Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Hallween!

Friday, October 27, 2006

While Staring at the Ceiling

These are the thoughts that went through my mind when I couldn't go back to sleep this morning:

- I wonder if Hannah is cold. I'm freezing.

- I'm starving. The meal at my inlaws last night streched out my stomach, so now it feels emptier than usual. I think I can make it to the daylight.

- Goodbye FedEx. I'm not sure if it's actually FedEx, but living close to an airport, you hear planes come and go all the time. This one leaves every morning at approximately the same time. And it's loud. Really loud. I always wait for the sonic boom. But it never happens. I'm always surprised about that. Anyhow, I decided that it's FedEx, and a very large cargo plane shipping everyone's Ebay items across the world.

- I wish I could just fall back asleep. For some reason, hearing Jason's alarm go off this morning for the 12th time really woke me up. Him and his morning quirks. He sets his alarm for like an hour before he actually has to get up. Usually I am used to it. I don't even hear the alarm sounding off every 9 minutes the first 4 times. Poor guy. He's so not a morning person. He can barely talk. And he looks like he's in the most excrutiating pain and would rather be on Fear Factor eating Japanese beatles - as long as it was in the evening.

- I am a lovely person in the morning. I wake up chipper and cheerful. I can have a completely intelligent conversation, if only there was anyone to talk to. I'm such a peach.

- When I was younger and had responsibilites in the morning unlike now, which are changing a diaper, eating oatmeal, and sipping tea while watching Sesame Street with the kid, I would do something so cuckoo. I would actually pretend to be really groggy, and like I hated the morning. Think Steve Carrell in The Office trying to fit in. "Oh man, I'm so tired. This really sucks. If I didn't have to be here, I'd be sleeping in all day." Um yeah, never slept in past 9. Ever. I'm such a weirdo.

- Hmmm...Wonder what I'm going to wear to my friend's bridal shower. Oooh I know. But I need to buy some tights. Cute, opaque brown tights. With a cool texture. I'll go to Target. But what if they don't have what I want. They never have what I picture in my mind and it's so disappointing because, no, I don't have $25 to spend at Nordstrom on Hosiery.

- I'm really starting to get my belly. It's really jiggly. Like all my fat has just been shifted up a little higher. I don't want another c-section. I don't, don't, don't. But natural childbirth has never been on my list of "Things to Do While on Earth" either. If I get a midwife, and attempt to give birth at home, will my family think I have gone completely bananas? Yes. Yes they will.

- If I find an OB that will let me try to have a normal delivery, I refuse to be induced unless I am 2 weeks past my due date and/or we know for a fact the baby is in danger. Too bad this doctor I have in my mind does not exist, just like those tights I want.

- OK, enough. My thoughts have turned to worries. Time to pray.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bad, Bad Dog

This is what I found when I went outside to bring a load to the laundry room:

And this is who did it:

And to think I gave him the juice from the cans of tuna we had for dinner last night.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Jason's Soundtrack

*Opening Credits: Rancid - Let’s Go
*Waking Up: Descendents - I’m Not a Loser
*First Day of School- The Distillers - City of Angels
*Falling in Love: U.S. Bombs - Framed
*Fight Song: The Toy Dolls - Cherrio & Toodle Pip (ha ha ha ha ha!)
*Breaking Up: The Dead Kennedy’s - Kill the Poor
*Prom: The Germs - Lexicon Devil
*Life: The Ramones - Surfin’ Bird
*Career: Sham 69 - Voices
*Mental Breakdown: The Sex Pistols -Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle
*Driving: The Exploited - Army Style
*Flashback: Buzzcocks - You Say You Don’t Love Me
*Getting Back Together: The Vandals - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
*Wedding: Vice Squad - No Right of Reply
*Birth of a Child: Cockney Rejects - The Greatest Cockney Ripoff
*Midlife Crisis: X - The Have Nots
*Final Battle: Black Flag - Room 13
*Death Scene: Dropkick Murphys - Do or Die
*Funeral Song: The Cramps - Swing The Big Eyed Rabbit
*Ending Credits: The Business - Do a Runner
The End.

Although he does like some different types of music, Jason definitely prefers punk to anything else. He has a hard time finding new stuff he likes too. One thing I can say for my husband, is when he likes something, he really commits. :)

My Life's Soundtrack

So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing5. When you go to a new question, press the next button

*Opening Credits: The Cranberries - Electric Blue (I just so happen to have blue eyes)
*Waking Up: Gomez - See the World
*First Day of School- The Sundays - Wild Horses
*Falling in Love: Chris Isaac - Go Walking Down There
*Fight Song: Jimmy Eat World - Robot Factory
*Breaking Up: Lisa Loeb - Waiting for Wednesday
*Prom: Radiohead - Black Star
*Life: The New Pornographers - The Bones of Idol
*Career: Weezer - Undone
*Mental Breakdown: 10,000 Maniacs - Trouble Me
*Driving: Rilo Kiley - Small Figures in a Vast Expanse
*Flashback: The Distillers - Red Carpet and Rebellion
*Getting Back Together: Mates of State - Sound it Off
*Wedding: The Shins - New Slang
*Birth of a Child: Blonde Redhead - Pink Love
*Midlife Crisis: Tori Amos - Sleeps With Butterflies
*Final Battle: The Pretenders - 2000 Miles
*Death Scene: Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body (Wow, how’s that for random?)
*Funeral Song: The Rentals - She Say’s It’s Alright
*Ending Credits: Natalie Merchant - When They Ring the Golden Bells (Aw man I wanted this one for my funeral!)The End.

I can’t believe how well some of these songs work. I noticed I listen to a ton of older music. It might be time to find some new stuff.
I’m going to do Jason’s next. Be ready for a very different soundtrack. Ah, well, opposites attract! :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My Supernatural God

This is slightly tmi, but worth sharing for what I realized afteward. I had a bit of spotting yesterday. Not the kind to be alarmed about according to my packet from the doctor. But I worried, nonetheless and felt a littel crampy. I experienced the same thing with my daughter about the same time in my pregnancy with her. So Hannah and I were getting ready for the day and she pointed to a little booklet that Jason had borrowed from our friend Matt. It's about the Ever Virginity of Mary. On the front of the booklet is a little icon of the Theotokos holding Jesus. As Hannah pointed to it, she said, "Jesus." It was sweet how matter of factly she said it. It surprised me because I never taught her that. The only time I have showed her "pictures" of Jesus were from a litte Bible story book, where he looks like a white man surfer. And she has seen a nativity that she knows the baby is Jesus, but he is in a manger. How she made the connection, I am not sure. The same icon is at the church, but I have never pointed it out to her.

I had already said a little prayer about what I had been worried about, but I thought I would say an Orthodox prayer from my prayer book. I chose one to pray for children. And then it occured to me that it would be ok to ask a saint and friend of God to pray for me. So I asked Mary because I knew she was a mom.

This subject has been so taboo and much of it I have felt before I ever read anything in Orthodox teachings, was just hocus pocus to me. My prior understanding of Mary was so distorted by what I had seen in the Roman Catholic church and how they have deified her, and then having the polar opposite modern Protestant view that takes away any due respect that she was special at all (she was just a regular mom who happened to say yes to God and gave birth to him). But when I realized that the saints are more alive now than when they walked this earth, and that they are always praying for the church, it opened my mind to the idea that it was acceptable to ask saints to intercede for us.

For what it was worth, I just asked Mary to pray for my little baby and that I would stop spotting. I imagined the prayers that go into heaven like incense in beautiful scrolls and that mine looked like a post it note. But after that, there was no more spotting at all and I felt better. Thank you Jesus!

I still feel a little weird about this, but it reminded me that God, after all is supernatural...something my practical, rationalizing, Protestant trained mind made me forget. Sure I would thank God for a parking spot in a crowded lot. Things have worked out for me in situations that seemed hopeless. But overall, my faith was quite stale. And I never expected anything more.

I still know I have my direct line to Jesus. I pray all day off and on to him. But sometimes, I don't know what to pray, or my prayers have selfish motives. The last thing I want to say is, "Thy will be done." And other times, I just can't devote myself to prayer continuously, (the amount of prayer I probably need) and I get so distracted. So it's comforting to know that there are people in heaven whose job is praying for us. Holy moly! I'm sounding so not Protestant.

I was thinking more about Hannah knowing about that icon, and I thought about something James said in his blog Paradosis. He talked about how children are born to have the Lord in them. It's our job as parents to keep them connected to the faith. So different from what I took from the evangelical teachings that children were born to have sin in them and it was our job as parents as to teach them and introduce them about the faith - something I could never quite grasp since, while demanding as they are, they are so wide eyed and accepting of Truth. And what about the whole "faith like a child" thing that seemed to contradict that teaching. So my sweet, innocent daughter pointed me to Jesus - and Mary. Amen.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ultrasound 10.20.06

Ultrasound 10.20.06
Originally uploaded by laurenlannette.

Here's Sprout's first picture! I honestly don't know what is what. During the ultrasound, the heart was flashing somewhere in the middle of baby's body.

My visit with the cranky nurse practitioner...

...was, well, very cranky. I was sitting there waiting for her to come in when she opened the door. She must have forgotten to say goodmorning or hello, and she started shuffling through my file. She asked if I'd had a pap last visit. She couldn't find the results. "Hold on," she said as she left the room and sighed.

She came back and shortly after one of the medical assistants came in, gave her the results, which she told me nothing about, so I'm assuming I'm OK. Then she placed them in my file, mumbling about how she can't stand it when they do that and they need to initial when they file so when it goes wrong she'll know who to put the smack down on.

So she did an ultra sound, found the baby - YAY! We saw the heartbeat, but couldn't hear it yet. I was really relieved because I so haven't felt pregnant the last couple of weeks. I had a bad dream the other night that there was no baby too, so I am very happy to have gotten a snapshot of our little sprout.

As she was wrapping up, I was giving myself a pep talk in my head about bringing up the VBAC issue. So I did. It didn't really go very well. I just asked, "So is the hospital and the dr. still not doing any VBACs?" She looked at me like it was the most idiotic question. She went on about how she delivered her kids vaginally and it wasn't worth it. She also said there has been a new study that showed the risk for uterine rupture was actually quite higher than the .1% thought previously. I haven't heard of said study yet, so I'd like to see what the findings are. She pretty much tried to scare me into thinking that if I wanted to have a VBAC, I have a death wish. I told her briefly how, If I did have a section again, I'd like to get to hold my baby sooner than last time, was there any possibility of that? I felt like an hour and a half was just too long. She snorted something about an hour and a half wasn't long at all, and pretty much all I heard after that was, "BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH, you are wasting my precious time."

I feel bullied. Why are so many medical professionals so rude? I'm always nice to them. I shower and clean up really nice before I go. I say hello. I smile. I think I'm being pleasant. Why can't they be decent? Why can't they at least humor me, and pretend to care that I didn't have the best birth experience, and would like to have an option for something different this time?

Yes, Lord, I know, she could have just been having a bad day. I'll pray for her.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Substitutions for Expletives

Yesterday I tried to close the kitchen window and nearly ripped off a finger. Here's what came out of my mouth:


I said it with the same zeal one would use when saying real expletives. It was followed by hysterical laughing coming in the direction from my husband. He knows I struggle with dropping an occasional bad word in times like these. And he knows how badly I don't want to hear the f-word coming out of my cute little girl's pretty little mouth. He was proud. I felt like a dork, which I am.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ooh, beauty products...

I went to a Mary Kay party today. I've never really been a fan of it. I've always associated it with over done old ladies whom have an unhealthy attraction to pink. But anyway, a really great friend of mine sells it and I thought it would be fun and our kids could play together. What the heck.

Maybe she's a really good sells person, or maybe the products are fabulous. Either way I ended up spending over $70 which at the time seemed completely logical and sane.

Um, let's see, when was the last time I spent any money on myself? I really can't remember. Besides food and the basics, the last shirt I bought was most likely from Target for $5 about 4 months ago. Make up? I barely wear it. I used to be kind of a mall rat and used the fancy Mac, Lancome, and other over priced products. But I haven't visited a snobby make up counter since before my wedding. Life sure does change when one loses her "disposable income." And I've been crying about my hair for months now. My roots are probably about two inches long. But we have no money to do my hair, boo hoo. And of all things, I spend what I consider to be big money on cleanser and lotions. Oh well, my skin feels less weathered and I got a compliment from Jason (those don't come easy). The compliment came before he saw the check book register. He was nice about it. He and I both know I've been a hag for much too long.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

VBAC, anyone?

In case you've never heard the term, VBAC is *saying slowly* a vaginal birth after cesarean. Apparently, they are very hard to obtain these days due to doctor's and hospital's malpractice insurance. There is a slight risk, like .1 percentage risk of having the scar tear resulting in a uterine rupture. I'd like to know my risks of being opened up again to infection from another surgery to weigh this.

When I had my daughter, I didn't really educate myself on the whole childbirth thing. I preferred not to think about it. Birthing a human is pretty hardcore, and I should have done my homework, and should have known that you don't blindly trust your doctor and think every thing will be peachy.

Here's what happened in a nutshell:

At 40 weeks I went for my doctor's appointment and saw the nurse practitioner. I was right at my due date (these days, the medical world looks at you like you have snakes coming out of your ears if you want to go past your due date) and the NP said she needed to call the doc to look at me because he needed to get me going. Get me going? Like what, a lawn mower?

I was scheduled for an induction. At the time, I was thinking, hey I'm 40 weeks pregnant and pretty darn tired of carrying around this kid whose shoving her toes between my ribs and then wiggling them. So one night Jason drove me to the hospital and I was given cervadil, a cervix softener, lovely. Went to sleep, and then that morning, kind of started labor, was given Pitocin, an artifical hormone to increase contractions. I was feeling the pain, but not horrible and a long story short, after 10 hours only dilated to 3 centimeters. Then doc came in and said I needed to rest some more, I was going to get an epidural, have my water broken, and then if nothing happened after that, I "needed" to have a C-section.

So, as you've gathered, I ended up having a surgical birth. The surgery itself was not pleasant, but not horrific either. A little nauseating and freakish, being completely awake while the doctors are joking about golf as they slice you open. The recovery wasn't horrible either, I was up and walking around the next day. I have to admit, I didn't hate it, but didn't love it either. The traumatizing part about it was, after you have the baby, you are sewn back up while the nurses attend to the baby. You get a photo op, but then say goodbye to hubby and baby for the next hour and a half. I had lots of drugs so much of it is a blur. But I remember desperatly wanting to hold my baby. I finally got wheeled to my empty room. I pressed my nurse call button and pretty much said, where the hell is my family? Then Jason came in with the worst nurse in the hospital carting in our first born. She was from a scary movie. She looked like the headmistress in Matilda. I try not to judge by appearances, but the way she held my baby - she had her in her arms like she didn't actually want me to see my own child. And then she went off on the whole breastfeeding schpiel in a most condescending way. I had chosen to breastfeed, but I must not have looked capable, because she was talking to me like I was a four year old. Jason, was like, "Can she please just hold her baby?" She even, er, "handled" me roughly while she was teaching me how to get Hannah to latch on. Terrible.

Thank God, I never saw that nurse after that first night, and Hannah and I went on to have a very successful breastfeeding relationsip. But now that I am expecting again, I have the delemma on how I am going to get this one out. If I stay with my OB, I will have a scheduled cesarean in the same hospital. It appears that ifI go with just about any OB and in a hopsital, I will have a scheduled cesarean. I really would like to not be sliced open again if I can avoid it. According to what I have learned through word of mouth and websites like www.ican-online.org in my area, the only way to get a VBAC is with a midwife at home. Mentioning this to Jason made him uncomfortable. He didn't really like the thought of the neighbors hearing me shrieking in agony, and getting blood all over our lovely carpet.

I have heard excellent things about some midwifes and I know now that the more unecessary interventions you have the closer you get to having a C-Section. OBs are busy. They don't have time to wait around. If labor stalls a midwife will have you take a nap. If that happens with an OB, you are given drugs to hurry you up. OBs aren't like Dr. Huxtable anymore, coming in all hours of the night to deliver you. If you do happen to deliver late at night, you have whatever doc is on that night. I don't know what to do. Either way it's going to hurt, right? he he.

So I joined an email community of women who are seaking VBACs, have had them, and pretty much are all pissed off that the medical community has tried to take away their right to a natural birth in the safety of a hospital. It's like the hospitals have turned on us. But I kind of feel like the group is a downer. I don't know if I'm going to unsubscribe or not. Being an angry activist gets tiring. And I feel like a chicken, sort of just going along with my doctor for now. More reading, more research. 30 more weeks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Happy to You!

Two Candles!
Originally uploaded by laurenlannette.

Yesterday was Hannah's second birthday. When she woke up I immediately started singing Happy Birthday to her. She joined in. Then she got to open up some little presents. She got some Goldfish, which she ate for breakfast, a puzzle, a Dora cup, and some Cinderella magnets. She was pretty much in heaven. Then we went to the park where we met with some friends. It wasn't really a birthday party for her, one of my friends and her son are in town from Idaho and a bunch of our friends all got together with the kids and had pizza. My friend's son, Derek, is pretty much Hannah's best friend. I used to babysit him before they moved and they were so happy to see each other. I was glad they remembered each other.
I brought cupcakes, which the kids devoured and smeared gloriously all over themselves.

After that we had dinner with daddy and then had another cupcake. This time with two candles. She knew exactly what to do and only needed help blowing out one of them. We then opened her "big presents". She truly enjoyed her birthday and all day she kept saying "Happy to you!" She even pointed to the cupcakes, which she knows are called cupcakes, and asked if she could have some more happy to you.

So, my darling girl, happy to you! You've brought so much happy to me.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Adventures in Sola Scriptura

I am back from my women's Bible study this morning. It is a group from my former church and the women are really great and practically my best friends. They are very dear to me. And they've been very understanding and supportive about my deciding to leave the church and the whole journey that I'm on. I told them I am coming to the group until they kick me out.

Oh, Lord, I feel a conflict within myself coming. As I've looked at how the Orthodox church explains Sola Scriptura, I can see how there is so much doctrinal confusion. In one discussion/bible study we covered predestination, grace by faith, grace by works, growing by reading scripture, growing by listening to bad Christian music (I added the "bad" part - I've never been a good Christian music listener) types of evangalism, being Spirit-led, and much more. While I put aside most of the stuff that I now feel in one way or another disagree with, I think going to group is going to feel more and more conflicting. Everyone has such different opinions, or have never thought about certain theological ideas. And now I seem to be way in left field. I'm hoping to avoid sounding caustic or arrogant to them when I challenge another woman's understanding. I don't want to be a burden to any of them either. I feel like I'm in limbo. So I'm trying to do what always works out best - keep my mouth shut. Lord help me.

As far as the read your Bible to grow idea, I do agree. Reading scripture focuses your mind on Jesus. And doing that leads you to not be such a schmuck throughout your day - thus helping you grow. Because being a schmuck comes naturally. However, I'm learning that you can only get so close to God that way. Orthodoxy has opened a window that I never knew existed.

I notice I feel sad that I'm missing out on a lot of the stuff my friends are doing with the church and with the married groups. I feel left out. But it was my decision. Weird feelings.

On a brighter note, I really enjoyed church this Sunday. It is starting to feel more at home. The foreign is becoming familiar, and a few issues I've had about the Saints are being explained more clearly. I think bringing our prayer book helped too since the Liturgy is on there and we can follow and sing along. The Liturgy is really quite beautiful. We go home singing "From the intercessions of the Theotoks..." We kind of laugh and hopefully we aren't being completely blasphemous. We had lunch there too during the coffee hour and had some much needed fellowship - there's a churchy word for you. But we really did.

Transitions are never easy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

"C" Food

Last night we were going out to dinner (a special treat for us) and we debated on a couple places. I kind of had a hankering for Red Lobster for some sea food. Jason felt like having something else so we were looking through our local phone book for some ideas.

We both agreed to check out this little Chinese place just a couple of blocks away. We always see it and have wondered abouut for a while. It's been there for years and years and considered a historic site on the "thoroughfare" of the city we live in. We got there and parking is in the rear so we entered from the back and walked past the kitchen. It kind of stunk in there and the little glimpse I had of the kitchen was not quite favorable. We walked into the dining area and the smell got a little bit better. As we got to the area where it says "Please Wait to be Seated," we were a little more encouraged by what looked like a lot of people in the dining area enjoying their meals, but whatever confidence that brought us, it was immediately deflated by what I saw next. On the wall, posted prominantly was the grade the restaraunt was given by the health department. A is great, excellent. B is not so great, eat only if starving. C is basically unheard of and should be avoided at all costs. This place had a C. I elbowed Jason so he could see it and we both looked at each other, scooped up our daughter and fled like we were about to be attacked by giant cockroaches.

So much for bringing business to the mom and pop shops in town.