Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Thanksgiving was good. We spent the long weekend in Indy with my mom and 2 of my sisters. Charlotte was spoiled. She had adoring fans, a canine at her beck and call, and all the pie she could eat (3 nights in a row of both apple and pumpkin pie...never let it be said that we don't feed the child).

We spent Friday afternoon at the Children's Museum in Indianapolis--if you're ever in the area, this is something you really shouldn't miss. For us St. Louisans, it's like a combo of the Science Center + the Magic House (with a bit of the City Museum thrown in as well). She maybe got to see 1/4 of the place in the 4 hours we were there, but enjoyed the Dinosaur exhibit (where she got to dig for fossils), the Carousel (which she did NOT want to get off of), the Playscape (a special area for preschoolers with a huge water play area, sand box, climbing toys, dress up clothes, story time, etc), and ended the afternoon with a trip down the large slide that they make out of the curving entry staircase during the winter.

Saturday included a trip to the YMCA for a dip in the pool, after which she took her first nap of the weekend (yikes!). She fell asleep about 10 minutes before we left town on Sunday, and was annoyed (angered) to realize when she woke up that we were not going back to Grandma's house, as she repeatedly requested(demanded).

Every time we go to visit my mom, I half expect to run into some old classmate, but usually don't. This time, oddly enough, I did run into a classmate. Except it was a college classmate (from Wash U), and I see him every Sunday at church here in St. Louis. Apparently his girlfriend grew up not far from me (far enough away with enough years separating us that I didn't know her). They were enjoying the Children's Museum Friday afternoon too. Strange.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nursing in Public...a small vent

I heard on the radio this morning that a nursing mother had been kicked off of an airplane. The airline claims that she refused to cover up with a blanket, so they asked her to leave. This sort of story really makes me mad. Why on earth should she have to attempt to cover with a blanket, when she is feeding a child? Do you eat under a blanket? Have you ever tried? It would be a bit uncomfortable, and hot, and stuffy to simply cover my head with a blanket, let alone attempt to drink while I'm under there. Get real, folks.

Breastfeeding is not something that needs to be covered up, like some sort of shameful sexual act. The airline isn't claiming that the mother in question stripped to the waist and then wandered up and down the aisles of a fully loaded passenger plane. She was sitting in her seat (by the window), with her husband immediately next to her. And they weren't attempting to join the mile high club, she was providing food to a baby.

I guess I was just lucky. In the 19 months that I breastfed Charlotte, I was never once asked to cover up, or to leave a room while breastfeeding (I frequently felt I needed to, but that was due to an easily-distracted baby, not because someone else asked me to). I breastfed her at the zoo (in the reptile house, actually), while walking in the March of Dimes walk, at restaurants, at church, in an airplane, and countless other places. I actually even used an electric breast pump on an airplane during a business trip (I was covered up that time--those things are a lot less discrete than a baby's head).

I find it very sad that so many people today find it offensive to breastfeed a baby in a place where there is a chance that, if you're really staring at the mother's bosom, that you might catch a glimpse of flesh. Yet they somehow don't find all of the rubber and silicone nipples on bottles that are designed to look pretty much just like the real thing offensive at all. Apparently rubber replicas of body parts are socially acceptable in places where the real thing is not.....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

More appointments

I had a prenatal appointment this morning. Most of it was the usual: pee in a cup, get weighed, blood pressure, baby's heartbeat, get my belly measured. ofWe discussed birth options, because I had Charlotte by C-section. Basically, I want to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian) because the recovery time for me should be shorter and easier, which will be important with two munchkins to take care of. But I know that 1) because Charlotte's birth went the way it did, that there's a higher probability that my hip bones won't allow a baby's head to pass through, and I may end up with another C-Section and 2) I am now a much higher risk pregnancy and the baby's safety and well-being come before my ease of recovery. Also, having labor induced or augmented is slightly more likely to lead to complications for VBAC's ("uterine rupture" = a very bad thing) and itself is more likely to result in a C-section. So the result is that I don't want to be induced, so if there's any need to speed up the delivery or birth date, then I go under the knife. Also, assuming I go into labor on my own, if the baby shows signs of distress, then I won't argue about his method of entering the world.

I talked to my OB about the last ultrasound, and am still going to do followup ultrasounds every 4 weeks, but in my regular doc's office and not at the hospital. Nothing has changed with the baby in the last two weeks that we know of, so there's no news to report there. But, my doc said that starting at 28 weeks, he will have me come into the office twice a week for Non Stress Test. From what I understand, this involves me sitting in a recliner for the better part of an hour while they monitor the baby's heartrate and movement (to make sure that he's moving and that his heartrate is behaving when he does). So, we're looking at prenatal appointments every 4 weeks (they get more frequent towards the end, but I don't remember when I start going more often), ultrasounds every 4 weeks, and NST's 2x a week. Have I mentioned lately how glad I am to have good health insurance?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Spam Blocking

I have picked up a couple of interesting commenters lately. Including
one who felt the need to post the same spam comment 3 separate times to
the same post. I'm going to try the word verification and hope that
stops the spammers. Sorry for the extra inconvenience!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Christmas Shopping!

Yesterday I ventured to Garden Ridge for the first time in many months, if not a year or more. I actually really like the store, but it's huge and exhausting, and not somewhere that I could take a toddler safely. If you're not familiar with the place, it's a home decor/craft store that's the size of a large warehouse. Probably a third of the square footage is fake floral supplies--artificial bushes, leaves, flowers, etc of every shape size and color imaginable, plus pots, foam wire, ribbons, etc. Imagine the floral section of your local Michaels. Now imagine your local Michaels *was* a floral section. That covers most of it. They also have huge areas of candles, glassware, framed artwork, furniture, housewares (cookware, dishes, cake decorating supplies), baskets.

At this time of the year, I think at least half of the store is dedicated to Christmas decorations. Actaully, "this time of the year" lasts about 5 months, because I know they had Christmas stuff on sale before Halloween, so it must have been there since like, February. In any case, it's a fun place to wander around. They have a lot of everything--christmas lights in any color, pattern, etc you can think of, 50 kinds of Christmas trees, lawn ornaments of every size, color, and theme. And their stuff is really reasonably priced.

I actually went to buy a pair of "pre-lit porch trees" to put by our front door--we'd like the look last year, but didn't want to pay $50 each for little trees with lights and pots. Of course, I had to wander around the rest of the stuff. Some of their merchandise is really tempting--they have beautiful collections of Christmas ornaments, and an entire aisle of angels for the top of the tree. Their lights are always a good deal, and you can get a particular color or style and know that they have 50million in stock (well, now they do...by Thanksgiving much of it will be gone I'm sure). The huge light-up snow globes and dancing raindeer I can definitely do with out. I was oddly tempted by the 6-foot nutcracker statues, but 1) I have no idea where I would put it and 2) I have no idea where I would store it. (Funny, I have the same reaction to the suits of armor they frequently carry....luckily for my living room they've been out the time or two I'd decided to actually buy one).

I managed to leave the place with just my porch trees, a pair of candle rings and 3 cherub ornaments. If I manage to avoid the place for the rest of the season, then my wallet (and storage are) will probably thank me...

Friday, November 10, 2006


Charlotte is really developing quite a personality. Some of her quirks are part of being two, and some are hers alone.

Charlotte is fascinated by the trash truck. I think it started on one of her sick days over the summer when I took her for a walk around the neighborhood (I'm guessing it wasn't one of her puking sicknesses, or we wouldn't have been out and about). The trash truck was making its weekly rounds, and we kept seeing it as we walked around. To be fair, it's kind of a neat process. The truck is big and bright blue, and guys hop in and out and dump your trash into a bin at the back. Every couple of houses the bin lifts over the top of the truck and dumps its contents inside. All in all, an interesting spectacle, especially when you're two. Today, Charlotte even helped her daddy walk around the house collecting trash to take outside. Then, she apparently got mad when he made her stop watching and get in the car to leave for daycare. I'm thinking that we may peruse the Tonka aisle at the toy store this Christmas...

She no longer walks anywhere--these days she runs from room to room, or insists on being carried. Every so often, she stops running to do a sommersault. She has quite perfected these, even before her last toddler gymnastics session started. It's funny when she aims for a corner and gets stuck on the wall, and scary when she's on the edge of the bed, but usually, it's just amusing.

Her other favorite mode of transportation is her "bike", a brightly colored plastic tricycle (more like a bigwheel, but the front wheel is not actually big...). With the seat as far forward as it will go, she can just reach the pedals. It's a lot of fun to ride the bike downhill (our house is halfway down a hill, so you either go up or down out of the driveway), but I end up carrying it back uphill most days. On flat surfaces she can almost move it herself by pedalling, but generally has a little push from the parent-safety handle on the back (a wonderful invention for a kid who tends to aim full speed for the end of the driveway!). She also insists on pushing the thing from the back instead of riding sometimes.

This year, she actually got to go Trick-or-Treating. After the first house, she understood right away what to do and why. She sort of even said "trick-or-treat" but kept calling it "knock-snack", which is probably more accurate anyway :) We haven't let her become too much of a candy junkie (a piece or two a night is her limit), but she knows exactly where her Elmo Halloween basket is (on top of the fridge) and occaisionally pulls her step-stool out of the bathroom in an attempt to help herself (sorry kid, you're still several feet too short...)

Her other favorite new word is "naked". She knows what it means, and rather prefers that state of being to any other. After bath, she tends to ditch her towel and take off running around the house (gigglign at the top of her lungs), much like a wet puppy dog. Luckily she is good at using the toilet before bath, so it's relatively safe to let her run for a few minutes sans-diaper. This morning she got a shower with me, and then insisted on eating her breakfast in nothing more than a pull-up. Considering that breakfast was oatmeal, and it was all over her chest and face before she was done, this isn't a bad thing. Her other favorite clothing (or lack thereof) thing is shoes (her own, especially her cowboy boots, and mine). She'd be happy as a clam to walk around naked with boots on her feet. But I should stop this conversation there, since the keywords "shower", "naked", and "cowboy boots" are already likely to net me some interesting web searches...

Monday, November 06, 2006

More ultrasounds

Last Friday we had yet another ultrasound. Also, the results of our quad-screen blood test came in that day. The result of both wasn't vastly different than what we already knew. It looks like the little man has one kidney that is dialated (which means something is keeping it from draining normally). The other kidney actually looked normal, which is very nice to hear--people can survive quite well with one healthy kidney. They checked my own kidneys as well, because there is a correlation between the defect on my ear and kidney problems, but mine are normal (makes sense, as I've never had problems).

We still have only a single artery in the cord, instead of the normal 2, which means they're going to watch me carefully to make sure that the baby is growing at a healthy rate. The doctor did point out something new, that the length of the femur is shorter than expected. He mentioned that this can be a "soft" marker for Down's syndrome, but we don't seem to have other indications. I don't know if this will turn out to be anything to worry about or not. We do come from small families (one of my grandmothers is less than 5' tall), though I'm sure the expected size takes into account variations based on genetics. I haven't been able to find much online about what this means, so for now we're not worrying too much about it.

The blood test showed a 1 in 9000 chance of having a baby with Down's Syndrome, which is pretty low, so it seems unlikely that we have that to work with. We would have to do an amniocentesis to be sure there aren't any chromosomal abnormalities, but since that test involves risks (from cramping to possible miscarriage), we aren't going to do it at the moment. I believe that it can be done later in pregnancy, and towards the end can give clues to how well a baby's lungs are developing, so we may revisit the question at some point, but not now. We could also wait untill after the baby is born to have him tested, which might be our best bet for now.

What all this means at the moment is that I'll be getting more ultrasounds. I have 3 of them already scheduled, every 4 weeks. They will watch how the kidney is developing, and the fluid levels, and the baby's growth. I guess we may get follow up on the femur thing too.

I guess for now we're relaxing a bit. There's not much more that we can do for the little guy at the moment except to take care of myself and try to project happy, healing thoughts his way. And I get to enjoy every kick and wiggle.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

On a lighter note..maternity clothes shopping

We have several wedding coming up in the next couple of months, and I realized that there's not much in the way of winterish dressy clothes in the communal maternity closet. There are a couple of nice dresses that will fit, but I wanted a bit more variety, and the two main options were ones that also I wore several times when pregnant with Charlotte.

So Friday night we made a family trip to the St. Louis Mills mall (Gasp! We weren't home watching the Cardinals win the World Series! Bad! Bad! Bad St. Louisans). While my husband supervised Charlotte playing in the kiddie area, I trekked down to the Motherhood Maternity store to see what I could find. I gathered one of nearly every dressy outfit that appealed to me and headed into the changing rooms.

The first dress I tried on was a strappy red number that looked beautiful on the hanger and on the photo of the model on the wall. Unfortunately, the cute chiffon ruffle-things decorating the dress made me look like a large red feather duster. I cringe to think what I would look like in this dress in another 10 weeks....

My next attempt involved a pretty velvet skirt (marked down to $10 from the original $50), and a flocked tank top. The top was cute, but the top and armholes were lined with snug-fitting elastic (to help hold up the built-in bra I believe)--elastic works fine as long as your upper chest and arms are solid as rocks. I, for one, have had a hard time getting my 20 hours of weekly weight training in at the gym recently, and didn't think hanging over the top of my blouse was an attractive look.

After several more attempts, I settled on something fairly conservative, and massively stretchy that promises to still fit in a couple of months. I also bought the pretty velvet skirt, betting that I might find a nice top for it later (if not, I'm only out $10). I have a beaded silk camisole from Old Navy that is unfortunately also black, though perhaps with a colored shawl or sweater I might pair it with the skirt.

That brings me to my one whine about the Motherhood/Mimi/Pea in the Pod stores. If I never wear the pretty black skirt, then there's no way for me to take it back. Their return policy sucks. Rather, it's nonexistant. If an item is not on sale, then you have 10 days to exchange it. If it's been marked down at all, then your sale is final. What's up with that? Old Navy (who has provided most of the wardrobe that I've personally paid for) treats their pregnant customers with the same respect as their non-pregnant ones--if the item has its tags, it can be returned or exchanged (they might have a time limit, but it's a lot more than 10 days!). Even stuff you buy off their website can also be returned to the stores, so you don't have to ship stuff back and forth. I just wish they had more variety!