Thursday, February 28, 2008

Pride Goes Before [a half hour of really awkward dressing room experience]

How's that for a catchy title? I'm still feeling really tired lately because each day that I decide, "today, I'm just going to be lazy and recover from the weekend," I actually wind up doing a lot of work. I can't fully relax if I've got a bunch of projects hanging over my head. So, I'm trying to do rest all morning, work all afternoon. All that is to explain why you're getting lots of little posts this week :) I like to wake up and then check out my cyber life... (which is way less cool than most peoples').

So yesterday, after working on house cleaning and doing my big clean-out-under-the-bed job, I had to go to U.Village to have AT&T fix the voicemail on my new phone. I felt like walking around, so I decided to check out cribs at Land of Nod and Pottery Barn. Let's just say that they cost 500-1000% more than the ones I saw at Ikea. No kidding. Of course, they're WAY cooler. Somehow, I also wound up at Anthropologie to look around :), and that was the site of my awkward experience.

As you can see in the belly pics from a few days ago, my little pooch is looking more like pregnancy and less like too much beer or a heavy meal. However, I'm still slightly self-conscious about it, and I wish I could wear a sign that says, "I am pregnant. I am supposed to be letting it hang out like this." Of course, I hate (for me. Rib, I like yours) shirts with quippy sayings, so that wouldn't work anyway. The clothes I had on yesterday were a little schleppy, so they didn't help me out at all in emphasizing the fact that my gut is growing a human. You know we probably all think it... "I don't look cool enough to shop in this store right now." I know it's silly, vain, and actually sort of sinful. But, that's how I was feeling yesterday. Of course, they had some pretty decent sale stuff on the clearance racks, so I decided to see if they had anything cute that I could pass off as maternity clothing. I've been increasingly frustrated with the frumpiness of most cheap maternity clothes. If I could buy everything at Bump, that would be cool. But, I can't. So, I gathered a little pile of not too expensive things to try on.

I'm already intimidated at the Anthropologie dressing room because I always imagine that they're thinking... oh, she can only buy sale stuff. WHY DO WE CARE? But, you know you've thought it too! So, walking in the super-cutely dressed sales woman says, "Want to try those on?" "Yes, please," I say. "I need to see if I can pass anything off as maternity." Ok, now I'm not joking here: she looked down at my belly, and this look of "Oh, you're pregnant???" came across her face, in a weird way... not in a oh-isn't-that-cute way. But, she also saw a chance to make some money, and she said, "ooh, well there are some new things in the front that could maybe work." Well, I knew I was doomed. I usually don't even look at things in the front because it's like $60+ for a t-shirt, and I just can't justify spending that kind of money on clothing. Maybe occasionally, for special circumstances. For example, after my miscarriage, I went to Urban Outfitters, one of my favorite stores, and I paid full price for a cardigan, and it felt great. At that time, anything (no matter how silly) that could make me feel distracted or happy was greatly appreciated.

This very helpful girl was on the walkie-talkie every 30 seconds, "So-and-so, can you get me one of those blah-blah-blah tops from the blah-blah-blah section." They were ALL for me. She had like 12 things brought back for me! Most of them were cute, but some of them were ugly. I tried them all on. I felt like I had to, and I kept playing along! Of course, the cutest shirt ever was $98, and then I wanted it. This is why I don't even look at that stuff. I try to avoid places that could cause me to sin! I then started trying to decide how in the world I was going to get out of there. I chose to carry two cute things with me along with the sale shirt that I picked out and the cute $15 bra (they have lots! you should go get one!). Sales girl was nice and excited that she had found some things that would work for me. Then, I wandered around the store trying desperately to find where the two extra things had come from. I couldn't find their homes! So, I waited until no one who had previously helped me was in sight, and I practically charged the check out counter. "I think I'm just going to go with these for now," I breathlessly choked out as I laid my sale stuff on the counter.

And so, I made it out with only the sale stuff :). Moral of the story: don't be so weird, Jesky Bera! Who cares if some girl at Anthropologie thinks you have a beer gut? And, next time, say, "Ya know, I'm sort of just in to quickly comb the sales rack, but if I ever decide to spend some more, I'll find you."

Brendan laughed and said, "Oh, Jesky" a lot when I told him the story :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No Need to Worry (and some free advertisement)

My friend Kathryn tells me that her audiologist friend says that it's really difficult to hurt a baby's ears in utero. So, Spud really was just rocking out!

The following is a free advertisement for (... nope, not my spud's website)
I've begun ordering organic groceries from, a local company that does grocery delivery. I LOVE IT. I've had a couple of issues with them (they gave me a leek instead of kale one time), but overall I've been pleased with the service and the products. It's fun to shop online, and this is a way to do it for things you actually need :). It saves me grocery store trips, and it helps us to eat what is local and fresh. I really like having all the fun produce to play with throughout the week. You can get anything you need on there... even detergent and stuff. Of course, some of it is WAY expensive. But, I've managed to save money by using them so far. I think they must get really great deals from the local farmers because when I stick to produce, dairy, and bread, I save. Not to mention, now that I'm being paranoid about chemicals and excess fat or sugar in my food, I usually buy the organic or all natural stuff (which is more expensive) from the grocery store anyway. So, I figure, if I'm spending more already, I might as well support an organization I really like and save gas money and labor!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Artsy Weekend

We were busy, folks! Spud had quite a time, including rocking out on more than one occasion :)

On Friday, after a nice time with the ladies at lunch and prayer, I loafed around the church office making lists of things to do for art night. We really didn't get much done at all on Friday, so I was pretty worried about having an insane day on Saturday. I just kept up my mantra, "I am not in charge." I also had an inflated view of what needed to be done because the art night I coordinated was the first one in a long time and bigger than the one this weekend. We actually had a pretty easy time on Saturday... but I'll get there.

Friday night, we went to see Van Gross play their cd release party. We mostly went to see Chad, the bass player. I was thinking that we hadn't seen him do any rocking out since the days of going to Bremerton to watch Luke Morton's band play. So, it was fun to reminisce. They were a bit loud for Boykins in the small space. He was kicking a lot, and I got really nervous that he was uncomfortable. I kept my arms tight over my belly! But, I don't think that probably helped. Thankfully, their set was short. I said to Brendan, "Well, either he's rocking out... or freaking out." Brendan responded, "Let's just assume he's rocking out." I'm not so sure though...

Saturday we were up early to take bagels to the church and watch Daddy and the guys move pews out of the sanctuary. I sat around for a long time in the morning gathering strength for the rest of the day. Everything went fine. I really was there ALL day, so that sort of sucked. But, whatever. I kept myself busy most of the time, though I did get to take a nice little break in the sunshine when I was waiting for lunch to get back to the church. That was good. I needed it by that point.

Ok, so this next string of thoughts is mostly an aside. Art night got me thinking about it, but a lot of it is leftover reflection from business school projects and other business ventures. Sometimes I hate being such a good self starter. Even when I'm "not in charge," I still seem to understand best what all needs to be done. It's a blessing and a curse. I just do what I see needs to happen, so I'm usually working a lot and attracting questions from everyone else. I don't mind working a lot, but I wish other people had the same take-care-of-business-on-your-own attitude. I guess the catch is that in addition to being able to get things done, you have to be able to communicate with others about the process. I'm good at communicating as a leader, but I'm not so good at it when I'm a subordinate. Especially if I'm not getting good direction from leadership. I'm only a good team player if I have a strong team leader or am the leader. I think some of that is that I care a LOT about the overall success of whatever I'm doing. I guess I do ok if I'm given a really specific part of a project, but if it's just an "all hands on deck" sort of situation, I assume that the whole thing is my problem. Brendan always tries to tell me to just blow off whatever is really not my responsibility and try not to care if it's not good. But, I just can't do that... I'm working on it.

Anyway, back to Art Night. I also really missed Hannah all morning. She had to work, and last time she was such a great partner/friend. We spent a good 40 hours working on it the week of the event back in May. I really missed that this time. Well, not the 40 hours part! All in all, the event went very well, and I had a good time. Babytown got to rock again to Cassius Don't Come Home and Sad Lee. I stood way in the back, so I'm sure that this time he was just having fun... not ear pain. It was definitely exhausting. Most people would say I do it to myself, and they'd be right. I just need to always be careful to make sure that my focus is always God's glory... not mine.

On Sunday afternoon, I GOT TO SEE THE ROMAN ARTIFACTS! It was really cool. There were some pretty famous statues there, and I actually got choked up to see them. I don't really know why, but it just gets me. We went to a lecture given by the two curators from the Louvre and the Seattle coordinator of the show, Peg Laird, an art history professor I had at the UW. It was neat to hear about how they coordinated the show and got everything here from Paris. Professor Laird just reviewed some of the basics of how visual art functioned in the Roman culture. It was a good refresher before seeing the pieces. Brendan and I especially thought it was cool to see two particular busts, one of Marcus Aurelius and one of his famed tutor, Herodes Atticus. We had a nice mission impossible moment as I watched his back, and he snapped a picture of Marcus Aurelius on the iPhone. :)

By the time Monday arrived, I was beat! I spent most of the day yesterday cleaning up a bit from the crazy weekend and then bumming around the house with Kletia. Last night, Rib and I had a lovely, relaxing night. I made a loaf of apple bread, and that added to our cozy comfort. Well, actually, I wasn't comfortable at all. This little baby is rearranging all my parts like crazy! My ribs hurt every afternoon and night. All my organs are getting stuffed up into my small rib cage, and it hurts! I think some of it is my abs pulling and separating up there. I had such a good set of abs before... sad. They were just a nice leftover from the dancing days. Definitely buying a gym membership after this little boykins arrives. At least I can still point my feet nicely, right?

Here are some new belly pictures. Notice how I'm sporting some iLike apparel... got to shake the hand that feeds ya, ya know? :) And, I like that shirt... no pun intended!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Busy Bee

I feel better today!!! I have a little bit of gunk hanging on, but mostly I am well. So, today I flitted about getting things done. FINALLY!

Spud and I ran around copying and mailing tax forms (yes!), mailing Spud's ultrasound video to my dad so he can put it on DVD (yes!), getting a new cell phone (awesome! no more superman phone!), calling to cancel Sprint (SUCKY! but over, so yay!), having lunch at World Wrapps (yum!), and going to Storables to buy fun containers for all of Brendan's and my junk! Try finding a plastic tub with this question in mind, "Hmm, what can I get that will easily house both my antique tutu and Brendan's rocket making stuff?" I cannot wait to get everything organized and into those bins!

Now, I shall start making some of my (self-proclaimed) famous Texan chili for parish group tonight. Then, while it simmers, pack stuff in the new containers and vacuum. I'm actually really pumped about that. Any step towards order and cleanliness is a step towards good mental health, if you ask me :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Roman Antiquities in Seattle!!!

Yes! I'm as excited as I seem! I just discovered that the Seattle Art Museum is hosting an exhibit on loan from the Louvre of Roman art. I'm thrilled to the gills. I don't know why, but Greco-Roman art really trips my trigger. Well, actually, I can think of a lot of reasons to be excited about it:

1. Any display of amazing artistic ability is worth loving because I believe that it is a reflection of God's creative character

2. The classical style (in it's many metamorphoses) developed by the Greeks and then expanded by the Romans has been the standard for Western art. Even modern/post-modern art is affected by it because it attempts to be "NOT." Being "not" requires an understanding of what is.

3. We might be able to view things that Paul saw! We may even see things that Jesus might have seen! Roman centurion's breastplate? It's possible!

4. The artwork from the catacombs is some of the most moving art I have seen. I started crying in the lecture on early Christian art... thankfully, the lights were out for the sake of the slides. It's so inspiring to see what desperate believers clung to as they faced persecution. There are lots of images of lambs.

5. I love perfection and order. Roman art and architecture was based on pursuit of order and perfection.

6. The body of artistic work that came out of the ancient Roman society is a staggering example of common grace. Why would God give such talent to people who hated him just so that they could make beautiful images of their pagan gods and the naked male form (with which they were obsessed... in more ways than one, if ya get my drift)? I don't know why. It's a huge mystery to me.

I could go on, but that's probably enough. I love art history. I think that it's so fascinating. If I wasn't so ding-danged practical, I'd have an art history degree rather than my business degree. That would have been really indulgent, though, for me. I already got to have one indulgent, impractical career (ballet), so the second time around was more about preparing myself to take care of my kids in the event that Brendan dies. Sad and sort of uninspired, but that's why I did it. I'm glad I did, but I do wish sometimes that I had taken more art classes. Oh well. I'm young! Maybe I can do all the docent training at the SAM when I'm an older, wild-haired lady. I'll be a crazy, over-excited tour guide who wears oversized jewelry :) Can't wait! Sounds great! I'll get all the little first graders jazzed about Roman antiquities!

So, if you live in Seattle, GO TO THE MUSEUM! It will be so cool! Poor Spud. Such a dorky mom :).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sickness & Sewing

No, that's not the name of Spud's and my new rock band. We're still trying to come up with something. Just kidding...

After my 2 days of wild, thrilling happiness after the ultrasound, I had two really crummy days of being sick. I'm feeling better today so far since my headache is mostly gone, and my congestion isn't quite so oppressive. I'm really glad that I'm feeling better so quick because, of course, I'm worried about getting too sick while pregnant. Brendan took excellent care of me complete with chicken soup making and doing all the laundry and dishes. We missed worship yesterday, which I hate, but I'm glad we didn't go expose me to more germs in my weakened state.

Now, for sewing talk. I went to Joann with Kristen on Friday to look at baby boy fabric in hopes that I could get some inspiration for projects I could do for little Boykins. Like I wrote previously, I've never sat and day dreamed about my life with a son, so I'm really shifting gears now that he's a he. I love the idea more and more everyday, though. The Joann trip was very helpful. However, it is so unfair that girls have so many really cool pattern options while the ones for boys are mostly extremely dorky. We managed to discover enough good boy stuff to get me excited. Seriously, though, out of probably 100 (maybe a little less) boy fabric options, I only saw around 8 that were actually cool (to me). The range is hilarious; it goes from super-cutesy baby blue with baby cartoon ducks with bottles (BARF!) to "extreme dinosaur crossing" traffic signs with fighter jets on yellow and brown camouflage background (DOUBLE BARF!). Somewhere in the middle come all the gender stereotyped sports, scary sharks in dark sunglasses, and construction equipment prints. Considering that Brendan and I aren't into that sort of stuff, I can't imagine Babytown liking things like that. HOWEVER, if he does, I will "extreme dinosaur crossing" his room to his little boy heart's delight. Until then, no thanks!

I am much more inspired by solid colors, abstract prints, and a few of the cute prints that had good color schemes and cool animals like frogs. I bought stuff to make 1 little blanket that I could see becoming the best friend (like Linus' blanket) and one little quilt for laying him on the floor to play. The blankie will be kelly green flannel (like his Daddy's favorite hoodie) with royal blue thermal fabric printed with lots of kelly green aligators (they look sort of like the Izod alligators but with friendly little faces). The quilt consists of red corduroy, green flannel with a multi-dot print, nubbly, royal blue plush, and a few other abstract, dot print fabrics. They'll both be super cute. We got a sewing machine to use from Laura. I'll try to take and post pictures once things get going.

Friday, February 15, 2008

More News!

Father and son have officially made contact! Boykins (keep reading for new nicknames explanation) was kicking or doing something in there really hard this morning as Brendan and I lazed in bed trying to think of more names. He's done that a few times, but Brendan has never been able to feel it. Well, he just never gets his hand there in time. But, finally, Spud kept it up long enough. Rib felt him kick about 6 times and was even able to tell when he was moving his kicks to another place. YAY! I have felt so sorry for Brendan because he hadn't been able to enjoy any of Spud's little hellos yet.

So, nicknames. Now that I've seen him, and know he's a him, and see his little boy body, I feel weird thinking of him as Spud. I still like the name because it's what we gave him, but he's just not that little mysterious lima bean anymore! This whole "Boykins" think started this morning as I talked to him; he's my little boy... and of course, I have to put "kins" or "town" on the end of everything for some strange reason. Hence, "Ahh, hi, little boy-kins!" :). I also continue to enjoy calling him Babytown!

And lastly, hurray for no longer having to write the following: him/her and s/he! Yes, I could have just used "he," as is acceptable in our language. But, the little bit of feminism in me and my indoctrination from my studies in HR would not allow me to be comfortable using anything but gender-neutral language... thanks, UW ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2008


clearly, this last one is of me. our profiles match :)

Oh, and...

He looks healthy! 4 limbs, 1 head, all the proper organs. Right now, he looks like quite the daddy long legs and definitely has a Meador nose. When I first looked at him, I thought, "Oh, gotta be a girl, looks just like me!"

Spud? More like Stud!

That's right. They've got me outnumbered, folks! Spud is clearly a little boy :) We are delighted to add to the absolute PACK of boys being born these days.

I can hardly wrap my brain around it. I mean: I guess we won't be doing sparkly butterfly crafts, and painting a wall magenta would probably not be appropriate. There is a part of me that is somewhat relieved to think that ballet is probably not going to infiltrate this one, though I'm not opposed to boys taking dancing lessons if they want. I'm really excited to have a boy; it will definitely be a challenge, but little boys really love their mommies. There's a part of me that's worried that I'll be left out because I'm not good at boy stuff. Of course, Brendan and I get along great and have lots of common interests, and I've had many a 2-5y.o. boy fall madly in love with me. And I completely love the idea of Daddy Brendan and Spud Son going camping together and stuff. It will be cool to have the firstborn be a son. Brendan was a way better oldest sibling than I was, so that's encouraging.

We won't make a final decision on a name until he takes his first breaths, so don't bother trying to suck it out of us! We don't know what it is yet... of course, we have some ideas... even some new ones that no one know about... sneaky, huh?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"I'm So Excited, and I Just Can't Hide It!"

Is it Thursday yet? Well why not!?

I'm so ridiculously eager to see my little Spudkin that I can barely stand it; it is ALL I can think about. Even if we can't clearly see the sex (although I really hope we can!), I'm just so pumped to see a little body in there. We saw him/her before, and that was quite thrilling even though s/he was just a little tiny lima bean with a blinking ET heart. So, seeing something that looks human will be AWESOME. I keep thinking about how when Amos arrived he looked so much like his ultrasound picture. You always imagine that all babies look the same in the ultrasound, but if you get a good profile shot, you can really get an idea of how s/he looks.

I think Spud is excited too because s/he's been in there practicing some tricks to show us. Twice yesterday I felt significant acrobatics, and last night I could feel the little kicks from the outside with my hand on my belly. Of course, Spud gets stage fright the instant Brendan tries to feel the little high-fives. Oh well, I'm sure they will make contact soon.

I also made an exciting discovery yesterday. At girls' night, aka the happy hour where some of us meet up on Tuesday nights, I was being a good mommy and had some orange juice. I haven't had just plain orange juice for a couple of weeks. Well, Spud must have loved it (or been jolted with sugar) because s/he started punching around in there. So: Good timing, and thanks for the heads up, little Spudkin! I will be swigging some orange juice right before I get on that table tomorrow morning. Hopefully you've been rehearsing your splits! :)

A final request on a more somber note, please pray with us that everything will look ok in there. I'm not "worried," per se, but it's in the back of my head.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stretching! Who Knew?

Well, I should have because stretching was a definite part of my life for so many years, but I guess I always thought the only fruits of my stretching were my nice, high-extension developpes and wacked-out grand jetes! Turns out, real people can benefit from stretching too... not just dancers.

After my physical therapy appt. last Monday, I was reminded that I still should be doing some concentrated, targeted stretching to help with my back. I've been a casual stretcher ever since I stopped dancing, but I've gone way easy on myself. Back in the day, I used to stretch until I'd think my muscles were going to completely tear... that's not healthy, and that's what some super-dedicated wannabe ballerinas feel like they have to do. A lot of my flexibility was natural, but every inch of give in my hamstrings was wrought by mini-self-torture sessions that I engaged every day from ages 14-16. I tortured my feet until they looked good too. I stopped growing by then, and all that flexibility seemed ready to stay forever.

Anyway, I could go on about the things one loves to do for the Ballet, but that's another story! As for now, just one week of concentrated, HEALTHY levels of stretching has already started making a difference. I'm sleeping much better. I haven't been waking up in the middle of the night with back pain... just with the need to empty my bladder :). And, I'm noticing that it is already easier for me to stand with more proper posture (tail bone dropped down, minimal curve in low back, without sucking stomach in to achieve it, shoulders vertically aligned with ankle bones). Part of that is probably my increased kinesthetic awareness of late, but the stretching makes that position easier to find. I've noticed that the better I am about about keeping my upper quads, hip flexors, and psoas stretched in front, the easier it is to keep my tail bone dropped in the back. That keeps the pressure off my injured disc and those lower vertebrae.

The timing on this renewed love for stretching is really excellent because I'm just starting to feel bigger and am really noticing the sad obliteration of my formerly toned abs. I'm getting a lot of pull on my ribs now too. So, hopefully the stretching will help me keep some of my original tone and shape after the Spud is fully baked. Brendan is going to pass me by in terms of rockin' abs because he's been doing ab work every morning, and I can't do any! Well, it's his turn to have the best abs for a while... cuz I've been kicking his butt for 7 years now! Can you tell that we're both firstborns??? To his credit, he's got way more muscle in his chest and upper arms than me (because I have practically none), so it has been harder for him to do vast numbers of crunches because he has a heavier weight to lift.

If you are still reading this (potentially extremely boring) post, you might be wondering what sort of stretches and routine I've been doing. Well, it's something like this:

1. 8 cat/cow stretches/poses... this is a yoga thing that my therapist has me do for the back. You kneel in a crawling position and alternate slowly between and arched back and a swayed back position.

2. Hip flexor/upper quad stretch about 2 minutes per side. You kneel on one knee and tilt your pubic bone towards the ceiling until you feel a stretch in the leg with the knee on the floor.

3. Hamstrings. I do a bunch for my hamstrings... old habits die hard. First, I roll them out with my Yamuna balls. Then I do some good old toe touching from both standing and seated positions. I usually finish with the pilates "saw your baby toe off" stretch. That's getting more difficult with the belly getting bigger.

4. Calves. Old school calf stretching like in PE when you were little

5. Wall squats. These help with strengthening in the quads (may need to do some squatting to birth this Spud!) and finding proper alignment for my lower back. I do about 5 of them for an increasing amount of time like 8 seconds, 12 seconds,14 seconds, 16, 18, 20.

6. Side leg series from Pilates. For making sure my rear end and thighs don't get too squishy during pregnancy. I finish that with a figure 4 stretch for my rear. I usually do about 4 minutes per side on that.

I'm going to add the following Yoga stuff after reading about it in a Yoga book that we have. Brendan found a bunch of pregnancy poses in it for me.

1. Shoulder stand into a modified plough
2. Squat stretch... basically an exaggerated grand plie in second position
3. Lotus
5. Tree
6. Splits on the wall

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weekend Update

This was another busy weekend that pretty near wore me out! That's a little pathetic because we really didn't do that much. I think some of my frustration had to do with a little pregnancy symptom that I hadn't had to deal with yet but is super-common. Let's just say, fiber is my friend. Sorry to trouble you with such details, gentle reader, but as my sister says, I don't have much concept of a private life ;). I keep other people's secrets really well, but I suck at keeping mine! My uterine cramps came back also, and the back was pretty bad. Being consistently uncomfortable is tiring, I guess.

We had fun, though. On Friday, Spud and I ran around visiting friends all day. We also went to the Herbalist on 65th and mixed a custom-made pregnancy tea. I drank a cup a day all weekend, and by last night, my cramps were much better. YAY! We picked up Rib and went to meet Joel and Kletia for a big night-out. We went to dinner at Taste of India (which will forever remind me of the day we found out Amos was around!), and then we went to see There Will Be Blood. Not a movie for kids, but I'm pretty sure Spud couldn't see it :). We really liked it. It's hard to say that you "enjoy" watching something so intense, but I am glad that I saw it. I would like to watch it again, actually, to pick up some more things. It's like a trip to a museum; there's a lot to look at and think about. The music was GREAT; I've never seen a movie in which the music aided and enhanced the story so much.

On Saturday, Rib and I exercised our right to loaf, after I cleaned the house up, of course :). I don't know what has come over me. I think my chore-a-day regimen is starting to sink in to my very core. I can't abide dishes out or crap all over the coffee table. It's about time! I've always been stressed by messiness but have been lacking in the get-'er done department. Things are looking up! I even find enjoyment in cleaning... it's crazy and great! Brendan and I spent the afternoon at one of our favorite little coffee shops, the Grateful Bread Bakery. It's as hippie as it sounds, and the coffee is very good. We read and ate sandwiches and cookies. Then we went to the Ribera Senior residence for some company and a dinner of forbidden food. Yep, I ate some hotdogs, and it was awesome! I, of course, ate mine after searing any possible listeria way out of 'em.

Sunday was great because we had a visit from the General Secretary of the Central Malawi Presbytery, the Rev. Chifungo. It was a very encouraging visit. I'm so excited about all the people coming to Christ in Africa. The report made me glad that my friends are there sharing in the work... even though I miss them desperately!

That afternoon, Rib and I made a large pot of the super-food known as red beans & (brown) rice! it's chock full of iron, fiber (52% daily value in one serving of red beans!), and protein. Apparently, everyone knows this, but I didn't: beans and rice together make a complete protein. So, that's good for you, I assume. We enjoyed it, for sure. Then I whipped up a few fruit plates for the presentation that evening from Chifungo. No, they were nothing like the wedding reception fruit I did a few weeks ago... that was difficult and expensive :). They were really pretty, though, just because kiwis, pineapple, orange slices, and red grapes are beautiful on their own.

And today... is Monday. And my beloved Rib is back to iLike. I always miss him so much! Guess that's a good sign :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One more thing

I scheduled the ultrasound. It will be Valentine's Day at 9 am. So you'll hear about it later that day!

The Latest on Spud

We had a nice visit with our wonderful midwife this morning. She allayed all my fears, as I knew she would, about my lack of significant weight gain and Spud's slowness to quicken. She said it could be up to another month before I really feel Spud move a lot; that sucks, but I guess it makes me feel better. She told me to drink raspberry leaf tea for my annoying, consistently crampy uterus and make sure I keep up on my calcium. Spud had a great, strong heartbeat (as usual; GO SPUD!). We talked about my mood issues and decided that they are more likely related to the weather and the recent emotions about being jobless than my thyroid, so that's good. We will be getting the ultrasound, hopefully, next week. I'll be sure to pass along all the info gleaned from that fun day :)

The other good thing that happened was my lovely visit with my former physical therapist that I totally love. She said all sorts of nice things about how much more humanly my body is behaving as opposed to screwed up ballerina like it did 3 years ago when we last saw each other. I suspected that that meant I look heavier... but we'll just assume that she was referring to posture only! She said that the back pain I'm having sounds like an exacerbation of my injury, but doesn't sound like it is any indication of the worsening of my disc protrusion. That is awesome. That was my #1 fear... my disc is going to burst or totally prolapse while I'm mid-labor. As of now, she said not to worry about that. She also advocated for me having an active labor in order to be able to monitor and protect my back as much as possible. So, that was extremely encouraging since that's what I want to do anyway... I was just worried that my disc was going to explode. Still might, I guess. But, there's no use to worrying about it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dad's Birthday!!!

Yes, they both have adorably close-to-each-other, February birthdays. I was excited about Speck's potential due date being so close to the family birthday cluster.

So about Dad... Best Dad ever. Really, I think so. He's a great balance of all good qualities. I think my two favorite things about him show the breadth of those good qualities: good sense of humor and sensitivity. Dad is my favorite person to joke around with on the whole planet, and I have some pretty hilarious friends. I always tease him that I must be a jerk because of him because he has that same troublesome ability to instantly hear the mistake in what you said, or the funny way you said it, and turn it into a joke about you for the rest of the day. Pity the poor tourist walking by in Santa Fe or Padre Island when Dad and I are within earshot of each other. No one can escape our cruel wit. Fortunately (at least I hope!), people don't hear us making fun of them. Alright... this post is supposed to make Dad look good, so I guess I should move on. Although, really, I love that about him.

Dad is super sensitive. I know he doesn't like it, just like I don't like it about me, but it is an excellent quality, nonetheless. Maybe we're both so quick to jest because we don't like being emo in front of people. Whatever. Shut-up. Did you hear the one about the...

Anyway, another great thing about Dad is this: like mom, he's ridiculously good looking. One of Dad's favorite jokes goes like this:
Dad: "I can't wait til tomorrow."
Unsuspecting Victim (usually me or Whitney): "Why?"
Dad: "Because I get better looking every day."
I think it's true. Meadors age well. I don't think he has single gray hair, and he's not wrinkly at all. Maybe I'll be hot like my parents when I'm older... Spud, you better think so!

My dad is also the hardest worker I've ever known. He's always been a great example of industriousness and responsibility. I think that he's really unselfish in that way. I know he worked a lot of long hours so that I could flit off to all my ballet summer intensives. Of course, I think he also just has an inherent sense that doing things right is the only way to do them, and he's always been careful to teach us that tempered with the Bible's charge to do everything for the glory of God and as if working for the Lord, not for men. His hard work is all seasoned with integrity, too, which has made him, in my opinion, the success that he is today.

I am so grateful that Spud has such wonderful examples in his grandparents. The Ribera parents are great too. Brendan and I always remember to each other that our child will be blessed mostly because of the way that our parents raised each of us. Now, if only we were closer to those Meadors!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mom's Birthday!

I'd like to take this blog-ortunity to give a shout-out to my mom-dizzle on her birth-dizzle! Holla!!!

Like my new vernacular? Anyway...

My mom, I'm pretty sure, is the best mom ever. Pretty much everything I know about how to take care of a house and a child was learned from her. She did a great job of teaching us spiritual things too. I have so much Word hidden in my heart because of her (and the catechism!). Of course, most of it comes out to the tune of "Polly-wolly-doodle All the Day," but that's ok, right? Whatever works :)

Some of my best memories with my mom involve doing fun projects together. For example, when I was 4 or 5, we made a ton of lollipops together. That was really cool, and I was amazed at her very grown-up ability to not be afraid of the hot candy syrup, despite the fact that she burned the snot out of her finger. I hope I can be brave in front of Spud when I get hurt... a certain vicious gash of my finger lately was not handled with the most mature behavior :). I cried, and mommy took me to her bathroom and doctored it up for me. Thank goodness I was at her house; I guess I would have just bled to death otherwise. Mom also taught me how to make pie crust, how to dye eggs, how to melt all the yucky crayon bits into one giant cool crayon, how to make play-dough, how to make bracelets, etc!

I love my mom's fingernails. I think all grown up ladies should have pretty fingernails. Of course, I understand the fact that some women have an occupation that precludes them from having nice nails. I couldn't grow mine well when I was making jewelry all the time... yeah, that was the problem. NO, I was a biter. Until age 24, I was a chronic nail biter. SO GROSS! But, now that Spud is coming, I finally had to accept my responsibility, stop biting, grow 'em, and represent pretty grown-up lady fingernails for my offspring. It's funny because it's not like Mom is some glamazon who cares a lot about look or nice fingernails; she just naturally is the prettiest mom around. I really have never encountered a prettier, hotter mom that didn't have to try REALLY hard to look that way.

The other big thing in my life that began as mom's doing was ballet. She put me in my first lessons, and that habit got stuck hard and fast. I'm so glad that she shuttled me to all my rehearsals and classes and spent all that time with me in the Amarillo Civic Center dungeon during performances. I think it is harder for her sometimes that I'm not dancing anymore than it is for me just because she knows better than anyone what it meant to me and feels so sorry for me.

Now, my mom is a best friend. I wish we lived in the same city, but I don't think that's going to happen ever... well, until she and dad are senile, and I force them to move to live with me in Seattle :)

Happy Birthday, Mom! love jesky
Happy Birthday, [Grandma Name that I'll Choose When I Get Out]! love spudkin