Friday, September 23

Why I Love My Husband

I'm not feeling so hot today. I woke up with a migraine and construction workers outside my window hammering something into the new sidewalk they've spent the last two days building. Why they felt the need to start work at the crack of dawn (or 8:30 AM), I don't know.

Today was payday, which means sometime overnight bigger numbers suddenly appeared after the dollar sign in our online checking account balance. So Rosi and I went grocery shopping. Of the 22 advertised sale items on our list, 4 were not available. I won't make you do the math, that's more than 18%. Nothing like spending 5 hours creating a nutritionally balanced weekly menu full of fresh ingredients and visiting multiple stores to find the best prices, only to find oneself unable to buy nearly one-fifth of it. That's more than a day's worth of meals!

Those were the lower points of this morning, though. Today was actually a pretty decent day, overall. While we were out shopping, Adam and Ian cleaned the whole house and did all the laundry. I made lunch when I got home, but before I had a chance to do the dishes, Adam rinsed them and put them in the dishwasher for me.

Later this afternoon, even though he's not yet had any of the alone time he's been craving this week, he gave me a couple of hours to take a nap. He even changed the poopy diaper I would have otherwise been stuck cleaning up right before naptime.

And while I appreciated everything he did today, the actions are really just a reflection of the fantastic man Adam is. He's caring and thoughtful and loving and goofy and gentle and strong and devoted and considerate and faithful and patient and accepting and sincere and fascinating and about a thousand other wonderful adjectives I could choose.

Thank you, my love, for today and for everything you did for me. Thank you even more just for being you and being willing to love me for me.

Monday, September 12

Evil Sucks

I had a disturbing dream just before I woke up about someone trying to hurt my kids. This morning I'm feeling pretty disgusted by the presence of evil in the world.

I've got it pretty good. I recognize that (most of the time). Overall, I live in a peaceful place. We have clean water and abundant food. We are free to worship God, or the god of our choosing, or no god at all, in pretty well whatever manner we see fit. We have access to educational opportunities aplenty. World-class healthcare services are practically on our doorstep.

And yet, we are also surrounded by disease, selfishness, destruction, and pain. People choose to hurt others because they can. Or because they don't care. Or because they just don't think.

So many people work so hard to make the world a better place to live. Yet so many others do nothing, or even actively work to make life more difficult for others. I'm having trouble today with the dichotomy.

I believe that God has wisdom far beyond my understanding. I really do. Still, today (like most days) I just can't imagine WHY free will was the best way to create people. Would the world really be worse off it we simply couldn't make bad choices? Really??

Sunday, September 11

September 11th

World Trade Center Twin TowersI wasn't going to write anything about today. I don't have any extraordinary memories of that day 10 years ago. I wasn't in New York or Washington at the time. No one I knew was involved in the tragedy. I didn't figure I really had anything to add to the national discussion.

And yet, as the day has gone on, I find myself choking up. I remember where I was, what I was doing, the thoughts I had. I may not have any special insight to offer, but I thought I'd share my story.

It was an average Tuesday morning. I was driving along the Kennedy Expressway headed to work. I had on the radio and the hosts were talking about a news report I'd just missed that said a plane had flown into one of the World Trade Center towers. Only half listening as I battled the morning rush, I figured I must have heard wrong. Maybe they meant a small private plane had somehow gone off course and clipped an antenna or something. Just then, they broke into the chatter to report that a second plane had hit the second tower. A cold chill went down my spine. One plane was likely an accident. Two planes had to have been planned.

I got to the office and found everybody clustered around the TV in the break room. I watched a replay of the crashes. And another. And another. After a dozen times or more, I went to my desk and switched on my computer. I couldn't watch it again just then.

Sometime after I'd cleared out my e-mail inbox, my boss walked past carrying the TV into his office. He came back out and announced that anybody who wanted to watch was welcome to come in and do so. I went in a while later. I was just in time to see the first tower collapse. I sat with several of my coworkers watching more replays of the planes crashing into the towers and the Pentagon that morning.

Interspersed were scenes of people on the streets of New York stumbling and running through the confusion and the rubble, some with injuries, many with cloths tied over their mouths and noses to keep out the dust. I couldn't believe I was watching live footage of New York, of anywhere in the US. I thought it looked like news reports from the Middle East--all dusty and messy and war-torn.

After the second tower fell, my boss announced that anyone who wanted to go home and be with their families was free to do so. I thought about leaving, but wasn't sure where to go. I lived alone. I had some family in the area, but nobody I felt a pressing need to see.

I thought about leaving and just going home or driving around, but decided I really didn't want to be on my own. I stayed for a while, continuing to watch the news, listening to other people talk about what had happened, not knowing what to say myself.

I thought about the previous attempt to knock down the towers. I was in high school at the time, living in New York, just an hour north of midtown. I had a friend from church who worked in the South Tower. I remember watching the news in my living room that afternoon, wondering if he was all right.

I thought about how that attack was scary, but hadn't been terribly successful. I considered with wry irony that the second attempt had gone so much better for those who'd planned it.

Eventually, I went to my aunt's house. I spent the night there and we did silly normal things like make popcorn and watch old movies. Then we went to bed and pretended that so much hadn't changed.

Monday, September 5

Happy Labor Day*

In honor of Labor Day, let's talk about some of the hardest work women do. Adapted from We are THAT Family.

How long were your labors?

I was in active labor with Rosi from around 1:00 AM until she was born just after 8:00 PM, so about 19 hours.

Active labor with Ian came and went. Counting from the time my water broke the first time, it was 4½ days before he was born. Counting from the second time my water broke, it was about 28 hours before he was born. Counting from when they broke my water in the hospital ... well, actually, I don't remember exactly when that was. I was in hospital for a total of about 20 hours before his birth. And I have the unique distinction of being the only woman my midwife ever heard of whose water broke three times during the birth of a single baby.

How did you know you were in labor?

With Rosi, I woke up in the middle of the night in pain. I didn't think I was having contractions, but Adam timed them at 2-3 minutes apart.

I woke up about 6:00 AM a week before Ian was due and felt like I really needed to go to the bathroom. I thought I hadn't quite made it, but when I turned on the light to clean myself up, I saw that the fluid was pink and realized my water had broken.

Where did you give birth?

I wanted to have both my kids at home. I saw a homebirth midwife while I was pregnant with Rosi until about 30 weeks when my midwife strongly recommended I transfer care to a hospital-based practice because of continued high blood pressure readings (she could not legally attend me at home if I was hypertensive and she felt it would be beneficial to have time to get to know another care provider before birth). I had Rosi at a hospital in Illinois, with no blood pressure issues at all.

With Ian, I planned to give birth at a private home just across the border in Minnesota because my midwife cannot legally attend home births in South Dakota (see my post Why Drive to a Homebirth?). Unfortunately, complications during his birth required going to the local hospital in MN, then transferring to another hospital here in Sioux Falls.

Drugs? C-section?

Both labors were augmented by Pitocin. During my labor with Rosi, I considered pain meds shortly after they started the Pit, but decided against them. I pushed her out about three hours later.

While laboring with Ian, I chose to have an epidural a couple of hours before he was born in a final, ultimately unsuccessful attempt to avoid surgery. He was born by emergency c-section.

Who attended?

I had a Certified Nurse Midwife at Rosi's birth, and Adam was able to catch her as she was born.

I was seeing a Certified Professional Midwife throughout my pregnancy and most of my labor with Ian, and the plan was for Adam to catch again. In the end, the on-call OB did the honors in the OR.

Want to play? Answer the above questions in comments or on your own blog.
Did you adopt? How long did you wait? How did you find out your child(ren) would be joining your family? When/where did you meet? How was the adoption arranged?
Not a mom? What were the facts from your own birth?

*I really tried to think of a post title that would be some sort of spin on Love's Labour's Lost, but couldn't quite manage it.

Sunday, September 4

Ten Hundred Million Years

Rosi has a typically childish notion of time. That is to say, she really has no concept of how long an hour, a day, or a year is. When something hasn't happened soon enough to please her (generally the instant she suggests it), she'll complain that it's been hours or days or even "ten hundred million years" since she first asked and she can't possibly wait any longer.

After she made such a comment the other day in the car, I explained to Adam my theory as to why time moves so much faster for Rosi than for the rest of us: in her universe, everything revolves around her. Since she's so much smaller than the sun, it all goes by that much quicker.

Meanwhile, it's been positively forever since my last post. We've been doing our best to keep ourselves occupied here, so let me give you a bulleted list of what we're up to these days.
  • I've been spending a lot of time cooking, thinking about cooking, reading about cooking, writing about cooking (I have 60+ recipes posted over at Low-Carb Real Food), and trying to take half-decent pictures of my food. And when I'm done with all that, I spend a few minutes eating and then the kitchen has to be cleaned up all over again. Cooking three meals a day at home makes for a lot of dishes!
  • Ever since I made the doll for my contest winner a couple of years ago, I've been wanting to make another and work out my own pattern. I even went so far as to buy yarn for the project a few months back. Then I got caught up doing other things, and I've only gotten back to it the last week or so. As best I can figure, I'm about halfway done. I've also run out of stuffing, so I need to make a run to the store before I can finish any further. Originally, this doll was meant to be for Rosi, but she'd been begging for another doll who would close its eyes when lying down. We found one for 25¢ at a garage sale over the summer and it's been well loved by both the kids. Since Rosi has a new-to-her doll, I decided that once I finish this one, it will be for Ian. I'm shooting to make it a birthday gift, which means I have about 2½ months to complete the doll and make it some clothes.
  • I've been homeschooling Rosi to a greater or lesser degree for about two years now. We've tried a few different educational philosophies, but the one we keep returning to is unschooling, or interest-led learning. I really felt like I was trying too hard last year, pushing her when she didn't need any pushing. This year, I decided we really needed some support and community in the homeschooling arena. A couple of weeks ago, we joined a local homeschool group. we've gotten together with them for a couple of activities already and it's been a lot of fun. I'm really excited about what's coming up in the next several months. Rosi is too. It's been difficult for her to maintain friendships when she doesn't see kids at school everyday. A few of our neighbors have kids, but most of them are younger. The one friend her own age that she'd made in our building moved out several months ago. We also haven't had a regular church we've been attending, so that hasn't been a viable avenue for ongoing friendships either.
  • And speaking of churches, we actually visited one this morning that we'd all like to go to again. The people were welcoming, the message was solid and timely, the music was good, and I was really happy with the way they handled communion. I've been less than impressed with the way children are so often overlooked when it comes to communion. I understand that families and denominations have differing beliefs about who can take communion. But, in practice, I am very uncomfortable with the way my kids have been treated when we've visited some churches and have brought them up for communion. It is very rare to find a communion "policy" noted in the bulletin or announced during the service. At the church we worshiped in this week, however, the pastor invited the congregation to participate and noted that each family should determine whether their children should receive the bread and wine. One of the things I loved most about our church in Illinois was the recognition that we all don't agree on a lot of theological points--and that's okay. The Church is big enough for people to hold different ideas about baptism or communion or speaking in tongues. Those issues are not actually central to the Gospel and they shouldn't be treated as if they were. I'm excited to find someplace that makes a point of that right in the service.
  • Ian is having his own version of interest-led learning. You might call it "toilet unschooling." For the past month or so, he's been pretty frequently asking to use the toilet. He's also gotten really remarkable in the way he can undress himself and take a diaper off, even when he's snapped into a bodysuit. So, I've mostly given up on trying to keep him dressed. I insist that he wear a diaper when we're out or while he's sleeping, but most of the time he spends the majority of his day running around the house without any clothes on. He uses the toilet more than not, and for those times when he doesn't quite make it, I keep a spray bottle of cleaner and a roll of paper towels handy. As an added bonus, I figure he's probably saved us about $15 in diapers so far.
Well, that's not everything we've been up to, but that's probably enough for one post. I will try to start updating with a little more frequency again. Maybe I can manage to post more like once a week rather than once a month. For now, I'm going to go catch up on some sleep!