Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day Love

Happy Leap Day, and Happy Anniversary to WF! It is finally time for our “first” anniversary of getting engaged on a favorite Lake Superior beach, 4 years ago today.

It was a lovely day, and one steeped in a little fun historical significance. I first wrote about it here, (click to see fun postcards!) which is getting quite a lot of hits lately as Leap Day approached.

You see, it used to be known that during a Leap Year, it is the “prerogative of a women to ask a man’s hand in marriage.” The article that I found from 1904 in the Ely, MN Miner newspaper says that “many sensitive young men have been dodging somewhat elderly young ladies ever since New Year’s Day.” Ha!

Well, I’ll admit that I was a “somewhat elderly” young lady back in 2004 (was 31, yikes), and had decided that I was very certain about being with WF and wanted to honor this old (if slightly sexist; why not ask anytime?) custom. It was an anniversary of sorts, anyway, and we were in a place I consider very dear. We ended up both asking each other, and our fate has continued on, married for 3 years now and expecting a baby. It was a good start to a life together, and it’s fun to finally have the first “anniversary” of that day back again.

Happy Leap Day, WF! I love you!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Schro Sling

It was only a matter of time:

Schroeder-cat enjoying my thrift-store find, a vintage "Over the Shoulder Baby Holder". I just hope the real baby doesn't have such sharp claws...

Belly Adventures

I've been slow on posting, but last weekend the belly (baby-to-be) and I took a little solo adventure up the North Shore. It was lovely, if short. It felt extravagant, but I was able to think and draw and write and knit for just a bit. I had Monday off for President's day, and it's amazing how much more luxurious a 3-day weekend feels compared to two days (or just a one-day weekend, as in the week; ugh).

I had all the elements. Sun, Lake, nearly-full Moon, Lighthouses:

Baby-in-belly even enjoyed a little sunbathing on the beach! Ha!

Here's to more time spent enjoying the outdoors, quiet time and this "Up North" place where we live!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Baby on the Brain

In the last month, I have attended 3 birth classes, 1 breastfeeding class, 1 long meeting with a great doula, 3 prenatal yoga classes, 1 Childbirth Collective meeting, toured a new possible birth-center-to-be, had 1 midwife appointment, 1 regular doctor’s appointment, read birthing books, listened to a birth relaxation CD, done some journaling and drawing related to birth, registered at various places to give upcoming shower attendees ideas on what we need and coordinated visiting and getting baby stuff like a carseat and a crib from 3 friends and various other sources.

Ahem. Can you guess where my brain is, these days? Sounds a bit extreme, perhaps, but I want to be a prepared, empowered (and frugal) mama. I do know, however, that no amount of preparation will really tell us what life will be like after baby arrives. Or what the actual birth experience will be like. But I’m getting closer to making my final decision about birthing location (NOT at the hospital) and other things. I’m feeling a bit more caught up, even if the to-do list is still very long!

I DID skip the La Leche League meeting I had hoped to attend today because I was somewhat rooted in my office chair and could not escape the inertia of a warm office when I know it’s at least -11 F out there.

Oh, yeah, and I also have a full-time job and various house projects to complete. I’m still coughing, and I’m tired. Could that be why I’m having trouble concentrating on work-related proposals that include sentences like this?

•Integrate an additional focus to perform complimentary work to address looming issues of energy supply problems and related availability threats and cost increases.

Ack. I need some more brain cells. Anyone got some to spare?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cat cozy

I suppose it was only a matter of time... the cats have discovered the cozy factor of baby gear. And this is only the first baby item I have that is so tempting; there will be more!

Lutsen says: What? This was clearly designed for cats.

Schroeder (she of the glowing eyes) says: Shocking! I would never do such a thing!

Nope, she preferred the baskets.

I did shoo them away quickly, but I sense this could be a long, epic battle to keep them out of these cozy spots!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stuff Status

Weather: Still cold. -20F Monday, slightly warmer now. The novelty is wearing off!

Health: Baby is fine, making fun rolling motions. I am still hacking away with a lingering cough. Blah.

House: Don’t really know, will only use it for sleeping this week. 12-14-hour long days in town (all week!) are getting tiresome...need to stop that soon.

Baby Stuff: Am indulging in “cute” clothes shopping at Salvation Army, etc. Why not?

Motivation: Fairly high for home/baby stuff, not so high for work-work stuff like grant budgets and purchase orders, etc. More blah.

Craving: Chocolate! Not typical for me, but can’t stop. Sure is tasty...

Am I a stereotype, or what?

Monday, February 11, 2008

More Room Progress

We are finally back into the swing of house projects! WF put the finishing touches on the baby-bedroom paint today (I don't like the word nursery, for some reason; the kid is not a plant!). Wow. Quite a change from this, just about 2 months ago:

to this intermediate stage...
And now THIS:

Complete with new marmoleum and wool rug; i still need to find curtains and all that. I am not a "decorator", but it is nice to have something that looks a bit deliberate/coordinated and gives a nice harmonious feel. Then I need to find some actual baby furniture so I have a place to store all this baby stuff I am supposed to be accumulating. Eeek! We're trying to keep it fairly simple, and the baby won't be sleeping in this room alone until it is much older, so there is some time.

But wow, we're getting closer, eh?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Hot Cold Remedy

Even though I am feeling a bit better lately, this 2-week-long cold is still kicking my backside. Waaaay too much, ah, fluid in places it should not be. Ears, nose, lungs- ugh. I don't normally take many cold medications, but those avenues are definitely closed with baby-to-be sharing this body with me.

So, I'm trying to remember other good remedies, things I sometimes do and tend to forget later.

Like this:

Nope, not hiding my head in despair. Inhaling steam! Thyme-scented steam, in this case. I've used it before; it has anti-spasmodic qualities to prevent dry coughs and is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is not recommended for medicinal use internally in pregancy, which is why I'm not drinking it or using essential oil. But I'm desperate to get rid of this cough/snot issue, which is also not likely good for baby. The coughing wakes up baby-to-be at night, I think... more kicking at times that were usually quiet before.

More for my own records than anything: remember the power of steam and herbs!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Amazing Movie

The trailer for the amazing movie "The Business of Being Born" is up on their website now. Go watch it! I believe the movie will be available on Netflix soon, if it's not coming to your town.

I was lucky enough to see a preview of this movie a couple months ago, surrounded by other pregnant mamas in the "birth community" of my town. It was an emotional experience. I get teary-eyed just watching the trailer!

I am seeing a midwife and planning a natural birth... I had already decided that before seeing this movie, but this movie gives me lots of great stats (and emotional images!) to back up that decision. Birth can be an empowering experience, and I want to know and experience that power. I know it won't be easy, but we are doing everything we can to prepare: mentally, physically and logistically. Here's to the innate knowledge and power in all women!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Baby belly cat

On one hand, this is good practice. Schroeder loves to ride on my hip, ala toddler. I've taken to doing other things with my free hand while giving in to her, ah, requests. Practice for later baby-carrying!

On the other hand, someone is going to be mighty jealous in a couple months!

Spoiling the "babycat"? Perhaps. But for now, we simply enjoy the arrangement. Purrr...

Schroeder: 9 years
Belly: 28 weeks
GTR: Old enough to be an "Elderly primigravida" (medical speak for old to be having first kid!) Ha. Just feeling old right now because my cold came back, but otherwise feeling spry!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Scum Baffling

Things I am grateful for today:

1. Ears that equalize in elevation changes (between home and work) instead of being plugged as they have been for the past week.
2. The ability to breathe through my nose, making my table manners much better (Do you like See-food?). The cold is finally breaking!
3. The corner store believing that decaf coffee is important enough to keep hot on par with other "real coffee".
4. Work email that included the phrase "scum baffle". Hee!
5. Bach flower remedies. Why do I forget about them sometimes?

And of course:

6. Generally everything else; a healthy, growing, kicking baby-to-be, a kind and loving husband, a large and sturdy house, two cats who adore my lap. Blessed be!