Friday, February 20, 2009

Dental Work! Toddler Illness! Oh, the exciting things you read about in this blog...

I have this problem on Facebook. EVERY time I think of a good status update, I realize it either involves 1) Food- what I am eating, what I am craving, what Madelaine has just smeared all over the furniture; or 2) Bodily Malfunctions of some form or another- our sniffles, my fatigue. And, really, the fact that all of my status updates revolve around these two areas makes me think my life kind of revolves around these two things...? Which is kind of... sad? Maybe I should just do what my teenager friends do and post snippets of emo song lyrics...

So on that note! I will now tell you about our Bodily Malfunctions! And maybe some food.

So let's see, we took Maddy for her 18 month check-up last week, and the amazing news is that she actually LOST a few ounces since her 15 month visit. So I have to take her back next month for a weight check. She's about 24 1/2 lbs, which still puts her 50th percentile for weight, and she's 37th for height, so it's not like she's in danger of starvation or anything- really I think it's healthy she's slimming down now after her amazingly chubby baby days- but I am paying a little more attention now to what she eats. She usually eats most of what we give her, so maybe I should be offering more?

Her head is still off-the-charts too big, so the new pediatrician asked us to have her records sent from her old pediatrician (in the Lehigh Valley) to see if her head has always been big, and also asked Nate and I to measure our heads and call them with the measurements- apparently they can put these into an "equation" to figure out how big her head should be?!? Personally, I just think she has a big head...

So of course after the pediatrician visit, she came down with a cold (the germs!! oh, the germs!!) which has now morphed into Croup, so she is a Barking little chicken. A barking, miserable, clingy little Chicken. Poor Chicken.

And then yesterday? I went in for a marathon 2-hour dental appointment. The tooth that had the root canal a couple of weeks ago had started hurting, so they worked me in and took a look, and ended up doing both fillings (in the root canal tooth, and the one behind it) and the temporary crown. I was comfy the whole time really; just got tired of keeping my jaw open, and now my gums are a bit sore. But I am SO THANKFUL for modern dentistry... anesthetic... etc.

Food? I'm eating grapes at the moment. But I think I should post this now and go to bed... Nate's family coming to visit tomorrow. Yay!


Monday, February 09, 2009


According to this article, one of the latest victims of the sagging economy might just be...



Back away from the donuts, and nobody gets hurt...

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Also: The Pregnancy!!

And I forgot to mention: I am now 15 weeks pregnant! What-was-his-nickname-again? Truman is now 4 inches long and only about 9 weeks away from being viable outside the womb! And I'm pretty sure I've felt little bitty Movements a couple of times, which is really fun. Also, according to my doctor's scale I have lost about 4 lbs during this pregnancy, I think due to my thyroid dose getting bumped up AGAIN, to 150. Woo-hoo! To put this in perspective, I now weigh what I did when I was about 30 weeks pregnant with Madelaine. Ha!

So maybe sometime I'll actually get around to taking a pregnancy picture... remember my endless photojournaling with pregnancy #1? Again. Ha.

Oh, and an Amusing Anecdote: just now, Madelaine was standing next to Nate, who was on the sofa, and gently running her fingers through his hair. He was like "What is she doing...?" and I said, "just touching your hair." He said "That's fine, she's being gentle, I just didn't know what was up." And, beaming, Madelaine pointed emphatically to the ceiling.

Love, Neb

Date Night/ Bad Children's Programming

Last night, my husband and I WENT ON A DATE like REAL GROWN-UP PEOPLE!! Our pastor and his wife kindly babysat Madelaine while we went to Texas Road House and then went to see Frost/ Nixon. It was very liberating! We had a great time. And Madelaine was fabulous- she knows Miss Bonnie from church nursery and was quite content. I really felt comfortable leaving her- much more comfortable than I would have even a couple of months ago- because I can just sense from her development that she's now much more capable of understanding she's safe with other people, and Mama and Daddy will come back soon. I decided we should probably try to swap babysitting with another couple from church once a month or so, even though we can't afford to do anything expensive. It's hard to balance marriage and parenting, but so very, very important...

In other news, I hit a new low this week with Madelaine's TV habit- we flipped to PBS and THAT SHOW was on. You know. The one with the Big Purple Dinosaur. And internets, I let her watch it. Because she was completely engrossed, and whatever I was doing on the computer seemed worth it... and internets, I even saw her dancing along to the music. And then I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Let us never speak of this again.

This morning? Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder. Annoying things about Thomas:

1) The name Thomas. Gag me. (My sincerest, heartfelt apologies if you are named Thomas. Please do not hold this against me. We can still be friends, right?)
2) Narration in present tense. Why. Why???
3) The bizarre eye-rolling. Not like teenager "Whatever" eye-rolling... like spastic neurological disorder eye rolling. Do their eyes move so much because they don't have arms and legs to wave around, and running forwards and backwards on a track just isn't expressive enough?

Annoying things about Bob:
1) He's been subconsciously preparing the toddler generation for our current president's campaign slogan. "CAN WE BANKRUPT THE US BUILD IT? YES WE CAN!"
2) I don't know what else. But I'm sure if I keep watching I'll find more!!!

Alright, I'd better take off, the Wee One is attempting to sabotage this blogging attempt by physically taking control of my wrists. Ha ha!! I have prevailed!!

Love, Neb

PS Got to make dinner for small group tonight. And I would like to know what I need other than beef, carrots, potatoes, and onions to make a true beef stew in my crockpot. I have Cream of Chicken soup, but somehow I don't think that will cut it...???

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

An Interesting Day

[Now-Day-Before] Yesterday was kind of cool and different. To start with, Madelaine and I and 300 trillion billion million* other people in America bundled up and headed to Denny's for their special FREE Grand Slam Breakfast promotion. Because, you know, Americans are all about getting up early, getting dressed and out the door, spending gas money, waiting outside a restaurant in line for 15-20 minutes in the freezing cold, all so they can spend a $2 tip on a meal they could have cooked at home for $1. Because it's a FREE MEAL. That's how we think. Our local establishment was crowded with the elderly, small groups of college students, and a few assorted Locals- some in full hunting regalia. I'm really curious if Denny's will find their little experiment to be profitable in the long run... anyway, we enjoyed the pancakes and eggs and bacon and took the sausage home to Daddy Nate. A fun little outing.

*You know, what with the gazillions of dollars being "spent" (printed) for this whole Bail-out thing, all of the -illions seem to kind of blur together, you know? [Oops, I think my kid is eating stickers off the craft we did yesterday.] But as we head into The Second Great Depression (yeah, I said it!) I've decided to adopt the federal government's strategy- when we don't have any money, we'll just PRINT MORE! :-) Where are Madelaine's crayons...?

Then I had my two dental appointments- Nate stayed home from work to watch the Chicken while I went in for my 11 a.m. ROOT CANAL. How come the phrase ROOT CANAL sounds so dreadfully intimidating?!? It was really a piece of cake. I have a feeling that if the tooth had been bothering me it would have been worse, or if there were "complications" (like my poor MIL had recently with a tooth...) I think the dentist only worked about 20 minutes, and it was all over. Then at 2 I went in for my cleaning... so one time I went to this dentist that had this special gizmo for cleaing, some kind of blue lighty- thing (yeah that's the technical term) that just king of, you know, BLASTED the plaque off ultrasonically or something. And CAN I TELL YOU how much more comfortable that is than the scrapy-pick-thingie?!?!? I was like, WOW, I must have this treatment again... so when we picked this dentist in State College, I called them up and asked if they had some kind of alternative to the scrapy-pick thing, and tried to describe the blue light thing, and the lady was like, Yes! We have a (Something)!! So I was like, Cool! But it turned out to just be something called a "Cavitron," which is a high-powered stream of water (like pressure washing your teeth!!) Which would have been fine, that was also much more comfortable than the pick, except that apparently IT DOESN'T REALLY GET EVERYTHING because after using it on my teeth she was like, "Okay, let me just finish up with the hand tools now" and then she did the painful scraping thing for a good long time, so it's like, what's the point?!? Oh well. At least she was good at it and it wasn't TOO bad... one time, I went to the dentist (I think in Atlanta) and the cleaning was so painful, my eyes were watering and I was gripping the chair...

On the way home I stopped off at Giant and stocked up on meat, since our local Walmart Supercenter never has any good deals on Cow, Pig, and Chicken... comparing prices on a few other things, though, I was impressed and persuaded we should probably be buying most of our groceries there.

Then it was back home to grab a quick nap with Madelaine... but "quick" turned into over 2 hours. I woke up around 7, confused and disoriented that it was dark outside, and then sad that I was late for my 6:30 Bible study! I hustled out the door and enjoyed some great insights on Hebrews 2. Jorn says that when we struggle with sin, the key to "activating" grace- ie, relying on the power of the Holy Spirit instead of our own- is believing that our sins are forgiven, and really putting our faith in God's strength. That makes a lot of sense to me.

On the way home it was snowing, and my car skidded and ended up perpendicular to the road at one point when I turned left, but thankfully the car behind me could brake before running into me. We need two new tires on the back. I'm almost getting used to the whole driving-on-ice-and-snow-and-sliding-around-like-crazy phenomenon- ALMOST. I still tend to silently grumble that my husband had to be from a state like Pennsylvania and fantasize about Texas spring, but, you know, what can you do? The Groundhog* saw his shadow, which means that winter will last til early-to-mid April. (If The Groundhog HADN'T seen his shadow, in my opinion this would also mean that winter would last til early-to-mid April, because I am a hard, bitter realist who just says THAT'S HOW LONG WINTER LASTS HERE.) On the positive side, we just bought Madelaine's snow boots- they finally went on clearance at Walmart- Disney princess snow boots!! (Will our son enjoy wearing them, too?) But I have to say, they fit her feet fine, but the velcros will barely fasten around our chubby little Princess's cankles. Oh well, what's a girl to do? The few pairs of knee-high boots I have tried on in adult life don't fit my calves, either...

*The Groundhog is taken very seriously around these-here parts, along with hunting season, Joe Paterno, and the Steelers. Did I tell you that the local school-children had a two-hour delay the Monday after the Superbowl even though the weather was FINE?? So very, very wrong...

I'd better go, apparently there is a Nursing Emergency, although her mouth is still full of Cheerios so I told her she has to swallow first...

Love, Neb

Sunday, February 01, 2009

More Disturbance...

So many of you have probably read about the octuplets born in California recently, and some of the rather unusual circumstances surrounding the family (mom already had 6 kids at home, ages 2 to 7, all conceived by IVF, and is not married- she lives with her parents). Of course medical ethicists are having conniptions about the fact that someone apparently agreed to implant 8 embryos ("in a woman under 35 who already has children"- which I'm not sure should be relevant, but anyway...)

I'm not here to discuss the ethical implications of IVF as a whole, or this woman's personal choices in her journey to being a mom of 14. I just want to comment on a couple of quotes I read in a CNN article this morning...

Once it was clear that the the woman was carrying octuplets, her doctors suggested "reduction"- aborting some so that the rest would have a better chance at survival. The woman refused this option and decided to keep all 8. The ethicists in this article were asked to comment about her decision:

George said that, based on the information available, his personal ethical decision would probably support the woman's choice to carry all the babies to term. But he said that selective reduction is not the same as traditional abortion because the goal is the healthiest possible birth rather than the termination of a pregnancy.

"The babies didn't put themselves there; it's not their fault," George said. "There does seem to be a serious ethical question about killing one or more of them, even for the sake of maternal health."

I just want to know, what in the WORLD does he mean by "The babies didn't put themselves there; it's not their fault"- is this his way of explaining why "reduction" is not the same as "traditional abortion"??? So if a woman gets pregnant unintentionally, does that mean it IS the baby's fault, thus making it worthy of being killed?!? Are the only babies with a right to life those who are intentionally conceived?

But wait-- it gets worse!

Rosenthal, on the other hand, questions the woman's capacity to make a good decision under the circumstances. Some neonatologists believe that when pregnant women are told about dangers of prematurity or have great expectations about giving birth, their judgment can be impaired, she said.

The situation raises the issue of whether a doctor ought to override a patient's wishes for the sake of saving lives, she said. Although the health care system in America gives patients autonomy in making decisions about their own bodies, when emotionally distraught, some people decide poorly, she said.

When I read this, I could not believe this statement was made publicly by a doctor in the 21st century. Is it 1700 again?? Do we think women need hysterectomies because they are, by nature, Hysterical?? The medical field's stereotype of women in general, and pregnant women in particular, as incapable of competent decision making due to their "overly emotional" natures is a disgraceful prejudice that should have disappeared ages ago with the likes of bloodletting. Yes, under the great emotional distress that comes with MANY health care situations, people may (in a doctor's opinion) "decide poorly"- but isn't that truly what "autonomous decision-making" is all about? One of the cornerstones of modern medical ethics is that mentally competent adults have the right to make decisions about what kind of treatment to pursue, or whether to pursue treatment at all, as long as those decisions are intended to protect, not destroy, life. That fundamental right is not subject to compromise due to a supposed state of heightened emotional lability.

Do people think this isn't a big deal? This kind of attitude, expressed by this doctor, is why women don't trust their OB's. This is part of the reason the homebirth movement is growing, for better or worse. For those of us giving birth, this is a Very Big Deal.