Sunday, March 21, 2010

Breaking the Cycle - Raising a Daughter With A Healthy Self-Image

One of the bloggers I have recently started following, Anne Collier of Net Family News, distributed a link to an article from addressing a "sexting" case in which a couple of 15 year old girls were caught having sent provocative pictures of themselves via text message and a group of boys were forwarding them to each other's phones.  The issue was not so much that teens are experimenting with sexual exploitation - we all went to high school - but that the judge in the case was threatening to convict the girls of child pornography which would technically classify them as sex offenders.  I thought it was an interesting article and found it unsettling on a multiple levels. Two days later, I encountered another instance involving the distribution of provocative photographs, this one a bit closer to home, involving an acquaintance.  So, I'm now looking at this from the perspective of a woman, of a woman who has always struggled with body image issues, of a woman approaching thirty, of a woman whose body has become a completely amazing and foreign enigma, and ... what really kept me up last night.... of the mother of a daughter.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm all about free speech and free love.  I think the human body is a beautiful thing and I am far, far, far from prudish.  HOWEVER, I'm pretty upset over this.  I spent most of yesterday thinking about this in the context of how do we keep our daughter from exclusively linking her self worth with her body - from measuring her value by the numbers on the scale or by her bra size, or by her pants size while still instilling a well-rounded sense of confidence?  How do I keep her from instinctively using her body as a tool to get attention and affection verses her mind, her heart or her spirit?  In the moment, upset and not knowing what else to do, I had a long conversation with Moon Pie in which I told her over and over and over again how amazing and wonderful and beautiful she is.  With out much else to go on, I figured I'd start there.  I have no idea what she looks like, I don't really care... beauty is relative and simply, I guess its never too early to start building her self confidence... but surely there's more I can do.

Then I started thinking about myself and my own struggles as a woman with body image issues.  I would tell you, this moment, right now, without flinching, that I have never been "skinny" a day in my life.  I will look you straight in the face and tell you this, knowing full well that I have about eight pairs of  size 2 and size 4 pants in my closet that I was wearing three years ago that I can't bring myself to throw away.  Three years ago I was still desperately trying to lose weight obsessed with 'just 10 more pounds'.   I could bore you with all of the dysfunctional things that I have done over the course of my life in an effort to make myself thin but none of them are unique, you've heard them all and seen them all, we've all seen the after school specials, body image demons are nothing if not cliche in today's society.  Honestly, it hasn't been until right now, with the third trimester of pregnancy, that I have really come to understand my body and see it as a whole verses a waist vs. hips ratio and something that is "almost there".  Honestly, I have gained more weight with pregnancy than I had planned but I am also doing everything in my power to have a healthy baby so, much to my surprise, I'm really not bothered by the number on the scale.  The two things I am looking forward to over the course of the next 12 months is a renewed commitment to exercise to develop a strong body (verses being able to see my hip bones jutting out when I lay down while dealing with dull, thinning hair) and implementing the nutritional information I have adapted with the gestational diabetes into a lifelong, healthy, dietary plan.  That sets me on the right path and I feel good about the head space I am in right now with regards to my own self-image.... ironically, probably better than I have ever felt in my life.  But what about our daughter?

It's no secret that my side of the family is not setting any metabolism records and its also no secret that Hunter's side of the family does not have the most healthy dietary regimen.  This could make for a very unhealthy combination and a life-long struggle.  Not to mention the fact that with the development of gestational diabetes both she and I are now 60% more likely to develop type II diabetes later in life.  I fear that we're potentially starting behind the eight ball when it comes to body image issues.  So, my goal is to find some magical way of reinforcing a healthy life style without making it about size.  I know this means that, as a mother, I can't be crash dieting or complaining about how I look and feel and that I also can not micromanage everything that she puts into her mouth or her level of physical activity.  My hope is, that with the proper environment, she will make healthy decisions of her own volition and that we (yes, darling, I know you're reading this and that means you too)will set a very strong example.

My other concern and challenge as the mother of a daughter is to keep her from having a skewed perception of the value of her physique - a.k.a. sending provocative pictures to freshman boys to get attention, love, or affection.  I remember high school. Trying to keep sex from being a focal point at that time in a person's life is laughable but if we can just keep it in a healthy context and keep it from becoming consuming then I think we will have succeeded.  Hunter and I both agree that the importance of having a well informed child very much outweighs the awkwardness that this education can occasionally bring.  However, in addition, if we can somehow, magically, teach well-rounded intimacy that is not exclusively physical, maybe... just maybe.... she'll fall in love with a guy who reads Neruda to her on their second date instead of the guy who keeps eying her entirely too short skirt.

Looking back on my own struggles, seeing the women that I know and love struggle all of these years and living in a society that is completely addicted to and obsessed with an unobtainable image of the perfect female form at any cost just breaks my heart.   As I write this, I think about the women that I know today who seem truly happy and they are intelligent, creative, quick-witted, talented and stylish.  They are women who love to read books and write journals and knit and cook and run and do yoga.  They are single, engaged, in relationships, and married.  Every single one of them are absolutely gorgeous, elegant and classy.  Every one of them tend to be fully clothed when they leave the house and I doubt if any of them of them looks like a Maxim cover when she steps out of the shower.  I have no earthly idea how much any of them weigh because we rarely discuss it and these confident, well-rounded, exquisite, happy women are the ones that I hope will help me to raise a daughter who is confident, well-rounded, exquisite and happy herself.  

Friday, March 19, 2010

**Quaranteen!!** or ' A Flaming Deluge of Itch'

I'll be honest, I've had some concerns about this turning into a 'mommy blog'.  That was not what I originally set out to do and mommy blogs have become so trendy and cliche lately that I really cringe when I think about falling into that category.  However, the reality is,  I'm becoming a mother very (VERY) soon and lets face it,  its the most significant thing I've ever been through, ever done, ever been a part of... its a bit consuming.  Also, it just so happens I got pregnant as soon as I started this blog, so maybe I'm railing against destiny.  At the end of the day - do I really care?  Nah, not so much really.  Plus- these days I don't really have to worry, because instead of a mommy blog this has become a database of maladies, an encyclopedia of heath-related catastrophes, a hysterical screed on sickness - and well.... slightly pathetic.  Now that I've acknowledged that, that's right, I'll own it, let me tell you about this rash!  No seriously... this rash is blog worthy... this rash is epic.  (You know you so wanted to kick off your weekend reading about my rash!)

So if you will recall about two weeks ago I was bemoaning yet another cold and was wailing about how much I missed the simple act of breathing.  Truth be told, as far as colds go, this one was definitely less significant than most.  No sore throat, aches, cough, etc...  it only lasted a week.... in the scheme of colds, I can handle it.  So, after the cold wanned and life returned to normal, as per usual, my darling Dr. Best started complaining of the sniffles.  "Great, another sympathetic illness.  Why can't he just let me be pregnant and miserable without stealing all of my ailments after I have exhausted them?" I think to myself.   "Go chug your nyquil and leave me over here to pout with my herbal tea." (I blame moments like this on hormones).  So a few days go by and I start to itch.  Then I start to itch more.  Then more body parts start to itch... the itching is increasing in both intensity and surface area... what... the... hell.  At first we were thinking allergic reaction, then we talk to the doctor and she says -"nope, pregnancy rash... its common, it sucks, it will go away someday.  Sorry, my dear!"  (Believe it or not, I do take strange comfort in the fact that it takes a whole hell of a lot to get my doctor worked up.  I find it inexplicably comforting when she crosses her legs, tilts her head, smiles genuinely and says "yeah, I hate that for you, but you're going to have to just deal.." So pregnancy rash it is!  More to file away  when moon pie and I are at odds over curfew.

.... and then Hunter starts to itch.

"NO!  NO! NO! NO!  YOU CAN NOT HAVE MY RASH.  ITS A PREGNANCY RASH, YOU DO NOT GET TO STEAL MY PREGNANCY RASH!" (again with the hormones.)  He pulls up his shirt and there it is.... damn if the love of my life doesn't have a pregnancy rash.  So we immediately started sleuthing for the source because, let's face it, if Hunter did have a pregnancy rash - we have bigger issues than territorial tiffs over disease.  We checked the animals for fleas, washed the sheets, inventoried all of our soaps, detergents, etc... nothing stood out.  Then it dawned on us - we both had that cold..... holy crap..... THE RASH IS VIRAL.  WE HAVE A FLESH EATING VIRAL RASH.  Just for fun, Hunter went to the doctor and confirmed this hypothesis yesterday.

So, between us, we're taking 3-4 oatmeal baths a day, we've been through 4 tubes of Gold Bond cream, and an entire container of Sarna lotion.  We went out Wednesday night and had to come home early because my legs spontaneously combusted into a flaming deluge of itch and so since then we've essentially spent our evenings in the bed slathering lotion, trying not to touch anything, and fantasizing about amputating various body parts and sleeping about 3 hours a night...and NOT in a fun and kinky sort of way!  I just took the first benadryl that I have taken in 12 years.  Last time I took it I didn't sleep for days and ended up hallucinating.  Of course, I was also in a very different place in my life about 12 years ago, so I could have that entire experience out of context.  Fortunately, I just ended up in a spherical, drooling mass of slightly-less-itchy exhaustion today... I'm fine with that.

So - there is our epic tale of the flaming flesh-eating viral rash.  I have to say, this has been one instance where misery does love company.   Though  I hate that he's uncomfortable, its been nice being able to hole up with Hunter knowing he can relate to and share my agony.  If nothing else, we've been able to effectively entertain each other!

In a brief baby update, looks like Moon Pie is getting as anxious as I am about moving on to the next phase.  Our little girl is a getting little ahead in terms of size so as of today, we've got less than 4 weeks or so and then we can start talking about getting this party started.  I learned this exciting bit of news on Tuesday and almost as if on cue, I started with the braxton-hicks contractions (fake contractions or 'practice contractions') on Wed.  General consensus is that this is an indicator we've got a month or so left.  That puts us at the week of April 13th, which really and truly seems like tomorrow to me.  At this point, there's really no telling... I do know, the next couple of weeks should be pretty interesting!  I will continue to keep you posted.

Hope all is well with you.  I know back east you're having some serious spring weather.  Its snowing right now but they're calling for 64 degrees and sunshine this weekend.  Maybe I'll go sun my rash!  :)

Lots of love!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Nothing exciting... a cold, a dislocated rib and a broken dishwasher... just your average weekend.

Y'all are going to have to forgive me.  I've been a little all over the map lately.  We can blame that on the hormones, the absence of sugar, or whatever, I don't really care what we blame it on... pick an excuse I have plenty!!!!!!!  The end of last week was one for the books, for sure.  I ended up completely overcome with *A-N-O-T-H-E-R* massive cold.  Honestly, with the exception of maybe 4 or 5 days I've been sick since day one of my 3rd trimester.  I so wanted to be one of those women who just totally Zen's out and just "loves being pregnant."  I was all good for trimesters 1&2.  Then I became one of those pregnant women who starts every sentence with "you're not going to believe what this child has done to me now."  Oh-well.  At least we know that I'm not all of a sudden going to decide to birth an entire herd of children.  Back to my cold.  This was the sort of cold where your body pretty much feels okay except for the fact that you might as well not have a nose.  There are no sniffles or sore throat or cough, just a complete absence of one of two very critical breathing options. My sinuses were completely sealed shut.  Occasionally, one of my nostrils would just start dripping liquid but because my face is scaly and raw and numb, this was difficult to predict and catch.  We're really talking about a total absence of grace here.  Because my nose just up and quit my face, there was no sniffing or blowing, just this delightful spontaneous dripping and desperate clamoring for a Kleenex/paper towel/roll of toilet paper/sleeve/whatever.

The most predominant effect of this phenomenon was to piss me off and make me whiny.  Then came the rib situation.  I'm sure most of you have heard me mumbling in protest about my child's foot in my ribs and how uncomfortable said foot placement could be.  Also on Wednesday, this discomfort morphed from a consistent annoyance into full on chronic agony.  I asked our birthing instructor for advice and she told me to go hang from some monkey bars.... Really?  Monkey Bars?  I was so scouting out playgrounds for monkey bars.  I was hanging on door frames, I was hanging on Hunter... whatever, I was game.  It didn't work.  Thursday, I asked my Dr. about it.   She laughed at me and said "tell her to move!".  Cute.  So finally, I did what no pregnant woman should ever do.... I Googled 'how to remove baby's foot from my ribs'.  LOW AND BEHOLD the first 10 things that came up involved physical therapy.

**long pause** 

So by Friday morning, I had not slept since Tuesday and I was confined from the bed until pain became so unbearable that had to pace around the house trying to re-adjust my torso. I called the physical therapist who had helped me with some S.I. joint issues earlier in my pregnancy who specializes in women's therapy and pregnancy.  This woman, Ashely Nelson, is a goddess, a saint, and my personal hero.  I made an emergency appointment to see her Friday afternoon, walked into her office, she looked at me and immediately said "Wow, um, yeah - I'd imagine that hurts, you've got a dislocated rib sticking out of your back.".

My darling little girl dislodged a rib.  God love her.... from what I understand, that's not super easy to do!  She's either really really tall or really really strong.... or both.  So with some serious manipulation (Ashley), banging (Ashley), cussing (Me) and praying (Me), Ashley and I got my rib back in place and tapped up.  If nothing else, our efforts did clear my sinuses for a few minutes!!!  So I kick started my weekend bruised as hell from our efforts to re-align my rib, but you know what, I'll take a little bruising over chronic agony ANY DAY.

Also, while all of this was happening our dishwasher stopped cleaning our dishes.  Ordinarily this wouldn't bother me all that much but a dear friend reminded me that I would soon be doing lots of dishes and sterilizing lots of...well... everything.  Even so, this has really been a minor irritant of late (in comparison...) until today when I started calling around to have the thing fixed.  I called Sears a total of 3 times and had Hunter call once all in an effort to try and understand our two payment options.  First of all, out of all four phone calls none of our customer service reps spoke English as a primary language.  That's totally fine, unless I am asking open-ended questions that require a legitimate dialogue.  To the best of my understanding there were two payment options, both of which made me feel like I was signing up for some sort of seriously creepy life insurance.  Something inside of me kept saying - "if you sign up for this appointment, you might still have unsterilized baby bottles there's a possibility that they will completely drain your 401-K.... red flag... red flag."   Neither plan allowed me to get a new dishwasher if I changed my mind. Seriously?  How can you tell me 'No' if I want a new dishwasher!?!?!  How does that even work? I'm pregnant.  I'm incapable of making a decision or committing to what shoes I want to wear today.  I need legitimate options.  I NEED to be able to change my mind!

An hour later, I actually found the manual for the dishwasher.  I called the Maytag company.  This time, instead of being transferred over seas, I spent literally (by this point yes - I really am timing) 25 minutes trying playing 20 questions with a computerized voice.  Trying to read off your phone number with no nose to anon-human is just really really challenging.  "Dide.. One.. Dide- etc. etc. (should be 919)"  and then with all of the yes or no questions I'm eventually screaming "Doh!!!!" into the phone thinking, under different circumstances, I'm sure this would be comical.  Finally, the computer gave up on me and put me on the phone with Taylor, a sweetheart with a southern drawl.  I gotta tell you, Taylor was no real help but just hearing his live, human, southern voice really made my day.  Taylor inadvertently reminded me that we were given a 1 year home warranty when we purchased our house and that our dishwasher is covered!!!!  I was so elated by this news that I didn't even care that I had wasted the last 3 hours of my day.

SO if we're keeping pace:
While the size of my baby looks great and she doesn't qualify a 'monster baby' in physique, I have taken to referring to her as 'monster baby' because, well, the child dislocated my freaking rib!  (Hunter gets very upset when I refer to our sweet daughter as monster.  Hunter, however,  has never had a dislocated anything.  Yet...)  However, I have found the best Physical Therapist in the whole wide world so its all good.

Round 17 of the never-ending-head-cold  seems to be wanning.  I've been almost able to breathe out of my left nostril for going on 17 hours now.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks to a very cool Realtor and sweet Taylor from Maytag, our dishwasher should be fixed for the more than reasonable price of $60.00.  No one was injured in the scheduling of this service.

Nursery is almost finished (pics this week!) and we should be able to start working on the yard in the next week or two (its our first honest to goodness yard, I'm excited).

Spring is coming and sometime in the next 5-7 weeks, so is Moon Pie.

Life. Is. Good.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A little rant, A little common courtesy, A little more rant.

Okay – I will be the first to admit, I’ve been a little intense lately.  That said; it’s a controlled intensity.  I was able to keep myself from laying on the horn and screaming at the lady driving in a way that made Ms. Daisy look like Mario Andretti through the cancer center on my way to pick Hunter up from work.   I have enough presence of mind to realize, it’s a cancer center.  The only people who get to cause scenes here are the ones with cancer.  Get a hold of yourself… and a hold of myself was gotten!  See!  Controlled intensity! Beautiful!

HOWEVER!   HOW-ev..errrr…. When it came to the guy “walking his dog”.  Okay, screw it; you can’t call what he was doing “walking his dog”.   I need to rephrase: When it came to the guy “passive aggressively trying to communicate reverse psychology via telepathy to his mongrel of a canine in an effort to maintain a pathetic delusion of evolved human-being/companion animal dominance and FAILING TO THE DETRIMENT OF … WELL … AT A MINIMUM, ME”…. Yes, when it comes to THAT GUY…. I kind of lost my patience.

Allow me to expound.  (Like you have a choice at this juncture).  I mentioned Monday that we (I) have a renewed commitment to making our yard a pleasant space that will, one day, hopefully, be somewhat child friendly.   (I think the term frequently being whispered behind my back when referring to this latest crusade is actually ‘nesting’.) We (I) have decided that step one in this process is to transition the primary function of our yard being an unsanitary sewage pit for our two golden retrievers, Dharma and Bodhi.  No more stench of ammonia wafting up in the hot dry summer sun as we sit on our patio table and no more monthly expeditions in hazmat suits to remove all of the piles of poo.  Two 60-80 lb dogs produce a lot of poo.  It’s gross.  God love ‘em.  Also, something we learned the hard way, when there is no humidity and no rain, dog poo doesn’t just break down and “fertilize” like it does down south.  No, it petrifies instead.  If it’s winter, it freezes and then petrifies.  SO my solution to this is 3-4 short walks of a block or 2 or 3 or more (depending on how much time we have and how shy Bodhi is about going on a tandem leash with Dharma at his side - I’m finding he’s pretty shy).  Operation no-poo (I’ll come up with a better name when I’m not so pissed off) started today.  I’m finding I’m digging this new endeavor because it also forces me to take a break, stretch my legs, and get a breath of fresh air.  I’m down with it. 

To set the scene, I have to tell you we live in what is often referred to as a “mixed use” neighborhood and a “walkable community.”  It’s a neighborhood with an urban feel to it.  While it is primarily historic/residential homes a lot of these old buildings have been turned into  art galleries, coffee shops, cafĂ©’s, bakeries, laundromats, grocery stores, ski shops, you name it, interspersed with the houses on every block.  It’s laid out in a way that really encourages social living, getting out and walking, lots of sidewalks and bike lanes, etc. etc.  It’s also INCREDIBLY dog friendly.  Dogs are almost required to live here.  It’s nothing for me to see a little old lady with her yippy, white, fluff ball strolling down the aisle in the produce section of the neighborhood grocery store or chilling in her purse in a near-by restaurant.  
For the most part, I find dog owners are pretty conscientious.  Most dog owners are in the same boat we are, the lots are very small in this part of town and in order to keep your yard from being flagged by the CDC, you have to walk your dogs often.  We all make sure we bag the business and toss accordingly.  We have understood off leash areas – for example; the cemetery one block up.  Not technically off leash, but if you are conscientious about your dog’s behavior, personality and when you go, its all good.   Also,…. Drum roll please… theres THE DOG PARK in the middle of the neighborhood – even though it’s not fenced in… which is kind of strange for a dog park in the middle of an urban neighborhood…. FINALLY if your dog really needs to get some energy out of its system there is a dog friendly hiking trail at the edge of the neighborhood that goes for about 5 miles through the woods AND INCLUDES A CREEK FOR ADDITIONAL DOG DELIGHT!!!! What more could you ask for?  So the rules are, bag your business and keep your dog on a leash unless you are in one of the understood leash optional areas.

Now, I am willing to grant exception to this decree.  For example, our neighbor’s dog, Beau is really and truly the reincarnated soul of some heavenly saint sent down to provide dignified, well mannered, love and companionship to his family.  Beau is perfect.  Beau does not require a leash.  I will be the FIRST to tell you  with absolute certainty… my dogs are nothing like Beau.  Dharma is a somewhat unpredictable, neurotic, psychologically faulty, spaz.  She has three modes: Hide, eat, run.  She doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body and is beta to a fault, but she’s stubborn and when she’s walking, she really just wants to run, hide, or both.    Therefore, I don’t let her off of the leash.   Bodhi, on the other hand is a huge, bumbling, blond, exhibition of love.  Really.  He’s three dimensional love.  He loves everything and everybody and has so much love that he can’t control himself.  When he encounters something new he just showers it with and explosion love and kisses and… well urine.   Shockingly, some folks find this trait annoying.  Therefore, I don’t let him off of the leash.  At the end of the day, both of my dogs are pretty well behaved, well trained, and listen fairly well.  However, you never know when you’re going to encounter another aggressive dog or someone running a stop sign, or whatever.  Because I love my dogs, I don’t let them off of the leash.

(Below is Bodhi.  He's experiencing explosive euphoria because his all time favorite person in the world, our neighbor, Ron, is telling him good morning through the fence.  This state of extreme, full bodied bliss is pretty much perpetual)
(Above is Dharma.  She's hiding from the voices.  We've been able to determine that the voices only stop when she's fed, therefore, if she's not hiding, she's stalking the kitchen.)

So I’m waddling down the sidewalk, minding my own business, trying desperately to talk Bodhi into getting over his bathroom shyness when I see dude walking down the street in front of me about 15 feet behind his little black Scotty/Yorkie/thingy, which is not on a leash.  It was a super cute little dog, lots of energy, I’m guessing a puppy.  I wave to the guy and slow down to give him time to call his dog back and leash her up.  He does nothing.  Nothing.  I stop.  Little dog runs over to us and starts bouncing and trying to play.  Dharma wants no part of this and starts trying to hide and Bodhi can’t contain himself and starts trying to wrestle with the dog.  I’m now in the middle of a pack of 3 dogs going in three different directions all in various stages of insanity and I’m 7 months pregnant.   Needless to say, I held that leash for about 30 seconds before I was over powered by the chaos of 150 pounds worth of dog and let them all go.  Now, keep in mind it’s also about 5:30 in the afternoon.   We’re at an intersection.  This is just uncool.  So I look at the guy, who is now strolling towards me (strolling) causally calling his dog “Cricket.”, and I say “SERIOUSLY!?!?!?  Man, this is uncool”. 

AREN’T YOU PROUD OF ME!?!?!  I DIDN’T USE A SINGLE CUSS WORD!  THAT IS A SERIOUSLY LOW KEY EXPRESSION OF FRUSTRATION!!!!!!!!  So the guy… says… NOTHING.  Not. A.  Word.   Not, ‘OH MY GOD I’M SORRY!’  Not, ‘Are you okay?!?’  Not, ‘my dog is out of control and I’m a pathetic human being with no respect for my fellow man’.  Not, ‘lady why don’t you just roll your pregnant butt out of here’.  Nothing.  He just ignores me, keeps casually strolling towards me passively stating his dog’s name, “Cricket.”.   I’ve got news for you; Cricket had left the reservation by this point.  Cricket was flying so high she didn’t hear anything but a thousand euphoric trumpets blasting ‘freedom’ in her little puppy dog ears.

I decide to take a different approach.  Maybe the guy is embarrassed at his obvious impotence when it comes to his dog.  I say “ha ha… I’ve been there… she’s actually a really cute dog.”  Still nothing.  I’ve given up that the guy is ever going to get control of his dog and mine are sensing that I’m really not happy and are starting to calm down and dial back into what’s going on with me.  I gather up their leash, they calm down, we start walking.  Effing Cricket starts following.  She follows us to the end of the block, she bolts across the intersection, she’s yard hopping, she’s out of this stratosphere!  The guy starts strolling in her general direction causally calling her name like it’s just no big deal, he’s yet to acknowledge me or our obviously unpleasant predicament, he’s just strolling and I can’t stand it anymore.  I just can’t. So I turn around and say, “I hate to state the obvious here, but you obviously have zero control over your dog and therefore have absolutely no business walking her off leash.  Not only is it dangerous for her to be playing in 5:00 traffic, but its unbelievable rude and inconsiderate and I really really don’t appreciate being put in this situation while I’m walking my dogs minding my own damn business”.  You guessed it.  He said nothing.  I stormed off in a huff, put Dharma and Bodhi back in the house, and came out on the front porch with my hands on my hips to glare at him with my most humiliating glare while he spent the next 15 minutes following his insane little monster around my block.   He finally turned around and left her, which she finally realized and followed in his general direction.  Nothing like some passive aggressive reverse psychology to really show your little dog who’s boss.  Way to handle the situation.

I just don’t understand people sometimes.  In my world, and I like this little world, you go out of your way to be kind and conscientious.  You cross the street to help someone struggling; you don’t look the other way.  You are accountable for your actions and claim responsibility if you have caused discomfort to another person.  This could be as simple as accidentally bumping someone with your grocery cart or almost causing a pregnant woman to land flat on her face amidst a pile of insane dogs.  Anyway, you get the point, no need for me to get all high and mighty.  Just remember, you have nothing lost by making an extra effort to interact with your fellow man.  Worst case scenario is they ignore you and you’re no worse off than you would have been if you had ignored them.  I think it’s easy to get out of the habit if physical interaction and common courtesy when it’s so much easier to text, tweet, email, or chat.  I love all of these functions, but let’s face it, they are a little soulless and I always say, there is nothing in this world like hearing the sound of your sweet voice.   

On that happy note, I must get ready to go to birthing class.  And I'd also like to end by saying... Screw you, Cricket's Owner!  And your little dog too!!!  HA!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The weekend, progress and pregnancy portraits!

Greetings! I hope y'all had truly exceptional weekends! However, let's face it... not every weekend can be truly exceptional, so if your weekend wasn't exceptional, I hope it was, at the very least, pleasant. I was able to effectively pull myself out of my funk on Friday. I appreciate you're letting me vent... it helped tremendously! In addition to unloading into the ether, I spoke with my doctor who cleared up a little bit of confusion and I went back and read this: "The biggest lesson I have learned from the first phase of this experience.... you can not predict, plan, schedule, or manage this experience. As you might imagine, this is a MASSIVE revelation for me... but amazing all the same. For the first time in my life I truly have almost no control of my body, my mind, my emotions, my reactions, or my needs and wants and I can honestly say, I have never been happier. I have never been more relaxed and I have never been so excited to be surprised each and every single day. I'd say so far, this is an amazing introduction to our grandest adventure yet." from an entry I wrote in October, when I unveiled the big news (Our Greatest Adventure). Needless to say, I found that little paragraph to be pretty profound, given the state I was in at the end of last week. In addition, every Thursday I get to go have a non-stress test on Moon Pie. I say "I 'get' to go have..." because a non-stress test consists of me kicking back in a seriously cushy recliner in a private room in the hospital, closing my eyes and listening to Moon Pie's heart beat for about45 minutes. I have to say - there is absolutely nothing in this world more relaxing or soothing than that sound. So by this point I'm pretty much at the "okay, high drama - so you can't have cake.... listen to that beautiful heartbeat, take your medicine, eat a salad and get over yourself,"state.

So, having effectively gotten over myself, I decided to be a little more proactive in finding outlets to keep myself securely away from the downward spiral. I find cooking to be incredibly cathartic, so Friday night, I cooked dinner twice. One very very healthy dinner of lemon roast chicken, a baked sweet potato and a salad (that would be for yours truly) and one very unhealthy dinner of fried country-style steak, mashed potatoes and biscuits for Hunter. I highly recommend kicking off your weekend by frying something while dancing around the kitchen to Elton John and Neil Young. Trust me. Just do it.

SLC Trib & My Two Cents & Shutter Island

Saturday marked day one my subscription to the Salt Lake Tribune. We spent the morning under the covers with coffee and books and the news paper. I subscribed to the Tribune on Thursday after writing my last blog, mainly to give myself a little more writing fodder. I had heard that the SLC legislature is, essentially, off the grid insane and it sounded like it would be a great source for commentary. Turns out, its true... I just need to get a little more organized before I can share with you HOW insane politics actually are out here. I also thought it would be a good way for me (and Hunter by force... i mean by proxy) to become a little more immersed in the goings on/culture of our new home. Well, all I can say is, from an entertainment perspective, the SLC Trib does not disappoint. From a news/culture perspective... I'ma little disturbed... but that brings us full circle to writing fodder... so I guess mission accomplished? Anyway, I laughed and yelled at the paper until almost noon when we went to see Shutter Island. (It was okay - different from what I was expecting and slightly less than what I'm used to from Scorsese. It was more like a watered down Kubrick in my opinion.... but I'm far from a movie critic and it certainly didn't suck. I highly encourage you to form your own opinion on these things).

Spring Fever

Yesterday, spring fever officially hit. Hunter had to work so decided I would rake the back yard. No, we did not rake the back yard in the fall... we waited until spring. My rational for this was that the leaves would rot, fertilize, and moisten our completely miserable and pathetic back yard. Obviously, this is something that I made up to help me sleep at night, but it sounds good, doesn't it? Let me tell you how cute I looked out there trying to keep from just rolling down the hill in what were essentially mismatched pajamas wrestling with a rake and a coffee mug while trying to keep my shirt pulled down over my ever- expanding belly. Super cute. The problem with the above (aside from the fact that I pulled my back and can barely walk today) is that its a slippery slope (both literally and figuratively). Since raking, I have called and set up an appointment to have these two god-awful trees our our back yard hacked as much as humanly possible without cutting them down and I'm hoping that the people coming to do that will bring Edward Scissor Hands with them. We have these 6 rose bushes in our front yard that look like something out of a Tim Burton movie only Sans-Johnny Depp. (For those of you who aren't getting the reference, Johnny Depp kinda completes Tim Burton. Without him, he's often more just scary and deranged - like my rose bushes). I'm also working on getting together with a landscaper this week for some very minor suggestions (I do not need to be implementing a massive landscaping project and birthing a baby at the same time. I do not need to be implementing a massive landscaping project and birthing a baby at the same time... Repeat.) Its our first yard.... we have a serious, serious learning curve and unfortunately not too terribly much to start with. I just need to remember to be patient. If anyone sees me circling the parking lot at Lowes eyeing a pallet of mulch, please just stop me.


Last but not least I went to a knitting class yesterday at Blazing Needles. This place is seriously awesome and they are teaching me how to make these!!!! I'm so super pumped. So, I got out of the house, got to be around people, I even broke down and had a couple of thin mints (dude, they were in my face for 3 whole hours!)


All in all it was a much needed, very positive weekend. I feel like I made a lot of personal progress just by accomplishing little things. I think we're all pretty exhausted and are planning a low key week. However, mental health context, it was definitely worth it. It very much helped me put everything back in perspective. I have 7 more weeks (or less) to enjoy this once in life time experience so I'm going to relax and enjoy my weekly 45 minute heart beat concerto, I'm going to enjoy the 15 minutes every night when Hunter reads Moon Pie a story and then bends down to listen to her heartbeat and gets a tiny little punch in the ear. I'm going to enjoy playing guess that protruding body part (so far we've identified head, foot, fist, elbow, knee, bum) and I'm going to remember that this is a truly magical and beautiful experience every single day. On that note, I have included some portraits below. Since some of you are far away and some of you haven't had a chance to really experience this first hand with me, these were taken at our place last weekend by a dear friend and ski-buddy.