Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

The turkey is brined and prepped and in the oven, the pies are almost done, the potatoes are peeled and ready to boil and mash...Thanksgiving is here!!

To all our friends and family: have a glorious day, and thank you for being in our lives!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I hope it goes to a good home, because I got to take this lovely braid with me, to be sent to charity.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

You Should Know

I am not posting any blog entries for a good reason: I am boring right now. Our life lately has consisted of coaching wrestling and getting physical therapy (for him), trying not to obsess over baby stuff and fighting what appears to be the never-ending cold (me), and piles upon heaps of cuteness, counterbalanced by some bum rashes and explosive diapers (hers, not mine).

That said, tomorrow will bring one piece of big news, but you have to WAIT to get it. I know, I know..the suspense is killing you all. It'll be good, though, so expect a photo essay.

In addition to that, we're hosting our first annual Jammie Thanksgiving this year. We were supposed to go to the inlaws' house for dinner, but due to scheduling conflicts and my mother in law's KILLER school schedule (apparently, getting a PhD is hard work?) they begged off hosting. I totally understand, but my fetus insisted on a real turkey dinner, complete with huge piles of mashed potatoes (no skimping on the butter and pepper) and your choice of homemade apple and/or pumpkin pie. For the record, since I'm baking them I plan on at least one piece of each. We did decide to change things up from how the inlaws do it, though. Don't get me wrong; holidays at their house are always a TON of fun with the wine and food and wine and card games and wine and my brother in law getting pissed about Gin Rummy and the wine. But we cannot accomodate the level of je ne sais qoui they can, so we opted to not even try. Instead, we've instructed the family to come as they are, jammies preferred and shoes optional. No nice clothes allowed, and absolutely no crystal goblets, real silver flatware or antique dishes. I love those things, but in my house it's likely the kid would drop the crystal stemware and you'd get dog hair all over your Sunday's best, so we think it's safest to not even try to pretend we're that classy. It should be fun, except that someone just told me that apparently turkeys can have feathers in them still when bought from the I plan on pawning bird prep off on Darrick. Love you, honey.

Anyhow, the day after Thanksgiving we're caravaning with the inlaws down to Rocky Point, Mexico for 4 days of fun in the sun. And the extra special bonus in that is that my wonderful brother in law is getting MARRIED while we're there to the most fabulous of women ever! I am so, so excited to get a new sister-in-law, and Luca's already put her order in for some girl cousins, which Brandon and Sydni promise to get to work on straight away. I can't believe how great those two are together, and their wedding is going to be this teeny little awesome affair, complete with candles and music and good food and lots of love. Oh, and tons of tequila for everyone but Luca and me. :::sigh::: But I can do without the tequila and be drunk on...happiness? :) Plus, I already appointed my amazing psuedo-sister in law K-Lee as my designated drinker for the weekend. She is now required by the bond of almost sisterhood (shit, after 8 years dating one of 'the brothers', she's as close to being family as you can get) to get drunk and have lots of fun on my behalf.

Anyhow, my post on how I have nothing to post turned into a post on lots of things. Interesting how that happens. But for now, that's it for my update. Come back tomorrow night for my photo essay on why change is good.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Holy Hell.

I had a scary realization today.

I am pregnant. And due in about 17 weeks.

I am going to have a baby. At home. With no drugs. And too much of a 'rule-follower' mentality to even take a shot of whiskey to dull the pain. Just a birth tub, my husband, and a midwife.

Holy hell. What did I get myself into?!?!?!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy 18 Months!

Our little Luca is 18 months old, and it seems like time is just flying by. Our baby is more little girl than baby these days, but it doesn't make me sad like it used to. Instead, we are loving every minute of her craziness, jabbering, hugs and kisses, and silly behavior.

I've been negligent in posting monthly updates lately, so I feel like I have a lot to update on. In Luca-land, she's growing and learning in leaps and bounds. She runs and dances and does silly things like pose in downward facing dog for a minute at a time or walk around with her head back, staring at the ceiling and laughing.

All this new mobility doesn't come without a price, though. My mom always told me that from the time they learn to walk until they are 3, kids are on a mission to kill themselves and we're just lucky not many of them succeed. And, you know, I believe it. In fact, just in the past 24 hours in our house, Luca fell three times, smacking her head into the ground. Once, she toppled off the recliner, sprawling onto her back. The second time, she was walking backward and tripped over a pillow, conking her head on the tile. And the third, she was trying to get off a chair in a restaurant waiting area, caught her foot, and flew face-first onto the brick floor. Amazingly, she seems to come away from these events without so much as a newfound fear, even when she has a bruise or bump for days.

And she's fearless all around. She climbs chairs, goes down the big kid slides all on her own, and even climbed 10 feet up a ladder the other day, tocheck out a treehouse her Grandpa is building. All this fearlessness is both adorable and scary as hell. I'm so proud that we have a girl who goes for things and is not scared, but I do worry about the cost of all the E.R. visits our future may hold.

Other random physical tricks Luca has picked up lately include snapping, whistling, trying to ride the dogs, picking things up with her toes (awww...just like Mommy!), and picking up anything not attached to the wall or the floor and putting it in a bag or purse to carry around the house. She also tries to put on her own shoes, as well as helping anyone who's over put their shoes back on and take them off. Apparently, she's obsessed with shoes, which could spell trouble for me in the coming years. She also loves coloring, sorting things and putting them in bags and tupperware, and building with her giant Lego blocks.

More than anything, Luca's language skills really amaze me. She's in the scary phase where everything we say could and often is repeated, meaning Mommy needs to watch her mouth. Some of the cuter words and phrases she's picked up recently are:

~ "Ess you!" (Bless You, said to everyone and everything around her that sneezes or coughs
~ "Awesome!"
~ "Yeah."
~ "ABC"
~ "Piggy" and "Ruby" (the dogs' names)
~ "A puppy!"
~ "A kitty!"
~ "Please"

She has a ton of other words to, ranging from hat to baby (babies being her latest obsession) to crayon (said more like "Craaaaa!"). But my favorite word of all time so far is "kisses", which she says about 100 times a day, and we oblige her every time. :)

With the weather slowly turning into something resembling fall, we've been playing outside a lot more, and taking her to places like the zoo or outdoor play areas, which she loves. She just really loves being outside ("side", as she calls it) and getting in the dirt.

We celebrated Halloween this month, with Luca dressing in style in two different costumes.

We took Luca to the polls to vote in an historic election. Poor kid was sick that day, but she humored me as we posted by both the 'Vote' sign and the 'No on 102' sign. Sadly, 102 passed, but happily we got the President we were hoping for!

We also took Luca to the zoo with some friends. This was really the first time she seemed to enjoy seeing the animals, and she and her buddies had a blsat riding in wagons and snacking on junk food.

We say it all the time, but we still don't know how we got so lucky to get Luca in our lives. I ask her how she got so sweet, and she says, "Yeah." And then I tell her I think someone sprinkled her head with sugar when she was born, and again she says "Yeah." My hope is someone's there to sprinkle the head of her little brother or sister too, since all this sweetness has us spoiled for sure.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It was one of those mornings...

...that reminds you why you married your husband. And chose to procreate with him. Twice (and maybe, someday, thrice).

We woke this morning to the household's smallest member tossing her toys from her crib. This is what she does when she wakes up and wants us to as well. Nevermind that it was 6:45 and I'd gone to bed at 1:30 after some fun impromptu wedding planning and, more importantly, scheming to prime the inlaws to agree to impromptu wedding planning, with my brother in law and his fiancee. Nevermind that it was bordering on freezing in our house, and it was almost still dark out. She was awake, and ready for us to be as well. So, we hopped out of bed, full of life, and ran to greet her.

Ok, no, we did not. Rather, I held so still I was almost comotose, in hopes my husband would think I was still asleep and would decide to go get her up. But we must have been fated to be together, because my husband did the same thing. Eventually, I opted for a dramatic roll over and "Urrrrrgh.", grumbling sleepily about how my belly was hurting (semi-truth). And my husband responded by throwing the blanket over his head and burrowing into the pillow pile, reminding me he'd gotten her up on Saturday. Rather than being defeated so easily, I said, "But I'm preeeeeeeegnant!". Yup, a finer moment for me for sure.

He gave in, by inches, and retrieved her from her crib, bringing her and depositing her on the bed on top of said hurting belly. And she spent the next 12 minutes babbling and circling the room, climbing on the bed and off, hugging Ruby repeatedly, throwing empty waterbottles, and trying to steal my chapstick from my nightstand. The final straw that forced me out of my blankie cacoon was when she saw the picture of Darrick from our wedding, sitting on the nightstand in a silver frame. Excited, she shrieked, "DADA!", picked the picture up, and hurled it at my ribcage.

Annnnnd...I'm awake.

I threw on a sweatshirt and re-rolled the toilet paper roll Luca had stretched from the bathroom into the hall and to New Mexico, then lifted her in her fuzzy jammies and took her downstairs. I was planning on being merciful and letting Darrick sleep in, but Luca had other plans and promptly climbed back up the stairs and started to harass him. I can only hope a 5x7 of me in a white gown and veil was not his wake-up call.

I threw open the blinds and noticed that the day was overcast, and my mood improved. I know, I know, people from Seattle to Boston to London are shaking their heads (or, would be if they read this), but an overcast fall day was just what I needed. I lit my fall candle, put Lu in a clean diaper and gave her some water, and set about making breakfast. Darrick came down, all cute in his shorts and sweatshirt and fuzzy face, and turned the radio onto Sunday Morning Service (live and acoustic music...we listen to it every Sunday). Twenty minutes later, we were dining on omelettes and drinking hot coffee, watching Luca peel the sharp cheddar off the egg, putting the egg in a pile to the side, and asking for more cheese.

As soon as we were done with breakfast, I cleaned up while Luca and Darrick went outside to check out the weather. I snuck a peek out the window to see them looking at our baby Ash tree and whispering. Her little arm was tucked around his, her hand hidden between his body and his bicep for warmth, and he leaned in and kissed her blonde hair, and I melted into the Earth. Watching them together, and seeing Luca run around and put gravel in a bucket and then chase down the football and squeal with delight when Ruby went outside was heaven.

I can forget, sometimes, how lucky we are to have this life, how lucky I am to have these people. But this day, this overcast fall morning full of warm coffee and hugs and baby kisses and green grass and gravel and baby trees growing strong and backyard swings brought me right back to center. I love that sweet husband of mine, and that sweet baby Luca. And I cannot wait to fall in love again, with not only the next baby growing in my belly, but with my husband, who never fails to amaze me with how, well, amazing he is.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I thrive in randomness.

1. A friend shared with me that you can now have your name added to a list so you don't receive the phone book anymore. The yellow pages, more specifically. And while I'm all over this idea, my sweet hubby has a different idea. I do believe I married the only man who still thinks he cannot LIVE without the phone hard copy...white and yellow...this year's and last.

A sample coversation from a time long ago, whence I committed the grave sin of recycling the 47 old books littering the pantry floor and the top of the fridge:

Him: "There were NOTES on that book. NOTES about a place I liked for their calzones!"
Me: "Uh, if you liked it THAT much, you'd remember, right?"
H: "YOu know my memory sucks. You shouldn't have thrown them out!"
M: "There's always the internet...."
H: (cradling phone book to his bosom) "It's not the same. Please don't EVER throw away the phone book again."

2. This baby enjoys punching and kicking my sides. Luca loved to dig her elbows into my hipbones, but this little sprout is more into jabbing my abdomen. And heel-kicking my cervix. Go ahead, absorb that one for a moment. Moms know. Non-moms are adding this to the 'List of Reasons to Keep Taking My Birth Control', along with hemmies, stretch marks, darkened nipples that chap when you breastfeed, and stitches in the netherlands.

3. Current favorite snack: those sickly sweet pink and white circus animal cookies (with the multi-colored sprinkles) dipped in whipped cream cheese frosting.

4. My favorite snack when pregnant with Luca: Snickers Blizzard. Large. Extra Snickers, please. I've had friends who were all, "I have NO IDEA how I gained XX when I was pregnant!". I am not one of those people. I not only have an idea, I know precisely. Snickers. Blizzards.

5. Everyone thinks this baby is a boy. Well, there are like 4 people in my life who think girl, and apparently they all answered my blog poll. But the other 4 who answered, along with the balance of people in my life, seem to think it's a boy. I confess: I am still scared of having a boy. Mostly of weenie-related issues.

6. I've alerady started listening to Christmas music. I figure since we don't get a definitive season change here, I can decide when it's time. And the time is now. Thank goodness for Pandora radio (google it) which allows me to listen to anything, anytime.

7. It's officially footed jammie season in our house again. Now that the temperatures in AZ have dropped below 90 during the day (For real? For real.) it's cold at night. For some reason, Luca's room is always the coldest, so as soon as the temps dropped we knew it was time to dress her in something warmer than short sleeves and thin pants. I LOVE footed jammie season...the soft sweetness of the jammies, all squisjy and snuggly. I love how Luca looks like a Christmas card picture in her fuzzy footies, and how the slight static they create causes her fine hair to stand up on end around the collar. I love how they keep her toasty, so that when she wakes up at night and fusses, and I go in to check on her (because, yes, I AM that mom who goes in every time), her skin is pink and flushed, and she smells like sweet warm honey baby. I love that her little hands can disappear into the sleeves, and how she rubs the back of my arm with those disappearing fingers when she's sleepy and the soft plushness of the jammies tickles. I love when she wakes in the morning, happy (never grouchy...always happy) and I go to get her, and she laughs and smiles and holds out those little hidden hands and says "Up!" and she's still warm from sleep. I love footed jammie season.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction....The chain reaction of evil--hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars--must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength To Love, 1963.

I have no words to express how happy I am right now, and how monumental this moment is for our nation. Let hope win. Let love drive out hate. Let changes be real.

Another ultrasound

Back when we had our first trimester screening, there were two issues 'of possible concern' that were brought up. The first I mentioned before, which was the ultrasound specialist suggesting we get baby's heart checked around 22 weeks. The reason for this was that sometimes a borderline NT measurement like we had combined with ok blood work can be an indicator of a possible rare heart problem. The other issue was that my placenta was very low lying, so much so that it was covering my cervix, which can sometimes result in a condition called placenta previa. Basically, this means the placenta attaches to the uterus in a spot where it ends up covering the cervix, so when mom starts to dilate there can be a lot of complications. The placenta can exit first, causing hommoraging from excessive bleeding as well as the potential for the placenta to be expelled before the baby, which can be very dangerous. The other less risky complication if the placenta does not block the opening but stay low-lying is that it wouldn't come out on its own after the baby is born. This last scenario is something my MW can deal with by giving me a shot of pitocin to help the uterus contract down after the baby is born. The other scenarios would mean no homebirth for me.

So, after discussing with my MW, I was given a referral to my old OB's office (lucky me, my current MW knows my old MW and OB, and works with them as back-up providers for testing and emergency transfers) for an ultrasound. I called yesterday, and they were able to get me in this afternoon. I was thrilled I wouldn't have to wait, but sad because Darrick wasn't likely to be able to make the 3 pm appointment since he works until almost 3. We talked last night and made a deal: if he made the appointment I'd leave it up to him to ask the sex if he wanted to know, and if he didn't make it, we were keeping it a surprise.'s.......a....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................surprise!

Yup, Darrick was not able to make it on time, so I took Luca (who stayed home sick with me today after she spent most of last night puking) with me and we asked to have it kept a secret. But we did get all kinds of information about baby. Most important, baby's heart looks perfectly normal, and my placenta is nowhere near my cervix any longer, so we're in the clear with our two major concerns. Every other vital organ is normal, and all baby's important bone measurements (head, femur, etc) are on target. He/she is also exactly the size he/she should be for my dates. All in all, great news all around!!!

And, that's it for the 'will we or won't we' debate. No more ultrasounds for us unless there is some medical indication we need one later on, which I don't see happening. So we'll find out if we're having a boy or a girl when baby is born!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Everything a Big Bad Wolf Could Want.

Please tell me someone outside my immediate family is familiar with the song by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (of Wooly Bully fame)? No. Well, I invite you to listen to it here, and I promise to post an even more awesome cover version later, when I won't get yelled at by the hubs for 'uploading crap while I'm playing XBox'.

Anyhow, for weeks we have been singing this song because, well, it amped us up for Luca's big debut on Halloween as Little Red Riding Hood. And what a debut it was. The first time we put the cape on her, she moonwalked, all like "Take THAT Michael Jackson! I'm Little Red Riding HOOOD!" I know no one moonwalks anymore, but I'm fairly well convinced that if we all looked as freaking adorable as she did whilst moonwalking, it might just make a comeback.

What you should know about her costume is that, if your kids' Gramma was as cool as Luca's Gramma, your kids may have had a custom made LRRH costume for their first ever trick or treating adventure as well. I pause for a moment when I type out effusive compliments for my mom, since me of 10 or 15 years ago would have shuddered with revulsion to think one day I'd think my mom rocked so much. But the fact is, when we get older we realize our moms aren't so bad after all, and especially when they have wicked awesome sewing skills and love to adorn their one and only granddaughter with niceti1322223ies (ignore the spelling of that...Luca swooped in for a moment to contribute her own commentary to the topic at hand) and cuteness for all the oldies of the neighborhood to 'OOH' and 'Awwww!' over. And Ooh and Aww they did...with one neighbor on the cell phone speaking En Espanol, and all I heard was her mentioning the costume, and while I cannot be certain she was paying compliments to my child, I will run with that assumption.

So, without further ado, I present to you OUR Little Red Riding Hood. I apologize that the quality of the pictures can't even begin to rival the awesomeness of the costume, but the one good thing about a running toddler smearing her way across every frame is that it may have finally convinced my husband we need a SLR. Sweet.


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