Thursday, March 25, 2010

When She's Ready

39 Weeks, 39 inch belly.
They say my baby is the size of a small watermelon. Carrying a small watermelon on your internal organs all day is quite a task yet I am not sick of pregnancy... many people keep asking me some variation of the question "Are you ready to get that baby out of you or what!?!?" Quite honestly I am in no rush. Chuck has been really encouraging me in the home stretch, "You've almost made it!" he said the other day, but he reminds me that She will come when she's ready.

Last night I had a dream that I was hugging my midwife and we were having a good cry about how wonderful the birth was. Naturally I woke up thinking, "Is today the day?" But I think that every time I wake up in the middle of the night and each morning when I heft myself out of bed (accompanied by some large grunt)
Now for some picture show and tell
This is a cross stitch that a women made for Chuck and I. My mom framed it all fancy like, and gave it to us last week. You see the Robin and it's nest are very symbolic to Chuck and I. Robins egg blue and red (the color of the Robins breast) were the colors of our wedding reception. Our center pieces were nests filled with little blue robins eggs. It was to be a symbol of our building a new life together.
Interestingly enough during my birthing preparations I was encourage by my "Birthing From Within" book to select an animal to look to for strength during labor. They suggested picking something strong and ferocious... like a bear, tiger or wolf. (LOL Joyce didn't you write something about finding your inner birth tiger awhile back?!) Well it just so happens that I have a brother in law who specializes in the healing arts (and just started a blog about it) who through muscle testing and meditation can determine which animals you closely connect with in nature.
I asked him if he would find my birth animal, instead of me just picking one out of the air.
And you know what, I am a Robin.
So when I received this picture just shortly after learning this... I felt an added sense of strength to approach what lay ahead. I know that when things seem overwhelming I can think about the Robin building her nest and feel comforted. It is one of those things that reminds me hat God knows who I am and looks out for me. In the scriptures they say that you should not seek for signs (because that is not how faith is built) however Signs follow those that believe.
This picture to me is a "Tender Mercy of the Lord" (watch video for further explanation)

I also finished my first crochet piece of baby clothing. You can't see from the picture but the white yarn has a little shimmer to it. I think I am going to find two cute little buttons to put on the front for some flare (maybe little lady bug buttons).

This is the lamp that Chuck and I picked out at Ikea to put above the rocking chair in the baby's room for late night feeding, rockings and what not. We liked how soft the dim the light is, and that it is so super girly! The cord is green to look like a stem running down the wall.

I just finished reading my book on breastfeeding by Ina May. It was a GREAT read. I really recommend it to anyone who desires to or is considering breastfeeding their baby. There are lots of really practical tips and a few chapters on our cultures view of breastfeeding and "Nipplephobia" as she calls it (America's fear about seeing a nipple in a public setting). Some of you may remember the Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction at the Superbowl a few years back and the huge controversy that was.

Chuck was telling me that on his mission in the Philippines that was one of the cultural differences he had to become comfortable with. Women openly breastfed their babies in public and at church. To come from our culture (where breasts are overly sexualized and not often looked at for their main function which is to feed and nourish babies) this sudden exposure to public breasts took some getting used to.

I am NOT on some crusade mind you to seek to cure nipplephobia by exposing myself in public. I do however want to be able to feed my baby when she is hungry and not feel like I have to hide myself from the world. I know some establishments in our country ask women to use the bathroom to breastfeed. Ina May makes a great point that we do not ask anyone else in our society to eat in the bathroom... so why should babies be pushed into such a circumstance. I don't even like sitting by the bathroom at restaurants let alone being in one to enjoy a meal.

Anyway... I feel I have gone off on a tangent (about nipples none-the-less).

That's when I wrap it up.

I hope to return to this blog a new mommy... we shall see what the coming days will bring :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No thanks....

There sure are a lot of things out there to spend your money on... here are three you could probably pass on.
Number ONE

I love Cheerios (mulitigrain are my favs) however I was not impressed with their new chocolate variety made with real cocoa. I bought a box last night at the grocery store and was excited to try them after dinner. They taste like a weak imitation of Coco Puffs, and they don't turn your milk very chocolaty for post-cereal guzzle. Chuck's review was similar, nothing special but they "get the job done."

My advice is for Cheerios to leave the chocolating of cereals to the experts.

Namely Sonny who goes Coo Coo for the opportunity to fill your breakfast bowl with chocolate.


Ummmm... what can I say about this. I have nothing against Michelle Obama the human being, yet I do find the Danbury Mint's Inagural Doll, to be a complete waste of money. It leaves me begging to know WHO? WHO Buys this stuff. My mind instantly envisions the home of a home shopping network addict, plastered wall to wall with little shelves full of dusty figures such as this one... or I think of weirdo guys like Steve Buscemi's character in the movie Billy Madison (shown in his classic scene putting on lipstick).

If you so desire the doll can be yours for only $149.00 plus $9.00 shipping and handling, or four monthly installments of just $39.50 each. Because the words are so small in the photo I will highlight for you some of the selling points.

"Few will ever forget the image of Michelle Obama- statuesque, stylish and confident - gliding down the steps of the Inaugural Ball in a powdery white chiffon gown... Now YOU can own a spectacular portrayal of this historic evening. The doll is crafted entirely of fine porcelain and artfully hand painted... and the dolls head and arms are fully poseable adding to it's lifelike appearance. The dolls gown is lavishly embellished with hand-sewn flowers and sparkling crystals and her diamond drop earrings and stunning bangle bracelets and diamond signet ring have also been beautifully replicated. Order today! If you are not absolutely delighted, you may return the doll within 30 days for replacement or refund."


I might catch heat on this one. As a preface just let me say that I am not a Twilight Super fan and I do not read the books (which to many people might make what I am about to say invalid).
This movie blows.
We spent one dollar renting it from Redbox, and I want my money back.
The acting is horrible, the dialogue is even worse... and It sends a really messed up message to young girls about how to handle "break-ups" which is an inevitable occurrence in about 99.9% of our lives (I made that stat up).
I could give countless specifics, yet I feel there have already been countless bad reviews that I would only be repeating.
However I will just bullet point a few items to consider and perhaps if you feel the same way as I do about the movie they might give you a good chuckle.
  • Bella... the adrenaline Junkie
  • Face Punch... the movie
  • Your typical werewolf attire (no shirt, no shoes at your service)
  • 3 joggers presumed dead in the woods, all the more reason to lie down there and take a nice nap in the dark

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Just an Excuse

Well there ends another St. Patrick's Day in the United States of America. Even though I am not Irish or Catholic, I do not feel that we are honoring this patron saint properly. I suppose there is no harm in finding reasons or excuses to celebrate. I mean, who doesn't like holiday's and parties? I suppose I felt the need to write this post because St. Patrick's Day is the second deadliest day on Minnesota Roads (2nd only to the fourth of July). On average from 2002-2008 11 of the 20 deaths on March 17th were alcohol related. We live down the street from one of the largest gathering places for all of those who use St. Patrick's day as an excuse to get absolutely plastered. O'Garas a St. Paul tradition since 1941 opened it's doors and bar at 8:30 a.m. and kept the party hoppin till about 2:00 a.m.

It was 65 degrees yesterday in Minnesota which is unheard of warm this time of year. So it really brought people out of their holes to participate in the festivities. I took a nice long walk around the lake near the zoo only to come home to the painfully tart smell of skunk wafting through my apartment hallways. Yet no black and white critters to be found. We have a resident Pot-head in our building and as caretakers Chuck and I get to be the fun neighbors who regulate. I think our neighbor confused the traditional four leaf clover, a symbol of St. Patrick's Day with the cannabis leaf... Chuck had to go down and put the kabosh on it.

St. Patrick's day also seems to be an excuse to do the following...
  • Shamelessly ask strangers to kiss you because of your heritage
  • Wear sassy T-shirts that say things about "getting lucky"
  • Dust off your Mardi Gras beads and Shamrocks necklaces
  • Shop at Party City
  • Eat Lucky Charms for breakfast (Which I WISH I would have done!!)
  • Sport those green tights you only wear once a year
  • Pinch people
  • Put green food coloring in things (my old roommate used to put it in just about everything)
  • Do the Jig (or if you are not a very good dancer, it is a good excuse to watch other people do the jig... like Jack Black in the following video that I can't stop laughing about... thanks for posting this Joyce!)

  • Eat a big slab of Corned Beef with cabbage.... which is exactly what Chuck and I did.

Hope you all survived St. Patty's Day... till next year.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Turbo Belly

I have been having extreme spurts of energy this last week. My mom says she thinks that's a sign that I will have the baby this week. We'll see about that. There are not many loose ends to tie up. The nursery is all set up, I have a gigantic front zip moo-moo to wear at the hospital packed in my bag. I bought snacks for Chuck, and stocked the cupboards. I deep cleaned the car, including scrubbing all the floor mats with Oxy clean until they sparkled, I installed the car seat (which only took my about 6 tries) and will spend the majority of the day cleaning the crevices of this place with a toothbrush.

Interesting to think there will be a new person living here. I remember before I got married wondering if it would be odd to have the incredibly handsome Charles Call with me each and everyday. It was never odd though, in fact it felt so natural like that was how it has always been and should be forevermore.

I am thinking that is how adding this new baby to the family will be... I am sure I will stop and stare at her often and think, I can't believe I had a baby! but she will no doubt fit right in as if she had always been here.

I continue to read books to prepare for motherhood... right now I am devouring Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding. She has done some pretty revolutionary work in the realm of Midwifery and has really great advice. She also has a guide to childbirth, but it is a popular item in the St. Paul public library system and I have been on the waiting list for over two weeks now.

I like sitting in the nursery reading on my big blue birthing ball. I will stare at the crib and think about there being a tiny person nestled in it and not just a stuffed monkey. I was thinking back the other day to being a little girl and loving to play house... it was my instinctive desire to be a mommy. When you are little that game never seems to get old, and was always so much fun. Funny how people grow up and look at motherhood like a huge burden, that is stressful and can be very overwhelming. I wonder if I will be able to think of it as a game still (only I wont color on my baby with markers or throw her in the toy box when it's time for dinner).

Someone asked Chuck last night how he was feeling about all of this because this blog pretty much just sums up my feelings and preparations. They asked if he felt ready for the baby to come. He answered that he felt about 90% ready and the other 10% was that element of the unknown. I was glad for this friend asking him that question... I keep having to remind myself that even though Chuck and I are married and with each other day after day that his experience in life is much different than mine. I have to remember to stop and ask him about how things are going in his brain a little more often.

Something good to remember for my kids as well.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


With the exception of the people who are closest to me, I seem to be asked the same five questions over and over again. So I just thought I would answer them here for everyone in case you found yourself wondering the same.
  • When's that baby due? March 28th... but I am not putting a lot of weight on this one day. This is just an estimation and it would probably be more accurate to give women a due month because anytime between about 37 and 42 weeks is fair game. I have started to have Braxton Hicks Contractions... but those could last weeks.

  • Any weird cravings? Not any weirder than normal. I crave things, but I did when I wasn't pregnant too... I mean who hasn't had an uncontrollable urge to eat a huge blizzard at the DQ or take down a few brats?

  • Do strangers touch your belly all the time? or Are you sick of strangers touching your belly? I actually don't recall anyone I didn't know well (I mean like family) touch my belly. Probably the most action my midsection saw was at my baby showers... but it was the main event, so it's understandable. Even if tons of people were rubbing my big ole belly though, I don't think I would be sick of it. I mean I touch my belly constantly... it sticks out and there is a person in there and she likes it when you say hello.

  • You getting any sleep these days? Yes at least 8 hours... just not consecutively like before. I am awake about every 2 hours to use the ladies room... and the numb hand thing and weird dreams sometimes keep me from snoozing. However I have the luxury of napping whenever I want to pretty much during the day. SO I can't complain.

  • Are you ready to be done? I must say my excitement to meet my baby is mounting. I look forward to seeing her little face, hearing her first cries, feeling her brand new baby skin, and smelling that new baby smell. Yet I don't feel a rush to get to the end... I have for the most part thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant and all of the excitement it has created in my family. This little baby is going to change a lot of people's lives, not just Chuck and mines. Plus, right now I don't have to change diapers, pack a ginormous bag every time I leave the house filled with baby products and my hands are always free to do what I please. Having a baby in the womb is very convenient when you think about it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vampire Weekend performing "California English"

I haven't linked a You Tube video in a long time. I can't seem to get this song out of my head today... thought I might get it stuck in yours too. Chuck and I are really lovin Vampire Weekend these days. It's a happy dance around the house kind of song as are many of their songs. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mall Make-up Counter Sales

I had a long list of errands to run the other day. I wished that everything I needed would be conveniently located in Target for my shopping ease. Yet I found myself having to travel to the mall...

There used to be a time in my life when I would have jumped at the opportunity to spend hours aimlessly wandering the stores and kiosks with my friends, blowing my entire paycheck on the latest outfits and cd's. Yet even the thought of walking into the mall makes me feel hot and bothered. I have this weird self diagnosed claustrophobia that only comes around when I am in such shopping situations or if I have fake nails on (I had them done once for prom in high school and ripped them all off in the limo ride home).

After being jammed in the JC Penny dressing room for over an hour debating over a new bra I realized that I had forgotten the one item I left the house for in the first place. Mascara! I could have picked it up at target, how did I miss it written in ALL CAPS at the top of my post-it list.

I took a deep breath as I crossed the threshold of JC Penny into the Mall. I could smell cologne and hear base filled beats pouring out of the stores. I waddled my pregnant self as fast as I could to the complete other end to Herbergers to get a tube of mascara. After being starred at by about 150 people, fighting the urge to stand on a bench and yell... "YES I am PREGNANT!" and taking an emergency bathroom break, I arrived at my destination. I knew full well that a tube of mascara here was going to be ridiculously over priced (Yet someone gave me a sample tube of Lancome Definicils for my bridal shower and I loved it).

I approached the Lancome counter and a heavily make-uped young lady came to my assistance.

"How much does a tube of Definicils mascara cost?" I inquired.

"About $26.00 after tax."

(I hid my GASP and tried to act like that wasn't highway robbery, but inside I thought, Tacy YOU do not belong here... you should run away, go back to Target where you belong. Where the tubes of mascara are under $10.00 and sometimes come with a free sample of eye liner!!! But I started justifying myself... I mean I did just have an awful bra shopping experience, I am pregnant... and walked all this way... if I just get this tube I don't have to go to Target I can just be done and go home. Perhaps if I just make it last a really long time it would be ok.)

"And how long does a tube of mascara last?" I asked as a follow up question.

"You need to change mascara AT LEAST every two months." She replied

(Give me a break, I used that sample tube for almost a year before it was dried up and clumpy)

"Are there any other types of mascara you recommend?" (Meaning is there anything cheaper than that)

"Yes I use this one (as she handed me another tube). I like it because you can put on six layers without it clumping."

(How is that even a selling point? Who has time to put on six layers of mascara? And why would you want your lashes loaded at maximum capacity all day? Looking into this young girls eyes I could see why this feature was important to her, it was apparent that she lived dangerously on the edge of six layers. I wondered how she was even keeping her eyes open.)

"I'll just take the Definicils."

"That will be $26.25."

(I cringed as I handed her my credit card... I knew that I was going to be embarrassed to tell my husband about my completely irresponsible and lazy purchase.)

I do so love my new mascara though... yet buying something I couldn't really afford makes me feel bad every time I put it on.

Lesson Learned. Thanks for understanding Chuck.

Monday, March 8, 2010

How about now?

I would like to say that I am not awake blogging at 2:30 am.... but after a very disturbing dream about my finding a man dressed as a Shepherd standing quietly in my house staring at me I just haven't been able to fall back asleep properly. I actually don't know if he was dressed like a Shepherd or was an actual Shepherd, needless to say it's all speculation and I was dreaming anyways so it doesn't matter in the least.
Plus right around midnight I was 87.67 % sure I was going into labor... but have since ruled out the intense discomfort and phantom bathroom urges to something I ate. But waking up 6 times before 2:00 am with the thought of "Am I in labor now?" is cause to get out of bed and have my ceremonial middle of the night bowl of cereal. Tonight Crispix with honey. I will most likely put my Rainbow relaxation CD on and fall back asleep. I just hate lying in bed though and keeping my poor husband up who has to leave for work in less than 3 hours.

Since I am up, I thought I would tell you about my baby showers. On Saturday I had a double header. A shower in the morning with many of my old friends from high school and one in the evening with my family. It was so good to see so many people that have meant a lot to me over the years, and have a good laugh with them. I was really grateful to Lindsey my old roommate who threw the morning event for rallying up a portion of the old crew and making such a delicious brunch!
It was a long day but I was doing what I love to do and that is open presents.... I am an official present junkie, it doesn't even matter if the gift is not for me, I just like opening things. These gifts with the exception of 2 were for baby girl. I wish she could have seen all the people who were there excited for her to be born and showering her with love and lots of clothes clothes clothes.

This is me sitting with a portion of the spoil. Chuck was having a hard time capturing it all in one shot. We had to take a conversion van to get it all home. What a lucky little baby. She has like 15 new blankets alone. Scratch that I actually just went and counted and she has 21 blankets. Chuck and I's favorite of course is the handmade quilt that her grandma Call made her.

You might not be able to see but it has little red lady bugs on it that I love. Someone bought her a little outfit too that says "Little lady" and matches this quilt perfectly. It's nice that my baby will be able to accessorize so wonderfully.

I also really enjoyed having my sister who drove down from Fargo, ND to help put the evening shower together. She got me this purple snake skin purse to use as a diaper bag and filled it with a matching bottle, diapers and stuffed purple monkey.

My mom did an amazing job decorating. She even had the woman who made Chuck and I's wedding cake, do this adorable butterfly cake for the shower.

And this is a diaper cake that she made, it took 109 infant diapers to construct and is covered with toys and ribbons for baby to play with.

So my baby shower having days are over. Now I just have to figure out where to put all of this stuff and of course start the writing of Thank-You notes.... which I don't even feel are adequate to express my gratitude for the kindness of all the lovely ladies who attended. And especially my mom and sister who have been so wonderful to me and are going to be an amazing grandma and auntie to this child. I'll say it again.

Ok, time to try sleep... but if I see that Shepherd again I will totally go wolf style on his flock. DON'T MESS WITH ME I'M 37 WEEKS PREGNANT!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Nutritionally Inspired

I must say I have missed school this semester and all of the wonderful things I would be learning. Yet I been continuing to focus on nutrition in pregnancy and occasionally do a little research for fun. A few weeks ago my mother in law invited us to listen to a doctor (David A. Kroska MD FACOG) speak about "The LIFE Program." It is basically his advice for a long and healthy life through adequate nutrition and activity. He had a lot of really great things to say... more of which I will probably talk about later. I was really impressed by his commentary on the Word of Wisdom.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Word of Wisdom is basically the code of health that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints follow. It is a revelation given from God to Joseph Smith in 1833 and it is the reason why you don't normally find a member of the church at your local bar's Happy Hour or spending afternoons at Starbucks (yet just as a disclaimer there are people within the church who follow this code of health at varying levels). In addition to the commandments to not take certain things into our body there is also some great nutritional advice. I take this pretty seriously because if a person wants to know the best way to take care of their body who better to ask than the person who created it. PLUS the promises for following it are incredible.

The good doctor pointed out this particular section to us about the God's advice on eating meat and it got me thinking...

"And flesh also of beasts and the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving, nevertheless they are to be used sparingly; And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter or famine. " (emphasis added)

The doctors point, that it pleases God when we try to avoid eating meat. (Note: Fish not considered meat) Which makes sense to me considering the way that the meat farms in our country are run. Animals are fed horrible diets in cramped and unnatural conditions and then pumped full of hormones and antibiotics to speed up the whole process and try to keep them free of disease. I could say a LOT more about that... maybe later. He also cited some stats and research to back his comments.
  • Americans consume 2-3 xs as much protein as necessary
  • Animal products (meat and dairy) singularly responsible for the huge differences in heart disease and cancers in western societies versus all the "Blue Zones"
  • "protein deficiency" is a non-existent entity in the Blue Zones and is only found elsewhere with extreme starvation
  • Quality protein is readily available from plant sources (like soy and quinoa)

It should also be noted that the people who live in Blue Zones as noted above (Places in the world where people commonly live past 100 years of age) besides eating a plant based diet also share these characteristics...

  • Family is put ahead of other concerns
  • Don't smoke
  • Constant moderate physical activity
  • Are socially engaged (involved in their communities)
  • Eat legumes

This was good to know because in school they are always drilling the idea of protein deficiency into our heads. Many of my professors advocate that meat is important in the diet to get enough quality protein and adequate iron (from red meat). Not true.

It struck me that perhaps I have had a skewed view of what "Sparingly" means. Needless to say Chuck and I felt inspired to start eating more meatless dishes in our house. It has been a lot of fun for me to explore new recipes and we have found that thus far we don't feel as though we are missing out. Last week we started exploring Indian dishes as many people within their culture are vegetarians. It took us awhile to boost our spice cupboard because each recipe calls for about a quarter cup of seasoning alone... but we consider our health a worthy investment.

So here is one of our new favorite meatless meals

Baingan Bharta (Or as the Americans would say Eggplant Curry)

(I realize that this picture does not do the meal justice... picture taking is not one of my strong points)


1 Large Eggplant

2TBL Veg Oil (or which ever you prefer... canola, olive ect.)

1 tsp Cumin (calls for seeds but I just used the powder)

1 med onion thinly sliced

1/2 TBL fresh ginger minced

1/2 TBL fresh garlic minced

1 TBL Curry powder (I used Garam Masala)

1 tomato diced (I used a drained can or diced tomatoes)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (or Greek style)

1 fresh jalapeno pepper chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon juice

Fresh Cilantro to garnish

Preheat oven to 450 F and bake eggplant on a sheet for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, cool, peel and chop. Heat oil in a saucepan over med heat. Mix in cumin and onion and cook and stir until onion is tender. Mix ginger, garlic, curry and tomato in sauce pan and cook 1 minute. Stir in yogurt. Mix in eggplant, jalapeno and season with salt and lemon juice.

Cover and cook for 10 minutes over high heat. Remove cover, reduce heat to low for an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

We ate ours with a side of pine nut couscous.... Mmmmm

Chuck suggested that if perhaps HE held up the food it would look better.

He was right.

I am convinced that if my husband were a super hero, making things look GOOD would be his power.

So I would love to hear some of your favorite meatless meals. Especially tofu dishes... I made stir fry the other night but wasn't very impressed with the way it turned out. If you have recipes e-mail me!

*** Another note, this post is not intended to convince you that eating meat is evil or that I think you should all adopt a semi-vegetarian diet. You hold the power to make your own health based decisions as you see fit. I am simply sharing some good advice and you may do with it what you like. Love, Tacy Marie