Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We live in the future...I am posting from my phone

EZ eating lunch remnants off the floor before I can vaccuum

Monday, October 24, 2011

Little Adventures

We have a little "nature trail" in the midst of the cluster of apartments we live in. It's a winding sidewalk behind all the buildings, with some desert landscape and a couple of greenbelts and a cool tunnel under the major road near us for added excitement. It's a good little walk, not to far but just hilly and windy and mysterious enough to be an adventure for a 4 year old! Today as a bit of a sprinkle rolled in we took advantage of the slight cool (it's been unseasonably warm, 97 degree! YIKES.) and walked the trail.
We saw: 4 rabbits, a half dozen quail, a whole mess of birds, a couple of dogs, identified creosote and palo verde, got sprinkled on, and enjoyed our stroll!

Monday, October 17, 2011

clean slate

ok I'll admit it: my house is almost always cluttered and messy. I have always been a messy person, not filthy or squalor riddled but cluttered and in need of a good dusting.
A few weeks ago I got a wild hair to clean and organize the apartment. I'm not sure what triggered it, perhaps it was the lovely fall weather (that promptly disappeared after a day or two), perhaps it was all the lovely pictures of creative spaces on Pinterest, perhaps it was that fact that in an 800 sq. ft. apartment you really have to keep all spaces free of clutter because otherwise you will kill each other because you can't think straight.
Whatever the case I turned to the internet for inspiration and found it in the form of The site is coincidentally a bit cluttered but her basic approach to cleaning appealed and so I started the program.
I don't follow it to a t, I do try and get dressed every morning (the boys too!), and I do different chores on different days...most interestingly I keep my sink clean and empty. This is one of those things that I never felt capable of doing for whatever reason. I felt like keeping my kitchen that clean was the provenance of the A personality, adults, whatever. I always felt like I was still 16 inside and that I'd rather play with my kids than have a clean sink...But I do it. I clean my sink...And I like it! And now that I have I've discovered that I have more time to play with the boys and I am not distracted by a cluttered messy house. Its marvelous.

from mess to magical

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our life in cell phone photos...

I have come to grips with the fact that this blog is really a place for my mother, my in-laws and a few friends to come and see pictures of my babies...and periodically be amused by my rantings. I'm okay with that. SO that said...Mom, Cici and Pop, Lisa, Rach, and the rest? Here's what we've been up too!

We've been:
-eating food like we're people and getting 2 new teeth to help us enjoy our cheese love!
-enjoying the view from on top of Nana's apartment complex garage
-taking brother baths and loving it
-Nighttime park adventures with Mama's small group
-making our own IronMan costume
-Lunch with Grandpa at the Tempe Town Lake
-playing the "ukelady"

Slowly but surely our average temperature drops down to 70 and we get to spend more time out and about (especially at our park across the street!)The squids and I couldn't be more delighted that fall has arrived!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Old McDonald

This time of year is perfect for living in AZ, well, it's still pretty hot but everything is growing and it's finally cool-ish at night. Fake fall, I love you.
I just got back from a trip to SF to visit my lovely very much missed sister with Z and my cousin in tow. And like every time I go on a trip I left a mostly empty fridge.
Tomorrow is Farmer's Market day by us, and there is an embarrassment of produce riches at the market: pears, lettuce, honeydew, apples, leeks, onions, heirloom tomatoes...all perfect and tasty. I've also found a marvelous ranch that has affordable, locally sourced, grass fed beef and goat (crock pot birria here I come), the farmer is hopefully going to hook me up with a small quantity of raw milk to feed to Colin for allergy prevention! Woot.
Pictures from the trip and whatnot coming up soon...also, the new plan. ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lil' Crunch

About 2 months ago I had my gallbladder out. If you are friends with me on the Facebook, you'll know that I had been having gallbladder attacks since my 2nd trimester while pregnant with Z. It was miserable. After trying to control the attacks with diet change and pain killers I threw in the towel and went under the tiny knife for removal. It was a basic easy procedure and now I don't have crippling attacks of pain from out of nowhere (though I still can't eat french fries or pizza).
I begin this way so you understand why my milk production has decreased for Z. Not dramatically, but enough that I started him on solid foods a fair piece earlier than his older brother. Z was thrilled about that, he'd been eyeing my plate and grabbing for sushi and green chili since month 3. Weirdo. He took to solids well and really wanted to bypass the standard baby food route and eat real people food. I was not thrilled with this as, at 5 months old, the child didn't really have the wherewithal to chew. Leading to a lot of fishing things out of his mouth and his wailing in rage.
Fastforward 2 months and we're at good place with it. Z eats various purees spread on homemade baby toast sticks, and little Gerber fruit puffs, and banana bites and yogurt melts and "Gerber Graduate's lil' crunchies" ...and it is here we reach the meat of the entry.
I hate the word lil'. I loathe it. If it were on fire and I had spit in my mouth, I'd swallow the spit. It is a cheese grater to my brain.
But guys...guys...these things? These odd puffed corn treats coated in vegetable powder? Sister Mercy. They are delicious. Z likes them well enough, he'll eat half a serving in a sitting, but I could put away half a can if I didn't display some effing self control. These things are better than Cheetos (which I also can't eat anymore) they are super astoudingly tasty.
And so I have a quandary. Do I keep buying the (clearly) cocaine coated "lil" crunchies the name of which is repugnant? Or do I stand my ground on the issue of "lil" and vote with my wallet.

ps I mean clearly I shouldn't be inhaling my infants snack treats...are there adult versions of these? I gotta get off the junk.

Monday, August 22, 2011

All Good and Perfect Gifts...Part 3

Part 1
Part 2

Nothing was happening. And I mean nothing.
Baby still wasn't moving, his heart rate kept decreasing with contractions (not alarmingly like Colin had but enough for concern) I hadn't gone past a 4 in 5 hours of strong regular contractions.
My lovely OB came in. "I know what you want, I am with you, but just in case let me see when the OR is open, I want to be ready just in case."
Surprisingly, this didn't make me defensive, or angry or panicked. I just said "all right. Let us know."
Luke looked at me with surprise. I had fought tooth and nail for a VBAC and now I was rolling over and accepting the possibility for a c-section. Dr. D left the room and I turned to my husband, I held his hand, he stroked my cheek. He kissed my head.
Dr. D came back in, we all looked at one another. "Well there is an open OR in 15 minutes or there is one available at 3 this afternoon. I can go back and reserve the room at 3 so we can do this the way you want!" She sort of trailed off and looked at me. I looked at Luke.
"No, let's go in 15 minutes, this is not going to happen the way I wanted."
It was like I wasn't even talking, I felt totally peaceful, totally at ease with giving up my dream scenario.
Dr. D let out a wooshing breath "oh thank goodness, I wanted to go in now, I just have a feeling we are going to need to be there."
Luke squeezed my hand "me too, lets do this."
Somehow without saying anything to one another we all had agreed that a c-section was our best option.
I called my mom and let her know to head down to the hospital. (It was her birthday!) She would get there in time for me to be out of surgery.
Going into the OR was a totally different experience this time.
I joked with the orderlies and nurses as they got me ready. Dr. D and the nurses and doctors talked about the Superbowl party she had that last weekend, with Luke asking about the food. My anesthesiologist went out of his way to make me comfortable, explaining to me why it was so bloody cold in there, and giving me focusing techniques for when they started.
"Let's start the clock!" Dr. D said brightly.
On the wall a digital clock started a countdown.
I felt nothing as she began the incisions, I was a little anxious but Luke was whispering to me and making me smile.
And all of a sudden, we were the only two people talking.

"Oh my God, her uterus ruptured." there was real fear in my doctor's voice. Flat out bone chilling fear. My heart stopped.

Everything began to move at an incredibly rapid pace.
I knew the score, if my uterus had ruptured the wrong way I could be bleeding out right now, depending on when it had happened the baby could have breached the uterine wall and could be dead.
I was trying to keep it together, I didn't want to be put under like last time but I was crying as the incredible pressure of getting the baby out descended on my abdomen. I could barely breathe.
Luke and the anesthesiologist were talking softly to me, trying to keep me calm and focused. Luke kept rubbing my temples, I could barely hear him but I am almost certain he was praying. The anesthesiologist made me keep telling him how i was feeling, what I needed, he would tell me the time periodically.

After what seemed like hours, but was mere moments in reality, I heard the shout. I heard him yell to the heavens, angry to be out. I grinned, I knew that whatever happened next, my son was here and whole and with us. I couldn't see him, I certainly couldn't hold him, but a great wave of love and relief washed over me. I felt nothing but overwhelming gratitude and blazing love for this tiny soul who had sent me a message: "Mama, come and get me, come and get me now"

I endured the wait while they sewed me back together. I barely remember what happened. The medicine they had used to stop contractions made me shake, I was cold. I was alive. Baby was alive. We were together. That's all that mattered.

Slowly we made our way back to the room, I tried to nurse and surprisingly got a latch, though nothing came out, not even colostrum. The toll of a stressful birth is the delay of your milk coming in. So once again, my kids first meal outside my body was formula. His dad got to feed him. And I was just fine with that.

My milk came in finally at the end of my long hospital stay. I had a blood transfusion, it took me a while to come back to myself. But 6 days after we went in, we got ready to leave. Our little family was complete.

Later, on the day Z was born, when my doctor came in to see me, we learned that after Dr. D had gotten through the layers of muscle and fat, Ezekiel's hand and arm were reaching up and out of the reopened scar of my first c-section. He had totally breached the wall of the uterus, the old scar had undergone a catastrophic dehiscence and he was making his escape. We joked about our "teeny Houdini", and tried to keep the mood light, I had lost less blood with a complete uterine rupture than another woman had in a regular c-section down the hall! Then Dr. D looked at me, any trace of joking gone from her face "when i saw his little hand sticking out, that's when I started to pray. I am so glad you're both here and you're both fine."

Writing about the birth of my second, and last, baby was a long process. It took me 6 months to work through my emotions. So much could have gone wrong, so much could have gone horribly wrong and when I thought about it, it made me broke out in a cold sweat. And still I felt guilty about "giving in" to another c-section. The natural birthing community I feel so strongly attached to (despite my "unnatural" births) feels that my c-sections were mistakes, were part of a medical community that views laboring mothers as paychecks that take to long to finish, that given the right conditions, if I had just stood up for myself I could have had the labor and delivery I dreamed of. And yet both c-sections saved my life, saved my babies lives.
I felt very conflicted about this.
And after 6 months of praying, of processing, I came to the conclusion that I shared at the beginning of my story. That we feel so out of control, our only natural impulse is to control everything we can. And yet, and yet, it is only in letting go of everything, in giving up any and all little bits of control, whatever shape that release may take, it is only then that there is enough room for that huge love to take over. To overwhelm us. To set us blazing with love for that new soul just arrived.

I titled this "All good and perfect gifts..." because I know without a doubt that is was God who helped me arrive at the place of peace. That it was God who stretched me bigger than myself and helped me let go of the control. It was God that had His hand in the final outcome and the outcome was so perfect, so good, such a blessing. I thank my God for that incredible gift.

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