Monday, November 30, 2009


(update at bottom)

I love this age because G is so vocal yet he makes up his own stuff too.
For example:
"Ho-Ho" is Santa.

his "Ho-Ho" suit (giant stocking)

his "marble" (snow globe)

"you happy?" he asks this no less than 5 times a day. We think it started because when he is naughty I tell him "that behavior does NOT make Mommy happy."

Needless to say this boy provides hours of entertainment. I love watching him learn and discover his world.

Tonight we were walking through Dollar Tree looking for things for G's advent calendar and Grayson was on Zack's shoulders. Zack picked up a puzzle book and threw it toward the cart. He missed and muttered "oh Damnit" under his breath with a giggle...

Wouldn't you know it, moments later, Grayson said "Daddy said "oh Damnit" in the cutest little baby voice he has. We could not stop laughing. So he repeated it again... and again... until I told him that it was not a kid word, just a (naughty) daddy word. Oi.

Here we go!
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving- Thankful Thursday!

Now that is a gorgeous bird.

This afternoon we went to my friend Bonnie's parents house for Thanksgiving dinner. They live in Vancouver Wa and it was a lovely time. They are closest thing to family I have locally and its nice to spend time with them.

Today started out a little rough though. I worked at T yesterday from 3pm until 235 am. Yes, you read that right. It was a very long day/night. We were setting up for Black Friday. A day I will be avoiding except to go to work. I woke up and started cooking. To be honest something I planned on doing but that I hoped would already be done or started. I was a little grumpy. I made fresh cranberry orange sauce, sweet potato and pecan casserole, as well as a pickle and olive platter. Nothing super hard or tedious.

I guess I was just mostly feeling sorry for myself. On the worst day of all days to be doing that. Throughout the day I thought of things that I am thankful for. There are the obvious things: my son, my husband, our health, a healthy tummy baby, my home.

But to go beyond the obvious is a little harder right now. And then I read my aunt Trish's blog. It got me thinking about the smaller things. The things that have mattered to me in my life. While mine isn't filled with siblings (I wish) its all things that sometimes go untold of their importance.

I am thankful for the relationship I have with my dad. We were not always close. In fact if he had to recall my teen years he might (still) blame me for his gray hairs. But in the last few years we have both tried to establish more of a friendship and now I enjoy talking to him. I enjoy it when he visits, when we go down to his house in San Diego. I love watching him with Grayson and how he is with my babies. That is something that has always struck me. No matter how rough he seemed, how angry he could become, if there was a baby around he was pure mush (don't tell him I told you ;) and babies love him. When Grayson was tiny and he visited right after his birth he would hold him for hours. Or just want him to sleep on the couch next to him.

My friend, Diana, in a chance meeting right before she moved out of her apartment and we were just relocating into ours we became friends. That was 7 years and much history ago. She is the friend I can call in the middle of the night, the one who comes to the hospital day or night to sneak me cookies and rub my back while I attempt to deliver a baby, the one who rescues me when I need rescuing and don't even know it.

I am thankful for the area we live in. Many people gasp when they find out we moved from San Diego to Portland and CHOSE to do so. San Diego is gorgeous but not if you know it as well I we do. There are many down sides, the amount of people moving there for the sun is merely one of them. We moved to Portland in October 2002 with no jobs and no prospects. We're crazy like that. And we have never looked back. There are times I wish family was closer, like today but mostly I love where we live. The friends we have made. When I drive over any one of the bridges in Portland and look at the many others I feel at home. I know this is where we are supposed to be and that is a good feeling.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't try to remind myself how good I have it. Yes, things have happened lately and in the last two years that have sucked. Yes, some are horrible. But you know what? Everyone has a story. It isn't just me or us. There is not a thing in this life that is going to take me down without a fight. I have always been a fighter. For good or for bad, that's who I am. And for that I am thankful...

And if I had to put a song to my life right now I would pick this one.
Sounds like life to me too.

Oh, and I am 33 weeks pregnant today!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hospital birth tour

To this point I have said I plan to labor at home to the best of my ability at which point I will transfer to the hospital I have chosen to deliver our beautiful son. And while that is still the case, after our hospital tour today I am not as scared to go in a little earlier.

I have previously given birth at St. Vincent one of the biggest hospitals in the area, which has the largest labor and delivery (L&D from here on out) units in the Pacific Northwest. It was fine (if you don't count how long I was in labor the lack of actual support from the staff and ALL the medical intervention that was forced given to me.) I would not recommend that hospital to most of my friends. The Dr's and Midwifes and most of the nurses were competent and nice, some were even great. (if you still read- you know who you are. :)

But I am actually excited about going to Kaiser Sunnyside to give birth.

When we were pregnant with Grayson we asked about a hospital tour. We were told there was a tour but it was a video and the tour stopped outside the L&D doors. WHAT?! How does one tour the L&D from a video? I for one was not satisfied with that. Zack and I showed up one day when I was pretty sure our midwife was going to be there and asked her if we could have an informal tour, which she gave us. We skipped the video.

Kaiser Sunnyside, ah Sunnyside. The tour is a TOUR! You meet in the lobby and the guide walks you all around the newly remodeled spaces. We went into the L&D and postpardum unit and everything in between. Here is what a L&D room looks like:

minus all the lamps and fake flowers. The guide said they have birth balls (we had to take our own, the other hospital said the "probably" had one but had "no idea where they were"- um okay. ) and squat bars for use with the beds. (other hospital didn't offer these to our knowledge)
Yay! She also said they will let you birth using the squat bar or whatever is MOST comfortable for YOU! I am in awe and shock. I almost cried. I knew the Sunnyside had a lower Csection rate (24% vs 34+% at the other last I checked) and that it was more of a freestanding birth center feel but I was pleasantly shocked!

The staff that greeted us was friendly and warm. And it was so quiet! That was one thing that really stood out to us. Other hospital delivers more than 6000 births a year. Sunnyside is closer to 2000 a year. It was lovely quiet. No hustle and bustle.

There is a fridge in everyroom and a jetted walk-in soaking tub for mommy use. Lovely! And smaller baths/showers in most rooms. I think best of all for Zack is there was NO air duct above the "partner" bed. :) He hated that about the other hospital. It was miserable. Mostly cold air blowing right in his face any time he tried to sleep.

The only downside I can see is that SS is on the other side of town, about 45 minutes away without traffic. :(

Anyway, I am very excited to deliver this little guy and not one bit scared. I KNOW my body and baby can do this. We will do great! Now if I could just find a doula (still have no solid leads! RUTH CALL ME!) And if I could talk him into staying in there through January so I can work a little longer. I am not ready to not have any money coming in. :( Hopefully Zack gets a job quickly!

Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And then life happens

Zack came home yesterday with sad news. He got laid off. AGAIN. 8 weeks before our baby is due. 1 week before Thanksgiving.

With NO severance.

And he still can't get unemployment. Grr.
60 hour work weeks here I come. I may be MIA for a while... I don't think I'll have much time otherwise for a while but I'll try to check in from time to time, to keep my sanity.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday- 32 weeks

Sorry I have been MIA again. I have had a cold this week. So on top of working 40 hours I am just pooped. I am starting to feel better now so hopefully I will be keeping up better.

Today I am Thankful for:
1. The Dansko shoes my friend gave me. I wore them on Tuesday all day at home. I woke of Wednesday pain free! I have not had a pain free day in months! If I had known exactly how comfy and helpful they were I would have invested in the beginning!

2. Having 56 days to go before I am due for hotdog to join our family! (Doula Ruth if you are reading this please call me 809-9922!)

3. My family. Especially the little monkey who loves nothing more than to be a "magic man" right now. We recently saw a magician and he was mesmerized. It makes me happy to hear him say abrah kadabrah!

4. That Christmas is right a right around the corner. I can't wait to decorate! Christmas is my favorite holiday.

5. Having jobs. This time last year neither of us was employed. Its very stressful to be unemployed!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Thankful-31 weeks

I can't believe I am 31 weeks! It's crazy. Partly because I didn't get this far with Jonathan, partly because it seems like yesterday I was finding out I was pregnant. I guess it also feels like I've been pregnant for an eternity. :)

Today I am Thankful for:
1. My healthy child, my Angel baby and my "hotdog" on the way. My boys amaze me. I love them more than they will ever know.

2. Dear friends, both online and in real life, new and old. They all have been amazing in my life and I am SO thankful for their friendship.

3. Being able to read. Isn't that something we all take for granted? I am an avid reader, always have been and I can't imagine not being able to read and write and increase my knowledge just because I can and want to.

4. My freedom. This should go at the top but since there is no particular order I'll leave it. We are free to live as we choose (and blog!) because men and woman and their families of this great country sacrifice for us every day. It's a shame how easily we forget this luxury and privilege and basic human right that all should have.

5. My darling husband. He works so hard for our family and I am always so proud of him.


This summer I was contacted by a lovely woman who through a friend of a friend or something we knew each other. We had grown up in the same town and had many mutual friends. We also had something else in common. We had both lost a child and both of us to Anencephaly. She had no idea her first baby, a little girl had the neural tube defect.

Instead one day, at 21 weeks pregnant her water spontaneously broke. She went into labor the next morning after a level two Ultra sound and delivered her daughter not long after. She never held her daughter, never named her. It all just happened too fast. We have maintained our friendship and chat occasionally on Facebook and such. She is lovely and I wish her all the best!

Yesterday, I was happily chatting with some online friends and someone mentioned a SIDS death in the gdiaper community. Its another online chat I belong to but that I have not frequented in a while. I hopped over to show some support to Rebecca, the Mama in this horrible story. I shared with her our story and a link to my Jonathan slide shows in case she wanted to utilize NILMDTS.

There are many things people have in common, the loss of a child is one of the worst I think there is. Noone wants to start a conversation with "Hi, my name is __ and my child died too" but sometimes it has to be done. When I was going through the journey with Jonathan I had the amazing support of Krista and Jon, who had already been through it with their little girl Candace about a year before me. Krista was amazing at guiding me when I felt lost. She helped me see light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I hope to be there in the same way for someone else at some point. I reached out to Rebecca who lost her son to SIDS on Tuesday. Turns out she lives in my area (as does Krista) and I plan to attend the visiting hours on Saturday with some other gdiaper community members to show our support. If nothing else, we want her to feel our presence and love surrounding her.

If you are able this family is having a hard time getting together the funds for the funeral and everything. He husband lost his job when she was pregnant. No one plans for their 4 month old to suddenly die, there just isn't extra money for this.
Here is her link.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I guess I can't help myself either. Christmas it seems is right around the corner, whether I like it or not.
NOT for the record.

Today Grayson and I started our handmade Christmas cards. Here is a sneak peak. They are really cute and I can't wait to send them out!

If you would like to be on the mailing list (and know you aren't already) please email me at

I love to share our holiday cards so even if we have not met IRL, I'd love to swap cards!
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Monday, November 9, 2009

That time of year again?!

The Saturday after Halloween I arrived at work bright and early (8) to find I now worked in a winter wonderland... If you have been inside one of these stores lately you also know that hangning from the ceilings is DOZENS of these giant snowflakes. DOZENS. In November! Along with more Merry Christmas signs. In November!

Poor Turkey. No love for the Turkey

I am so not ready for the holidays, least of all THAT one... Sigh

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thurday- 30 weeks pregnant!

See the far left corner of the building? Ya, take that line and wrap it around that and bring it back to about the same point one the other side and that is the line I stood in Tuesday night for the h1n1 vaccination. Luckily, I was somewhere in the middle of what it ended up being, otherwise I would have waited over 3 hours for nothing.

I got into the building to hear someone say that they were running low on the shot version. If you can take the nasal spray please do. Pregnant woman can't I am told because it is the live virus and more likely to make you sick, being pregnant your defenses are down anyway. I had already chosen the nasal for Grayson but seeing the line weaving in front of me I wasn't feeling all that comforted.

I normally don't really worry about vaccinations. In fact I would prefer not to vax for most things but my husband refuses to allow this as an option (and I also believe herd immunity has gotten us where we are today with many fatal diseases being mostly wiped out) so G is vax'ed and our future children will be as well.

This flu originally had me laughing, haha, pandemic whatever! But I have a good friend whose husband is the Infectious Disease Expert for Oregon. I said when he was worried I would be too. He got worried. He passed along that I should get the shot. After reading that 27% of pregnant woman who enter the hospital with h1n1 (they have not really seen the seasonal flu so if you have the flu it's more than likely h1n1) don't come back out... I was convinced. Couple that with being a cashier at Target who has had a HUGE portion of people come through my line with some form of cough and cold medicine... you can see how I would end up in that line.

I tried to get it from my Dr. they ran out the day before I came in for an apt. Costco was kind enough to supply my seasonal vax (another 2 hour line- with 2 boys that day! KILL ME NOW)
Anyway, I ended up getting the vax last night but only because I had a guardian Angel on my shoulder. I sat down to talk to the "counselor" to make sure I/ G could get it etc and I mentioned I was totally going to cry if I didn't get it tonight. The announcer came around just then to announce again that they were almost out. When I walked away to get in YET ANOTHER LINE, the counselor walked over to a coordinator who talked to another coordinator, they all pointed at me.

Uh oh.

The second coordinator walked over to me, said they were going to get me the shot but via the round about way and be nonchallant about it please. (What you don't want me screaming from the rafters?! :) She then took me around the back of the line. Grayson and I both got what we needed. Right then and there.

SO long story longer!
Today for Thankful Thursday I am Thankful for:
1. Whatever Guardian Angel/ good luck was with me that night to help us.

2. Being 30 weeks pregnant! Only 70 days left and my fingers are crossed that it will be a few less! ps. I would know by now if it was twins right?! RIGHT?! This baby always seems to have WAY more limbs than I can count and pokes in more directions than seems possible...

3. For great friends who are all seeming to have babies! Welcome to the world Lilah- another Halloween baby. I am so excited for you Belle and David! Parenthood rocks!

4. My house. I know this is probably getting old but I don't want to take a single moment for granted. I am happy we are still here and its ours.

5. Cook books. I planned some more meals to freeze today (it was another thing on hold until we knew what was going on with the house) and I love my cook books. A few of my absolute faves?
Don't Panic dinners in the freezer, Sandra Lee crock pots 1, 2. All very good for Freezer meals!

photo borrowed from

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Harvest Festival

At the Harvest Festival they had a little photo booth set up and were taking digital pics. They were also taking email addresses to send them to you at a later date. Honestly, I never figured I would see them (based on a recent photographer experience but that is another story) Today, I opened my email and imagine my surprise to see these!

(I feel-and look- like a hippo)

LOVE his smile in these!

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