Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Passed Out

Or, what happens when it's naptime and you're stuck in the play pen while Mama's working in the kitchen and Daddy's taking a bath.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


I've been thinking about a lot of things recently, and I may get around to posting about some of them sometime soon. Meanwhile, watch this:

It's the trailer for the forthcoming documentary Babies, which follows the first year of life of four babies in different parts of the world. Just this two-and-a-half minute trailer made me laugh and cry - and within the first few seconds, Josh had whipped around, wondering if it was Lina squealing!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Metablogging Musings

It's been almost two weeks since my last post. Some of that is because I'm travelling for the holiday, and preparations for travel ate a lot of my attention the week previous (and I'm not home until Tuesday - until then I'm still in California, visiting my mom).

But that's not all it is. It's also that there are enough people who read this blog now (or at least check in from time to time) that I don't feel comfortable being quite as candid here as I have at times in the past. I've done and experienced things that I want to write about, that I need to write about to help process them, that aren't things I can tell just anybody. Some of them I can't tell almost anybody, for reasons of confidentiality.

Also, I've just plain had so much going on recently that I haven't had brain space to look at it enough to write about it...

Enough with the excuses. I'm not giving up blogging, by any means. It's an important outlet for me, and an important part of documenting my and the Infanta's lives.

Speaking of the Infanta: about to hit eighteen months, she's just exploding in development. Talking, processing, playing... it's been huge just in the last week. Mom looked up at her on my lap this evening, and said that she (my Mom) thinks she (the Infanta) looks older than she did when we got here. I teased her and said "yeah, a whole week older", but I think it's true; she's changing mentally so rapidly, it's no wonder that she's showing changes on the surface, too.

It's late, and time to go to bed to rest for another day of solo parenting. How do full-time single parents do it?!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Give me my ink!

I've been thinking about getting a tattoo lately. I want a permanent mark on my body to echo the permanent mark on my psyche left by the babies I won't ever hold. I'm now about six weeks from the EDD of the baby I lost in May, and it's really been hitting me hard that I might have had a Christmas baby; I don't expect to have a very happy holiday.

Anyway, The Unnecesarean ran a post yesterday about anesthesiologists being hesitant to place epidurals in women with lower back tattoos (the placement I've been envisioning for mine). Given that I don't ever want an epidural, bring on the ink!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Secret Ingredient Soup

We've been watching Kung Fu Panda a LOT lately, and it always makes us hungry. So, during one of last night's viewings (yes, that plural is deliberate), I decided to make some Chinese noodle soup for dinner. You will probably not be surprised to learn that the only ingredients I needed to buy to make this recipe were chicken, green onions, and napa cabbage.

Oh, and I doubt anyone will be surprised to learn that I omitted the chili sauce and cilantro.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Halloween 2009

The Infanta and I attended a toddler and parent Halloween party (including trick-or-treating). I can't take credit for the photos; the camera was still in the basket when Bethany walked in and asked if she could use it. Since she's a far more active photographer than I, I happily acquiesced.

The Infanta, of course, is in the red dress, as a sort of Renaissance Toddler. The Hurricane is in the fuzzy green as a frog, but she would be quick to tell you that she has the red checked shirt of her HORSE costume on beneath. The little girl in black (she decided she was a Wild Thing) is one of the girls' friends; we were at her house. The rest of the cast is rounded out by assorted fathers, and finally, by yours truly.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bliss... in short supply around here lately, so I'm leaping on it where I find it. For example, tonight's dinner.

My tummy decided against the salmon (broiled 10 minutes each side, coated with a paste of mayonnaise and lemon juice), but the taters are right on. I found this recipe a couple of weeks ago in my Italian cookbook: it's for chicken and potatoes. Basically you prepare chicken pieces and potatoes for roasting, then pour over them a mix of a couple tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice, a good amount (maybe a tablespoon) of rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, then roast at 350 til done (around 40 min). The meat is okay.. I've tried it with salmon, too. The potatoes, on the other hand, turn out divine! They soak up the lemon juice, and... oh, you have to try them to understand. Tonight I did the taters just alone with the ..sauce?, and it's just what the midwife ordered. Mashed up in a big heap on my plate with lots of butter... yum.

Friday, October 23, 2009

More niftiness

I do have meatier posts in mind, but this week I've kind of been letting gravity have its way with me.

Too Big For My Skin

Via Rixa.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Finally, an answer.

I'm not ready to write extensively about this right now - for one thing I'm just too physically tired - but I want to get a post on this out into the ether.

Yes, I have miscarried, again.

Four very rough weeks of couch rest, uncertainty, and bleeding later, the answer is that I was indeed pregnant, and I am indeed no longer so.

I don't know right now whether or not I will write more about this in the future; I probably will, but right now I want to focus more on resting, healing (body and soul), and enjoying my beautiful daughter than on the grief of four lost pregnancies in five months.

My friends, I love you all very much, and appreciate the support you have given me in the last few weeks.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Memorial Day, and the irony is that I'm in too much pain right now to talk about either my pain or the irony.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Man in labor?!

Much is up in the air, and so I don't want to post any updates before I have solid knowledge (rather than unhappy suppositions). But y'all deserve a post, so watch this:

Please note: the suggested coping mechanisms do in fact help in actual labor, since the pain of labor is related to specific work and baby position, rather than just to muscular contractions. Still, this is an amusing watch.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


This morning our older cat Eevie is complaining loudly about a distinct lack of breakfast. The result? The Infanta can now say "meow"!

Saturday, October 03, 2009


So, I imagine you're all wondering what the whole bedrest thing is about. Yes, I'm still under orders to rest as much as possible; not technically bedrest, but I can really tell the difference in the way I feel between sitting and lying down.

So anyway, here's the deal: I'm currently pregnant. The problem is that I've been having a lot of spotting, to the point that it's a "threatened miscarriage". The way I've been feeling I think the bean is likely to stick, but it's not sure yet, and besides, my feeling may just be wishful thinking. But the morning sickness is real, and so are the food aversions, the heightened sense of smell, and the tender belly.

The part that really sucks is that as part of this rest cure I'm not allowed to lift more than 20 pounds - and since the Infanta is just about exactly that weight, I can only lift or carry her in brief and urgent moments. Also, trying to rest with a sick toddler is nigh impossible...

So that's what's up with me. I will post updates as they're available.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Love My Friends

I've put myself on bedrest for the last few days; my body has given notice that I need to STOP for a bit, so I'm doing my best. Trouble is... bedrest is nigh impossible with a 16 month old. So, I've ended up leaning on some wonderful people to help wrangle the Infanta so that I don't have to be up and down chasing her all day. Sunday Josh managed her, despite his lingering nasty cold. Yesterday I called my friend Amber, whose daughter is about a month older than the Infanta; they came and spent a mellow afternoon. It helps that the girls play well together (as much as babies their age are capable of it). Today my friend Katie came over, bringing her boys. Katie rocked my world. She came over with the intent of not only keeping me company and distracting the Infanta, but also of cleaning the house. And clean she did! The instant she walked in, she started picking up toys (which the kids naturally promptly started taking out again). She moved from there to clearing the dining room table, and thence to starting a load of dishes. She paused a bit there to watch part of a movie and knit a bit, but then she hopped up again, picked the toys up, and vacuumed. Then she did another load of dishes, following that up with cleaning assorted counter clutter. Then, as she left, she remarked that she was lazy today! Because, you see, she'd intended to do laundry as well, and didn't get to it!

Tomorrow Josh will be home again, taking care of his cold, and incidentally wrangling Herself. I'm hoping that I won't need the help much past this week, that this rest will be enough to ease my troubles; I have seen signs that I may be healing as I hoped, but I certainly don't want to jeopardize that healing by taking too much on again too soon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Salmon my savior

Following last night's pumpkin mac disaster, I pulled a piece of salmon out of the freezer and made this. It took a great deal longer than it should have (twice the recommended cooking time, grr..) because I didn't pull the fish out to defrost early enough, and it went into the oven still partially frozen. Still, once it was finally done, it was delicious! I threw together some garlic rosemary potatoes on the fly to round out the meal... they also took a bit longer to cook than I'd hoped, but potatoes seem always to do so for me.

Josh, thank you for putting up with my occasionally ..experimental cooking. I love you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to make Pumpkin Mac

1) Decide to have chili mac for dinner, so ask husband to get chili out of the freezer. This step is key.

2) Start defrosting the container you assume contains chili.

3) Begin making mac & cheese as usual (yes, it's out of a box. sue me.)

4) Upon reaching the stage of adding the chili, dump the contents of the freezer container without ever seeing what they actually are.

5) Realize the mix-up when what you've dumped into the pasta HAS NO BEANS.

6) Go for broke and add the sorts of spices you'd add to any pumpkin or squash dish.

I think it's actually quite edible, even though it's not at all what I had in mind. Since Josh dislikes winter squash he's not so happy, though... I think I owe him a salmon dinner tomorrow night!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Girl meets Box

I looked up this morning to see the Infanta squeezed into a box, so I reached for my camera. I didn't catch her sitting down again, but she sure is cute anyway...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner

Although stuffed on eggs and polenta, the Infanta apparently can't eat too much bacon. Definitely her father's daughter!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Threefer Thursday

1) I got to check the inside of the Infanta's mouth this afternoon, and three more molars are peeking through. It's just one point each so far, but they're there. She also has at least one canine trying to make it in... That's everything but her second year molars making an appearance, and she's still short an incisor. I'm beginning to wonder vaguely if I should be concerned. But only vaguely.

2) I have three client meetings in three days this week! Makes me feel like a real doula or something. One's a postpartum visit, one's mostly a formality with a mom that (re)hired me in February (the instant she got the positive test, basically), and only one's a new client... but still! Business! It's awesome!

3) Did you know that I tweet? (In case you didn't know, that's the commonly accepted present tense for the verb to Twitter.) I succumbed a few months back when I discovered that the Yarn Harlot tweets... and I'm hooked. *sigh* Anyway, if you don't get a Twitter feed yourself, you can follow my random thoughts over on the sidebar. It's currently stuck a ways down, but I'll move it higher at some point.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Leaps and Bounds

The Infanta's communication ability is growing daily - even hourly, sometimes. Her three signs count for five words - "all done", "nurse"/"out", "more"/"food". She can say "cat", "dada", "mama", and another I'll mention later, and babbles in very sophisticated-seeming ways. She nods "yes" and shakes her head "no", and will respond appropriately to some surprisingly complex questions. During mealtimes, she'll often reach for whatever's on the fork, but if we say "let Mama (Daddy) do it", she'll put her hands down and let us feed her (usually).

This afternoon, she asked to be put in the play pen. She did it with signs and gestures, but when I asked if that was what she was saying, she nodded emphatically. When I set her in, she settled down happily to play.

Her current favorite word, though? "No!"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It sneaks up on you

All this month so far, I keep thinking randomly: "I should have been five months pregnant." I didn't think I would still be hurting this much at this point. I know I will never be 'done' grieving, but I didn't think it would still feel this fresh. What will New Year's bring? That would have been my due date.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Took a moment..

When I saw this post on my reader, I thought it must be pointing to one of the birth blogs I follow, not a gardening blog.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


It was a long, hard week last week. The coming weeks don't look like they'll be much better, in some ways; easier in others, I hope.

In no particular order:

A mom I know is in the process of losing her baby at 26-27 weeks. I'm not close friends with her, but it's agonizing to watch even at this remove.

Josh and I had a humdinger of a fight. It's more or less resolved now, but wasn't fun while it lasted.

I've started the process of night weaning the Infanta, partly in preparation for moving her out of our bedroom. It's not going so well, partly because I'm having a really hard time with how hard she cries (and how firmly she refuses to sleep) when she doesn't nurse as long as usual overnight. She usually only wakes me a couple of times during the hours I'm trying to wean, but that's not the point. This is one of the things I don't see getting more fun anytime soon.

And then today I discovered that the fall changes to the bus routes not only meant that one of the buses I use frequently is no longer free, but they also cut significant portions of the service to our side of town. On the one hand, this is going to be rough on our already very limited budget, not to mention that it means that I can basically only go downtown from home, not at all to pretty much anywhere else on this side of the river. On the other, I'm taking it as incentive to finally get my damn driver's license. Of course, then we'll have to work out the car situation...

Still, fall has begun, and not everything in my life sucks right now. :)

Friday, September 04, 2009

Guerilla theater

This is brilliant, and reminds me of something my high school drama class did one afternoon. Enjoy!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fifteen Months

Fifteen months ago today, you were the most precious newborn ever.

Today: you walk - nearly run! You speak - even in words! You say "hi", "cat", "dada", and sometimes "mama", nod and shake your head (mostly shake), and sign "nurse", "more", and "all done" in increasingly more sophisticated ways every day. You love to empty containers; your favorites are my purse and whatever basket of clothes is closest. You love books - preferably for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but you "read" them as well. While you still nurse more than anything, you cheerfully try any food or drink we offer (or don't offer); even if you immediately spit it out, you are always game to try it again. You love being outside - anywhere outside - more than being anywhere inside. You have learned the pleasures of cuddling soft toys like stuffed animals.

You are smart, curious, inquisitive, sweet, cheerful, social, and my dear, darling, precious, beautiful girl. I love you more than words can say.

P.S. I love you even more on those rare night that you get to sleep easily. This was not one of them.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I wish it was labor.

Because at least if it was labor, it would be *doing* something, and I'd get a baby at the end of it.

As it is, it's "just" cramps, but cramps as bad as I've ever gotten them.

At least I don't get them this bad *every* month...

Saturday, August 29, 2009


We spent several days this week watching the Lord of the Rings extended movies. We've gotten hooked into a new (to us) computer game, and having a movie on in the background not only gives us something else to think about, but also (sometimes) helps distract the Infanta, who is otherwise constantly up in my lap wanting to nurse. Call us bad parents for babysitting with movies if you like, we won't deny it, but sometimes a mom has GOT to make some room for herself.

Anyway, I was struck by something. As some of you, my faithful readers, know, Aragorn's milk-name was Elessar, an Elvish word that means 'hope'. The Elvish portions of the dialogue often bounce the word around, one of the most profound moments being the conversation where Elrond gives Aragorn the sword Anduril. I'm paraphrasing here, but Elrond says to Aragorn that he is the hope of Men, and Aragorn replies that he keeps none for himself. Despite this pessimistic remark, Aragorn is consistently Gandalf's voice of optimism. Twice during the films, Gandalf has time to stop and worry about how he's sent Frodo on a fool's errand, and begins to despair of Frodo's chances for success. Both times, however, Aragorn speaks with the voice of hope, and prompts Gandalf to realize that he really does believe it may work, pushing back the threatening despair.

If it wasn't 11:30 at night after a loooong week of juggling a fussing toddler I could probably pull that into a thesis, but it is, so I'll just leave it at that observation. Still, isn't that interesting? What do you all think?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I've got another think coming.

Today Bethany and (and ours girls) went and visited Karinda. On the one hand, we wanted to see her gorgeous new baby, and on the other, to help out with a few household chores. We probably stayed a bit longer than we should have, especially given how exhausted Karinda was, but she was glad that in addition to fiddling with food donations, dishes, and even laundry, we were able to take her 2.75 yo son out to play for a good hour or so.

Towards the end of our visit, I got a chance to snuggle the beautiful brand-new baby. The Infanta happened to be more or less in my lap at the same time, and at first did very well with the newborn in my arms. She was very interested, and did an excellent job of patting the baby very softly and lightly. Then the baby woke up enough to begin rooting for a breast, and the Infanta didn't like that so much. In fact, she got downright upset, even jealous; she started protesting loudly and trying to climb into my arms over the newborn. I'd already been about to hand the baby back to her mother, but it got difficult when Herself was practically pulling the squishy bundle out of my arms in her upset eagerness to be in them herself. It was obvious that she did. not. want. to share me, and that the thought of another baby getting at "her" milk supply was intolerable. So, it has become obvious to me that we will have to prepare her carefully for sharing nursing whenever we manage to have a sibling coming. I'm not sure how we'll do this, not yet anyway, but I'm sure we'll think of something.

Interestingly, once the baby was back in her mother's arms and latched on to her proper breast, the Infanta went back to watching interestedly, and even signed "nurse" - not requesting it, but identifying what she was seeing. I knew she was a smart cookie, but is this usual at 15 months?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Symptoms and speculations

Skipped a day again. I would give up on the resolution and just say "as often as possible", but that would end up with me posting fortnightly again. And I don't want to do that.

In regard the tender nipple portion of my post on Friday, Karen remarks, "...last time I had that particular symptom, I ended up with a son nine months later." I wish it was that easy. Sadly, that particular symptom is most likely simply what it's always been for me - simply part of my cycle, just more difficult to bear because my nipples are in actual use. On the other hand, just before I started this post, the Infanta was hanging off my lap (as she often does), and I suddenly could. not. bear. to have her touch me. So maybe there's something to speculate about this month, after all. I'm not counting on it, but naturally I would be thrilled.

I spent a week or two this month freaking out about why my body might not be keeping pregnancies. I do still plan to call and get myself checked out, but I would guess that they probably won't want to see me yet (not "enough" losses). So... I've decided to continue trying, but also trying to be more mellow about it. I do still feel the crunch of time, but in the long run, stressing about it won't help anything, and might even make things take longer. I'm attempting to adopt an attitude of "it'll happen when it happens".

Just remind me of this next time I'm freaking out, okay?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's past my bed time

but I thought you all should know what we had for dinner. The latkes were all right, but the cake is fantastic! Especially with my signature piles of whipped cream. :D

Friday, August 21, 2009


So, three days into my new posting resolution... and I skip a day. It wasn't my fault, though! I decided to swap the operating system, and making it work took a lot longer than we expected. But as of this afternoon, I'm back online.

This week has been a very long one in some ways, and very short in others. Two good friends had their babies (Stacey on Wednesday, Karinda just today), Br. Vincent visited, and so on. This is fairly TMI, but my breasts have been very tender this week, rendering nursing very uncomfortable. The Infanta has been beginning to take more chances with what she can do, and so her collection of war injuries, as of this evening, includes two splits in her lip and a bruise on her cheek.

We said farewell to Br. Vincent this morning, delivering him to visit his dad in Newport. I'm not sure when we'll get to see him in person again, but I'm sure we'll have plenty of good times online, as we generally do (when life doesn't have us too busy).

Tonight I am exhausted. I ache in body and soul, and am beginning to dread overnight, knowing that the Infanta is likely to nurse much as she did last night - not often (she only woke me twice), but long, and persistently (owie!!!!). I'm beginning to have thoughts about night weaning, but am not sure I'm up to the battle that I have no question it will be.

I am looking forward to the weekend, however. I have knitting tomorrow afternoon, and the weather has cooled significantly. I hope you all have good ones!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Daily baby

Br Vincent and the Infanta

Apologies for the incoherence of yesterday's post.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What is with...

the long days?

This morning Herself woke us (me) at two seconds past seven. I was actually ok with this; we had a plan to walk to Dutch Brothers and indulge in $2 Tuesday before going on with our day's plans. So we did, and it was a lovely walk, not too warm, but not too cool either.

But, just before I headed over to Stacey's for a bit, to knit and talk and help distract her from the fact that she DOES NOT want to go into labor for another day or so, the Infanta made me very unhappy with her. To be fair, I should have been paying more attention to what she was doing while puttering around my feet, but I didn't. And so I didn't know what she was doing until Vincent took an offered knitting needle... which took me a second glance to realize was out of a current project. And she was trotting happily off with the rest of the sock. So I jumped up, dashed over to her, and took the sock out of her hand... but as I took it, the yarn (still attached to the ball and trailing behind across the room) broke, about six inches from the working point. I was not amused. And this was just the morning!

But for the evening... the Infanta's bedtime has been creeping earlier lately. Not by our doing, although we're enjoying having a little more evening time, but by hers. She's just been getting to the point of ready for bed a little bit earlier each night. It has been our rule for a number of months now that she's not allowed to nap past 7, because she'll be up until all hours if she does; for months now she's been asleep around 9:30. Tonight she was making it plain she was ready for bed at a few minutes past 7! I had her asleep and was back out before 8... it's now 10, and she hasn't roused yet. I'm astonished.

I bet she's up at 6:30 tomorrow.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Loooong day.

Almost forgot to post!

We spent the day today driving to Lacey, WA to pick up our good friend Br. Vincent. The drive up went pretty well. Both the Infanta and I got naps in, although hers was twice as long as mine, and I also got a good bit of knitting in. When she woke, she was amused by looking out the window until very close to our destination (whereupon she started with the fussing). Then hanging out at the monastery, and lunch, and then on the road again.

The trip back didn't go so smoothly. This time we had a monk in the front seat, so I was sitting in the back next to the Infanta - these days, she's much fussier with me next to her than not. We both got naps again; again, hers was much longer than mine, and I got a fair bit of knitting done. But she didn't sleep as long as she did in the morning, and on top of it, she wanted to nurse like crazy. Well, nurse as many times as she has been lately... And since I don't have nearly the acreage up front that some ladies of my acquaintance have, I couldn't oblige her while we were in motion. So she fussed about that. Also, she didn't want to be stuck in a carseat, she wanted to be playing... so she fussed about that. Eventually, I hit touched out (something about being kicked one too many times), so I spent the remaining forty minutes or so alternately ignoring her, holding myself out of the way of kicking feet (neither of which is easy when sitting next to the car seat), and, when she was actually behaving well, snuggling.

Now I have to go, because she's totally melting down, needing to go to bed early.

But we have Br. Vincent for a few days, which is teh awesome.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Blog resolutions

Posting has been pretty thin on the ground here. Partly it's that I've been busy, or tired, or... But mostly it's that I got out of the habit. So I'm going to get back into the habit.

Monday, August 10, 2009

More Sock Summit

Go here (those are apparently Barbara Walker's hands) and then look at the gallery, too.

Oh yeah, if you've ever had doubts about knitting and whether it can be feminist... go read that little bio.

Sock Summit '09

There's just too much to tell, but it was amazing. And I only got to go to the Marketplace and the Ravelry party!

I didn't take nearly enough photos, but here's what there is.


The Infanta was wonderful; despite a very long day and only a short nap, she only melted down about once. I was bombarded constantly with compliments, mostly about her handknits, but also about herself herself. :) It was wonderful to see babies and children of all ages everywhere, all day; truly a baby-friendly event!

There are rumors circulating about "the next one", naturally; I'm just hopiong that they decide to come back to Portland soonish, and that I can actually get into some classes next time!

When I wrote my last entry I was really, truly down, but Saturday, spent with friends and yarn fumes, has eased my spirit considerably. It was an amazing day, and healed me deeply.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Despite having spent the day with Karinda and Bethany (which visit was wonderful and uplifting, even if we didn't all get to pick blueberries together),I'm really down tonight.

Part of it is that I'm still processing the birth I was at earlier this week. Mostly, though, I think it's how that experience is synergizing with the fact that at the same time, I was (I firmly believe) passing my second chemical pregnancy in a row. That would be three pregnancies I've lost since May. We weren't even officially trying this last cycle! (Not that you'd have known it... *whistles innocently*)

I'm planning to contact my reproductive-type care folks and get myself checked out, but the thought is really scary. Like, how do I prove the chemical pregnancies? What if they find something wrong with me? Worse, what if they don't?

I'm going to try my best to set this aside for tomorrow, and enjoy my day at Sock Summit, but I think it's going to be very difficult. Right now I feel like I'm moving through January-chilled molasses; my shoulders ache, my head aches, heck, even my eyes ache, and I'm having a hard time keeping them open.

And of course the Infanta chooses this time to (apparently) start a growth spurt and teethe, so she's extra super-duper fussy and clingy. Ah, the joys of motherhood...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Another day, another adventure...

I spent a lot of time sleeping today; sleeping, and reassuring the Infanta that I really do still love her and haven't abandoned her. You see, I spent the last two days at the hospital, working with a client. 36 hours of being wrung through the hospital wringer later, she has a beautiful little girl... but man, I'm still tired. And all I did was cheer-lead!

I can't talk about the birth here; it's not my story and it would violate ethics, contracts, friendship, and good manners... but it was intense, and I don't think I would have held up nearly as well if my friend and fellow doula Stacey hadn't been willing to cheer me on via text message. I am especially grateful to her for doing so despite being more than ready to give birth herself, and in fact was in prodromal labor herself pretty much the whole time we were consulting. Stacey, remind me to bring chocolate to our date! I owe you. :)

Anyway... I knew before that I didn't want to give birth at the hospital here in town, but now I know I REFUSE to do so. Especially since my client has the same insurance we do... and so I would be subject to the same doctors she was. So not interested. And I really did like the care I received at the hospital where I gave birth to the Infanta, so despite its being 45 minutes away in good traffic, I think it's worth it. Of course, what I would really prefer would be to simply stay home, but I don't see that happening in the near future. So... I'll drive the 45 minutes to be cared for by the midwife I'm already established with (and whom I like very much), and drive the same to give birth again at the Baby-Friendly hospital.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

How Green Is My Garden

Still no pictures - my camera's packed in my doula bag just now - but the garden is still very lush, and beginning to be more productive. I just spent half an hour picking zucchini and green beans, admiring the flowers on the peppers and tomatillos, and excitedly finding small green fruit on the tomatoes and shell beans. I also whacked a whole bunch off the pumpkin vines, which were threatening to take over not only our yard, but our neighbor's, too!

It's still hot, tho less so, but humid, with a chance of thunderstorms (please!). I have a narsty headache probably brought on by dehydration and lack of food, so I'm off to remedy those!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Time flies when you're roasting.

It's been over a week since I posted last - yikes! I didn't realize until Mom called last night, wanting to know how things were since I hadn't posted... It's been hot. If you don't follow the weather in the Willamette Valley as slavishly as do the people who live here, we're on the down side of a really nasty heat wave - I think even my friends who live in places like California, New Mexico and Texas will agree that 108 is really, really hot! It's even worse when you live in a place that's rainy for 10 months of the year, and where 95 is usually considered roasting. As I type, it's about 92... and it feels a bit warmer than we'd really prefer, but it's not horrid. Two days ago? 108. Happily for us, we could go take refuge with my in-laws and their central AC for the afternoon; I'm not sure what we'd have done without that option. I've been feeling ambivalent about the fancy, expensive windows we had installed last year, but no more! With this heat, they've really been showing their worth, keeping our poorly insulated house mostly tolerable.

What else, what else... well, I'm on call for a mom whose EDD was two days ago, and that's pretty central to my life right now. It's hard to relax into doing much of anything when I know that any moment I'll get The Call, and have an hour to get ready and be over at her house (or wherever she wants me to meet them). I'm very excited to attend this birth, but being on call is really a strain.

At the same time, I'm instituting some changes with nursing the Infanta. I've really been feeling that her nursing has strongly contributed to losing two pregnancies now (early this month I had what I believe was a chemical pregnancy, where the egg is fertilized, but never implants). Since we really want to become pregnant again, I'm making an effort to reduce the number of times a day that she nurses. I'm aiming for about three hours between sessions (with the intent of stretching it longer bit by bit over time), which really isn't all that long, but is quite a lot longer than the 45 minutes or so she was doing earlier this month! It's a change for all of us, especially as Josh and I have to pay much more attention to giving her real food and drink to replace the mommy-moo we're trying to cut down on. I'm *not* weaning her completely, simply trying to adjust the proportion of milk to solids. I think it's going ok at the moment, but I'm also at a point of my cycle where she is much more relaxed about my supply. She does start getting frantic to nurse about a half hour before I'm ready to, which means that we're practicing the fine art of toddler distraction.

Perhaps by the time I post again, I'll have double the number of doula births under my belt. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

If this don't make you smile...

Found via Norma:

Probably not what I would do, if I had the big day to do over again, but dang, that's just full of awesome.

How does my garden grow?

Lushly. I even have some blossoms, suggesting that some of my veggies may in fact bear fruit sometime before the frost hits. Because, you know, late July is the best time to not even have immature fruit yet. *sigh*

The Infanta and the Garden

Yet another album starring the lovely Infanta. The first ten pictures were taken last week(?) while my mom was here; you can get an idea of the monster hill of pumpkins, reaching out to grab the toddler innocently pulling bean leaves. The latter portion were taken yesterday. Josh took Herself with him while he turned on the sprinkler, and then came and asked for the camera. Most of them were taken in our rather jungle-ish back yard, but the last several are in the front, as the Infanta reacts to the sprinkler spray. She's just so dratted photogenic...

I keep meaning to take and post some pictures of the garden itself, especially as it's so very... verdant right now, but I just keep getting distracted by shiny things, or a certain fussy toddler, or whatever. Maybe tomorrow morning. It's supposed to get very hot indeed in the next few days, so we'll be hunkering down in survival mode, and searching for air conditioning to borrow.

And for all you Ravelers - the voting for Dye For Glory is open! Be sure to go cast your ballots. I wouldn't want to influence you unfairly (oh, no, never), but especially check out the entries from our local Three Fates Knitting (yes, that's a totally unpaid-for ad on the left there, because she's my good friend and dyes awesomely) and Dicentra Designs. Between the two of them, they have entries in nearly every division!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We Have a First Word!


If you've been following along on the Infanta's obsession with felines (including her major motivation for becoming mobile), this will come as no surprise at all.

She's been working on words for about a month now; in fact, as long as she's been really walking - to the day, even. We've had assorted variations of something that sounds a lot like "light", and she says "hi" appropriately (with the cutest little wave EVAR), and she signs "more" (which I think she thinks means food) and sometimes "nurse" (we use the sign for "milk" to mean breastfeeding, because the official sign for nursing is... NSFW), but she's really pulled it together in the last few days with "cat". She even points towards places where the cats are known to lurk - even if you can't see into those spots from where we are - and says it. And then this evening, as she and Daddy were taking me off to knitting, she was pointing at everything and calling it all "cat".

Well, she's also mastered "dada", and she's working hard on "mama", but they don't seem to count those at the doctor's office. The signs they do count, however. Thirteen and a half, almost fourteen months, and she can say 4 words correctly. Not bad, not bad...

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Current Wallpaper

Which proves that the Infanta is indeed my daughter: yum, books!

My mother and brother headed home this morning. They were here for two weeks, which was both too long and not long enough. Miss you guys!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

So totally true.

Ohmygooses. Go check it out. Not that I know from the drugs end... but I was high on the Infanta's birth for two months, and didn't even know it until I was easing off.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Silver Falls Picnic

We took a trip to Silver Falls State Park yesterday. We had several purposes; a picnic, checking cell reception there (which is nil), and showing my mom and little brother Mithrilwood. I made sure to bring swim clothes for the Infanta, so that she could go play in the stream that runs by the picnic area. It ended up being colder than she's used to water being, so she didn't much like it after she tipped over face-first, but until then she had a grand time!

Here's the day's photoshoot; I handed the camera to Josh, since he's far better with a camera than I am.

Silver Falls

Monday, July 06, 2009

Monday Night Musings

Posting just to post, more or less. I'm sitting here, tired after a busy but fun weekend, wondering why I'm not in bed, snatching a few hours' rest before my mom and little brother arrive. They didn't leave the Bay Area until mid afternoon, so we don't expect them on our doorstep until after midnight... It's going to be a long night. I am really looking forward to seeing my mom and brother, though!

The Infanta is clearly teething; I can see her still-missing lower incisors lurking just below the surface, just waiting to cut through and damage my poor, innocent nipples. Such is motherhood, I suppose.

I should sign off here, collect my now-wakeful offspring, and drag Josh into the bathroom to cut his hair (sounds kinky, but it's really not).

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Honest, this isn't turning into a Thursday and Sunday blog! It just looks like it.

I recently decided that it was time and past to teach the Infanta some nursing manners. She's been kicking and wiggling a lot while nursing, and I've gotten tired of it. So, when she's on teh bewb but not sitting still, I will detach her and set her down, even if she's in the middle of a let-down (she's usually concentrating on eating at that moment, but there have been times..), with the admonition that she must behave herself and sit quietly while nursing. A little while ago, I picked her up to nurse, and she happily latched on, but was kicking very strongly, so I set her down. And she screamed!! She sobbed and wailed and lay on the floor for a good five minutes while I went about my business (I have a pair of sample socks I'm knitting for a friend's yarn dyeing business), and after a while, when she'd quieted a little, I
picked her up again, gave her some teething tablets, and we nursed more less quietly.

We're pretty sure she's in pain from something today, though, although we disagree on whether it's teething or gas. Either way, it's making her fussy and sleep-resistant!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Light of my life

I was taking pictures of a current sock project (which I need to frog and start over due to gauge issues, sigh), and looked over to see this beauty. Since pictures of that smile are few and far between, I couldn't not take a few. This one's even not blurry!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

In the good old Summertime

She walks!

She discovers the fan!

I discovered the pleasures of making freezer jam a few weeks ago. Mash up the fruit, mix it with sugar and (special, already mixed) freezer jam pectin, ladle into jars, pop in the freezer, enjoy at leisure. Shown above are 5 1/2 jars of raspberry-blackberry jam, potted just moments before. When I finish this post, they will supposedly have thickened enough to go into the freezer.

There has been knitting. There has been finishing! I even have photos!! But I've only posted them to Ravelry so far. Maybe I'll post them tomorrow, if I manage to blog. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Has it really been since Thursday?

I guess it has. Rest assured, life has improved since that very dreary post. Among other details, the Infanta is walking more than crawling. That is, she's at about 60% walking, 40% crawling; I think we can say that "she's walking" now.

But I'm posting because I found this tidbit through my Reader just now. I like this blog a lot, by the way; I don't agree with all of her politics (because she's very anti-choice, and I'm, well, very pro-choice), but in general she has a lot of really smart things to say. All of you third trimester mamas take heart!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


First things: yes, Karinda, the toddler muumuus do match, and yes, we did coordinate their wearing ahead of time. Matching outfits for the girls was actually Bethany's birthday present to us/the Infanta/the girls. The Infanta isn't yet quite old enough to care about it so much, but boy does it ever make the Hurricane's day...

This has been kind of an ucky day. Josh and I had a teeny tiny tiff about something so insignificant I don't even remember what it was, except that it left me a bit grumpy... and then grumpy morphed into a major (for me) anxiety attack. I spent the anxious energy doing housework, but didn't quite realize what I was doing until I'd scrubbed my rolling pin - mind you, I've been avoiding dealing with the cookie dough caked on it since before Christmas. Soon after, the Infanta demanded to be nursed, and fell asleep... quite normal for her, but what wasn't normal was that with the anxiety attack going on, her nursing right then was making my skin crawl. I sucked it up long enough for her to be sound asleep, then laid her in her crib, and came back out to nap on the couch. She slept almost two and a half hours, and crawled out of the bedroom looking groggy; I dozed and napped for an hour or so and felt much, much better. Bless Josh for providing lunch and replacing the dishwasher detergent!

I'm still pretty down and out, and really feeling bad, because I'm kinda paralyzed, but supposed to be making a poster about birth in the Netherlands... but not having luck finding information, and feeling guilty about having left it to the last minute, and that's making me more down, and therefore more paralyzed... I could swear I didn't skip my brain meds, but why else am I so randomly off my stride? Seriously, I'm down enough right now that I don't much want to knit or read. *sigh*

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Teething, Part next

We've got a lot of "nexts" going on right now, and they're all upping the ante. As with the walking, so the teething...

Herself has had six teeth for several months now, and she's more or less figured out how to use them (usually only accidentally on Mama). I've been dreading the return of full-fledged teething, but it's gotten lost behind other concerns... mostly. However, Mademoiselle McFusspot has been showing definite signs of teething again for a couple of weeks, all of which got easily confused with symptoms of the ear infections she had earlier in the month.

Today, after a lovely outing to the Wednesday Market with Bethany, her mom, and the Hurricane (the above picture wasn't taken today, but the toddler muumuu brigade was in full force), we came home and the Infanta started SCREAMING!!!! Full on, blood-curdling, who's-torturing-this-kid screams, with no obvious cause, and no easy remedy. No obvious trigger, just playing happily, and then BAM! A couple of frantic advice nurse conversations and teething tablets later, it's apparently that dreaded scourge teething come back to haunt us. We can see her two missing incisors just below the surface, but what's causing the pain is probably the swollen bumps indicating molars and canines.

And it's a week to payday and our supplies of Children's Motrin are running low.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We're Doomed!!! (part next)

So the Infanta is *this close* to walking for serious. Today at Gramma and Grampa's she spent more time on her feet than her knees (that could sound really bad out of context). This time next week maybe? Certainly by the time Gran's here in about two weeks...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Dear Josh: I love you very much. You are a fantastic father, and an amazing co-parent. Even when we disagree on parenting philosophy, you graciously defer to me and support my methods. You are also an excellent and considerate husband; you make me aspire to be a worthy wife to you.


Father's Day dessert: strawberry shortcake made with berries from my MIL's garden.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Black Sheep 2009

I finally made it to the famous Black Sheep Gathering! I went with a couple of friends from my local knitting group and assorted spouses and offspring; Snarfy and Mia and I (and the Infanta and Snarfy's boys and husband) carpooled down, and met some other friends there, including Stephania and her husband and houseguest.

I was surprised to find that this year,at least, BSG was actually smaller than Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival; from everything I've heard, I expected it to be bigger. Of course, I didn't check out the wool show, or take any classes...

I also didn't take nearly as many pictures as I wanted. Before lunch, I was a woman on a mission: I had $20, and I wanted to find a new spindle, a smallish one, and maybe a little roving to spin on it. I did finally find a spindle, and I had enough left over to buy a single ounce of merino roving - and I even got a chance to spin a little of it! After lunch, we went and visited the sheep again, and this time I had my camera out. I'm not skilled enough with a camera to take exactly the pictures I'd like, but I hope I captured at least some of the Infanta's delight and utter fascination with the big furries!

Black Sheep 2009

I've been slacking with the blogging lately. So easy to let it fall by the wayside when life gets rough, and then so hard to get back into the habit...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Complete denial?!

The Yarn Harlot was taking suggestions for dorky shows to accompany endless garter stitch today; a fair number of commenters were claiming that Firefly and Torchwood aren't dorky. Scroll down to check the comments. Um, either these folks are so dork core that they don't realize it, or they're in complete and total denial. Everyone in my living room at the moment is voting for the latter.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hot stuff!

I haven't updated as much recently, but life has been pretty rough, not leaving much time for frills like blogging. And then a bloggable moment happens, and I have to capture it, or regret it forever.

The Infanta ha been somewhat slow to be interested in solid foods. We've been offering her bits of this and that off our plates since she was around 5 months, but she's never been very interested. Lately, however, she's really taking off with the solids, in some very surprising ways. For example, the last few times we've had chili, she's hung around our knees begging for her share (I admit it, we eat in the living room more often than at the table - but we do eat together!).

Tonight I made curry. I make curry probably a couple of times a month, usually with a favorite curry paste - we get it mild, not being much on spicy-hot foods generally. Tonight, I used a jar of curry paste I found somewhat randomly at WinCo, and it turned out quite a bit spicier than usual; not bad (although my mom couldn't eat it), just enough to let you know you're alive. And to reach for the rice and chai. Now, we have noticed on other occasions that the Infanta will eat rice, particularly with gravy from chili or curry or the like mixed in, so it wasn't a huge surprise when she indicated that she wanted some out of our bowls. Usually, though, she's been satisfied with a taste, and then moves on to whatever shiny is next. This time? A taste. Then another. Then, while I was in the kitchen starting a pot of chai, Daddy asks me to bring out a spoon - she's practically licking it off the table. With Mama-wisdom, I brought not only a spoon, but also a bowl of her very own, and filled it with a good couple of tablespoonsful of rice-with-curry-gravy out of my own bowl... and she ate it. All but a couple of teaspoonfuls. All together, she probably ate a good quarter cup of rice and curry gravy. Did I mention it was spicier than our usual? Oh, and she was so excited about eating that she was actually going out of her way to take unsupported steps to get to it.

Someone tell me that mine isn't the only kid that prefers savory over sweet foods?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Infanta's Party

The Infanta's First Birthday Party

Yes,it was almost a week ago now. What can I say,it's been a rough week.

As usual, click on the album. I didn't get comments on the pictures up yet; I may this weekend, or I may not. Don't hold your breaths, though!

eta: Did what I could to fix the link issue.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Lifting the silence

Yesterday's memorial for Baby P was hard, but beautiful. Bethany has spoken better about it than I can, but she is a writer, after all - at least, a more practiced one than I.

I wasn't going to go; I'd only met C once before. But she wrote something in sympathy for my miscarriage that helped the most of what anyone said, and so I felt that I should be there, to lend what support my presence would bring. C said she was glad I came.

I was glad I went: I got to cry. I hadn't yet been able to cry for my own loss; I can't when I'm on duty, and a mom with a toddler is always on duty. So I left the Infanta at home, and joined this amazing community in mourning. And I cried. I cried for Baby P; I cried for C, and for her family; I cried for me, and I cried for my own babe-not-to-be. I'm still very sad today, and weepy here and there. I keep remembering what one of the speakers said: that in the midst of everything else, there is still love. There is always love. And the remembrance makes me want to cry more, but because the thought helps me release my grief, not because it makes me more upset.

There is still love.

Friday, June 05, 2009

How do I find the words?

C, a woman of my acquaintance and a member of one of the larger mom's groups I'm a part of, lost her baby during birth last night. I don't know the full story, and probably may never, because I do not know C well, but I understand that it was something to do with a last-minute complication. Yes, I'm being deliberately vague.

I miscarried last month, sure, but I didn't know I was pregnant until I was already miscarrying. It was hard, I'm still mourning, but for me the worst part was just not knowing when the physical process would be done so I could go back to living. To carry a baby for over nine months, to love her, to bond with her, name her, to have a shower and prepare an older sibling; to labor with her, and then lose her literally as she is being born... I wouldn't even know where to begin to deal with this.

Please pray for C, for her husband and daughter M, and for her midwives Pam and Emily and doula Katie (not me), and for Baby P, who could not stay with us.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Better Than a Vegas Show

This is Josh's evening to go gaming, so I started the artichokes steaming at 3:30, so that we could sit down and eat together before he left. He got home around 4; we were idly checking our email when we discovered a TORNADO WARNING!!!!111eleven And then the lightning started. And then the thunder! And then the sky opened up!!!!111eleventy-one!!! It seemed almost Biblical, but really was just a good summer storm.

So, we did what any right-minded geek would do: we unplugged the computers from the wall sockets, and then we took our dinners out and sat on the porch to enjoy the show Nature provided. The big part of the thunderstorm lasted just long enough for us to enjoy our artichokes, and eased up with just enough time for Josh to plug the router and modem back in before heading out. It's like we scheduled it or something. ;)

As I type, it's still raining, with occasional rumbles, but nothing more right on top of us. Actually, it's dark enough, and my day started early enough (thanks to a certain toddler) that I'm quite surprised it's not yet 6!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Random Tuesday

It's been warm and quite humid here the last day or two; my feeling is that if I wanted to live in weather like this, I'd have moved to Austin! Which, clearly, I didn't.

I feel bad for not having taken many pictures of the Infanta recently. She is growing and changing so very fast... I should record it better. But mostly lately, I'm too busy trying to keep up with her (or keep her out of something dangerous, or getting her to nap) to even think of the camera!

We actually got some gaming in this evening! And my characters weren't useless! Yay!

Time to get Herself to bed.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Year

To go from this...

To this. You've come a long way, baby girl!

Birth story here; I've been thinking about the whole process in the last day or so, reliving the experience. Last night, while enduring coughing spasms (it's just a lingering cold/cough, nothing more, thankfully), I was reflecting that I was glad I wasn't in labor, as I was a year ago - at least I knew I'd sleep as soon as the cough syrup kicked in! As much as I am looking forward to my next pregnancy and birth, I still savor the memories of my first.. and enjoy every day I get to watch the Infanta grow and develop. Parenting is work, but it's a privilege, too!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Things you think about

...when it's 4:30 AM and your coughing is keeping you awake after a nursing session.

Like: which of these is inherently sillier?

This first is the song only. I heard it first on an acquaintance's blog (which I would link to, but it appears she's gone private) a few weeks ago, and then again while I was sitting at Jamba Juice yesterday. This whole thing came up because I woke up with it stuck in my head.

And I can't find the second video I wanted! I direct your attention, gentles all, to the scene in Muppet Treasure Island where the native pigs dance around the stake to which our heroes are tied, singing an eerie chant which eventually resolves into "Boom Shaka Laka Laka".

As I was contemplating the contrast, a third example occurred to me; again, I couldn't find a video clip. On an episode of Babylon 5, Commander Ivanova is told to show a random ambassador around the station and generally be a good host. It eventually turns out that part of what this ambassador considers good hospitality includes participating in a mating ritual. Naturally taken aback by this request, the Commander thinks quickly and does a cheerleader-like dance while chanting Boom Shaka Laka Laka, culminating in orgasmic sighs. The ambassador, not impressed, accepts the dance, but says that when she visits his world, they'll do it "his way". Forgive me if I have details off; I saw the episode fifteen or so years ago, and a quick scan of the episode summaries on Wikipedia showed no obvious candidates.

Anyway. Back to bed.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not the workout I was looking for.

Tomorrow it will be a week that I'd had this ruddy cold. It began with a cough and a sore throat in the night, and those two symptoms haven't budged. Today I've been coughing so much that this evening, coughing leaves me in real pain from my poor, abused abs. I mean, I know I'm not in great shape, but really! And the coughing hasn't eased a bit. Today's addition to the whole mess is a nose that runs worse than a toddler's; it's so sore at this point that I'm beginning to expect to see blood whenever I apply tissue (which is frequently). I'm sick enough that I even cancelled The Infanta's birthday party this weekend! Fear not, it has merely been rescheduled, and I will be handing Josh the camera, for plenty of good pictures of the event.

The Infanta is also afflicted with it, at least to some degree. She coughs a little, her nose is runny (although less so than mine), and her voice is a bit hoarse. Otherwise, she's fine so far. This is probably a good thing, as she has her one year checkup tomorrow. I expect the doctor to offer sage advice about infant cold care, the which I will likely nod and smile at. But maybe there will be something in what she says that will be useful, so I won't ignore it completely. This visit, as far as I'm concerned, is almost purely about finding out those important statistics of height and weight. I do hope that my cough calms down overnight; I hate it when I'm in with a healthy baby and the nurses all offer me help!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Will Ceases Never Wonder

Just a short post, it's time and past to get the Infanta to bed. But she's making astonishing strides - leaps and bounds, even! - towards walking unassisted. She's standing spontaneously, unsupported, and unassisted, and not simply toppling when she can't maintain the pose. She will often put a hand out and lean on a nearby object, or if none is handy, sit in stages rather than just falling on her butt. Just a few minutes ago, excited to share a toy with me, she even took an unsupported step between the nearest piece of furniture and the couch where I was sitting!

I keep saying this, but it hasn't stopped being true. We're doomed!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sick and Tired

So over the weekend, that cough and sore throat turned into a cough and laryngitis. I had a lovely time knitting with the ladies on Sunday anyway... all the chatting did not help my voice, though, and yesterday I was left nearly speechless. I was also a bit feverish towards evening; not fun. Today my voice is a bit better, but I have a lot of phlegm, and am still coughing and feverish. Not much fun, but at least half doses of cold medicine are helping me sleep better at night!

I got out this morning and worked in my new garden beds. Many thanks to my friends KC and Heather who trucked their rototiller up from an hour away just to till a section of my front lawn! This morning I mounded earth to form beds, and then worked some old horse manure into them. I planted one bed - pumpkins and two kinds of beans - but realized that I have too many ideas and not enough definite decisions about the other beds to plant them yet. I have starts for tomatoes and two kinds of peppers, and also want to plant more of both kinds of beans, leeks, and zucchini.

The Infanta is becoming more and more difficult to get to sleep. I think what's happening is that she's becoming less flexible about bedtime, and what she thinks is the routine (and it is what usually happens) runs about two hours later than what we actually want to be happening. This means that she doesn't want to sleep until about eleven at night, and then doesn't want to wake up until eleven in the morning. Needless to say, this doesn't work in the real world. So I get her up earlier in the morning - nine-ish, maybe - and then she's cranky all day. In the evening, I've been trying to get her to bed by her sleepy cues, but she doesn't want to be in bed then, she wants to nurse and play more. If I stay in bed after she goes to sleep, she will stay asleep, but if I get up to attempt a little me time (for example, to write a blog post), she will wake up crying fairly quickly. She woke in the middle of writing this paragraph! I think the key will be being consistent with a bedtime, and probably establishing a more elaborate bedtime routine than we've had before now. I'm just not ready to give up my evening activities like knitting! Time for more Mama sacrifices. Can you believe I want more babies?!

I'm pretty sure the physical end of the miscarriage is complete. The last several days (TMI warning!) I had discharge similar to the very end of lochia - which it was, really - but saw none today, so I think my body may have cleared everything out finally, and may be ready to begin cycling afresh. That would be nice.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Karen over at the Hissy Stitch has some great photos of the surprise baby shower our Ravelry group threw yesterday. Included in the set are some great ones of the Infanta; go check them out! Random bit of trivia: the cow blanket was part of my gift, which was supposed to be a certain handmade item, but since I ran into technical difficulties, I subbed in the gift I'd intended for the "official" shower. Here's hoping for some sewing time this week!

I did get about 5 hours of more or less solid sleep after my post earlier this morning. Not enough in the grand scheme of things, but enough for bare functioning today.

Things I Need Today

- For the Infanta to sleep somewhere other than on me or my boob. I don't mind nursing to sleep, but every 45 minutes gets me no sleep at all. See the time I'm posting.

- Sleep! See above.

- Time alone with my husband, with no baby in the house, preferably for several hours, so I can stop being on duty long enough for a solid cry and nap. See above. The Infanta napping solidly while away from me would be frosting.

- To not be sick. I don't know where this combination of heartburn, nasty sore throat, and cough came from, but it needs to go back. Haven't I had enough crap this month?

Frankly, I need item 3 the most. All else would be much more tolerable after few hours' uninterrupted sleep and that cry I keep having to put off.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Good Reads

One of the many blogs I read is Whatever, the personal blog of sf author John Scalzi. He writes anything from updates on what his cats are doing, to political diatribes, to ramblings about what he's up to with his writing, be it being offline because of a deadline, or the schedule of a convention he's attending or speaking at. He's an excellent writer, and well worth reading; even if you disagree with him politically, he makes his arguments clearly and cogently, and is always thought-provoking. Well, maybe not the butter-eating. Josh would probably argue that the bacon thing is, though.

Anyway, one of Scalzi's pet projects is something he calls The Big Idea. The feature combines pimping other authors' works with insights into how they come up with their ideas. Today he posted this. Go read, and then follow the links to the pdf of The Patriot Witch. I'm 129 pages in, impatient to finish, and planning to acquire the books as soon as I reasonably can.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I got nothin'

So here's a lolcat that illustrates much of my current life:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

We could have had kittens well fed all the way home from the park this morning.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What a relief!

Apparently, Mercury is in retrograde. So this whole recent horrible chain of events isn't our fault!!

My miscarriage, Josh's chronic infected/ingrown toenail that he had operated on today, even the Infanta turning up with pinkeye today: all completely out of our control!

Well. Not entirely true. Probably. But it's nice to lay blame somewhere, if only for a few seconds.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Life goes on... soon.

And now I get to start integrating our loss into living life.

After a morning spent wrangling with advice nurses (I swear one was trying to convince me that nothing was wrong), I got an appointment for this afternoon with an OB. He read my charts, listened to my story, took a look, and yup, no question about what, was going on. He was wonderful, actually. Listening to my story, he asked questions at the right points and showed supportive reactions to others. He was also very compassionate and very sympathetic, using lots of eye contact and making sure I understood what was going on and what we need to do from here.

Which is some more waiting. I fed the vampires* so they could check my hCG count again; if that's clearly going down, then we can pretty much just sit back. If not, then we get to talk D&C. I'm rooting for option A, myself.

But I think I'm just about done lingering, except for that last bit of waiting. It's done, anything more will be cleanup. I'm not trying to push my grief away, the more because I'm not good at mourning, but I'm trying to learn how to integrate it with my joy in and love for the Infanta. Mama and Daddy are having a rough time (his is a whole nother story), but she's also having her own stuff, with learning to walk and an apparent growth spurt... and a birthday just around the corner! Also, I have four good friends expecting babies this summer and fall, one of whom I'm going to be doula for again; I've been joyful for them until now, and I want neither to stop being happy for them, nor to let my grief and envy sour our friendships.

I believe every pregnancy happens for a reason. I wish this one had not ended this way, but it did. I also believe that, although the soul that was attached to this baby couldn't stay, she or he will find the parents he or she is meant to be with. If that's with us, fantastic. If not... some other soul will come to bless us, and I hope it's sooner rather than later!

eta - this doesn't mean I won't gratefully accept hugs!!!

* old family term for getting blood drawn for testing, invented when I was a kid and had six months of strep throat - I had so many blood tests done then that I practically had track marks!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunny Sunday?

I took these pictures a few days ago; they seem very representative of the Infanta right now. Asleep, or in denial about waking up, she's all in a (very cute) heap; awake, she's on the verge of running off somewhere, and waiting with bare patience for me to finish whatever puttering in order to accompany her.

Today's a very beautiful day; sunny and warm with a breeze that's cool enough still to keep the heat tolerable. I'm happy that it's so gorgeous out, because it balances how cruddy I'm feeling physically. I'm probably going to call the clinic tomorrow morning about a D&C, because I've been bleeding again since last night, with lots of cramping and feeling sick - not nausea, just ucky in that raging-hormones way. Plus, the longer it hangs on, the more likely it is to cause complications, the which I really don't want. I'm sleepy all the time right now, and I'm convinced it's because of this whole thing, and that it's probably a sign that things aren't going well. I just want this miscarriage over and done with, so I can heal and move on.

Plus, you know, I want to be able to chase the puppy when it comes home to us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's a zoo out there!

And now for the promised zoo post. But first: thank you all so very, very much for all your expressions of sympathy. It's been a rough week, and you guys have helped immensely!

Zoo trip May 2009

Above is the entire set of pictures I took on the trip. I heartily recommend clicking on the link, and then viewing them as a slideshow (button in the upper left corner when you get there). I think I've used up my wittiness in the captions; I hope you enjoy! We had an amazing day, and were very glad that we braved the threatening rain - which to be honest did materialize at points, but never more than lightly or briefly.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And Baby Makes... Three. (TMI warning)

We spent the day at the Portland Zoo, which was much fun, and I have pictures to post, but I'll probably do that tomorrow. Tonight I need to write about something else.

Last month we got our "babydancing" timing right. I had two glorious weeks of pregnancy symptoms: heartburn, nausea (but not too bad), full breasts, the whole nine yards - even my pelvis went "sproing"! And then I had a period - or what I thought might have been a period. At the time it started, I was hoping it might be implantation bleeding... The flow was very rich, and had a bunch of little clots, and even something that might had been a teeny lump of tissue. Sad, but early miscarriages or "chemical pregnancies" happen all the time; supposedly most women who have them don't even notice anything other than maybe a heavy period. I knew what was happening, and it made me sad not only because I want another baby, but also because I knew what I was going to be missing. But it was done, nothing to do but start trying again.

Fast forward to last Friday. Late morning I was in pretty significant pain which felt like it was probably a UTI (and it was, see my posts the last few days...). Making things more complicated was that I was having bloody discharge - not bloody urine - which confused the heck out of me and the nurse who initially saw me. The nurse decided that my case was beyond her, and referred me to a clinician. Almost the first thing the clinician did was apply a pregnancy test to my urine sample - which came up positive! Yay! But. There was still the issue of my bleeding. So, she decided to run blood tests for a 48-hour comparison of hCG levels. The first draw was Friday, the second Sunday, hence my reason to leave the Mother's Day celebration a bit early. And then I had to wait.

The bleeding resolved by Sunday evening, which I thought was a hopeful sign. Monday the clinician wasn't on duty; she said her partner might call with the results. I was tempted to call the clinic, or simply show up in person... but I didn't. I received no call from them, either, and I chose to interpret that as not negative news, and cautiously told a few friends last night.

And then the clinician called this morning at about three minutes past 9, while I was sitting on my porch waiting for our ride to the zoo, with the news. My hCG levels had dropped markedly between the two samples; I am not successfully pregnant this cycle.

I'm sad. I already mourned this possible pregnancy, then had my hopes raised, and now dashed again. I'm by no means inconsolable - I pretty much forgot the whole thing during the day today! But once again, not only did I want this very much, but I know exactly what I'm missing, that I'll have to wait a while longer to have again. There's not really any way to know at what point I conceived, whether it was in April or since that weird bleed, but I choose to believe that that is the pregnancy I'm not keeping now, and I will probably always now meet that possible due date with a little touch of melancholy.

Now it's time to cry a few tears, mourn this baby-not-to-be, and get myself as healthy as I can manage so that next time this will work.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Because I decided that I didn't want to cook last night, and since leaving Josh in charge of food means that either we eat out, or it comes out of a box or a can, we had chili for dinner. I was all right with this; take a can of chili, add cheese and a couple handfuls of crushed crackers or corn chips, and you have a decent meal. What I didn't expect was a certain little girl giving me huge puppy-dog eyes, and begging her share! So I dipped a little gravy on my spoon, figuring she wouldn't like the spiciness (very mild even by my standards, but more than she'd had before)... and she loved it. Not only did she not spit it out, she begged more! In the end, she probably ate as much as a tablespoonful: gravy, meat, semi-dissolved chips, and all. She's showing no ill effects from her feast so far, and I'm thinking she may be getting closer to turning the corner on eating solids as a larger portion of her nourishment. My poor boobs would really like a break!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Gotta love a holiday based on motherly war protest.

We spent a good chunk of the day with Josh's family; his folks gathered the clan for a lovely luncheon. The Infanta was too distracted by everyone (especially her cousins who wanted to play with her!) to nap at all, so I was rather grateful to have an excuse to leave. I had to go get a blood test relating to my UTI... and it had to be today, which meant we had to get to the clinic before it closed.. but I think we might have left about the time we did anyway, just because the little girl needed to sleep so badly that she was passed out before we were three streets away! But it was nice seeing everyone.

Because it's beautiful and true:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Saturday, May 09, 2009

UTI Day Two

So I personally have a had a not-bad day; lots of lying around doing not much. Josh has been chasing the Infanta a lot so I can rest and heal. I did choose not to go to knitting this afternoon... but I wouldn't have been much fun, achy as I am.

The trouble is, the Infanta has been her usual self, but fussy. She clearly wants to be with me, but I'm so achy around the middle that I'm really not comfortable holding her. When I do hold her, she's so wiggly that I can't tolerate it for very long. On top of it all, she had a huge thing in the middle of the night where it took a good hour and a half and the both of our efforts to get her asleep... so Josh and I are both pooped.

But at least I have the sweet sensations of Napoleon Dynamite to comfort me!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Woe is me.

So yesterday was great, right?

Today made up for it. Late morning, and I all of a sudden HURT! All across my abdomen and up my back to my kidney... I knew I should NOT let this go over the weekend, so I called the clinic and got a nurse appointment to check for a UTI. Meanwhile, I'd invited Snarfy (one of my local knit hotties) over because she was in need of a day out of the house with her boys... this was not what either of us had hoped for. I was (and am!) grateful that she cheerfully volunteered to give us a ride down to the clinic and to chase L while I was doing medical things... not quite what we had in mind.

It was even more miserable because after an hour waiting around for this and that, the nurse I saw decided that what all was going on was beyond her, and that I needed to come back in a bit to see the clinician...

Long story short, after wading through assorted chaff and distractions (and a really nice chat with the clinician and her intern), I do in fact have a UTI.


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Do I Even Need to Say It?

Posting remains spotty due to a certain fussy, clingy, and frequently over-tired proto-toddler sucking all my energy. Since she is currently passed out on my lap (all I can say is that the $20 Mom spent on my Boppy was some of the best $20 spent on this child...), I figured I'd take the opportunity. Rather than spend the time on, like, surfing Ravelry. I'll do that next; it's easier to juggle with a newly wakened baby (when that happens).

Today has been a perfect example of a Willamette Valley spring day. It has been gorgeous and sunny and pouring rain by turns. This morning we ditched the babywearing meeting, and ended up meeting some friends at the Riverfront Park to watch the toddlers (and proto-toddler) run. While we were at the playground, another mom told us that they were having a story time over at the Carousel. So, we packed the kiddos up (cleverly exchanging which girl rode in which stroller so that Hurricane Tavy would cooperate) and headed over. A nice, grandmotherly woman read stories, played music, guided a coloring activity, and let us all on the carousel for free... and while we were at this, the sky opened up! Since I was walking, my friends started brainstorming ways to get us home (due to two carseats among three babies)... but I figured that the rain would at the very least lighten up enough to allow me to make it to the bus stop. Happily, it stopped entirely, and got positively bright out. My friends and I packed the babies up again, and they wandered with me up the sidewalks to the new pedestrian bridge across the River (I still get flashes of Lord Ken raining Greek fire over the Protectorate turtle boats when I cross it, but I think I always will). And so home, pausing at the local Jamba Juice to wait out the next shower. And now happily posting, with the front door open for the fresh air, a shawl over us to cut the slight chill, and a sweetly napping child in my arms. Does life get better than this?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Walkin' on, Walkin' on~

Eleven months, four days. That's how long she's been wanting to do this. Well, only better.

eta: I realize that she doesn't look very coordinated in this video - but that's because she's tuckered out after standing on her own for 10-20 seconds at a time and occasionally taking off, just as she does above.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Thank you.

Everyone's comments and words of support mean a great deal to me, and I'm feeling much better. The strain's telling on me overall, though; I've had a lot of people in the last couple of days asking me if I'm ok and telling me I look tired. Well, I am tired! I'm mother to an eleven-month-old! And I'm fighting off a cold on top of it.

Happily, said baby is asleep - I left her in the now-properly-side-carred crib before 8:15! We'll see if she's actually down for the night, but it would be so nice if she were... Now to wade through all this laundry, and see if I can crash early, myself.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Mom, the hero.

I always feel like a hero when I get the Infanta to sleep with some time left in the evening to not be a mom for a bit. It's totally dorky, but I often come prancing out of the bedroom flexing my biceps victoriously: I am Super Mom! I got the baby to sleep before we all went to bed! I suppose I react this way because it's a relatively rare event; although I usually try to get Herself to sleep earlier in the evening, I don't generally manage it. Well, I managed it tonight! Got some good reading in while I was at it, too.

I needed a parenting win tonight, too. I went off to knitting today feeling like a totally bad mom - not because of the Infanta's pretty purple bruise, either. No, I don't feel bad because my rubber baby bounced off a corner; babies are made of rubber (within reason), and this isn't her first bruise, and will by no means be her last. The issue rather is that I feel like I've been completely withdrawing from "being a Mom"; I sit and knit and tell the Infanta not to pull all of Daddy's game collection off the shelf, rather than get down and play with her or teach her things. Some of that feeling is residual from low brain med levels, but it's also genuinely what happens. I'll sit down with my email and blogroll or my knitting; the Infanta will wander off to do whatever strikes her fancy with what's available (and she has no paucity of toys), and ten minutes later she's pawing at the lappy or happily unshelving games, or something else we really don't want her to do. And I'm really, really bad at getting down on the floor and playing with her. I knew I would be, but... I didn't understand how exactly that would play out in reality. Also, I feel like I should be teaching her things (and I don't just mean modeling daily life), and I'm not. At least, I don't think I am... But I don't want to turn into a "flash card mom", either, just... I don't know.

What's really getting me down is that I'm a "bad" mom, and I want another baby?! I'm totally insane.

With the weather getting so nice, we need to get out and spend more time with other moms and babies. Maybe that will help me realize that all the other moms are totally flying by the seats of their pants, too.