Monthly Archives: May 2009

good things

  • This morning, we decided to go out for breakfast at this upscale diner connected to a very high-end hotel/resort/spa. We walked in, and we were clearly the only locals, and most likely the only people who made under $200,000 a year. We were treated wonderfully because we were locals (even given a locals discount!), and we had the most fantastic food. I had pancakes whose batter contained cottage cheese and lemon zest, and for which I was given creme fraiche and a candied lemon slice as a topping. It was heaven. So was my wine glass of fresh-squeezed OJ.
  • At the restaurant was a couple in their fifties, obviously very wealthy, who were dining in bathrobes. It’s not like the restaurant is physically connected to the hotel; in fact, it’s a bit of a walk. I hope they were wearing underpants. I admit that it made me giggle more than once today to think of them, especially because she was also carrying a purse.
  • After breakfast, we went for a walk, and my wife picked me a flower. We spotted lots of mother-walkers, and they said hello to us in a way we aren’t accustomed to–it was a sort of “welcome to the mom club”  hello–and it made us feel special.
  • We picked up some lovely flowers, eggs, and garlic at our little Friday farmer’s market. There were many classes of kids on a field trip there. They were all buying fruit and flowers, tasting honey and cherries. They were so excited to be there, and we were delighted to watch them.
  • We sat on a bench and watched some toddlers at the park. A boy who was perhaps two was pushing a baby boy(maybe nine months) on the swings (a mother accompanied them). There were little boys going down the slide, little girls hiding behind trees, and so much more. They made us so happy.
  • The pool is one of my favorite places right now, and it feels so good to get in and really move. It’s also lovely to spend time with friends and friends’ kids there as we did today.
  • My wife is wonderful. She now comes around to my side of the car to help me out. I don’t usually need the help, but it’s lovely to be able to take her hand. She is taking such good care of me.
  • I am genuinely happy through and through for one of the first times in my life.

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Protected: a queer dilemma

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meandering: from sore buttons to abundance

It seems that I have a new pregnancy complaint: my belly button is on fire! I think Egghead is going through another growth spurt, and as a result, I’m growing and stretching, and my poor little belly button is suffering for it. At night, or any time I lie down, I’ve been placing a small pillow under my belly so that it doesn’t strain. This is a new sensation and not one I care to endure for much longer.

The boy is also doing a great deal of forceful kicking these days. He’s getting so strong! Most nights, I will spoon J, and she can feel him moving against her back. Some mornings, she tells me that as I slept, he kicked at her nearly constantly. She clearly enjoys these special moments with him. He seems to know her touch, her presence. When she rests her hand on my belly, he finds it and kicks. When my belly is against her back, he wallops her over and over. They’re already developing this really cool bond. We all are, and it’s quite remarkable and touching.

I wouldn’t give up this time for anything. I am loving this stage of pregnancy. It feels comfortable, natural, and oh so precious. I often find myself thinking sadly about the nearly two years it took us to get here and how grateful I am that we finally made it. It is still surreal at times, but I’m trying to soak up every second of it. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to do this again, so I don’t want to miss a thing. I am grateful even for the pain and discomfort, for my gargantuan breasts, for the slower gait I have now adopted. It all suits me just fine.

This week has been a big week for making Egghead preparations. We organized a bunch of the second-hand baby clothes we’ve been given (along with the items we have purchased), and we’re slowly turning our office/guestroom into an office/nursery. I love seeing his things around the room, his clothes hanging in the closet. We ordered his carseat, and it came yesterday, along with his moses basket. I believe our next big purchase will be diapering supplies and a stroller (which my mom is generously purchasing for us). We’re honestly a bit terrified already of all of the things that are coming into the apartment, wondering just how they’re going to fit. Our sweet neighbors–a father and daughter–brought us two baskets full of blankets, clothes, hats, and more today as a thank you for taking care of their cats while they were away. We know this is just the beginning (somehow, we’re having two showers as well), so we’re a little panicked about finding space for everything. For now, only clothes from newborn to three months get drawer space (we have tiny little organizer drawers that will sit under a changing table my step-dad is building); the rest go into storage tubs until he fits into them. This will mean a great deal of diligence on our part with regard to sending things on after he outgrows them, but it’s our only option.

Honestly, though, I wouldn’t trade this dilemma for anything. It’s one that I know we are so blessed to have, one that I am not complaining about in the least. These are the sorts of challenges in life that one welcomes without question.

Most everything else is going rather well. I am nearly finished with a blanket I have been crocheting since my first trimester, and it’s going to be quite cute (although I’m honestly wondering what the hell I was thinking making a blanket–people seem to love to gift blankets. Do they really go through blankets quickly?). We’re also looking forward to a multitude of other projects including the complete rearranging of the office/nursery. That has to wait until we have strong, able-bodied people to help us, but they will come soon. In short, nesting has commenced.

Summer does seem to be upon us, despite its official start being nearly a month away. The weather is warming up, farmer’s market is in full swing, my workload has gone to summer mode (more flexible hours), So You Think You Can Dance has begun (a horribly guilty pleasure of ours), and we’re starting to swim on a more regular basis. Oh, the swimming–it already feels so good to be weightless. I’m so glad that we decided to stay here with a guaranteed pool this year; it is truly going to save me.

I have a password protected post coming up, so let me know in comments if you’d like the magic word.

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Filed under Egghead, the P word

prop 8 ruling

The California Supreme Court announced today that it will uphold Prop 8’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. After hearing the rather dismal oral arguments, I wasn’t surprised, but it’s still a blow, still disappointing. I suppose the silver lining here is that our marriage still stands, and the marriages of those others who married before election day still stand, but that is little consolation for those who have yet to meet and fall in love or those who were unable to marry for other reasons. It feels strange to be part of this small exception.

Neither J nor I have the energy to fight now, and frankly, there is nothing to be done until we get this on the ballot again. For now, we’re choosing to be selfish, choosing to focus on our family and our stability. Sometimes, we just can’t be activists.

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Filed under marriage, Prop 8

show and tell

A couple of weeks ago, we arrived home to find a package at or door, and in our package was this our pay it forward craft from Olive! Below is the stunning mobile we found in the package:

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It has taken us a bit of time to put it up because we have been working on finding Egghead’s space in our nursery/office, but today, I was able to hang it up, and it’s so beautiful and perfect! Eventually, it will move to the other side of the room and hang over the crib, but for now, it gets to hang by the window. The birds are all hand-sewn with the most wonderful fabrics. We love staring at it, so we know our boy will too. Here it is silhouetted against the curtains we made last year (which will remain in our funky little nursery as well):

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We are both so impressed with Olive’s creativity and skill and are delighted to have such a lovely piece of art for our baby’s room. Thank you so much, Olive!

This week has also marked 24 weeks, and as I mentioned on the last post, six months! I can hardly believe that we are this far along already. Time is racing by. In just a month, we’re headed north to Humboldt for our first baby shower. I’ll have my glucose screening soon, and we’ll tour the hospital and sign up for birth classes before long too. Unbelievable. To show just how much I’ve grown, my six week belly shot is below

6weeks

Six Weeks

Followed by today’s photo:

 

Twenty-four Weeks

Twenty-four Weeks

I wore this shirt most of the day, and my wife was amused because my belly kept poking out. I just had to see how it fit. I don’t know why I’m still so surprised when my non-maternity clothes are too small, but I do find it amusing.

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Filed under belly, craftiness, gifts

adventures in apartment living

Last night, as J and I were getting ready for bed, our smallest cat was crouching at the door to our balcony, growling. This cat is known to growl at her reflection, so I initially didn’t think anything of it. But then I remembered that our older female cat had come in from the balcony utterly spooked earlier in the evening, complete with poofy tail.

Our balcony light needs a new bulb (I keep forgetting to replace it), so I grabbed my trusty maglite, and I started to look through the window for anything that might be scaring the cats. When I didn’t see anything, I opened the door a little, and poked my head out, and then I saw it: a large raccoon.

We live on the second floor, so our balcony is not easy for critters to reach. Therefore, we have turned the balcony into a little haven for our cats to give them a little extra space. We even placed a small free feeder of food outside so that they would be more tempted to spend time out there. Unfortunately, this was a temptation for the whole animal kingdom, it seems.

I told J about our raccoon, and we tried to brainstorm what to do. It appeared to be stuck, but we needed to pick up that food before any other critters decided to join him. My brave wife grabbed the maglite and opened the door, shining it on the animal. He was clearly frightened by this and clumsily made his way up to the railing. She continued to shine the light on him, and he attempted to scurry down, falling on his way. I felt a little bad for him, but at least he was gone!

Then we went for the food dish to see what damage he had done. It was all gone. We had filled the thing earlier in the day with about two pounds of food. All two pounds had been eaten. The little piggy had had himself a feast.

But this is not the weirdest part of it all. It seems our raccoon visitor was litterbox trained. Earlier in the day, J and been cleaning the balcony litterbox and found a giant poop there–much larger than our cats are known to create. She found this curious but didn’t think much of it. After the raccoon left last night, she again looked at the box, and it was filled with pee (he had also consumed all of the water we placed outside for the cats and overturned the bowl). We’re grateful that he was at least considerate to use the box during his stay, which we think must have been a lengthy one based on our first cat’s reaction a few hours before bedtime. It just kills me that she was out there terrified while this raccoon stole her food, pissed in her box, and made itself at home on her balcony.

The funny thing is that I’m really not so stupid as to put food out for wild animals. I grew up in a rural setting in the Sierra Nevada foothills. I know that when food of any sort is left out that one is simply inviting critters of all kinds to come visit. I suppose I felt that things were more secure on our second-floor balcony in a rather populated apartment complex. Alas, I have learned my lesson once again and will no longer be feeding our neighborhood wildlife, but the public restroom facilities will remain.

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Dear Universe,

Thank you for watermelon. Thank you especially for watermelon that is ripe right now.

Love,

T

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a little bit crunchy

Thank you all so much for your encouragement and stories related to the fibroids. I’m feeling so much better about this, and I know we’re going to be fine no matter the outcome. Your comments really helped me get to this more positive space.

We have just returned from a whirlwind trip to visit family. We gained lots of belly love and some gifts for Egghead (including a fabulous swing/infant seat combo), and I lost my glasses. Grrr.

We’re now eager to settle into some routine again. After having family visiting for nearly a week and then spending another four days with some of the same family members, we are ready for some normalcy. We have projects galore to immerse ourselves in, most of which relate to preparing for baby.

While visiting my mom, we got a ton of flannel (most of it passed down from my great-grandmother–my grandmother tends to stockpile fabric) to create cloth baby wipes, and we have already cut them up, so all that is left to do is spend countless hours at my temperamental sewing machine to zigzag the edges. It will be so worth it, though, to have these soft reusable wipes. I have found a few good recipes for a gentle cleaning solution to use with them, and I’m excited to make these too.

Our trip also brought us to our very first Babies.R.Us. It was overwhelming and even a bit disappointing. We’re planning to cloth diaper, and we were hoping to at least get some covers to help build up our supplies. Unfortunately, BRU had little more than those old, obnoxious plastic/vinyl pants, and it took asking a clerk and carefully combing the infant care section to find even these. Why these along with their one variety of cloth diapers were not placed in the huge “diapering” section, we do not know. Well, actually, my guess is a partnership with Hug.gies and P.ampers is likely the culprit. Needless to say, we came away with no diapering supplies (we’ll be buying them online).

We did find a few items to satisfy our crunchy, granola girl sides: a natural rubber pacifier, some glass bottles, and some organic, unbleached cotton nursery items (changing pad, covers, mattress cover, etc.). These things we are quite pleased about.

J and I have this funny need to rebel against all the typical plastic baby crap. We know we’ll get plenty of it, and we know we’ll likely use it gratefully, but we also want to honor how babies were raised once upon a time when one didn’t need to take a huge bag of baby trash to the dumpster every day or when one didn’t “need” to buy, buy, buy in order to raise a happy, healthy child. We see too many of our real-life friends falling into this baby crap trap where their lives are overflowing with one poorly-made plastic baby item after another, and we’re hoping to learn from this. So far, this has meant sending some clear messages to some shopaholic family members, but it seems to be working. I’m by no means a fundamentalist about this stuff, but I am not embarrassed to say that I’m insanely nostalgic for a simpler more sustainable time. And how great will it be for our boy to have a little taste of yesteryear in his upbringing?

ETA: Holy crap! My ticker reads six months. How is that possible? Belly shots to come tomorrow.

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Filed under babies, family, nesting

curve ball

We had an OB appointment today, and to our surprise, we had more than five minutes with our doctor. She wanted to review our ultrasound results with us, and when she saw them, she said, “Oh, so you have some fibroids.” I just sort of stared at her and then asked, “Really? What does that mean right now?”

She talked a bit about what they are, how they grow, where my particular fibroids are and how big (one is 7cm!), and that she was frankly quite surprised that I didn’t know about them.

When it came to the bigger implications for this pregnancy, though, I started to get a little scared. She talked about the increased chances of difficulties in labor. When I asked if the likelihood of interventions during labor are increased, she didn’t mince words: “Yes” was her answer. She talked about the fact that labor can be slowed by these fibroids and that if I’m not following a “normal” labor “curve” that they’ll have to talk about intervening. And then she dropped the big bomb: c-sections are more likely.

Of course, the good doctor spent some time talking about how routine c-sections are now and how some women prefer them, and she was saying this, my lower lip betrayed me and started quivering like crazy. “Are you upset?” she asked. I told her I was, that this was not what I wanted to hear, that I so want a natural birth. She handed me some tissues and urged me to avoid looking at the worst-case scenario. She stressed that in this case, even though the process of birth is significant, I need to be focusing on product over process in order to avoid endangering my health or that of the baby. I honestly didn’t like hearing this at the moment, but I suppose I have to accept that this is the hand I’ve been dealt, and she really was trying to help me see that in the healthiest light possible.

This doesn’t mean that I’m giving up and going straight for the scheduled c-section, but it does mean I once again have to rethink things. J and I discussed that we really need to begin thinking about our birth plan and its various clauses (i.e. if this, then this). We are also certain now that we will hire a doula; we’re going to need an advocate through this. I was going to check out the midwives at this practice, but for now, I think I’m going to continue seeing the doctor. I’m really not sure what I need to do as far as my care goes, but I know I need to keep my worrying to a minimum and keep myself healthy. This has always been my priority, and it will continue to be so.

Some time spent with Dr. Google today has reassured me a bit. One source discussed a study revealing that 70% of women with fibroids larger than 10cm go on to have vaginal deliveries. Given that the c-section rate in the U.S. is just above 30%, this sounds like my chances of a vaginal delivery are fairly normal (especially considering my largest is 7cm, and most of the research claims they don’t grow much after the first trimester). Of course, when one spends time with ole Doc Google, one comes up with ugly information too–increased chances of preterm labor or premature membrane rupture were a couple of ugly ones I didn’t want to see–but these seem to be quite rare. In fact, from what I have read so far, the majority of women with fibroids don’t have any major complications. I needed to see that, and I’m hoping that this is my path. So far, this pregnancy has gone rather well, and I would like to keep it that way.

As for the rest of the appointment, my uterus is measuring 23cm, which is perfect for 23 weeks (one of the side effects of fibroids is that they can make one measure much larger, but this isn’t happening so far). Egghead’s heartbeat was 136–still mellow and strong. My blood pressure was great. Everything but these nasty fibroids seems perfect, and that is what I need to focus on.

All of that said, this wouldn’t be my life without the occasional curve ball. J and I seem to attract these. So far, we’ve managed to keep moving forward despite them, and I’m determined that this is what will happen now as well.

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Filed under birth, Egghead, OB, the P word

marxist in the making

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We’re  watching our niece for a couple of days this week while my sister attends a conference nearby, and she has quite an obsession with our bookshelves. So far, she has explored the spirituality shelf (she likes the Tao Te Ching and some meditation guides), the memoir shelf (David Sedaris seems to be her favorite), and, today, the philosophy and history shelf. For nearly half an hour today, she was working on pulling just one book from under a couple of others.

And then she showed us:

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And she crawled across the living room to show it to me and share with me and J some of her favorite passages:

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Her ultra-conservative father would be so proud! The shelves at her level that she has yet to discover have a bunch of lesbian and feminist literature. I’m so glad we get to have an influence on this baby.

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