Sunday, December 30, 2007

rocket ship

Yesterday was another perfect winter day in Minneapolis, so Dave and I took the dog over to Brackett Park to check out the rocket ship that was recently installed. According to, "The Brackett Rocket, built as a playground structure in 1962, was the neighborhood icon of America's entry into the 'space race.' Played on by generations of Longfellow, Seward, Nokomis, and Phillips residents, the structure was removed from Brackett Park in 2004 when it no longer met safety requirements. A 'Save the Rocket' campaign was initiated by a group of rejuvenate the rocket as a work of public art."

Dave has memories of climbing up in this when he was a child, and his mom loves to tell the story of when she was 7 or 8 months pregnant with him, his older brother got up to the top and was too afraid to come down. With a huge baby belly, she had to climb up and retrieve him. Unfortunately it's no longer for play, but it's fun to see such relics from the past. It reminded me of the rope spiderweb that I used to play on as a child. It looked exactly like this one, and was just about as unsafe as they come.

Playgrounds these days just aren't what they used to be. They look like this and this, and gone are the days of metal slides, swing chains that pinch your fingers, and merry go rounds that go way too fast and throw you from them if you can't hold on. I'm sure everyone is a lot safer and there are fewer injuries, but I sort of miss the rope spiderwebs and rocketships, the climbing structures that enable your children to fall a good 25 feet to the hard sand. Most generations think of the age of their childhood as the "good ole days" and I'm just as much to blame as the next guy. I don't think this dangerous playground thing will be coming back anytime soon, though. At least we can catch a glimpse of the past here and there.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Dave and I had a great time skating at Rice Park with our friends Steve and Lisa last night. Everyone took a spill except Steve, but no one was hurt. Surprisingly, this was Dave's first time on ice skates. He did amazingly well, considering he'd never done it before. He was tripped once by a little girl who fell right in front of him (dodging the little people is part of the fun of a busy ice rink). By the time we left, he was trying to skate backwards. We will definitely be back.

Friday, December 28, 2007

what a difference some sleep makes

I'm feeling much better today after a good night's rest. I'm not sure if it was the half hour of lap swimming yesterday afternoon or the fact that I had a small half caffiene coffee around dinner time, but something put me to sleep last night, and I only woke up once. In the last weeks, I've been dreading going to bed, knowing that I will invariably be wide awake at 4:00 am, unable to get comfortable. My hips ache while I'm sleeping, and I've been having crazy dreams. Last night, 4:00 came and went, and I didn't even bat an eye. Hoping for the same tonight.

Oh, and thanks to Dave, my Snoogle is on the way.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

back at it

I'm back at work today, glad to have had 3 days off. I'm taking off next Monday and Tuesday, too, so I really can't complain that I have to be at work today and tomorrow. Any time off is fun time.

I've been a bit of a grump recently. Don't know if it's the holiday, the pregnancy, or the family stuff that's going on, but I've been in a bad mood. I haven't been sleeping well, and rolling over has become even more of a chore.
I feel gigantic, but when I went to take a photo of me at 28 weeks, I realized that my belly is not nearly as big as I think it is. (sorry for chopping off my head, it's hard to take a decent photo with Photo Booth).

The pregnancy ticker continues to count down, and with just under 12 short weeks to go it feels like the baby will be here in no time. All the while I look back on the year 2007, and I feel like I've been pregnant for the whole year. Technically, I have been pregnant since June, and we were planning for the baby as early as March or April when we had a pre-conception visit with a midwife. This will definitely be remembered as the year of the pregnancy. It will be eclipsed, of course, by 2008, which will be the year of the baby.

Dave and I continue to prepare our home and minds for the arrival, last week we picked out nursery furniture and a car seat. We're going to take inventory of all of the baby clothes that we've been given, wash them all and start filling up the dresser. Once the changing table arrives, we'll get the diapers washed and put away. We've been lucky to receive so many things from friends who've recently had children. I hope that my spirits pick back up. The third trimester has officially begun, and I know this is the home stretch (for those keeping score - the baby weighs as much as a chinese cabbage this week). I haven't been as diligent about the raspberry leaf tea and the regular swimming, and I will resolve to put those things back into my schedule. The weather has been wonderful so far this winter, lots of snow and not too much cold. I hope that trend continues. I need to find a jacket that will cover my growing belly, so there will be some thrift store shopping this weekend. There is much to look forward to in this new year, I've just got to keep the positive attitude that I've had for the last 6 months. Maybe some ice skating at Rice Park will be just the thing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

pupper of the week: Christmas pupper

It may be a little blurry, but it was hard to get her to keep the hat on her head. Her noble companion in Scooby, sporting a bow from one of the Christmas packages. He was way cooler about the bow that Irene was with the hat.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Dave and I went downtown last night for a fun Saturday night out. We saw the Hollidazzle parade, we attempted to get into the Macy's 8th floor display (but the line was way too long), we bought fun stuff at the bookstore and the coffee shop, and we ended the night with dinner out at Sawatdee. It was a fun night out, with lots of walking and shivering. Turns out that my bladder is even smaller than I thought it was. Alas. Here we are at the IDS for one of my many bathroom breaks.

Friday, December 21, 2007

knitting and photos at 27 weeks

Here's the case for my favorite new camera.

It's knit from some very soft blue yarn that was a gift from my cousin last Christmas. I have no idea what it is, other than soft and blue. I like the case. It'll keep my little camera scratch free when I toss it in a drawer, or in my bag, or in one of the many other places I will throw this camera. I really wanted to take a photo of the camera in the case, but after some thought, I realized that would be impossible unless I were to dig out the old camera, which has been banished to a cabinet upstairs. I was late for work already, so I skipped it. The camera goes in, the case buttons. End of story.

Also, I have chosen the first baby blanket that I want to knit. It came from this book, and I think it's going to be great. I wanted to buy the Debbie Bliss yarn for the pattern, but you can't get it online.
I'm going down to Needlework Unlimited this afternoon to pick out something soft and possibly green. This is what the blanket will look like.

This is not, however, what the baby will look like. This baby is adorable, though, so adorable that you kind of want to kiss the pages of the pattern book. But maybe that's just me...

The blanket is basically just a simple square, knit in seed stitch (Dave's favorite stitch) and it has a hood attached to one corner. There's just something about that hood that sold me. There's another simple little blanket in this book that I think I'll work up after I finish this one.

And, for the sake of posterity, I must present a photo of myself. I'm 27 weeks pregnant, and
I'm totally not sticking my belly out, though it may look that way.

Last week at a training session for work, I heard from our trainer that another employee had walked by the room and reported that I looked "like I was about to pop." That surprised me, because A) I don't think I look that pregnant, and 2. sometimes I think I still don't look pregnant at all. The comment came from a man, one who is likely single and has no experience looking at pregnant bellies. But still. I do not look like I'm about to pop. I've got three more months of pregnancy, kids. Talk to me the second week of March.

Just for the record though - yes, I can still see my feet. Barely.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

pupper of the week

This is one of my favorite photos of the dog. I had come downstairs for breakfast (Dave gets up early in the summer. And in the winter.) and Irene was sitting beneath this sign, staring out into the backyard. She had been misbehaving while I had been sleeping in, and Dave wanted to be sure that I didn't come down and let her back out into the yard. It was so adorable the way she sat right beneath the sign, watching Dave in the garden.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

knitting out of necessity

I really like to knit from patterns. It's rare for me to use the same yarn or needle size in the pattern, but for the most part, I like to find a pattern and knit it up. Unfortunately, the majority of the knitting I do is of another sort. Knitting out of necessity, I call it, and Dave plays a large part. He's the master of invention, so often he'll determine a need for something, and then find a way for either him or me to create it. I'm in charge of the fiber arts and he's in charge of carpentry. Many things around our house have been created this way, and while there are times when I lament how "home-made" everything looks, it's also fun to look at old projects and be proud of that creation.

Last week, Dave came home from work complaining that his glasses case doesn't fit in his pocket. It's one of those hard cases that keeps you from smooshing your glasses, but he doesn't like carrying it around. Problem? Solved.

Handy dandy little carrying case with drawstring close. He may smoosh them in his pocket, but at least they won't get dirty.

I also finished up a carrying case for our new camera this week, and I'm working to replace Dave's fingerless flip-top mitts that he loves so much. I have a few patterns that I'm working from, but none of them are in the same gauge, and they don't have the fingers so I have to add those in. And I switched the way the thumb is done. It's just more fun that way.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

glucose challenge!

Last Friday, Dave and I met with our clinic midwife, and I did the glucose challenge test. I was paranoid about this going into it, but it all turned out fine in the end. My glucose levels are well within the normal range. I had been restricting white flower and sugar for the week before the test, and loading up on high protein foods like seitan. It was pretty unlikely that I would be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, but I had heard so many horror stories from friends and acquaintances (again with the horror stories, what's that all about?) that I was nervous about it. I'm glad to check one more thing off the worry list.

Monday, December 17, 2007

weekly vegetable update

Sadly, can no longer think of any vegetables the length of the growing fetus. Instead, they let me know that this week the baby weights almost 2 pounds -which is similar to the weight of a head of cauliflower! Seriously, folks. If the concept of 2 pounds is too much to grasp, do you really think that equating it to do a delicious and nutritious food like cauliflower will help me?

This weekend, Dave and I watched a video on birth. It made the whole thing feel a little more real, and put some questions to rest. It wasn't as gross or as scary as I thought it would be, although it was both of things. It definitely made me feel a time crunch, as if things are suddenly urgent. Three months left in this pregnancy, and that's not very much time. We have no furniture in the nursery, we don't know what we're doing (or if we're doing) a baby shower, and we most certainly don't have a registry set up. I'm not too worried about not having stuff- the baby doesn't sleep more than a few hours at a time those first few weeks, so wherever you put the baby down is where it sleeps, be that on the couch, in the sling, or in bed with us. My body makes all the baby food for the first few months, so we don't have to rush out and buy a bunch of new things to make food. The rest of it will get figured out quickly enough. I'm committed to staying calm amid the storm. Enjoying the winter weather and enjoying the time with Dave, our swan song as a couple, before we become a family.

It's all happening quickly, and once the baby arrives time will speed up even more. It's nice to have some time off work, time to sit and knit, watch movies, play games, spend time with family. Those are my favorite things to do in the winter, and I'm taking full advantage of this time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

pupper of the week

In the winter, Dave shovels out a path between the back door and the car, so we don't have to tromp through the snow every time we want to drive somewhere. When the snow gets more than a few inches deep, Irene uses this trench to race between the front and the back of the house, and it's sort of a puppy slalom. This photo is from Wednesday, when she was racing back to sit on the back steps and shiver. She doesn't enjoy the cold so much, that one.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

the pregnancy trifecta

1. Positive attitude
2. Healthy food
3. Regular exercise

Maybe I'm just lucky, but these three things have kept me healthy and happy so far through this pregnancy. My back doesn't hurt, the headaches that bothered me during the first half of the second trimester are gone, and for the most part, I have lots of energy. I know that the 3rd trimester will bring me a lot more sleepiness, but here at the end of 6 months, I'm happy to say that this pregnancy thing isn't half as hard as I thought it would be. And that makes me feel even better.

waiting for a baby blanket

I've been knitting up a storm recently, but not creating anything new. I've been finishing projects that got stalled in the past, and while it's nice to free up all that space, I'm really craving something new. I think it's time to start on a baby blanket, but I can't decide on a pattern. I've put a few knit blanket pattern books on hold at the library, but I'm not sure where they'll lead me. I was also thinking I should just choose a fun stitch pattern and a single color and let loose, but I can't make up my mind. I definitely want to pick something out before the end of next week. There will be a lot of sitting and talking over Christmas, and it's much more fun for me if I can keep my hands busy.

I sometimes bring my knitting to work and knit through meetings. This has never been a problem in the past, but when my new boss was hired in September, things changed a little bit. When I knit in meetings that he's leading, he tends to watch my hands and scowl. He's never said anything (and he's the type of guy to say when something bothers him), but I just get this "I wish you weren't knitting" vibe. It's a shame, because I sit through a lot of meetings in my job, and most of them don't require much input from me. I still make eye contact and look up more than I look down, but there's something about knitting that makes people think I'm not paying attention. Ironically, I'm probably paying better attention than when I'm just sitting there - when my hands are still my brain wanders away, and I'll miss entire sections of what people are saying. When I've got needles in my hands, that wandering part of my brain is focused on counting the knits and purls, so the conscious part of me can pay much better attention. I've stopped bringing my knitting to work in the last few weeks, and the meetings have been boring and long. I think I'll be bringing it back before long.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

all I wanted for Christmas

After spending 5 minutes trying to take a decent photo of my belly using the self timer on my (new!) camera, I've decided two things. 1 - I hate what I'm wearing today, and 2 - I really have no business putting photos of my belly on the internet. At least, not photos that I've taken myself. Yikes.

So here - a photo of the new camera! In black and white, so you can't see how blotchy my skin is.

I haven't had too much time to play with it, but I'm going to carry it everywhere until I get tired of it. Tonight, I'm going to knit a case for it, so I don't scratch the screen.

In other news, I really like yoga. I've been going to classes weekly, and while it's fun, I feel like I'm kind of an amateur. I'm a little self conscious and don't like to ask a bunch of questions. Yesterday I found this site which is nice because it tells me how to do things like get into poses and out of them a little more gracefully. I will be practicing my grace at home this week, in hopes of looking a little less like an idiot at my class.

Monday, December 10, 2007


The new furnace has been installed, and things are looking up. My new camera should be here this week, at which point I will take a photo of the new furnace (because, why not?) and my 26 week pregnant belly. never disappoints, and this week informed me the munchkin is the length of an English hothouse cucumber. Right. I'm guessing that's bigger than a regular ol' cuke, but seriously, how would I know?

The best part of this weekend (aside from all of the bathrobes and sweat pants) was that Dave got to feel the baby move. We though he had felt it before, but this time it was a definite thump right beneath his hand. Since then, the baby has started kicking with a vengeance. I'm trying to be tuned into it because it's the only way the baby can really communicate with the outer world, and also because it's really neat. It's even cooler than I thought it would be. I wish there were more active times, and I'm hoping in the coming weeks there is a lot of kicking and movement. It's neat to be able to feel it on the outside of my tummy with my hand. People have said that eventually you can even see your belly move as the baby kicks, and that seems sorta trippy.

I always used to think that pregnancy looked okay and cute until the end of the second trimester, and after that it just looked scary. Now, coming around the corner on tri-3, I feel like I just started showing a month ago, so it's not scary yet. I guess I'm getting used to being pregnant though it is nice to be on the home stretch. Both Dave and I have been actively trying to be positive, and despite the furnace being out, the crunch of holiday gift buying, and the rest of the crap going on in our lives, the pregnancy has been a shining beacon of fun. We're still enjoying ourselves, despite everything the world has tried to throw down. For the first time in awhile, I feel prepared for the road ahead, and confident that things are going to work out fine. Maybe it's just the heat of the furnace fueling my own personal little fire, but Dave and I are doing really well, and I'm feeling really pleased. I still have very few physical complaints, and swimming and yoga abate the little aches and pains. My feet aren't swollen, my back doesn't hurt - really the only complaint I have right now is constant and persistent hunger. And if that's as bad as it's going to get, then bring it on.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Last night, Dave and I had our 3rd (4th?) visit with our home birth midwives.  It was super fun.  We talked for awhile about food and emotions and stuff, and then they listened to the heartbeat (solid 160, while the baby was active) and did massage and then a muscle loosening technique with a rebozo scarf.  Clare told us about midwives in the Yucatan who didn't understand when they were asked what they did with a Breech birth.  They had to find a very old midwife who had seen a baby present feet first.  Apparently, it just never happens.  They do this rebozo technique, and it is possibly the reason that the babies are in a good birth position.  It was fun, whatever the reason.  My belly is slowly shaken from side to side, and it's meant to relax involuntary muscles and ligaments.  If those can be loose, the baby will automatically get into the best position for birth.

I'm 25 weeks, and feel like it's time to get down to business.  We won't see these midwives again this year, but starting in January, we'll see them every 2 weeks.  I can't believe how soon that is, that the new year is just around the corner.  I've got the glucose challenge test next Friday, but I'm not freaked out about that.  I think my blood sugar will be fine.  I've continued to eat an extremely healthy diet (with the occasional slip up of potato chips or cookies).  For the most part, every meal we eat was organic, made of whole foods, and cooked at home.  The only processed, pre-packaged food I consistently eat is refried beans, and I don't think I can give them up.  Besides, there's protein!  I can't go wrong!

It's going to be a cold weekend in our house, the furnace has officially been marked as unsafe.  We've got space heaters, but it was 60 degrees when I left this morning and it's not safe to leave the heaters running.  I won't be home until 4, and then we'll get it warmed up again.  At least the sun came out today, so that'll keep the house a little warmer.  I think I'll be living in my bathroom and sweatpants this weekend.  Which is pretty much what I do every weekend, furnace or no furnace.  

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

the last shovel

Snow is falling in Minneapolis, and I couldn't be happier. Dave has been doing the lion's share of housework recently, and I was sad that he hasn't left any of the shoveling to me. Tonight I finally got my chance as he put some finishing touches on the new stair banister. The peace of a fresh snow is so wonderful, and I'm glad to live in a city that gets a real winter. I like to get out before the neighbors start up their snow-blowers, spewing grey smoke and roaring down the sidewalk. The love of snow-blowing must run deep, since our neighbors on both sides (who normally won't stop for a simple hello) will take the time to clear our walk for us.

I don't think we've had snow like this before Christmas for a few years, so it's nice to be looking out at a landscape of white instead of the dead grass and garden remains. I've always said I'm more of a winter person than a summer person, though the last few summers have been so fabulous they've nearly eclipsed my love for winter. During the July and August heat this year, I yearned for a time when I could hunker down, hide behind the sweat pants and blankets and enjoy the winter weather. Mother nature is delivering, and I'm delighted. The world can through wrenches in my path (family turmoil, a broken furnace) but nothing can ruin the fun of shoveling freshly fallen snow.

baby steps

Dave and I have quietly started talking about home birth. So far, we've told my brother and my dad and step-mom, along with a few friends. The next frontier is my in-laws, and my mother and sister will be the final challenge. So far, I've been surprised. Friends have been mostly supportive, and family is trying to understand before they disapprove. The most important thing has been to reassure everyone that Dave and I would never, not ever, not under any circumstance, put either me or the baby in any risk. Once they hear that, everyone breathes a big sigh of relief as if there were every any question. I believe and research has shown that the risks are the same for home or hospital birth. About 10% of our midwives' patients transfer to the hospital, and most often the reason is dehydration and exhaustion of the mother, not because the baby is any danger.

People try to trip me up, throwing what-if's out there. What if you go past 42 weeks? What if the baby is breech? What if the baby is in distress? Well then for heavens sake people, we'd go to the hospital. Though I haven't driven it with a stop watch in hand, we live about 10 minutes from our chosen hospital. The midwives that we hired have the same level of training as the clinic midwife that we see, and a heck of a lot of experience under their belts. There are many things we can do to prevent problems - eating a protein rich diet has been shown to reduce the occurrence of preeclampsia. Being prepared for the birth, keeping up fluids and eating during the labor should ward off exhaustion (depending on how long the labor goes). I do exercises daily that will help get the baby into an ideal position. Beyond that, I have to leave it up to fate. Somethings remain unknown, and I know that I'm doing the best I can to have the best birth I can.

I think some folks find it a little strange that I began actively preparing mind and body for the birth 3 months ago - but it's the most important part! The whole pregnancy is leading up to this monumental occasion where we get to meet our child, so of course I want to be prepared for it. If I can help it, I'd like to avoid going to a hospital, just as I would want to avoid having a cesarean. If it's necessary, however, I wouldn't hesitate to put myself in that situation, especially if the baby is in any danger. I want to avoid a medical induction, but if I have high blood pressure and there is a medical reason to induce, then of course I would go for it. Planning a home birth isn't as wacky as it sounds, and the more information one has, the more reasonable it seems. It's been fun to share all of the knowledge that we have about this with others. I can't control how the labor and birth go, but I can do everything in my power to prepare for it. I think it's going to be pretty exciting. The most important thing, of course, is that we end up with a health baby and momma at the end. The rest is incidental.

Monday, December 3, 2007

feeling a little better

This is the best I've felt on a Monday for awhile, and that's saying a lot. The furnace wouldn't light last night, and so for the second time this winter, Dave and I slept in a chilly house. The furnace repair folks were able to come today and Dave took the day off to wait for them. He said the temperature bottomed out at 49 degrees, which isn't cold for the outdoors, but is rather chilly for inside the house. After work he delivered the blow that we will be replacing the furnace this year. Just one more reason to love living in an old house.

Physically, I'm rejuvenated. I went to yoga this weekend which helped, and I slept in on Sunday and mostly took it easy. I am rededicating myself to positive attitude-ness, and I think that's a step in the right direction. Family drama aside, I've found it extremely hard to control my emotions in the last 10 days, mostly sad and angry emotions (overflowing happiness hasn't really been a problem). I realize that being sad and down has a direct effect on my physical well being, and I'm trying not to dwell on the things that are bringing me down. There are plenty of positive things to focus on, and I should acknowledge the fact that physically the pregnancy has been pretty easy. No lower back pain, no swollen feet (at least not yet). The headaches I suffered were mild, and I've only gained about 15 pounds so far. I was talking to a friend today, and she gave me instructions on how to create a cast of my belly. This is something I really want to do, so I'm happy to hear that it's really quite easy. I'll wait until March, when my tummy is huge. I'm really looking forward to it.

Hitting 20 weeks was a mile marker, and I've been less than enthusiastic about the week by week updates since then. I think I'm at 25 weeks now, and I keep struggling to figure out how many months that means. continues with the practice of unknown vegetables, reporting this week the baby weighs slightly more than the average rutabaga. That's really helpful to me, since I eat rutabagas pretty much never. It's hard to believe that I'm nearly at the end of the 2nd trimester. I hope the next 3 months are as uneventful as the last 6 have been. I think so long as I try to keep my chin up, things will work out fine.