Friday, December 31, 2010

On Quick Take Friday- New Years Eve Edition

7 random Thoughts

1. I used 4 of new Christmas presents yesterday. I made my daughter some cookies in my new Kitchenaid. I made breakfast smoothies in my magic bullet. I made dinner in my new copper bottom pan. And last but not least, I played one of my Sims 3 expansion packs.

2. I just finished ordering ladybug larvae for our Ladybug Land that Santa left my kids. I think this is probably going to be pretty gross judging by the illustrated pictures of what the larvae and pupa look like. Shudder. Santa clearly did not think this gift through. At least they only live for like 3 weeks. Although I am not sure if they will mate in captivity... bleck. I hope this does not turn out to be like the sea monkeys that never died.

3. I am getting ready for my new years resolution to eat healthier. I plan to do some freezer cooking this afternoon.

4. I need to give up diet pop. Again.

5. I think I will take down the Christmas tree today. If anyone wants a 3 foot tree that is no longer prelit email me and come get it. Otherwise it is going to the fake Christmas tree farm in the sky.

6. The 60 degree weather and thunderstorms on Dec. 31 is creeping me out.

7. 2010 went by pretty dang fast. I hope everyone has a good New Years Eve and a happy 2011.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On Swearing and Music

Song prompt Wed!

"Bitches ain't shit but hos' and tricks," Ben Folds, by way of Dr. Dre, Bitches Ain't Shit.

I kind of love swearing.

It makes me feel good.

Not so much swearing AT people, because that is mean and should be reserved for rare occasions. But a good swear word peppered into normal conversation just makes things more interesting. A stream of profanities when you are by yourself and mad at something? Cathartic as shit.

Some seem to think it is uncouth, and perhaps it is. But if swearing is wrong, I don't want to be fucking right.

Same goes for music.

I was part of a conversation recently where a woman expressed a distaste for secular music because the subject matter is typically not chaste.

I get that. But I think that there is a time for hymns, but also a time for songs like Bitches Ain't Shit. Swearing in songs releases tension. Plus, the song referenced is just plain an interesting arraignment to listen to. Both the original and the cover.

So as long as you are not at work, click the play button, sit back, and enjoy a good fucking song.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On Grudges and Filing Systems

I can hold a grudge for a loooong time.

It doesn't really take tons of effort. It is not like I think about grudges constantly, but if a perceived wrong has been done to me my brain has an automatic filing system in place to keep track of it.

The filing system does occasionally get culled and if a grudge gets settled the file gets moved to another part of my brain.

For example, in 4th grade I cut my leg open to the tendon. I was the proud owner of over 100 stitches to close it up. After it had healed enough for me to return to get around with crutches I had to bring a pillow with me everywhere I went because I needed to keep my leg elevated.

I brought said pillow to a 4H meeting. As I hobbled to my chair I overheard an older girl (5th grader!!!) whispering and laughing to another older girl about my pillow.

I still don't really like either of those girls. For no other reason then that incident.

I am sure if I had gotten to know them past 5th grade I would have found them to be lovely people and I am sure they are currently leading lovely lives. I very occasionally will hear something about one of them as they are the children of distant friends of my grandmothers. And those rare times I hear something about them I think of the above grudge file and mentally scowl.

Other random people who have earned a file in my mind?

- the random T.A. in college who knocked my grade down because she didn't like that I let my Model UN partner do all our work because he wanted to date me. We won a fake diplomacy award and I only got a B!

- Any one who was inconsiderate about my daughter's life threatening allergy. There is like 5 or 6 people in this file.

- A random women in England who tried to pick a fake tattoo off my shoulder while we were in line for drinks at a bar.

- A person 10 years ago who told me my nose was perfect, but probably too small for my face.

The nice thing about having this memory, is that I remember the nice things people do and say to me too. But that is all in a separate filing system.

You might be wondering if I have a file about you.

The answer is, of course, no.

I like you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

On Short Hair and Long Faces

I have never had truly long hair.

I am pretty sure I was not meant to have long hair. My hair is fine and grows super duper slow. Like 3 or 4 inches a year tops. Plus I have a longer then average face and neck so i need to grow extra inches for it to look longer. (Does that make sense to you? It makes sense in my head.:P)

Toss on top of that that my hair is a weird sort of naturally curly/wavy (not the cute kind of curly) and I need to grow it even longer to look long because the curl eats up length. It is like a trifecta of evilness working against me.

The problem with my hair fighting against being long is that I am 99% sure my husband prefers long hair.

So my dilemma is obvious. Grow my hair long and have it be difficult to manage (but have my husband like it), or get a cute shorter cut that is easier to deal with (but have my poor husband have to fake that he likes it). He is nice. He would lie. And really that is how it should be. But I would know. And it would make me sad. :P

So to help me decide what to do, in honor of pop quiz Monday, I looked to Cosmo and their quiz:

Quiz: Should You Cut Your Hair Short?

Lo and behold I was gifted with the advice to cut my hair into a cute bob.

Fortunately for my husband, I like him better then Cosmo. So I will keep holding out and throwing my hair into french twists.

But eventually my hair will get to point where I cannot stand it. Then, despite my husband's love of long hair I will cave, run to the stylist and come home with a cute hair cut he will have to pretend to like.

Friday, December 24, 2010

On Quick Take Friday- Christmas Eve Edition

7 Quick Thoughts:

1. I cannot find 2 books I bought for my son for Christmas. They are probably somewhere in my dumping ground of a closet.

2. While I like a white Christmas, I like clear roads better.

3. My daughter has renamed her new princess Jasmine doll Iradessa. I asked her why and she said it was because the doll was wearing pants. Hmm. Well okay then.

4. I have some how gotten on Maker's Mark Bourbon's mailing list. This means every year at Christmas time I get some fairly interesting free present. One year I got a cocktail shaker. One year I got a wax sealer. This year I got a pretty nifty ice cube tray to make perfectly round ice cubes.

5. There is a free code for a 2 dollar credit for Amazon mp3's out right now. I cashed in and bought a new cd for like 3 dollars yesterday. Bonus.

6. I hope we make it to the Christmas Eve service today because I really like singing Christmas Carols.

7. Today I was making a roast in the crock pot. I don't have a dutch oven and my roasting pan is only 4 inches tall and doesn't not have a lid. So around 1 we were all hungry and the roast was still not done. I wanted to throw the crock part of the crock pot in the oven ,but my husband thought that might be a bad idea since we didn't know if the pot was oven safe. I like to live on the edge and was going to risk it, but decided to do some more brainstorming.

My brain led me to our electric skillet. So I dumped the contents on the crock into the skillet. Then i went about my business.

30 minutes late I check t with the meat thermometer and it is, at like, 200. 165 is well done.

I am an awesome cook!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On Candy Canes and Palmer's Chocolate

Candy canes are the candy corn of Christmas.

They kinda suck, but everyone buys them.

They are awkward to eat; they make your fingers sticky; and despite being minty, they leave a weird film in your mouth.

The only thing worse then finding a candy cane in your stocking is finding Palmer's chocolate. Palmer's chocolate pretends to be normal chocolate. They tempt mothers and grandmothers with being cheap.

"Hmmm. I could save $1.50 if I buy Pamlmer's Christmas Candy instead of a bag of tasty Hershey Kisses."

Unfortunately, Palmers tastes like poo. So after being suckered in by a low price you have now found that you are filling your child's stocking full of crap. Weren't they good this year? Don't you love them?

But don't worry. It is not too late this year if you have stocked up of Palmers and Candy Canes. Walmart takes returns without receipts.

Just go ahead and exchange them for a nice chocolate orange or Lindt Reindeer.

It might not have the same heft and bulk of two bags of Palmer's, but it is much more delicious.

Quality vs. quanity people.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On Effingham IL and Not Much Else

Song prompt Wed!

"Effington could be a wonderful f'ing place." Ben Folds, Effington.

Despite the title and lyrics, Mr. Folds has confirmed that this song is actually about Effingham, IL. He misread a sign I guess.

So in honor of this song I will now tell you 5 things I know about Effingham without using wikipedia.

1. The former business manager of Effingham once called my boss to compliment me on being such a good client contact. So, based on that I like Effingham.

2. There is no easy way to drive to Effingham from where I live. That is perhaps because no one wants to vacation in Effingham.

3. I consider Effingham to be in southern Illinois even though it is in the middle of the state. Really, I consider anything south of Joliet to be in southern Illinois.

4. Effingham could be a wonderful effing place. (See above.)

5. Um. I guess I only know 4 things.

I know way more about Normal, IL.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On Your Chances of Having a C-Section and Money


We all like money.

Doctors like money.

Hospital administrators? Big fans.

Guess what? C-sections make both doctors and hospitals waaaaay more money then your average vaginal birth.

Anecdotaly, my 2.5 day failed induction/c-section birth and subsequent hospital stay had a price tag of about $30,000 before PPO discount. The OB's fee was around 4,000. My VBAC's price tag? The hospital bill was about 4,000ish (before discount) and the midwife's fee was about 2,900ish.

$34,000 vs $6,900. Granted not all of that is profit, but still.

Data wise, according to our government, for 2008, an uncomplicated vaginal birth was about $7,000, a complicated vaginal birth was almost $9,000, an uncomplicated C-section was over $12,000, and a complicated C-section was about $16,000.

I am really not a big conspiracy theorist, but I think it would be silly to overlook money as one of the big reasons U.S. c-section rates rose AGAIN this year to 32.9% of all births. 1 in 3.

And so many of these major abdominal surgeries are unnecessary. Not evidence based, but convenience based. And not even convenience based for the mothers. At least that I could *maybe* just sit back and watch. Instead, this trend is driven by convenience for the doctors. Why wait for a baby to come on it's own when you can schedule an induction (which has a higher likelihood for a c-section)? Why let a women have a VBAC, which might occur on a Saturday at 4:00am, when you can schedule a birth for 9:00 in the morning on a Tuesday?

Mr. OB can make more money, get a good night's sleep, and have his weekends free to play golf. With all these wonderful benefits, it probably wont be too long til we are looking at a 50% section rate.

Monday, December 20, 2010

On Pop Quiz Monday and Special Snobby Snowflakes

I have decided that since I love quizzes, (thanks Sassy!) that every Monday will be pop quiz Monday. Feel free to play along.

For today, I decided to see how much of a snob I am. I kind of already knew the answer, but we will get to that later.

The quiz is here. It is by PBS so it has to be educational and factual.

It is a quiz related to Manor House which was one of the best reality shows ever. They took modern people and made them live in a manor house ala 1905. It was easy enough for the people playing the family of the manor. Even the "upstairs" staff of the house seemed to have an okay time of it. But the "downstairs" staff did not take well to their new positions. It was interesting to watch.

Mind you, Frontier House was better, but this series was still good.

Onward to my point?

I am kind of snobby. 74% according to PBS. I think i am okay with that. I don't think being a snob is all that bad. I don't know a lot of people that don't have an inner snob.

I think there is a difference between being a snob and being snobbish. Just as there is a difference in being right and being righteous.

What is nice about snobbery is that all of our inner snobs are snobs about different things. And that, my friends, is what makes us all special little snow flakes.

Special snobby snowflakes.

Make your own snowflake.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

On Full Quivers and Being Green

I am not the most "green" person on earth. Heck, I barely recycle. I don't live in a yurt off the grid. I crank my heat up 69 in the winter, and keep the air at 74 in the summer. To top it off I drive just about anywhere I want with no regard to fossil fuel use.

I figure humans are kind of smart. When fossil fuel runs out we will have an alternate energy. We are just lazy and wont change til we all have to. Perhaps I am naive.

Regardless, a pet peeve of mine is people claiming to be green, but having a huge mess of kids. By huge I think anything over 3. :P

It is not that I am agaisnt large families as long as everyone is getting love and *cough* parental attention (I am looking at you Michelle Duggar!), but don't try to tell me you have a million kids and are green too.

In my opinion, the best thing you can do for the earth is to have two kids or less. Zero population growth. Make a replacement for you and your mate and be done.

I don't care who you are, but even if you recycle every piece of garbage you make and cart your kids around in a bicycle taxi, the carbon footprint a whole extra person makes over a life time is wayyyyyyy bigger then me throwing away all my plastic Kroger bags.

So there. I am more green then you, hypothetical person with a large family, even as I toss my coke bottle in the normal garbage can. Nanny nanny boo boo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

On Quick Take Friday- Dec 17, 2010 Edition

7 Random Quick Take Thoughts:

1. I love my new furry crocs. Even if they make me look like big foot.

2. I need to be done eating cookies. Christmas needs to come so I can stop.

3. I think I might need to start seeing a chiropractor again. I just need to find one that isn't crazy.

4. I love that my daughter sings along to Regina Spektor.

5. My husband is probably getting sick of my current Regina Spektor phase.

6. Regina Spektor kind of looks like Chelsea Clinton.

7. I really want sushi. But not Kroger sushi since the last time I had that I threw up.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On Office Christmas Parties and Jane Fonda

Song prompt Wed!

"I took her with me to the Christmas office party. Mistake."- Bitch Went Nutz, Ben Folds.

This Thursday is my husband's office Christmas party.

I like parties. I think this should be fun.

It is funny how office parties vary from job to job. At my first job at a broke college, the Christmas party was a simple lunch at an employee's house.

My second job at an insurance company always had a Christmas party/luncheon at a nice hotel.

My husband works at companies that have more fun parties. He has had parties at a comedy club, a bowling alley, and riverboat.

This weeks party is at a Japanese steak house. Mmmmm sushi.

I always am a bit concerned that I will somehow embarrass my husband at these types of parties or company gatherings. Usually all conversation topics are kept light, but I am always afraid of politics or something coming up. I love to argue. Mix in beer and I am always afraid I will somehow slip up and find myself arguing about breastfeeding in public or zero population growth. I don't have a lot of hot buttons, but I have a few that I feel super strong urges to argue about when they come up.

Send anti-Jane Fucking Fonda Junior vibes please. :P

Monday, December 13, 2010

On Mispronunciations and Linguistics

Linguistics is fascinating to me. I totally should have been a speech pathologist.

However, instead of 5 years of school and a masters degree, I have decided to dub myself, via the power of the interwebs, an internet linguistic expert.

From hence forth, let it be know that that *this* is the proper pronunciation of the following words in Queen (of teh World)'s English:

wind mills = wind meels

Rudolph = Roo- doff

For real = fir reel

I am sure there are others, but these are the one's I get ribbed about the most lately.

My husband is not sure where I came up with these mutant pronunciations, but they feel right coming out of my mouth and I am all about following my feelings in linguistic matters.

If you are bored and looking for something to do, take this quiz!

Here is what I got:
What American accent do you really have?
Your Result: Midland

(not "Midwest") The Midland is the neutral zone between the North and the South: Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri (roughly). Since it's the neutral zone, its accent is fairly neutral. And since the accent is neutral, there are millions of people with Midland accents who have never lived anywhere near the Midland (Floridians, for example). There are a lot of newscasters who talk like you.

North Central
Northeast New England
What American accent do you really have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Boring! I want more interesting accent. I am working on making a new accent up.

One word at a time.

Friday, December 10, 2010

On Peanut Butter Bans and Battles

Standing in line at an unnamed location, I overheard two mothers discussing a peanut and tree nut ban at one of their child's school.

This woman was incredibly put out that she could not send a pb+j in her kid's lunch box. It was apparently the only thing the kid ate. This mother was thinking of sneaking a sandwich in the kids lunch bag and hoping no one noticed.

I didn't turn around and call the woman a bitch, but I really wanted to. I itched to do it.


Giving her kid a peanut butter sandwich is worth risking a dangerous deadly reaction to some other poor kindergartner? It is not that poor kid with the peanut allergy's fault he has an immune system flaw. Instead of being so put out, "sneaky peanut mom" should just thank her freaking lucky stars her kid was born with a nice normal immune system, shut the heck up, and give her kid a protein to take in his lunch that wont endanger someone else.

I am so very thankful that I will likely not have to deal with people like her to protect my daughter. My daughter currently only has one food allergy and it is not an anaphylactic one. When she was younger, however, she had an anaphylactic allergy to milk protein which she has thankfully outgrown.

Even at her young age I remember having to be pretty vigilant to keep her safe. We had to leave more then a few playdates when the yogurt melts or goldfish crackers came out. At 18 months she was not selective about what she put in her mouth and other kids were not selective about what they dropped. With a 3 year old to keep an eye on at the same time it just wasn't a safe place for her to be.

I never really got why it was such a big deal for people to bring snacks to playdates when they knew they could potentially hurt someone. I can honestly say that I would have had no problem making an accommodation for another woman's child even before dealing with my daughter's issues.

People kinda suck sometimes I guess.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

On Facebook Statuses that didn't Make it to Facebook

Lele's daughter just told her that her mamamilk (breastmilk) tastes like sweet butter.

On Money Etiquette and Rules

Song Prompt Wednesday!

"Give me my money back, I want my money back you bitch." Ben Folds Five, Song For the Dumped.

I love this line.

It is perfect for breakups, but it also applies to other areas of life.

My friend and I were talking the other day about money etiquette between friends and friendly acquaintances.

In the world of playgroups money, goods, and services are frequently exchanged. Most of these transactions go off without a hitch. Mostly because most people use common sense and courtesy and pay when they are given the goods or service.

But there is always some rebel that has to buck this tried and true system.

Whether it is a sob story about lack of funds, a lost checkbook, or no cash on hand, goods get exchanged without payment.

When this happens the best thing to do is for the negligent party to set up a payment time. "I will paypal you tonight." "I will bring the check when I see you on Tuesday." Pretty simple. I should not be the payee's job to ask the payor for this information, in a shiny happy world this should be offered freely as a remedy.

Wonk, wonk, wonk. Oh no! Someone has forgotten to follow either of the first 2 steps! It has been 2 weeks and more payee has still not heard hide nor hair of payor and their loot!

What do we do now?

Now poor payee has to go tell payor that they would like to be paid. This is really stinky. No one likes to be a debt collector. Even people that get paid to be debt collectors usually don't like their job. Now payor has made payee sad. :(

The least payor can do when reminded that they need to pay up is to be nice, acknowledge the debt, and then return to step 2. Make payment arrangement.

Here is what not to do:

1. Say, "Oh, I thought I paid you." Because you know that you didn't.
2. Say, " I was just waiting til you asked!" Rude.
3. Say, "Aliens have stolen all my money, can I pay you next year?" Oy.

An additional and more advanced what not to do:

If you are given something at a reduced rate or free based on self proclaimed poverty it is rude to sell that item for more then the amount it was given to you for. For example: If I sell you a thingamajig for 50 dollars because you told me you could not afford 75, it is rude to list the crib at 75 when you go to sell it. At the very least if you are going to do this, make sure it is in a marketplace that the person that did you a a favor does not frequent.

Follow these rules and everyone can exchange goods and services with ease!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

On my C-Section Birth Story and Lessons Learned

Since I posted my daughter's birth story, I figured I should post my son's for comparison. Be forewarned, it is a not really as "feel good" as my daughter's.

I am really only posting this because the biggest argument I hear for not VBACing is that they are scared. Scared that they will have a repeat of their first birth. They would rather the devil they know then gamble on a better experience.

And it really is a gamble. But you can stack the odds in your favor in a variety of ways. About 80% of women who attempt a VBAC are successful. In my case it was definitely worth the gamble.

Without further ado, my son's birth story:

Just as a background, my pregnancy was complicated by PIH and polyhydramnios (an over abundance of amniotic fluid) which required us to see a perinatologist and had me on bed rest starting my 29th week. At my 36-week peri appt. my blood pressure was up again and the doctor upped my dose of bp meds and started in on the warnings about placental abruption. He told me he was going to recommend to my OB that we induce at 38 weeks. My OB, however, decided he was “done with me being pregnant” and convinced me to schedule an induction at exactly 36 weeks 5 days.

My induction started with an over night administering of cervadil to ripen my cervix. As soon as they hooked me up the monitor showed I was contracting every 5-7 minutes. The nurse checked me and said I was high, soft, and closed, so there had been no change from my doctor’s appt. earlier that week. I had never been in a hospital before so this was a new experience for me. I tried, but I did not sleep more then 2 hours that night with all the nurses checking in and the weird bed.

At 5 am the next morning pitocin was started and I started contracting regularly, they got painful around 9. They checked me at 12 and there was pretty much no progress. By 3 my contractions were very painful, and together with no sleep and no food for about 24 hours I had a mini breakdown. Without sleep I just didn’t have the ability to deal with pain very well. My nurse during the day was very nice and understanding and told me she recommended neumorphine to help take the edge off and make me sleepy enough to possibly take a nap. I took her up on the offer and was able to get about 2 hours of rest, but not actual sleep. When I was checked again around 6 and still had made very minimal progress, not even a one yet despite over 12 hours of painful contractions 2 minutes apart. The decision was made by my doctor to stop the pit and start up again in the morning after I had an Ambien induced slumber and another round of cervadil. I was so disappointed because I had had it in my head that my baby would be born that day. The emotional toll of the day of “labor” with no result was really really tough. My poor husband did a really good job trying to manage my crying jags, but he was frustrated as well.

So the next morning we start the pit again at 5 am. Around 10 a resident came in to check me and told me he thought that if I didn’t progress they would send me home and I would have to do all of this over again. He told me he saw no need for a c-section since my baby was not in distress and I was holding my own blood pressure wise. This put me over the edge again in a crying fit as I thought about having another 2 day induction.

Then around 12 they checked me and told me I was a 2 and that the baby was starting to come down. Around this time the midwife from my OB’s practice came and broke my water. Due to the large amount of fluid I had, I gushed quite a bit. Let me just say, that at this point I was felling very good about my chances for a vaginal birth. I had been on quite an emotional roller coaster and this was a higher point. My midwife said that they would let me go for 24 hours before they would force a c-section. This helped me mentally because I could see and end point. I knew within 24 hours my baby would be born.

Here is where things start getting really crappy. I was assigned a really crappy nurse. She straight line cathed me because I had lost all urges to pee, and then informed me she was going to check my progress. Her fingers were really short and stubby. She proceeded to give me the WORST cervix check that I had ever had. I seriously felt like she was stabbing me and would not stop. When I started crying she told me “Gee your too sensitive” which might have been a joke, but at the time I did not see it that way. Then she said to “quit peeing on her” (it was actually more amniotic fluid). Again, maybe a joke? Still not funny. The worst part of the exam is that she told me I was still a 2. This meant I had made pretty much no progress in 5 hours despite increasingly painful contractions.

They turned up my pit and my contractions got even worse. I was bawling through some, but I refused any pain meds cause I had it in my head to wait til I was a 4, plus I knew to get meds I would have to go through another cervical exam from nurse Stubby Fingers. Finally around 8 pm the contractions got too bad and I requested neumorphine. This time the nurse tried to give me the exam but I cried so hard that she went and got another nurse to do it. This new nurse checked me and told me I was up to a 3 or 4. My midwife was there around the same time and agreed. My midwife was still very positive about my ability to deliver vaginally and gave me a lot of encouragement.

Fast forward to 20 minutes later and I am feeling very loopy and dizzy from the neumorphine. My nurse comes in and says my OB just got off the phone and he said to just give me an epidural now if I was in pain. So I agree to one and in waddles a little old plump anesthesiologist. She makes my husband and mom leave the room and gets me set up on the side of the bed. As she is getting the needle in she and nurse Stubby are talking about the women in the next room who will be getting a c-section. Apparently she will be getting an epi after me.

As soon as the epidural is in I start having horrible shakes, which they told me is sometimes a reaction to the meds in the epidural. So now I was groggy and dizzy from the neumorphine and uncontrollably shaking from the epidural. At this point my OB shows up and checks me and declares me “back” at a 2. He says that I am done with labor and going in for the c-section after the woman in the room next door. He said it would be in about 2 hours. Surprise! 5 minutes later I am being wheeled into the OR since I already have my epi and the woman next door does not. On my way out the door nurse Stubby asks why I am crying. I can’s answer between the crying and the shaking so someone clues her in that I am scared.

The OR is kind of a blur to me, I remember I had cried so much I couldn’t breathe through my nose and they kept trying to give me oxygen. My blood pressure dropped way down and the anesthesiologist started messing around me doing something. My husband was right by my head the whole time, but he couldn’t hold my hand very well cause I was all strapped down to the table because of the shaking. The whole time I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

At exactly 10 pm on Friday the 13th my baby was born. He was perfect and scored an 8/9 on his apgars. He was quickly checked over by the neonatologists that were on standby in the O.R. and deemed just fine. His dad joined him at the baby table as I got stitched up. They brought the baby over to me, and I kissed him, but I was having a problem focusing and staying awake. The anesthesiologist told me she was going to give me “something” that would put me to sleep for a little while and that I would wake up in the recovery room.

Next thing I know, there I am in recovery room, but still shaking uncontrollably. They bring the baby to nurse, but the shaking is a bit prohibitive. We try though. My husband is pretty sure I was in medical shock at this point because my blood pressure was super low and I continued shaking for a good 3 hours after the c-section.

Now with nearly 5 years perspective behind me, I can tell you a couple morals of this story.

The first is never tell a women who had a traumatic labor (and yes I consider my labor traumatic) "At least your baby was healthy."

Of course I wanted a healthy baby. Of course I am very grateful I got one.

I once read an essay by Gretchen Humphries of Birth Matters (google her if you want to read some controversial birth stuff) that stated, "The truth is a woman can be absolutely grateful and full of passionate mother love for her child and be enraged by how that child came into the world."

Saying at least you have a healthy baby dismisses all trauma or pain a woman might feel over a birth. Of course she is grateful for her baby. That does not diminish the violation or hurt she might feel.

The second lesson of this little tale is to be savvy when picking an OB. Not all are created equal. I have a strong feeling I would have my midwife I had with my daughter vs. the midwife/OB I had with my son my pregnancy and birth would have been drastically different. My son's OB was all about the scare tactics.

The third lesson is have a doula. When you are in labor as a first time mom you probably have your mom and your husband with you. In my case this was not the best choice. Your mom and husband (probably in your case and for sure in my case :P) love you. They don't want to see you in pain. Labor naturally causes pain. You need an objective and supportive person with you who can remind you of your choices and wishes, support you if you need to fight with your nurses/ OB, and independently encourage you without feeling overly emotionally attached. I would totally recommend a doula to anyone giving birth.

I don't really have a stopping point for this post. Some of the lessons I have taken from this are bigger picture lessons. I could probably go on for another 3 pages.

So I will just stop here since my kids are ready for snack time.

We are having apples and peanut butter. And maybe a couple chocolate covered animal cookies.

Monday, December 6, 2010

On my VBAC Birth Story and Activism

I struggle with wanting to be a VBAC-tivist.

I really want to be one.

I loved my vbac. I want other women who might have had a scary or just plain dissatisfying c-section to have the same opportunity I did to reclaim some faith in thier body.

I want to help dispel the myths that VBACs are highly dangerous and selfish on the part of the mother.

But I fear that posting about it, or even mentioning it to other women is pushy.

So for today, I am just going to post my daughter's birth story. Hopefully it speaks for itself and maybe it will help inspire someone on the fence about VBAC to give it more thought.

So here we go:

Four days past my due date I woke up at 1:00 am to use the bathroom and as I got out of bed I felt a small gush. It didn’t really seem like enough to be my water breaking, but it seemed like too much to be much else. I decided to try to go back to bed, but I was having some light contractions and my mind was not able to shut down enough to sleep. I got up again and felt another gush. I decided to try to sleep on the couch. As I got up I heard my 22 month old playing with his train in his room. I said a little prayer that he would go back to sleep. I never did get any sleep on the couch and around 3:30 I went back to bed and kicked my husband out of bed so I could have more room to stretch out during contractions.

My son had other plans for me and started crying. He really wasn’t a bad sleeper at this age so I figured either I was keeping him awake or he knew something was coming. I woke up my husband to help me with our son and talk about what we wanted to do. My contractions were only 6-8 minutes apart and when I had them I would get small gushes. I didn’t want to rush anywhere, but I also wanted to make sure we had a babysitter when we had to leave.

By 5:30 my husband convinced me to call the midwife (Chris) to ask her what we should do. She said it sounded like my water had probably broken and that we should take our time and “mosey” over to the hospital eventually. We called our babysitter to have her come over and then our parents so that they could relieve her.

Once the babysitter arrived, maybe around 7:30, we left to go find somewhere to walk and get the contractions closer together. We ended up at Bradley park and walked around for a bit. I was having contractions about every 5 minutes. While we were there Chris called. She said that I should get checked out in L+D and if things were not moving fast enough and my water happened to still be intact I could go home.

So we showed up at the hospital around 8:30 for a NST and to see if my water actually had broken. If both were good and I wasn’t any more dilated then I had been the day before at my appt I was going to go home. At this point my husband called my doula to update and she said she would come by. My contractions had slowed to every 6-8 minutes now. I was pretty sure I had sounded all kinds of false alarms and told my husband we were idiots for coming in so early and calling our parents down.

It turns out my water had sort of broken. The nurse called it a high leak. So we were admitted around 10:30ish and taken to a room. I was a 3-4 and 75% effaced when we got to our room which was the same as I had been the day before at my prenatal appt with the midwife. Because I was attempting a VBAC I was required to have monitoring. Unfortunately the telemetric monitor was broken and the only other one was in use, so I had to be hooked up the old fashioned way for monitoring. I also got my saline lock put in.

Things were pretty slow at first. I was having contractions about every 6 minutes and sat on the birthing ball for a few hours. My doula had me do a couple of spinning baby positions on the bed to help bring the baby down. Chris came to check me and I was “only” a four-five (which seems funny to say since I only got to a 2 after 2 and a half days with my son.) I was kind of disappointed though since I had been going at this all morning. Chris then broke the rest of my water in hopes of getting the show on the road. I also had to start antibiotics since my water had been broken for 12 hours.

From here on out my time line gets fuzzy. As soon as the rest of the water was broken I started to have a more regular contraction pattern. They also felt stronger and more intense. I stayed on the birthing ball for a few more hours and my doula and my husband helped me breathe through them. I was having a very hard time relaxing though. I also started having a lot of doubts about my body’s ability to completely dilate and started to wade through a lot of guilt over my son’s birth. My doula kept reminding me that even if I wasn’t dilating each contraction was doing something and this really helped.

A few hours after Chris broke my water, the nurse checked me and I was only about a 5-6 (I think she always added the extra number to make me feel better.) I was really nauseous, but didn’t feel like I was able to throw up. I went back to the birthing ball for a bit and then something in my head kind of snapped and I started begging for drugs. I was tired and pretty sure I was going to fail and just wanted to stop being in pain. I was afraid of getting an epidural, but the promise of rest and no pain was a pretty strong. We decided to get the neumorphine (sp?) first and then see if I still wanted the epidural.

As the nurse was giving me the neumorphine I threw up and felt a little bit better. I started to feel very out of it and disconnected, but I also was able to relax a bit and let go. I still felt everything very strongly, I just didn’t care as much. The nurse said the anesthesiologist would be a while because she had just started with another woman. I am not sure how much time passed, but a little while later they came in to check me again and put in the internal monitor and I was a 7-8. Finally the anesthesiologist came in and my husband and my doula had to leave the room. It seemed like it took forever to get the epidural in, but once she did, I must say despite my desire to have a drug free birth, it was nice. I could still feel when I was having contractions; I just didn’t have pain associated with them, just pressure. It let me shut my brain down and just let my body do its job. It did make me shake a bit, but not nearly as bad as with my son’s birth. Warm blankets seemed to help.

Not too long after I got the epidural I started feeling kind of pushy. The nurse checked and said I had just a lip left and that she was going to call Chris. I asked my doula what that meant and she said I was almost there and we would start pushing soon. It seemed kind of surreal to me that I had made it to the pushing phase, but despite the drugs I was able to stay in the moment pretty well and mentally prepare.

The next thing I knew Chris was there and all the lights in the room were turned on. Chris checked me and the head had moved way down. At first Chris was telling me when to push, but my epidural was good enough that I could feel when I needed to start. I expected the pushing to last a while, but about 25 minutes into it I was able to birth her head. Chris told me to stop pushing and I really did try, but a contraction kind of took over and the body shot out without any real effort.

My daughter was placed on my chest and we got to cuddle for a while, but the nurses were kind of freaking out because she was blue so she got rubbed down on my chest. The fast birth left some tearing and Chris had to stitch me up for about the next 45 minutes, This was actually more uncomfortable then the birth itself.

Once she was done my daughter got to come back over to me and we nursed and cuddled. The recovery was actually a bit harder then I expected because of the tearing, but it was no where near as bad as my c-section recovery. I was able to room in with her by myself and get up out of bed by a few hours post birth versus not being able to walk for a few days with my son.

It might not have gone exactly as my birth plan called for, but I am totally happy with how everything went.

I will probably post my son's birth story some other time for comparison. There will also likely be a post or two about the myths surrounding VBACs and who can and can't have them.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

On Brenda Walsh and Broccoli (90210 part two)

After touching recently on Donna Martin’s beauty, let us now continue on to an analysis of Kelly Taylor and Brenda Walsh.

I like to think of Brenda as broccoli. She is a bitter acquired sort of a taste. Kelly? Is corn. Kind of boring and served up often.

Growing up I hated Brenda. And broccoli for that matter. Brenda was kind of mean and a little bitchy. She whined a LOT. She dated a rich surfer that I , at the time, totally coveted. Most of her clothes were dark and boring. Her hair was dark, boring, and had bangs. I came really close to joining the I hate Brenda fan club. The only thing that kept me from joining was a 5 dollar entrance fee. That was like 1 whole hour of babysitting.

Now Kelly was my favorite back in the day. I rooted for her when she stole Brenda’s boyfriend. Cheered when she was mean to Steve. Silently longed for the clothes she wore. And wished I had pretty swingy blond hair.

Now watching the show as an adult I wonder what the heck I was thinking.

Brenda was really quite normal. (Which was the point of the show at first I guess.) She had every right to be a little snippy and bitchy to the snotty rich kids. And why the heck would I have rooted for for two cheaters? Brenda was totally the injured party in the Kelly/Dylon/Brenda triangle.

Poor Brenda. Banished to France and shunned by Aaron Spelling.

Everyone needs a Brenda as a friend. Broccoli is good for you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

On Beer Ads and Breastfeeding

I am a stay at home mom.

My job is raising my kids.

Some people might think this is an anti-feminist sort of role, but I would have to disagree.

Since becoming a mother and not being part of the outside the home workforce I think I have become more strongly pro-woman and woman's rights.

Most notably, I have become a strong supporter of breastfeeding and VBAC rights. Some might question whether these are feminist issues, but I would argue that they very much are.

We live in a society that has sexualized breasts to an absurd degree. Absurd because they have been sexualized right on past their primary function. Feeding babies. Breasts are for feeding babies. To turn this into something disgusting and sexual takes power away from women. My body created two little human beings. Then, once they were born, my body and my breasts continued to support and nourish them. I can think of nothing more powerful and womanly then that. To quote a somewhat corny line from God knows where, "I make milk, what's your superpower?"

There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding. I have read a few blogs and even heard a few snippy comments that imply or outright state that a breast feeding mother must be "getting off" on it. Bullshit. Comments like these only serve to diminsh a woman's self estemm and power and turn her into sexual object. I know dozens of nursing moms and I feel pretty confident saying that I doubt a single one gets anything other then a sense of bonding and maternal love from the act of breastfeeding.

But you can't sell beer with "those" sorts of breasts.

Everytime I breast fed in public I looked at it as a feminist act. It was me normalizing breasts. Not just normalizing breastfeeding but normalizing breasts. Taking them back from the beer ads and magazine covers and putting them back in their natural place. Which is a very feminist act. I know it made some people uncomfortable. I was glad it made some people uncomfortable. Uncomfortable meant it was challenging them. Change is always uncomfortable.

So to the woman who glared at me at Applebees while I was feeding my daughter, or the old woman who chastised my friend for feeding her son at Panera. You're welcome. Women who nurse in public are doing you, your daughters, and your grandaughters a favor.

And you're welcome.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On Donna Martin and Realism (90210 part 1)

Hi, my name is Leslie and I love Beverly Hills 90210.

Could there have been a more perfect early 90's show?

I started watching it when I was in 5th grade and it was most definitely must see tv. I would usually watch it on my little black and white tv I had in my bedroom because I was afraid my mom would think it was too old for me and make me stop watching.

I have slowly been collecting all the season's dvds and am up to season 4 or 5. Right when poor Brenda leaves to go to France. Which is only slightly more realistic then when Donna was a model. Or when any really anyone would comment that Donna was pretty.

We talk a lot at our house right now about how tv isn't real. For example, my kids have recently learned that lemurs really don't talk after they eat garbanzo beans, and that dragons don't exist at all.

I wish my kids knew who Donna Martin was so I could use her as an example too.

I mean really? Homely girl gets to win Rose Princess? Twice? Not buying it. Homely girl gets loads of really hot guys to line up to date her despite her botched boob job, wonky nose, and fact that she will never put out? Sorry, not likely.

That Donna lived a charmed life I tell ya. Despite her learning disability and penchant for dating people that pushed her down the stairs.

Stay tuned for an analysis of Brenda vs. Kelly.

This post is brought to you by the year 1994.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On Whiz Kids and the Cream of the Northern Illinois Crop

Song Prompt Wednesday!

My how time flies.

Here is our Mr. Folds quote of the day:
"You get smaller while the world gets big
The more you know you know you don't know shit
The whiz man'll never fit you like the whiz kid did."- Ben Folds, Bastard.

I went to school with a lot of over achievers. We were told how smart we were a lot. We got a nice label. We were all "Gifted".

I was always in the middle of the intellectual pack. A solid gifted B. :P I had to work a decent amount for the some of the B's. But there were always those that shined. The gifted of the gifted. Many were pretty normal and down to earth, but there was a certain percentage that lived for their label. Whiz kids. They knew everything at 15. Never really used to working for much.

I wonder what happened to a few of them. If they grew up and realized that being of the cream of the northern Illinois crop really wasn't as big of a deal in the long run as it seemed at the time. I wonder if they were ever just the middle of the pack at their Ivy League schools. I wonder what that would have felt like for them.

Most probably have matured and outgrown their labels, but I imagine there are a few "gifted" whiz men and women running around annoying people.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

On bike riders and stinky cat food

Just because something is legal does not mean it is not rude.

It is perfectly legal to bathe in stinky cat food and walk around a public crowded public park.

That does mean it wont annoy everyone you meet.

It is legal to burp your ABC's while walking through Walmart, but again- Rude!

Which brings me to bikers. Not Harley riders, not kids riding their ten speeds from their house to a friends, but the ones who wear spandex and ride their souped up road bikes up and down the road by my house.

I realize it is a good work out, and far it for me to begrudge someone burning 400 calories. But damn it, why do bike riders always have to ride on busy 2 lane roads and make me go 10 miles an hour just for their workout? Rudeness I tell ya.

I am glad it is snowing now. I shouldn't have to see another one for a good 3 months.

(Oh and while I am at it. Get off my lawn! *shakes cane out the door*)

Monday, November 29, 2010

On Queen Bees and Wannabees

I have been meaning to read a ton of books.

I probably wont.

When I do read I usually read garbage. Nice, fun, fluffy garbage.

One book I have been meaning to read, especially since I have a girl child, is Queen Bees and Wannabees. I checked it out from the library a couple years ago but only got around to glossing over it. I have been reading through reviews and summaries this morning, contemplating an Amazon buy.

It is a really interesting premise. Bascially, the author labels girls into different categories and gives advice to parents as to how to deal with each category and with various situations that typically arise.

I think the most interesting thing about the categories is how little women seem to change as they get older. In any playgroup or work setting I can pick out the Queen, the Sidekick, the Banker, ect, ect. I can also pick out which role I have played in various groups over my life. (Which interestingly is not the same role over the years.) It makes sense, really, that the social structure that we fall into at a formative age follows us around throughout our lives. Shoot, I bet it follows us to the nursing home.

While researching the book I found this little quiz.

Go ahead and take it. Girls like quizzes. YM conditioned us to love them in 7th grade.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On Frowns and Indian Burial Grounds

In an attempt to give myself some prompts to write about, I hereby decree that every Wednesday shall be Ben Folds Day. On such days I will take a line or two from Mr. Folds and spew out a post roughly prompted by it.


Here we go. :)

"Hard to remember how we managed before
We could afford real or nervous breakdowns
Or before the Anthropologie store
Was erected on Indian burial grounds."- Frown Song, Ben Folds

A few months ago my husband and I took the kids to the Dickson Mounds museum. The Dickson Mounds are a series of Indian burial grounds. There is now a large Illinois State Museum nestled near (over?) them. The museum is home to lots of interesting artifacts and displays, despite being located in the middle of no where.

As we were driving to the museum the landscape turned from pretty much flat to hills. As we were pulling up we noted a couple cow farms perched on hilly land around the Mounds. Surely those were also burial grounds?

So my question is this: how do we tell hills from burial grounds without digging everything up? And does it matter if we build things over dead people.

I mean really, people have been around a long time. Odds are, especially in some part of the world, there is people (or evolutionary relatives of people) buried under lots and lots and lots of buildings. Does that matter? Why are some graves sacred and others abandoned? Other then from a anthropological view is there anything really sacred about the bones of the long dead?

I really don't have an answer, I just think it is something interesting to ponder. Why do the mounds half a mile over get a farmstead while the other mounds get a museum?

On a slightly related note, I think in 1000 years garbage dumps will totally be the less sacred equivalent Indian burial grounds. Big old hills, grown over with grass, hiding archeological goodies.

Just think, someday the broken curling iron I threw away this morning might end up in a museum. "And here we have a 20th-21st century metal rod used to curl hair."

If that ever happens I hope they fix the spring.

The Frown Song (swearing warning!):

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Karaoke and Time Wasting

I love karaoke.

I spent the kid's "nap" time playing around on myspace karaoke.

Such a time suck.

You know you want to play too. :)

Don't laugh too much, please. :P

Ice Cream recorded by little buddha boy | -MySpace Karaoke

Cold Day In July recorded by little buddha boy | -MySpace Karaoke

Monday, November 22, 2010

On Trainwrecks and the Interwebs

The interwebs are not private people.

It never ceases to amaze me what people will post about themselves on "private" boards or facebook pages and expect it to be kept a secret.

People gossip.

I have never met anyone who didn't. You can say you don't, but I wont believe you.

People are drawn to trainwrecks and drama. They almost can't help themselves. It is a sick sort of entertainment we all seem to have a sociological pull towards.

So do yourself a favor and please stop posting about your EPT'S, STD's, DUI's (or any other embarrassing acronyms) if you don't wish for all the world to know about them.

Or at least stop acting shocked that the world knows what you posted on the world wide web.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On Aliens and Unsolved Mysteries

I was once almost abducted by aliens.

It all started one evening when I was 9 or 10 years old. I think it was a Wednesday. I know for sure it was the night that Unsolved Mysteries was on. Man, I used to love that show. I was so sad when Robert Stack died. At ten I didn’t really hone in on the cheesiness of the reenactments, instead I felt like that show was letting me in on super secrets of the universe.

Aliens exist!

Ghosts walk down Chicago streets!

Missing people are frequently reunited with their families 20 years after going missing!

It was good stuff I tell ya. Good stuff.

So anyways, it was a night after I had just finished watching an Unsolved Mysteries which had featured an alien abduction. I went to bed, like normal, in my room which faced a quiet residential street.

Around 2:00 a.m. I was awakened by a bright strobing light flashing through both windows. I froze. This was it. I was being abducted by aliens. I don’t mind telling you I was scared beyond reason. I prayed wildly what ever experiments they were going to perform were going to be painless. I thought about calling out for my mom or dad, but I didn’t want to alert the aliens to my existence. Perhaps it was only my neighbors they wanted.

My plan was to lie stock still. For about 5 minutes it appeared to work. No extraterrestrial beings were ghosting into my room. So I got brave. I was going to get a peek at the U.F.O.

Now I was kind of excited. I was totally going to write into Unsolved Mysteries with my story. I quietly crept out of bed and over to the window. I pressed myself against the wall peeked around the window and cracked the blinds with my little hands. I fully expected to see a magnificent flying vessel parked in my front yard.

What I saw? Was emergency vehicles parked in front of my neighbors house.

Unsolved Mysteries was not interested in my story. ☹

Friday, November 19, 2010

On Homebirth and Controversy

And now for a rant that has been sticking in my craw for months.


I support it. I think the current midwife legislation on the Illinois floor should pass. I think it is a beautiful and generally safe option for many women. All that said, I have no horse in this race. I wont be having any more children, and it is not an issue I feel strongly enough about to actively support with money or time.

However, just like hospital birth, homebirth comes with risks.

A have an acquaintance who recently had a very scary homebirth. Long story short, her baby was born without a heartbeat and after resuscitation has brain damage from a lack of oxygen. The mother did everything right as far as homebirthing goes. She had a certified nurse midwife. The baby was monitored periodically during labor. Ect. ect. Something bad just happened. Scary and heartbreaking stuff. It was not the mom's fault. It was not the midwife's fault.

I associate with a crowd that is very pro-homebirth. I have heard a lot of chatter about this birth and how it should not be considered a "homebirth gone bad". A fair number of people have said, "the same exact thing could have happened in a hospital". I really have to disagree with both statements. I will also go a step farther to say that making statements like that is harmful to the cause homebirthers are trying to promote.

Just like some births would have had a better outcome without hospital intervention, in this case, this homebirth would have most likely had a better medical outcome at a hospital with interventions. Trying to say otherwise makes people that are on the fence about homebirth or are against homebirth look at pro-homebirthers like they are crazier then they already think they are. If this was not a "homebirth gone bad" then I don't think (outside of the worst possible outcome) you can have a homebirth gone bad.

I get it. I get not wanting to give naysayers more ammunition against your casue. But in this case I think the best argument is not knee jerk denial, but an acknowledgment that all types of births carry risks, and that the birth referenced above is an unfortunate example of the very small percent of homebirths that have an unfortunate outcome. Just like there can be induction with negative outcomes, just like there are c-sections with negative outcomes.

Sometimes sad things just happen. Being an ostrich rarely helps.

On Growing Pains and Center Stages

I am still deciding if this blog is going to have a point or just be my very own center stage.

Honestly, I am leaning towards center stage. It is not like I am trying to make money off this and only you, my mom, and my sister are reading this.

There are a couple "themes" I could pull off. The first is obviously a parenting themed blog. By default, I will probably post a lot about my kids. I have lots of opinions about parenting crap. I don't like this idea though. I am more then a just a mom, and I like to talk about stuff besides my small people.

Next on the list is a "diary" type blog. Nope. Lean closer to me. I want to whisper something in your ear. The interwebs are public. So sorry, no diary here folks.

Cooking blog? nah.

So I guess this is going to be hodge podge.

*Flips on spotlight and coughs into the mic.*

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On Play Silks and Plastic

Let us speak briefly about toys. As the mother of two small people, many toys reside in my house. I would love to tell you that I only let my kids play with hand crafted wood toys made from local artisans and bought at farmers markets. But, um yeah, actually I would not love to tell you that because then I would be someone I would secretly think was trying too hard.

Mom culture is sooooo competitive. I almost feel dirty telling you that 93% of my kids toys are made out of plastic. Many make noise, many play into "princess culture", many are aimed at directive vs. interpretive play. I will let you in on a secret. I am totally okay with this.

Sometimes, if I find myself in a group of women talking about the latest play silk co-op deal they found (Play silks are so awesome! They are hand dyed! They can pretend it is anything!) I will smile and nod. But inside I am giggling that they bought their kid a 20 dollar piece of fabric when the kid likely would have been just as happy with a cut up sheet.... or a barbie.


Waves! This is my new blog. You may or (more likely) may not know me from my previous blog vegans who eat meat. I cannot promise frequent updates, but I will try to promise that I will try to entertain. I likes the funnies.

Some things you should know before you decide to make the HUGE commitment to follow my little blog:

- I don't care if I misspell some things. If you care this may not be the blog for you.

- I like the occasional swear. Seeing that my mom reads this I will (probably) not release my inner sailor, but if occasional slips of the tongue bother you this might not be the blog for you.

- I have an odd sense of humor that has a 50/50 shot of meshing with yours. If it doesn't I don't really want to hear how weird you think I am. I simply don't care. :P If this bothers you this might not be the blog for you.

- I like emoticons. :P :O :) I know they are annoying. If this bothers you this might not be the blog for you.

Now that all the riff raff has hit the little x button in the corner of their screens, only the awesome people are still reading this.

Now let's have some fun my little chick-a-dees.