Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Engagement Story

We had an amazing weekend!  N and I went to see Todd Snider on Saturday while my friend, Toni, sat with our little man while he slept.  The venue was one we hadn't been to before and it pretty much sucked, but the show was really fantastic, as his shows always are.  He always comes out and sings a few songs, then asks what the crowd wants to hear.  I usually don't call out songs...I'm not much of a yeller, plus I think he will play what he wants.  After a few dumb songs that people yelled out, he took a step back a drank some water and seemed like he really had no idea what he wanted to play next.  So I hollared out the song I wanted to hear and he went straight into playing it!  It was pretty awesome.  I have to share the lyrics to this song, and I know you'll enjoy it...

Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern
Old Miss Virgy tended bar at this shack out in the hills
It never made her any money boys but paid off all her bills
Now she must have been 80 years old but her heart was warm
And her beer was cold
She gave away more than she ever sold
Smiling all the time

I used to sing off in the corner every Friday night
To a loud crowd of cowboys, bikers and bar room fights
They were drinking beer, carrying on, not a one of them listening to one of my songs
But old Miss Virgy sang along
She said she knew 'em all by heart

And then one night after closing she poured me another beer
She said "Come on over and sit down you little sh**
I got something you need to hear"
She said "Life ain't easy getting through everybody's gonna make things tough on you
But I can tell you right now if you dig what you do, they will never get you down"

She said life's too short to worry
Life's too long to wait
Too short not to love everybody
Life's too long to hate
I meet a lot of men who haggle and finagle all the time
Trying to save a nickel maybe make a dime
Not me, no sireee, I ain't got the time

Now I ain't seen Ol' Virgy in must have been about fifteen years
I've been bumming around this country singing my songs for tips and beers
Now the nights are long
The driving's tough
Hotels are weird, and the pay sucks
But I can't dig what I do enough, so it never gets be down

I say life's too short to worry
Life's too long to wait
Too short not to love everybody
Life's too long to hate
I meet a lot of men who haggle and finagle all the time
Trying to save a nickel maybe make a dime
Not me, no sireee, I ain't got the time

I think I have probably blogged about Todd Snider before.  We first saw him in Chicago when he opened up for Yonder Mountain String Band.  I think it was in 2003 or 2004 and we've been hooked since.  N and I have traveled a lot for music, and in February of 2006 we traveled to Reno to see Todd play 2 nights at a casino.  It was around Valentine's Day and I started to get a feeling like the big question would come sometime soon.  A few months earlier, my mother had given me a beautiful diamond ring that was my great grandmother's, but I never wore it because I wanted to save it to have as my engagement ring.  I kept it in my jewelry box and thought that maybe N was going to pop the question while in Reno, so I peeked into my jewelry drawer to see if the ring was still there, and it was.  I know, I know, I tried to ruin the surprise, but I couldn't help myself.  But the ring was there, so I honestly put it out of my mind and figured it wouldn't be this weekend.
So we went to Reno and to the Friday night show, which was awesome!  We took a cab back to the casino where we were staying.  When the cab dropped us off N turned to me and said he wanted someone to take our picture in front of this statue.  I looked around and tried to make eye contact with someone to ask to take the picture, but no one did.  I said we should just go up to the room and get the picture tomorrow, and he tried to say no, but I kind of insisted.  When we got to the room N pulled the ring out of his pocket, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!  I was so excited and said yes and all of that good stuff, then I realized that I totaly ruined his plan!  Oh well, we are pretty private people anyway, and I kind of like the idea that it was just us in our pretty hotel room in Reno, after the Todd Snider show.
This was in the airport when we landed, which we thought was pretty cool.

Here we are newly engaged!  See that ring on my finger!!!

During our stay in Reno we also drove up to Lake Tahoe and snapped these.  It was an amazing trip!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Top 3 Reasons Why I Blog

Tamara over at the (UN)Experienced Mom is doing a fun blog carnival with Elizabeth over at Confessions from a working Mom.  In this one they ask us to rate the top 3 reasons why we blog.  I jumped on this carnival mostly because I have a half-written blog in my drafts right this very minute about this very topic.  This is just a fun way to write it out and link up with other blogging mamas!

#3 It gives me an outlet.  Blogging is simply a journal that you let everyone in the world read.  It's not quite all of my thoughts, but it is many that are locked inside my head that when released, are out there leaving free space in my mind for what is really important.  One of my very favorite new blogs is Things I can't Say.  Shell created this "secret blog" so she can say what she isn't able to say on the blog that she created to keep up with family and others she knows in real life.  I love this concept!  That is a true blog.  If I didn't have a hard enough time keeping up with this blog I might consider a secret blog for myself!

#2 It gives me a way to connect with other women.  Why is it so hard to make girlfriends at my age?  Women are hard to connect with and difficult to trust, but for some reason the blog world is full of women who leave comments to encourage each other, keep track of how each others' children are doing, and have been a source of support like I have never seen.  I have girlfriends outside of the blog world that I truely love, and the new friends I have met here are just as special to me.  I was struggling the other day with some trouble BBZ was giving us at night and I wondered over to Shell's blog where she wrote about some obstacles her son is overcoming.  Reading her blog about her challenges helped me think about what was happening with BBZ and put things into perspective.  By commenting on her post and giving her support, I took my own words of advice and immediately felt better about the trouble we are having.  This level of comradery is really wonderful and was completely unexpected.

The #1 reason I blog is the reason I started this keep my family up-to-date with everything going on with us and with BBZ.  My parents live 13 hours away.  It is so hard being so far away from my family, and blogging about the things BBZ does and what we are all up to here is the best way to stay close and connected.  Even N's family that is close by is able to keep up with us like they see us everyday!  Well, they'd be able to if I blogged everyday, but you get the idea.  It is so important to me that BBZ know my parents and that they know him, and the internet and this blog have made the miles between us seem much less.

So that's it!  Head on over to Elizabeth's Blog and link up!  While your there, read why all the ladies love their blogs and give them some comment love!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Family History Fun

Remember how I posted about my grandpa's old house?  Check this out for a little reminder.  When I showed my grandmother the photo we took of BBZ in his house, she told me about one that she remembered and said she would do her best to find it.  Well, we had dinner at my aunt's house on Sunday as a (really) late Christmas celebration and my grandma brought a picture that was taken in 1923 when my grandfather was 2 years old.  N stood in the doorway that my grandfather is standing in to take the picture of BBZ.  The staircase BBZ is leaning on is about 5 feet behind where my grandfather is standing.  This kind of blows my mind.

Seriously.  Who would have thought that the young man on the right would grow up and become a WWII dive bomber pilot?  That he would have twin girls, one of which would be my mom, who would have 2 girls, each of whom would go on to have a boy.  85 years separate these baby boys, but they stand in the same exact physical place, with their lives ahead of them.  It makes me wonder what BBZ will grow up to do.  It's weird to think of his children, and his grandchildren.  If he chooses to have them, they will continue this bloodline and our family name.  This is so special to me, and I can't believe that we have this photo.  I hope it means as much to BBZ when he grows up as it does to me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Blog Readers,

I'm sorry for being MIA the last week or so!  Not only have I not been blogging, but I haven't really been reading blogs either, and when I have it has been on reader and I still can't figure out how to comment from reader.  This week I have learned the definition of busy.  I have a fewthings that must be addressed, so here it goes...

Dear Yonder Mountain String Band,
Thank you for rocking my socks off Friday and Saturday nights.  You are celebrating your 10-year anniversary together and we have been watching your live shows for 7 of those years.  When you visit our city you help my husband and I reconnect.  You are the same age as us and have found incredible success doing what you love.  You are way too good for your young age and there are times during your shows where I just stand and stare and can't believe how good you are.  Please, please,please decide to do a New Year's show here in our city so we can see you in a huge arena.  We will share in your success and dance with holes in our pants to your awesome drums-free music all night long.  Peace out.

Dear stinky lady from the Saturday Yonder show,
I realize that the show was sold out and lots of dancing can make you sweaty, but did you really have to get so excited about a song that you plumeted your stinky body in my space and expected me to move out of your way?  I stopped drinking to be able to nurse my son if he woke up and was trying to enjoy that very same favorite song from the place I stood all night and you ruined my moment.  Thanks a lot.  Go take a shower, hippie.
(That last line is from Up in case you haven't seen it.  I really do have much love for the dirty hippies as long as they don't try and steal my dance space.)

Dear mom,
Thank you for coming in town and babysitting BBZ so we could go to both shows while he rested sweetly in his own bed.  I wish you were here all the time, and I love that you happily planned a trip with this weekend in mind.  I love you and love having you here with us.  P.S. Thanks for cleaning the house a bit too.  You have a wonderful way of doing nice things without making me feel like I should be able to do it myself.  You have a way that only moms do.  Love ya!

Dear BBZ's 15th and 16th teeth,
Just pop through already.  You have made all of the members of this household and our guest miserable for the last few nights.  Your way popping through for a minute, then hiding, then popping through again is cruel and unusual punishment and you are not welcome here.  Actually, the teeth are welcome here, so get on with it then.  Seriously.  I am unbelievably near my breaking point.

Dear state auditor,
Thank you for passing us with flying colors.  You kindly recognized my incredibly huge mistake as a special circumstance and did nto let it define our entire program.  You have made us feel incredibly successful about how we run our program and almost (yes almost) made the last week of auditing worth it.

Dear Governor Nixon,
Thank you for removing the caps on the amount of personal attendant time people are able to receive through our program that was included in House Bill 1918.  We called our respresentatives, lobbied for our cause, told stories of our participants, and rallied for your attention.  Because of this decision, many, many people will be able to stay independent in their homes with this extremely important program.  You have made it clear that you care about Missourians and believe they should have choices and options if faced with a disability.  You have restored (some of) my faith in you and I appreciate your listening ears.  The next few years will be tough, but we will push on!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our V-day and My pretty cloth diapers.

What a wondeful weekend we had!  I had so much fun reading all of the great posts my blog friends wrote about their husbands and how much they love them and why, and I had 2 or 3 different ideas of what I was going to post on our Valentine's Day, but as I sat down to blog after our celebration last night, I decided to put the computer away and enjoy time with my very favorite person.  So no big post from me, but I can say that we had an amazing weekend!  We went over to our friend Nikki and her husband's house, and celebrated with 4 other couples.  We each brought something for the meal and had a huge feast.  N made sesame encrusted seared tuna steaks with a wasabi butter and soy ginger sauce accompanied by butter soaked scallops and bacon.  And yes, it was absolutely as good as it sounds!  He was planning on just making this fantastic dinner for the 2 of us, but when Nikki and Zach had the idea to have us all get together, they realized that none of us had any big plans, so getting together became all of our plans!  It was a fantastic meal and a great time with friends.

N's grandma's 90th birthday is next week, so we had Nikki take a picture of us in front of her house in the snow last night to put in her birthday card.

We got a nice amount of snow and I had to drive home in  it last night.  I am not a fan of driving in the snow, so I felt a huge relief when we pulled into our parking spot behind the house.  The roads were terrible!  We didn't slide around too much, but I didn't really drive fast enough to slide.  Oh well, the crazies went around me as I waved them by going only 35 mph or so!

BBZ fell off of the couch yesterday when he was playing with the older kiddos.  Neither N or I actually saw it, so we weren't sure of the damage, but there were no bumps or bruises and he seemed to be ok.  He slept until 9am this morning!  Then he took a nap from 12pm until I woke him up at 3pm.  During his nap I got scared that he may have a concussion or something since we didn't see what he hit when he fell, but he hasn't vomited or been out of it other than just being tired.  He eats constantly when he is awake, which is also not like him, so I think he might just be going through a growth spurt or something.  Hopefully he's not injured from the fall.  It's one of many injuries so far, and I'm certain it will not be the last!

I washed BBZ's diapers today, which I have mentioned that I love doing.  While I was stuffing the dry ones and hanging the wet ones I was reminded of my other friend Nikki who talked once about how much she loves seeing her cloth diapers dry on the line.  It also reminded me of this post that Chelsea over at Chelsea Said So posted a while back.  They were sitting near the window with the shades open and the sun was reflecting off of the winter snow, which made the colors that much more vibrant.  Don't you think?

I LOVE cloth diapering.  So much so that I felt a little uneasy about BBZ toying with the idea of using the potty as it means I am that much closer to being done diapering his bottom with brightly colored cloth.  No worries though, my jump to have him sit on the potty without his diaper scared him, I think.  He has pointed to his diaper a few times, but is reluctant to sit on it again.  So I have completely backed off!  I'm just kidding (sort of) about the cloth, I will always encourage my little man's independence!

So that's what I've been up to.  I'm on day 3 of my 4-day weekend, although I do have to go in to work tomorrow for a fund raiser.  I had to make cupcakes for it and have to drop them off, after I take a few out for us, of course!  I have a few deep blogs on my head that I'd like to get out, but not today.  Nice and fluffy on this snowy, wintery Monday.  Have a great week!

Friday, February 12, 2010


...BBZ woke up at 5:15am, for the 3rd morning in a row.
...I got to talk to my mom in the middle of the day!
...someone I know lost their job.
...I called my doctor and asked him to call in a prescription for a Z-Pac, and he did it!  I've never done that before.  It saved me a $30 copay! family received an awesome Valentine's Day package from Meme and Papa.
...I tried having BBZ sit on the potty without a diaper.  He didn't like it.
...I ate McDonald's for lunch and immediately regretted that decision.
...I started a 4-day weekend!
...I got many compliments on my new haircut!
...I talked with a participant about politics and hated every minute of it.
...I found 2 jolly ranchers in a jacket that I haven't worn in a while!
...I took the bumpers out of BBZ's crib.  Yes, he is 16 months old.
...I thought I had nothing to blog about!
...I'm sneaking in a cute picture of BBZ just for fun.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lotsa Blogs Crammed into 1

What is it about a new haircut that makes me feel oh, so fabulous!  I am constantly thinking about cutting my hair while growing it out, so today I just did it!  Here it was yesterday...

Yeah, see the ponytail?  That was a permanent part of my outfit for the last few weeks.  That or a messy bun, which is easily as bad as a ponytail, so I knew it was time for the old chop.  Here it is now!

Sorry about the self-photos.  I'm not a good photographer.  My hair feels light, and fresh and only took 5 minutes to blow dry!  That is some sort of record for my super-thick hair!
My wonderful husband, N, got a remote car starter for me for Christmas.  It has been an absolute godsend with the miserably cold winter we're in the middle of.  Our not having a garage is much less of a pain than in winters past.  The only problem is, I keep forgetting to leave the heat on full blast to make the most of my 12 minutes of warm car.  So I took a clip designed to hold lots of paper together and clipped it to my inside door handle so I have to touch it in order to get out of the car.  It already worked once today
This morning I was standing in the kitchen eating a bowl of cereal and BBZ wanted me to pick him up.  When he saw I was eating he just had to try it so I put a few bran flakes in his mouth and immediately they came right back out and on to the floor.  While in my arms he leaned to the side and called out "De-liiiiiii-laahhhhh".  Yeah, apparently he has learned what we say when food ends up on the floor.  Funny stuff.
There is a mad rage of hand, foot and mouth disease going through BBZ's classroom and the one next door.  He and one little girl (so unbelievably cutely named Clementine) hung out together all day yesterday and half of today and had so much fun!  I am keeping my fingers desperately crossed that he doesn't catch it.  And if he has to catch it I hope that he waits until the 4-day weekend that's right around the corner.
Remember this post about the house that my grandfather grew up in?  N and BBZ and I finally got a chance to go over to my grandparents house and show them the picture and tell them the story!  They were so taken back by the picture!  I think my grandpa really, really loved it.  My grandpa asked for the realtor information to see if he can do a walkthrough.  I suggested he wait until after the renovations, but we'll see.  The look on their faces as they told me about the way they remember the house, combined with my actually knowing what the house looks like is something I will never forget.  This was something very special for our family and I can't wait to see what the house looks like after the renovations!  I hope BBZ one day appreciates how special it is to have stood at that staircase 80 years after my grandfather's father built it.

I think that's all my news!  That was the complete opposite of wordless Wednesdays...maybe I should do Wordy Wednesdays :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Potty Talk

The other morning, BBZ walked up to me and started patting the front of his diaper.  I asked if he went potty and he said "pa-ee, pa-ee" and went into the bathroom.  He pointed at the toilet and to his diaper!  I know he's not ready to potty train, but he definately knows what is happenig and making the connection between what he does in his diaper and what goes on in the bathroom.  How exciting!

When he was getting ready for bed the other night, I changed his diaper and was getting ready to put his jam jams on and he stood up and started grabbing the front of his diaper.  I asked if he had to go potty and he walked toward the bottom of the stairs.  N carried him upstairs and helped him get up on the toilet.  He then leaned over and wanted one of his books!  Like father, like son!  I ran downstairs and grabbed the camera and got this shot...

When he got off of the toilet he had peed in his diaper!  I don't know if he went while on the toilet or on his way upstairs to the toilet, all I know is that he was not wet when he grabbed the front of his diaper downstairs and was when we got upstairs!  So he is not only aware of what it feels like when he goes, but he also knows what it feels like to have to go!  Yay!

So I bought a little frog potty that sits in the downstairs bathroom so we don't have to go so far when he asks.  I'm definitley not going to push this.  He seems way to young still and I don't want to mess anything up by having expectations.  I just like what he has learned so far and hope he stays interested!

Not Me! Monday

I did NOT make a super-huge, monsterous mistake at work today.  It is NOT 1 week before a big audit.  After I realized what I did, I did NOT spend a little too much time trying to figure out how it could be someone else's fault, only to realize that it was all mine.  That's all I have to say about that.

I did NOT opt out of grocery shopping tonight because of a light snow dusting.  I  have family in the far north that have a foot of snow at all times between November and April, so I would never let a little snow dust change my plans.  Especially when we are out of milk and bananas.

I am NOT desperately hoping that BBZ's school will be open tomorrow despite the falling snow.  While all of my teacher friends are begging for a snow day I am begging to go to work.  This is NOT because I have used all of my sick and vacation time over the last few months staying home with BBZ.  I have NOT missed at least one day of work every single week since December, in addition to the one day I already have off!

While at a superbowl party yesterday, a friend did NOT ask me if I would be watching the game at home if I was by myself.  After saying I would, and chasing my toddler around for 2-3 hours, I did NOT realize that I would have actually been able to watch the game if I were at home by myself, as opposed to chasing my little man all over the place.  Oh well, there will be plenty more superbowls in my future.

Want to join in on the Not Me! Monday fun?  Head on over to MckMama's blog and see what she and everyone else have not been up to this week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Breastfeeding post (I know, I know)

Yes I am sure that people are tired of reading about breastfeeding, but It's my blog and I'll write what I want :)

Seriously though, this whole extended breastfeeding thing is hard for me.  I knew I wanted to breastfeed for a year, but I didn't picture myself as a person who would be breastfeeding a toddler.  I actually struggle with it sometimes.  Very few people I know breastfed past a year, so I feel sometimes like I am way out of the loop and question myself a lot.  I try very hard to just roll with things and trust that BBZ won't nurse forever and just like his thumbsucking and just about everything else I have worried about with him, things will just work out.

But every now and then I seriously question myself and my reasons for continuing our breastfeeding relationship.  I worry that I'm not encouraging him to wean, that I shouldn't want to nurse him anymore, that the limits I put on when and where we nurse aren't strong enough, and that I should have weaned him sooner.  What's funny though  is that no one has ever said to me that they don't agree with what I am doing.  I have never had anyone criticize me for any of my decisions as a mom.  What I hear from many people are their criticisms of other moms who make certain choices, then when I make those same choices when my time comes, I remember their comments, which are suddenly criticising me.  Does that make sense?  This is something I struggle with and reach out to my Le Leche League moms for support with.

I was perusing the LLL International website and found this artice.  It's kind of long, so I've taken out the part that means a lot to me.  It talks about other ways to look at some of the issues people have with extended breastfeeding.

"If a child can ask to nurse, there's something wrong with doing so."
Interestingly enough, it's deemed appropriate to hug and cuddle children, while nursing -- something that is also an act of love and affection -- is seen as inappropriate past a certain age. Giving children bottles, which were designed to imitate the breast, is also acceptable. As stated in The Nursing Mother's Companion:
"Many toddlers are dependent on a bottle, pacifier, thumb, or blanket, and this is quite accepted, but a mother who is nursing a toddler may have to deal with veiled or point-blank suggestions that her child is too old for it."

Why is this? It is indicative of a culture that has made the human female breast solely into a sexual object instead of its primary and original role as an organ that supplies nourishment. There exist some cultures where the sight of a female breast in public does not turn heads or raise eyebrows. It is just another body part. In cultures where the breast has been sexualized, many become uncomfortable seeing a nursing child who is over one year old.

In the US, the image of a bottle is largely associated with the birth of a new baby and standard feeding practices. This sets the backdrop for a culture that judges those who practice extended breastfeeding. As Stephanie Ondrack points out in her article, "Taking Down the Almighty Bottle," from advertisements in magazines, to mothering icons on the doors of changing rooms, to gift cards and wrapping paper, images of bottle-feeding far outweigh images of breastfeeding. She also describes her experiences of teaching breastfeeding classes to new, expectant parents where they often begin holding the doll with its body and head facing the sky as opposed to the mother's chest. "The bottle-feeding position has become the default definition of feeding position." A woman who has breastfed knows that just turning her baby's head toward her chest does not work -- baby's entire body has to be facing her chest (when using the cradle position), or breastfeeding just doesn't work.

"Once a child no longer needs mother's milk solely for nutritional purposes, there's no sense in breastfeeding."
 In truth, a mother's milk is just as nutritious and continues to provide immunities to a toddler while being a source of comfort.

We seem to believe that the only legitimate excuse for breastfeeding is hunger and that anything else is a misuse of the goods...we see the need for comfort as not only inferior to the need for food, but as requiring suppression. (Ondrack 2006)

"After a certain point, the nursing relationship is more for the mother than the child."
There's no denying that breastfeeding provides emotional and physical benefits to a mother as well as a child. However, if there weren't anything in the relationship for the child (comfort, nourishment), he simply wouldn't nurse.
No matter how evil some people may make mother's enjoyment sound, a woman's enjoyment of breastfeeding is a good thing -- one of the many wholesome pleasures available in life. (Bumgarner 2000)

And conversely, if a mother thinks she might stop nursing her toddler for whatever reason, her feelings need to be factored into whatever decision is made about weaning. Bumgarner explains, "To continue to nurse an older baby and hate it tends to become martyrdom -- a poor basis for any family relationship."

"Extended nursing will spoil a child," also known as, "He'll nurse until he goes off to college."
This myth touches on peoples' fears that nursing into toddlerhood spoils children and doesn't teach them independence. In reality, it's not breastfeeding, which meets many needs, that spoils a child -- rather, it's the absence of teaching acceptable behavior that causes a child to "spoil." Bumgarner comments:

"It is without closeness and loving, and without sufficient attention to the business of teaching good behavior that children are spoiled...things which are spoiled are things which have been left on the shelf to rot."

It's interesting to note that parents can't force a child to crawl, walk, or talk before they're ready, and yet they're encouraged by professionals and others to impose early weaning on these same children without recognizing it as one of the more significant events of their lives. "Few of us understand weaning as the great and dangerous passage it is known to be in most of the world's societies. But when we ignore the dangers and difficulties of weaning, we risk our children's well-being and sometimes our own" (Huggins 2007).

Dr. William Sears, who wrote The Baby Book, states:
"We have studied the long-term effects on thousands of children who had timely weanings and have observed that these children are more independent, gravitate to people more than things, are easier to discipline, experience less anger, radiate trust...[after] studying the long-term effects of long-term breastfeeding, the most secure... and happy children we have seen are those who have not been weaned before their time."

Encouraging autonomy and teaching children how to be independent is a very important life lesson. It is the role of parents to teach a child the skills he needs to care for himself, whether that be cooking, laundry, or changing a spare tire. As Huggins (2007) writes:

It is not our job as parents simply to take care of children, but to help them learn how to take care of themselves. So, rather than fretting over toilet training or weaning in the toddler years -- these things which will take care of themselves -- it is more constructive to help children learn to do the things they want and need to do.

I love this.  I love that this information is available to moms like me, who often feels doubt about the decisions I am making.  There is a reason for this post.  BBZ is sick, again.  I sent him to school today on my day off to do some serious cleaning and simplifying to my house and they called at about 10:30am and said he had a fever.  I picked him up and took advantage of all the hugs and snuggles he gave me all day.  The fever was pretty controlled until the evening.  After dinner it spiked at 102.8!  Poor baby.  I gave him some more tylenol and put him to bed.  I called the nurses exchange and filled the very kind nurse in on the situation.  She recommended motrin, but only if he had something in his stomach since it can upset tummies.  I told her I am still nursing and her response was a very exuberant "GOOD!"  I explained that while he had many ear infections and 2 surgeries he has never had a high fever.  She says back, "that's because of all that breast milk!"  What a wonderful feeling this is, to know that he is in a better postion because of this choice.  When he wakes up crying tonight because he doesn't feel good, he will find such comfort in my arms, nursing.

There are so many questions about raising a child, and so much f it is just winging it.  I know I need to trust myself and BBZ and know that this, like everything else so far, will just work itself out.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane

My Little Life

Mama M over at My Little Life is hosting a fun blog hop today about one of my very favorite topics...our birth stories!

I love hearing women's birth stories and thinking back to my own.  She says it's been done, but I'm so looking forward to reading all of the posts!

My birth story was my very first blog post.  BBZ is the reason I started this blog.  Check it out and head on over to Mama M's blog to read all of the wonderful stories of child birth!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Our Journey to Parenthood

I never really wanted children.  Growing up I never saw myself as a mother.  I felt that people grew up and got married and when they became bored with each other they had a baby.  As positive of a thinker I am, I saw the world in a very negative way.  I felt that it was unfair to bring a child into a world full of hate, and anger, terrible living conditions for many, institutional living for people with disabilities, and overall a very unhappy place.  I think this had a lot to do with my line of work.

In my late teens and early 20s I worked at an institution for people with developmental disabilities.  I saw things that I never want to see again.  While rights for PWD have certainly improved, their treatment has a long way to go, especially the treatment of people with developmental disabilities.  I started working in direct care (providing basic activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, meal prep, etc) and when I graduated college I became a supervisor.  I quickly moved up the ranks and was basically an assistant manager of a facility with 80 beds.  I regularly rotated as the manager of the facility, even at just 23 years old.  I worked for an amazing manager who to this day I say made me into the supervisor I am now.  I heard allegations of abuse, placed people on administrative absence, filed police reports and recommended terminations.  It was a difficult job that made me question not only my motives in the field, but how I wanted to live my life.  This job opened my eyes to staff people who worked for the state, yet qualified for state assistance like food stamps.  They were de-valued human beings expected to take care of de-valued human beings.  It was a job that I truely loved and truely hated simultaneously.  I thought I would work there forever even though a very good friend said I wasn't a "lifer" like many other state workers.

I was completely obsessed with work.  I worked late, got in early, and often put in time on the weekends.  I poured my heart and soul into the people I worked with, and then I met N.  I suddenly saw more to life than work.  A few years into our relationship I decided to go back to school.  This also opened my eyes to different options for work.  I went back to school with the intention of continuing to work with PWD.  It wasn't until I decided to take a chance on an internship at a Center for Independent Living that I realized that things aren't the same everywhere.  I was at the end of my graduate school and took a few steps back with my career.  I didn't supervise anyone, went from keeping people in an institution to helping them move out of one, and found out what it's like to work at an agency that values the people they serve as well as their employees.  I guess it gave me a new, and desperately needed perspective.

8 months after starting the new job N and I got married.  It was December 2006.  It was around that same time that my biological clock was not only ticking, but was slamming my ear drums on a daily basis.  I remember getting my hair done before the wedding and my hair dresser at the time asked if N and I planned to have kids.  I said that I never thought I wanted kids, but then I met N.  She said, "doesn't meeting the right one just make you want to mate?"  That is pretty much how it felt!  It was like a big desire to reproduce.  But I wanted to be married for a while before talking about kids.  Plus, my view of bringing children into the world was still a bit negative.

Around October of 2007, my desire for having kids was at full force.  N and I talked about it and began to consider adoption.  I was still unsure about bringing a child into the world, and the thought of taking care of one that was already here seemed like a good choice for us.  I remember having a dream once that I was holding a little baby girl from China.  I named her Lyla and can still remember the way she felt in my arms during that dream.  She smelled so sweet and she was all mine.  We started looking into adoption agencies and international adoption.  We went to a few meetings and started to learn this completely unfamiliar process.  We even got passports!  The more we learned about it, the waiting lists, the cost, and all of the things involved, I began to feel more like we were taking the spot of someone who couldn't have kids rather than helping a baby find a family.  The waiting list was years long with many, many families waiting to adopt.  We looked at local adoption, but we soon realized that most of the children in our state that needed to be adopted had disabilities.  While adopting a child with a disability is something we haven't completely rejected, we both felt that we weren't ready to make that commitment by choice.  After a lot of thought, we decided we did want to have a child.  I remember at one point realizing that I am happy to be alive and in this world even if it isn't a perfect place.  I see all of the bad things, but I also see the many wonderful things about life and living and taking care of the world and the people in it.  It was an eye-opening realization for me that also gave me a new and desperately needed perspective.

It was November of 2007 and we wanted to start trying for a baby in the spring of '08.  Having heard it can take some time to get pregnant, I stopped taking the pill at the beginning of November.  We used other methods of birth control, except for one day...Christmas morning.  We found out on January 9 and the adventure called pregnancy began.  I LOVED being pregnant.  I loved the clothes, I loved the friendliness, and above all, I loved that a little human was growing inside me.  I dreamt about what he would look like, and what his personality would be like, and eagerly awaited the day he would come into the world.

He went exactly 1 week past his due date, and I'm sure many moms can agree that those last weeks before the baby is born are full of fear, and excitement and everything in between.  Well I had serious buyer's remorse that week.  I was sure that he was late because he didn't want to be born to me and that I was going to be a terrible mom and what was I thinking and I can't do this and blah, blah, blah.  And then he was born, and nature just took over.  He was born and I was a different person.  I was a mother, and suddenly I knew what everyone was talking about.  He was here, and he was mine.  He grew inside me and here he was.  I was madly in love with my little boy.

I know that I would have loved an adopted baby just like he or she was my own.  I actually still think about adopting one day.  I know I would like to try and have one more of our own, and after that who knows what the future will bring.  I have heard that people who don't have kids feel badly for people who do because of what they are missing, and people who do have kids feel badly for people who don't because of what they are missing.  The grass is greener in their own yards in that case I guess!  ll I know is, my life is completely different than I ever imagined it would be.  It's a wild and somewhat scary ride, but we're hanging on!