Monday, August 31, 2009

Average Great Americans

Watch the first 13 seconds to get my point. The rest is good but can be offensive.

Fox News, the new Liberals

There are no such things. Those two words are opposite. You can't be both average and exceptional. And I know it's just semantics, but this is symptomatic of a weakness in American thinking that seems to be growing: placing the "average American" on a pedestal. Is that really what this country is based on, exalting the average? When we look back on our founding fathers, do we say I really look up to the average signer of the declaration of independence like good ol' John Penn or William Ellerly? No, our Nation was born on the back of ordinary people who refused to be ordinary: Washington, Adams, Jefferson. And what's really upsetting is that it seems to be a lot worse on the right:

Palin on the Hewitt Show

Regular Joe-six-pack Americans certainly contribute to the country, and I appreciate them and recognize that they have as much right to anything in America as anywhere else. But they are not what makes our country great. What makes America great is those who are always striving for something better, to advance, to excel. When did the middle class become the heart of America? The heart of America are all the people who don't settle for being average, or spend their time drinking beer and watching the game but those who spend their energy trying to improve themselves and their community. The right is supposed to be the champion of the free market, a role which is vital for our economic well-being. But the free market is not designed to benefit the average or the contented, but to encourage the inventive and the hard-working. When did populism come to equal liberty for the right?

Of course, it's not just the right. The left has no problem peddling to middle-class and the average to gain a large voting block:

Obama supports middle class, unions

It's just a lot more symptomatic on the right. Sarah Palin was not as dumb (dumb, I realize is harsh, un-smart, maybe) as she tried to pretend she was. Glenn Beck is not as scared of America collapsing as he pretends to be. If the right really wants to redefine themselves (and they should) they need to stop pretending to be so dumb so as to be seen as "average."

It doesn't matter what your situation is in life, I've seen it in professionals and students and Target employees. There are those that give it their best effort and there are those that coast, just do enough to get by. Those who are just getting by certainly contribute and have their place, but let's not hold them up as the ideal. That's communism, not democracy.

What do you think? Am I just blowing this way out of proportion or just flat out wrong? Let me know.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our final weeks in DC

were spent in the house of Cait's sister Lauren's house (I guess the house belongs to Christopher, her husband, too [actually they're renting it, so I guess it's whoever-they-are-renting-from's house]). We had a really good time, even if we did wear out our welcome and are very glad to have our own place again. Here's some pictures that give a little show of our trip there.

I took my neice and nephew (M. and G. for the purpose of this blog) to the Smithsonian. They were more interested in the rocks on the path leading there.

And the metro.

There's Lauren and Cait hanging out in the room we stayed in. Cait explaining her pregnancy to someone and Lauren reading a book. Fairly common, although a more common location was the front room couches.

Our supercute year-old nephew B. He was a great baby.

G. loves his computer. I showed him a game called Totem Destroyer and he bugged me for days to keep playing it.


I made cookies with the kids a few times. These were the best.


My brother-law-Ethan also came up to stay for a while.

I actually have no pictures of my brother-in-law Christopher. He was working a lot. I did go with him once to the Arlington County Fair to help him sell some performance-enhancing bracelets. I hate being a salesman, especially with things I wouldn't buy myself, but I enjoyed it more than I thought and did alright as a salesman.

Here are some good videos from the summer:

video

video

Overall, it was a fitting end to very unpredictable but enjoyable summer. Lauren was really great host and we really appreciate all the time she spent cooking for us and cleaning up after us and letting us play with her kids. We really like them all a lot.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Recently...

I washed the pre-fold cloth diapers I bought. You are supposed to wash them 3-5 times before use, and I didn't want to pay for the washing machine when they weren't even dirty. So I boiled water over the stove, poured it into a large metal bowl, added a little detergent, and used a spoon to swish them around. Then I rinsed them in the bathtub and hung them on the line to dry. It felt very... pioneer-y.








Tim donated all of his old Star Wars books to the library. A symbol of his very nerdy childhood... gone. After he donated them all, he then proceeded to check out yet another Star Wars book for some light reading.



Friday, August 28, 2009

Cecilia and me




Cecilia came over for a visit the other day. She is so dang cute pregnant! And funny enough, we were wearing the same skirt. They are from like 7 years ago, and they both belong to her. Then, I ran into her in the Wilk today. It was random and wonderful and we have this thing where we always run into each other in public. It always is a happy day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So we made it

That's all, but it is enough. We'll write a good post about it later, give a tour of our apartment and reflect on our DC experience, talk about how our "g" key moved, and probably some baby updates. But not right now, so quit asking.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tomorrow morning at 7:20 am, we are flying from DC to Salt Lake. Send good "don't go into labor mid-flight" thoughts our way.

Although, in reading up on it a bit, it seems that giving birth mid-flight isn't so bad. Obviously not my choice of locations, but I've been reading successful mid-flight birth stories for inspiration.

Mexico to Chicago

Amsterdam to Bostom


London to Boston

Hong Kong to Adelaide


I feel incredibly impractical and slightly reckless getting on a plane tomorrow, but we're running out of options here and we have to get back to school. This baby was supposed to come two weeks ago, giving us plenty of time to rest and recuperate and fly out tomorrow. But... that didn't happen. So this is going to happen. And hopefully in 24 hours, we'll be hanging out at our apartment in Provo.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

11-Month Anniversary

We are impatient. Instead of waiting until the year was up to eat our wedding cake, we only waited 11 months. So, on Tim's birthday we busted out the frozen cake that my mom brought up from SC and dove right in. And it was actually really, really tasty still. If anyone wants to come to my sister's house and eat a $50 piece of cake, there is still some left.

Things to ponder about this post:
1. Why spend so much on cake? I mean, it's just pretty much regular cake so why did it cost a thousand dollars?
2. Why do we insist on saving a perishable food item for a year then eating it?


Thursday, August 20, 2009

The story of Tim

Today marks the 24th anniversary of the birth of a fine fellow indeed. Presumably the second born child of his parents (we're convinced he's adopted, but that's a long story for another day and time), Tim was born on a cool August morning in Roy, Utah. He was a large baby, two weeks late, with the biggest head you'll ever see on a small child. His poor mother.



Tim spent most of his childhood in Idaho, exploring in the hills and lighting fires with the local children.



His family also had a short stint in California before they settled in Mountain Green, Utah, where he lived out the rest of his days, running through the dry farms behind his home and working at Target. Then, when he was found worthy (enough), Tim embarked on his 2-year long mission in the lone mountains of Argentina. He trounced through the streets, preaching and teaching and writing and reading (and digging holes apparently).




Upon his return to his dear old hometown, Tim decided to travel the long journey to the Brigham Young University and begin the arduous path of higher education. He also went on a dating spree, to hunt down prospective companions for himself. However, none of these ladies seemed to catch Tim's fancy quite right, but he was persistent nonetheless. Yes, they were pretty and smart and talented and spiritual, but Tim knew he needed more in a wife. Or maybe he didn't realize just what he was missing until that day on the bench when he sat next to the most beautiful being he had ever set eyes on. It took him a mere 23 days to decide to marry this goddess, entranced by both her beauty and her intelligence, but most of all by her unfailingly weird ways. He couldn't help but be hooked on her. And conveniently, she was hooked on him as well.



Their love was quite requited, and on September 20th of the year 2008, they knelt across a beautiful white altar and made promises that they plan on keeping for a long time.




Tim and his new wife did not experience the weird transition or rocky start of most new marriages. Instead, nearly every day was bliss and butterflies for quite some time. They even (accidentally) decided to procreate, resulting in a stubborn little offspring that still has yet to make his appearance into the world.


But even with the sudden turn of events and the roadblocks in their path, Tim and companion have never been happier, content to lay in one another's arms and bask in the beauty of love. Tim makes quite the husband. He's thoughtful and kind, hard-working and dedicated to learning and improving himself. He really has become a better kind of person during the past year, and this wife is really grateful for his hard work and dedication to the Lord.

So, now, today on this 24th celebration of his birth, I have but one thing to say: thanks. Thanks for being YOU. Because the you I know has got to be one of the coolest kids in town.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Still no baby, thanks for visiting

We're trying, we promise. Or maybe we've already had it and we're just keeping it a secret. We're not. But because I'm sick of studying Arabic, I'm writing another post.

Every once in a while before we were married, I made a few attempts at a blog, none of which were succesful, in content or readership. On one blog, however, I made a promise that I feel obligated to fulfill on this blog.

Maggie Beasley and Gordon Rees are two of the finest people I know. No joke. And, fortunately enough, they have very similar personalities, so I will be able to speak about both of them at the same time. Maggie and Gordon are extremely kind people. I've never hear them say a bad word about anybody, but I have heard them condemn hypocrisy and stand up against ideas they feel to be wrong. They have great senses of humor and always laugh at my jokes, and ALWAYS get them, which is even more rare. They are super smart and make great partners, whether in the mission or in model UN. They made what could have been terrible situations (Trapiche and MUN in New York) bearable and even enjoyable. They both have very full heads of luxurious shiny hair. They both dress fashionably. They are both talented Scrabble players and they are the only two human beings on earth to have watched my copy of Troll 2 with me. Which is now available on Hulu! (That is a rare exclamation point on my part). Overall, they are great people and, in my opinion, are some of the surest bets for the Celestial Kingdom (which is an awfully silly thing to bet on), not as sure of a bet as Trace Hansen, (Gordon and Maggie are liberals after all) but still.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I hate this kind of stuff

So. I thought this Copeland fellow was a Mormon. I probably confused him with Kenneth Cope, who is probably a good guy. Because of that, I wont go into a long tirade about how dissapointed this makes me in my church, but rather just say this does nothing good for Christ. I hate this kind of stuff:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/us/16gospel.html?_r=2&hp

But I do love people making an effort, like this:

Bumpaholics?

Yes, this is EXACTLY why we're procreating.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Great buys

One nice thing about where we are living right now is Craigslist! There are a lot of rich young moms with a few kids, but not as many poor college student moms so there's tons of good stuff. The other day, I got 10 BumGenius one-sizes, two Fuzzi Bunz pocket diapers, three Hemparoo liners for $50! And they are a little worn but clean and definitely in usable condition. The BGs are the older version so they don't have the stretchy tabs and hidden pocket stuffer but from what I've seen they still will work great. Added to the pre-folds, the g-diapers, and the few BG I already bought, I think we might be set for a little while.

Unfortunately though, some moms can be deceitful on Craigslist and that's just messed up. Like I bought a Moby wrap and paid for it, but then realized it actually wasn't a Moby wrap but a Baby K'tan wrap, which would be cool because they are nice too. However, it's a size large, and it's way too big for either of us to use. I told the mom this but she wouldn't give the money back. LAME-O. But then I found a brand-new moss-colored Moby wrap for $20 and bought it and it's wonderful. So I can't complain. But if anyone could use a size large Baby K'tan wrap, it's yours for the taking.

Note: We're thinking about having a baby blog (not unlike Kayla and her two blogs). For one, I'm skeptical about putting up baby pictures, my baby's name, etc. when we get a lot of traffic from random people wwho google things like "breast milk drinking fetishes". Also, Tim also doesn't want our blog to turn into one of those "and our baby rolled over today!" And there is nothing wrong with those, but that wasn't our idea behind creating a blog. We want to voice our opinions and stimulate discussion and have a forum for our ideas outside of our little apartment or circle of friends. But if we had a separate baby blog, it would be for relatives and people who care to see our baby and it'd be private, but we'd have this one un-private and it'd be more our rants and such. I just don't want to go completely private because most private blogs kind of annoy me but I've realized that with a baby things change.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I was doing a bit of reading today, and I think I realized what's stalling this baby. I think he's sitting funny in my uterus, something called right occiput posterior. Meaning: his butt is off to one side, he's posterior, and he's kind of in a c-shape.

My uterus has always felt a little lopsided, and it always feels like he's predominantly on my right side but I never thought anything of it until I was reading about back labor and realized that I had the classic symptoms of a posterior baby (bad back labor, random stalling of labor after it starts, baby doesn't drop like normal, baby is breech for longer and then by the time he flips he doesn't get into the right position, can feel his hands and feet sticking out on my front and sides). But then I was looking into it more and read about babies that are off to one side and how that makes it so they can't drop like normal and come when they need to, so you can have all the contractions in the world and your cervix can open but if the baby isn't descending right your labor will stall.
There are some things that can be done about it, like being on hands and knees during labor or using a birth ball. You can also do yoga exercises like cat and cow to try to get the baby to move to get labor going again. I've done 100 of those tonight. And I'm sleeping on my left side which is supposed to help even the baby out. I guess we'll see if it works.

Friday, August 14, 2009

When I got pregnant, I was totally in this "it's not REALLY going to affect our life that much... it's just a baby" mindset in which babies come but you just kind of do what you do, strap them on, breastfeed them on the go, and go on with life. Then, I could barely get out of bed for three months. But then things returned to normal as we ventured out to DC and worked and played and explored. Oh wait, and then I went into pre-term labor. Oh yeah, and then we didn't think it wise to fly back because remember, the baby is coming any day now. Right? Apparently wrong, but how were we to know? So we missed Cecilia's wonderful and spontaneous wedding. And tomorrow, we'll miss Charla's much-anticipated wedding. Then my mom drove up this week because of course birth was on the brink, what with the quite regular contractions and the almost halfway there dilation and the 70% effacement and all. And we are supposed to fly back in a little over a week and if this baby comes the night before we are supposed to leave and I'm in labor and we have to buy yet another set of plane tickets I'm not going to be a happy camper. This baby hasn't even come yet and he has seriously disrupted my life. And I just want him out for my own convenience but mostly I just can't wait to meet him and hold him and breastfeed him and figure out what to call him and cuddle with him and cloth diaper him and dress him in teensy little organic cotton onesies and swaddle him in delicate muslin swaddling blankets. And not having these contractions anymore like I've had for a month would be great too.

This might take a while

Cait was in the hospital til 3am, with pretty consistent contractions coming every 2-3 minutes with slowly increasing pressure. They checked her early on and she was 4cm dilated. So we settled in for a long night and Cait tried to stay in a good place. Cait's mom and sister came, which was nice. They are a lot better at demanding things from doctors than I am.

They put Cait in a room, but when the attending finally came to see us, 5 hours after we checked in, she was still at 4cm. The doctor said she could stay or go home for a while until her water broke or the contractions upped up (upped up? seriously?) some. So after a bit of discussion we decided to come home. We all got some sleep, even Cait. And now, we are, once again, hanging out. Cait's contractions are still as consistent, or as close. But they are less painful, which might just be a psychological effect of being out of the hospital or, more likely, things are slowing down a bit. Her sister Lauren was in semi-labor like this with her last child for a week. We're hoping it doesn't take that long with Cait.

Can I just say that Cait has been a freaking awesome birther so far? She is super prepared, and nothing that the doctor says seems to surprise her. She has maintained throughout a real positive and robust outlook. I'm very proud of her and couldn't ask for a better birther for our son. Air high five to her.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Let's try this again

We're headed back to the hospital. Everything is fine. Cait's contractions are getting pretty intense and about 3-4 minutes apart. We're trying not to get our hopes up, because now would actually be an excellent time for the baby to come, we feel, but after some discussion we feel like it is time to head back to GW hospital. We might take the computer with us, so this blog is probably your best chance of updates.

Dont' you feel priveleged?

Patience is a virtue

Ever since I went off drugs/bed rest, I've been having contractions. Last night and today they were pretty intense-- not really painful, but very noticeable and often. My body and Theodore are messing with my mind. I keep thinking I'm in labor. Then I stop thinking it because I feel like my body will KNOW when I am. How long can my cervix stay at 3 cm? Watch us have to fly back, then he's going to be late or something. Or he's born on the plane and we totally could have flown back on the 8th. My luck.*



* I actually usually have really good luck, so I'm not sure why I always use this saying.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Town Hall Protests


And, intelligent democracy collapses.

Because all I do is sit around and read and study Arabic some, I don't have many life updates to report on. I did go to some museums the other day, but I've had enough of those posts. So instead I'm going all political.

I have been very happy with the health care debate up to this point. No, the results haven't been all that promising yet, and no, President Obama hasn't taken a good lead in explaining what needs to happen to Americans, but, nontheless the debate was intelligent and rigorous. Everyone was looking for solutions and talking about options. The American people were not going to settle for just plugging up holes in the system, they were actually looking for real solutions and smart change, demanding that everyone be insured and that costs go down, both of which are reasonable, if not simple, expectations. An ad-hoc bill came out of congress that maybe was a step in the right direction, maybe not. People weren't satisfied. So more intelligent debate ensued, people began to focus more on cutting the costs of health care. Some of the real issues, like problems with American lifestyle that were driving up costs weren't talked about enough, but they were making more frequent appearances.

And then congress recessed and cable TV got boring and the crazies came out. The main problem the town hall protests is that it is mob rule. Nothing is accomplished, which is just what the people protesting want. That's my main beef. Intelligent debate has broken down. Let's not settle for that. Let's reject fear mongering. See the sign up there: "I'm not going to discuss my end of life options with anyone." Seriously? No general care physicians? No specialists? I know, if you're not willing to pay out of pocket for what is for most people expensive end-of-life care, you are most assuredly going to talk to your insurance company about it. And do you know what your best chance of getting it paid for is? Medicare. From the government. Come on America, we're better than that. No, finding a solution for our health care problems wont be easy. No, it probably wont be fast. But it has to happen. And it isn't going to happen on its own. We decided to just let things be in the Clinton years and things have just gotten worse. Things have to change, and it is going to take all of us actually thinking and talking about it, not shouting and carrying signs that don't really mean anything to get it done.

That's my other beef. This was the first picture that came up when I searched "health care town hall protests." Or maybe the second. Everyone in this picture is older and obese. According to this and this obesity is not, if the number one cause for increase in health care prices, certainly among them. Now, I'm not hating on fat people, but when insuring you costs 25% percent more than insuring the non-obese, a few more signs saying "Sorry America, for making health care more expensive" might be apporpriate. And insuring older people isn't cheap either. I'm not saying older people and obese people shouldn't have a voice in health care, I would just like them to recognize that they'll be the first ones to be dropped (after poor people, who seem pretty uniformly on the side of reform, or at least realize they are dependent on the government for health care, unlike all these old people seem to) if we don't do something about fixing health care. The only reason that their health care costs aren't bankrupting them is because they are either already on government run care or are insured through their employer, who are more and more refusing to pay for more expensive health care. I want the obese and the old insured, I just hate to see them fighting against the only way that they'll get insured. And also, I think the government is best suited for providing incentives for better health and lowered obesity, a further reason for government to be more involved in health care.

In summation: Please, please America. I was so proud of you for being trying to be thoughtful and intelligent about this issue early on, let's not quit now.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Before the preterm labor shenanignans....

we had a ward picnic. It was quite a delight.




Another boring update

Still pregnant. Going off the drugs tomorrow when my mom gets here. Planning on having a baby. See if all goes according to (new) plan.



I've been thinking...
Do you think the hospital will let me fill up a baby pool in my hospital room to labor in? It's a really big room, there's space for it. Hm, I wonder. Maybe I should just do it anyways? What's the worst that could happen?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What's in a name?

Our baby has no name. This is worrisome, as he might be heading here any day now. We've been calling him Theodore since before we even knew he was a boy, it was just his fetus name and was never going to stick. But the more I try out names on my belly, the more they sound weird and I can't just shake Theodore. But I really don't like it as a name for a child, mostly because I'm afraid he'd become Ted and that reminds me of the lawyer on Scrubs and I can't have my child becoming a nervous awkward a capella-singing wreck.

Meanwhile... does anyone know of a good pediatrician in Provo? I want one that won't push vaccinations (we're getting some, just not all) and that will be open to homeopathic remedies. I just want to find someone and line up something since we'll be bringing a preemie home on a flight in a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bed rest is awesome!

No, not really. It actually kind of sucks. I'm not much of a resty kind of person. I'm bad at relaxing. Now I'm being forced too because I want a healthy baby. And I know it's going to be worth it but it's so. hard.

This was my mom's threat about staying down until next week: "Do you want to breastfeed??"

Yes, yes, I do. And I know it will be infinitely harder with a preemie. So here I lay.

The worst thing for me though is making people do stuff for me. I'm bad at accepting help, and even worse at asking for it. When I do, I feel like I'm nagging. I like taking care of people and am a bad recipient of such care. I know Tim wants to do it, but when he's sitting there reading or studying Arabic, the hardest thing for me to do is demand a glass of water or a back rub. But I know I have to, and I'm learning valuable lessons about service and humility.

Before all of this happened, I felt like my life was getting too easy and I was coasting. I began asking Heavenly Father for trials to teach me more about myself and help me to become a better servant. I know all of this is an answer to that prayer, and I'm doing my best to frame it that way and not complain but rather embrace the little things that are blessings: the fact that Lauren and her family happened to move here, that I actually ended up at the hospital in the first place because otherwise I would've had no idea I was even in labor until it was too late to stop it. That our baby is still healthy and kicking up a storm. That we have wonderful medical care available to us at no cost to us. There are so many good things, and I'm just trying to focus exclusively on them and not so much on the suck-y things like missing a dear friend's wedding and having to pay for another plane ticket.

And because once upon a time I said I would never wear a hospital gown, and would definitely never be hooked up to an EFM:

A boring update

As for news, we're just hanging out at Cait's sisters house, reading books and watching movies. Cait has to stay in bed and take medicine that doesn't make her feel good if she doesn't want the baby to come. We have to keep convincing her that she doesn't want the baby to come. That we stay in DC for the baby to be born seems more likely every day. Thanks everyone who gave us advice. The flight just seemed to risky for the benefits. I'm also glad we're here because Lauren can be the one to nag Cait about staying reclined, because she speaks from experience. I would feel tempted to give in and let Cait go swimming if it was just me that had to fight her cabin fever.

That's it. I'll post some pictures of some of the things we did before Cait's cervix started dialating and some of the things I've been doing since, so that Cait can have vicarious touristy experiences.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Falafel

The other night, Tim made some yummy falafel.






You can find the recipe here.

Night out on the town

After getting shot down on reporting that Cait had died or that the baby was born, I am only left with the truth.

Everything is fine. Cait spent the night in the hospital because her contractions were coming every ten minutes or so and got pretty intense. She was also dilated 3 cm or so, but seemed to be staying at that point without any movement. Cait's sister Lauren was there, giving us lots of good and experienced advice, because all three of her births have started early. After a little debate, we decided to stay the night in the hospital, eating so-so food and watching boring TV. They checked her out periodically and kept her on fluids through an IV. She is still having contractions, but they prescribed her some medicine to lessen those.

We're now facing the tough decision on when we should head back to Utah. Our options are:
1-Fly out tomorrow while we still can.
2-Take the anti-contraciton medicine, see if the contractions stabilize and fly out on the 8th, our original date.
3-Wait to have the baby, maybe taking the medicine to keep the baby in a little longer or maybe just letting him come. 34 weeks is right on that edge. We would stay with Lauren til that happened.

Let us know if you have any advice. We're torn right now. Either way, we're having a baby! That'll be cool.