Friday, July 30, 2010

Please Research: Attack Vs. Educate

I am a crunchy parent.

I know a lot of people who are -not- crunchy.

And I know a lot of people who always feel like they have to defend themselves around crunchy people.

I wanted to express that you do not have to defend yourself around me! I may not agree with your choices, but you don't have to defend yourself, as long as you have done your research. I often feel like the mainstream parents feel like they are being attacked by the crunchies when they do something un-crunchy-like. I can't speak for all the crunchy parents out there, but I would like to say most of us are NOT attacking you. We are trying to EDUCATE you!

We aren't sure if you know your other options. Or if you know the research that suggests some of the crunchy ways are better than mainstream ways (i.e., breastfeeding). There is a reason mainstream parenting is called "mainstream". It's because it is the most popular parenting style in our culture today. And there is a reason parents like me get called "crunchy". We get a funny nickname, because a lot of people think we are...weird. Because we do things differently than most of the population.

I, personally, became crunchy through researching my options. I felt like the most natural way to parent was to be as self-reliant as possible (i.e., minimal doctor visits, no circumcision, no vaccines), to keep my baby close (i.e., co-sleeping, baby wearing), to introduce the least amount of foreign substances to my baby (i.e., natural childbirth, breastfeeding, no vaccines), and to use what God has provided me with -naturally- to care for my baby and myself (i.e., placentophagy, breastfeeding, herbal remedies, breast milk in eyes/ears/nose of baby when sick).

My mother (who is accepting of my crunchy ways, but not crunchy herself) and I had an interesting conversation about this topic just the other day. I chose to use the epidural as an example. This is obviously a mainstream choice, as it is believed that well over 60% of women in labor choose an epidural. There is definitely a long list of -possible- side effects (for both mother and baby). I would hope that every mother who chooses an epidural is aware of these possible side effects. Unfortunately, I know that not all mothers are aware of them. But, what about the side effects that are -always- present. Very few women realize that an epidural will slow, or even stop, their body's natural production of oxytocin. Oxytocin is what makes birth! It causes the uterus to contract, and it enhances the mother's natural love for her infant. With an epidural, many women need artificial oxytocin (Pitocin) to cause contractions. And they are missing out on that natural brain hormone that fills them with intense love and a desire to bond with their baby. (This does NOT mean, however, that a mother cannot bond with her baby. It just isn't as easy as it could have been without an epidural.) The risks list of epidurals (both possible and definite) goes on, but that is merely an example in this post. [If you are interested, Dr. Sarah J. Buckley, MD, has a wonderful article explaining the risks of epidurals.]

The point of my example is, some women are COMPLETELY unaware of the advantages of crunchy parenting, and the disadvantages of mainstream parenting. I know that not every mainstream choice is going to be a bad choice, or one made in ignorance. And I understand that everyone is entitled to making their own choices for themselves and their families. But, the natural parenting community has a desire for the whole world to at least -know- what their choices are, and whether they are good or bad choices.

Please remember. We are not attacking. We are educating!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rocking horse

My dad made Bug a rocking horse for his second birthday (per my request). Bug LOVES it. He rides like the wind at least once a day. My dad was tickled to find that similar horses sell online for anywhere between $200-$500!! Not including the cost of the tools he took to build it, which he already owned, the horse cost him less than $40 to make. And I'm tickled that I didn't have to pay a single thing for the lovely horse! It is definitely nice to have family with special talents!

But, apparently, Bug didn't like the ears on the horse. First, he bit the tips of the ears off, (they were made from a sturdy foam-like material). Then, he eventually tore them completely off! (We need to get some scrap leather to replace them...just another item on the "to do" list!)

And he has colored on the horse's back...with both pen AND blue highlighter.

And, even though my dad took precautions in his design to prevent tipping, Bug rides the horse to the limit. If he gains one more pound, I'm sure the horse will tip forward!

I guess until Bug needs stitches in his head, I'll keep enjoying the horse along with him! Yee-Haw! Bug says, "AAAAHHHH-HAAAAA!"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blush Reflex

Apparently, being pregnant enhances my blush reflex 100 fold! Practically all it takes is someone looking at me to get me to go red in the face!

If you add even a hint of embarrassment in a conversation directed at me (even at levels that I would normally be able to handle with ease), I flush so much that I have to fan myself or hold a cold...something, my face, just so I won't burst out in flames!

And that embarrasses me even more, to where I really need to escape. Which isn't always practical. It really is just a vicious cycle of blushing and fanning. And nervous laughter.

I'm not sure why I have been so...sensitive...with this pregnancy. I don't remember experiencing this blush reflex thing when I was pregnant with Bug.

Just last night, I was talking with my husband while laying in bed, and all the sudden I got a huge heat wave. I wasn't embarrassed about anything. It was like a hot flash. I felt all flushed and I had to push the bed sheets off of me. And it was just my husband talking to me!

So, now you know. If you ever find yourself talking to me, and I start to blush, know that I'm not necessarily embarrassed. It's just that you are talking to me. Or paying attention to me. Or expecting me to say something. Or looking at me at just the right moment of a hot flash! And that happens to make me blush right now.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Birth on my mind

I've been composing this post for a LOOOOOOOONG time. In fact, it was basically written out even before I got pregnant again. Then I forgot about it. Then I remembered it. And I read it over and had to add and edit about a million more things. I still don't know if it is really ready or not. I have a lot of feelings about Bug's birth that have been ruminating in my mind for a long time (like...two years). If I were to keep adding to this post, until I felt it was truly complete, I would probably have a whole book! Therefore, I will go ahead and let this post be. There will definitely be some sort of follow up after the new baby makes his/her arrival! Birth on my mind:

I always have pregnancy and birth on my mind. It is my passion. I read about it all time time. I dream about it all the time. I think a lot about how I can make my own experiences with pregnancy and birth better. Of course, that means I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want this pregnancy and birth to be like. And I think a lot about what was wrong with Bug's birth. The more I think about Bug's birth, the more I realize that I -need- to write it all out. Not just a birth story, I have one of those. But, I need to write out my true feelings, more specifically, what I didn't like and why. Perhaps I feel like it will be a therapy session. This isn't just for me to complain (although I do love to complain!) I like to think that I can help other women who want better birth experiences (or maybe haven't had any yet, and have no idea what they could have). So, here is my list of things I did NOT like about pregnancy/birth with Bug, why I didn't like it, and then my preferences for a better pregnancy and birth -including what I'm doing for my current pregnancy/plans for this birth. (these are in no particular order):

-Seeing an OB. I wish that I had either gotten a midwife to take care of my prenatals, or gone with an unassisted pregnancy (UP) and done everything myself. I think I was unsure about what choices I could make, and I felt pressured by our society, and those around me, to see an obstetrician. It is such a normal thing today to have an OB attend you throughout pregnancy. But, as soon as I put my trust in an OB, I forgot to trust myself and my own capabilities. Even though I wanted and hoped to have an unassisted childbirth (UC), I continued going to my prenatals with the OB, and in the end, that is why I gave birth in a hospital.

-Caved to subtle threats from the medical field. A week after I started prodromal labor (but still waiting for the baby to be born), I went in for another prenatal checkup. They heard an irregular heartbeat, and sent me in for all kinds of testing. Eventually, they advised me to be induced. I was vulnerable, because I was a woman getting ready to have a baby anyway (my body was already preparing: I had lost my mucous plug and was having on and off bouts of contractions). They effectively scared me into thinking that my baby's life was in immediate danger. As I laid on a hospital bed, in a hospital gown, crying, I honestly didn't think I had a choice. I wish I could have gone back home to contemplate the situation. I could have returned shortly after if I really felt like I needed to be induced. I could have studied, and subsequently found out, that abnormal heartbeats really aren't uncommon and are typically nothing to worry about. I could have prayed with my husband for personal revelation on what to do in the situation. But, I didn't do any of that. It's hard to do any of that in a busy hospital, where people are checking on you every couple of minutes, asking if you have made a decision, when you clearly know what decision they want you to make. I quietly accepted the invitation to be induced.

-Given a hep lock for an IV. It is ridiculous that mothers in labor at a hospital are rarely allowed to eat and drink when and what they want. It is such an out dated practice, but it is still being practiced! Instead, they keep you hooked up to an IV to keep you hydrated. Or, if you are lucky, you just get a hep lock, so they can hook you up to the IV later. It is mandatory in many hospitals, especially in my area. Why? So they can hook you up to drugs quickly if there is a problem. They see it as a preventative measure. I see it as an unnecessary hindrance. Hospitals are supposed to be there to help quickly -if- a problem comes up...not get you hooked up in advance for -when- a problem comes up. Plus, is there anything comfortable and relaxing about having a plastic tube stuck in your vein? No, I think not. I was constantly worried about the foot of tubing wadded up and taped to my arm. I didn't want to pull it the wrong way, because that hurts! In the end, I wasn't hooked up to the IV...but it wasn't fun laboring with a hep lock in my arm.

-Allowed artificial rupture of my membranes (AROM). AROM definitely is one way to get labor going, especially if the woman's body has already been preparing for labor. However, it can introduce infection. It could have resulted in a cord prolapse (a serious condition, resulting in a c-section). And, it is artificial. What if Bug wasn't ready to come that day? Getting labor started when he wasn't ready could have caused distress for him. AROM also put a time limit on me. If you haven't delivered within twelve hours of your water breaking (or being broken), most hospitals will take drastic measures to get your baby out (i.e., cesarean section). When my OB broke my water, I was not informed of the risks. That makes me angry to think that there are other women out there that are less educated about childbirth than I am, and their OBs are preforming these procedures on them, without telling them anything about what they are doing, and the women believe it is needed, because their OB said they needed it. And for a moment, I was one of those women.

-Allowed an internal fetal monitor. The internal monitor was the whole reason I had my membranes ruptured (besides the fact that the AROM was also to get my labor going, after all, it was medically advised for me to deliver. And I guess I would rather go into labor from AROM than Pitocin). An external monitor wasn't being very helpful in hearing Bug's irregular heartbeat. This was the main thing they wanted to watch. To a mother in labor, how could I have refused? But, getting an internal fetal monitor is risky business, indeed. That one little intervention makes it incredibly more likely that you will end up with a c-section. Once the monitor was in place, I had to stay laying in bed. I was hooked up to a machine, and I could only unplug it to go pee...although I had to go pee with wires hanging out of my crotch. And just to add a little insult to injury (or should I say add a little injury to the insult), the internal monitor's electrode is screwed into a baby's head. Bug had a scab on his little noggin' for several days after he was born because of the monitor.

-Forced to labor in a supine position. Because I was hooked up the internal monitor, I wasn't able to move around. I was able to unhook to go pee every now and then...but if I wasn't hooked up for a couple minutes, a nurse would come in to "make sure everything was ok". So, I spent the time laboring in bed. I rolled from side to side, trying to get comfortable enough to deal with my contractions. And I moaned and vocalized. I probably could have knelt on the bed or stood beside the bed...but nobody told me that I was allowed to. And I was afraid that I would get into trouble by doing stuff. (Can you tell I had zero confidence while I was surrounded by people who were more "in charge" of my labor than I was!?!)

-Legs placed in stirrups, combined with semi-sitting, kind-of-laying position for the pushing phase. I had no idea that I could have knelt down on the bed to give birth to Bug. Nobody at the hospital told me I could. And once I was in the hospital, I felt like I couldn't do anything unless the hospital personnel told me I could do it. (And, even if I tried, my OB may not have allowed it.) So, when it came time to push, they "broke down the bed", aka they removed the lower half of the bed, put up the stirrups and put my legs in them. Being on your back, or mostly on your back, is probably the worst way to push a baby out. And the best way for an OB to watch while you push a baby out. It makes the mom work harder, and it just might cause more tears.

-Directed and strongly encouraged pushing. This was one of those things that I paid a little less attention to while I was pushing. I have a memory of the nurse on one side, telling me that -now- would be a good time push, and my mom on the other side, asking me to push if I -could-. (Moms are much more sensitive to their laboring daughters than nurses! Although, my nurse was really nice, she was obviously trained in hospital birth.) I would push when a contraction came on, then I would get worn out and stop for a bit. When I stopped, the nurse told me to keep going. I told her that I needed to take a break!! It had been about 12 hours since I had had a meal, or even anything to drink. I was exhausted, and I honestly wasn't sure I could push as often or as strong as the nurse wanted me to. I tried to push when I felt like it, and only then. But, I felt like I was failing or not doing a good job, because the nurse kept telling me to push...even when I felt like I couldn't.

-Immediate cord clamping/cutting. Bug had an irregular heartbeat. That was why the doctor wanted me to deliver. And that is why there was a neonatologist there for when Bug was born, ready to whisk him off for testing. And that is why, against my expressed wishes, Bug's cord was immediately clamped and cut after delivery. And, sadly, I didn't really get to see the placenta, either. That connection that my baby had with me throughout my pregnancy was gone in an instant.

-Baby taken away for tests. Right after Bug was born, they put him on my chest. But it was only for a few minutes, before they took him away for testing. And the OB stitched two of my three small tears. That whole after birth phase is a cloudy memory to me. I don't remember how long Bug was away from me. All I know, is that I got to hold him for a minute, then he was gone for a while. And the next time I saw him, he was bundled up in a blanket. I didn't really get to cherish that skin-to-skin after birth moment that I long for. And I definitely didn't get the opportunity to see if Bug would make his own way to my nipple to nurse.

-Lost autonomy. As illustrated in almost all of the above, I had little to no confidence to do what I wanted to do in a hospital birth. There were rules and regulations and people who were important and in charge. I was just a patient there. I was supposed to be good. I was supposed to be compliant. I was supposed to be easy to take care of. I was nervous and excited. It was my first child. I had never done anything like birth before! I had studied and I knew A LOT about birth. I knew I wanted to follow my own intuition. But I couldn't. As soon as I was told to head to the hospital for a biophysical profile, I felt my confidence draining. It drained more as I was told to put on a hospital gown. And even more as I was send for an a wheelchair. And once I was told that it was "medically indicated" that I deliver, I knew my intuition was NOT invited to this hospital birth. It wasn't even until hours later that I realized I didn't have -anything- with me, other than my purse. (In fact, my husband ran home after Bug was born to go get clothes and other stuff that would have been there with me, if I had a hospital bag packed.) I was completely and totally at the mercy of the hospital. The policies. The regulations. And even though Bug's birth was amazing (as I imagine any kind of birth would be), it was not what I wanted.

So, how can I change this? How can I help myself have a better experience with birth? The first thing I did was put my foot down and NOT schedule an appointment with an obstetrician. The hubs wasn't comfortable with the idea of doing an unassisted pregnancy/birth with this baby. And he is part of my team, so I had to compromise. It took a lot of work, but I finally got in contact with several midwives. The homebirth community in Ohio is almost like a secret society. You have to know where to go to get the information that you need. I didn't have that information when I was pregnant with Bug. Or, I didn't know how to -find- that information. This time, I worked harder. I found midwives, and I interviewed midwives. And I decided on a midwife that I believe is a good fit for me (the hubby even picked her before I did).

My midwife is ok with my requests. This includes: no vaginal exams, no ultrasound technology (including a doppler), letting me do my own urinalysis, visits in my own home, no routine tests or procedures. Basically, when I ask my midwife if I am ok to do something, she says, "Sure, why not? It's your choice/your body!" If I ask my midwife if I need to -not- do something, she says, "Why? If you want to do it, do it. If you think you shouldn't, don't." My midwife is not flippant. She just thinks that pregnancy and birth are normal, and you shouldn't have to alter your life for them (as long as you are healthy, and not participating in harmful activities). She also thinks that I should be making all my own decisions. She is just there to observe and let me know if something is going wrong (and I don't catch it before on my own). It's exactly the kind of care that I want (assuming that I actually have care from someone other than myself).

It has been nice to just go throughout my pregnancy like I'm living normally. I never have to worry about getting to an appointment (because my midwife comes to me, and I'm always home with Bug during the day anyway). I never have to worry about doing something that I'm not supposed to do, or making sure I do something that I am supposed to do (according to an OB). I just do things that make me feel more comfortable. I eat well. I rest a lot. I take care of my toddler. I feel the baby moving within me and I smile and get emotional about another baby coming to our family. It's been a beautiful pregnancy so far. Very relaxed. It feels good. It feels right.

I want the birth of this next baby to be more ceremonial, and less....protocol. I want to be the one to call the shots. And, I even want to be the one to catch the baby (assuming I'm in a position to do so) and my husband is ok with that! (Yipee!) I'm not typically a conformist. And I think after Bug's birth, I have become even less so. I am stubborn and confident. I think that is why I had such a hard time with Bug's birth, feeling that that part of me was taken away...or that I really don't have those traits. But, I know what I want, and I have learned enough to now get what I want.

I can't wait until the baby is born. Then I will write a follow up post on how this birth went. In the meantime, I'm interested in how my readers have experienced their pregnancies/births. Did things go the way you wanted them to? Did you wish you could change things? What would you want to do differently?

Friday, July 9, 2010


Apparently, I have a "look" that I give Bug when he is being bad. It's kind of a sideways glance with scowling eyes.

Well, Bug has perfected that look, himself. And every now and then, if the hubs and I are doing something bad (i.e., telling Bug to stop doing something that he doesn't want to stop doing), Bug will give us the look.

Sometimes he will give us the look AND shush us...with his finger pointed either at us or at his the same time!

Sometimes, when I'm yelling (or I prefer to say "sternly reprimanding") at Bug for something, if he is close enough, he will put his hand over my mouth to get me to be quiet. Or he'll shush me.

He seems to shush me a lot.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

A couple of my friend's have posted this video on their blog/facebook page. And, as I watched it with tears streaming down my cheeks, I realized that this is probably one of the best videos I could ever share on -my- blog. We mothers have so many things to "lament", but we also have so many things to be grateful for. We are blessed beyond what we could ever imagine. We are truly in an eternal partnership with God!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Little Helper

I actually like vacuuming. I just don't do it very often. Probably because I have to rearrange the whole house just to vacuum. I -must- move everything and vacuum underneath it....except the really big the couch.

I don't like it when my husband vacuums. Which is probably why he doesn't do it very often. He just goes around what is on the floor, and rarely moves anything. Except maybe the toys. Yeah, he usually cleans up the toys first.

But, living with a toddler means you HAVE to vacuum at least, oh, I'd say at least once a month. Or every two weeks, I guess. In the meantime, there can be quite the accumulation of dried -er- food...items, underneath the toddler's high chair.

I have found that the best way to take care of this problem in between regularly scheduled vacuuming, is to have a toddler (which, is obviously taken care of, or you wouldn't have this problem in the first place) and a hand held vacuum cleaner.

All you do is give the toddler the vacuum, direct him to underneath the table, and tell him to suck up all the "yuckies". If he doesn't seem interested (unlikely), offer to give him some yummy juice, if he sucks up all the "yuckies".

Works like a charm!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More Hormonal Art...And a Contest!

I am an art dilettante. It all started when I was 14, and I found my dad's old acrylics in our garage. And when I say I found his "old" acrylics...I mean it. These were his acrylics from high school. Aside from smelling a little funky, they worked great. I painted on poster board at first. And I used cheap brushes that found their way into my family's "junk drawer". Other than in the 7th grade, I have never taken an art class. So, I taught myself and I soon developed my own personal style. Bold colors. Blunt lines. Well-formed shapes. I painted. And I loved it.

Eventually, I bought my first canvas. And my very own paintbrushes. And even some new paints. Over the years, I haven't really altered my style much. I tend to stay within my comfort zone. I am scared of layering the paint. I hate watercolor. I dabbled in oils, but found that I am too impatient with them (too long to dry, too hard to clean up). Most of the time, I go into a painting knowing exactly what I want it to look like in the end. I guess that's how most artists do things, but I measure and use crayons on a piece of paper to get the full idea. And once I make a decision...I don't change it. Of course, that means I have several paintings on canvas that I really don't like. But...because I hate layering paint...I don't know if I will ever make them into something beautiful.

Of all the art that I have done since that day when I painted my first piece, the works that I love the best are the ones I have done since I got married. Or, more specifically, since I got pregnant for the first time. It was like I was overcome by my hormones in a way that created the most beautiful and inspiring art I have ever seen. Not to be vain or anything. I LOVE my art, but I do criticize it a lot, too! (If you are interested in birth art, and why it is so cool, check out the book and/or website Birthing From Within. It is one of my favorite birth topic books...because it is a very artsy book!)

With my current pregnancy, I have been designing art that is a bit outside of my normal style. In fact, it resembles watercolor...which is strange...because I hate watercolor! I don't mind the look of it, I just hate working with watercolor paints. Luckily, acrylic is a water based paint, and I can thin it out and get a nice watercolor look without the pain of using actual watercolor paints!

Because I've been having a pretty rough time this pregnancy in actually -finishing- all the stuff that I start, I currently have a 3 part series of paintings called "Fulfilling Womanhood" that still aren't finished. It includes a piece representing conception, a piece for birth, and a piece for breastfeeding. When they are done, I am sure they will be beautiful. And I am sure that they will create stirrings of passion deep in my heart. My "hormonal art" has such meaning. And that is why it is beautiful.

I have been able to successfully complete at least one painting during this pregnancy, though. I needed a good piece of art to use on my Mother Blessing invitations. I couldn't find one that really stood out to me in my online searches, which is surprising, because there are tons of great pieces out there on the Internet! But, I knew I needed to paint one myself. I knew it needed to be flow-y. No boldness or bluntness. It needed to be earthy. It needed to represent motherhood. Pregnancy. True feminine beauty. And it needed to call forward feelings of life, joy and celebration. (And it needed to be completed in time for me to send out my invites in early July!!!)

After a few quick sketches, I finally found what I wanted. I pulled a blank canvas out of my reserves, watered down some acrylics, and started painting. I didn't measure. I didn't pencil in on the canvas. I didn't color it out. I just painted.

And a beautiful piece was born. A perfect piece. Every one of those thousand words that a picture can speak, spoke the words I wanted them to speak.

I am only an art dilettante. I know there are far better artists that I am. And I know there are far better pieces of art than mine. But I will always have a special place in my heart for my very own art!

And now: THE CONTEST! -Give This Piece of Art a Name-! I don't have a name for this piece, yet. The only thing I am coming up with is "Full of Life"...but I'm just not sure if that is the right name for it. I am asking for ideas. I'm sorry to say that the winner of this contest will only win their title on my painting. But, I am begging for some great ideas, so fire away!

Monday, July 5, 2010


Almost every year for Independence Day, we go to a large event called Red, White and Blue Ash (held every year in Blue Ash, Ohio).

For the past several years, it has been rainy. We usually try to enjoy the fireworks anyway. Last year, that meant we sat under a damp blanket while we were drizzled on. And ashed on. The wet rain fizzled out the fireworks prematurely, and so there was a lot of ash raining down on the crowd. And a lot of smoke. I'm not kidding about the ash. My face was covered in little black flecks by the time the thing was over! Really, it almost wasn't worth it....Especially since I had to nurse Bug through the whole thing. He stayed under the blanket, attached to his nursies, and missed the whole show. Except for the noise. And you really can't escape from that.

This year, I regret to say it wasn't much better. The weather was BEAUTIFUL (although we are now in a heat emergency for the rest of the week). But, good weather can't make the whole thing worth it. And neither can AWESOME, AMAZING, SPECTACULAR fireworks. Although, that is what the fireworks were...I still don't know if I want to go again next year. And that kind of makes me sad.

We left our home around 7pm. It takes about half an hour to get to where we were going. So we figured we have plenty of time to find parking (and get on a shuttle...because there is no way in heck I was going to walk very far being seven months pregnant, toting around a 2 year old, three fold up chairs, a diaper bag and a blanket in the 90 degree weather...even with my amazing husband to help!)

Before we even got on the highway, we got a call from our Spanish sister missionaries. They needed someone to give a blessing to the little baby of a Spanish speaking family in our ward. We were so close, that we figured it wasn't a big deal to stop and help out. (Hey, I even ended up getting a compliment, that I read in Spanish better than my hubby does...and he's the fluent one!!) It turned out to be a very spiritual experience for me. Of course, I had been having a "bad pregnant day" anyway...meaning "highly emotional, cry at everything day". The little girl was having a bad reaction to a slew of vaccines she had received almost two weeks ago. The story touched home to me, as we have chosen to not vaccinate, due to the risks of reactions in young children. I'm not sure what all was said in the blessing ('cause my hubby's the fluent one, not me!) but I felt such a strong reassurance that our Heavenly Father loves this little girl, He cares about her and the needs of her family, and he will bless her with a recovery. I really was glad we stopped before we went on to the fireworks.

Shortly after the blessing, we were back on our way to Blue Ash. We avoided traffic, and found a -wonderful- parking spot at one of the shuttle stops. But, we noticed there were two lines for the shuttle bus. We weren't sure which line we should be standing in, so we chose the line that had a sign saying "Shuttle Bus Stop" at the front. It seemed more like the official stop. I figured we would be on the second bus that came. Apparently, the bus driver was just going to stop at the closest line of people...which wasn't the line we were in. And as the bus was loading up the people in the unofficial line...ALL the people BEHIND us, cut in front of us to the other line!!!!!!! WHAT THE HECK!?!?!? Those JERKS!!! Finally, we decided we might as well move into the other line. Instead of the second bus picking us up, it was probably the 5th bus that we were finally able to get on. And Bug was crying the whole time we waited. He wanted to get on every bus. He wanted to eat strange berries on the ground. He wanted to pick up garbage. He wanted to take off his shoes. Did I happen to mention ( I haven't yet) that he did NOT take a nap. I should have known we were in for a long night!

As we were getting closer and closer to the shuttle, people started walking away, declaring that it wasn't worth it to go, because "People are elbow to elbow..." that happens every year "they are out of pop..." we have our water bottles "they are out of food" we ate before we came "they are out of beer! For cryin' out loud, they are out of BEER!..." uhm, we don't give a darn about the beer, and frankly, we'd love for all you alcoholics to not be there around us anyway "and the port-a-potties are all overflowing." Ok...that last thing was a little bit discouraging...because pregnant women tend to use the toilet a lot. So I started practicing my kegels again, right there in the line! But we weren't going for the food or the entertainment (well...I -did- kind of want to see Peter Frampton), we were going for the we got on our shuttle.

And we finally got there and found my family (and a bunch of other people we know) and set up camp. By the time I was sitting in my camp chair, it was just after 9pm. Two hours after we left home!

And "Ooooh, Baby, I [don't] love [the] way" it all happened...but I MISSED PETER FRAMPTON!

However, I was able to complain to my mom, eat a doughnut, and pass off responsibility for Bug to my little sister. Finally, at 10pm, the fireworks started. We were in the perfect location. Not too close, not too far. And the smoke all blew to the side of us, rather than right at us! I was SO grateful that Bug didn't want to hang out under a blanket nursing this year. He loved the fireworks. He ooohed and awed and clapped. And, luckily, he didn't cry when they ended at 10:30pm. I must say, it was a very nice display. They even had fireworks that exploded into a "U", an "S", and a slightly wonky "A". Pretty cool engineering, I guess...even if it did look like it was written by a first grader!

After it was all over, we walked two minutes over to the shuttle pick up point. All the shuttles were already full and leaving. Ok, great. We'll wait. No big deal. We'll wait. And wait. Oh, there's a shuttle....nope, it's a "Red Line" and we want the "White Line". So we wait. And wait. And the shuttles keep stopping at the other end of people (and they totally should have stopped at our end, because then all the shuttles that came in behind them wouldn't be waiting in line to pick up people, while the first shuttle sat there blocking the way...argh!) Finally, an hour and a half later, we squeeze our way onto a "Red" shuttle, that had been converted to a "White", because apparently, they needed more whites. We did have a really spunky shuttle driver, though, and she made me smile, even after waiting for so long!

And -hallelujah- the traffic didn't impede us one bit. We were able to get home quickly and easily. And we settled into bed exactly 2 hours after the fireworks had ended.

I may have to settle for a less extravagant firework display next year...I'm just not sure if it is worth it!

Friday, July 2, 2010


I can't believe how big Bug is getting. I find myself staring at him all the time wondering where my little baby went, and where this little boy came from. It might be part of those pregnancy hormones. And realizing that I'm going to have two kids pretty soon! Of course, everyone always says that they "grow so fast". There is a reason that saying is cliche! It's so true! My dad told me that once he got married time started speeding up. And every year, time passes a little bit faster. He says he blinks once and twenty years have gone by. Time hasn't started going THAT fast for me...yet. But I am amazed at how quickly it has been passing since I got married!

This is the summer of major changes for Bug. I almost feel like I am letting him grow up too fast. I worry that he isn't ready, even when he shows signs of being ready.

Major change number one: weaning. It was a surprisingly easy process. I think I was more unprepared for weaning than Bug!

Major change number two: moving to his own bed. This process has only just begun. So far, so good. I just hope he doesn't get too jealous when the new baby gets to sleep with mom and dad. (And, we've almost had to start all over again, because we let Bug sleep with us a lot while we were in Texas, and a lot since we've gotten back home. Surprisingly, however, Bug did NOT sleep with us -every- night while we were in Texas. Slow and steady wins the race, right?)

Major change number three: potty training. We haven't started this one yet. Although Bug loves to sit on the potty, and will pee in the potty without any extra encouragement from me. I really need to just train myself to teach Bug how to go potty, and how to tell me when he needs to go. I'm putting it off, but I know it will need to be done this summer.

Major change number four: becoming a brother. This is just the cherry on top! All these changes, and suddenly, Bug isn't going to be the only kid vying for attention from mom and dad. Jealousy. Anger. Violence. I worry about all those things that might happen. My grandma used to tell stories of when my mom brought me home from the hospital. My older sister was 18 months, and she thought that mom had brought her home a doll to play with. I hope it works that way with the new baby and Bug. I would rather him think that the baby is for him, than for him to think that the new baby is replacing him!!!

Those four things are MAJOR! Are they not? I mean, for a two year old! I just hope he doesn't regress when the baby comes. I worry, as any parent might, whether I am doing the right thing at the right time for my child. This parenting thing is really emotional!