Tuesday, June 30


Didn't we just do this? Honestly!

Life is good. It really is. If I could just get well enough to really enjoy it ...

Monday, June 29

It's Almost July

How did that happen? Honestly, last I checked, it was the middle of May and not quite summer yet. What happened to spring? When did I get to be 4 months pregnant? I'm not ready for that yet.

And while we're at it, why didn't anybody tell me you get about twice as big twice as fast once you've already had a kid? I never wore maternity clothes with my daughter--I just bought a few pair of elastic-waist pants the next size up and they worked great. This time, at only four months, my pants feel too tight. I think I need to find some gauzy maternity dresses to keep myself dressed through the summer.

That's another fun pregnancy side-effect: I can no longer handle the humidity. I've never been a big fan of hot steamy weather (that's Adam's department), but I was always able to slog through humidity in the 70s and 80s with little more than a few ... hundred ... complaints. Lately the temperatures have been in the 80s with humidity in the 60s and I'm camped out under the air conditioning.

Hormones are such a hassle.

Saturday, June 27


The other night I was sitting on the couch with Adam. He took a look at my belly and told me I was getting rounder. Don't worry, I let him live.

In fact, today as I took my daughter out on a walk, I saw my reflection in a car window we passed. He's right. I do look rounder. I mentioned it out loud and my daughter asked what I meant.

I told her that Daddy saw the baby getting bigger and I'd just seen it, too. She stared intently at my midsection.

"I don't see the baby getting bigger," she told me. She sounded disappointed.

Friday, June 26

Neighbors Are Wonderful People

Yup, it's great to have neighbors. You can run over and borrow a cup of sugar (don't think I've ever done that), invite them to go for a swim (nope, not that either), and hang out with them on the sidewalk when the fire alarm goes off at quarter 'til midnight (this is the one I've done several times now). These are fun times, folks, let me tell you!

Well, not really that much fun. In fact, I really only found four real pluses in the latest situation.
  1. My daughter had woken up a few minutes before the alarm began, so while she was terrified, at least she wasn't terrified from a sound sleep.
  2. The torrential rain that had been falling just minutes earlier had lightened to a foggy mist by the time we'd gotten dressed and down the stairs.
  3. It wasn't freezing outside, like last time, at the end of December.
  4. And, probably the plusiest plus, but the one I thought of last, there wasn't actually a fire. Apparently a building in the next town over burned to the ground just recently after being struck by lightning.
In any case, we're all well, and the only residual damage is that my daughter is once again afraid of the fire alarm. At least it's not keeping her from sleeping, as she is right now. I think I'll go join her.


Wednesday, June 24

What to Make First?

I've been following a number of other crafty ladies who are pregnant right now as well and they've all been showing off cute little sweaters and blankets and hats for their little ones. I haven't been doing much crocheting at all lately. Part of that is a side effect of the back trouble I've had. It's hard to crochet while you're flat on your back, I've discovered.

In any case, I'd really like to make something for our new bundle of joy before he actually shows his little face. My only question is: what should that be? A hat? Sweater? Chew toy (eh, maybe not).

If you could have one handmade crocheted item for your new bundle of joy, what would it be?

Saturday, June 20

Oh, Dear

I just found this blog tonight. And I'm still wiping tears out of my eyes from laughing so hard. Do yourself a favor and check out CraftFail.com.

Friday, June 19

The Days Are Long

I remember, once upon a time, when the days were so full of fun and excitement that I never wanted them to end. I remember when even the boring days were better than having to go to bed and be told to sleep! Really, I understand where my daughter is coming from. I mean, good grief, it's still light outside. I just wish that she could know a little of the other side, a bit of what it's like for me now. The days are full, that hasn't changed. But I spend most of them wishing I could hop into bed. I want someone to put me down for an afternoon nap every day. Not that my little one would put up with this--she hasn't even been willing to take her own naps since she was about 18 months old. And, especially on the boring days, I sure wish I could be sent to bed before the sun sets. Meanwhile, I better get some stuff done so I can go to bed.

Sweet dreams, everyone!

Thursday, June 18

Birth Art

I recently picked up the book Birthing from Within at our local library. Frankly, a lot of what she says is a bit ... out there for me. I've found a few of the exercises really useful, though, even in ways I hadn't expected. One of the projects she leads her classes through is a series of art pieces related to pregnancy and birth.

As I first read over the description, I internally rolled my eyes. Sure, like I want to draw pictures of myself all pregnant. Yet, as continued to consider, I realized that it might really be useful in thinking about these ideas with another part of my brain. I don't know that I'll be completing every topic she has listed (there are 12 all together), but I did the first two and I've not only enjoyed myself, but learned something, too!

The Pregnant Woman

The first project is to draw the way you see yourself as a pregnant woman. I found this much more difficult than I thought it would be. To begin with, I don't like my body. For a variety of reasons, mostly related to poor and inappropriate messages I got growing up, I've never felt particularly lovely. For me, pregnancy just tends to reinforce these feelings. I really wanted a positive image, but wasn't sure how to create one.

Then one evening, I happened to look down at myself. For an instant, I didn't see me, so much as just the shapes and curves of breast, belly, and leg. In that instant, I simply saw a woman, a pregnancy ... without all the baggage of what I usually think of myself. I knew right then what I wanted to draw.

As I worked on the sketch, it started to look almost like the flowing curves of a mountain range. Not the Rockies so much as the Appalachians--gently rounded peaks stacked up across the distance. Having drawn in green pencil (which was all I could find when I looked) probably added to my sense of earthiness.

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. It expresses to me all the things I was hoping for: femininity, fertility, grace, and beauty.

Being Pregnant

After enjoying the first drawing so much, I wasn't sure what I would do for the next one. The second topic description (What is being pregnant like for you?) seemed so similar to the first. As I began to think about how I felt pregnant, I realized I wasn't actually feeling very pregnant. In fact, as we approached our prenatal visit last week, I was beginning to think that I was fooling myself--we'd get there and not find a heartbeat and discover instead that my body was confused and we'd lost the baby but I hadn't completed the miscarriage.

As you have probably read in my previous post, that's not what happened at all.

In a lot of ways this pregnancy, I feel like I'm a first-time mom all over again. After two losses, I began to doubt I'd ever carry a baby to term. Actually, I continue to have lingering doubts about that. I wanted to portray the amazement and joy of having a moving, heart-beating little one inside--still! The wonder of "Wow, this is really happening to me!"

The pose is a pretty common one for pregnancy belly photos. I've never had a set done (and don't plan to), but I've seen quite a few from friends. If I could have managed to convey it, I would have made a glow emanate from inside the heart, representing the life force of the babe inside. Since I'm not that artistically talented, you'll have to imagine that part yourself.

Saturday, June 13

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

I have a note with this recipe that I based it off one by Emeril Lagasse. I just went to look at his recipes on the Food Network site and can't seem to find which one I started with! In any case, no matter it's history, this is a yummy dinner. I think it tastes just like the meat version. Adam doesn't quite agree, but he finds it good in it's own way.

1½ c dry red beans
6 c vegetable broth (optional)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 T oil
8 cloves garlic, minced
2½ t salt
½ t thyme
½ t black pepper
¼ t cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hot)
1 bay leaf
2 c dry rice
  1. Soak beans overnight. Drain and simmer in broth or water for 1 hour. Set aside.
  2. Sauté onion, pepper, and celery in oil until soft.
  3. Add garlic, salt, thyme, and peppers, cooking one minute more.
  4. Add beans and cooking liquid along with bay leaf. Add water if needed to cover the contents of the pan.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally and add more water if mixture becomes too thick.
  6. Cook rice with 4 c water.
  7. Serve bean mixture atop rice.

Friday, June 12

A Good Week

I was telling some friends earlier that this has been a good week, pregnancy-wise. We had a prenatal visit with our midwife (or, rather, our apprentice midwife and her preceptor) and we finally caught the baby's heartbeat on the doppler! I was lying there tearing up because it was such a relief to have this reassurance that he* is really there and doing well.

This week also marked the first little wiggles from in there. I spent three or four nights in a row poking and prodding at my belly trying to see if I could feel anything. A couple times I felt something but had trouble distinguishing whether that feeling was really teeny-tiny baby kicks or just a random gas bubble. I felt silly to be on my fourth pregnancy (though only the second to make it this far) and not be sure what baby movements feel like.

Still, with my daughter, I had an anterior placenta, which "muffled" the kicks quite a bit. One of my midwives told me it was like feeling her move through a shag carpet. I didn't actually get any for-sure baby kicks until I was in my 26th week (18 weeks is about normal).

In other news, my back is feeling pretty good. I'm actually at my own computer typing this and I'm reasonably comfortable sitting here. Both of the last two visits to the chiropractor didn't require any further adjustment to my spine. He recommended a few additional stretching exercises to keep everything where it is supposed to be, but otherwise says my back looks great.

Now, if only the rest of my issues had such a quick fix!
* Just for those of you who didn't know me during my first pregnancy, we don't know the gender, but have chosen to refer to the baby as "he" rather than "it" or some complicated contraction of gender pronouns.

Sunday, June 7

One of the Things I Forgot about Moving

Before this past fall, the last time I'd moved across the country was in 1999. In that time, I'd managed to forgot one of the basic tenets of moving to a new region: you'll spend the whole first year developing immunity to the local bugs.

Which is to say, we're sniffling and coughing here. Again. Sigh. We just got better from the last virus that was going around; I don't want to be sick again. Pooh.

I'm not prepared to deal with the coughing and sneezing and sleeplessness and whining and crying and moaning and complaining (and that's just me). I've also discovered that there's just nothing quite like not feeling your best while little people cling to you, inside and out. I just want to sit in a room all by myself for a couple of hours and not have to deal with anybody else.

Monday, June 1

Just Saying It

Let me start by telling you I have no idea when I'll be back up for the rest of love month. I would like to finish, for sure, but my mind has been rather more cluttered with other matters than I was expecting.

Speaking of which, I am. Expecting, I mean. I'm early in my second trimester with hopes of actually making it all the way to 40 weeks this time.

Go ahead, be shocked, I certainly was.

I was also bedridden for about a week with back problems again. What is it about the end of May? This time, at least, Adam has health insurance at work, so I've been able to see a chiropractor and I'm already feeling considerably better.

Anyway, that's my big news and my best excuse for ignoring you all so long. Forgive me?