felt building and flames so John could put out the fire.

I have to get started on holiday crafts soon. I am going to attempt to make almost all of John's Christmas gifts this year. The only exception will be his one gift from Santa. He has been talking about a big LEGO tractor and asking that Santa get it for him. We will see...

Happy Wednesday!
P.S. I am going with Josh to pick up John in about two hours. I am not 100% yet, but definitely well enough to take back mommy duties :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Business of Being Born

Since I have been sick I have been watching a lot of movies on Netflix via my computer. (Thanks mom for letting me hack your account :) ) Tonight I watched this documentary called The Business of Being Born. It is a movie about home birth, midwives and some of the ways that medical interventions have removed the power of birth from the mother. It was an incredibly powerful, moving documentary and it really made me think about my birth experience.
I have been pretty open on my blog about my IVF experience, but I haven't really shared a lot of details about John's birth. I really wanted to have a natural childbirth. I wanted to do the Bradley method, which was so successful for friend's of ours. I wanted to avoid interventions and medications and the whole lot. Then I found out about my unicornuate uterus and the fact that it had the potential to have a major impact on my pregnancy. The risks for preterm labor and breach position were much higher because of the lack of space. Once I started seeing the perinatologist and having ultrasound after ultrasound we saw that John kept flipping and I started to feel like it was pointless to go through all of the training when we didn't even know if it would benefit us.
Then as I started to get further into my pregnancy, more things started hitting us. I previously thought that the battle for me was just going to be getting pregnant. I thought that the universe would take pity on me and let me have a beautiful pregnancy because we had already been through so much. It turns out that I was wrong. I had a very difficult pregnancy and ended up in the hospital for nearly a month due to preterm labor. I ended up going into labor for the last time at 34 weeks 6 days. I was still in the hospital, set to be released the next day, but they stopped my labor because I hadn't hit the magical 35 week mark. I mean, I had already been in labor 4 or 5 times. I was 100 % effaced, 5 centimeters dilated...I was ready to have this kid, but they stopped it. My wonderful doctor came back the next day and stripped my membranes and told me to walk around to try and induce labor, which I did to no effect. I ended up home the next day.
At exactly 37 weeks I thought I started feeling contractions again so we went back to the hospital. We didn't wait too long because I was already so dilated that everyone was nervous I wouldn't make it back to the hospital. Once I got there the nurse said that John's heart rate wasn't accelerating as it should. After trying for about two hours to get some results my doctor came in and broke my water. 20 minutes later monitors started going off and people started running into our tri-age room. John's heart rate had dropped to about 45 beats per minute. My doctor came in and flipped me on my side then checked to see if there was a cord issue. There was no cord wrapped around his neck, but his heart rate wouldn't go back up. There was no discussion, we were headed for a c-section. It was an e emergency, so they left Josh standing in the tri-age room while they ran me to an OR. When we got there John's heart rate had picked up enough that there was time to do a spinal instead of general anesthesia. That meant that Josh could come into the OR. He made it into the room, held my hand, and before he could even sit down we heard, "hello there." We had a very healthy 5lb 14 oz baby which was all that I ever wanted.
Here is the hard part though. There is a part of me that still wonders, could I have done things differently? I truly in my heart believe that vaginal delivery with immediate skin to skin contact is what is best for the baby. It breaks my heart to think of John being pulled out and immediately carried over to a scale to be poked and prodded. I didn't even get to hold him until the recovery room which was at least 15-20 minutes later. I look at moms who had natural deliveries and I feel like less of a woman, less of a mother. I don't think that I could have changed anything. I really think that we were one of those cases that needed serious medical intervention to prevent a tragedy. If I had to do it all over again I would do exactly the same thing. I mean, I would have given over my life to make sure that he came into this world healthy. I just wish, and I think it is probably ok to wish, that the circumstances had been different. I hope that when I have my next baby I have the strength to fight for what I want and play an active role in the making decisions for our care. I hope we get to do a natural V-BAC and that I get to experience the kind of birth that I dream of, but it I don't I will be ok as long as the baby is ok. (This is, of course, assuming that there will be another pregnancy).
I don't know, I guess this was sort of just a stream of consciousness post. It is something that I think about a lot but rarely express because it sounds sort of ungrateful.


I have been feeling like a big ball of blah for the last two days. I picked up some kind of stomach bug or ate something bad. I am really not sure which, as I am the only sick one in the house. Josh has totally stepped up and been so great with John. He even spent the night at my moms last night so I wouldn't have to hear John and want to help. Tonight though, he has to work. I am still sick and so so tired, so my mom and stepdad took John for the evening. It will be his first time alone for the night over there. He was very excited to go back and go swimming, and I know I should relish the quiet. Here is the thing though, the open door to his room is about 3 feet from where my head is laying on my pillow. That means I can look into his room and feel the lack of his presence. Being sick doesn't make me want to be away from my boy. I miss him and I want to feel better so that I can kiss him and love him the way that I do every day.
I know I have posted this picture before, but I misssss this face

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Yesterday my mom and I went to this raw "vegan" festival up in Prescott. Now, I am really working hard at being positive, so I won't really say much about it. It didn't quite live up to my expectations and it wasn't really vegan (lots of honey and silk for sale, bummer) but it was still really nice to get away. My mom got me this awesome cotton dress that I will have to take pictures of because I can't really describe it. It is very simple, but I love the cut and its buttery yellow color. John did awesome on the car ride up, but was sleepy and unable to nap on the way home. It was good practice because...Next weekend we are going to SAN DIEGO!!!!

We used to travel a bit with my mom because she travels a lot for work. Lately she has been home more, which means no fun trips for us. The upside is that we get to see her a lot more frequently. The downside is that we don't get to go on vacation with the most awesome travel companion ever. My mom is always up for anything, she is always excited and she is just fun in general.
So anyway, she told us about a month ago that she wanted to take a weekend trip somewhere fun and we all agreed on San Diego. It is driving distance, we can do the beach and Balboa park for free, and we can go to LEGOland! In case I haven't  mentioned it before, my husband and son have LEGO fever. Josh has always been addicted to LEGO's, but now he is building them with John and having a blast.

So, next weekend we are going to have a much needed vacation and we are all thrilled. Until then, I am keeping John around the house to work on a schedule and rhythm. He has been having a lot more tantrums than we are used to, and I am bound and determined to help him regain his sense of calm.
I will keep you updated on what tactics we try :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

The 7 Year Itch

Yesterday was our anniversary...7 years. Josh always laughs because I say, "7 years married but almost 11 years together." I want to make sure I get all of my credit for time served :)

We had a wonderful anniversary. A night to ourselves in a room that my mom got for us. Dinner at Kona Grill and swimming in the dark. This might seem like a dumb expense for people that are really trying to watch their budget. The thing is, we live in a 350 square foot apartment with a 2 year old. Our only other space is shared with my dad and sister. A little privacy for our anniversary was worth gold to us.

Anyway, I am so thankful that I married this man. I am thankful that he is my partner in every way. He makes me smile in a way that most people have never even seen. He is literally the only person on the planet that I can spend more than two days with and not want to rip my hair out, well other than my son. He makes me take risks and settles me down. He supports all of my crazy ideas, loves me even though we believe in different things and is the greatest father I have ever seen.

Here's to 70 more years!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Yesterday was one of those days. I am sure that every mother out there has them but I don't think we really talk about them. I mean, I know a lot of mothers who complain about their kids and complain about the way they act, but I feel like most moms don't really talk about how hard some days are.
Yesterday John hit me and bit me and peed on the floor and threw things. Yesterday John made me angry, really truly angry for what I really think is the first time. He was obstinate and argumentative and just all around really difficult.  Several times I literally had to stop and remind myself that it would be over soon and that he really wasn't doing all of this just to make me nuts. It is just part of the process of growing.
Here is the thing though, he is two and a half. He is learning and growing and feeling things out for himself. I thought about it a lot last night. I realized several things. One is that I don't always have to make excuses for him, or for myself. We all have bad days and he is no different. I cannot always control his bad days, but I do need to work on controlling my reactions. I realized that getting frustrated is human and it is ok to tell him that he needs to have his tantrums in his room. I don't need to add fuel to the fire by trying to talk to him while he is upset. I also realized, though I don't know if I will remember it the next time, that having a little boy who is having a bad day doesn't make me a bad mother. Sometimes it can feel like the eyes of every mother, single person, father, child... everyone, are watching and judging. The truth of the matter is that we have ALL been there.
After the struggle of yesterday, here is the most important part. The part that I will carry with me. John woke up and asked for me. I went in and touched his face to help him fall back asleep. He grabbed my hand with his little fingers and rolled over, snuggling my hand beside him. When I tried to move he just grabbed tighter. So I just stood there and lingered in the love that I know my child feels for me, even if we had a rough day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thoughts on a Thursday

A few thoughts on parenting...

I went to Starbucks this morning with John and it was very busy. John found a big comfy chair that another boy was sitting in and thought he would like to sit there too. The boys mom said it was ok, so I stood in line and watched John interact with this mom and her son. He was in a very excited mood, we were on our way to a playdate, and was super chatty. When they left, he walked over to another family and started chatting with them. I had walked over by this point and the lady was laughing and said something about how she hoped he wasn't getting any sugar or caffeine in his drink because he sure didn't need it. Whatever, it was true but still somewhat annoying. Then I was grabbing our drinks and he was standing next to me talking and fidgeting. This lady walked by and said something about how I really had my hands full.
Do people not realize that saying things like that is insulting. I mean, first of all he wasn't misbehaving at all. He was just a happy, talkative boy who didn't want to stand still in Starbucks for 15 minutes. Secondly, he is two and a half... people, including myself sometimes, seem to have totally unrealistic expectations of what small children should act like. Thirdly, keep your f-ing mouth shut about my kid. I am a mama bear and I will not hesitate to lash out at absolutely anyone who hurts my child in any way. He hears comments like that. He isn't deaf and he isn't dumb. You don't know him or me, so just keep it to yourself. He's not perfect, but he is wonderful just the same.

On another note,
I joined a forum about Waldorf homeschooling, I can't remember if I mentioned that before or not. I was asking some of the parents about Waldorf toys and feeling a little nervous because John isn't all that interested in homemade items. Seriously, I read these Waldorf and Unschooling blogs and these kids love anything wooden, knitted or otherwise homemade. My son likes tractors, cars and toy animals. I was feeling sort of threatened about his fitting into a Waldorf Inspired/unschooled "mold." One of the moms, and I really should thank her, responded with a comment about how the toys he play with aren't really going to define his education. It doesn't really have to look a certain way. If I follow the philosophies and theories behind these educational/life practices we will be ok. It might not make sense to other people, but it felt like such a huge weight off of my shoulders. It snapped me back into the reality that John's education doesn't have to look like everyone else's to be successful. I don't try to conform with "normal" society, so I shouldn't be so worried about trying to conform with "alternative" society either. I just need to focus on what feels right for my family and let the rest fall away.

Anyway, I know these things probably aren't interesting to 99% of blog readers. I don't honestly even know it anyone still reads this blog. However, I really am trying to start writing about the things that are important to me and letting the rest take care of itself.

If you did read this and you are still here, then Happy Thursday to you!

Photo via Weheartit

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I am back, for real this time :)

It has been a strange few weeks around my house. Things were kind of gloomy and there didn't seem to be a real reason for it. I have been struggling with guilt and motivation and just generally feeling blue. It is so nice to really feel like the cloud has lifted. I have a sense of direction and right now I am just riding the wave wherever it may take me. I think if there is anything that has been really reiterated over these last few weeks it is that motherhood changes daily, hourly even. Some days I feel like I am doing everything right, and other times it feels like I am destined to mess this kid up no matter what I do.

I think one of the reasons that I am feeling happier is that I had a little bit of a revelation about my son and our lives. Lately I have been running around with him all of the time. We are always doing some activity or running some errand. He has really been fighting me about going almost anywhere in the car. Temper tantrums and even him hitting a little have become way to frequent. It sound simple, but I realized that he doesn't want to have a schedule of running around all the time, even if I think it is fun stuff. For two days we have been just hanging at home, for the most part, and the tantrums have been so much less frequent. It is nice to go with an instinct and feel like it is the right one, at least for the moment.

Anyway, here is a little look at some of the things we have been up to for the last few days

Josh got John a bike at Goodwill.
It is hard to tell, but he chopped it all up so it would be short enough to act as a balance bike.

John thinks it is pretty awesome that he can "ride" his own big bike.

My sister set up the most trashy slip and slide ever. She used dishsoap to make some tarps slippery. John didn't really like it, but I think it is hilarious!

We have really really been enjoying some cooler temps at night. It is still pretty warm, but for us Arizonians it is a big improvement.

We finally got John's gator going. We were reluctant to let him have a motorized toy, but it is clearly worth it. He is absolutely in heaven.

We did some glitter art today to make cards for a birthday.

Holy messy glitter hands. His whole body was covered and that stuff is nearly impossible to get off.

I had to bribe him with a cookie to stand still long enough for me to take a picture :)

Working on the car with dad. He got a little wrench and started working on some object in the engine compartment. When I told him it was time to go in and take a bath he said, "not right now mom, I'm working on engine stuff."

My two boys make my stomach do happy somersaults.

Having some pappy time. Look at how he is clasping his little hands together in concentration.

I hope you are all doing well
Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Things I Want to Read, Watch or Listen To Right Away

I started and finished the first book, The Hunger Games, last night. It is a young adult book so it is an easy read, but the story is great.
This one is on my reserve list at the library
Julianne Moore. Check.
Mark Ruffalo. Check
Annette Bening. Check
The cast is stellar and the story looks great. Super excited
This trailer looks so creepy and fascinating
I love me some Helen Mirren. I also want to see RED this summer, but this one is probably a little closer to my style.
Marc Cohn touches my soul.
I have always been a big fan of Natalie Merchant and the concept of this album intrigues me.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Awesome Day!

I didn't get any pictures of my day today, but it was a doozy!
We went to a playdate today, and for the first time it felt like a great fit for both John and I. I mean, we always have a wonderful time with our friends, but I like the idea of John getting used to being in a group of kids. Especially since he is going to be homeschooled without a ton of other kids around most of the time.
So, I found this playgroup that is for moms that are tattooed and pierced and generally look different than the "norm." I figured that maybe some of these moms would be a little more liberal and just different than the typical playgroup mom. When I got there I saw no tattoos or piercings, so I was worried that I had gotten gypped. Then we all started talking... Four of the moms cloth diaper, one did EC. Two are still breastfeeding at 3-4 years old. 1 was a doula, one had a homebirth, 2 had natural midwife attended births. It was just so wonderful to be surrounded by parents who have a lot of the same beliefs as I do. It was so nice to talk to them and watch them interact with their kids. I just loved it. John had a blast and he keeps talking about his friends.
When we came home we both took a quick nap, then mom took Josh, John and I out to lunch at Pita Jungle...AWESOME! Then we went to her house and hung out for a few hours. It was a day well spent and John fell asleep immediately because he was so worn out. That is always the sign of a good day :)

In Other News:

I got a surprise from my mom. She took me to go get a new tattoo. I was supposed to get it for Christmas, but I ended up using my gift money to pay bills so I never got it. It is still scabtastic, so the colors don't look great, but I LOVE it. Another item crossed off of my day zero goals.
Josh found John a bike at Goodwill while I was getting the tattoo. I know, it is pink, just like all of his other bikes :) He told us he wanted a black bike with a white basket, but when Josh took him to get paint John saw John Deere green and immediately changed his mind :)
Josh is converting it into a balance bike. He took off the pedals, the chains, and is going to lock the handle bar in a straight position. This will allow John to learn each thing a step at a time, starting with balance.
Our friends had a gorgeous baby girl name Finley. She seems so tiny compared to my big boy.

Happy Wednesday