April 30, 2008

What's In A Name? Everything!

So, whenever anyone asks us if we have names picked out for the baby, our answer is usually that we're waiting to find out if it's a boy or girl. And that's partly true. I think that once we find out, it will help me attach a bit easier to choosing the right name. But to be completely honest, I think we do know the names we like already.

And we're not telling.

The ultrasound is fast approaching. Once we find out then... we're just going to have to tell people that yes we have a name but no we won't tell you. Unfortunately it doesn't ever come out sounding the way I'd like it to. When we did this with Gray I was surprised at how huffy people would get!

It's not that I don't trust you, it's that I don't care for that flicker of your eyebrows, twitch of your mouth, widening of your eyes for just a split second- and you don't even realize you are doing it- but it says to me you don't like it or you question our choice. And as much as I usually do not care about what other people think, when it comes to naming my babies, I only want good feelings during the process. One little bit of negativity does make me rethink things. And it's not like we're picking some offensive name that might scar our child forever. We carefully consider the perfect first and middle name for each of our sweet children. We also want to meet this baby in person to make sure the name we like is really their name! And the revealing of that name at birth makes it all even more special to us.

There's also the fact that I know a lot of preggy people out there right now and our name could give them ideas. Of course I am not against someone naming their child the same name- we all can name as we choose, but having that form of originality, knowing it's a name both hubby and I created together just as we created this life, it means something to us.

So anyway, if you are someone close to me and take it personally that I won't tell you the names that we like, I hope you will now understand. This secret is different, it's something important and magicial and soon- very soon you will know the name, with a face, and sweet spirit and smile to go with it. That's how I want it to be.

April 29, 2008

Pedestal

Maybe my opinion doesn't count because my boys still only watch Dora and Star Wars, but this Miley Cyrus-magazine-pose controversy has me shaking my head and still wondering why in the world parents are creating role models for their kids out of people in Hollywood.

This morning hubby and I made a pact to try to never allow ourselves to put some popular kid show actor or character at such a high regard that we forget they are human. We vow to remember that they are not good role model material- ever. No matter how wholesome they appear today, I promise you, someday they will disappoint you. Because they are human. And they are not thinking "I'm a role model" with every action they take and temptation they encounter.

I remember being frustrated by this very thing when people got all hot and bothered about some High School Musical scandal and I am annoyed to no end by how high up people place Oprah and then get upset when she doesn't act out the moral life or beliefs that you think she should. If Joe or Steve from Blues Clues were to go off the deep end, I'd probably not be outraged, I'd think "it's about time."

These are people, people! They are going to fail. They are not perfect and more often that not, if you're watching them on TV or in a movie, they are fake. They aren't real. Just a character created in a script by someone else with who knows what type of moral values or beliefs.

And I know some of the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the controversy of late is parental involvement and so forth, but you have to think back to when you were fifteen. I imagine that people are getting worked up because their eight year olds look up to this starlet so much, but again, she's not eight years old.

Although I don't really remember that far back, I imagine the role models of yesteryears were our mothers and grandmothers and aunts. Just regular people that actually cared about your life and they weren't one dimensional where you only see into their life but they have no clue who you or your child is. These people invested in you as much as you invested in them.

And when moms or aunts or daughters disappoint, you learn and move on. It's usually not too controversial. Hopefully it doesn't make the front-page news. It's often a learning experience. It's part of life. I want you to know that I will probably disappoint you. Maybe this post itself is disappointing you right now. I'm not perfect, not even close, and don't even try to be. Right now I am trying to finish typing this while I'm half-reading That's Not My Train in between thoughts to Gray on my lap. I'm still trying to figure this life all out and will try to remember that everyone else is, too. Even if they are magnified 50-times larger than life on a movie screen or billboard. They are still as small and as important as you and I. And are in no position to ever be someone I want my child to look up to.


okay, seriously?


video



April 28, 2008

What Makes A Happy Mama

I felt a teensy weensy bit guilty about taking another weekend (in a row) all for myself. You'd think the Disney trip would suffice for a good month or two at least. But, I'd made plans a long time ago for a spa day with Lori on Saturday. And what kind of friend would I be to back out on a massage, facial, parrafin wax, & manicure?

Then yesterday was a Chicago Moms Blog brunch. I could probably never get my fill of bloggy mom chatting, eating brunchy foods, laughing, eating some more... now I've got even more bloggers to add to my collection. Pictured: Amy, Arianne, Farrah, Catherine, Tracey, Lydia, Mary Anne, Alma, Jennifer, MJ, Cindy, & Me.






Mary Anne was quite the hostess (her home was like a magazine filled with lots and lots of books), giving me my first (and hopefully not last) taste of dishes from Sri Lanka.
And I got to hang with Amy again (two weekends in a row!)





Arianne and I
made the quick drive downtown together and afterwards couldn't just go straight home. So we stopped off for a bit of shopping (including our first encounter in a LUSH store) and ended our Chicago night with 5-cheese lasagna at Leona's. Mmmm... and I am dreaming of the leftovers in my fridge.

So where was my poor family this whole weekend, motherless again? Well, Daddy took charge and for the hours I was away they made forts under blankets and ate french fries and finished homework and wrestled and stuff. Just as I was refreshed when I came home, hubby gushed about what a good and perfect day he had, too.

Yes, I am a happy Mama.


Pics thanks to Amy.

April 27, 2008

Not A Day Goes By...

I'll hear people say, "I thank God everyday" for certain things like family, health, what have you. And I am sure many of those people really do thank God everyday. But many say they do and really don't. We might go through a rough time in our lives and say "I'll do anything" for things to be ok. Then when everything is normal again, off we go with our normal lives.

It's been almost 1 year since Noah came off his special diet. And close to 3 years seizure-free. I can honestly say that not a day or night goes by without me thanking the Lord for Noah's healing. That my Noah is here. That he is seizure-free. That he is a normal little boy. That he wakes up in the morning. That he can go to school. When I greet him good morning. When I check on him at night. Sometimes I just say thank you. That's just enough.


I imagine that I'll never really forget. Months will go by without me hearing myself yelling to my hubby to call 911! Over and over it used to play in my head. My stomach would drop like rollercoasters when I didn't think I could possibly take it anymore. But now it's all tucked away. Visions of Noah at his worst have been replaced by years now of a healthy, happy, laughing, talking boy full of life and full of promise.

I don't want anyone to have to lose or almost lose life to truly appreciate it. There are just too many things and people and blessings and situations to be thankful for that get overshadowed by worries and things that are so unimportant and so irrelevant. Life should be lived. Not put off for tomorrow or punished because of what
happened yesterday.


Noah's growing up, right before our very eyes it seems, and when many parents wish their kids would 'just stay little' I must admit that I am so very grateful to watch this little boy grow up. Because he can. We were told he might end up in an institution. I don't even want to know what that life is like. I just know it wasn't in the plans for us. I am so thankful. Each one of my precious babies... how is it possible that my heart has enough room for how much I love them?
Sometimes I just say thank you. And that's just enough.

Originally posted 6/25/07

April 25, 2008

Just What Kind Of Bun Is In My Oven?

Is it a sweet roll? Or a hot dog bun? Or I love how my friend Sarah says "bagel or baguette?"

I am half-way there, people! Fifty percent. And on May 9 we are finding out if we'll be adding another boy to our brood or if a girl is going to turn this house of boys upside down!



The fabulous Warm Biscuit Bedding Company is offering a $50 gift certificate for a fun little contest here. Correctly guess if I'm having a boy or a girl, and I'll randomly pick a winner. So if we're going to keep playing on words- is this a biscuit with eggs or...?

Will I need to make room for more swords and airplanes or are dolls and tea parties in our future?

Just leave your guess by commenting below (one comment per person.) If you guess "boy" and we find out it's a boy, then you'll be in the drawing to win. Likewise if you guess girl and it's a girl. If it turns out we have a modest baby crossing his or her legs, then I'll choose a winner from all the comments.

The big announcement will be made here on Friday May 9! If you feel uncomfortable leaving an email address with your comment, I'll also be announcing the winner at Prizey Winners.

If you need pictures or stories of this pregnancy so far to make an educated decision, then click here for all that info!

Now guess away!

The contest is now closed. I'm having a girl!

Congrats to Amber who commented:
A girly girl is going to rule the roost!

Do They Make Spanx For Pregnant Women?

Because I'm going to be in a fashion show.

Yeah, go ahead- you are totally allowed to laugh.

And they do make maternity Spanx. Hall-ay-loo-yar!


April 24, 2008

They Don't Need Dusting

For the plane ride home I bought Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point (which I love.) It inspired me to display my collection of bloggers (hey, some people collect Tchotchkes, and I like to collect bloggers.) I've listed all the bloggers that I've met- at least those that I can bring to memory right now. Warning: pregnancy brain on overload equals room for error.

See the list here. And then I thought it would be interesting... the whole six degrees of separation thing- how many you might know that I know, too.


Crumbs

What's worse than crumbs in the bed?

Legos.

Ouch.




April 23, 2008

Little Man


There are moments I look at Gray and think, how can it be possible we're going to have another baby soon? He's still such a baby! Those little toes and chubby feet still get me. But then, like when I came back from my trip, he looked so grown up. So mature, so un-babylike. His vocabulary can out talk most four-year-olds. (He's only two.) His smallness doesn't stop him and if anything, it gives him more to go on. Trust me, you don't mess with this kid.

For Mama, he is baby. He wants to nuggle. He needs to lay his head on my shoulder and whisper I love yous. Does he do this for himself or for me? Maybe a bit of both. My heart, oh these boys, what they do to this Mama's heart. I can't hide the fact that there are little bits of my heart just breaking into pieces.
They have to go and grow up. As much as it hurts, I love it. And as much as I try here, I can't possibly put into words how blessed I am to watch them become who they are becoming.


Photo taken by Barry's Photography

April 22, 2008

...it's a green, green world


So I posted a bit of greeniness that I learned on my trip.

We made it to the park today! And it was pleasant and beautiful! And Gray and I wore our green shoes.

Earthiness

It's earth day! And I hope everyone is thinking about at least one way you can be kind to our earth today, and continue it for tomorrow. I still take my own bags to the grocery store- and even the mall, but have unfortunately gotten out of the habit of using our fun & funky cloth napkins on an everyday basis. So, we've started that up again!

I will be posting over here later today about some green questions I asked while I was at Disney.

I also plan to be away from this computer and outside today. Maybe give another try at the park and definitely will be doing some weeding around my lilacs and dogwood bush!

Sign up for quick & hip daily green tips at Ideal Bite. Enter Arianne's Earth Day giveaway. See what Mama Speaks has to say about living simply. And get green! And get outside!


April 21, 2008

A Very Disney Bloggy Giveaway!

I'm back from my trip and what a great way to celebrate with a giveaway! The Bloggy Giveaways carnival is going on now and I've got a $20 Disney gift card that I'll send to one winner- just leave a comment if you'd like to enter!


As soon as I get the chance, I'll fill you in here on all the incredible details of my trip with some other incredible bloggers and online Moms. Check back soon! It's incredible!

You can use this gift card at any Disney Store, online, Disney parks, gift shop, etc! I'll pick one comment at random Thursday April 24 and announce it here and at Prizey Winners if you don't wish to leave your email address. One comment per person, please. Have fun!

Contest is now closed. Congrats to Becca Mae!!!!

April 18, 2008

...a dream and a mouse.


I'm on my way. I'm excited. And I'm making this a true adventures in babywearing by even packing a ring sling to share with a
Mama bringing her nursing babe.

Here's a pic from a wonderful little trip back to the mall yesterday. We shared hot pretzels and lemonade on a bench. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Not even Disney World.


Saying goodnight last night was difficult. I'm trying not to tear up as I type this morning. As much as I have been looking forward to this get away, I know without a doubt that my heart is here. I love them so much and want to just hug them forever. In my arms it just feels right.

I'll try to post pictures while I'm gone, but since I have no idea what's in store, you can for sure keep up with my travels here on Twitter. I'll be checking in thanks to my new phone!


If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. -Walt Disney

April 17, 2008

Golden Nugget

While I'm busy packing and preparing for my trip and that golden Floridian sun in my green eyes, I'll leave you with this heartwarming (or stomach turning) conversation:

Allergic to dairy, eggs, & nuts- Gray seems to have some red spots on his face which I worry might be hives.


Gray, what did you eat?

A boogie.

Well, thanks for your honesty.


April 16, 2008

A Park Attempt

Overexcited at the promise of seventy degree weather, we attempted a park day.

Which resulted in Carter almost shriveling up and dying because of the wind.

And in this photo Gray is actually saying "Save me I'm super cold!" We lasted all of maybe 20 minutes. It took longer to drive there and back. And now Gray says he wants his honeys. I am thinking that it truly is in the kids best interest that Mommy goes away for a couple days. Friday can't come soon enough.



She Has Something To Say

A beautiful blogger friend, Ruhiyyih, is joining the local relief and development organization World Help this summer. Ruhiyyih will be going to Gulu, Uganda and needs to raise $3000. Please check out her delightful blog Ruhiyyih's Reflections and send her some support. If you wish to donate, just leave me her a comment there with how to contact you.


Or you can also send a check written out to World Help, a sticky note attached saying " Ruhiyyih - G
ulu" on it, and send to:

World Help
c/o XM Gulu
1148 Corporate Park Drive
Forest, VA 24551

Other friends of Ruhuyyih linking her today:
Jess at Tangential Thoughts
Rachel at Life With Hannah And Lily
Rachel at Finding Wonder In The Mundane
Tiburon at Shark Bait

If you feel led to spread the word, let me know and I'll put your link up, too!


Also, my Silicon Valley friend Jill Asher is pouring her heart & bloggy soul out for a very important cause. Please click here to learn more info about what Jill's doing with the National Marrow Donor Program and if you are in the Bay area this Saturday, she is hosting an event you don't want to miss!



Open Casting Call


Mama Speaks, the review blog for the Mamas by some Mamas is searching for some new contributors!



I can only say wonderful and lovely things about being on the Mama Speaks team. Just look at some of the awesome things I've gotten to review and keep!

If you'd like to join us, then get to it!


April 15, 2008

Bloggers Falling Over Dead

Thanks to Will Blog For Shoes for the link to this article. I wrote a bit about it- check it out over at the Chicago Moms Blog.




If There Could Be Two Of Me

This weekend is getting really close. Almost too close for comfort as I think about it more. There are two sides of my heart battling my mind.

I am so excited for a getaway and anxious to see what surprises await. But I also don't want to leave my family. As much as they make me want to run away, they also make me want to never, ever leave.

If there were two of me, I could go have fun in Disney and still be home snuggled in bed with one of my boys. I'd be here if there was a bad dream. Or if they just need Mommy. If there were two of me, the me that's out living a carefree weekend could truly be carefree, knowing that everything and everyone is ok with the other me there at home.

But there's only one me. And that one me is not going to be here for three whole days and two whole nights.

Something tells me that they are going to get along just fine without me.

But, they wouldn't even have to know what it's like without me,
if there were two of me.

April 14, 2008

From This To This



I am gladly joining the 21st century...

Random Reflection



I always think I look good in my car's visor mirror. So I took a picture.

Randomly play along, too, if you'd like.

P.S. I totally think I look like my mom here.








April 13, 2008

That'll Do


It's not in a bottle, but these candies in a glass bowl will do just fine.

Heavenly. And they have a liquid center.

Thanks to a very thoughtful friend...

Specs & Spiffyness


I got my new glasses, which I love. Thankfully they were on the "cheaper" end and also a nice surprise was that this last resort 1-hour place ended up taking our insurance, too. What a blessing! The mall was ok. The pretzel was great. And I almost got totally knocked over by one of those crazy 70-year old super mall walkers when I first got there!





The Popcorn Ball was fun and many people frequenting the open bar made for great entertainment on the dance floor. Huge thank you to my friend Jen for letting me wear this most beautiful dress!



April 12, 2008

To The Mall

I'm so excited to get my new glasses today! Because of my time crunch- the fact that I can't see and we are attending a fancy Ball tonight and I have my trip in just 6 days... I am going to one of those 1-hour places in the mall.

I haven't been to the mall in ages- seriously ages, but it's going to work out having to do it this way because I need to stop in Motherhood for maternity tights! (Yes- I have to wear black tights tonight... it's supposed to snow here.) And I need to get a gift card at Sears for my brother's birthday. And I think I need to get a hot pretzel somewhere in between.

I've got a couple great giveaways going on over at Close To Home here & here this weekend, too!


April 11, 2008

...The New Blonde

Red is the new blonde, right?

I decided I'd spare you all a 'before' pic- because, really, isn't the whole reason for the 'after' because I didn't like the 'before'? No point in publicizing it then!

And I'm afraid that all the build up and excitement to finally post a picture has died down, but it's still not a let down for me. I'm loving the new look. And so are my kids (yay for approval!). And a little boy at the restaurant last night that wanted to pet my red hair.


If only the sun would come out at the same time my camera worked, maybe I would be able to share the true loveliness of this hue. Well, during this whole fiasco of trying to get a pic, Gray broke my glasses. And I am out of contacts. This is not good. My vision is like 200/400. So, maybe I'll get a nice pic of me and my new glasses tomorrow!

I love that my stylist cut off quite a bit, but it feels longer. And I love appreciating a new look and letting it lift me up from the inside, too.

April 10, 2008

Oh The Hair

I know- what's with all the suspense? Well, my camera kept dying on me and it was taking forever to get it to work. Then while I was charging the batteries I decided to watch Dan In Real Life and just cried my eyes out. Puffy face and mascara everywhere.

How about we just try for that picture tomorrow, 'kay?


The Real In My Reality

I've had some inner struggles lately with just what kind of a voice I have on this here blog. It's been a huge blessing with so many wonderful perks, and maybe because of that I feel like I have to catch myself and wonder... am I seeking His kingdom first, or my own? I know for a fact that the Lord would never bless me with something that would take time away from Him. And even if some of you might not understand what I mean, maybe you can relate that in other areas of your life.

And this little post might just end up being only for me right now, and I promise in a little bit I'll be back to talking about my hair and posting pics as promised...

He is more refreshing than the glass of water I drink in the middle of the night. He is more exciting than the latest controversy in the blogosphere.

I've said before that I want to be able to use even my trip to Disney for His glory. Right now I think I see it as a big hug from Him, if that's all it is. If nothing comes of it other than I got to go have a fun time away, what a nice treat. And I am so thankful. But I do keep an open mind and am always ready for new opportunities and possibilities. Wherever it might take me, I'm ready to go, as long as I can keep
my relationship with Christ, my mothering, this career, and my hairstyles in the right order.


April 9, 2008

Hair Today

...and gone later today?

It's that time again (actually waaaaay past that time again). A new look. We're talking color, cut, even waxing if they have time.
But no idea what I want (although I'm missing this color) and no idea how I'll come out.

Will update you later tonight with the big reveal!

Private, Public, Home, Or No School?


Education is the topic of the day.

You can read about our choice over at Chicago Moms.


Ball Of Nerves... And Look What Came Today!

I just printed my airline tickets to Disney. I'm so excited!

Should I check my luggage or just bring carry-ons? Will I be able to take my knitting on the plane? What am I allowed to pack, anyway? What tunes must I have on my iPod? Ah!!!!


And this just came to my door with a sweet note from Maria Bailey- thank you so much Maria & Lands' End!



April 8, 2008

Not Recommended Waiting Room Music

Macho Macho Man by the Village People just doesn't fit a doctor's waiting room, mmmkay? At least I've Had The Time Of My Life came on next to make up for it I guess. iPod was in my bag and thisclose to going in my ears but then my name was called.

Heartbeat: in the 150's, for those keeping track.


Fried Green Tomatoes


Food is not easy to photograph and Fried Green Tomatoes are probably the worst to take a picture of, but if you could just imagine the crispy outside and juicy middle... yum!



I am not really a "measurer" when it comes to my recipes so here's how I make Fried Green Tomatoes:

Slice green tomatoes (the greener the better) about a 1/2 inch thick and sprinkle with salt.

In a small bowl I put about a 1/2 cup of flour and sprinkle it generously with cayenne pepper and salt. If you don't like spicy, then use less cayenne. I like to use enough that I can see the red flecks when mixed with the flour. In a separate bowl I put a little rice milk- just enough to dip the tomatoes in and then dip them into the flour mixture. Cook in a large frying pan with olive oil, about 4 minutes or so on each side (I like them really crispy so I cook them longer). Add oil as needed so that there is always oil around them in the pan. I also add a little bit of the flour mixture to them while they're in the pan, too.

I like mine just as they are, but some fried green tomato eaters like dipping sauce. My Aunt Diane in Louisiana makes a cajun-style sauce with mayo, ketchup, worcestershire, and Tony's Seasoning.

I eat mine with with a fork and actually am having some for breakfast as I type. Mmmm...

Check my Close To Home blog today for a "green" giveaway!

April 7, 2008

The Belly And The Dress.

Sixteen-and-a-half weeks along, pictured in the dress. What I love about both of these photos is that I didn't do one thing to them. This is just how they happened to take.













Submitted as entry for 5 Minutes For Mom's Mother's Day Photo Contest.

Attached


Babywearing has a lot to do with why I even started blogging (well, uh, it's the name of my blog.) But really- when I was expecting Gray a few years ago, I already knew I'd be an extended breastfeeder and co-sleeper, but I had never "worn" my babies. I had a sling before he was born and couldn't wait to wear him. I can not wait to wear this next baby, keeping him or her close to me.


Just a few weeks ago I
started the babywearing bloggers blogroll and already we have almost 70 bloggers signed up... that's a lot of babywearing! I love it!


Attachment Parenting International (API), a non-profit organization that promotes parenting practices that create strong, healthy emotional bonds between children and their parents, has several exciting changes they would like to announce, including:



-A newly redesigned web site and new logo at AttachmentParenting.org
.
-Attachment parenting worldwide forums

-Parent Education Program
- a comprehensive series of classes for every stage and age of child development from infancy through adulthood -A new book based on API's Eight Principles of Attachment Parenting by API co-founders Lysa Parker and Barbara Nicholson which is expected to be available this summer
-A series of podcasts, webinars, chats, and forums with API Advisory Board members and other supporters of AP. Future events are scheduled with Dr. Bob Sears, Dr. James McKenna, and Kathleen Kendall Tacket.

Check out the events page
for more information as these are just a few of many exciting things going on at API!

Join the Babywearing Bloggers blogroll here.

*This photo submitted in the May Babywearing Photo Contest at the Baby Sling Blog.
In honor of May being Mother’s Day month, they want to see your babywearing photos that show your special connection.

April 6, 2008

The Belly Of The...

I had grand plans of posting a pic of my massive (to me) three months preggy belly. I'll be 17 weeks along this week, so technically that is about 4 months, isn't it? I guess I've lost track! But anyway, I can't find my camera. Probably for the better as I've been feeling a bit...

whale-like. Already. How can this be? All the weight I've lost from the beginning is coming back and probably then-some. I eat quite healthy as I still am very particular about what I can really stomach, so to speak. Lots of salads. Even for breakfast. And grilled yellow squash with a little onion... oh I could live off that! Maybe it's water or just pregnancy gain, but I am just starting to feel...

puffy. The cravings come and go- like the
gotta-have-it-this-very-instant desire for Dr. Pepper in a glass bottle the other day. (I didn't indulge- only because I don't think you can get Dr. Pepper in a bottle anywhere around here.) And today's craving- this morning during church no less for...

chicken nachos. and I didn't give in to that one either. Right now it's almost bedtime but I'm seriously considering the frying of some green tomatoes. I've got lots of southern blood running in these veins and I can make a pretty good fried green tomato. And if I had my camera, I'd take a picture of them, too...


Everybody Needs A Bagel For A Pillow





April 5, 2008

Everybody Needs A Bandaid

(the title of my next book)

And the one after that: Crumbs: It Says It All



April 4, 2008

On The Fence

The baby kicks are getting even stronger- there's a life moving around inside of me! It's so very real!

And I'm still on the fence about the whole ultrasound thing. Every single comment you've left has a very good argument. As usual, I love to ask questions and learn more. I'll keep you updated, of course, on whatever we decide to do!

Anyway, I'm talking about a whole other type of safety with a big giveaway at
Close To Home today.


April 3, 2008

Not So Sound

I was approached by one of those 3D ultrasound places to come in for a little "look see" of the new babe. I admit that at first I was a little hesitant about it- would I want to promote something like an ultrasound for entertainment purposes? Surely if it could replace the medical ultrasound, I'd consider, but no- it's just for a family keepsake. And so, I'm just not so sure.

I have had the heebie jeebies about it ever since Tom & Katie bought their own home ultrasound machine. How much ultrasound exposure is truly okay?

I started to dig around on the Internet about it, and I know that you can probably come up with anything to support your conspiracies online, but some things I am finding are making me think twice or thrice about it all.

You see, when I was pregnant with my first child, we had an ultrasound around 8 weeks to determine his due date. Then we had the standard 20 week one and during this one they couldn't get a good enough look at the kidneys, so they ordered another ultrasound. With each one they still weren't seeing what they wanted, scaring this first time Mom into the possibility that my baby would be born with only one or no kidneys and needing emergency surgery at birth. Seven ultrasounds in all, still no help... and when Noah was born, he was perfectly fine. Two healthy kidneys and all.

I know that if in fact he had had serious kidney issues, it would have been beneficial to know ahead of time. But I also am concerned at the amount of ultrasounds we ended up having - which at the time I never thought to question the safety of- and each time they still couldn't clearly see what was really wrong or right. For something so ineffective (in our case) how much is too much?

I'm 16 weeks along now with baby number four and we're due to schedule an ultrasound in a few weeks. The 3D ultrasound idea sparked my interest to be more educated on all the facts about how much research has really been done regarding the safety of ultrasounds- medical or "keepsake" versions.

I found out that in three separate studies, ultrasound exposure in boys has a strange effect of the child being born left-handed. (Noah's left-handed.) And this also points to higher instances of autism and epilepsy. (Read Noah's story here.) And learning delays as well. (Something we're working through right now.) It's about genetic alterations happening... and this just makes me want to know more.

And it makes me wish that more parents were aware. Maybe you are? It seems as though many expecting parents, if insurance paid for it, would have an ultrasound every month or day just to get a glimpse of what their baby looks like. Of course we wish we could know! Or, if they can't determine the sex on the first ultrasound, they'll try for another.

The 3D ultrasounds are super-tempting because they are even more realistic and those first images of the baby growing inside are magical. But do most parents consider that there might be risks involved with this type of exposure? Are there regulations on how many times a Mom can have one done? If someone had the money to get five or ten of them just because they wanted these keepsakes, would they be allowed? How would anyone be able to keep record of it anyway?

I'm seriously considering no ultrasound at all for this baby. It might finally settle the debate on whether or not we find out if we're having a girl or boy (I just might get my way now!)

But all kidding aside... I know there are very real and important reasons to have an ultrasound if necessary, but the definition of necessary is what I am questioning.

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April 1, 2008

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

My Mom used to always say that to me and my brother as we'd come home from someplace when we were little. Some time ago I started saying it to my boys every time we'd pull into our garage, and it stuck. It's our thing.

I was all of eighteen years old the first time I moved out of my house, headed for the big city and an apartment of my own. I held three jobs and went to school. Many mornings I'd get an iced cappuccino from the diner by the el and many nights I'd have a pb&j sandwich with day old bread from the bakery around the corner. The same posters hung on my walls, same thrift shop clothes hung in my closet. But it never was home.

By the next year my dad was parked behind that apartment, with the sticky balcony rails to ward off pigeons. We loaded up my belongings and that little girl bundled inside my big-girl-self. I was going home, headed down Lake Shore Drive, back to Indiana. On our way- with as much love as sternness in his eyes- he said Next time I move your things, it's for good.

And the next time was. A few years later I was coming home from my honeymoon to a brand new house, shingles and carpet color chosen by me. Years later this house had those same shingles but new carpet. And along with the additional "artwork" courtesy of Crayola, the walls now tell stories of babies and heartache and joy and first days of school.

To three little boys and another child on the way, this is home. Someday a truck with their things might head off to the unknown, pieces of my heart along with it, and they will always be welcome to come back, for at least one more try.

We've filled it to the brim, some would say, about our little dwelling. I say, what a great use of space. It may be small, but it's plenty. And it's home.


Submitted as entry into Scribbit's April Write Away Contest: Going Home.


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Call Me Miss Posty

I've got a new post up at the Chicago Moms Blog, "I Can't Turn Down The Volume"

I've got a new post up at Close To Home, "It's A Matter Of Fact
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And I've got a new post up at And She Knits, "One Big Ball"



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