Friday, April 29, 2011

Back to work

This week was my first week back to work at a new job. Yet another job! But this is one is so legit and perfect for me it's not even funny. I get to talk to women all day about... breastfeeding... and get paid. I know I've already told most everyone and blogged about it but it's too cool to not talk about again. The next few weeks I get to train under an experienced lactation specialist, and oh woman, is there a lot to learn still! I thought I knew a lot about breastfeeding, but wow, there is still so much to learn. I learned so many neat tricks about increasing milk supply, latching on, dealing with mastitis and thrush. I can hardly handle all of the interesting information that's coming into my brain. Besides getting to answer questions and offer advice on breastfeeding, I also get to play with $2500 hospital-grade pumps... put them together, take them apart, clean them, issue them. AND if I have another baby while I work there, I get to borrow one for a year! Medela Symphonys are beautiful objects. WIC also just started a program where they issue double electric pumps (Medela Pump-n-Styles/Ameda Purely Yours) for free (to keep forever) to moms that are going back to work/school and sign a release to not receive infant formula. Isn't that amazing?? I love my place of work.

Not only am I liking my job, Tim is loving staying at home (he told me). If only the weather would get a little warmer... but nonetheless, he looks very sexy in stay-at-home dad clothes and even bought himself some new grey skinny jeans a few days ago.

Tim also made the most yummy lasagna last night for dinner. He cooks, he cleans, he takes care of the little one (and he's very attractive)! What's not to love about this man?

In Theodore news, he has a double ear infection (it's very mild) and gets to take antibiotics for the first time.  You better bet we'll be dosing up ourselves on the probiotics to avoid thrush -- I talked to enough moms this week about "stabbing, burning pain" to want to avoid it myself.

Oh, and he failed his hearing test this week, but it MIGHT have been due to the fluid in his ear from being sick. So.... we get to do another one when he's better! Fourth time's a charm, I suppose. We have an appointment with an ENT next week anyways for his tonsils/adenoids so we'll just throw checking his ears into the mix as well.

Annnndddd.... an anecdote to accompany the updates: I'm a terribly unprepared mother who never brings diapers/wipes/snacks/books anywhere because I always forget to throw it in my bag. Today, Theo pooped at the doctor's office and I had nothing. So... I borrowed a much too large disposable diaper and changed him in the bathroom but didn't have anywhere to put the cloth one.... so I just threw it away. It was only a prefold, thank goodness, but I still felt  bad about it. Luckily these particular prefolds only cost about 75 cents so I wasn't out too much money.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Remembering Briana

A few days ago, I read about the death of Briana Blackwelder and for not knowing her that well, it's deeply affected me.

I "met" Briana only via phone and email, for the few months we were in DC. After weeks and months of deliberation and lots of research, Tim and I decided to have a home birth with Theodore. I think I talked to about every single midwife in the area before I found Briana through my dear friend (and doula), Analiesa. Even though we were communicating about my birth from across the country, I felt like we really clicked. She not only was willing to attend my birth at the last minute, since we would presumably be getting back into town a month before my due date, but she also was willing to attend my birth at a substantially lower cost than what she usually charged when I mentioned that we were stretched tight with money. Even though we didn't end up having her as our midwife for the planned home birth, she still corresponded with me through the pre-term labor mess and the flying back to Utah and was really, genuinely concerned about my well-being along with the well-being of my baby. And she never even officially had an appointment with me! Ever since we ended up birthing in the hospital, I always regretted the missed opportunity for the home birth with Briana,  and had been planning on seeking her out in the future for my next birth. Even though I did not even know her very well, I mourn the loss of such a beautiful, talented, and genuine woman who cared deeply about her calling in life as a midwife.

Our last interaction was a few weeks after Theodore was born, she e-mailed me to ask me how everything ended up going. And you know what? With everything going on, I completely spaced ever e-mailing her back and letting her know. I thought about it several times since but just never got around to responding. I doubt she ever had a second thought about it, but now that she's gone, it is one of those things I'll deeply regret until the memory fades with time.

I love this beautiful tribute from her close friend. It puts into words my feelings not only on death, but on life thereafter.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Some of my deeper thoughts

Do you ever have deep thoughts that come into your brain and you can't seem to figure them out in your head and they drive you crazy?? Oh... only me? Hm.

In the LDS Church, we have a firm belief that we are children of Heavenly Parents... not just beings created by a sole male deity, but the offspring of a Father and a Mother who are deeply involved in our earthly existence and who together form our concept of "God". We are taught that in order to respect our Mother, we must not discuss her existence or pray to her (though according to a new scholarly article in BYU Studies, we have never been told by a general authority to not speak of her, we've just been told not to pray to her... but sometimes I do anyway). Despite her being largely invisible in the everyday proceedings of the Church, I've always felt a strong conviction of this doctrine... that there isn't a single male deity but rather gods and goddesses working together bringing forth life not terribly unlike the world as we see it.

I was doing some light doctrinal reading about Heavenly Mother the other day when the thought occurred to me: why do we only consider Heavenly Father the literal parent of the Savior? Heavenly Mother is not the literal parent of Jesus Christ, as Mary was the vector. With all the talk of Heavenly Father... I wonder if Heavenly Mother ever looks down on us and feels forgotten or belittled. Can you imagine if you had a whole brood of children who only ever wanted to talk to their father on the phone every night?

And if Mary is a daughter of Heavenly Parents, wouldn't the conception of Jesus technically be considered incest?

I'm not trying to be offensive here, just had some thoughts. Anyone have any ideas?


Hiking atop Mom's back in Zion's

Walking around Zion's

We are legit

Resting, the hike at Bryce was pretty steep

Zion's: How can a desert  be so GREEN?

Playing in the dirt, his favorite thing

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bryce Canyon, Zion's, Coral Pink Sand Dunes

What a weekend trip! We went camping with all of Tim's immediate family, and we had a really enjoyable time. It was nice weather for the most part, Theodore loved every minute (except maybe the last hour or two of the drive home, but I definitely can't blame him, we were all exhausted), and I left feeling renewed and refreshed. We left early Friday morning and drove down to Bryce Canyon.... it was a LONG drive but we made it and hiked the afternoon away. It was pleasant, and Theodore loved being in the great outdoors. He still enjoys the baby backpack and viewing the world from atop Dad's back. After hiking for a few hours there, we drove to where we were originally supposed to spend the night, and it was far from ideal. It was a gravel RV park right off a main highway, and our spot was right beside the road and the bathrooms, with no place to pitch the tent. I was super nervous because cars were zipping past at 60 miles per hour, so I voiced my concerns and was sent to go scout out a new spot. Since it was the first nice weekend plus no more school plus Easter weekend, Zion's was crowded and all the campsites were taken, but we found an amazing little spot out near Coral Pink Sand Dunes. It was off the main roads, there was plenty of space for the camper and tents, there was a nice grill and fire pit and benches, and it was only $5 for the night, one of the cheapest camping rates I've seen!

We set up camp, roasted hot dogs and S'mores, Theodore played forever with Grandma and Grandpa in the camper until way past his bedtime, then we hunkered down for a very cold night. Everyone slept in the camper but we opted to sleep in our tent because there wasn't really enough room for us and I didn't want Theodore to keep everyone else up all night. We were freezing at the start but had tons of blankets and actually slept decently for the second half of the night. On top of being in a tent and being cold, Theodore was also a little bit on the sick side so he wanted to nurse a lot and we had to keep repositioning him to help him breathe. But, it wasn't terrible and I'm looking forward to camping again sometime in the near future.

The next day we were up well before everyone else and played in the van until we heard stirrings from the camper. We ate pancakes and eggs and bacon for breakfast, then the kids headed to Zion's for the day. We drove through some striking canyons -- the scenery was breath-taking. We did a fairly rigorous hike with some pretty steep drop-offs, but Theodore wanted to walk a lot of the way so we held his hands and somehow made it (well, not to the top because we were going very slow, but a good way up). We found a sandy spot near the river and played for a good long while before hopping on the shuttle bus and checking out an Earth Day celebration in town. I took advantage of a free massage booth while Tim and the guy ran around. We were picked up by Tim's siblings and started out on our long journey to the next campsite up north. On the way there, we checked the weather report and it was going to be even colder, and potentially snowy, so we opted to just head all the way home rather than stop for the night. I was bummed since we had already made a long drive, but I think it was a good decision since Theodore was still sounding pretty awful. We made it home safely, and after a long bath, all three of us collapsed into our beds.

Since it was only our second time camping, and only our first time for-real camping not in someone's backyard, I would gauge it a huge success. I know the weather will only continue to get warmer, and we'll only continue to enjoy the outdoors more and more. We're even thinking of taking a multi-day backpacking trip sometime this summer... anyone want to come with us?

PS. There are like a billion pictures c/o Tim's photographer sister but I have no access to them yet. Will post sometime.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My guy

What a pleasant child with whom to hang out...

He is 19 months old now... and just delightful. He doesn't talk much still, and speech therapy starts on Tuesday. He does say "dada" and "mama" and "diggum" on a regular basis. "Diggum" means anything  he likes or wants, usually milk or food or toys. Today during the Sacrament at Church, he was pointing wildly at the tray of breading shouting: "Dilgum, dingum, diggum." It is SO cute I can hardly stand it.

He loves playing with other kids, recently Alice and Hazel and Eliza. When we go to the park, he is obsessed with the swings and can climb up the stairs and slide down the slide sans supervision. He also met Jimmer and Jackson last week at the park, AND got to hang out with the Divine Comedy crowd at a party yesterday. He is slightly obsessed with Mallory... and totally stared her down when she walked in the room. I think he recognized her from the Provo UT Girls video.

Thankfully his appetite is still picking up, and he's nursing less and less. He loves strawberries to the point I have to hide them in the back of the fridge or else it would be the only thing he ate at every meal. He also is a fan of quesadillas, any cheese but Swiss, green smoothies, chips and salsa, raw tofu, carrots, homemade pizza, and any kind of pasta (and whipped cream, as we discovered last night at a dinner party).

He loves our new bathtub, his Matchbox cars from Tim's childhood, playing outside and digging up the garden, and being naked.  He loves long bike rides and car rides, especially now that he has a plush Britax car seat to ride in. He loves playing at the park, mall, and IKEA.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Mediocrity in Mothering series

Before I was a mom.... my kid wouldn't be quite so dirty... and he would sleep in a bed and not fall off the couch during his nap.

This is Mompetition's "before I was a mom" series; I submitted this picture and it was published. I also like to call this the "mediocrity in mothering" series.

The Case of the Missing Check

Last year when we moved to Egypt, our stupid management company didn't give us back any of our deposit because they decided to keep: $100 move-out early fee, $100 carpet cleaning fee, and $50 late rent fee (?!) I was pretty annoyed, but knew that we would get back $50 for finding someone to live in our apartment. When the robotic woman at TPM refused to give me the $50 for a variety of reasons (she included: 1) there was a different name on the form than I was telling her in the email, 2) it was no longer policy to give the $50 incentive to find someone to live in your own apartment, 3) the employee who promised me the money no longer worked there... etc. etc.)

Anyways, finally, a few weeks ago I emailed her something to the effect of: "I expect a check for $50 in my name to be on the front desk by the end of the week" and VOILA! It was!

And then we moved and I LOST IT. And it's not just $50, it's the PRINCIPLE! I won the battle, but it seems I've lost the war unless I find this stupid check and deposit it. I've searched high and low in this new house and it's NOWHERE. TO. BE. FOUND.

I am so frustrated beyond belief even though this is so not that big of a deal.

Wow. As I was writing this post, I found the check under a book on our computer desk. A book that Tim had apparently already looked under and in and beyond.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Our house

I'm in love. With the light, the space, the painted walls, the backyard, the kitchen! Oh, the kitchen.

It's all so, so glorious, and definitely worth the extra money.

One day, we'll be settled, I'll take pictures and post them.

Sorry about the lack of blogging, we have sporadic free internet but haven't signed up for anything yet. Based on Celia and Becca's hatred of Comcast, we'll probably go with Qwest.

For now, I leave you with this bit of happiness:

Our new blender. Mmmmm. Too bad it's been too cold for smoothies and spinach ice cream.

Alright, Theodore is drawing on the walls, gotta run!