Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Saturday, August 30

Cereal Killer


I am a cereal killer. I can scarf the stuff down like a Hoover gobbles dirt. Which is why I get depressed every time I go down a Canadian grocery store cereal aisle. The selection up here leaves much to be desired. Cocoa Puffs and Cocoa Pebbles? Nope. Just Nesquik which isn't as good and is made by Nestle. Kix? Nope. Can't get that either. Captain Crunch? Well...you can get a TINY box for five-something a pop but don't expect crunch berries. And the Corn Pops are a different shape (but I don't often eat them so I haven't yet sampled them to see if they taste different than the US variety). Granted, I don't often eat junk cereal anyway. But man, when you get a pregnancy craving for something and it simply isn't available it's torture (but only if you're somewhat melodramatic like me).

And don't even get me started on the prices of cereal up here. All I'm going to say is that it's STINKIN' EXPENSIVE!

The one kernel of joy I have found concerning cereal here comes from the amusement provided by the sign in the cereal aisle at one particular store: "Adult Cereal." Um...what? "Adult Cereal?" Really? As in, XXX Cereal? Shouldn't all the boxes have black plastic covers on them? And do I really want "Adult Cereal" for breakfast? And I don't even want to know what kinds of shapes the marshmallows come in!

OK...you're now free to leave snarky comments about my dirty sense of humor.
Friday, August 29

Bibliophile

What I'm Currently Reading (heaven forbid I keep to one book at a time):

Birth: The Surprising History Of How We Are Born by Tina Cassidy
So far I like it. It's fascinating! If more textbooks were written like this I think I might have actually enjoyed my classes more often.

Mothering The Mother: How a Doula Can Help You Have a Shorter, Easier, and Healthier Birth by Klaus, Kennell, and Klaus
I love the pictures that all seem to be from the 70's/80's/maybe early 90's...but hey, the content is interesting.

What I'm Looking Forward to Reading (as soon as I get my hands on copies):
(I know Loree (my doula) has at least one of my "need-to-reads" in her personal lending library. Hopefully she has the rest because the library does not have most of them.)

Birthing From Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation by England and Horowitz

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
Interesting tidbit: my doula actually trained at Ina May's center in Tennessee! ETA: Read and LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Goer and Wheeler

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: Seventh Revised Edition by La Leche League International I started reading this while I was still working at Good Earth in Provo (we cashiers were allowed to read when we weren't otherwise occupied). But then we moved so I didn't get to finish it. The cover features a really sweet picture of a nursing baby. One of my male co-workers asked what I was reading so I showed him the book. You could almost hear his embarrassment when he saw the cover. It was kind of funny but it was also sad. Why? This (and this) is why.

What I Have Already Read or Purchased and Partially Read (some books are more for reference rather than sitting down and plowing through)

The Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Baby from Birth to Age Two by Sears, Sears, Sears, and Sears
If I was filthy rich I'd buy a copy for every expectant mom.

The Breast Feeding Book: Everything You Need to Know About Nursing Your Child from Birth Through Weaning
by Sears and Sears
Man! The things you learn in this book are amazing! You really gain an apprectiation for your body (I make milk, what's your superpower?)!

Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block
LOVED this book! Really, REALLY loved this book! It's definitely an eye-opener!

Johnson's Mother and Baby by Cooper, Moorhead, Holland, Godridge, and Griffey
Not bad, not bad at all. It's certainly better than a lot (I'm talking about YOU What to Expect When You're Expecting). And it has some really beautiful pictures of some really beautiful babies. But I'd recommend saving your cash and buying the Sear's Baby Book instead.

Speaking of books...I visited one of my favorite places last night: THE LIBRARY! You'd think a bibliophile like me would have checked out the library in town the second we arrived. But somehow I just hadn't gotten around to it. I must say I'm very pleased. And me saying I'm pleased says a lot considering the libraries I'm used to (nationally recognized libraries in Centerville, and the Provo Library and Harold B. Lee Library (HBLL) at BYU which is one of the best college libraries in the US). While the Medicine Hat library may not have the sheer size of the HBLL, the old beauty of the Provo library, nor the extensive movie collection of the Centerville libraries it definitely deserves a lot of love!

A library card runs you $5 a year. I'm not used to giving the library money for anything other than my late fees (which I accrue more often than I'd care to disclose and in amounts that probably function as a larger revenue source than taxes). But I can't complain. $5 is nothing considering the services provided (which I will discuss hereafter) and is still probably going to be less than my yearly late fees.

In addition to the normal library perks (such as a large collection of books which one may borrow) they have free children's programs (which isn't uncommon I suppose) including one for babies who are a mere 4 months old. They also have movies on Thursdays and Saturdays. Now...Provo had a movie night. Adam and I went once. We stayed for about 5-10 minutes. Why? Because I'd rather watch a movie on a tiny little screen in my own home than sit on uncomfortable metal chairs surrounded by kids whose parents don't even attempt to quiet them while straining to see the image projected on a wall in a room that is too brightly lit to be using a projector in the first place and with speakers that are mostly useless. Last night was one of the Medicine Hat Library's movie nights. We stayed for the whole movie. Why? Because they had an actual screen with actual movie theater seating. We will most certainly be going back (free date night!). The library also has workshops and reading programs and is a nice-looking place with really helpful staff. They also have a paperback exchange (bring in a paperback you don't want anymore and take one home to keep). So here's an A+ for the Medicine Hat Library. Oh, and this is the same place with the giant chess board. Still haven't managed to get pictures of the pieces though (they were putting them away for the night by the time we got there).

As for the movie we saw...no A+ there. We watched The Golden Compass. Now I had heard all kinds of things about this movie (anti-God, anti-religion, blah blah blah). But I'm a thinking adult and I'd rather decide these things for myself than have my opinion dictated to me by the hysterical masses (I tend to roll my eyes at any dire warnings received via e-mail forwards). Had it been rated R I certainly would have passed. But seeing as it was a children's movie I was willing to give it a shot (plus it just seemed interesting).

Now, I will say that after we got home I did a little digging. Turns out the books upon which the movie is based are quite anti-religious. The author happily admits his personal opinions on such things. But the movie was so convuluted that it's hard to say what, if any, theme it was trying to portray. Knowing the controversy over the film and being a more astute film watcher than most (my film major husband is training me well) even I had a hard time picking up on any sinister or even merely snarky jabs at religion. Maybe some things could be conveyed as somewhat anti-Catholic...but even that's a stretch.

When it comes right down to it my biggest complaint about the movie is that is simply wasn't very good. The visuals and design were great (loved the wardrobe and the architecture of the world in which the story takes place). But it was obvious that the makers of this movie had tried to cram far too much book into one movie. When adapting a book you either have to sacrifice enough material that the story won't confuse your audience (like dropping Peeves from the Harry Potter movies) or you have to be like Peter Jackson and make some seriously long films (Lord of the Rings). You can't simply try to include it all only to end up barely touching on story lines and barely introducing characters and then expect your audience to know what's going on and to care about the players. So I'm going to reccomend skipping this movie, but only because there are so many better movies to spend your time on.

Now, am I going to read the books? Probably not. I will admit that I'm curious to see just how strong the athiest overtones are, but not curious enough to bump the books to the top of my reading list (which includes far more than the birth and baby related books mentioned above). But who knows. Maybe some day my curiosity will get the better of me. Never say never, right?

I must say I find the tenants of athiesm hard to relate too. Agnosticism I totally get. But seeing as it's pretty impossible to "prove" the non-exsistence of God just as much as it is to prove the existence of God it would seem to me that athiesm requires just as much faith as any religion does. The main difference between the two being that one creates an awfully lonely universe. Of course, I will concede that my opinion is obviously tainted by the fact that as a Christian I most certainly do believe in God.

The other thing I find interesting is that someone would take the time to write an entire series of children's books "about killing God" that are meant to "undermine the basis of Christian belief" (author's words, not mine). For one thing I think young children aren't exactly the best audience for such an argument. One wonders if such themes wouldn't be totally lost on such readership. After all, as a child I totally missed the Christian allergory in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardobe by C.S. Lewis (and if you haven't yet read the Narnia series believe me, the Christian themes are hardly what you'd call subtle). Yet, I suppose, as Adam pointed out, that the aim may be to subconsciously preach your message to a young mind.

My other problem is this: it just seems rude. I mean, really, am I the only one who thinks it's awfully negative to set out to undermine some-one else's beliefs just because one doesn't hold the same beliefs? I don't believe in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Islam, etc. but I sincerely appreciate just about every religion. You know why? Because I appreciate people who are spiritual, and earnestly trying to do good in the world (that doesn't mean I don't have a total and utter dislike for hypocrites who claim religiousity as the impetus for wrong-doing). My World Religions class was one of my absolute favorites. And I'm pretty much a "You're fine. I'm fine. Let's Hug" kind of person.

It's one thing to write books arguing FOR your views (a' la C.S. Lewis). It's an entirely different matter to write books meant to tear down that which so many people hold dear. It's not even that the author is painting the religious as mistaken, or foolish but that they (and religion itself/God) are painted as the evil villain. And when that's the tactic you resort to I have to wonder if you're either just very bitter about something or have an argument too weak to stand on its own.

And finally, some good news! We have a working phone! Yup, that's right, incoming calls and outgoing calls are now possible. However...we had to be assigned a new number to fix the problem. My Facebook friends can find that number here. It is actually a Calgary number. So apologize to anyone who doesn't have unlimited long distance. You're always welcome to drop me a line via e-mail or Facebook and request that I call you. And if you need to get in touch right away you can call and ask me to call right back.
Wednesday, August 27

Morning Musings

I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person. When I'd register for classes at BYU I'd have two criteria:

1. The professor had no horrible, terrible, awful reviews on ratemyprofessors.com
2. The class was at 11 or later.

OK, so admittedly I wasn't so rigid that I wouldn't take an earlier class if it was all I could get. But really, I am not a morning person. So imagine my surprise this morning when I not only got up with Adam (who gets up at six to be to work by seven) but stayed up after he left. And imagine my greater surprise when I enjoyed it! I made myself a hot cup of "yummy" (Postum, hot cocoa, and hazelnut creamer), reclined in my comfy glider, and surfed the internet a bit. It was great. I also washed the crock pot we borrowed last night so I can make my elk roast the easy way.

Another thing I find I like about the morning is that I get to see the rooster on my home page. You're probably thinking "huh?" right about now. See, my home page is what loads when I start Firefox. And on this page I have a little scene that changes depending on what time of day it is. It features a cute little fox and his other animal friends. Some of my favorite scenes are at night (like the fireflies). But one of my favorites (that I only see if I actually get up in the morning) is the little rooster. He's cute. And he makes me happy!

However, the sleepiness has caught up with me (had trouble falling asleep again last night, and was also woken by a purring furry thing (of the Lily variety) on several occasions). So after I finish this post my plan is to start the roast, walk over to a neighbor's to borrow their phone (so I can call the missionaries and let them know that yes, we still plan on feeding them), and head back to bed for some serious napping.

I interrupt this post for a quick complaint: I HATE THAT MSG IS IN ALMOST EVERY STINKIN' THING FROM THE GROCERY STORE! I'm not even sure why Canada and the US allow that trash in our food to begin with. But I'm finding more and more that when I check the ingredient lists there it is, lurking. And does the government require that it be clearly labelled as what it is? No. No, they do not. Just because the ingredients don't say "monosodium glutamate" does not mean your food item is MSG free. See here and here to know what I'm talking about. Just this morning I discovered it's in my veggie builloin cubes. I've also seen it in cheese nips, just about every canned soup known to man, and salad dressing for goodness sake! So keep your eyes open.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled post.

My home-made tortillas were a big hit with Adam last night. I made over a dozen of them but between our chicken salad wraps last night, Adam taking left-overs for wraps in his lunch, and me having them slathered with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar they're all gone. I'm happy as a clam about how much Adam liked them. He may never want store-bought again. And he didn't even get to try them while they were still warm! Some day I'll have to try making corn tortillas (but right now we have no corn meal).

And now I have to get going or my roast won't be done in time for dinner!
Tuesday, August 26

Every Pregnant Lady's Favorite Subject: FOOD

I made tortillas from scratch today. They're kind of ugly (not very good circles). But they taste good and smell great! And they're pretty dang easy to make! I didn't have a rolling pin but I improvised (used my water bottle). They turned out pretty good for a first time attempt if I do say so myself. I couldn't resist eating some of the dough before I cooked them (sprinkled with cinnamon sugar). It was like when I was a little girl and my mom made pie crust; she'd always let me have a little of the raw dough. Mmmmmmm! And I also had to sample one of the tortillas while it was warm and fresh off the griddle. I buttered it and sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar. Yummy!

So tonight we'll have chicken salad (made with the leftovers from yesterday's roast chicken). Tomorrow we're planning on having the ward missionaries over and serving them an elk roast. But then Thursday we plan on using more chicken leftovers and having curry (yum!). I don't know what we'd be having if we hadn't gotten a freezer full of food; beans, rice, and soup I guess.

I finally made some iced red raspberry leaf tea a while back. It's good. But mixed with a little ginger-ale it's divine!!! Of course, I also like it hot. I actually like it quite a lot with milk. It's nice to have the warm milk right before bed (which is when I usually have my tea). Of course "they" say the ol' "warm milk to get to sleep" trick is just psychological. But whatever, it's relaxing and it tastes good.

I finally made that cake I mentioned (the one my grandmother sent me the recipe for). Unfortunately Adam and I were not fans. The texture was good (really moist) but the flavor was definitely not the best. And the frosting! We didn't like the taste OR the texture of the frosting. It really bummed me out. It was the first time I had made cake from scratch (or frosting for that matter). Usually I go the boxed mix and can of frosting route. Plus it somehow feels sad that I don't like what my grandma so clearly enjoys (she raved and raved about this cake). I guess I'm somewhat particular about my chocolate cakes (they need to be dark, rich, moist and spongy).

All this food talk is making me hungry. I'm going to go feed "us."
Sunday, August 24

It's Time For...

Another belly picture! Actually it's well past time for another (about 5 weeks since the last one). So without further ado here I am at 22 weeks 4 days.
I don't feel like I look much bigger. But I feel bigger! My belly feels tighter, like it's barely containing all the baby and organs and stuff in there. And my bladder is definitely feeling a change lately. I'm constantly running upstairs to use the bathroom. But that's good. Exercise is good for ya! And our little Lovey is getting stronger too! Some of her kicks are getting almost uncomfortable. But I still love it whenever she wiggles. I don't think I could ever complain about that particular aspect of pregnancy. Of course, I try not to whine about things at all. I've pretty much had the perfect pregnancy (no morning sickness at all)! Besides, what are a few minor discomforts compared to the joy of having a little babe? Man, can you believe I'm going to be a mama in about 4 months?

So, our phone situation has gotten worse rather than better. We are currently unable to make outgoing calls. Which is making getting a hold of customer service really stinkin' difficult. It's stressing me out to no end. I just want my phone to work properly! Is that so much to ask? If this weren't the only VOIP service in our price range I'd be moving on to a different company by now. But I'm making the best of what I've got.

We dined with another family from our ward tonight. Good meal! And good fun (we played Killer Bunnies)! And in addition to milk shakes we had waffle cookies/brownies. Yum! And we were sent home with a huge bag full of food for our freezer (elk steaks, elk roast, deer roast, deer sausage, banana bread, etc.). It's a big blessing because our food budget for the rest of August is all but gone. This stuff is not only going to get us through the next week but well, WELL into September! And Adam loves elk. Plus I feel a lot better eating game than eating farmed meat (yes...I'm "vegetarian" and eat meat...I'm human and weak, accept it and move on). After all, deer and elk lived a nice life in the wild right up until their death unlike factory farm animals. We're having the ward missionaries over for dinner on Wednesday. I felt bad knowing I was going to have to serve them just spaghetti or pancakes or something. But now I can serve them a roast instead!

The most exciting thing that happened this past week was interviewing and hiring my doula! I liked her immediately. And she's got a LOT of experience. She's already been a huge help (clueing me into things I could have never known on my own, like which doctors are the best). There are plenty of reasons to hire a doula. In addition to the normal services a doula provides our doula will be taking pictures for us, and will provide a written account of my labor and delivery to put in our baby book. Plus she'll be "on call" for me two weeks post-partum to help with breastfeeding or whatever. I really wanted a midwife and homebirth for this baby. But once we moved to Medicine Hat that just wasn't an option. I was really down about that for a long time. But now I'm feeling excited and happy again. Knowing I've got her on my support team has made me do a complete 180 in how I think about this birth. I'm actually looking forward to the experience now. I know it will be hard. I know it will be tiring. I know it will be unlike anything I've ever experienced. But I'm not afraid anymore. Plus she's just super nice. She's working with us on the cost and she's easy to talk to. She's got this vibe that's both professional and laid back at the same time. You can see her website here.

I have another prenatal appointment this week. My doula told me that the doc I'm seeing this time is one of the best ones at the clinic so I'm hoping this visit goes better than the rest have. I may not get to choose who delivers my baby but I can make appointments with whomever I'd like. So if I like this doc I'll keep seeing her. I'm also planning on brining a written list of questions along because I'm tired of feeling like I just pop in, give them my weight and pee and head out again. And this time I'm going to ask for a copy of my chart. Seeing as they never tell me anything (like what all they screened my blood for and what the results were, or if I'm gaining too much or too little weight) I'm just going to have to demand that knowledge. I guess I'm just usually too timid to speak up. But my doula encouraged me to go ahead and ask for what I want. She instills a lot of confidence.

I should have a picture to post of our family room this week (and hopefully I'll finish setting up the kitchen too). The family room was clean on Tuesday. But it's been very lived in since then and needs a little tidying.

Cats are funny creatures. At least, our two cats are. Sometimes they seem to meow and meow for no particular reason. You try to love on them and they don't seem interested. But they keep meowing like they want attention. After a bit you start to tune them out because nothing you do seems to satisfy them. It happens every so often. Then there are other times when you realize after 5 minutes of this strange behavior that you're an idiot and they want you to open the basement door so they can get to their food, water, and litter box. Of course...this is all hypothetical. I've certainly never done anything like that...

That's all folks.
Tuesday, August 19

Baking

I've spent the last two days or so baking...but not in the traditional sense. It's gotten hot again! So I'm the one being baked! The current temperature is 34 C (that's 93 F for my American audience). At this point I'm relying on fruit juice popsicles, cool baths, and moving as little as possible to get by. Last night was the worst because we had a power outage for about 4 hours. You know what that means? That means no fan, and no humidifier (which is a cool mist model so it helps cool things down). Needless to say I didn't sleep too well.

The frustrating thing is that the heat makes doing anything productive about twenty times harder (on top of my aching hips making doing things more difficult). My grandmother sent me a recipe for chocolate cake that she says is the best she's ever had. Seeing as I am a chocolate cake addict I have been incredibly anxious to make it. But on top of not wanting the body heat the effort will generate I really don't want to be turning on the oven unless I have to, nor do I really feel like standing over a hot stove to make the frosting.

The good news is that it's supposed to get progressively cooler throughout the week with possible rain on Thursday.
Saturday, August 16

More Random Ramblings

I belong to the local Freecycle Group. Got a notice tonight that the leftovers from a 5 family garage sale were up for grabs. We managed to snag a box of canning jars, a bunch of big flower pots, some wooden utility shelves, a TV (with remote) and a few odd and ends. There were a lot of other things there that we just didn't need (bread machine, another TV, humidifier, etc.). And they gave us each a juice box of orange juice. Yum! I LOVE orange juice!

Earlier we got a notice for a free deep freeze...but it was way too big for our needs. Besides, when Adam asked how it was on power usage the current owner said it was good, it only ran them about $10 a month. Um...no thanks. That's not what I'd call "good" (it was an older freezer). The really dumb thing was that they were keeping the thing outside, in the sun and it had less stuff in it than our tiny little freezer (on the fridge) has in it. Talk about a waste of power/money.

In other news, Adam has now felt Lovey more than just the once. She kicked him a few times today. She's strong enough now that I can actually see my stomach move if she kicks hard enough (Adam still hasn't been able to see it). I'm currently calling her my little "belly Ninja."

I have been having messed up sleep lately. I can never seem to fall asleep (even if I'm tired) until I'm just absolutely exhausted. Then I sleep forever (with the exception of a few nights when I've woken up and couldn't get back to sleep for a while). So my sleep schedule is all screwy. Seeing as this is supposed to be the last chance I'll have for a decent night's rest for several years it's a little frustrating...mostly because I end up wide awake when Adam is zonked out and I get bored and lonely.

Lily has discovered the kitchen window. I'm not sure why she insists on getting up there. There's a window directly above it on the second floor that she's allowed to get in without being hollered at or squirted and there's a back door 4 times as big as the kitchen window. I guess she's just a glutton for punishment.

We found a used glider for the baby's room. It's super comfy! It came with a gliding ottoman. And, get this, it reclines! Ah, bliss! Now if we could just find some more regular chairs. We currently own two chairs and are borrowing two folding chairs from Church.

I guess there's not much else going on right now. But I like to post as often as I can. I think it's important to keep the material coming...even if it seems a little mundane. Take care!
Thursday, August 14

So Much To Do!

Seeing as I'm a first time mom (and delusional) I've compiled a list of projects I want to do before Lovey arrives that is about a mile long (orange items are the ones that are most important to finish before our baby is born).

1. Noah's Ark X-Stitch (my progress so far...actually I'm a little bit farther than this but I have to back track a little because I screwed up...again)

2. A little baby quilt (never made a quilt before but it's going to be all squares...how hard could that be right?)

3. Washable nursing pads (something like these)

4. A fabric ball and blocks (like this).

5. A wrap or two. Which should take all of 10 minutes according to those instructions.

6. Some little shoes (I like Robeez but I don't like leather).

7. Maybe some burp cloths (I know you can just use prefold diapers but I'd like a few colorful ones. As an artist I have an obsession with all things colorful and pretty).

8. Maybe some bibs?

9. Maybe do some applique on some onesies? Like this.

10. A quiet book (for Church).

11. A seek and find toy (also for Church). Like this or this.

12. A blessing dress made out of my wedding dress and my baptism dress.

13. Some simple dresses made out of the same fabric I'm using to make some skirts for myself. Then baby and I can match! It's gonna be SO CUTE (and cheesy).

14. Some X-stitch booties. I have the booties already (bought them at a craft store with a gift card). I just have to pick a design to stitch on the bottoms.

15. Some hats on my knitting loom. So easy!!!

16. And for me...some skirts (suitable for maternity wear and normal wear)

17. Also for me, some no-slip socks (with puffy paint) so I stop falling down the stairs (I'll explain further down).

18. And lastly (for me)
mail off my labor beads.

OK, so before you get too baffled wondering what labor beads are let me explain.

I belong to an online due date club. All the moms and moms-to-be are due in December. About 30 of us are buying beads for each other. We'll mail them all (with little notes explaining why we chose the beads we did and wishes for the best) to the lady organizing the swap and she'll sort them out so each person has one bead from each other person. She will then mail the beads back to us. We then string the beads onto a necklace. That necklace is for wearing when we go into labor. It's a neat reminder or how we're all thinking of each other and supporting each other. And after we give birth we can use them as nursing necklaces (click here for an explanation of what a nursing necklace is).

I picked out little glass leaf beads in honor of the new additions to everyone's family trees! I'd show you a picture but the camera batteries need recharged. So I'll probably just wait until the necklace is made and take a picture then.

If any of my friends or family want to send me a bead to add to my necklace I would really love that. I'm very sad that I won't be able to share this exciting time with you in person and the symbolism of having a bead from you with me while I'm in labor would mean a lot to me.

And now...for the stair story:
Monday as I was coming down the stairs in the morning I slipped (who would have thought carpet could be so slippery?). I didn't fall far but I fell hard. I had just been reading in one of my pregnancy books the night before about how important it is to not get jostled in the second and third trimester because you can dislodge the placenta (and that's bad!). The book even emphasized that even a minor fender bender should warrant a visit to the doctor to make sure baby is OK, even if mom isn't hurt. I tried to call the maternity clinic to ask if I needed to come in. I got a machine. So I tried calling the hospital (because I didn't have the number specifically for labor and delivery) and went straight to hold without getting to talk to a real person. So I hung up and tried the clinic again. This time I got through and they told me that since I was past 20 weeks they wanted me to go to labor and delivery and get checked out. Of course, I'm horribly shaken up over the whole thing. I didn't know how to get a hold of Adam so I had to call his boss and tell him I needed Adam to come home and take me to the hospital. Fortunately Adam is currently working at a job site that is nearby and he got home quickly. In the end baby was fine and I was fine other than being sore and being emotional. Of course...the very next day I slipped and almost fell again. So yes...I'll be making no slip socks. And my land lords are reinstalling the handrails as I type (they were being refinished).

Now, do I think I'm going to get all those projects done? Eh....maybe not. But I've split everything up into steps. If I do two steps (any two steps) per day and I cross-stitch for 30 minutes a day I should be done with time to spare. The trick will be making sure I do a little something every day. But it'll be worth it. I used to have a stretchy wrap on my online registry. It was one of the more affordable wraps. But even affordable wraps get quite pricey. Making my own is going to save us quite a bit! And a lot of the projects on my list (quilt, ball/blocks, dresses) are going to be made almost entirely out of supplies I already have on hand. If I was a better seamstress (and even more ambitious than I already am) I might try to sew some diapers. But I figure it'll be a miracle if I even finish all these projects.

I just want to say "CONGRATULATIONS" again to my dear friend Nora! Nora was married for time and all eternity this past Saturday in St. Louis MO. I'm very, very happy for her! Her and her new hubby look so perfect together and she looked absolutely beautiful in her wedding gown.

Well...my friend just dropped off the latest book in the Twilight series. So I'm going to get started without further delay!

Again, I miss all of you who are far away! I'm always happy to get a letter, e-mail, message on Facebook, etc. so please keep in touch!
Wednesday, August 13

Public Service Announcement

If you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.

Especially to the hormonal pregnant lady.

That is all.
Sunday, August 10

Catching Up On My Reading

Book #1

Book #2

Book #3

So...I've been meaning to read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer (a BYU alum). A friend finally loaned me her copies of the first three and I read them in less that 2 days. Adam is reading them too (working on the last one as I type). I expected to enjoy them. I have not been disappointed. I'm not sure how well they'll translate into movies (the first movie is due out in December). But I'm more interested in getting my hands on the next installment anyway. I won't go into details on the plot just in case I'm not the last person on earth to read them (besides Adam of course). And I can't say they've become my all time favorites...but they're still great fun. They're the kind of books I can see myself re-reading in the future. In fact I'd probably read them often enough that investing in my own collection would be a good plan. But there are some other books I need to get my hands on as well.

PS- I just checked out some promotional pictures for the new movie...can't say I'm pleased with the casting...at all. I'm worried the upcoming movie will be about as good as Eragon (in other words, terriblly, horribly awful). Really, truly, utterly unhappy with the casting decisions. Almost no one looks like I pictured them (maybe Bella...and maybe Jasper is ok, though not how I pictured him). Edward especially looks all wrong. So that's disappointing. But hey, at least if the movie turns out to be a big fiasco I can still enjoy the books.
Edit: I looked at some stills from the movie, much better than the promotional photos. Still...not quite what I pictured. But at least not dreadful. There may be hope for the movie after all...

Book #4 (which I am yet to read)
Thursday, August 7

Random Ramblings

It's a warm day. You'd think it'd be cooler since it's cloudy. But no such luck. What baffles me is that even on warms days...the cats seem fine. They have fur coats on 24/7! Why do they seem to handle the heat so much better than we do? I badly want a frozen banana right now...but am, sadly, banana-less.

Tonight I have to be at Church at 7:00 to practice a women's quartet that we'll be doing in Church later this month. The last time I sang in Church was at Christmas time (I had a solo in one of the choir songs). And now that I think about it...I haven't heard a word about a choir in our new ward. Could it be that there isn't one? How weird would that be? I can't imagine not having a ward choir. Hopefully no-one will take my wondering as some sign that I should be asked to run one...NOT QUALIFIED! And while I'm curious as to when and what our next callings will be I'm hoping mine has nothing to do with leading, coordinating, or directing music of any sort. I like to sing...but I barely (BARELY) read music (AT ALL).

Do doctors have to take courses on bedside manner when they go through medical school? Because I think (almost) all the doctors at the maternity clinic must have skipped or failed that one...the nurses too. While I understand that they're busy at the clinic...I believe there is always time for a little basic kindness.
The first doctor I saw there was just plain rude (among other flaws). The first thing he said upon walking into the exam room (keeping in mind we have never, ever met) was "So, feeling pregnant and b@#*%$?" I don't remember what I said (probably nothing). But what I should have said is "Why no, I wasn't...until you came in and said that to me. Thanks for asking." Call me a prude but I don't appreciate that kind of language. And I really don't think that's an appropriate greeting the first time you meet someone. Plus...I happen to enjoy being pregnant. I'll admit I have mood swings some times but I wouldn't trade this for anything. So when the male doctor (in other words...doctor who has never and will never experience pregnancy) starts acting like it's such a terrible condition I really don't find it amusing. Honestly, women are pretty much the only people who can get away with making pregnant jokes in the first place.
The next doctor I saw was a woman. She's the only one I've met so far that I liked. Even though there was a possibility we wouldn't hear a heartbeat she tried any way (and succeeded!). The first guy didn't even bother to try even though we specifically said we wanted to.
The last guy I saw ordered me around (do this...do that) but didn't feel a need to tell me why or what he was doing. That bugs me to no end. I like to be in charge of my care and my baby's care thank you very much. Kind of hard to be in charge when you won't even tell me you're doing something before you do it. For example, he started listening for a heartbeat with the Doppler without even warning me or asking for my consent. One second I'm waiting for him to tell me what he's doing the next there's cold goo all over my stomach. While I'm OK with the occasional use of Dopplers and ultrasounds I am also aware that they have not been proven completely safe (and some believe that babies really dislike them). And seeing as we had an ultrasound scheduled for the very next day (during which they would be checking the heartbeat) if this doctor had actually asked me if he could do that I would have said "no."
I actually had a question this time (usually I don't have any because I do so much reading and research on my own). I wanted to know what I could safely use to deal with my acne (which has only gotten worse since being pregnant). His answer? "Soap and water." Duh. I'm aware that I can safely use soap and water. What really irks me is that he acted as if that's the only answer when I know for a fact there is more to it than that. For example...salicylic acid should not be used by pregnant women. He didn't even mention that. He gave me the impression that he either A: knew less about the subject than me, B: was too lazy to take the time to truly answer my question, or C: both. Plus he felt the need to criticize our personal choice to learn our baby's gender ahead of time. Me knowing if my baby is a boy or girl has no medical significance whatsoever so mind your own business.
I've heard good things about a Dr. Prince but the last two times I've tried to see him something has gone wrong (the first time the clinic lost my appointment and I had to wait for the next available doc, the second time I came in on the wrong day and he wasn't there). This next appointment I couldn't see him either because he wasn't available on or near the day they wanted to schedule me. So I asked for whatever woman doctor was going to be available that week. Since the only doctor I've even remotely liked so far has been a woman I figured my luck would be better if I continue that trend.
I'm frustrated with the clinic as a whole, quite frankly. I feel like the appointments are a waste of my time, their time, and the Alberta tax payer's money. I come in, you take my urine and record my weight, ask if I have any questions and move me on out again. They never even tell me anything...not the results from my original blood work, not what they're looking for in my urine (or what they find), nothing. When they weigh me they don't even tell me if I'm gaining too little, too much, or just enough. If you're going to keep all the pertinent information to yourselves what good does it do me to even come in? Honestly...what I really, truly want is to call up a midwife (but Alberta health care won't cover midwives -don't even get me started on the politics of that dumb policy). I have an interview with the local doula on the 19th. I'd LOVE to have a doula at my birth (especially so Adam doesn't have to spend the whole time trying to pry information from the nurses and doctor and enforce our wishes and rights). But I don't think there is any way to afford one this time around. I suppose I am going to have to right a very specific birth plan and have the doc sign it ahead of time. That way if (or should I say when?) hospital staff try to con me into all the stuff I do not want (like an episiotomy) I'll have a little extra back up.

OK. I'll come down off my soap box (for now).

Last night Adam and I went for a walk during the sunset at the park a street over from us. It's basically a big nature reserve. We saw a young buck and some bats. It was very cool. And the Deet-free, all natural bug spray we got seems to be working quite well.

The weekend is almost upon us (about time)! Adam and I don't have any plans but that's good. We'll probably work on getting things organized around the house. Is it completely pathetic that we're still not unpacked? It's hard to decide where to put things (we're not used to this much space). We're also in need of a book shelf (so if anybody knows of one in need of a home, old and ugly is fine, let us know). The farmer's market isn't open this week so we'll likely sleep in on Saturday.

You know what makes me sad? Women who don't realize how beautiful, wonderful, valuable, and awesome they are. My friend seems to be having a rough time lately. She's been dealing with a lot of stress, mostly caused by feeling guilt when there's nothing to feel quilty about and feeling fat when she's thin and beautiful. I don't know where all those feelings come from (the media? perfectionism?). But I wish she could see herself the way I see her. I miss her terribly.

I am craving chocolate chip cookies...right now. So I think I'm going to have to go make some. Yum! Maybe I'll bring some to share at practice tonight.
Wednesday, August 6

Halfway There! (and other musings)

Today I am 20 weeks along, which is considered the halfway point! Granted...this pregnancy might go 41 or 42 weeks but typically 20 weeks is considered the halfway marker. Actually, I just read the other day that women of German ancestry can have 10 month long pregnancies. Here's hoping my Norwegian bloodlines overpower my German ones in this matter!

Lovey continues to wiggle, dance and kick. Lately I can't help but think of that scene from Alien whenever she squirms...

Adam has been able to feel her kick, once. It was the same day we had the ultrasound. Mostly we just have issues with timing. Lovey will move. Adam will come to feel her. Lovey will stop moving. We give up and Adam removes hand from belly. Lovey moves again. But such is life.

The other day I spent a good 3 (maybe 4) hours researching diapers. We've known for a long, long time we were going to be using cloth. The extreme financial savings (about $2,000) over using disposables aside cloth is better for the environment and for babies (see links below). I originally had wanted to use a specific kind of cloth diaper made by Bum Genius. It's whats called a "pocket diaper." And this particular brand makes one that is adjustable so you only ever have to buy one size. The beauty of this diaper is that there's no folding or messing with diaper covers. It has the waterproof cover built right into it. And it uses Velcro to fasten on just like a disposable (plus it's stinkin' adorable). But...I wanted to save as much money as possible so I decided to go with prefolds and covers. I spent forever figuring out how many diapers to get in each size and how many covers to get in each size. After I had it all figured out I did the math...it was actually going to cost MORE to use prefolds and covers than it would to use the Bum Genius diapers! So while I'm thrilled that what I wanted in the first place is more affordable I'm irked that I spent all that time planning our prefold system for nothing.

The Diaper Debate 10 Years Later
The Joy of Cloth Diapers
A Tale of Two Diapers

I made a strawberry-rhubarb cobbler yesterday (picture below). YUM! The original recipe calls for just rhubarb...so I worried about the amount of sugar since the strawberries are sweet all on their own. But it turned out really good. I'm glad...because it was a lot of work (mostly because I was doubling the recipe in my head as I went along instead of just writing out all the doubled measurements). The recipe is from the Shumate Family Cookbook. It's satisfying to make something from scratch (even when it is a lot of work). Of course, the best part is enjoying the fruits (literally) of one's labors. My Grandma said she's mailing me a recipe for excellent chocolate cake. I'm looking forward to making (and consuming) it once the recipe arrives! I have to say, recipes amaze me. I always wonder how someone came up with the recipe in the first place. Who figured out that if you mash flour, baking powder, butter, eggs, and milk, with some sugar and salt and make it have a crumb like consistency then put it on top of a fruit filling and bake it that it would turn out so yummy?! And for that matter...who figured out that the LEAVES of rhubarb are toxic but the STEMS just need to be stewed with a little sweetner and they're great?
I guess that's all the latest from the Great White North. We miss all of our friends and family in the States (and elsewhere in Canada). Hope you're all doing well! And if any of you ever want to visit Canada come see us! I'll even make you cobbler!
Tuesday, August 5

Don't Cry Over Spoiled Milk


Blech! Ugh! Ick! Gross! Ewww! I totally drank some bad milk today. I had it on my cereal and it tasted fine. There was just a tiny bit left in the carton so I didn't want to put the almost empty carton back in the fridge and decided to just drink it. Nasty! It's not past it's expiration date but it was definitely no good. Spoiled milk does NOT taste good. Now I'm just hoping it doesn't make me sick.
Saturday, August 2

Farmer's Market

We got up this morning to go to the farmer's market. Usually we sleep in and get there closer to when it closes and all the good produce is already gone. Today we were able to get new potatoes, broccoli, gigantic tomatoes, peppers, radishes, and rhubarb. I'm going to use the rhubarb to make either a strawberry-rhubarb pie, cobbler, or crisp (probably one of the latter since they're less work). I have some yummy organic strawberries from a local co-op. The produce from the farmer's market isn't organic, but it is local (mostly grown by Hutterites who I really enjoy doing business with). And every time we ask a seller if they use any sprays we've been assured they don't. All in all it's a great place to pick up some really good, fresh produce. I also got three tiny little hair clips for our baby from one of the crafters at the market.
Yup, that's the maple leaf (like on the Canadian flag) on the bottom left. And that's a little pink apple on the other right. And of course the purple one is a tiny little flower. They're probably about an inch long each. How cute!
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