Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Settling In

Here we are, 3 days after the birth of our little Jason. Things are going extremely well. Not everything is perfect, but can you really expect perfect right after such a big event? Nope, so I'm pretty happy with what we have.

We learn more about Jason everyday. He's really gotten the hang of nursing since my milk came in Sunday night. He nurses frequently now, and for a decent length of time at each session. Luckily, I haven't gotten engorged yet, though I know it's only a matter of time. ;-) The only complaint I have about nursing is that we need to work with him on getting a wider latch. His isn't bad now, but wider would be better. But his mouth is still pertty small, so I know it will certainly get better with time. He is mostly a calm baby, pretty relaxed. He has a strong need to suck though, so he often get a pacifier to help him soothe and calm down, especially to sleep. He takes it well and keeps it in his mouth easily, unlike Jilly who never got the hang of it (but she didn't need it the same way either). He greatly prefers to be cuddled up on our chests, over anything else, and sleep much better when tucked in bed with Mama and Daddy at night. But he sleeps a lot and can nurse when I'm laying down, so I'm still getting sleep. Hooray!! Jason seems to have inherited more of my body shape, but Steve's arms. In other words, he has looooong limbs and a shorter torso. Even his fingers and feet seem long to me. He's not entirely a string bean, but definitely more along those lines than his chubby sister. ;-) His little sideburns crack me up!

I guess I should point out right now, that our camera stopped working a few weeks ago. We were given a new one from my good friend at work, but we haven't gotten a connector cable to link up with the computer, so we can't get the pictures off of it yet. Hence, we don't have pictures to upload. As soon as we get the cable, you can be sure we'll be posting pictures like crazy!! Just bear with us until then.

Jilly is doing pretty good. In reacting to Jason, she either ignores him or dotes on him. If he is upset, she gets worried and will come running into the room to make sure someone is attending to him. She hasn't reacted jealously to him yet, which is good, but I figure that too, will happen at some point. She mostly is the same, but has been a little whinier lately, so that's been less than amusing for us parents. Really and truly, she's not any different than she was before he was born, but it's harder to deal with right now. She often doesn't listen when we tell her not to touch something and will cry and whine for no good reason. But she's 2 1/2 and just had a new baby brother born, so her life is kinda thrown off. She hasn't napped in a couple weeks, which is really annoying, but at least she'll sleep a good 12 hours or so at night. She has started spitting lately though, and this is really gross to both Steve and me. It's disgusting, and of course she finds it hilarious. If anyone has any helpful hints on getting her to stop, I would really appreciate them!!

Steve is amazing. He has been taking on all of the housekeeping, cooking, errand-running, etc responsibilities. Not to mention, the bulk of the Jilly responsibilities and taking care of me and Jason too. He's a rock star. Yesterday he took Jilly out to Costco and Safeway to fill up on groceries and diapers & wipes. (Side note: Changing a boy's diaper is WAY more complicated than a girl's! There are way more folds and places for poop to hide. We use like two or three times as many wipes for much smaller amounts than with Jilly. Was not expecting that...) In the mornings, he'll get up a little before me and take Jason for like an hour, so I can sleep all by myself. Then I get up and he cooks a delicious breakfast, cleans it up and works on something else around the house. I am so blessed to have him here with me!! I look forward to another week with him at home. Not sure what I'll do when he goes back to work.

I am doing good too. The pain has been increasing the past couple days, but is still quite manageable. I just have to keep up with my ibuprofen and make sure I change positions often, so there isn't pressure on any one spot for too long. Nursing came easy once again, and it's even easier to get into the swing of things this time. I probably should sleep more during the day, but I haven't felt like I really need to yet. I'm sure I'll get there. :-)

So there you go! We're all adjusting pretty well to the new little guy. He gets cuter and cuter everyday and we fall more in love everyday too. The weather has been quite pleasant, not too hot but warm enough, and sunny. To sum it all up: We couldn't ask for anything better!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Birth Story of Jason

To be completely fair, this is a very raw and detailed story of Jason's birth. It may gross you out, so if you're squeamish or just don't want to know that much, feel free to skip it. There are some pictures in here at the end. Most of them are totally benign, but the first one may be a little gross too. Just so that you're warned!

Wow, where to begin with telling the story of Jason's birth. It's hard to say how long labor really was. I feel like it was in two separate parts. Friday morning, I had a good 6-8 hours of early labor, consistent contractions that I had to concentrate on, but nothing super intense. They petered out about 10:30am, and didn't really do much after that. I did get them going again around 1:30pm, but they didn't last long. At about 5:30pm, after checking in throughout the day, I talked with the midwife Cindie and we decided to just forget about it for the night. She told me not to try to force anything, because it may lead to something I would regret. It was still 10 days before the due date, and there was no medical reason to try and force it. So Steve and I went home from my mom's house, but left Jilly there so we could actually rest. I'd only gotten, maybe 3 hours of sleep total since Thursday morning, so I was exhausted. We went home, snoozed, watched TV, ordered pizza and just hung out. I was feeling discouraged it hadn't turned into "real" labor, and that I'd gotten everyone psyched up about it, but knew it was better just to let it happen as it needed to. If it wasn't turning into real labor, there had to be a reason for it, and it was safer for everyone to just let it be. Throughout the evening I had contractions, and when they came, I had to vocalize (kind of an open mouthed hum) through them, but they were still few and far between.

I crawled in bed at 10:30pm, read for a little bit and was asleep by 11:30pm. I woke up every once in a while with a contraction and had to make noise through it still. Steve (who had been asleep on the living room floor since 10pm) came to bed around 3am, and I warned him I might start randomly making noise right in his face. But I wasn't taking anything seriously or even looking at the clock during this time. I got up to pee once every hour or less, which was annoying, but what could you do? Around 4:15am, I woke up with a couple contractions in a row that I could not lay down through. I was nauseous too, so I got up, went to the bathroom and drank something. I ended up being awake for like 30 minutes, and had quite a few contractions, but still wasn't taken them seriously, so I went back to bed. A half hour after that, I had a contraction so intense, I jumped out of bed from the pain. I then realized immediately that I was going to throw up AND was having abdominal cramps (like when you have diarrhea). I ran to the bathroom and began one of the most horrible moments of my life. I was bouncing up and down on the toilet seat (sitting made the contraction super awful, but it also made the cramps feel better, and I couldn't decide which feeling was worse so I went back and forth), all while holding the trash can and ralphing. My back was killing me from the contraction and Steve had to come push on it at one point. I think I had about two or three contractions all in a row, and then finally threw up and got some stool out. The contraction faded and I felt so relieved. Steve said right away, "We need to go to your mom's house. NOW." Until he suggested that, I didn't really believe I was in labor. I thought I'd just gotten sick from eating Thai curry and pizza that day. But when he said it, I couldn't argue with him. I told we did need to call Cindie first. By the time we'd cleaned up myself and the trash can, and could call Cindie, I had had a couple more contractions and realized I couldn't talk through them and they were too close for me to talk to her. Steve paged her and then spoke with her when she called right back. I told him to tell her I had vomited and was feeling shaky, both signs of transition I knew. I still wasn't convinced I was in transition, and if I was, I couldn't be fully dilated yet. But it was serious and we did need to get to Mom's ASAP so I could relax in the bathtub. Cindie agreed, told us to get our butts over there and she'd be on her way right then. I called Mom, didn't even say hello, just "We're heading over. NOW. Cindie is coming too. See you soon." I wasn't in the mood for pleasantries or explanations. Mom could tell I was different too.

I had a bunch of contractions in a row right before we left the house and was getting louder and louder (from a low pitched humming noise to a more speaking volume level or slightly louder). I had one right before I got in the car, and then sat straight up with the heat bag pressed against my lower back. I got lucky and only had one contraction IN the car, during the entire 10 minute drive (yeah, Steve didn't pay super close attention to the speed limit signs. I appreciated and whole heartedly endorsed it.) But the one contraction I did have felt different. I really had to pee (which normally didn't happen during a contraction) and I thought it might be more of an urge to push, though it was up front and not rectal pressure. That contraction was insane though, because I couldn't move around very easily, with my seatbelt on. I was pulling myself up off the seat with the handle above the door, wriggling from side to side and not really finding any relief. Steve started squeezing and rubbing my thigh, while helped both the pain and distracting me. He kept doing that until we go to Mom's. As soon as we parked, I jumped out of the car and another contraction hit. I made it into the house before bending over on the counter, squatting and moaning super loud. I ran to the bathroom next because I was having rectal pressure and needed to poop. I stayed there for 3 or 4 contractions, while barking out orders in between (Katie, run the bath now! Get the compresses going!!) then ran to the bathtub. The water felt so much better! It was very warm which relaxed some of my back muscles. It also rounded off the edges of the sharp back labor and focused it a bit more. Don't get me wrong, it still hurt like hell but I definitely preferred being in the water. I got into more of a hands and knee, squatting position. I think it was just a little before 6am at that point. I opened my eyes maybe twice more until he was born, so I wasn't really aware of who was in there and what they were doing. The contractions started changing a liitle, the pressure increased and I couldn't help but push a liitle. I mentioned this, so everyone knew what I was feeling. My mom cried, "Don't do that! Don't push!" because Cindie wasn't there yet. The words "Kiss my ass," along with a death glare were sent her way quickly (yhough this was the more tame version of what I was actually thinking, since I needed a minute to catch my breath and say it.) Just after that Cindie arrived.

Also at this point, my sounds went from moaning to full on roaring/yelling. It sometimes even went up into a scream. That was also the time, I really started pushing. It was all so instinctive, there was no conscious decision to do any of that. It was just what needed to be done right then, so I did it. Cindie checked me and sure enough, I was fully dilated and he was moving down. The roaring really helped me move him down and pretty soon I felt the ring of fire. I can't remember if it was before or after that, but I felt the water break right around then. It was literally a POP, and I told everyone that I'd just felt it. As soon as he got down onto the perineum and was crowning, I felt a lot better actually! The pain was focused and not really in my back anymore. Cindie told my mom he was crowning and to get anyone in there who was supposed to be. All my yelling had woken up Jilly, so Katie brought her in as well. I didn't realize this until someone was talking to her and she made some noise. Paul was running around trying to get the camera to work, and Andy was still sound asleep in the family room. Steve was rubbing my back at this point, and talking to me. It was wonderful. I pushed and let things stretch, and I could feel him moving farther and farther down. Cindie wasn't really coaching me, other than a couple instructions to let things stretch and try and control it, but otherwise just let me do what I needed to. I was also able to get some actual rest in between contractions at that point, which felt like such a relief. Finally the pressure really built up and I gave a couple big pushes and his head came out! I could totally feel it and it felt SO much better! Everyone saw it, including Jilly. Because of the way I was positioned, they could all see his face (he was facing the right way after all, who knows why I was having the back labor), Cindie commented on his big, rosy lips. After a couple more minutes (I think), of resting and him wriggling around, I was able to push the rest of him out. That felt so much better! I couldn't believe it! The midwife passed him to me, under the water and I brought him up to my tummy. I was in shock!! I kept saying, "I can't believe I just had a baby! How did that happen?!" and just looking at everyone to explain it to me. Here's a picture of that moment:

It was amazing. We stayed like that for awhile, I wasn't in an hurry or getting uncomfortable at first. After several minutes though, I could feel the cramping start to get the placenta out, so my mom cut the cord and we passed Jason to Steve. They wrapped him up and took him out to the living room. Pretty much everyone else left too, so it was just Cindie and me in the bathroom. I stayed in the tub for a while, and got the placenta out about 30 minutes after he was born. I felt really good at that point, not really sore or in pain at all. After relaxing some more, I got into the shower and cleaned up, then crawled in to the bed in the guest room that had been set up for me. Cindie checked everything out and found that I had in fact torn, about a 2nd degree, but it wasn't bad and should heal just fine with some stitches. That was much different from the 3rd degree plus tear that I'd had with Jilly. I was a little disappointed that I tore at all, but not surprised (especially with how fast he came) and happy it wasn't worse.

While I was in the bath, Jason was out in the living room with Steve, Jilly, Auntie Katie and Grandpa Paul. They sat on the couch and introduced Jilly to her brother. You can see her (behind Steve) giving him a little kiss.

She kept looking at him and staring.

She seemed a bit confused at times, but knew that it was "A baby! A baby!"

Auntie Katie was so proud to have her little nephew there. It was nice too, that she didn't have to take another day off work in order to see him be born.

Granny Sam even took Jason into Uncle Andy at one point, who had slept through everything!!! She laid Jason next to him first, but he didn't stir, so she put Jason on top of his chest and woke him up. Andy was so confused as to why there was a baby on him, and where the baby came from! It took some convincing from Katie and my mom, to get him to realize it was Jason, and he had just been born! Hahaha.

Grandpa Paul was very excited to have his grandson there. He took great pictures and held him like a pro.

After awhile, I nursed Jason for a long time, then ate and drank something for breakfast myself. I was feeling pretty good, but was very tired, so I kept laying down. Eventually we got around to giving him the newborn exam. Everything checked out great, he was 7lbs 9oz, 21 inches long, head is about 13 1/2 inches around, and very healthy. That makes him 2 ounces and 1 1/2 inches bigger than Jilly was! And she was a full 40 weeks, while he was 9 days early! Crazy! There are a couple things you can see on him, that are from being a little early. He is REALLY FUZZY! He has hair everywhere! Most of it is blond and short, but his face is fuzzy, his shoulders and back, and he has long sideburns. It's super funny, and I call him Fuzzy Face sometimes. I was also right about him being long. He had been feeling long to me, so I was glad to see that validated. From being unwrapped during the newborn exam and a little before, his temperature dropped, so my mom did some skin to skin with him, with a heating pad on top.

Right around then, Auntie Juliet came over to say hello and meet her new grand-nephew. While she was there, I came out and sat in the chair, taking over skin to skin duties. Cindie left then, with plans to check in with us today and then come over to our house on Monday to check on both of us.

I got some time to cuddle with both my kiddos in bed. Jilly wanted to climb up and see me and her brother. She laid down on the pillow next to us to cuddle too. It was very sweet.

We spent the rest of the day, just hanging out and relaxing. I feel so much better than I did inmmediately postpartum with Jilly! Not having the epidural made things easier to move around and have some energy. I was certainly still tired, but also had this high from all the endorphins and couldn't get into a deep rest. It was so nice to be at my parents' house and settled and relaxed, with so many people around to wait on me, hand and foot. There was no shortage of arms wanting to hold him! It was heavenly really. We went home around 6:30pm or so, stopping at the store and Taco Bell on the way, getting home at like 7:30pm. Jilly fell sound asleep in her high chair (Bobblehead Jilly!) really fast, because she'd been woken up early the second morning in a row and not taken a nap that day. Two year olds running on 6 hours of sleep are not the most enjoyable creatures. So Steve got her settled into bed, where she slept over 12 hours. We went watched a movie, then went to bed. The night went fairly well. Jason still hasn't really cried too much, except when we change his diaper, understandably, and is soothed quickly. Jilly vacillates between ignoring him and totally doting on him. It's quite cute, she wants to give him kisses and when she sees him she'll say "A baby! A baby!". Very sweet. He's been getting better about eating. He's a good nurser once he starts sucking, but hasn't shown tons of interest in nursing. He's getting better and more interested as today goes on.

We're feeling so blessed and watched over. Everything went very fast, but so well. I'm feeling good, Steve is taking great care of us, and the kids are both eating, sleeping and pooping well. What more can you ask for?! If anyone wants to visit, we would be totally happy to have you! Just give us a call first. My cell phone isn't working, so we're swapping out our SIM cards in Steve's every so often. So if you try one of us and it goes straight to voicemail, call the other phone, only one is on at a time. Thank you for all your prayers, well-wishes and congratulations! We appreciate them more than we can express. We're so happy to have our little Jason Emmanuel here! He is a blessing to our family!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Okay, So He Decided to be Born this Time

Jason Emmanuel Hall was born 6:13 this morning (nine days early). He's 21" long and 7lbs and 9ozs with a decent amount of dark hair with some Jason Priestly circa 90210 sideburns. Both Aimee and Jason are doing really well.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Or so we thought...

Turns out I've been experiencing prodromal labor. Basically, it's slowing down and now down to sporadic contractions. We probably won't be having the baby tonight. Steve and I came home to our place to rest and distract ourselves, while leaving Jilly with my family. The midwife said she wouldn't be surprised if things really kick in overnight, but it could also be a few days.

We're of course frustrated and disappointed, but there's no real reason to rush the baby. We're both healthy and doing fine. It's still 10 days before the due date, and the midwife pointed out that if we try and force it now, we may end up in a situation we regret, causing problems that wouldn't have happened otherwise. So, we're going to take the night, rest as much as possible and see where tomorrow leads us. Thank you for all your prayers, thoughts, and well-wishes. We really appreciate them. We'll keep you posted if anything else develops. :-)

Wildcat is on his way!!

As I sit here and type, I am in labor! I've been contracting consistently since about 2am, and it's now after 8am, so about 6 hours total. It started out as back labor and still is mostly, but a heated rice bag and sitting still helps with that a lot. As long as I'm sitting and have the heat, it doesn't hurt so bad. When I am up and walking, they get more frequent and more intense. I talked to the midwife almost an hour ago, and she should be here anytime. We're settled in at my parents' house ready to get the show on the road. I'm betting it'll be sometime between 1pm and 3:30pm. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

38 weeks and counting...

Here I sit in all my 38 weeks pregnant glory, i.e. Steve's sweats. Haha. We're just waiting for little Wildcat to make his appearance any day now. He keeps teasing me, I've been having contractions pretty often, but so far nothing has turned into real labor. In fact, I had like 24 hours of contractions yesterday (started Sunday night and continued until I was asleep last night), averaging 3 an hour, but by the evening, they were up to 6 or more an hour, about 10 minutes apart. I even had a few that were right on top of each other. I'd been wondering all day if I was going into labor. But I was able to fall asleep deeply and got some good sleep all night, so obviously it wasn't. ;-) But sleeping deeply was soooooo nice. So today I am relaxed.

I saw the midwife yesterday and at first she told me it was likely that I would go to the full 40 weeks, since I did with Jilly. Then when she did the exam, she was surprised at my cervix and said I could go at anytime. I am 3cm, short (1cm long, so pretty effaced), -1 station still and "very soft". When the weather changed last week, it threw a bunch of her patients into labor (the barometric pressure can do that), she had a birth Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning! So basically, it could be any day for me. We'll just wait and see. I really don't want to go all the way until my due date, but I can't control it too much. :-) The weather got nice again today, and is forecasted to stay that way until like Friday I think, so I don't think I can count on that to push me over the edge, for a few days at least. But who really knows?

By the way- this week's vegetable- a leek. Apparently Wildcat is as long as a leek this week. Hehehe.

Obviously, our lives most often revolve around this baby and when he's going to come. My mom has everything ready at her house for the birth, I've got my bag somewhat packed (the necessary clothes and such), and I finally got someone else trained on how to do Gift Shop orders at work. So we're all good. I still need to wash baby's clothes and hang them back up, not to mention go through this huge tub of clothes my wonderful friend Amanda is lending us and sort out all the sizes. I suppose I could be doing that instead of blogging, but really? Do I want to? Naw...

But other than the baby's imminent arrival, we got to celebrate Father's Day this past Sunday! It was a very nice day, if you ask me. It could have been better, if both Steve and I weren't sick with colds, but oh well. I tried to make it as nice a day as he made Mother's Day for me. Sometimes I'm not as good at reciprocating, but I think I actually pulled it off this time. We started out the morning, both tired and wishing we could stay home from church, but pushed through and got ourselves there anyway (so what if we were 25 minutes late?). Before church, I had Jilly take Steve his Father's Day present. It was a T-Shirt that says "LOST: The others made me do it". Hahaha. I loved it. I think he liked it too. Church was pretty enjoyable. In Primary we made fishing poles with gummy worms and a card at the end of the wire that read "Dad, you're a GREAT catch!" Adorable. I made one for Jilly to give to Granpda, because I knew she was making something in Nursery as well. She made some fishy card/necklace thing with foam stickers on it, but ripped it apart as soon as we got home (she did the same thing to my Mother's Day card too). Twerp. After church, we had lunch, then all laid down for a short nap. Some of us (i.e. Steve and me) actually slept, while others played in their cribs. Hahaha. When Steve got up, he took Jilly with him to do some home teaching. I had toyed with the idea of staying in bed, but I dragged my butt out and was a good wife and worked at cleaning up the house (specifically the kitchen) while they were gone. I got just about everything done too!

Once they were home, we did a little bit more work to get the house cleaned up and then Steve called his dad while I got dinner going. (Side note: Jilly said "Hi!" and "I Love You!" to Granpda Mike on the phone, pretty cute!) It was requested that I make chicken pillows, so that's what I did. They turned out super delicious!!! It was even more amazing, because I'd told Steve that I wanted to have dinner ready by 6:30pm. Lo and behold, our plates were dished and Jilly in her high chair, right at 6:30pm!! That NEVER happens! I am always late! Woot!! We had our scrumptious dinner and I cleaned it up too. Then my mom and step-dad came over to have dessert with us. I had gotten an ice cream cake for Steve, because I know he loves them, and wanted to celebrate with Paul too. Before we ate, I had Jilly give Paul his fishing pole and card. She doesn't really get the whole "I'm giving this to you, so it's not mine to play with" thing. Which means, she pulled off the bag of gummy worms, opened them and ate most of them herself! Twerpypants. Then when he opened his card, she kept playing with it, and even tried to throw it away at one point. It was pretty fun to play with, so I don't blame her too much on that one. It was a recordable card with music, and we got her to say "I love you" on it. We gave Steve his card too and then ate our cake. Very tasty. It was a nice little evening.

All day long, I kept thinking about how blessed I am to have Steve as my husband and father of my children. I wrote some of how I felt in a card to him, but I don't think I did it justice. I'll try again here. Steve is an amazing father. He finds such joy in serving his family. He loves hanging out with Jilly, and always has. He plays with her and is goofy and silly with her in a way I never could be. There is a specific giggle that only he can get her to make. He is much more patient with her than I am, and always can tell when I'm at my breaking point and whisks her away to let me chill out. He is quick to use the Priesthood to bless us and shows us how important it is to fulfill our callings at Church. He is usually the leader in family prayer and scripture study. He also likes to teach Jilly little bits of Croatian and speaks to her often. He'll sit down and read books with her, or let her climb all over him while he sleeps. He lets her hold a controller while he's playing Xbox and lets her help him cook dinner sometimes. He takes his role as a provider so seriously and makes so many sacrifices to give Jilly and me what we need and want, often going without things he needs, unbeknownst to us. We couldn't ask for a better father and husband!! We love you Steve! You're the best!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Is that a baby or a vegetable?

When I found out I was pregnant with Wildcat, I signed up with BabyCenter.com for weekly emails about the baby's growth and all things pregnancy related. I noticed after awhile that they always seemed to equate baby's size with some fruit or vegetable. Sometimes, it was just the length or just the weight of a certain food, and sometimes it was both. It made me laugh each time, so I finally went through all the emails and put together a list of the evolution of Wildcat the vegetable. ;-) I thought I would share it.

4 weeks: Poppy seed
5 weeks: Sesame seed
6 weeks: Lentil bean
7 weeks: Blueberry
8 weeks: Kidney bean
9 weeks: Grape
10 weeks: Kumquat
11 weeks: Fig
12 weeks: Lime
13 weeks: Medium Shrimp (the only animal listed in the entire pregnancy, the rest are all fruit/veggies/legumes)
14 weeks: Lemon
15 weeks: Apple
16 weeks: Avocado
17 weeks: Turnip
18 weeks: Bell pepper
19 weeks: Large heirloom tomato

At 20 weeks, they start measuring from head to heel (for length). Previously, it's been crown to rump.

20 weeks: Banana
21 weeks: Carrot
22 weeks: Spaghetti Squash
23 weeks: Large mango
24 weeks: Ear of corn
25 weeks: Rutabega
26 weeks: English hothouse cucumber
27 weeks: Head of cauliflower
28 weeks: Chinese cabbage
29 weeks: Butternut squash
30 weeks: Head of cabbage
31 weeks: Four navel oranges
32 weeks: Jicama
33 weeks: Pineapple
34 weeks: Cantaloupe
35 weeks: Honeydew
36 weeks: Crenshaw melon
37 weeks: Swiss chard

So there we are. I'm not really carrying a baby inside, but rather a stalk of swiss chard. ;-) As the baby got bigger and bigger, they started throwing in some things that I have never heard of. I had to look up (or rather, Regan looked up) what some of them were, like jicama and swiss chard, among others.

Now I guess the question is what vegetable will pop out? Is he going to be Swiss chard baby, or something bigger? ;-) I'm at full term now, so it could be anytime. Everyone in the family is hoping/planning for next Thursday (the 25th), because it's my mom's birthday and she'll have several days off for it. I am all for it! The sooner this kid comes out, the better, if you ask me! Hehehe. Stay tuned. We'll let you know when he does decide to join the party. :-D

Friday, June 12, 2009

Men Aren't Afraid of Commitment

Countless are the pop culture truisms that we accept as factual: white people can't dance, Asians are terrible drivers ("they can make 'em, but they can't drive 'em!"), black people are afraid of dogs, Mormons are colossal dorks, women ruin everything, etc. Statistically speaking, these sentiments are all true. But there is one truism I must reject, that men are afraid of commitment. In fact, with the least bit of analysis (the only kind I'm willing to do) we may see that the complete opposite is true.

From the time we're small children, men are constantly and ardently committing themselves ardently and vigorously. Sports loyalties are huge in the life of most American males, most often inherited from your father. Men and their loyalties to sports are frequently a reflection of their love for their fathers; my allegiance to the Spurs formed first in the '88-'89 season when Dad and I would listen to the games on the radio called by Jay Howard. It was virtually the only one on one time I got with my father in a family with six children, and for the rest of my life the Silver and Black will remind me of all the good things about Dad and the times that we shared. American men are so committed to sports, we live and die by our fantasy sports teams, rooting for players we hate on teams we despise for the success of our fictional teams. But even fantasy sports are so beloved because of the camaraderie you build with your friends as you compete and even talk trash.

Want more commitment from men? As Texans, boys must choose Ford or Chevy, with the occasional weirdo opting for Dodge (foreign cars don't count). Innumerable fistfights and illegal drag races spawn from the undying devotion of Texan males to their respesctive makes. We declare allegience in Coke vs. Pepsi, McDonald's vs. Burger King, and Jack Bauer vs. Chuck Norris. Men commit in every component of their lives.

Men don't just commit in matters like who gets their Maxim Hot 100 vote either. Hundreds of thousands of men are in Iraq and Afghanistan right now, working to uphold the principles and serve the country they swore to defend; hundreds of thousands more wait to replace them. They risk their lives and suspend family and romantic relationships, education, and career pursuits committed to a cause larger than themselves. Many thousands of Catholic priests have vowed to forsake all in service of God. Tens of thousands of young men serve as Mormon missionaries (you know, the dorks in suits), committing a tithe of their life and forswearing TV, music, movies, dating, most books, phone calls to friends, and free time to share the Gospel that has given them so much. If you look around you, you will see men who are devoted husbands and fathers, men who work terrible jobs to put food on the table and cover health care costs, men who eschew leisure to drive around their family to their various pursuits, and men who help out friends and strangers when occassion calls for it.

Women might rightfully ask, "Then why doesn't he commit to me?" The answer is he probably doesn't know if it's worth it yet. Males crave stability, which may be a way of saying they don't like change. Adding new elements to your life can be hard, and most men believe that women add a degree of variability like nothing else can (translation: chicks are crazy). Just like women, men need to feel secure, but our version of security emphasizes a comfort level in being able to have a degree of control over our circumstances. Men don't like being told what to do or how they can live, and if pop culture is any indication, it seems like today's woman likes to be in charge. Being an American male is asked to be bold and assertive, but only when you're wanted to be bold and assertive. When a man is evaluating a commitment, he needs to know that he can retain his identity, to do the things that he enjoys, that he can be himself. Most men want a woman who makes him want to be a better person, not one who tries to make him be their version of a better person.

It's not that he's just not that into you. While men aren't necessarily anxious to commit, they are more than willing once they know that the reward outweighs the risk.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ups and Downs

This past week has been one of clean up, organization and swimming. ;-)

So what happened last week you ask? Well Tuesday night, I was at work when I got a video message from my husband. I opened it after a call and it was of Jilly in her crib, naked as usual, but my husband narrating. The first thing he says is "It's too bad you can't transmit smell over video." UH OH. And sure enough, I see a GIANT brown circle on her mattress, then more spots on the walls and crib. Holy crap- literally!! She had taken off her diaper and painted the poop all over her room! My poor Moozsh man had to clean it all up. When I got home, he started describing to me where it was, continually saying, "I don't think you understand how bad it was." Well, the more he told me, the more I realized it was about 10 times worse than what I had seen on the video! It sounded just awful. It was all over her bedding (which, by the way, was her back up bedding since she had peed all over her normal bedding the night before), her stuffed animals, covering her crib, in several spots on the walls, definitely all over the carpet, she even got it onto the desk (across the room) and the diaper champ. Not to mention, all over her!!! Face, hair, hands, legs, everything. It took him over 2 hours to scrub down everything, including her. And of course, he needed to keep her contained while he cleaned, so she wouldn't make it worse or get dirty again, so he had her strapped into the high chair, which she got really pissed about. Poor poor guy!!! I felt so awful for him! I had to scrub off her two teddy bears and change some laundry, but he really had to do everything. And of course, she remained wired and destructive for the rest of the evening. She never took a nap. FREAK SHOW!!!

To make it even better, Thursday morning we were going to go to Playgroup, then have some friends over to go swimming afterwards. I went in to wake Jilly up, so we could get ready and found this:
(Yes, I covered up my baby's buttcrack, I didn't think you all needed to see that.)

Oh goodness gracious! SHE STRUCK AGAIN!! AHHHHH!!!! There was not enough time to clean it all up and get us ready to go, so I had to call my friend giving us a ride and tell her not to bother picking us up. I was so mad! I really look forward to Playgroup, when I can go, and here my lovely plans for this gorgeous day have been ruined by an obnoxious toddler and her disgusting "playtime". Grrrr. I got her up and packed off to the bathtub, so I could assess the damage to the room. Here's a closer look at the wall:

It really was nasty, but I will say, that it wasn't nearly as bad for me as it was for Steve. Tuesday night's fiasco was MUCH MUCH WORSE! It took about an hour or so (with some sulking time for me in there) for me to scrape everything off the wall, wipe down her crib with bleach, get the laundry going and vacuum the carpet thoroughly. It was so not my favorite thing to do, but hey, what was I going to do? Leave it all day for Steve? Um...No.

Luckily, our friends still came over after Playgroup to swim, so the day wasn't a total loss. Thursday ended up being the hottest day of the week, it was over 90 degrees! That is HOT for Washington, especially at the beginning of June!! We went swimming and had popsicles, then they went home for naptime and we did the same. I laid Jilly down, but I added something this time:

Yup, I duct-taped that bad boy right on her so she couldn't get it off. No way was I risking another Poo-casso (as a friend calls it). We've pretty much been doing this everytime we lay her down now, so that we don't run into repeat performances. So far, it's working.

Unfortunately that day, it was just way too hot for Jilly to sleep. So I took her to Wal-Mart to run some errands then we came home for dinner. Both Steve and I had church meetings that night, but mine was at our house. Throughout the whole time, it was still so stinking hot! After the ladies left at 8:30pm, I told Jilly we were heading back to the pool, because it was unbearable in our apartment. We swam until after 9pm, then came home. A little while later, close to 10pm, some cold air finally started blowing in and the weather changed a bit. It felt sooooo good! I was able to get a decent night's sleep for the first time all week! Hooray!

Yesterday, Steve had the day off work, because he'll be working Saturday. It was so nice having him at home. I am always way more productive when he is around. So I totally nested. I hung up all Wildcat's clothes in the closet. I reorganized the dresser, so that we had somewhere to put his blankets, burp rags, socks, shoes, etc. I put the sling into the baby bathrub, so it's all ready for a newborn. Then I decided to tackle the car seat equation. I pulled out the carseat from the closet, it was still in the box and dumped it out so I could put it together. Well, it was already put together and set up for a newborn (straps in the right slots and everything). Perfect! Jilly was fascinated by the carseat and kept wanting to play with it, either by sitting in it herself or buckling it up. We even strapped in her baby doll, so she could see what it would look like. Then I took it downstairs to the car, to figure out how the seating arrangements would work. Turns out the infant seat can only fit in the middle of the back seat. So much for having one at each door. Oh well. I got the base installed, popped the seat in, and got Jilly's seat strapped in to it's new spot as well.

(This was taken from my cell phone. Our camera seems to be broken so I can't show you pictures of the other things I did.)

Jilly had come down with me to watch and was sitting in the front seat while I did all this. As soon as I put the infant carseat in the car, she freaked out!! She started crying and sobbing and all I could understand was "Baby, baby, baby." I am not sure what she exactly meant by that. We have three hypotheses: 1) She thought we were actually going to get the baby and then when Wildcat didn't appear, she was really upset. Yeah... I doubt that too. 2) She wanted to put her baby doll in there and realized it wasn't a toy for her to play with. Maybe... or 3) She wants to still be the baby. Meh, I'm not sure. It could be anything. But she cried the whole way back upstairs and for quite awhile. Poor kiddo. We kept trying to put her down for a nap (like over 2 1/2 to 3 hours) but it never worked. Finally I had to leave for work and she was still awake.

During one of her nap attempts, I finally tackled my biggest project and the one I'd been avoiding the longest. I got all the clothes, papers and other various items out of the cradle in our bedroom. Keep in mind, this cradle has been in our room since well before Jilly was born. She slept in it for a grand totaly of 7 nights I think, before I couldn't handle it anymore and put her in her crib, in her room. (She made too much noise while sleeping, and I wasn't geting any sleep.) Since then, it's been my laundry container, or a catch all for random papers and other things. I cleaned it ALL out and put (most of) it away. Then washed the cradle bedding. Now my baby boy has a clean, safe bed to sleep in when he comes! WOOT!! I feel so accomplished. He has clothes to wear, diapers for his bum, a clean bed, a place for his shoes and burp rags, etc, and a car seat all ready for him to come home in. HOORAY!! We might actually be ready for him to come. :-D

We're now less than 4 weeks away from his due date. I really don't think he's going to wait that long. I keep feeling like he'll be a June baby, not a July baby. But I could be wrong! I saw the midwife last Friday and he's definitely low and other things are progressing (already 2cm dilated). This isn't shocking or unusual really, it was the same with Jilly and she went the full 40 weeks. But I just don't think our little boy is going to do the same thing. Everyone at work seems to be shocked everytime they see me, wondering why I haven't had the baby yet, because I look so huge. We're getting close. Next week, the "eviction process" begins in earnest. I think with getting everything ready yesterday, I know feel settled enough for him to come. For most of the pregnancy, I haven't been anxious or impatient at all. I was quite willing to wait the 40 weeks. I haven't felt ready for him at all until just now. I am emotionally ready for him, as well as physically now. He can come. Steve is anxious for him to get here. He wants to hold his little boy so bad and cuddle with him and all that fun stuff of having a newborn. I am definitely ready to be done at work and just relax and enjoy my summer. And after a long chat with a good friend last week, I am feeling pretty relaxed about the birth itself. So now we begin the final countdown. T minus 27 days and counting!!