Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A new perspective.

After one day of trying Babywise, I'm throwing it out the window...at least for now. I have realized several things. 1. Calvin is WAY too young to be left to cry it out. It just doesn't feel right to me, and I'm going with that gut feeling because that's all I know to be true in this moment. 2. There are so many books that claim to have the best sleep methods. All contradict one another. I'm bound to be following one of them, anyway. 3. Right now the most important thing is that Calvin is nourished and loved. Rest and naps will come with time. And, he's a pretty awesome night sleeper, so we've got that going for us. Which brings me to 4. We are really lucky overall. He's an amazing kid and goes to sleep at 7p.m. to give Angus and me the night together as a couple. It's nice because it's easy to forget, in the midst of all this crazy, that we are still a couple. 5. Every couple of days I start freaking out about something - usually because of a comment from a friend, a website, or a book. I spiral about it for a day and come up with some sort of elaborate plan. Then, I become so stressed that I get a headache and am driven to have a drink at 5p.m. The next day, I wake up completely renewed and realize how ridiculous I was the day before. I always come back to the same answer, "Let's do what works for us and Calvin," and more often than not, it was just what we were doing before I started freaking out. 6. It is SO necessary to get out of the house at least once every day. 7. I have an amazing husband who is very tolerant of me distracting him from his work. 8. I am really hard on myself. 9. I need to chill out and just enjoy my baby and who he is today. 10. I am doing the best I know how, and gosh darn it, I'm a good mom.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lights out.

With parenting it's nice that there's always a tomorrow considering today I was almost driven to drink an alcoholic beverage at 2p.m. (but waited until 5). When you're prone to over-thinking things, parenting decisions can be a real headache. Over the past few days we've been trying to get Calvin to take better naps because he won't nap, then he'll fall asleep while eating and wake up fussy because he's not well rested. This whole thing has led to countless hours of me analyzing the crap out of every sound, facial expression, twitch, and breath the poor kid takes. I could sit here for hours deliberating whether or not I made the right call on something so ridiculously unimportant in the grand scheme of things. While I know this, it doesn't change the fact that I worry incessantly about doing what's best for my baby. Isn't that only natural?

So, we were given this book called Babywise which helps you "train" your baby to fall asleep independently. This involves some crying in the beginning stages since the baby is probably used to being rocked, jiggled, or bounced to sleep. We decided to give it a whirl for the naptimes since before this we've just been kind of letting him fall asleep where ever, whenever and he isn't getting good rest during the day. If he was getting good rest, then I don't give a hoot where or when he sleeps, but he's not, so we decided to try some other methods. Anyway, the book warns you that the first few days will totally suck because you'll be listening to your poor child cry and won't be able to go rock, jiggle, or bounce him.

But, it doesn't just suck, it SUUUUUCCCCKKKKKSSSSS.

I sit on the edge of the sofa with the monitor in a death grip praying that my baby will fall asleep and not totally hate his mother when he wakes up. Finally, for his third nap today, he fell asleep after a short amount of time crying. Yes! Score! Then, the damn sleep sounds sheep went off and woke him out of his slumber into a frightful screaming session. Tangent here. Why the hell do they make the sleep sounds sheep with a timer that only lasts 45 minutes?! By the time he was done crying and fell asleep, he only got a 20 minute nap in before he was practically jolted out of his swaddle. At the very least the sleep sounds should taper off instead of shutting off abruptly. A pissed off Angus came up with the most brilliant idea EVER - tape the button down on the sheep so it never shuts off. HA! We showed you, sheep! Needless to say, taped button and all, Calvin never did fall back to sleep for that nap.

Yes, there's always a tomorrow. But tomorrow will I be able to listen to him cry again? Will I be able to hold back running to his rescue? I don't know. I do know that I could not possibly love this child any more than I already do. For his final nap of the day, he passed out in his favorite spot - on my shoulder right after eating. Babywise went down the tubes for today, I guess. Overall, I am sure that there will be so many more times that I question my decisions, but in the end, aren't we all just doing the best we can in any given moment? And Calvin is going to turn out fine...just fine, nap or no nap. Sometimes it just takes a pale ale at 5:00 and a little snuggling to realize that it will all be OK. ;)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So in love.

Aunt Katy

Uncle Mike

Ama and Agong


Grandmom...or as some like to say, Moppy

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My favorite thiiiinnngggssss!!! (said in Oprah's voice)

As promised, here is a list of my top 20 favorite things! You get one, and you get one, and YOU GET ONE!

1. Climbing into a freshly made bed with clean sheets. Ahhh.
2. A deep red wine in the winter, a light white in the summer, and being in Napa any time of the year.
3. When I'm reading a book I can't put down.
4. Christmas lights.
5. The smell of pumpkin bread baking in the oven.
6. Seeing Calvin smile with his tongue sticking out.
7. Watching a good TV series with Angus - some ones to mention are 6 Feet Under, The Wire, Dexter, Alias, Big Love, Rome, Entourage, Mad Men, 24, and Fringe. Some not-so-ones-to-mention that still hold a special place in my heart (yes, I'm talking about TV shows people) are The 4400 and Jericho. We are SO addicted, and I love it.
8. Keeping an organized planner...on paper, not on my non-existent Smart phone.
9. The feeling after a kid in my class "gets it," especially deeper ideas about the world.
10. Soy lattes from Spruce Confections. Yum.
11. A good massage and then using the spa and showers afterward. I use as many lotions as possible to get my money's worth.
12. Relaxing vacations to tropical destinations. Once I'm there, playing beach volleyball is always a good time.
13. Yoga and guided meditation. I don't do enough of it.
14. Taiwanese street food. I settle for NYC's and SF's Chinatown dim sum.
15. Hearing positive feedback about my teaching, writing, mothering, etc. It's nice to have validation every once in a while.
16. Good conversations about things that matter.
17. Being active outside. Breathing fresh air. Nature is my church.
18. Eating homegrown vegetables.
19. Sushi dates.
20. Of course, last but not least, being with my family, friends, and beautiful son.

Now I feel all warm and fuzzy inside. What are your favorite things?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

20 pet peeves.

I was inspired to write this post because of something I saw on Facebook one day that really pissed me off. Some are serious, some are funny, some are just plain crazy. Here goes nothin'...

1. When people - especially grown adults - use "gay" as a synonym for "stupid". Ridiculous and ignorant. 'Nuff said.
2. The terrible looped songs on the infant swing - especially when the batteries are running low and it turns into creepy carnival music that my 8 week old son happens to love.
3. Traffic - mainly traffic due to rubber-necking.
4. Rubber-necking.
5. People who are rude for no reason.
6. When someone steps on the back of my heel/shoe. If you have been my friend for a while I've probably hit you for doing this to me, even if it was by accident.
7. Having to dump breastmilk for any reason. That stuff is liquid gold, man!
8. Really sore boobs. See previous post for details.
9. People who are addicted to and completely in love with their smart phones - extreme cases only.
10. Robots.
11. When middle schoolers refuse to revise their writing and I have to read the same draft twice. Ugh.
12. When Tivo deletes my show before I watch it because I forgot to set it to keep until I delete.
13. Never being able to find the pineapple in Psych.
14. Throwing away food that's gone bad before we had a chance to eat it. Wasteful.
15. The fact that I'm too lazy to use cloth diapers.
16. The voices of the characters on Family Guy and Southpark and all those other stupid adult cartoons. I know, I know, I have no sense of humor. Oh, also parents of middle schoolers who let their kids watch these shows and play video games all day.
17. Bathroom sinks that don't drain well.
18. A messy kitchen.
19. When I order a sandwich from the menu and they make it wrong. (This has happened to me three times in the past two weeks.)
20. When my baby doesn't gain the weight he's supposed to gain. Not really a pet peeve, just sad. :( Boo hoo.

I'll follow this up with my 20 favorite things for you "glass is half full" people. What are your pet peeves?


Over the past few weeks, I have been struggling with my decision of whether or not to return to work for the spring semester. After lots of heart to hearts with Angus (and Calvin) I have decided to take the rest of the school year off to be at home with Calvin. I knew that if I tried to go back full tilt in January, I'd wouldn't be a good mom or a good teacher - I'd be a hot frickin' mess. It took some degree of getting real with myself because I tend to want to tackle it all, and then inevitably, I burn out. Anyway, I went to school on Friday to talk with my principal about everything. I was so nervous going into the meeting, but I knew I had come to the right decision. Luckily, my principal was unbelievably supportive and understanding and told me to take the time and enjoy it. In his words, "the job will be here waiting for you in August." It was a huge relief and weight off my shoulders for sure. What a blessing that BVSD allows for the opportunity to take a year off and holds the job.

While I was at school, I stopped to visit my classroom, and the kids were SO excited to see me and pictures of Calvin. Then, during passing period, kids swarmed me giving me hugs and asking me about the baby. It was so super cute. It was especially awesome when one of my most challenging students from last year, who projects to be a real tough guy, came running up to me to give me a hug. In that moment, I felt a (small) pang of doubt about my decision to stay home. I felt the urge to get back in the classroom and feel productive again. To be starting a new career and having a baby at the same time has proven difficult because I feel so dedicated to both. Overall, I know I made the right choice for this moment in my life. I'm looking forward to enjoying the next several months of Calvin's life as a stay at home mom and then getting back to my teacher self in August.

All I know is that we modern women are pretty kick ass in that we can maintain a career and selflessly care for our children and do everything else in between. I really think that it should be acceptable to list "parent" on our resumes. How about it mamas?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Almost, buddy, almost!!

Calvin has started to semi-smile (mostly at picture frames - I think it's either the reflection in the glass or the contrast of the black frame against the white wall, but what do I know). We managed to capture one today. Note his tongue playing peek-a-boo. That's pretty much a constant these days. :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sleeping beans.

Sleep. My third true love. Life with a baby has been quite the adjustment for me, someone who needs at least 8 hours of sleep a night to feel at all functional during the day. I've slowly been adapting to less sleep and the late night hours. Calvin is pretty awesome for a 1 month old as he is waking once around 12:30 - 1 a.m. then again around 4-5 a.m. I do the middle of the night feeding and Angus gets up for the early morning feeding so that I can sleep (I love you, I love you, I love you). This is what I found this morning upon coming out of my little cave.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spitting image.

I was playing around with Angus's D80 the other day and took a few pics of Calvin. I'm trying to get into some photography...slow, but sure. This picture was by far my favorite. There is a baby picture of me that looks just like this picture of him. It's so awesome looking at your child and seeing yourself, your partner, your parents, and grandparents. I'm not sure what I expected, but I think it's pretty cool that Calvin looks a little like me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Favorite time, favorite face.

I love mornings with Calvin. He wakes up, and I sometimes put him in bed next to me to cuddle for awhile. He's absolutely the coziest, snuggliest little guy in the world.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Boobs. Boobs! Boooooooobs.

Time for the inevitable post about my boobs. I was waiting until they were good and fucked up until I wrote this post. Consider this your warning: I'm not holding back. Teenage boys, stop reading here. Boobs will be forever ruined for you if you continue.

OK, so people always told me that breastfeeding was hard, but OH MY GOD, IT IS HARD! Pre-nursing days, I had this vision of breastfeeding in my comfy brown easy chair, Boppy around my waist, in a cute nursing top, and sweetly bonding with my little baby. I guess it sort of started out that way what with my poo covered Boppy and milk stained nursing tops. If only I wasn't wincing in pain and shouting obscenities every time my little baby latched. But we were still bonding...um, yeah...

Let me back up...in the hospital, Calvin seemed to be a natural with breastfeeding. He latched right away and ate vigorously, and we received praise from our nurses and lactation consultants. After having a natural childbirth and apparently being a breastfeeding All-Star, I felt great and so proud and like I could conquer anything. Then IT happened. The invasion of Grand Canyon deep cracks and hot air balloon blisters. My beautiful life-giving boobies turned into repulsive pus-leaking blobs. And then there's the pain. Oh my. I'm pretty tough when it comes to pain, but this pain was way worse than anything I'd ever experienced. Worse than the miles and miles we had to run for field hockey. Worse than the all the times my sister pinched me and drew blood (I love you, Katy). Worse than...dare I say...natural childbirth. OK, maybe that's stretching it a bit. But it sucked. And every time Calvin sucked, I grew more and more frustrated with breastfeeding.

After two weeks of fighting through the pain, I reached out to seek a lactation consultant's help. Darcy came to the house, took one look at my nipples, and dropped dead on my bedroom floor. I think her response was, "You've been breastfeeding on THOSE?"

"Yes." Ouch.

Darcy was awesome. She watched Calvin nurse, and helped us come up with a plan of action. She also diagnosed Calvin with a long tongue. (It's OK to laugh. My baby has a long tongue. Watch out ladies.) She seemed to think that his tongue was causing the damage to my nipples. Sadly, my repulsive pus-leaking blobs were infected, so I started on an antibiotic and began to pump full-time while I healed.

So, here I am. Keri the cow. Pumping, pumping, pumping at least eight times per day. We've been feeding Calvin breastmilk from the bottle, and he's eating like a champ.

Are my nipples healing? By George, they aren't! The blasted pump has caused thrush, and now I'm starting another round of meds to take care of that.

Needless to say, this has been a real mess. I've been super stressed, but I'm trying to breathe through it and take it day by day. My original goal was to breastfeed for Calvin's first year of life, but I've revised that plan to three months. Go ahead and judge you Boulder hippies, you. I'm still hopeful that all this will clear and breastfeeding will end up being easy and enjoyable, but if not, that is OK too. I keep reminding myself of how blessed I am to have had such an awesome pregnancy and labor and now to have a beautiful baby who is getting fat and thriving even without the comfy easy chair, the Boppy, and a cute nursing top. And in moments like this, where I feel so lucky and in love, I bond with my baby and realize that this too shall pass.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One of my faves.

Love this photo of Calvin at bath time. He looks so peaceful and cozy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

First meetings.

Calvin got to meet his grandma and grandpa this week! He loves getting changed and rocked by them, and he's really been taking it all in by making eye contact. It's been so helpful to have my parents here for moral support and, of course, for cooking, cleaning, and running errands. Calvin already loves them so much.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A case of the Mondays.

Angus had to go back to work today, but thankfully he works from home. His plan is to finish up one last project he was working on and then take some vacation time. In honor of Angus's first Monday back to work with only having about 5 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, Calvin wore his work clothes too. My boys have a case of the Mondays.
(My friend, Ali, made this cute little onesie.)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The small moments.

Although sleep deprived and a tad overwhelmed, Angus, Calvin, and I are so happy now that we're home together. Bonding with Calvin has been awesome. He amazes me every time I look at his little face.

Angus hangin' with the little man in the hospital

Little feet, lots of kisses

Friday, October 1, 2010

Falling in love all over again.

Calvin Lu-Chien Shee. Born September 27th at 8:43 p.m. 8 pounds, 5 ounces and 21 inches long. More to come...

Saturday, September 25, 2010


After three years of living in Colorado (and at 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant), we finally made it up into the mountains a bit to see the aspen trees changing color. It was a refreshing drive and walk with some beautiful scenery, and we even got to see firsthand some of the damage from the 4 Mile Canyon wildfire. I will say, however, I'm not sure what the big whoop-dee-do is about the aspens in the fall. Yes, totally beautiful trees, but I guess my East Coast self expected more. Regardless, it was awesome to breathe in the fresh air, feel the warm sun, walk hand-in-hand with my B, and pee in the woods four times.
That tree is pregnant too!

Hiding behind a HUGE tree.

40 weeks, 1 day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Finally getting around to posting some pics of the nursery. The crib and changing table as well as the sheets, blanket, and chick pillows are from Land of Nod. The curtains, green lamp, and side table are from Target. The wall shelf is from westelm.com. The framed pictures and the tree mobile are from etsy.com. We love it, and we can't wait for the little guy to move in!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Love this.

This song is one of my favorites. I listened to it obsessively after breaking up with a high school boyfriend. I played it on my guitar and sung it for my first and last coffee shop performance in college. I hear it through the speakers as I stretch and bond with my baby in my prenatal yoga class. No matter what version, I just have to sing along. These kids just might have Fleetwood Mac beat.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Need a honey?

I've been getting these junk emails from SpeedDate for years now. Like most spam, I have no idea why I get them, but there's at least one in my inbox per day. Usually I click "delete" without giving a second thought, but there was something about today's that caught my eye.

SpeedDate: You have a private matchmaker note about Pooh.

WTF!? Why the hell is Pooh seeking a mate? And if it's not the yellow, chubby bear, than whose alias is Pooh? Some creepster, no doubt. Well, didn't curiosity just get the best of me. I opened the email to find out that Pooh is 30-years-old and living in the United States, and by golly, he wants to flirt! Gross. Weird. Just plain wrong. Seriously, Pooh, I will never look at you the same again.
Eek! Maybe it's him!

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's in the air.

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I was definitely spoiled by the beautiful changing leaves and that brisk, not cold, weather that sticks around for months and inspires the baking of loaf after loaf of pumpkin bread. Around this time of year, when summer starts to fade and cool air greets us, I always get an itch for being a kid again playing in the cornfields until sunset and visiting Funk's pumpkin patch. Here in Boulder, we haven't quite reached full blown fall, but it's in the air. The past few weeks have brought some relief from the summer heat, and the classic bright sun and blue skies are in the forecast for the next fifteen days. It's absolutely gorgeous albeit different from fall on the East Coast. It's the perfect weather for just being outside and for snuggling up on the sofa. It's rare that the two happen at once. Next week marks the Chinese Moon Festival, the beginning of autumn, and our little baby's projected birthdate. In Chinese culture, femininity is strongly associated with the moon. The moon will shine full and bright on the 22nd, reminding us of the balance of yin and yang. Somehow it seems natural that I'll be becoming a mother around the Moon Festival and during a season where I feel most connected with my childhood. It just feels right.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


37 1/2 weeks and feeling very ready to meet this little guy. I'm being patient though and knowing that he'll arrive when the time is right. Angus and I have been savoring our last days as just the two of us by going out to dinner, seeing movies in the theater, spending time outside, and just being together. We're both so excited about what lies ahead. It's all still quite surreal. As crazy as it sounds, I'm really looking forward to the labor and birth part since we've done so much prep and talking about it. I just can't believe that at the end of it, we get to stare into our little baby's face. It's freaking incredible.

Last week, I did belly henna to celebrate pregnancy and motherhood, and it was an awesome experience. SarahKate (www.skhenna.com) came to my house and did a henna design of my choice on my belly, hands, and feet and then took photos a few days later. The photos are definitely something we'll treasure to remind us of this awesome time in our lives.
In other news, I'm winding down at work which is probably good because the past two weekends I've spent with wicked colds. It's a tough transition to go from being around no one all summer to being around hundreds of kids with germs. It's been tough to let go of work especially since I've been back for a few weeks and have gotten to know the kids and gotten back into the swing of things, but I know I need to. It'll still be there after all of this. I just have to keep that in mind. It looks like my last day might be this Friday unless I decide to go into next week at all. My friend Becca says, "Cut the cord" which I think is pretty appropriate.

I was outside the other day in our neighborhood, and I ran into a few pregnant women taking walks. It turns out that there's about 6 women living in our neighborhood who are ready to give birth to boys within a few weeks of one another. Crazy! I definitely won for the biggest belly which strangely, I love. I love being pregnant and having a belly to be proud of. Call me crazy, but I feel like it's a powerful and healthy thing. All I can say is that this is going to be a BIG baby - a big, beautiful and very loved baby.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New spaces.

In the past few weeks my belly has not only gotten bigger outward but also width-ward. The little guy has been storing his arms and legs in the pocket of space along my right side. I can almost even grab his tiny foot when he presses it out. It's just about the coolest, cutest thing ever. I just can't wait to meet him and stare into his little face and tickle his soft little feet.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Breechy McBreech.

Angus and I went to our midwife appointment yesterday to find out that our little bean is breech - butt down, head up. I had a feeling that his head was the large mass I was feeling right under my ribcage for the past few weeks, and I was correct. I'm feeling somewhat stressed about this even though I'm only at 33 weeks. I know there's plenty of time for the little guy to flip to a good birthing position, but I still worry. Yesterday, we went to the pool and I did flips and handstands, and today I'm going to see a prenatal chiropractor. Apparently there's a whole list of methods to try. (One involves an ice pack on the baby's head and music played down at my crotch - haha. If you're wondering, yes, I tried this too. I think it just pissed him off.)

Ultimately, I just want my baby to be healthy and happy, and whatever method of birth that requires will be OK. It's just tough because I've really geared myself up to have a natural childbirth. We're taking a natural birth class, we've hired an awesome doula, and I just feel so strongly that I can do this. Really, I just want the opportunity to experience labor and childbirth because I know it will be so beautiful. I have to realize though that even if it's not what I envision as being my perfect birth, it will still be perfect. I'll still be holding my son at the end of the day. That thought alone brings tears to my eyes. I feel so lucky to be pregnant and to be experiencing such an awesome pregnancy at that. This is just a wee bump in the road of motherhood. As my friend Jenny puts it, at least his little head is close to my heart. :) That made me smile.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Simply summer.

I went to a professional development day for work yesterday, and it quickly hit me that I am NOT ready for this summer to be over. I've been so much about relaxing, being outside, getting ready for baby, etc. that when I had to switch gears and think about teaching, my brain went a little haywire. This summer has been so simple, and it's been just what I've needed. So thankful for all the little bits of magic that I've been able to enjoy.
Cooling off in Boulder Creek after the Farmer's Market

Aspen eyes

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Like a child.

I find that whenever I learn something completely new, I revert back to my child self: curious, full of wonder, and imaginative. Yesterday, Angus and I went to water our garden - which is really flourishing I might add - and what I saw totally blew me away. Have you ever seen how zucchini and yellow squash grow?! Well, let me tell you, it's freaking awesome. One of the gardens near ours has these HUGE squash plants that are pumping out squash under the density of their leaves and flowers. The garden owners have even picked several and laid them out for anyone to take. I guess one can only manage so much squash. The sight of these vegetables growing stuck with me all day, and last night I had one of those dreams that just keeps repeating itself (which can be pretty annoying.) It was pretty simple...it was just a squash plant growing and producing over and over and over and over again. It felt like I dreamed that all night long, but in reality it was probably only for a few minutes upon waking. I'm being haunted by squash!

There's one little kink in this whole beautiful squash obsession of mine. Not realizing how enormously gargantuan squash plants are, we planted two of our own smack in the middle of our garden. Ours aren't nearly as big as the ones we saw, but if my calculations are correct, they will be by mid August. I guess we may be pulling the 'ol guys if they get too unruly. At least we'll know for next year...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Who cares?!

Facebook is pretty awesome, and it's great that we can now inform all of our friends, including the random guy from elementary school who always smelled like ketchup and mustard, about every waking (and sleeping) minute of our lives. Now that I have the summer off, checking Facebook a few times a day is pretty much a part of my normal routine. I've seen some status updates that have me shaking my head, cracking up, or asking aloud, "Who the hell cares?!" Don't get me wrong, I'm sure some, if not most, of my status updates are pretty lame, but I'd like to think they're not as bad as some I've seen recently. For instance, why do people feel the need to update the world about their latest gastrointestinal issues? And then follow up on that update to say that their case of the shits turned into bronchitis and it's just been a horrible week. Ewww. Unless I am your family doctor, your spouse, or have strong feelings of schadenfreude, I DON'T CARE! The thing is, because I am reading these status posts, I guess in some strange way I DO care.
But I don't.
But I do.
Facebook, you tricky son of a gun.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Glass is half full.

This morning was rough. We went to tour a daycare in North Boulder which was pretty awesome. Awesome enough that their wait list is like miles long. I'm finding it really difficult to think this far ahead when the baby isn't even here yet! Everyone says that now is the time to do this sort of thing, but it just feels weird. When we got home, I burst into tears (because that's how I cope with stress). I know this daycare isn't the only option, and that's not why I was upset. It just feels like a lot right now. Not only do we have to gear up for the most important day of our lives, we have to make plans for months down the line. Making plans when we have no idea how we'll feel come September is tough. Plus, we obviously want to do what's best for our baby and for us, but we have no clue what that is yet! I'm sure everyone goes through this, and I'm not looking for advice...really, I'm just venting. After my little breakdown, I went outside and took a walk. It's amazing how fresh air and some distance can give you perspective. I know everything will work out...it always does. Something that works for our family will fall into place, and there's no sense in stressing about it. I've been enjoying pregnancy so much that stuff like this just can't get in the way of what's really important. It's just easy to lose sight of that when you feel like you must make a decision now. It's a significant decision, but it can't be made right at this moment. I just need to sit back and breathe and know it will all be OK. :)

Completely unrelated but equally important...I have some really amazing friends that I couldn't live without. Some are old, and some are new, but each of them means so much to me and I'm so thankful to have their support during this exciting time in my life. Thanks ladies. :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Bendable me.

Being pregnant has taught me things about my body I never realized. For instance, did you know that a hip can fall asleep? I call it "dead hip." It literally feels like there is no blood flow at all going to my hips when I wake up in the middle of the night. I even had a dream one night that I went to the doctor's for an ultrasound and rather than checking on the baby, they did the ultrasound on my hips. The doctor frowned and told me that my hips had no blood in them and that could damage the baby. Yikes. Anyway, to deal with these new aches and pains I've been going to yoga 2-3 times per week, and it's amazing. I love, love, love prenatal yoga. It's a lot of stretching, but there's no messing around - I definitely break a sweat, and it feels like I've done something good for my body. At the end of the classes we do a Shavasana where we relax in a semi-lying position with eye pillows and huge bolsters. Then, the teacher comes around and gives everyone a minute scalp massage. Freaking awesome.

A minor tangent here... In Baltimore, I used to take this yoga class from this crazy old dude who was a lawyer by day, yoga instructor by night. He was quirky to say the least, but his classes were only $5 each (pretty unheard of for yoga these days). So, during Shavasana, he had this routine he would go through...something like this: "Brinnngggggg the awareness to your head! RELAXXXX your head! (10 second pause)...Brinnngggggg the awareness to your face! RELAXXXX your face!" He would proceed like this until he made it down to our toes. The best line of his routine by far was when he would chant, "Brinnngggggg the awareness to your genitals! RELAXXXX your genitals!" Inevitably, some newbie in the class would be sent into convulsions as she tried to silently snicker (yes, this was me at my first few classes).

So bringing it back...everytime I'm in Shavasana, even now, I start chanting his little routine in my head. It's like a tape recorder that automatically hits play. I must admit I'm really tempted just to bust out with it in class spontaneously, but I'd probably have a bunch of overheated pregnant women chucking yoga blocks at my head. "Bringggg the awareness to your dead hips! RELAXXXX your dead hips!"

Friday, June 25, 2010

I lovvvve a clean kitchen.

Did you ever notice how unloading and loading the dishwasher is realllly satisfying for like a second before you have to do it all over again? It feels like this great accomplishment to have everything in its place, but then a craving for a fruit smoothie strikes and alas, the blender and a few glasses are hanging out in the sink. The pile builds and builds, and then you bite the bullet and repeat the unloading and loading process once again. I guess I should just follow my yoga teacher's advice and savor the "now" moments. Being at home over the summer has definitely given more more of these clean kitchen moments to enjoy since I have more time. So I guess since it really doesn't happen all that often, I should take the time to appreciate it every chance I get. Soon there will be a little one adding to our dish piles, and I'm sure I will be forced to kiss these sporadic clean kitchen moments goodbye. Maybe I can enlist her for some help...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I also despise whistlers.

There's something about whistling that really annoys me. I can't pinpoint exactly what it is, but I find the behavior rather creepy and odd. I'm not talking about the kind of whistler who reserves his whistling for sporting events or grabbing someone's attention in a crowd. My dad is that kind of whistler, and I still turn to look for him no matter where I am when I hear his trademark whistle. I'm talking about the kind of whistler who whistles Top 40 tunes and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or makes up his own little diddy as he goes. I read several blogs, but one of my favorites is dooce.com (http://www.dooce.com/). Heather's most recent post cracked me up so much because it was about this very topic: creepy whistlers! I think the worst thing about whistlers is that they begin to rub off on you no matter how creepy you might think their whistling is. There's a guy who works at my school who is a chronic whistler, and on a few occasions I've been cooking dinner whistling away obliviously until Angus is like, "Dude, what's with the whistling? I thought you hated that." Gee, thanks guy from work, now I'm a creepy whistler! So if you're ever around me and you happen to be a whistler - #1 Don't be offended if I shoot nasty glares in your direction, and #2 Please refrain from rubbing your whistling habits off on innocent bystanders like me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Follett frenzy.

I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit this or not, but lately I've been absolutely obsessed with Ken Follett's novels. Last summer I read Pillars of the Earth, and while we were in Mexico over Christmas I read its sequel World Without End. Both books were 1000 pages of mind blowingly amazing stuff. Now it's this summer, and instead of using my free time to catch up on the latest young adult literature, I've been devouring Follett's other books one by one. I think what I love most about his writing is that he goes really deep into character development - so much so that I end up loathing some characters and deeply pitying others. Each of his characters is in his/her own way flawed which is incredibly frustrating but at the same time extremely satisfying as a reader. It's what makes them real people. Follett has a knack for capturing the sexual tension, jealousy, sorrow, and joy that each of his characters experiences. Maybe it's just me, but I think his books are pretty freakin' great.

The other books on my summer reading list include some big players like Atlas Shrugged and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and of course a few YA novels here and there, namely the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy due out this summer!! Woo!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Pop-pop.

When holidays like father's day come along, I always find it the toughest to be living so far away from my family. I'd love to have my parents and grandfather over for a nice dinner to celebrate, but for now, phone calls will have to suffice. I talked to my Pop-pop on the phone last night for about a half an hour, which is pretty long for him to be talking to anyone. Usually I know he's done with the conversation when he says that his "ear hurts." Every time I talk to him, I learn something new about our family, about his life, or about life in general. He's a wealth of knowledge and life experience, and at 84 he's still sharp as a whip. He's been through the Great Depression, served in World War II, raised an incredible son and daughter, watched his wife fade away from Alzheimer's Disease, seen two of his grandchildren get married, and is now about to become a great grandfather - or great Pop-pop. A few years ago, Angus bought me a digital recorder so that I could record some of Pop-pop's life stories. I did on a few occasions sit down with him, turn on the recorder, and fire questions, but I've found it's the unexpected times when the best stories surface. Last night, he told me about how he got my grandmother to quit smoking. She had already been showing signs of Alzheimer's but was still living in the apartment with my grandfather. They decided to go to the horse track to place some bets - something they did frequently for entertainment. They were at a table, and she had just finished smoking a cigarette and told him that she needed to use the restroom. She left the pack of cigarettes on the table as she headed into the bathroom. My grandfather said that he looked at the pack on the table and said, "What the hell," as he slipped the pack into his pocket wondering if she'd notice they were missing. She eventually returned from the bathroom and from that day never smoked another cigarette again. Apparently she didn't even ask about them or realize they were gone. "I saved a hell of a lot of money after that, that's for sure," was Pop-pop's close to the story. Stories like these give me a glimpse into the life of my grandfather, a man who is beyond-words-amazing in so many ways.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Green thumb.

I am so excited to finally have a garden this year. We've always really wanted to plant one but never have had the space, time, motivation, etc. This year, our neighbors signed up for a plot in our community garden, and we're lucky enough to be splitting the plot with them. At first, I was really nervous because I tend to kill every plant I lay a hand on, but now, after several weeks, we're starting to see some growth and progress! We even have a few green tomatoes sprouting. The plants that surprise me the most are the ones we planted from seed - beets, lettuce, and green beans. I doubted that we'd ever see them sprout...it seemed so unlikely. But sure enough, Mother Nature is hard at work, and we've got growth! There's something really beautiful about gardening, and I don't think I ever really appreciated the idea of growing my own food until now. I also have found a lot of parallels with pregnancy and the peace that comes with nurturing a life. Grow, seedlets, grow!

Our first strawberry!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fun in the...clouds.

Although we got caught in what San Diegans call "June gloom," we had a relaxing long weekend at the beach. I think what made it so amazing was that we had each other without distractions of work and every day life for 4 whole days. We really did nothing except hang out together, read our books, eat good food, and explore the city. It was great. If anyone needs restaurant recommendations for the San Diego area, be sure to check out Cafe Chloe and Bice. Both excellent in all areas. Also, Coronado Beach was a beautiful and clean beach, so I'd highly recommend that over the Mission/Pacific Beach areas which can be a little more amped up and full of college kids. (Wow, I sound old. Never thought I'd really seek out "family friendly" beaches!) Anyway, we had an awesome time, but as always, I was glad to get home and sleep in my own bed and visit my garden. I can't get enough of this summer...SO grateful to have the time off.