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!