Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One of the Best Things About Babies

is getting to dress them in silly outifts.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Daddy/Daughter Dates

Two Fish has been trying to entertain Red Fish this week. They've had several daddy/daughter dates. They went to visit the farm animals and ride the ponies. Red Fish is totally in love with all of the animals.
They went to the aquarium to visit the fish.
Then today we took a drive in the mountains to see the changing leaves and collect some for a few fall art projects.Two Fish took Red Fish for a little hike while I stayed in the car and fed the baby. You'll notice that Red Fish is wearing a purple dress in every picture. She is suddenly obsessed with purple. She refuses to get dressed unless the outfit is purple. We don't have any purple clothes for this winter so I'm hoping this is a phase. Maybe I can get her a purple belt or something that she can wear everyday without me having to do laundry.

Red Fish and Two Fish have also painted in the backyard a couple of times this week. Red Fish went to the playground and to see the elephant parade downtown with her Gammie. I think she has had a pretty good week.

New Fish is having a good week as well. She is starting to sleep more during the night and be awake more during the day. She had her days and nights mixed up for the first little while. We've been doing a lot of snuggling.
It was a beautiful day and it was so nice to leave the house for something other than a doctor's appointment. I love fall. We're headed into holiday season (including all of our birthdays.) It's a crazy time of year but I am excited for New Fish to have so many firsts.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just Cute

Red Fish is having a little bit of a rough adjustment. Luckily none of her frustration seems to be directed at New Fish. She is a very sweet big sister. Red Fish LOVES Little Einsteins. She loves to do all the little actions like clapping to help the rocket take off. The other day she wanted me to help her hold New Fish while she was watching it. She kept taking New Fish's arms and helping her do all the actions. It was hilarious. She also enjoys smooching New Fish. That baby must get 100+ kisses a day.

I've gotten a bunch of flowers in the last week and Red Fish likes me to take them off the counter and let her smell them. She then insists on me letting New Fish smell them. While we were sharing a popsicle today Red Fish kept trying to convince me to give New Fish a bite. She's looking out for her little sister and it is so stinking cute.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One Week

Freshly bathed.
Red Fish painting with bingo bottles full of liquid watercolors.
One week old.

It has been one week since New Fish joined our family. We took her to the pediatrician yesterday and she is doing great. She has maintained her birth weight and seems to be staying warm enough.

My favorite things so far:
• Coming home and having Red Fish scream Mama! and come running for me.
• Being home from the hospital.
• Having our family of four (well really five with Blue Fish but he wasn't there) snuggle in our bed and take turns holding New Fish.
• Trying to teach Red Fish to be soft when she holds New Fish.
• Watching Red Fish stroke New Fish's head and give her little kisses.
• When Red Fish tries to convince New Fish to give her five.
• Snuggling a new baby.
• New baby smell.
• Having Red Fish do "this little piggy" with my toes. I've been barefoot a lot. My shoes don't fit yet.
• Watching my husband be a really cute Dad and sing to, play with, and snuggle with my girls.
• Teeny tiny baby clothes. Red Fish was never this small.
• Giving New Fish her first bath at home with the aid of my little red headed assistant.
• Having meals brought in by my ward. (I could get used to that.)
• Good friends.
• Having Two Fish home from work. I dread him going back.
• Little chicken legs.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Carriers

I've decided that the only way I'm going to be able to have two kids and still get anything done is to become a baby wearer. I love to hold my babies and I'm not giving that up for anything. I already have a maya wrap sling my sil gave me when Red Fish was born. I like it and I will definitely be using it a lot with New Fish, but I also want one that I can use for situations when I have to bend over (the sling swings out from my body) and uses both shoulders. These are the two I'm most intersted in. I don't like baby bjorns.
A moby wrap. I like that it holds the baby really close but I've never actually tried one. Does anyone have one of these? Do you like it?
A Mei Tais carrier. I tried my cousin's with Red Fish and I liked it. Red Fish was pretty heavy by then so I only tried it on my back. Does it work for little babies? We have a hiking backpack for Red Fish (which she LOVES) and I'm kinda hoping I could use something like this next summer and carry New Fish when we hike. They are pretty expensive though so I don't want to buy one unless I'm positive I will use it a lot.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Baby Story

The short version- Spent Tuesday at the hospital and they sent me home. We went on a long walk and had dinner and my labor started fast and furious. Made it through the first 9 and a half hours with hypnobabies but when I started to need some interventions I decided on an epidural. Our birth plan pretty much became our reverse birth plan. My labor was progressing really well but the baby started to go into distress when the placenta started to die. It was eventually decided that we needed to get her out of there in a hurry and I needed an emergency C-section. The doctors believe that if we had waited even minutes longer she wouldn't have made it. She's tiny but healthy. We weren't sure if she was going to be able to come home with us but we all came home Sunday morning. The birth was a little scary and traumatic but we are feeling so incredibly blessed to have our baby with us and be together.

The really long version- Hopefully it doesn't come off to whiny, I do know how very lucky I am. On Tuesday morning my OB sent me to labor and delivery to have things checked and see if I was in labor. I called Two Fish and my parents. My Dad took Red Fish and my Mom and Two Fish took me to the hospital. They sent me home after a few hours. I was pretty bummed. I thought the baby was coming really soon. So we went home, ate dinner, and went on a really long walk with the dogs. Then I bounced on my exercise ball for almost and hour. Two Fish put Red Fish to bed at 8:30 and nothing was happening. 9:30 rolled around and everything went zero to ninety in what felt like seconds. I'd been having small pressure waves for weeks and I was really expecting things to just kind of gradually start building. I thought the contractions would just start getting stronger and closer together so I would have time to get used to it and concentrate. It didn't happen that way at all. My contractions started really strong and were immediately less than 5 minutes apart. I listened to a couple of my CDs and tried to get into the right mindset. I did my hypnobabies techniques and was able to breathe through the contractions in a way that made things much more comfortable. It was really hard to concentrate and I was pretty much shaking uncontrollably the whole time. (I hear that's pretty common. I pretty much shook until about 4 hours after she was born.)

Just after midnight we called my parents and told them to come over. Two Fish put our stuff in the car (still all packed from that afternoon.) We got to the hospital at just after 1 and my contractions had been two minutes apart for most of an hour. When they checked me they could feel the head and I seemed to be progressing really well. I made it about 9 and half hours with the hypnobabies techniques. When there started be a need for some medical intervention I requested an epidural. It was too hard to concentrate when the stress level in the room was rising and I was exhausted already. I really hated having everyone poking at me.

Really the epidural was lovely. I took a nap. I was able to relax even as every last shred of my modesty was stripped away. The anesthesiologist did a great job and already having it in when I went to the operating room really saved us time in the end.

We had this really detailed birth plan (or rather our ideal birthing scenario) but it sort of turned out to be our reverse plan. We ended up needed every single intervention on our list of things to avoid. It was almost funny after awhile. We could just check everything off the list. Mostly I didn't want the interventions unnecessarily. The doctors were really respectful of our wishes but when it came down to it you just do whatever you can to get that baby out safely.

On the monitors we could see that every time I had a big contraction the baby's heart rate would drop. At first it wasn't a big deal because it was just a quick drop and then pick right up again. They had me roll from side to side and try different positions in case she was leaning on her cord. Then she had a really huge drop (from 150 to 60) and all the sudden everyone was running around the room and I got a shot to stop the contractions. This was our first sign that anything might really be wrong. My contractions started again on their own and New Fish was making her way down. Then the drops in her heart rate started again and she was having a harder and harder time recovering. We decided to try and speed up the process by having my water broken. When they broke my water there was a lot of meconium and signs that the baby was in distress rather than just being stressed. They replaced the fluid with clean fluid to try and give the cord some cushioning and flush out contaminates. They put a heart rate monitor on the baby's head to try and monitor her more closely. We had several doctors checking on us and the room was getting quieter as everyone sat and watched monitors. After awhile I pretty much had every cord and tube they have connected to me. My contractions had to be stopped again and it seemed like the baby was really struggling. The placenta didn't seem to be supporting her anymore. With every contraction (they kept starting back up) the baby seemed to get weaker and have a harder time recovering. They could feel the baby's head and she was getting closer but it just didn't seem to be happening soon enough. They couldn't give me pitocin to speed up the labor because the baby and the placenta were too fragile.

I pretty much knew from all the whispering and the serious expression on the nurses and doctor's faces that we were headed to surgery. When the baby's heart rate dropped to next to nothing it was pretty much "sign this" and we were running down the hall (obviously I was being pushed in my bed.) I spent so much time in my classes discussing how birth is not an emergency and it isn't like the movies but when everyone started running (although they were very calm thankfully) it really did feel that way. It was scary to see everyone running and setting everything up. Nobody had time to talk to me (because they were concentrating on baby as they should be) so my anesthesiologist pretty much talked me through everything. The baby was out within minutes of me signing the release. Two Fish was brought in right as they started the procedure and he held my hand the whole time. When they brought New Fish out she was gray and not breathing. She recovered quickly though and Two Fish was able to hold her. I don't do well with pretty much any kind of drugs so I was totally out of it as soon as she was born. I really wanted to hold her but I couldn't seem to make my arms work. I only kind of remember seeing her. I did know she was safe though. It took me about four hours to shake off the drugs (and stop smacking myself in the face on accident) before I was able to hold her and really look at her.

They think the placenta just failed for some reason and she wasn't getting oxygen. The doctors told me that if we had waited even minutes longer they don't think she would have made it. We have two friends (due within weeks of us) who lost their babies this week. One was a very similar situation. We are overwhelmed with gratitude that we have our sweet baby with us. Life is so fragile and childbirth is a miracle every time. My doctor told me to not feel like I missed out on any of a normal childbirth because I did most of the work of one (I'm not so sure that's a great thing but maybe I will see things differently later.) and now I get to heal from both. I'm not thrilled about the c-section but I am grateful for modern medicine and doctors who took care of us.

One of the reasons I had decided to go natural was that I really wanted to be clear headed when the baby arrived so I could hold her immediately and begin that bonding. I really wanted to be very present for that moment. I'm disappointed that I missed out on that. I wanted New Fish to room in with me and be able to care for her. I had this beautiful image of Two Fish staying in the hospital with me overnight and the two of us caring for her. In reality she has had to be in the nursery a lot because it's too tiring to take care of her by myself. Everyday I got to have her with me (except when I nap) but the nights were too hard. Two Fish was at the hospital as much as possible but needed to work Thursday and Friday so he could take care of us when we came home. I had wanted him to stay that first night but the I couldn't bear the thought of my poor exhausted husband sleeping in this lame chair they left for him. (Seriously why can't they have something better for the poor daddies?)

New Fish is pretty small so she's had a hard time keeping her temperature up. We thought she was headed to the nicu several times and we didn't think she'd be able to come home with us. She's apparently inherited the stubborn streak from both her father and I though because she is tough. She's fighting it out. We have to make sure she wears a onsie, outfit, blankie, and hat at all times. (This is a little hard because Red Fish hates for New Fish to wear a hat. She likes to rub her little head so she is always stealing the hat.)

I'm worried about taking care of Red Fish over the next six weeks that I'm not allowed to lift anything over 10 pounds. How do you take care of a one year old that way? She keeps wanting me to pick her up and help her with things and doesn't understand when I can't. It's overwhelming. I'm really lucky to have a lot of nice family around to help me. Every time I hold my girls I know it's going to be okay and I won't feel like this forever. I know a lot of people do this all the time.

I've been pretty hormonal and emotional. My Dad was the first person to come to the hospital after I'd been there overnight and I pretty much just burst into tears because I hadn't seen the baby yet and I was so happy to see my Dad. I think I scared him a little. I think I cried every time Two Fish had to leave the hospital. Now that I'm home I'm feeling better. I like being with my husband and my girls. We've had a lot of family visit us which has been great. We are feeling extra loved.

Mostly the bottom line is this. I am the lucky lucky mom of two beautiful girls. We are all healthy and doing well. I am so incredibly blessed to have these beautiful spirits entrusted to my care. Every time I hold little New Fish I am blown away by what a miracle and a gift she is. I'm counting my blessings over and over.

My thoughts on Hypnobabies-
It was great. It taught me relaxation techniques that I can totally use in everyday life. I've always been a bit of a stressball and at the beginning of my pregnancy I was really kind of freaking out. I couldn't stop obsessing with something being wrong with the baby. For example, I had to go buy syringes for my heprin shots and I could either buy a pack of 7 and come back (which would be really inconvenient because not every pharmacy has heprin and I had to do two shots a day) or I could buy the big box of 100 that would last me a month. There was no in between. I had this huge crisis whether I should spend $35 on the box of 100 or just wait and see if this pregnancy would stick. It was this massive dilemma for me. It took a huge leap of faith to buy the big box. My OB told me I really needed to find a way to relax or I was going to hurt the baby. So that's why I decided to take Hypnobabies. I had no interest in natural childbirth (although I'm really trying to be more open to new ideas.)

The class totally changed my perspective. I did decide that natural child birth was my plan A. It's kind of an intense class. There are CDs you listen to daily, scripts you read with your husband, and 6 weeks of three hour classes. I got a lot of great information and felt really prepared for birth. It took away a lot of my fears.

The best part of this class was probably the support of my husband. Having him spend so much time practicing with me and reading me scripts and helping me prepare for birth was amazing. He really put a lot of effort into our preparations and that made me feel so incredibly loved and supported. I never felt alone in the pregnancy or like "I'm carrying this baby for nine months and what the heck do you have to do?" (Sometimes I did want to say that just because I was cranky and feeling sorry for myself.) I think the class really helped prepare Two Fish for the birthing experience. He was great during the whole labor and delivery. He did everything I could have wanted him to and knew exactly what to say and do to help me relax. He was really calm even when things got intense. (And no I never screamed "You did this to me!" like they do on tv.)

Could I have made it through birth natural? I think the techniques worked well right up until I need some interventions. I don't think I could personally have handled them without the epidural. Just too many people poking at me. I did really love the classes though and they did a lot for us.


Red Fish has had a hard time with this baby stuff. She hasn't been sleeping well for a couple weeks. She is really really mad that mommy hasn't been home for a few days. This is the longest I've ever been away and Red Fish does not appreciate it. She has come to visit several times and she won't look at me or sit by me. She has been slightly interested in the baby. She's given her a few kisses and pats. Coming to the hospital is hard because there are too many rules and too many no nos. Too many buttons she isn't allowed to push, the floor is dirty, the garbage cans are everywhere and gross and Mommy is being a little uptight. So today we tried to make her feel extra special. Two Fish dressed her in her special "Big Sister" shirt and we made a really big deal about her coming to visit. Then just when things were unraveling a bit Aunt L showed up with some cousins. Things went much much better today. Hopefully the adjustment will get easier at home.

I'm supposed to take a couple walks up and down the halls so I've been taking Red Fish with me. First so we could have a few moments just she and I (so maybe she wouldn't be so mad with me) but then yesterday we took the baby. We have to wheel her around because you aren't allowed to carry the babies in the hospital. Red Fish LOVES pushing the baby around. It was the first thing she wanted to do when she got here today. She has to take all of the balloons from the room with us as well so we are quite a sight coming down the hall.
Red Fish has been wanting to hold the baby but she didn't want anyone to help her so it wasn't working out well. I kept trying to get her to sit next to me but she wouldn't. Finally we got her to lay on my hospital bed and then we set New Fish on her. It was a hit! A little bit of sister magic. Red Fish thought it was really funny to laugh and make New Fish bounce up and down on her tummy a little. She kept patting her head and giving her kisses. Red Fish is very interested in all of New Fish's tiny parts and really loves her hair.
New Fish was getting a little freaked out by the flash but Red Fish couldn't get enough pictures taken. She kept signing for us to take more. She was so thrilled to hold New Fish. It was so sweet. I was getting all teary eyed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Fish

First moments of life
Emergency C-section. Nothing went according to our plan except the ending up with a healthy baby part. Luckily we are both doing well.Born at 9:54 on September 16th. My grandfather pretty much willed her into arriving on his 85th birthday. She is 5 bs. 14 ounces and 19 inches tall. We had a few scares but we are all here and doing well. Hopefully I will get to go home on Sunday morning. Thanks for all the good wishes!
Ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes and nose. Everything is there including some hair!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Marker Time

Happily for me, Red Fish has become totally enraptured with a very easy art activity - drawing with markers. She is very into wearing her smock too. She insists on wearing it to even draw with crayons now. I think she associates it with fun. First thing when Red Fish wakes up she wants to draw followed by several more sessions throughout the day. She likes to teach Daddy how to use the markers when he gets home from work. There is a specific process. He has to sit in the chair just right, use the colors in the right order, put the caps back on just right etc. She loves to boss him around and tell him how to draw. It's pretty funny to watch.
We have sheets and sheets that look just like this one (front and back.) Who knew markers could be quite so entertaining.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Maternity Pics- 38 weeks

My sil A took some pictures for me a couple weeks ago. I won't post my favorite one on account of my "belly-phobic" family. =-)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Adventures in the Nesting Habbits of the Insane

When I am really nervous and/or scared of something I prepare like a crazy person. When we first tried to bring kids to our family I read a pre-pregnancy planning book. Then I read pregnancy books and nutrition books. Then when we decided on adoption I called everyone I knew who had adopted. We went to my sil's house and quizzed her and her husband. I got information from every agency I could find. I read books. I read forums. I nested and bought baby stuff. I painted the room with fish and picked out the perfect fish bedding. I maniacly cleaned our house for the home check. I bought organization bins and shoe racks (because they might turn us away if we didn't have shoe racks right?) I baby proofed. I made lists of stuff I needed to get. I signed up for baby coupons etc. etc. This is what I do. I prepare "Stuff" until I nearly go insane.

So when I decided this pregnancy was real (which took a good long while) and that a baby was actually coming I began my nesting process. Unfortunately for Two Fish I waited until I was too pregnant to accomplish many of my plans on my own. His honey do list has been out of control.

• Windows cleaned inside and out (don't worry I hired some kid to do the outside. I didn't scale the roof.)
• Clean out all closets and donate junk.
• I want to finish cleaning out all of our drawers and cabinets but I'm running out of steam.
• Clean and organize basement - oh the horror of this project. When we moved I think 50% of everything we owned went in the basement and it looked like a bomb went off down there. How is that we have gone from a one bedroom studio apartment to this house and the stuff just expands to fill it?
• Clean and organize garage. My brother J helped Two Fish build these big shelves to put our stuff on. Two Fish is out there right now putting things up on the shelves and dejunking. We have an extra garage and I think it should be able to fit a car even if we don't have one to put in it. Garages full of crap are terrifying to me and ours was perilously headed that direction.
• Clean and organize our office. You know that drawer full of junk you have? I had a room. I need the room to actually function as a room. It's pretty close to finished. I can leave the door open without embarassment.
• Make curtains for two rooms.
• Repaint nursery and organize.
• Paint and decorate the kids bathroom
• Paint and decorate the playroom. Organize. Make pillows etc.
• Paint and decorate a new "big girl" room for Red Fish. (Someday it will have furniture.) I did make the curtains. I'll post pictures as soon as it is totally put together. It is very very close.
• Put wainscoting up in Red Fish's new room (my role was supervisory)
• Build window seat in Red Fish's room. (I just made the cushions and pillows.)
• Wash and de-stain baby clothes.
• Wash bottles etc.
• Buy formula
• Spring clean (my Mom helped me clean floorboards, walls, etc. It was awesome.)
• Better organize laundry room.
• Do Christmas/birthday shopping (only made it halfway through my list. I have this need to do all holiday shopping for the most part before the end of October or I miss all the holiday fun stressing over gifts. I'm really afraid I can't shop with two kids. The idea of taking two anywhere sounds terrifying.)
• Buy some cute coming home clothes and picture taking clothes for New Fish.
• Get out all baby paraphernalia and sanitize.
• Research strollers.
• Catch up on graphic design projects. I was doing splendidly and then my projects suddenly doubled in size. It's a problem. I'm working on it.
• Take hypnobabies classes and do daily practice. This has done wonders for my stress level. I highly recommend it. It was great to help Two Fish and I prepare for this pregnancy, birth, and baby. It was a little hard find babysitters 6 weeks in a row but totally worth it.

From reading this you probably think I'm a neat freak. I wish I was a neat freak. I'd probably be happier and heathier. In truth I'm ridiculously messy (not dirty! I like to say that clutter is evidence of a creative mind.) Our house may be in better shape than ever before. Now for a plan to keep it that way...who has the energy for that? Am I more prepared to be a second time Mom? Maybe...is anybody ever totally ready for a life change like that? I'm excited anyway. The nesting has helped. I'm a little calmer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Salty Water Colors

We got this idea from Mary Anne Kohl's Scribble Art. I think it might be in First Art too. Red Fish took a bottle of glue and put drips of it all over the water color paper. She loved that. Then we poured table salt on it and shook it around. Then we took our liquid water colors and when Red Fish touched the brush to the glue it would run up the glue. She also scrubbed a little with the brush. It didn't take very much paint (I'm watering the watercolors way down too.) She loved the magical effect of the paint running around. She made two of them. Thank goodness for the warm weather so we can sit outside and do projects, clean up with the hose, and jump in the little pool.

A Project For Baby Sister

Red Fish AKA my little art monster has been going CRAZY over our new art stuff. It's totally out of control. I thought we were done with the art yesterday but Red Fish had other plans. One of the new supplies we got was a whole ton of liquid watercolors. These are the most fun to use with kids because you can do a lot of different stuff with them. Plus they work much better than the little pots of color. I'm a big believer that if you give kids good supplies to work with they will like to create more because even little kids can tell the difference. We still have a lot of the cheap and easy stuff but I'm trying hard to give her a variety of stuff to work with. Its' hard sometimes because she still wants to put things in her mouth or make a huge mess and not everything comes washable and non-toxic. Happily this paint does.We had precut shapes that came in our new kit. First we colored them with a white crayon because the watercolor shouldn't stick to the wax. I think we soaked the papers too much though because the crayon didn't end up showing up. It didn't really matter though. Then we sprayed them with a little spray bottle of silver watercolor. The bottle was kind of hard for Red Fish to use so she gave up after awhile and just pointed at the areas she wanted sprayed. The paper shapes we were using are meant to bleed so Red Fish only had to touch the brush down and the colors would spread and bleed together. She LOVED it. She was out there painting for a solid hour. You could achieve the same effect by wetting your paper ahead of time so the paint bleeds.
I put the paint (diluted with water half and half) in an ice cube tray. I think Red Fish had as much fun mixing the colors in the little compartments as she did painting.
Then we wrote on the shapes and strung them into a banner to welcome home baby sister. I think we might make more of these into a mobile for Red Fish's new room.
Here they are up close.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Busy Day

I'm pretty sure I could sleep 24 hours a day until this baby is born. I had a nap before noon today (and I didn't even get out of bed until 9 am.) Two Fish put Red Fish in bed with me this morning with some Little Einsteins. She was happy to snuggle me until I got up. She rolled over like she was going to give my belly a kiss (she likes to kiss the baby) and to my surprise she blew a big raspberry on me. We both laughed pretty hard and then she chased me around trying to do it again. When Red Fish went down for her nap I fell asleep trying to work on my computer. I can never fall asleep sitting up so that was pretty strange.

Then my Mom came over and worked on the cushions for Red Fish's new room with me for a while. This is turning into a much harder and bigger project than I thought. I was going to learn how to put zippers in them but I've put so much work into them I hate to mess them up. I think my Mom is just going to do that part for me.
Our art supplies arrived today. It took all of five minutes after I opened them for Red Fish to have the art smock on and start trying to drag her little table outside. She knew exactly what to do with them. We started out with the stamps. I let her choose a few colors of stamp pads and then spread out the stamps. I think she was a little overwhelmed by the number of stamps so I think next time I will just get out a few at a time. I didn't have to explain anything to her. She just started stamping away (and poking her fingers into the pads.) They were easy to cleanup and easy to set up. I think we are going to be using these a lot.
Then we cleaned our hands with the hose and Red Fish wanted to play in the water. So we dragged out the pool. She gave the dog a bath while I sat in a lawn chair. (I'm all about the child labor.)
Then Red Fish decided it was time for another art project. I'm totally in love with these sponge painters. They come pre-inked and you just dip them in water. They supposedly work up to 28 times. The color quality is awesome. I'm sure as you use them the quality goes down but they are still really cool. Plus when we were done I just stuck them in a ziplock and there was no cleanup. Horray!

Then it was nap time again.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Something Fishy

We haven't been on too many outings lately because I've just been too tired but I decided Red Fish is sick of staying around the house so we headed out. We got a year membership to the local aquarium since we're fans of fish. (Especailly when I found out it was the same price as two admissions.) Red Fish had a great time this morning. She would gasp at every new window. She loved the sting rays that were pretty much jumping out of their little pond to greet her. In front of the shark tank she kept ducking like the shark was going to swim into her head. She was pretty cute.
Red Fish requests to look through the "children's encycolpedia of fish" pretty much every night before bed. Is she my child or what?
Red Fish is very into turtles right now. She has one painted on her wall and a stuffed one her grandpa gave her. She sleeps with it every night. This swimming turtle was pretty exciting for her. Six years until she can scuba dive in a pool and 8 until she can be certified!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So Am I Totally Crazy?

I'm not really a crunchy girl. I am interested in the environment and I do a little bit of ocean conservancy and eco activism. I'm a bit of a fish freak. I just found new packaging for my music company to try and reduce our environmental impact etc.

I've read a bunch about the wonderful new world of the modern cloth diaper. I've also been reading about the damage disposible diapers are doing to the environment (they take 500 years to break down and each child creates about 1 ton of garbage a year.) Normally when I hear that someone uses cloth diapers I assume they are a little crazy, a granola, or a masochist. Now I'm wondering if I'm just not trying them because I have a knee-jerk, judgmental reaction. What if they really are wonderful and easy to use? What if I could save myself a ton of money with my two little girls in diapers?

So here is my question. First - am I totally crazy for thinking about this? And if not (or maybe even if I am) is there a cheap way for me to test the waters with a great diaper? I will not be making my own. If I do this I want the easiest most fabulous of the cloth diapers. I'm not looking for more work. I'm a fan of making less work. Really I just want to dip my toes in the water. No jumping in. If anyone has a toe dipping solution for me let me know.

Hubener Vs. Hitler

A Biography of Helmuth Hubener, Mormon Teenage Resistance Leader by Richard Lloyd Dewey

A biography of a young German LDS teenage who started a resistance against Hitler during World War II.

The book looks more daunting than it actually is. Half the book is the appendix because of the huge amount of research that went into the book. The actual information in the book is great. The story is interesting. I couldn't get into the writing style. The story gets bogged down by the attempts to prove every little fact int he book. I don't really care that three different aquaintances of Hubener had different opinions on why he was friends with so and so. I'd rather just get on with the story.

Hubener was transformed from a Hitler youth enthusiast to a political activist and resistance leader. He distributed over 60 pamphlets on the realities of the war throughout Hamburg. He was eventually caught, charge with high treason, and beheaded by the Gestapo at the age of 17.

There is a lot of interesting insight into what life was like for religious Germans during World War II. It's powerful to hear about someone so young have such courage and intelligence. So overall, I would say good but a bit boring.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I've Created A Monster

An art monster to be exact. I've been trying to encourage Red Fish to be interested in art but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The last couple weeks have escalated from daily drawing sessions and playdough to around the clock art. I'm thrilled she wants to do something creative. I do want to encourage as much creativity as possible but I underestimated the work. I will have to try and keep more easy projects on hand so I won't be stuck staring at the cabinet while she begs for something to make.

This weekend Red Fish has been more sick than ever before (which really isn't saying much because she is just a really healthy child.) She's had a sinus infection and a fever and hasn't been a very happy girl. It's been kind of a rough 4 days for all of us. The only thing that has kept Red Fish somewhat happy or entertained is art project after art project. She knows where the cabinet full of arty stuff is and she spends half her day pointing out what she wants next. We're starting to run out of supplies. We've made more contact paper collages than I can count. We've used every drawing material and pad of stickers we own. We've used paint. We've painted the porch with water. Honestly I'm running out of ideas for the supplies we keep on hand. I've decided our arsenal is pretty sad. (At least the supplies I'm willing to let Red Fish use. I'm not quite ready to break out the oils and canvas.) Luckily I made a big order yesterday and more art supplies should be arriving soon. I don't think this fascination with creation is a passing phase. I have a big piece of plastic I'm going to put in the basement with an old table so we have someplace to make messy things in the coming colder weather. Discount school supply has some awesome stuff on clearance right now and you can find coupons for additional savings here. We bought some fun stamping stuff, watercolors and water color paper, and pre inked foam brushes. We usually buy our crafty supplies like pipe cleaners, stickers etc. at all a dollar.
Yesterday Red Fish spent nearly an hour creating this masterpiece. We've been using a lot of big sheets of newsprint because Red Fish likes big paper and a pad of newsprint is super cheap. I bought a role of paper from Ikea last week that we are going to start using as well. She used paint pens, crayons, slick stix, and foam stickers. Then she had me help her glue on google eyes and staple on some pipe cleaners. (It scared me that a one year old wants to use a stapler.) She just couldn't seem to work in enough supplies. She went back to the cabinet over and over to look for more things to add. She tried to figure out how to get the playdough on there but couldn't manage it.
I knew Red Fish was feeling a little better today when she started dressing up. We've been reorganizing and cleaning out our basement and closets so she has found all sorts of fun things to play with. Plus she got this fun magic wand my cousin made her. (Actually the tux jacket and cumber bun are from my cousins wedding too.) Red Fish was oh so pleased when we told her she was magical with the wand and magician get up.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Today I woke up and my body laughed at me. It laughed at my big plans and my schemes to get everything done. It mocked my long weekend of projects. It swelled up like a balloon and ached all over. I've reached a whole new level of pregnant. The beached whale level.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What I've Been Doing

Eating ice cream out of the carton.
Tending to a sick little girl.
Cleaning and organizing like crazy. The basement is half finished. The garage is still a mess and my office is still in disarray.
Saying: "No no that's yucky. Yuck yuck."
Graphic designing like a mad woman. I have about 10 projects in the works and hoping to finish several of them. Apparently maternity leave is not for the self employed.
Writing descriptions for each song on a 4 CD set my company plans to release. This hurts my brain.
Pricing new CD packaging and trying to become more eco friendly.
Writing emails.
Trying to stock our freezer.
Saying: "Doggies can't eat people food. We don't feed doggies."
Working on Red Fish's new room. Getting close. Just a few pillows and finishing the cushions for the window seat.
Soaking sore ankles.
Trying to remember to give Red Fish a lot of praise for being such a great little girl.
Going to the doctor.
Buying last minute baby items.
Playing with Red Fish.
Mounds of laundry.
Trying to get stains out of baby clothes. Buying hangers for baby clothes.
Reading to Red Fish. This girl loves books.
Changing diapers and contemplating the double diaper duty that is headed my way.
Trying to figure out my new cell phone.
Trying to come up with a new budget.
Dealing with insurance issues.
Paying bills.
Giving a lot of kisses and snuggles.
Trying to recall the many things that have fled my fuzzy pregnant brain.
Having my sister in law take maternity photos.
Trying to practice my hypnobabies techniques.
Trying to fit in a few playdates.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fasting Project

An interesting article with a great challenge for September 11th.