February 25, 2010

Midwife Crisis

Okay, so no crisis really. But my husband told me that's what I was having, and I thought it was funny.

Looking back now, it was a mistake not to interview more than one midwife before choosing one. We chose the one we did because we'd heard her name from someone and she's been practicing for 30 years. Seemed like a good choice.

I guess I was never completely comfortable with her. I didn't really feel a connection with her, or that my care was going beyond what it had at the OB I had with my last pregnancy. Over time, some things started to bother me. She's a little bit flighty. She's a little bit hard to get a hold of. She wrote one of my appointment cards wrong and I couldn't reach her to find out when the appointment was until it was too late & I had to reschedule. Twice I've tried to call her and found a message saying she's out of town with no note of who her backup is, just an impersonal emergency # to call. When faced with the fact that I have insulin resistance, she balked and said she couldn't be my provider because I'd had high blood sugars, which was a big fiasco. It got all straightened out in the end, but it didn't increase my confidence. I've also heard that she has a history of not getting to births on time, which would mean someone else delivering my baby. I talked to a woman today who had a home birth and this midwife showed up just 15 minutes before her baby was born.

Despite my ability to list all those concrete reasons, the main reason I began to feel uncomfortable may simply be personality clash. In my midwife, I want someone I feel more connected to than I would a doctor. I want someone warm, who I feel cares about me as a patient and about my baby. I want someone who makes me feel excited about this birth and baby. And I just haven't been getting that.

I was going along as if it didn't matter, and figuring maybe it wouldn't matter. I think that we do that a lot - I know multiple people who are or have been dis-satisfied with doctors or OBs but just "never got around" to switching or decided to just put up with it. Since we started our hypnobirthing class, I have been thinking about the birth a lot and decided that I SHOULDN'T just put up with it! It was late in my pregnancy to change midwives, but there is no good reason I shouldn't try to find someone I feel more comfortable with and who I will be confident about them attending my birth!

I met with a new midwife on Tuesday and I think she's great. I felt more connected with her right away, and she was much more warm and open. I think it's going to work out really well with her. She didn't bat an eye when I said I had insulin resistance, and doesn't see it as a problem since my blood sugars have been normal.

Of course when I saw the old midwife today I was too much of a chicken to say anything, opting instead for a handwritten note I'll write tonight and drop off tomorrow for her. I feel bad about it because, well, who wants to tell someone you don't like their care? The bottom line is that the main reason I'm leaving is that I don't like her style. That's not really very easy to say to someone's face.

In the end, it won't matter. I'll have to go back at least one more time to give her my medical coupon information and so that she can collect for the care she's given me so far. Other than that, I will probably never see her again. It still feels sticky and weird. But, it's all right. Because this may be the difference between having a so-so birth experience and feeling confident and assured going into it, and having the experience I really want.

Midwife crisis averted.
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February 24, 2010

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I have gotten a little bit out of the habit of writing movie and book reviews here, but it's something I love to do so I'm going to try and work it back in more regularly. As you may know, I have established an ongoing goal of reading 52 books per year. That works out to roughly one a week, although sometimes more, sometimes less. In 2008 I succeeded, in 2009 I totally failed and only read 36. I blame the morning sickness. We'll see how I do this year with a newborn on the way. My list of books read in 2010 is here.

The first book I finished this year was "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini. We read Hosseini's first book, "The Kite Runner," as a book club selection last year. I thought it was okay, but didn't love it. I had heard for a long time that his second book surpassed the first, but was afraid to read it for a long time. Here's a description of the book (pulled from Amazon.com):

Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner with another searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed, whose violent misogyny—"There was no cursing, no screaming, no pleading, no surprised yelps, only the systematic business of beating and being beaten"—is endorsed by custom and law. Hosseini gives a forceful but nuanced portrait of a patriarchal despotism where women are agonizingly dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. His tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters.

In terms of politics, I feel that women's issues are probably the most visceral to me. Beyond even that is the idea of human issues, going beyond mistreatment of women into mistreatment of human beings or groups in general. It's something I seem to have a bizarre fascination with, I think because I cannot really understand it on anything more than a surprised and confused level.

I thought that this was an amazing story. I loved how Hosseini intertwined the lives of the women he was writing about. The fact that this novel focused on female characters and their relationships rather than the male father/son relationships of "The Kite Runner" made it more appealing to me. At the same time, it frightened me a little because I knew that it would be emotional reading.

Though I was a little bit afraid to get started, I found that I handled the story pretty well. Nothing became truly unbearable to me until I was 240 pages into the book, at which point one of the main characters, Laila experiences an act of violence that is unthinkable. She is locked in a room with her baby daughter for several days with no food, light, or water by her husband. Even looking back at my copy to check page numbers, I can feel a sickness begin to grow in the pit of my stomach thinking about it. At the same time, it's part of the story, and unfortunately a very real part of the story.

Seven pages later, trucks roll into town and the country becomes known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The trucks have loudspeakers over which new laws are read out loud. I don't know whether Hosseini wrote these laws out himself, or where the information was from. But due to the rest of the story and his other books, I believe these are a fairly accurate representation of what happened when the Taliban took over in 1996. Think, for just one moment, about living in a world where these are some of the rules...

...singing is forbidden.
Dancing is forbidden...

...Writing books, watching films, and painting pictures are forbidden...

...Attention women:
You will stay inside your homes at all times. If is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside you must be accompanied by a
mahram
, a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street, you will be beaten and sent home.
You will not, under any circumstance, show your face. You w ill cover with burqa when outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten...

...You will not speak unless spoken to.
You will not try to make eye contact with men.
You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten.
You will not paint your nails. If you do, you will lose a finger.
Girls are forbidden from attending school. All schools for girls will be closed immediately...


Imagine a world where you are less than. It's hard for people like me who have lived in the US our entire lives, and despite whatever hardships we've faced, none were even close to this. To me, one of the most fascinating things about the story was the timing. I figured out early on that one of the main characters, Laila, was two years older than I am. This really anchored me to the story and gave me perspective on the fact that all of this was happening NOW. Not years or decades ago, but during the same lifetime in which I have lived with great freedom, support, and confidence as a woman. The above rules? Rolled out by the Taliban when I was 16 years old. Attending school, driving a car, being what in our world is a normal teenager.

It was amazing to me to think that at the end of the story, Laila is only 25 years old, three years younger than I am now. But she seems SO much older. Living the kind of life she did under suppression and fear aged her in a way I am lucky that I will never know. Though the book is fiction, I feel that Hosseini gives a VERY realistic picture of what life was like in Afghanistan during the past fifty years.

I also feel that I learned a great deal about the history of the regimes in Afghanistan and what has changed over the past few decades. One of the most interesting things to me was that during the course of the book, which takes place mainly between 1974 and 2003, women in Afghanistan went from having many options and freedoms to having almost none. I felt a similar sadness and astonishment when reading Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis," knowing that it wasn't just that women have been suppressed for a long time. It was freedom, followed by a re-suppression and smashing down of rights and humane treatment.

"A Thousand Splendid Suns" is the amazing story of the strength of two women, and how the grow to support each other and to survive, together. It sheds light not only one what people can do TO each other, but what they can do FOR each other, and how we affect each other as we live. It's a good story, and in my case another reminder to count the blessings I experience daily.

You can visit Mr. Hosseini's website here to find out more about this and his other books.
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February 23, 2010

What I'm Watching

If you've read my blog for any length of time, or... well, MET me, you know that I love TV. I watch it what many people would consider 'too much.' Whatevs, I don't really care. You may recall this insane post in which I revealed my ridiculous OCD and the even more ridiculous number of shows that I follow. So, now that things are getting back in swing and February sweeps is upon us, here are my thoughts on a few of them.

LOST - I have not started watching it yet. I know, I know. For all the excitement I have it's one of the few shows that I absolutely have to watch without doing something else, like messing around on my computer or whatever, and I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe in the next couple of days.

Supernatural - Super excited that this got renewed for a sixth season! This season has been so good with the Angels/Apocolypse storyline and the exploration of Sam and Dean's inner demons. Some of you may have noticed that come May I will have sons named Sam and Dan. That's... just a coincidence, I SWEAR.

Ugly Betty - I have been enjoying Ugly Betty more lately, of course now we know this is the final season. I have liked the storyline involving Mark. Am I the only one that sort of wants Betty & Daniel to end up together at the end? I dunno, I always sort of have. I doubt they'll do that though.

Desperate Housewives - I watch it every week, and it's interesting to me. But can I just say... Why does Lynette ALWAYS have to get the short end of the stick?? After the loss of the twin/aftermath of the airplane crash episode I just couldn't get over how these things always have to happen to her. WHY Marc Cherry?!

Glee - It's not even on right now and I can't help bringing it up because it is ABSOLUTELY one of my most favorite shows EVAR! I love it so much, and I can't stop listening to Chris Colfer & Lea Michele sing "Defying Gravity" on the soundtrack. I can't wait until April when it's back on!

The Mentalist - This is another show that I highly enjoy, although I feel a little bit anxious for them to get on with the Red John storyline because I need to know stuff.

Heroes - I'm sort of so/so on this again. I loved the first half of this season, but now that it's back and into the second half I'm sort of on the fence again. Lately the best thing to me was Hiro's hilarious (well, sort of since it is supposedly a brain tumor) mix up of words and use of characters from books to try and communicate with Ando. Also I totally loved the scene that resulted in Sark (yeah whatever, David Anders will always be Sark to me) saying "Objection, your honor. He's reciting the opening from 'Quantum Leap.'"

Human Target - Is anyone else watching this show? Because I LOVE it. It is SO over the top, and it makes me so happy. Plus I love Chi McBride, and Jackie Earle Haley is pretty good in it. Also, within two episodes? There was Ethan from Lost and The Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files. So that made me happy. It's based on a DC comic, and it's just awesome.

I tried a few new shows this year, but I totally gave up on Modern Family, Community, Trauma and Mercy. I stuck with Cougar Town and V, which disappeared after 4 episodes and I'm not sure when it's set to come back.

What shows are you watching and enjoying lately? What new shows did you try and like or try and give up on?
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February 22, 2010

Torture Porn: That's My Line and I'm Stickin' To It

My husband and I went and saw "The Final Destination" when it came out. It was hokey and silly and unrealistic and entertaining, though I am slightly surprised that it didn't go straight to DVD honestly. If not for the ability to show the movie at so many theaters in 3-D, I wondered if it would have gone to theaters at all.

When the movie was over, my husband reopened this can-of-worms discussion we've had going on for a while. You see, I refuse to see movies like the Saw movies and Hostel, movies that some critics refer to as "torture porn." I've had an objection to these movies for a long time, and I don't feel the need to sit through them. Not only do I not want to watch them, but I think it's a little weird that ANYONE does.

The problem is, up until this point I've been unable to explain why to my husband in a way that he can understand. What is the difference between "Saw" and "Inglourious Basterds," between "Hostel" and "Final Destination," between "The Collector" and "Doomsday?" Unable to articulate, it often came down to me saying "they're just different" and that it didn't really matter why because I still wasn't going to see them with him.

First, if you haven't heard the term "torture porn" before, here's a small explanation courtesy of Wikipedia:

In the 2000s, there has been a resurgence of films influenced by the splatter genre that depict nudity, torture, mutilation and sadism, sometimes disparagingly labeled "torture porn" by critics and detractors.[11] The Eli Roth film, Hostel (2005), was the first to be called "torture porn" by critic David Edelstein in January 2006, but the classification has since been applied to Saw (2004) and its sequels (though its creators disagree with the classification),[12] The Devil's Rejects (2005), Wolf Creek (2005), and the earlier films Baise-moi (2000) and Ichi the Killer (2001).[11][13][14] Edelstein also included Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ (2004) in the genre, due to its explicit scenes.[11] A difference between this group of films and earlier splatter films is that they are often mainstream Hollywood films that receive a wide release and have comparatively high production values.[13]

I admit that I used to be a bigger horror movie fan. The thrill of being scared was something I enjoyed. Something changed after seeing "The Ring" which I found highly disturbing. I couldn't get some of it out of my head, and ever since I've been a little more touchy about these horror movies. But to me, there's a difference between the bloody gore of a movie like "House of Wax" and the psychological horror of "The Ring" or "The Grudge."

Why? Maybe it has something to do with getting older, or with having a child. I'm not sure. I'm much more likely to agree to see a movie with my husband that I feel has some sort of originality and an actual plot. When exposed to previews like the ones for "Saw," I have no desire whatsoever to see the movie. I don't understand what redeeming qualities can possibly come from watching. Generally, nothing good happens at the end of the movie, and even when it does it's rarely enough to redeem the violence, gore, and sadism I've already been exposed to by that point.

When I think of older slasher movies like the original "Halloween" movies, there is often something campy, over-the-top or unrealistic about the violence. Additionally, the violence tends to be someone getting killed. In the past, it seemed that in the horror movies I'd watched the scare was that the bad guy jumped out from hiding, and the extent of the violence was ending the other character's life. I'm not saying that is not violent, don't get me wrong. But to me there is a big difference between that and extended scenes of torture and mutilation.

I think that another part of the equation has to do with the fact that in these 'torture' type movies, you've got a person committing cruel, torturous acts of violence against other people for no reason other than their whims. If there is such a thing as evil in human form, I'd say that would pretty much cover it. There is not supernatural element, and no redemption to come at the end. In general, the movie may end with one or no survivors, other than the perpetrator of the violence, who will go on to the sequel to continue the disgusting trail of blood. At what point does violence for the sake of violence become too much? Mhairi Shaw says it well in his article, "Torture Porn is a Controversial Horror Sub-Genre", when he says:

"Vast amounts of screen time are dedicated to gratuitous scenes of torture – every cut, twist and breakage is amplified, the camera rarely shying away. The idea of the ordeal playing out as a game/test is heavily featured. As a result, the more crucial elements of storytelling are forgotten – or sacrificed for long scenes of torment."

I also agree with Shaw's assessment that perhaps "torture horror" would be a more accurate description here since sexuality is generally not a big part of the picture.

More recently, I found myself at the new "Halloween" with my husband. The movie did have a little backstory and some interesting scenes and imagery. However, I still found myself afterward wondering why it had to be QUITE so violent? While some filmmakers say that the term "torture porn" is derogatory and means that critics can't understand this "art form," I wonder what exactly is artistic about such violence and imagery. Is finding new ways to torture people an art? Is watching someone be eviscerated really artistic? What would it really take away from the movie to remove a little of the blood and guts and make it actually scary instead?

To me, there is a line. There are certain things - rape, torture, sadism for the sake of horror and nothing else, stories with no redeeming values - that I don't want to watch. In the end, it doesn't really matter if I can explain where I draw my line or why I draw it there. It's is what it is. Obviously, my husband draws his line somewhere else.

What about you? Where do you draw your line? Do you watch those uber-violent movies? Do you enjoy them?
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February 19, 2010

This Is Your Brain on Pregnancy

Remember those commercials they used to have where they fried an egg and compared it to your brain on drugs? Someone should make one of those commercials but instead of frying an egg it shows a baby with a mallet beating on your brain.

Seriously? I am having a hell of a time with all the hormones little Danny is causing to be released into my body. I think that the main reason that I'm having so much more trouble dealing with the emotional havoc this pregnancy starts with S and ends with M. Yeah, Sam.

Having a strong-willed, hyperactive 3.5 year old? Whoda thunk it could be the difference between a fairly smooth pregnancy and one where I come unhinged? Okay, maybe it's not as bad as all that. But there are certain days when I can't get through without tears.

The problem is the frustration. He feeds off me, he can tell I'm getting frustrated. And even though I know my frustration just fuels his fire and makes him act even more goofy and listen less, I can't manage to reign it in. Then what happens? The GUILT. I start to get frustrated at myself for being frustrated! And it's like this vicious cycle where I start to feel myself tearing up and for all that I try the slow breathing just isn't going to work this time.

I do not like to let Sam see me like that. He gets upset when I'm upset, but every couple of weeks I just have a day where he's being uncooperative or I'm extra tired or whatever is happening. And I have to fight to stay in control, or to just get stuff done because really, we all know who's in control here don't we?

Yeah, the kids.

I can't wait until they are old enough to gang up on me, because that's going to be super awesome.

Of course, I wouldn't give up all the good days to eliminate the extra hard ones. But that doesn't make it any easier when it's happening. I know it's all part of this big thing called parenting and life. It's just bizarre to feel so out of control of your own emotions. In my head, I KNOW when I am overreacting or when I'm making it worse. But those hormones? They're not listening. They want me to FEEL FEEL FEEL and sometimes I want to throttle them for it!

Geez, forget showing teens a video of a screaming baby. Why not just tell them that if they get pregnant? They will GO CRAZY? It might help. A little.

In any case, I am still super excited about this little dude even if he is making me feel like the mothering equivalent of a bridezilla. Momzilla? Hm. I'm well into my 28th week now, which means 12 more to go. At this moment, it seems like FOREVER. But I know it will go by faster than I know. I just can't wait to meet him. And get my brain back.

Maybe....
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February 18, 2010

Somewhere the Grass is Greener

I don't get many e-mails from PR folks, and I tend to ignore them when I do. However, I've written before about the Fresh Air Fund, and I'm giving a little time to it again today because I think it's a pretty great opportunity for kids. What is the Fresh Air Fund?

THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2008, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.


One of the reasons that Justin and I moved back to Bellingham was because Justin wanted Sam to have some of the experiences that he did as a child. To have a big yard, to have pets, to have woods to run around in. Fresh air, sunshine, room to run... these were all important to us. So, it breaks my heart a little bit to think about how many kids out there are waiting for their chance. They may not know what it's like to feel grass under their feet, or to explore nature.



The Fresh Air Fund is currently looking for host families for the summer of 2010. These are families who live in the suburbs or in small communities in the Northeastern US & Canada where children from New York City can experience something new and amazing. If you think you might be interested, click here for more information!

If you think you'd like to support the Fresh Air Fund, take a look at their website.
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February 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to Violence Unsilenced

So, I totally had another post planned for today until I saw in my reader that today is the first anniversary of one of my favorite websites, Violence Unsilenced. Violence Unsilenced is an absolutely amazing website/blog started by Maggie of Okay. Fine. Dammit.

I've written before about my work as an advocate for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services. It's something I felt called to do, and something that is very important to me. I believe that this website is an absolutely amazing place for women and men) who have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

I read their stories daily. And I am amazed by their strength. It takes a lot to speak out, a lot of courage that many people never find. In speaking out, some are able to find a piece of themselves they lost. To see how much support there is, even from strangers. And in many cases, inspire others to speak out and begin to or continue healing from really awful things that have happened to them.

So, Happy Birthday Violence Unsilenced. Here's to a hundred more.

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February 16, 2010

Beautiful Birth - Nella Cordelia

I found this through a friend sharing it on Twitter. It is an amazing, moving, wonderful story. It's painful, heartbreaking and joyous and one of the most real things I've read in a long time.

Click here to read Nella Cordelia's Birth Story.


Be warned, it is happy and sad, and if you are a mother (and possibly if not) you better go get a kleenex first.
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February 12, 2010

SO Beyond NOT Okay .or. My First REAL Mommy Panic

Today, I had my first real, horrible, awful, no good, not okay panicked moment as a mother.

My heart is still racing with adrenaline and anger whenever I think about it.

When we got home from a long day out at 4:30, he was here.

I have written about my father-in-law before.

He has been out to the house more lately. I have been meaning to write a post about all that's gone one, one that would be far less biased than this one. But, this came first.

He takes one dose of his medication at 5:00. He usually is not here past 4:00, because he knows that he can't really handle driving when it's that close to his medication time.

I was tired when we got home, and wondered what he was doing here.

He came into the house around 4:55 and sat down. Still seemingly with okay strength, but panting for his breath a little from the walk from the pool.

I asked if he had taken his 5:00 pills, he didn't hear me but the second time he answered that he had them here with him and thanks for reminding him.

If he doesn't get his pills on time, he becomes physically and mentally incapacitated. He may lose the ability to carry on a conversation or move his body.

He got up, I assumed to go out to his truck and get his pills. Sam followed him. I was cleaning up a mess. It took literally three minutes.

I got up to go see what Sam was up to, and saw my father in law's truck. DRIVING DOWN THE DRIVEWAY.

I ran outside.

"Sam?"

I looked around. No reply.

"SAM? SAM!?"

I yelled.

"SAM! SAM!"

I hollered.

"SAM!?"

My breath started to come fast. I ran into the front yard. I grabbed my phone and tried my father-in-law's cell phone.

While it rang, I continue to yell. I checked the barn and the back yard.

No answer.

I couldn't decide what to do next.

Call 911 and tell them my son was in a car with an unsafe driver with no carseat? Call Justin? Get in my car and race after them?

WHAT DO I DO?!

I rang Justin. He was on his way home, more than 30 minutes away.

"I can't find Sam!"

"I already TRIED his cell phone, he didn't answer."

Maybe 30 seconds into the conversation, I saw the truck coming back up the driveway.

Oh. My. God.

I told Justin that they were back. I told him that I was going to try not to punch his dad in the face.

Venom:

"You need to talk to your father. This is NOT OKAY."

I went into the house and Sam got out of the truck and came in the side door. I held in my dissipating fear, my rage, my panic and greeted him. I watched the truck back up.

I was thankful that he was leaving and that I wouldn't have to try and talk to him without crying or screaming. That I wouldn't have to try and control myself so I didn't scare Sam or make him feel bad.

Sam wanted to go back outside. I tried to ask him if he asked to go for a ride, or if Grandpa asked if he wanted to, but it's hard to know with a 3 1/2 year old. My father-in-law stopped his truck near the pool and got out to do something.

He walked towards us, his cell phone in it's holster that Justin just gave him yesterday so he could have it with him, on his belt, at all times in his hand.

"Is this yours?"

"No. That's yours. Justin gave that to you so you could keep your phone on your belt."

"Oh. I found it on the ground."

"It's yours."

He turned, got in his truck, and drove away.

I stared after him, talking and playing with Sam.

But those moments, seconds, are still with me.

I had never felt before like my child could be in mortal danger.

It's not something a mother SHOULD feel. And I feel lucky that this was the first time in almost 4 years of his life that I've had to feel it.

Even thinking about it now, 6 hours later, it makes me want to sob and vomit.

*****

Justin and I have both talked to Sam since this happened. We think that he asked to drive down to the bottom of the driveway because he gets to ride in the front seat of the car with me when we drive down to catch the school bus and drive back. (Yes, I am that lazy that I drive to the bottom of our quarter mile long, hilly driveway instead of walking it on school days. I am pregnant. That's my excuse...) So, he has learned that it's okay to ride in the car like that as long as we're not going on the roads.

We have both explained to him that Mommy gets really scared when she doesn't know where Sam is, and that she needs to know before he goes anywhere. That if Grandpa offers him a ride in the truck, he should come to me first. It's hard to how much he'll remember.

We can't explain to him that even driving to the bottom of the driveway with Grandpa could be dangerous. We can't explain that Grandpa shouldn't even be driving at all, especially when his medication could be fading, along with his cognitive and physical abilities. That is all for us.

I don't need to explain to him that I will never take my eyes off him again when Grandpa is around. That he will never be allowed to ride in the car like that with Grandpa again. That if he ever asks me, I will absolutely say No. That two minutes? Is long enough.

In reality, there was probably not much danger. But there could have been. Justin will be in charge of talking to his father, telling him Sam cannot EVER ride in the car with him. Telling him that taking Sam away from the house without me knowing is NEVER okay. That I was seconds from calling 911 when he came back up the driveway.

*****

What will happen with my father-in-law from here on? It is a mystery. His Parkinson's is getting worse. He shouldn't be driving at all, let alone when he is close to a dose of medication or when it's getting dark. He told me himself the other day that when he drives people honk and wave their arms at him, that they pass him, that he is afraid of getting pulled over. His caregiver suggested that we just take his keys away, and tell him that it's just not safe for him to drive anymore. He won't like it. But that's life.

She doesn't think he'll last more than 3 or so more months in the retirement community he just moved to, and that he'll need to be back in assisted living after that. It's hard. It's so hard. And I watch and I feel for him.

But at the same time, I can't accept that he puts people in danger more often than he knows. I don't accept what happened today. I am angry and it scared me. And it will NEVER happen again.

THANK GOD I have that second chance.

*****

PS If you're thinking about leaving a comment telling me that it was my fault, or that I should have been paying better attention in those two minutes, don't. I already feel bad about it, and no one is perfect, even you. If you leave that kind of comment, I will delete it. Like I said before, I already want to cry just thinking about the whole thing.
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February 10, 2010

You Can Prevent Wholesale

Got this from Avitable. It's just fun.

1. Go to the "Random Article" link on Wikipedia. Write down the title of the article. This is the name of your band.

2. Go to “Random Quotations” and the last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3. Go to Flickr and click on “Explore the Last Seven Days”. The third picture will be your album cover.

So, here's the album that's going to make me famous.

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February 9, 2010

I Don't Feel Like It

Three hours and forty eight minutes until Sam gets back from school.

There is laundry to be done, several loads of it.

But I don't feel like it.

Five articles and ten short blog entries to be written for my ghostwriting job, due tomorrow.

I don't feel like it.

Dishes in the sink that would take five minutes to put in the dishwasher.

I don't feel like it.

I haven't eaten much today, and need to make myself some food.

I don't feel like it.

Toys on the floor that need to be picked up, another five minutes.

I just don't feel like it.

Today I'm struggling. I found out last night that not only does Sam get President's Day off next Monday, but no school Tuesday as well. This will be the 5th week our babysitter has been out of town, so Sam has not been over there for his normal all-day Thursdays. She's back next week, but it seems so far away.

For the last five weeks I've spent the time Sam was at school running errands, cleaning the house, moving furniture, organizing inside and outside the house. For one week, Sam didn't go to school because he was sick. For another week I couldn't do much because I was sick. Yesterday I was looking forward to time by myself and Justin's Dad showed up and that took up half the time Sam was away.

I am feeling it. The lack of time spent doing nothing or concentrating on myself. The absence of downtime. I'm just feeling tired. Our weeks are full, Justin is at his father's house ever Monday and Wednesday after work until after Sam goes to bed. His company is going through a transition and it's been very, very busy, meaning some nights we don't see him until 6 or 7. Maybe Sam is feeding off my emotions again, but he's been having a lot of trouble listening.

Having a hard time, it's just the way it is sometimes. Ups and downs are just a part of life. But when it's pulling you down like the chain on an anchor, drowning you in a sea of overwhelm, it's hard to feel like doing much of anything. It's not a depression, just simple weariness.

It's to be expected, right? 27 weeks pregnant, with a baby in me stealing my fuel and energy. More time than not spent with a totally hyper 3.5 year old. Husband with a sick father and a job that needs a lot of attention right now. A busy time.

I just don't feel like doing anything.

BUT. I have to. So, it's off to writing, dishes, laundry and cleaning up. Sigh....
[Continue reading...]

February 8, 2010

How is my boy so big?

Yesterday, Sam had his first real big-boy, sit in the chair and cooperate (with a pretty awesome cape btw) haircut. Last time he had his hair cut at a salon was when he was 2 and after that it all went downhill. That's when we started buzzing it because we could do it at home and no one else had to hear his screams... and the shorter it was cut, the longer before the next cut.

Last time he had a haircut was late last summer, and we buzzed it at home... but he DIDN'T cry. Somehow, we managed to change it from the clippers feeling bad to 'tickling.' So, it came up the other day when we were with Grandma, and yesterday Justin and I decided to take him to get a haircut.

First, here are a couple of pictures from our fun walk on Friday with Grandma at Boulevard park. I used hair spray that day, and Sam wanted some, so I offered him hair gel instead...

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Now here are some pictures from yesterday.

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He was so good! The woman who cut his hair was great too, she talked to him and told him what she was doing and did a great job.

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And the final product - so cute!

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It's always amazing how much older they look just after a haircut, isn't it?

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February 4, 2010

Come See Me at Mamapedia!

Today I have a featured post over at Mamapedia! My post on "Is Birthing a Business" is featured right there on the front page, and I'm so excited! I would love for you to head over there and check it out, and while you're there check out the rest of Mamapedia. It's a great community by moms for moms, and I'm excited to be a part of it.
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February 2, 2010

Writerz Block? I Haz It.

I have about 20 post titles saved in my drafts. Some of them have a few sentences with them. I WANT to write. But somehow, the words just aren't coming. It seems like a lot of work, and my brain is tired and all those things I want to write down about Sam and how he has been doing, about my favorite TV shows, the books I've read lately and the movies I've seen and what's been going on around my house? They are not coming out.

Soooo... here is some randomness.

I have 10 articles due by Friday. I have the topics all planned out, but I need to get started on actually writing. But instead of working on them at all while Sam has been at school the last few days, I've been on a cleaning rampage. That's right, apparently, I am nesting. We have a playdate here on Thursday, and I'm super excited because we're supposed to be having about 7 moms and their kids over... BUT that also means that I need. to. CLEAN.

I have gotten some good stuff done, and tomorrow I'll be doing the sweeping and wiping down and vacuuming stuff. Justin's working on completing a big clean out/organize/store of a ton of stuff from our living room, and hopefully will be done tonight. Then I'll finally feel like I can RELAX in my house.

See, I have mess-related anxiety. When my space is cluttered? I can't really relax fully. I look at the clutter and the mess, and I feel like I need to doooooo something, even if I'm too tired to do it. So, while I was sick and Sam was sick for 2 weeks? Not much got done. I'm excited to have things cleared up sot hat I can just do maintenance cleaning when Sam's at school and not have to do these huge cleanups in order to have people over.

I recently took over as organizer of the meetup group for Bellingham Moms that I'm in, and since we have such a great house with so much room, I'd like to be able to comfortable scheduling regular playdates every couple of weeks.

I was also excited that today I FINALLY got our front porch cleared off of some junk that's been hanging around out there since we moved in. Yes, as in 6 months ago. Now there are just a few toys and the little table and chairs and cat feeder that are supposed to be there. It makes me feel happier just walking up to my own front door!

Now, I just need to get stuff in order for this baby. Um, I kind of can't believe that I'm having a baby. I am so excited now! I had a baby shower last weekend, it was early because it was a joint shower with my friend Tara, who's due in early March. I'll post more about that later, but it really set me off into baby mode!

I emailed some friends today about the hand-me-down baby items we're getting. I can't wait to get the crib set up in Danny's room, that is going to make everything feel SO real for me. Of course, that requires getting Justin to get someone to help him take the extra bed out of our guest room so it can be Danny's room. I also found a friend who has a 2 year old and is now pregnant with a girl and she has a whole bunch of baby clothes that she said we could get some of, which will be great since we haven't gotten many clothing hand me downs as of yet.

I'm also blog-nesting... my husband said he'd make me a new blog design as part of my Christmas present. I have a whole new design in mind, and I can't wait, but right now he doesn't have time to work on it. Hopefully soon!

So, my brain is all over the place, obviously. I need to figure out when I'm going to go get my glucose tolerance test done and my February blood draw done, and finish the house cleaning and these articles and SOMEWHERE in the middle of that you bet your sweet butt I'm gonna have to find time to watch the final season premiere of Lost!

Here is a gratuitous photo of Sam petting a kangaroo.

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Gah! What's on your mind these days?
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