Monday, June 01, 2009

Early mornings

Our morning routine begins when my DH, Doodle, wakes up early and takes our energetic dog, Caomhan, for a walk. This has been especially enjoyable for Doodle during the last month or so, since he is a serious bird-watcher, and it has been the season for Spring Migration. For the past few weeks, he has been returning to the house each day with a different exciting report of various warblers, passing through the state of North Carolina, on their way to points north.

Then Spring Migration was over. Suddenly. Last week.

This removes a huge motivating factor in Doodle's routine to wake up early. Nevermind walking the energetic dog. Add to that the fact that now, he has less than a month before his dissertation defense (and he is still writing his dissertation). This means late nights, followed by very UNrefreshing mornings, as he faces each day with dread and stress.

So last week, I spontaneously took the opportunity--3 times!--to wake up early and take our energetic dog out for a run, while Doodle gratefully stayed in bed with our little son. It was fun to do our usual route (which I walk regularly with him each afternoon), without the heat and weight of the baby on my chest. We also finished in half the time it takes to walk when I'm carrying the baby. Caomhan happily trotted along, and seemed genuinely fatigued when we got back home.

And this is what I found upon re-entering our bedroom, one morning last week:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sleepy Wrap

Doodle wanted to make sure he felt completely comfortable using the Sleepy Wrap...

...before he put our most Precious Cargo into it:

Friday, May 08, 2009

Delayed Announcement

I don't currently have access to the internet at home, and it's difficult enough to attempt upkeep of a blog with internet access at work! Now that I'm not working (as of Good Friday, hurray!) it's even harder!

But our precious son, Tiernan Lorenzo, hereafter referred to as "Tigger," was born April 14th at 2:12am, weighing in at 8lb, 4oz.

Behold, the cuteness:

And what's even better is that today he was baptized. So for now, he's our little saint :) . "No malice for several years yet," assured Fr. Check.

Friday, April 03, 2009

39 weeks and counting... !

I think this baby is taking his/her time. The baby's head still isn't engaged in my pelvis, so I deferred the internal exam this week.
Maybe by my next appointment, I'll feel a little closer to birth-day!

Thanks for all the prayers!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Another March Birthday!

Happy 21st!! the Fortunate Alvy, who is becoming more and more beautiful every year.
I have such lovely sisters.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Saturday Work

I love my per-diem Saturday job, at a small regional hospital the next town over. Everyone there is very laid back, welcoming, and sincerely interested in supporting their co-workers.
After attaching a copy of my resignation letter to the director of rehab services there, I received this email reply:

"Dear [Sephora],

I regret to inform you that your resignation has been rejected and declined. Therefore we anticipate your return to PRN following your maternity leave and relocation. Please plan all of your future shifts around your travel time so that you are not late for work. Thank you.

Sorry to see you go!! Congratulations and good luck w/ all of the new changes in your life. If you are ever back in the area and are looking for work don't hesitate to contact us.


Big Day:

Happy Birthday to Portia-Bean! May your day be filled with blessings and some sort of successful outing!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Kindness from Strangers

I'm 7 months pregnant, but since I wear a big, oversized ski jacket that I've had since early college days, no one can tell that I have a protruding middle when it's cold out.

And it's now wintertime, even in North Carolina (most of the time).

So this means that when I get on the bus to go to work, I look like any other young woman in scrub pants, hat, and huge ski jacket getting on a bus. Since I live relatively close to the hospital, the bus is inevitably full in the morning by the time it stops near my house. I stand and hold the bar for about a half mile before the first main stop comes where half of the students exit, and I find a seat.

At first, I was a bit annoyed that I had to stand "in my condition(!)" and I resented my large jacket. But soon I realized how silly I was being: here I was, going to work as a physical therapist at the hospital, where I'm on my feet all day (except when I'm on my knees instead, crawling around the floor retrieving balls that I've coaxed my young charges to throw!) Why should I need a seat on the bus for a 15 minute ride in the morning? Besides, I can only imagine how awkward I'd start to feel if, everytime I entered the bus, somebody gave me a seat. I'd start to feel guilty that my stop was so late in the route.

As a result of these personal revelations, I've accustommed myself to making sure my jacket is zippered; I expect no special courtesies by others who are also half-asleep while making their ways to their respective jobs.

So of course, it came as a surprise one evening this week when I went grocery shopping (and happened to have my jacket unbuttoned). I pushed my cart up to the register where "Tina" was stationed.
Instead of the company-scripted, "Did you find everything okay?" Tina asked me, "What are you having?"
I looked at her quizzically--I may have even said, "excuse me?" because I had no idea what she was referring to. Did she wonder how everything in my cart might make one dinner menu for the night?
"Boy or girl?" she clarified.
"Oh! I'm sorry--we don't know. We're keeping it a surprise," I respond--just now realizing that my jacket is unzipped. At this point, I wonder whether I should hand her my discount shopping card (DSC); we're so off-script that I'm a bit frazzled. She hasn't asked for my card--and she's already proceeding to the part where she scans my groceries!!
Apparently, the spontaneous nature of the encounter doesn't phase her.
"Is this your first?" she continues, gingerly plucking my DSC from my half-outstretched hand, scannning it, and returning it.
"Yes, it is," I say, half-absently--since now I'm trying to swipe my debit card, and I'm one of those people who actually needs to READ the digital instructions on the card reader to make sure I do everything in the right order.
"That's so exciting," she coos.
"I know! We're very excited," I reply, finally finished with the logistical aspects of my checkout procedures. I move to the end of the counter to start bagging my goods.
Tina refuses to let the belt carry them down to me: "I can do all that when I'm done," she says.
"No, it's okay if I start them," I tell her.
She reluctantly turns her belt on, realizing that I'm about to reach across the counter to grab my blueberries.
I finish about 3 bags' worth when another girl comes up behind me: "I can finish these for you, ma'am!"
I step aside and thank her. Soon there is a third staff member present, and everyone is scanning, or bagging, or loading my cart.
"See, there's plenty of us here to do this for you!" Tina rejoices.
After I pay, Tina goes off-script once again. Instead of, "Would you like help out today?" she looks at me and says, "We're helping you out to your car. You're pregnant enough..." I laugh, but thank her, and chat with the "bagger" on the way out.

Of course, when I get home, I lug all the groceries around the house to our apartment, a few bags at a time, and I'm none the worse for the effort.

But it's refreshing to taste kindness from strangers.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama's Statement

So this is the rhetoric we're given on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade:

"On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose.

While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.

On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want for women everywhere."

I have to start working, but I just have to say something about this.

First of all, this is quite a principle: "government should not intrude on our most private family matters." REALLY!
Then why won't he allow abortion to AT LEAST be a "family matter"--and let the parents stay informed about what's going on, espeically in those states where parental consent is already required? Instead, he wants to pass FOCA, which lifts all restrictions on abortion; which allows "the family" to be left behind, which allows impressionable and distressed young women to face healthcare pressures alone.
The reason is that it's NOT about the family. If it were, he might also support school vouchers, and even--gasp--homeschool! These things share that broader principle that says the government needn't get involved, because the family can look after their children's educational needs.

And this statement drives me nuts: "we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons." Meaning, "our sons are able to run away from the consequences of promiscuity--why shouldn't our daughters be able to do the same?" Perhaps we should consider ways to make adoption services more accessible to both unwed mothers and to couples looking to adopt children--and MAYBE even encourage fathers to take more responsibility for their actions, even if they're not anatomically connected to the "punishment" of pregnancy!

And yet you read the news, and everyone is all excited about this man's commitment to finding "common ground."

God bless and save America.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The power of the bone

My very hard-working (and late-working!) husband, Doodle, arrived home one night this week to find me fuming smoke from my ears and growing sticks from my fingertips. I felt like I had reached my last nerve.

I also felt somewhat like the proverbial overtired mother who hands off her toddler to her (equally overtired) husband as soon he walks in the door, muttering something like, "YOU deal with him."
Within the first five minutes--err, make that seconds--of Doodle being inside the door, I launched into a tirade of our 13 month-old dog's behavior. Yes, that's right; Caomhan, the puppy.

"I can't TAKE it anymore," I seethed. "He whines for more food, I tell him 'no,' but he won't stop whining. So I tell him to go to the couch, I spray him with the water squirter when he whines until he's quiet. Then he starts being rough with the cat, so I put him in the cage, spray him again with every whine 'til he stops whining. When I let him out, he goes over to his food bowl and whines for more food!So I put him on the couch... AAaargh!"

This had been going on, in varied sequences, for about 3 hours. I was exhausted and frustrated from having to stop whatever I was doing every 10 seconds to walk over and spray the dog (consistent feedback whenever he whines), only for him to let out little whines as soon as I got back to my task of making dinner.

"Are you being a bad dog?" Doodle asked the dog. "No whining."

Of course, Caomhan, with a bowed head, looked up at Doodle with contrite eyes. Then--without any suggestion of a whine--cautiously approached my husband with a wagging tail to receive some petting.

For the rest of the evening, there was no more whining. Although I was miffed that the dog would not listen to me as well as he would listen to Doodle, the precious silence surrounding the large animal on the couch was a blessing, after 3 hours of nonstop irritation.

I even apologized for my initial outburst. "It's okay," Doodle said. "Everyone needs 10 minutes to vent everyday."

Yesterday evening, I went to the grocery store. "Try to pick up some bones when you're there," Doodle reminded me the night before. "Caomhan hasn't had any since before Christmas." So I did....

When I got home from the store, I made Caomhan do an elaborate trick (dramatically fall and play dead after being shot down by my hand-shaped-like-a-gun). His reward, of course, was one of the bones.

And my reward was 2 hours of peace and quiet, while he lay on the couch with the bone between his front paws, knawing away.
By the time Doodle came home, only one of the knotted ends was left.

"How did he do today?" Doodle asked.
"Oh, don't you know, we're friends now," I replied, "Since I gave him that bone!"