Anyway, it's a bit much. Before it was just a flyer or random coupon every month or so, but not now. I came home a few days ago to this: a box with a baby feeding guide, two cans of formula and a reminder to ask for my free Similac sling pack at the hospital, complete with pre-filled bottles measured for a newborn. I don't want to use formula but even if I did, I don't really think I'm quite ready to get large cans in the mail. But I know what they want, they want to get me hooked on their product. Just like the Pampers and Huggies diapers I received last week.
I promise this isn't going to turn into an anti-formula post. I'm sure I'll talk later about my desire to breastfeed but this is more of anti-consumerism for babies post (that's an awkward phrase but it is better than anti-baby consumerism since that sounds like I'm anti-baby).
The amount of "buy this for your baby" propaganda is ridiculous. I read a couple of the mainstream baby magazines before I realized they are just 30 page advertisements for things you "need" to have. The article about how to prevent stretch marks is really just a list of the top 5 stretch mark creams (at least one of which was over $50). Ditto for the "how to deal with diaper rash" article.
The actually ads are even more confusing. Especially for baby toys because, unlike commercials for toys for the 5-7 year old crowd, these ads are actually aimed at me. My kid is not old enough to by heartbroken if they don't receive a Zhu-Zhu pet for Christmas, "forcing" parents to search high and low for a plastic hamster. No, to sell a product for anybody under 3, you have to convince the parent it is worthwhile. But none of the ads I see are remotely applealing. Look! The faster your kid scribles, the faster the music plays. That sounds awful. Why can't I just give my kid some paper and crayons and put a CD on in the background? Am I the only one who feels this way? Have the "I want to buy lots of crap for my kids" hormones just not kicked in yet?
At this point many of you may be asking what the heck a Snoogle is? It's a pillow, a gigantic curvy body pillow. But the word pillow really fails to convey how amazing the Snoogle is. I started having trouble sleeping at about week 10. I was not expecting that to start so soon but as "not expecting" really seems to sum up my whole pregnancy experience, I should just get used to that. As soon as I did, I knew I needed a body pillow. I'm a weird sleeper when it comes to pillows, I don't normally like to use pillows under my head, but I love body pillows and slept with one religiously all through high school and college. I gave it up when I got married though as I didn't think Craig would appreciate my putting a large barrier between us. But desperate times call for desperate measures and when I needed a pillow, I knew just the one I wanted. I have heard wonderful things about this pillow from preggos and non-preggos alike. I ordered mine from Target and it said it would take 9-15 days to arrive, which was very depressing as was the fact that it cost $49.99 and free shipping starts at $50.00. (Only pregnancy would cause Craig to instantaneously hand over his credit card without even asking me if I thought $50 was a little much to be spending on a pillow even though I know he already feels like our apartment overfloweth with pillows). But Target did not do me wrong, my Snoogle arrived just three or four days later and my life has not been the same since.
When you lie down in it (and yes, in really is the best preposition to describe it), you become encased and magically all the joints from your shoulder blades to ankles that have been misaligned and achy all day, are lifted, lined up perfectly and just seem to disappear. Amy Beth actually describes it as like having a man wrapped around you and that would be pretty accurate except with the Snoogle you can move it and punch it to get it situated exactly how you want it and when I try to do that with Craig he gets grumpy. (He is such an unsympathetic husband sometimes :-)
And it's so versatile. I switch back and forth during the night between the back to back and tummy tuck positions but I also love using it in a modified swirl position while watching TV on the couch.
It's big, so it is a pain to move it back and forth between the bed and the couch but it is still worth the effort. In fact, I'm driving to visit family over the Thanksgiving break and the snoogle will definitely be coming with me even though it will occupy a whole seat.
Also, in an attempt to give a fair review, I've also heard if you are really short or really tall, it isn't quite as great but it's fairly flexible so I think you'd have to be on the extreme end to have that problem. And others have complained that the pillowcase it comes with is a bit scratchy. They sell others that are softer and colorful for $20 but I am pretty picky about textures and I don't mind it. It's not 300-count Egyptian cotton but it works. You could always just stick a normal pillowcase over the top where your face touches it if you are really bothered, but I'm not.
Overall, I love my Snoogle - a lot. But from what I've heard, husbands tend to demand their removal from the bed pretty soon post-pregnancy so I'd better enjoy it while it lasts.
The first came a couple mornings ago at a little after 7am. It woke me up and when I looked to see who it was from, I saw my older brother's name. Now Rick is not much of a morning person at all and being a grad student, he can still pretty much get away with that so I immediately though that he was calling to tell me either 1) he was engaged ( a little birdie told me it might be happening soonish) or 2) someone was in the hospital. Now since the title of this post is about awesome phone conversations and not devastating phone conversations, you all can probably guess how this story is going to turn out. Yes, he is engaged!
(Photo stolen from my mom's facebook page)
It's very exciting and not just because none of my family members were dead. I can't wait until next week when I get to see them again and get to know her better since the last time we went to visit him and meet her, I spent most of the weekend napping or in the bathroom. Plus, I love me wedding planning news and most of my friends are married now so I don't get a chance to hear about it much. Fun times are coming!
The second awesome phone conversations happened yesterday when I got a call during the middle of the day from an unknown number. Turns out the driving study I did a few months ago had trouble getting enough people to participate so they raised the financial incentive. But to make things fair, they had to go back and paying everyone else the extra money too. Basically, she called and asked if I wanted to swing by her office and pick up $100. Why yes, yes I did. I don't know about you, but I don't often receive phone calls asking me to go pick up large amounts of cash, especially not just several weeks before Christmas, so that was way up there on awesome phone conversations.
So those were my awesome phone conversations of the week. I realize the title of this post makes it sound like it is going to be an recurring feature but I don't think it is, unless of course people just want to keep calling and offering me money!
I know MacKenzie didn't oppose the books for the feminist reasons of some people quoted in the article. I don't know if the book caused her to "notice in that first week of reading that I was feeling things I hadn't been able to feel in a long time." But it's interesting to know that this sequence of events happened to enough people to warrant a Washington Post article.
"Twilight" came for the tweens, then for the moms of tweens, then for the co-workers who started wearing those ridiculous Team Jacob shirts, and the resisters said nothing, because they thought "Twilight" could not come for them. They were too literary. They didn't do vampires. They were feminists.
Then something happened: the release of the "Twilight" movie, which last year introduced $384 million worth of audience members to Kristen Stewart as mortal Bella and Pattinson as lust incarnate.
I'm doing better. But it's a two steps forward, one step back kinda deal. Two weeks ago I started feeling better, we made it to church, I was able to eat dinner, but then bam, Tues-Friday were yucky again. Friday night I finally made Craig go get my nausea medicine and we found out that it doesn't really help me. If I'm really feeling bad, I can take it and within 10 minutes it will completely knock me out and I won't be awake again for at least three hours. Which technically means I go three hours without being sick but as soon as I wake up, I feel bad again. Except now I am sick and disoriented. Which is really bad if you eat a popsicle before you go to sleep then wake up and start throwing up red liquid. Within a minute or two you will remember that it is just popsicle juice and you are not actually throwing up internal organs but those first few seconds will really get your heart going. I realize that story is a bit gross, but I think it is funny too and what is the point of all this vomiting if I don't even get to tell a few funny stories...besides the baby and all.
But since we got the medicine, I've only used it twice and have still managed to go from throwing up 1-2X/day to 1-2X/week. It's been a few good days then a few bad days. You can probably tell because there are a few days when I post, and then nothing. But the periods of bad days are getting shorter with the good days getting longer so I just need to be patient. I would probably be doing better if I would just give up the idea that I can do anything remotely fun. It's not that I'm fighting a super-preggo philosophy anymore. I'm not going to lie, I did at the beginning and was genuinely frustrated that I could no longer keep the house even remotely clean or put something on the table but with time I have learned to let things go and Craig has done a great job of learning what I think "needs" to be done (i.e. the things that I start to get panicky over) and doing them.
Now I'm just bored and feeling the effects of being social withdrawn. Saturday morning I didn't feel great but I was determine not to miss my scheduled hang out time with Fallon so I drank a lot of water, ate a good snack and took some Tylenol. And once I was out, I did feel pretty good. But I think I overdid it since I spent the next 48 hours feeling awful. When I say I "overdid it", we spent time at a new baby boutique in town, picked up a book from Barnes and Noble and sat at chick-fil-a talking and drinking lemonade. She's pregnant too so it's not like we were running a marathon. But even that was too much. Is it too much to ask to have a few hours to spend catching up with a friend, or having enough energy to play a board game in the evening with Craig! Apparently so.
I know that I will probably be feeling back to my old self, or as close as I'm going to get, within another week or two but it's getting hard. I did find an encouraging site. Conversion Diary linked to Philosopher Mom's post about being Open to life and when I found there, it was actually about her hyperemesis gravidarum pregnancy. At first it was a bit depressing because when I'm sick, all I can write are long rambling whiney posts like this one while she writes insightful articles on the value of life, but I got over myself and found some information on her site useful. I had always though HG was only prolonged intense morning sickness so it didn't apply to me, at least not yet, but that is not entirely accurate. The "HelpHer" site she linked to had really good information and while I seem to be borderline between extreme morning sickness and mild HG, I found their articles, especially the ones on coping and emotional issue very encouraging. I just wish I had found this site a month or two ago.
However, we must give credit to the city manager who, although he supported the cameras, as far as I can tell, has even more support for the voice of the people:
"Should the judge rule that the election is invalid and that the red light cameras should stay, I will recommend to the College Station City Council that we immediately inform American Traffic Solutions that we are giving them the required 60-day notice that we are canceling our contract and the cameras will be turned off," Brown said.That is quite honorable, and we can only hope that, if the lawsuit succeeds, the city council will heed his suggestion. A majority of the council apparently agrees with this idea. First, though, we'll have to see how eager the judge is to overturn an election on what some might call a mere technicality.
It was the end of a series on "Stupid human tricks" and talked about how we rationalize our sinful behavior and convince ourselves that God's truth is not His truth or that we are somehow the exception to the rule. The minister started by walking us through the first time that happened, way back in Genesis, when the serpent got Eve rationalizing with his not-so-innocent question "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The correct answer is no, that isn't what God said. The serpent took just enough of God's word that Eve was drawn in but twisted it so that it was no longer the truth. I don't think any of us would be convinced if a serpent tried to get us to eat any fruit, but I do hear ask the same type of questions often and many times I see myself or fellow Christians falling for it.
At this point, I would like to say it was just the world that was asking those questions, but it isn't. This past Sunday, I unfortunately did not feel up to attending church but I did feel up to one of my new favorite "I'm too sick to get off the couch" activities - listing to Mark Driscoll sermons. I picked one on the emergent church, basically because I didn't really know much about them other than the guys tend to wear skinny jeans which probably isn't part of their official doctrine.
Anyway, Mark starts talking about the good and bad of the different types of emergent churches and how so many of them are asking the "Did God really say..." type questions and refusing to answer them. Really, he used that same phrase. It's been everywhere lately. That got me thinking even more, the problem doesn't come with the questions. The problem comes when we refuse to let God's word answer it. To try and philosophize or theorize our own answers instead of turning to His word for His truth. So I thought I would share a few of the questions I have been "hearing" lately and what I think the Bible really has to say about them:
- Does God really say that women should cover their whole bodies and be ashamed of who they are?
- Does God really say that we should be hateful and mean towards homosexuals?
- Does God really say that women should be doormats for their husbands, with no opinions or self-esteem? That they are inferior in their ability to understand the gospel or to be used by Him?
God. That is the thing about submission, it isn't weak, it's hard work that often takes a great deal of faith and it doesn't bring glory to a women, it brings glory to her Savior.
Are there any others that come to your mind?
Much was made during the day about how Bush refused to openly gloat when the Berlin Wall fell, to "dance on the wall" as he put it. He received criticism in the press at the time for not seeming excited, but he knew there was plenty of work still to be done (e.g. German unification), and he didn't want to put Gorbachev in a bad political position at home by rubbing it in that the West had won. This restraint helped ensure the smooth unification of Germany within NATO less than a year later, and helped ensure the USSR didn't resort to violence to maintain its grip on power.
The story of how the Wall actually came down is interesting:
The intention was to announce the changes [to travel rules] overnight and phase in the new rules the next morning. Instead one of the Politburo members, Guenter Schabowski, blurted out the plans during a televised press conference - and compounded his error by adding the new rules would come into force "immediately".Upon hearing this, East Germans went to the Wall in droves. The border guards, unsure of how to respond, eventually stood aside and let people pass through. This courageous, humane choice, the opposite of that made by Chinese soldiers five months previously in Tiananmen Square, but similar to that made by the Romanian army one month later, ensured that freedom would prevail and the wall would crumble.
In a world where so many are still oppressed, the events of 1989 provide hope. The fall of the Soviet Union was not expected by anyone. As pessimistic as we might feel about conditions in China, Iran, Burma, or North Korea today, we can maintain hope (and dictators must remain fearful) that seismic shifts could occur at any moment.
But since Sesame Street has been around for such a long time, it seems safe to say that it will probably be around when our little one reaches the preschool years. But he/she won't be watching it. I really don't like Sesame Street. I once mentioned that casually and the person looked at me like I was crazy - why not, they asked. Is it because of Bert and Ernie, because that's kind of ridiculous. Well, blog readers, rest assured that it is not because of Bert and Ernie. In fact, it actually has nothing to do with content at all. I'm not particularly worried about the content of TV shows aimed at two-year-olds. Now TV shows aimed at 5-7 year-olds? Yeah, those have tons of stuff our family will consider "inappropriate," but if you can't tie your shoes, you probably will be missing anything too "bad" even if it is there.
Sesame Street has been a thorn in my side for a number of years because I hate the way it is designed. Someone 40 years ago had this great epiphany - why, two-year-olds have really short attention spans so let's feed them information in 30-second tidbits. They will love our show! And that way by the time they are four, they will still have 30-second attention spans and be used to getting entertained that way. Oh wait, that doesn't sound good, but let's not worry about that because the information we include will be "educational." Parents can't object to the alphabet, can they?
Now, I understand that 2-year-olds have short attention spans. That's normal. But I want to teach my kids to have longer and longer attention spans over time. And yes, long is relative. But if you keep feeding kids information in the length of time they like best, we will end up in a world where graduate students can't make in through a 50-minute lecture without whipping open their laptop and playing around on Facebook. Hmm...does that sound familiar?
Just compare the exposure a kid gets to the alphabet by Sesame Street to books. Now reading a book to a toddler is like playing with flashcards, you don't even have time to focus on the words before they flip the page on you. But you can at least name words "flower, dog...the end." Pretty soon you can start actually talking about what is happening in the pictures "oh, look, the pokey little puppy is smelling the flower" before they flip the page. And somehow, miraculously, you get to the point where you can actually read the story. Progression, it's a good thing.
It probably isn't fair to compare books to TV since books are such a great medium for learning and TV, well, isn't. Which brings me to my second problem with Sesame Street. I think in general most people believe the first sentence of this paragraph to be true - except when it comes to Sesame Street! Somehow Sesame Street is considered to be this great educational tool instead of what it is - a TV show. There are probably many other kids shows that are just as ADD as Sesame Street, but not only am I not aware of them, I don't have to be subjected to hearing about their greatness all the time. It's everywhere. Google, newspaper articles, even the National 4th of July show was riddled with Sesame Street propaganda. But not my child, oh no, I don't want my toddler thinking it is grammatically correct to refer to yourself in the third person, even if that person is red and furry.
And as much as I'd like to say our kids will never watch TV, I'm not that naive. I'll try to limit it, but I also like to shower, so compromises might have to be made. So I will pick a show that will at least try to keep their attention on one story line for 10-15 minutes and I won't be doing it under the pretense that I am "educating" them, I will just admit that Mommy needs a break.
Despite their 2-6 record, the Colorado Buffaloes play in the highest stadium altitude in the Big 12.It apparently helped them against A&M, though, since they beat us on Saturday.
- To all those people who I have failed to return calls/emails too. Sorry officer guy who wanted me to interview that singer lady and emailed me three times. Sorry friend who wrote a great note updating me on her status as a missionary in a foreign country, I read it, I promise.
- For my feelings of hatred aimed at those shall-go-unnamed bloggers who keep insisting on reminding us that Christmas is only X weeks away and informing me of all these resources for christmas letter, decorations, advent, etc. Yes, I can count. I know. I have nothing done, no plans to do anything and no energy to do it if I wanted to. So stop bringing it up! The stress has almost forced me to decided that everyone we know is getting a dozen baby chicks sent in their name to help a family in need in another country. Because it's warm and fuzzy (baby chicks - can you get any warmer or fuzzier?) and because it requires almost no effort on my end since Craig can do it all.
- The poor cat who recently got medicine applied to her back then followed me around for a day meowing and wondering why I wouldn't pet her and kept pushing her off the couch when she tried to curl up next to me. I don't hate you, I just didn't want to rub my hands on your toxin-laden fur.
- Eggs. I used to like you. I even sung about how incredible and edible you were. Now I get sick if I even see you advertised on a grocery store marquee. I'm not sure if I even want to apologize to you right now seeing as you are obviously a food concocted by the devil but I feel certain that I won't always feel that way so I should at least try and stay on your good side. Ditto for milk.
- Anyone with a food blog that I used to frequent. Or really any blog that even occasionally mentions food. You didn't do anything to offend me I promise and I will return and bring lots of comments with me. But I just can't handle you right now. Which makes me sad because I have a lot of food blogs I like to read.
- All those people who have had to listen to me talk about my vomit way more than even I want to hear. I don't really mean to bring it up all the time but it just seems to happen. I think I'll just start lying when people ask me how I'm doing.
Well, I'm back again and I lied, all I have to talk about is Nigel. But my schedule consists of nothing much other than work, sleep, eat, and occasionally vomit. Leave out the work part and I'm basically a baby again. But I haven't done anything fun to talk about so that's what you get and Craig's off at a Halloween party that I don't have the energy to attend and I'm trying to distract myself.
So far I've found prenatal visits a bit anticlimactic. Especially yesterday as we had to wait almost 1.5 hours to be seen. The doc had to go check on someone in the hospital. I can't really complain as that's just how things roll in the ob/gyn department, but then the visit only lasted 20 minutes. Still, it went well.
I had lost less weight than I thought. My scale says I've lost 6 pounds this month but theirs says I only lost two. Since the official one probably cost more than $20 at target, I'm going to trust it. That and it makes me feel better. All my other results looked good so she isn't really worried about the weight loss as long as I maintain (or even better, gain) some pounds before my next appointment in a month.
That by itself made me feel much better. Mommy guilt starts really early and as much as I intellectually know that my morning sickness is a good thing, that it reduces my chances of a miscarriage, and shows that I am providing Nigel with exactly what he needs (a highly hormonal environment), I can't help but feel like I'm starving him. But my doctor seem to think I shouldn't have a problem gaining once the first trimester sickness starts to fade and no matter how many times I read that, it seems more reassuring coming from a professional.
And it case it doesn't seem like I am keeping enough down, she gave me a prescription for anti-nausea meds! I've actually started feeling a bit better this week and have only been sick 4 times in the last 5 days which is less than I was just over last Saturday and Sunday so hopefully I can avoid taking them all together which would be best but I've very hopefully that one way or the other, the nausea will be ending soon.
Then it was time for the Doppler and the first heartbeat check! Craig and I aren't big fans of routine ultrasounds in general so we didn't get one last time. This time I was far enough along that they could try and hear the heartbeat with a Doppler but I knew going in that it wasn't a sure thing. At this point in time it depends on a lot of mom and baby factors plus a bit of luck. And unfortunately, we couldn't hear anything besides placenta slushing. While I'm glad I've got a placenta, it doesn't really give me any warm fuzzies. :-(
She reassured me that it didn't mean anything bad and I shouldn't worry but that if I wanted to, she could "cheat" and briefly use the ultrasound to find him, then use a more aimed approach to try again with the Doppler. So I caved. It was a real brief ultrasound so we didn't get any pictures printed but we did get to see the little heartbeat pulsing really fast amidst the blob shape that is our baby. Even knowing exactly where he was, she couldn't hear the heartbeat but next time we will for sure be able to hear it and seeing it was good enough for me for now. And that was about it - 2 hours later, we walked out of the doctor's office.
I did want to say one more thing about being pregnant though. You know how when you get sick, everyone seems to have a comment. When someone hears you had the flu, you really just want them to say "Oh, that stinks, I'm glad your feeling better now though" but inevitable you end up listening to the story of how when they had the flu, they were prescribed five different medicines - only after walking 12 miles in the snow to see the doctor. Of course, you smile, nod and say something generic like "Oh, wow" but inside you are thinking to yourself "That doesn't make me feel better, you can stop talking now." I don't mind listening to someone vent about their being sick, I just don't like my illness being one-upped, don't you agree?
Well, at least for me, pregnancy is nothing like that! Because you aren't sick. You've just suddenly turned into a freak. It's true. Overnight, everything about your body and emotions is weird. And it's a bit disconcerting. So it's great to hear about other pregnancies because it reminds you that yes, compared to the general population, you're a freak, but compared to other pregnant women, you're just one in the bunch. So feel free to leave lots of comments, especially if they sound something like "I too was super sick my first trimester and felt like it would never end but then, at about 11 weeks, I felt so much better and the rest of my pregnancy was great and my delivery was really fast and my baby was super easy going." Now if your comment is more along the lines of "I throw up my entire pregnancy and ended up with a emergency c-section and a colicky baby but it was all worth it," well, I won't actually delete your comment, but I might choose to not read it. Okay, I kid, I'll probably read it, I'll just try to forget it as soon as I can. But all that to say, feel free to comment about your experiences!