An invention: The Random Craft Wheel

August 30, 2008 § 1 Comment

On a lighter note, I came up with another invention as I was nursing bilingual baby down for a nap. Wouldn’t it be great to have a Random Craft Wheel? I’m not set on this being a wheel but something (probably a computer program) where you would enter a certain number of preferences and you could “spin” the wheel to find what craft you could/should make. It would be really great for pregnant crafters (or others) who are having a hard time making up their minds.

Some of the preferences could include:

Type of craft (paper, knitting, crochet, sewing, etc)

Time involved (in minutes): 30, 60, 90, 120; (in days): 1-2, 3-5, etc.

Pattern needed: none, free, purchase online, purchase in store

Difficulty of project: You’d check a box on level of ease from 1-5

Tutorial available online: yes or no (and further specify with or without pictures)

Materials needed (in cost): scraps, $5, $10, etc

Anything else this program would need? Besides a creator.


Dr. Phil’s request for homebirth horror stories

August 29, 2008 § 7 Comments

Dr. Phil, you are a jerk!

Dr. Phil has a t.v. show here in the U.S. He is asking for home birth horror stories for an upcoming show. Please be patient as I fume during this entry. After asking you to recount your homebirth horror story, one of his questions he asks is, “Did you have your second child the traditional way in a hospital?” Now, Dr. Phil, you don’t look like a young man. How can you call a hospital birth “traditional”? Have you asked your grandmother where she had her babies? Are you absolutely sure your mom wasn’t born at home? Okay. Besides the fact that he’s a sensationlist, promoting negative birth stories and plus negative home birth stories is really bad karma! How many babies does he want to have stall on the way out? Are his ratings really that low that he has to turn to this? Argh! I did write him a note telling him of my positive homebirth story. One of the midwives in town is trying to get a bunch of us to write to him, hopefully swamping him with positive homebirth stories. Will it work? Who cares. We have to try! Here’s what I wrote to him:

I had a wonderful home birth with my first child, in 2006, in Chicago with HomeFirst Health Services. It was a quick labor and I felt completely supported by those present. I had my family and some friends worried that we had made a wild decision to have our child at home, but in the end found our choice to be quite conservative. My husband’s grandmother and my father and his sisters were all born at home, connecting us on a generational level. By the way, hospital births are not the tradition, if you check your sources correctly, home birthing is.

One of the reasons I chose a home birth was that I actually wanted to have an experience where I’d be allowed to not be in control. Labor, which you wouldn’t know about first hand, goes smoothest when, like the internationally-known midwife Ina May Gaskin puts it, you let your monkey do it. This involves being able to feel comfortable enough to move and vocalize in the way your body wants to- not the medical staff. The mind-body connection is really powerful and a pregnant woman needs all positive stories (birth or otherwise) for her to feel safe when birthing. I had that.

I am due on Monday with my second child, also a planned home birth. I have the support of positive birth stories both from books and family and friends; I have the trust of my body; I have my homebirth kit sitting in the closet; and I have time- something a hospital would not grant me. Why would I want to go to a hospital unless medically necessary? And why would you do a show on negative birth stories, home or hospital? The negative image of labor has already seeped into myriad young girls’ minds. These girls have grown up to believe that the only way to labor is in a hospital with a medical team ready to intervene, not support. They believe that their bodies were not made to have a vaginal birth. These negative birth stories are a large cause of these misconceptions.

I trust you can do more research on the effects of negative birth stories on the outcomes of what should be normal labors. I look forward to watching a show of yours that actually promotes positive birth stories and supports women, rather than instills fear in them. Thank you.

Add your positive home birth story here.

Has it been made clear enough how important it is for friends of a pregnant woman to refrain from negative stories? I really do mean this. The news is a big culprit these days but so are little stories that you hear at work or around your friends. I’ve recently been on the receiving end of a couple of negative stories and I tell you that’s all I’ve been dreaming about. It’s related to your subconscious in late pregnancy (especially). Your body is preparing for one thing. Considering what would happen “if” or “when” is not part of the process your body needs. You can see now why going into a hospital where you have to think clearly is not a promoter of natural childbirth. It’s contrary to the whole process. But I know not everyone wants to have a homebirth. For those of you considering it though, come talk to me… and don’t watch Dr. Phil’s show!

Check and check!

August 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

We’re getting down to the last couple of things to do from our (once) very long list. Bilingual papi just got us train tickets for our yearly trip to Chicago for Christmas and the tall bookshelf has been refashioned into shelves for CDs to make space so this room doesn’t seem so cramped. There’s some food in the freezer and I feel like I’ve had a chance to catch up with a number of MIA friends (which also means I’m turning my phone off for a while). We went berry picking at my friends’ mom’s house and harvested some greens today which was a nice outing.

We went for a long (considering the size of our town) walk and I picked up one skein of yarn to finish one of the baby 2.0 knitting projects that had not seen the light of day in a long time. I’m still working on sewing up the blue sweater and a blanket made of left over skeins of yarn from the stash but they just sit there, so I may not finish them for a while.

I’m getting word out for the next babywearing group and trying to gather things for the LLL baby sale. Things are really starting to look clean here. It’s really nice. There is still random paper lying around the computer and sewing machine but that’s bound to happen.

What’s next? It may get quiet around the blog but do not fear, bilingual papi is here. Remember to check his new blog for the baby 2.0 announcement.

One more project

August 28, 2008 § Leave a comment

Before going into labor I had this idea that I wanted to make one (or two) of those u-shaped neck pillows for when I’m nursing baby 2.0 in the middle of the night and just have to rest my head on something. I remember not being able to do this with bilingual baby. Now that I can imagine needing one of these neck pillows and I have a sewing machine and time I thought, why not.

First, I took to my search engine to find a tutorial or a pattern online to help guide me. I found this awesome and easy tutorial and got to work. I also bought my first Amy Butler bag pattern which I look forward to touching in a couple of … months.

She knows

August 27, 2008 § Leave a comment

It seems obvious that bilingual baby knows something is going to happen. She knows because we talk about it. I make many promises that once the baby is born, mami will have milk again. That alone could be what wakes her up in the middle of the night. 😉 So, yeah. She’s been waking up in the middle of the night. Up for a couple of hours. She nurses for a while and then we turn to books. It’s so early we can’t actually see anything so we have to lie there and say the parts of the books we remember.

Last night was the funniest so far. I couldn’t see the book she had picked out so I pulled it close to my face to figure out what I was seeing. After that, every page she turned to, I’d ask if she could see and she’d pull the book close to her face and we’d start laughing. This went on for a while. I think she pulled out another book but it was early…

At some point, she just curled up next to me and fell asleep.

A day in the life of…

August 25, 2008 § 1 Comment

parenting blog carnival

Half Pint Pixie is hosting a Blog Carnival today and I’ve joined in the fun! She’s listing all the participants on her blog. Check it out. Here’s my day:

2am (or so): Bilingual baby woke up. I don’t remember what happened. I do remember that it was early. She wanted water, the potty (ended up going 3 times before falling back asleep) and to nurse. I needed to cut her nails so the nursing was going to have to be postponed. We postponed by remembering books- rather than reading them. Bilingual papi is especially good at this, since he’s been doing bedtime lately. She kept wanting to nurse and I kept telling her I’d nurse her in the morning- which sometimes works. Not this morning, it didn’t. So, after she kept asking, I nursed her. I figure it’s nice to see that adults can be flexible, too. She got up for her last trip to the potty and I asked if she wanted to sit in the rocker with me, so we nursed there until she fell asleep.

4am: Felt a wiggly child next to me that could mean… wet diaper. So, I had bilingual papi (he’s the best!) change it. It was pretty wet! Even after the 3 trips earlier in the morning. She nursed back to sleep but wasn’t out until almost 5am.

7:50: Bilingual baby woke us up with a smile. She was happy to see that her papi wasn’t up already, getting himself ready for work. Bilingual papi went downstairs to get breakfast ready for us.

Just before 9am: Got in the car to go to our prenatal. Our midwife asked if I wanted her to check me to see how much I had progressed over the last couple of days. See, a couple of weeks ago, I had her check me and I was 75% effaced and 2 cms dilated. Since I’ve been tuning up a lot lately, I think she wanted to show me that nothing is for naught. So now I’m 80% effaced and 3 cms. The next topic of conversation was a little more directed at bilingual papi. What to do if he ends up catching baby 2.0. There’s not much to it. Mostly, breathe and communicate. Just let the placenta slink itself out and hang out until she gets there. Should be fun, I think. An unassisted birth. It’s been done. And on purpose, too. Talked about other stuff but really… I will hold back (for now).

10ish: Left prenatal for the coffee shop in celebration of bilingual papi being on paternity leave! It was nice not to have to rush back home and have him rush to work. Walked over to hardware store to get carpet cleaner. We borrowed a carpet cleaner and are gearing up to wash those carpets and put rugs over them. Not all of the carpet, just under the table so that fewer stains end up on the cream colored carpets of our rented apartment. At the hardware store, we spotted a couple of tricycles which bilingual baby played on for a while. Hey, where were we going? Nowhere. I loved every minute of it! After a while, we said goodbye to the tricycles.

11ish: Got home and had some platanitos and arepas con queso. Then, geared up for lunch. I did some knitting and headed upstairs to read my feeds.

Almost 1pm: Started trying to get bilingual baby down for a nap. She wanted books and is probably feeding off of the energy in our house with the pending labor, so she couldn’t nap. After an hour or so, needed the potty, went and then seemed really tired.

3pm: Still trying to get bilingual baby down for a nap. Bilingual papi went out to run some errands and I put her on my back and walked around the neighborhood. A couple blocks into the walk she was asleep. Kept walking just to make sure.. and to enjoy the beautiful day.

Got back home and IM’d with a friend for a while with baby on my back. The sweat dripping down my back was too much, so I transfered her to the bed. She stayed asleep so I went back to staring at the computer.

Had a much needed popsicle.

Nursed bb back to sleep and trimmed her nails. Finally!

5pm: She’s still napping. I’m still googling stuff online.

5:30: Heard her stir and cry. Nursed her and she fell back asleep. Still napping!

5:50: Bear is awake after a long nap.

6ish: Ate some dinner. Bilingual papi made this yummy eggplant dip that we put on our pasta. Bilingual baby found the fish sticks and cooked those up and had a couple.

Just before 7pm: Bilingual baby requested a bath, books and signed “bedtime”. Bilingual papi kept asking if she wanted to sleep. We just couldn’t believe she wanted to go to bed so soon after waking up from her long nap. Goes to show ya.

7ish: The two of them went upstairs and took a bath after which bilingual baby came downstairs to hang out with me for a little bit. (It’s part of her routine.) We read a couple of books and then she asked to go back upstairs with papi to read books and go to sleep.

While they were settling down, I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth; in particular the part about prenatal testing. I’ll write more about this later but I just have to push her book again. She really knows how to write for pregnant women. In one particular paragraph, I noticed that she spends more time focusing on the positive outcomes than on the negative ones. She doesn’t lead you on to be cocky but rather informed; not worried, concerned or panicky but calm and levelheaded to process the needed information to make an informed decision.

9:30pm: Bedtime.

Thanks HPP. This was fun. Sorry if it’s boring to the rest of ya. Stay tuned for pictures and details on the Mei Tai I just made and more sewing/knitting projects I’m due to finish.

Mucha dura

August 24, 2008 § Leave a comment

Last week, I walked up a steep hill in town on our way to playgroup. I’ve made the hike before, but not recently. In other words, not this pregnant. I had hiked up to the same place a while ago pushing bilingual baby in the stroller and wrote about it, if you remember. Now, as pregnant as I am, I just can’t push the stroller along and still have energy to make it up the hill. So, last week I decided that I would wear our toddler in a Mei Tai on my back and carry the bags with the potty, the diaper and the food for the morning.

It actually proved to be quite comfortable. (Mind you, this is no easy hill.) I knew I needed to walk the hardest part first which is why I chose to go this particular way. The other ways would have me walking a flat part first, then a monster hill, and finishing with another flat part. I embarked on my hike, bilingual baby on my back, relaxed as ever. I took it slow, which is what you should do, and made it all the way up without wishing for the stroller.

Once I got there, I was talking to some of the other moms saying that it’s so much easier to wear bilingual baby on my back, even uphill, because everything I’m carrying is close to my center. Not so with the stroller, which I’ll gladly push around town- a flat surface. I do get a lot of looks just walking around this pregnant. The dropped jaws are from me, this pregnant, walking around with a toddler on my back- cos they aren’t looking at my face. I hardly think I look that big but then again I’ve been around me for a lot longer that the woman in the parking lot of the co-op (yup, you didn’t turn away quick enough).

On a completely different note, I found this post by Michelle at Organically Inclined an interesting read and I wanted to share it with you. She talks about the social life of her homeschooled kids. Sociality is so misunderstood when talking about homeschooling and I wish it weren’t the biggest fear when talking about homeschooling/unschooling. Read her post.

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