Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Baby video and little boy smiles

The February issue of Babytalk magazine has a great article on the Dunstan Baby Language DVD. Did you happen to see Priscilla Dunstan on Oprah? I did and was so impressed with her that I had to buy her DVD.

If you aren't familiar with Priscilla Dunstan, she has identified five cries that a newborn makes during the first three months of his/her life. She teaches you how to identify the cries so that you know what your baby needs. The five cries are:
I'm hungry = Neh
I'm tired= Owh
Burp me=Eh
I'm uncomfortable=Heh
I have low gas=Eairh

The system was fun to learn. Karen and I got to practice recently at a family restaurant. There was a very young baby nearby who was starting to cry. She very clearly made the "neh" sound. Karen and I grinned at each other and said, "Hungry!". Of course, the real proof will be whether or not this training helps us quickly decipher Kylie's cries once she's born.

But mostly I was impressed with Priscilla's story. She is a former classical musician in Australia who has a "photographic memory" for sound. She created the system by interpreting her newborn son's sounds and then tested the system with over 1,000 babies before creating the DVD. What a cool thing for a stay-at-home mom to do!

The DVD is a bit pricey (at $60 in you live in the States) but overall I'm pleased with the purchase. And if it works, I'll be happy to loan the DVD out to new parents who live in our area. If you want more information about Priscilla and her DVD, you can find it here.

And if you've used the systsem with your little one, please let me know how it worked for you.

In other news, I've had a stuffy head with runny nose for the past two days. I think it might be allergies rather than a cold. I'm hoping it will clear up soon. And little Elijah loved his scarf. Hurray! The smile in the picture his mom sent to me made all the work worthwhile.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Harry Potter Scarf

Knitting is my thing. I love, love, love it and spend a lot of time with it. But occasionally, it gets me into some trouble.

This latest project is an excellent example. My childbirth educator called me up last Thursday. She told me that her son's birthday was coming up on Tuesday (today) and that he was a huge Harry Potter fan. For his birthday, she actually sewed him a mock invisibility cloak (how cool is that!!). And she asked me if I could knit her son a Hogwarts scarf.

Well I was so tickled to be asked that I immediately said "Yes" if she would buy the yarn. She gave me the yarn late Thursday night. She asked what she could pay me and I waved her off and told her that I would knit it for her and her son as a gift.

Since then, I have been a knitting-obsessed crazy person. You might ask yourself, "What does a crazy knitter look like?" Well, she will say things like, "I really need to pee but first I need to finish this row" or "I'm really hungry but first I need to finish this section". And she will knit like the wind from morning until night with a glazed look on her face.

She will measure the time it takes to knit a row and a section and then do all kinds of weird math in her head in order to calculate how many more hours she has to knit before she can go to bed. When she finally lies down at night, she will have ice packs on her swollen, pregnant wrists. And when she sleeps, she will snort and whimper and say things like "knit one more" in her sleep.

What made this project particularly challenging was the fact that I decided to knit a tube in the round and sew up the ends rather than knit a plain stockinette scarf. I wanted this smooth look and didn't want the scarf edges to curl. Perfectionism and a four-day timeline are not happy bedfellows.

But I am so pleased to show you my finished Harry Potter scarf.

I am going to ask that the Mom NOT let her son see the scarf or open the gift in my presence. If he ignores it or doesn't like the scarf; if he gets it filthy dirty or tries to flush it down the toilet, I might end up having a Linda Blair Exorcist moment. I choose to stay in the happy bubble of my own imagination where the boy absolutely adores it and wears it until he leaves to go to college.

PS - I know that in the later movies, the Hogwarts scarves look different. Yet the little birthday boy is still only watching the early movies and wanted a scarf like this.

[31w, 1d]

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Silly Me

Karen and I took our last Bradley method class on Thursday night. Kimberly, a postpartum doula, came and gave a great presentation on swaddling, diapers, and baby carriers. She had a wide variety of carriers to show us. Poor thing...I peppered her with questions and tried on each kind of carrier several times. You should have seen my hair after trying all those carriers on! I finally decided on the Kangaroo Korner pouch.

I then convinced my sweet wife to buy me a cheap babydoll so that I could practice putting a baby in the sling. I tell you... I can be so crazy sometimes! I think this picture captures my incredulity and delight both with the pouch and the practicing.

I'm also jonesing for the Baby Hawk carriers but am going to wait a bit before getting one.

I had a decent night's sleep last night. At it feels like the baby is having a growth spurt today. I've followed this pattern several times. I'll have interrupted sleep for several nights in a row (awake 2-4 hours in the middle of the night) and then one great night of sleep. After the great night, my belly feels stretched all day.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Well, I've been testing my blood four times a day and monitoring my diet for 9 days now. And it's been enlightening.

Sweets, of course, are out the window. No cakes, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, etc. - even in moderation.
So are any kind of chips.
But I've also lost bread! I didn't realize how much I crave bread.

I've had three evenings where when I tested two hours after dinner, my glucose reading was 20 - 30 points above acceptable. And bread was to blame each time. So bread has been cut out of my diet. And I'm shocked at how much I miss it!

So these days, I'm practically living on power bars. My favorites are the Zone power bars and Balance power bars. And I've spent over $50 buying boxes of bars of every conceivable flavor (except the nasty fruit ones). I have a sinking suspicion that I'm going to be very, very tired of power bars before the first of May.

I have a new level of great admiration for diabetics.

In other news, we have our last Bradley childbirth class tomorrow night. I'm soooo glad that we signed up for an 8 week course instead of a 12 week course. I'm excited about tomorrow night's class because a doula we know will be bringing different kinds of baby slings for us to try.

But it's killing me that I'm going to miss the "live" version of Grey's Anatomy! We are going to DVR it so we can watch it when get home. Is anyone else freaking out that they might actually kill Meredith Grey? I'm convinced that they are going to "bring her back" but there's this small niggling doubt chewing away at my certainty. Makes me want to chew my nails (particuarly since I can't chew BREAD!!)

[30w, 2d]
[36 Babies R Us visits]

Monday, February 19, 2007

I've decided

It hits me like a bucket of ice-cold water.

Yesterday it was, "Oh my gosh! You are so huge! I can't believe you have 2 months to go. You are so big!"

Today it was, "You are going to need a crane just to get around soon" and "It looks like you are carrying twins".


Two excellent reasons why your parents told you to THINK before you SPEAK.

What in the hell are these people that I hardly know thinking when they say something like that to me? To any pregnant person? Do they walk around to other people and say, "Wow, you're fat" or "Geesh, you're old and wrinkled"?

If they could look inside my life, they would know that I already worry about the size of my belly and baby (particularly with gestational diabetes.) They would see that I make good food decisions and I already track everything that I eat (and I'm not overeating but that's beside the point).

But most importantly, if they looked in my eyes, they would SEE how much a comment like that HURTS my feelings. They would see the pain they just unintentionally inflicted.

So here is your Miss Manners tip for the day--
If you want to comment on a pregnant woman's belly say:
"You're radiant".....instead of "You look ready to pop"
"You're carrying really well".....instead of "There doesn't look like there's anymore room" or
"You grow more lovely every day".....instead of "I only gained 10 pounds with my pregnancy".


I've decided.

I've decided that anytime someone splashes me with the cold water of their unkind comments, that I will make penetrating yet soft eye contact with them and say in my deepest and softest voice,

"I feel beautiful"

Because I do. I feel beautiful.

[30w, 0d]

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Weekend News

Karen and I saw a movie at a theater this weekend. I involuntarily snorted with laughter several times. Not a pretty sound! Of course, snorting made me laugh even more, and then I would have a little coughing fit, and then I would have to go to the bathroom. Ah... the joys!

I'm still having a bit of pain from my thumb to my wrist. It's worse while I sleep and first thing in the morning. I believe it's caused by some light tendonitis. Karen's sister, Amy, taught me some PT exercises which are really helping. It's not really slowing me down. And I think I've finally got over my cold! I'm just really greatful I didn't get the nasty flu bug that's been going around.

My sweet Dad sent me some baby gifts:

He sent these three bears. Note that each bear has his own tie! I guess Dad thought we needed a little male bear energy in the house.

He also sent this adorable sleeper

And this funny book

Thank you Dad!

I finished this cuddly, hooded baby sweater.

Yarn: Berroco Plush - 100% nylon
Needles: Size 10 circular & dpns
Pattern: Baby, Baby from the book "Minnies" by Jil Eaton
This was a great pattern. If I knit a sweater for someone else's child, this would be the pattern I would choose.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

[29w, 6d]

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nothing Much

Isn't this wonderful?.....
I had my hair cut yesterday from my gay hairdresser, Mark. As I was getting shampooed, another hairdresser announced, "Happy Anniversary" to Mark. Turns out he and his partner have been together THIRTY years. I think that's a heck of an achievement! Mark's eyes sparkled as he spoke about his mate and how they met on Valentine's Day. Doesn't that make you just want to thumb your nose at anyone who thinks we "can't" or "shouldn't" marry?

Karen and I got our shower invitations (the picture has been modified to exclude our last name and address and such). Neither one of us has had any kind of shower before. We've been kind of tickled at how excited we are. It's been fun to hand out and mail the invitations.

Hopefully I'll beat the head cold that's been plaguing me for a week in time for us to go to our PLOP event this Sunday. Cheers for now.

[29w, 3d]

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

Feel free to laugh at this picture! A few days ago, Karen and I had our car seat installed by our lovely local firemen. There is an Oregon child seat safety program where you can get a check up to ensure your seat is properly installed. We had a very nice fireman teach us all the things to check for when putting your baby into her car seat. Since then, I've had a bit of fun practicing with Kylie's stuffed froggy.

Here are some photos to finish today's post. Feel free to click on the picture to see a bigger view.

Two new outfits for Kylie

A beautiful three-diamond necklace from Karen for Valentine's Day. (The three diamonds symbolize Kylie, me and Karen).

My 29 week belly picture

And a naked belly shot!

Anyone want to guess how long it will be until the belly button pops out?

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!
[29w, 2d]

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happiness Is

Happiness is....

  • Karen tying my aerobic shoes for Jazzercise because bending over is just too hard to do.

  • Me buying a cat bed to put on our dining room bar. The bar is Chloe's favorite spot in the house but she insists on sitting on something like our purses or our mail or a dishcloth so we thought hey... let's put her a cat bed there and see if she likes it. I know this makes her one incredibly spoiled kitten but seeing her smile and purr made it so worth it. (I'll try to get a picture later.)

  • Feeling the baby kick and

  • The freedom to take naps!

    By the way, we had our appointment with the nutritionist today. It went fine but I was really glad I had done so much reading beforehand. I got my blood glucose machine and learned how to use a lancet to draw my blood. I'll be doing four sticks a day.

    Thank you to everyone for your supportive comments and good vibes!

  • Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Gestational Diabetes

    Yep. I have it.

    I got the results from my three-hour glucose test. If you are interested in such things, here are the numbers:
    Fasting 83 (< 105 is normal)
    1 hour 230 (<180 is normal)
    2 hour 167 <155 is normal)
    3 hour 72 (<145 is normal)

    And how did I react?

    Well at first my reactions were all over the place. I felt guilty for every sweet thing I've eaten. But mostly I felt angry. Because I've worked really hard for many years to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For a long time, I've watched what I eat. I routinely exercise 2 - 5 times a week. I deal with stress in a healthy manner... and so forth and so on.

    So I was angry that I was slapped with this "unfair" and "unhealthy" label.

    Then I was worried. Would this mean an induced labor? Would that lead to an epidural? Would that lead to a c-section? Would that lead to a slow recovery? Would this affect breastfeeding? Would I still be diabetic after delivery? And so on.

    So I did a very "Wendy" thing. I went to the bookstore and bought three books about diabetes. I wanted to get informed as quickly as possible and research is my way of getting a handle on things. I'm really glad I did.

    I now feel prepared (and not pissy, defiant, sulky and rebellious like I was initially) for my meeting with my nutritionist on Tuesday. I'll be issued a meter which I'll use to check my sugar levels throughout the day and I get to start using it on Valentines Day. (I won't even issue a comment about the irony of that!)

    So, I'm ready to be even more vigilant about my diet so that I'll stay healthy and hopefully the baby won't gain too much weight. For those of you who don't know, one outcome of gestational diabetes is that the baby gains a lot of weight. Instead of a 7 pound baby, I could end up with a 9, 10, 11, or 12 pound baby. If the baby is bigger, she and I could have a more difficult labor. This sometimes means an induced labor at 39 weeks and many times means a c-section.

    I'm committed to sharing my progress with you, my blog family. At first I thought about keeping this diagnosis just among family members. But hell... I haven't done anything wrong so there is no need for me to hide it. And who knows, maybe we will all learn something or be entertained along the way.

    If you are reading this long post, please keep this picture in mind. Karen and I are still visualizing a natural childbirth with no complications. We're holding a picture of us laboring at home for quite a while, a good transition at the hospital with no risk factors for me or the baby, and a very healthy Kylie laid immediately on my belly after birth. Wish us luck!


    Friday, February 09, 2007

    Special moment and favorite place

    Each night when I get up to go to the bathroom, I'll pause to look at my silhouette. My shadow is cast onto a wall from the faint night light in our bathroom. Without my contacts, the image is very fuzzy. The silhouette allows me to take in the beauty of my growing belly without the criticism that can arise from looking in a mirror. I call this special moment my "hidden delight". It makes me want to grab my paintbrush and paint this line from my shadow onto my bathroom wall.

    It's Photo Friday again and this week's theme (given by Erstellen Mutterschaft's blog) is "Your Favorite Place".

    One of my favorite places in Portland is the Japanese Garden. Its meticulous beauty makes my soul sing. Every viewpoint is photo-beautiful. Here's a snapshot:

    There's a place in the garden where you turn a corner in the path and find this lovely stone bench which looks out onto a beautiful greenspace and a trickling waterfall. This is one of my favorite places.

    Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

    [35 Babies R Us visits]

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007


    Kylie woke me up this morning at 4:00am with hiccups. This is the first time I've felt her have them. It was hard not to giggle in bed. I wasn't able to go back to sleep and now feel like a zombie but it was worth it.

    Here's the latest picture at 28 weeks (my back is really beginning to sway). And for grins I've uploaded each week's picture to Flickr. You can check it out here if you are so inclined.

    Still waiting to hear from the doctor about my glucose and iron tests.


    Monday, February 05, 2007

    You know this is your pediatrician when. . .

    . . .she asks your knitting-obsessed wife if "she felts". We stopped in to check out a pediatrician's office we had on our list and to set up an interview with the doc this afternoon. While chatting with the receptionist, the doctor happened to walk out and say she'd be happy to visit with us then as she wasn't busy at the moment. We had a wonderful visit with her and she did/said all the "right" particular, she was very animated and expressive as she spoke with us. The practice is comprised of only this doctor and her partner so we really liked the small office personality of the place.

    As we were leaving, the doctor saw Wendy's purse (which Wendy had knitted for herself) and asked Wendy if "she felts". Now, for you non-knitters (like me), you may be a bit mystified by this question. However, Wendy gasped with delight and proudly said that yes, she had felted that purse herself. Felting, as my layperson's defintion has it, is throwing the thing you knitted into the washer after you finish knitting it so that it shrinks up and looks more like a solid piece vs. an actual knitted item (yes, there's a more technical definition, but hopefully you get the idea). Anyway, Wendy and the doc proceed to have this lovefest about how they both love to knit and the doc is even a "spinner" (spins her own yarn from wool/alpaca/cotton or whatever).

    So...guess who's our new pediatrician? Dr. Knits-A-Lot! Hallelujah!

    - Karen

    Weekend News

    Friday I had an OB appointment. I'm measuring right where I should be - 28cm for 28 weeks- and my blood pressure is good at 102/64. I had my blood drawn to check for gestational diabetes and anemia. I should get the results today or tomorrow.

    Then we had some leisure time at our nearby Starbucks. We LOVE to sip our decaf coffees and read and hang out there. I'm reading "Diaper-Free Before 3" by J. Lekovic which Stacey & Angele recommended. And I'm reading "Good In Bed" by Jennifer Weiner which is frivolous and fun.

    Saturday we made our requisite Babies R Us visit where we bought this adorable bouncing Tigger that sings the Tigger song.

    Then we went to Pottery Barn Kids where we purchased their fantastic large wooden blocks.

    And I finished this cardigan for Kylie.

    It was incredibly fast and easy to knit (neck down and no seaming!). I picked a bright apple green yarn to balance all the pink outfits we have. The buttons are little ladybugs. I'm certain I will knit another one of these soon except next time I'll make the sweater a bit longer and the button holes a bit smaller. You can read the knitterly facts here.

    Sunday we slept late and had brunch at Denny's. You've gotta love all the grease and carbs they have there for just $5.00. At one point during the meal, I looked over at Karen and said, "Soak this in. It won't be too long before sleeping late and eating out on a whim are distant memories". But we just smiled together. It's hard to be nostalgic for the past when we are so looking forward to meeting Kylie.

    Later we spent some time with friends Jeff and Heather and their son Ethan. J & H gave us even more hand-me-downs such as some burp cloths, baby socks, bottles, an outfit, a Boppy and an infant bathtub. They've been incredibly generous with us.

    And they even had presents from Jeff's Mom. She gave us two outfits, a bunny and a frame. You can see these gifts here. What a sweet lady!

    And last but not least, we had chili and chips & dip and fruit salad with friends Jozette and Michelle and their 15 month old daughter Jillian while pretending to watch the Super Bowl.

    All in all, it was a great weekend!

    [33 Babies R Us visits]

    Saturday, February 03, 2007

    Two memes at once

    It's been a while since I've played along with Erstellen Mutterschaft's Photo Friday. This week's theme is sofa love.

    Here I am, 7 weeks pregnant in September, knitting a hat for baby Ethan while plopped on our media room's leather sofa. Note the knitting lamp I'm peering around, the three remote controls to the television system, the two cushy pillows, and the two bottles of lotion on the nearby stand (we are big on night-time foot massages in our house!).

    If you were to surprise me with a visit, this is what our couch would look like--in all its comfy glory.

    The second meme I thought I would answer is Two Sharp Sticks "how did you learn to knit" question.

    I learned to knit the summer of 2004 when I was 33 years old. I had recently moved from Tennessee to Portland, Oregon and had quit my full time career to become a stay-at-home housewife. I was really struggling with "how to stay busy". I met my friend Suzi at a nearby Starbucks with ugly plastic needles and ugly yarn and she showed me the knit stitch. I had tried to learn to knit from a book with disastrous results. As she showed me how to knit, I was jumping up and down with frequent, happy exclamations.

    At one point, another Starbucks guest stopped by the table and had to ask, "What the heck are you so excited about?"

    "I learning to KNIT!!!!" I exclaimed.

    And a joyful little knitter was born. I still have my first knitted scarf with its horrible, hole-ridden, uneven stitches. I keep it to show new knitters what new knitting looks like and to remind myself how far my knitting has come.

    PS- The second meme is a contest and if I was fortunate enough to win, I would like any of the knitting books offered except the "Men In Knits" book. If you read my blog, you know why.