Monthly Archives: August 2008

Wee thoughts for Friday

It’s been a good day:

  • I must say I am THRILLED about McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his VP.  Tough, spunky, socially conservative, true reformer, fiscally responsible, mother of FIVE (including her oldest, who is a soldier, and her youngest, who has Down’s Syndrom, whom she chose not to abort), 44 years old…  Woo hoo!!!  McCain-Palin 2008!!!!  Longtime readers of this blog may remember that I have long been a strong supporter of McCain, but with Palin added to the ticket, I am EXCITED!!  Hopefully, Palin will draw some fence-sitters over, and give motivation to some only-begrudgingly supportive Republicans, like my Uncle Steve, who semi-tongue-in-cheek, wrote a post in May entitled Sarah Palin for President.
  • I am also bursting with some news that isn’t mine to share…  but something that I’m thrilled over.
  • I had another doc appointment this morning.  They started off with an ultrasound…  to my surprise, it included some 3D imaging, and I got to see some fantastic footage of my 32-week-old daughter.  By the u/s, she measures 4 lbs 12 oz, which puts her in the 90th percentile.  My doc is semi-worried.  Not worried, I guess, but even though I think he’s a great doctor, and I’m glad I switched, if I go much past my 39th week, I can see in advance that I’m going to have to strongly advocate for myself NOT to be induced — although for him, inducing starts with some natural/homeopathic ‘remedies.’  I will continue to advocate for a non-interventive start of labor, and refuse treatment for induction, if it comes down to that.  Two of my four children were born at 38 weeks, so I’ll be praying for that, so the whole thing won’t be an issue.  Asking him about the carb/weight situation, he did say that it wasn’t his aim for me to lose weight (I “officially” lost 1 lb in the two weeks since I last saw him, but according to my scale, I’ve lost four lbs…), but for me to limit my carbs.  He agreed that if I was dropping weight like gangbusters at 100g carbs, but seem to be stable at 150g carbs, to up my daily intake to 150g, which I’ve already done.   … Back to the ultrasound — Seeing my unborn baby Fiala’s sweet face on the screen has made even more love and expectation rise up in my heart.  I’ve been walking around all day, almost dreamily happy.  It has made her feel like even more of a PERSON, and not just an idea who thumps around in my tummy all day.  She has chubby cheeks, very girly lips, does not seem to have my jutty/manly/square chin, has an absolutely serene expression, and an unfortunately large-looking nose.  (Both my hubby and I have larger-than-average schnozzes, but our kids have been pretty much spared in the nose category, so far.)
  • I was reflecting that, for the last two weeks solid, ALL my posts have been either pregnancy-related, or school-related.  I feel half an urge to apologize for the monotony…  but, it’s a good monotony.  I must say that I never thought I’d be so very thankful to live a life where I get to indulge in such joys.  There are still other things that go on in my life, but, obviously, my thoughts are overtaken with those two subjects…  🙂  I’m extremely thankful to be a stay-at-home, homeschooling, pregnant mother.    

Fourth day of school, and we’re DONE with spelling for the year!!

I waver between being hyper-organized and completely disorganized. 

I need a plan of organization so that I don’t end up wasting a ton of time… but, then I feel crowded and pressured by my supremely-organized schedule, and I need some weeks at a more relaxed pace in order to decompress and de-stress.  But, then…  without the organization, pretty soon, my days devolve into me being completely unwise (perhaps even lazy) with my time, and I need to ramp up the organization again.

Seems like I should have matured out of this pattern a while ago.

That said, this first week of our seventh year of homeschooling has been fantastic (other than our awful first day) — and without a real schedule.  And without us even doing all the subjects.  I think this is the first time I’ve started school this way. 

I actually do have the Sonlight Instructor’s Guides for my kids, but usually, that’s not enough.  What I normally do is make a monthly chart of all the work my kids need to do each day beyond SL — like Math, Handwriting, English, Music, Latin, Science (if they’re not using SL science, which my oldest isn’t), Spelling…  ummm…. am I missing anything?

We can cross of Spelling from the list, though.  I decided that if each boy tested at least two grade levels beyond their own, that they could forego “official” spelling.  Now, that doesn’t mean that spelling is totally neglected — any homeschooling mom will attest to the fact that there are numerous, daily opportunities to correct spelling errors, throw in an impromptu lesson on a spelling rule, etc.  I mean official spelling-as-a-subject, with lists and weekly tests.

So, I got out our big, orange Spelling Power book, and turned to the page with the 50-word survey test, and went for it.  Both boys ended up getting 9 words wrong, which placed them both at grade level 8.5.  Grant is in 4th grade, Ethan in 6th.

Woo-hoo!

The only one who wasn’t totally happy about the results was Ethan, who was fairly displeased that his brother, who is two years younger, scored exactly as he did.  I did make sure that Grant was gracious, and corrected any of his celebrations that took a turn down Gloating Lane.  But, I don’t blame him for being pleased with his aptitude for spelling.

Anyways.

I don’t think we can continue indefinitely with no real plan for the school year.  But, so far, so good.

Jane Austen, on homeschooling (sort of)

After dragging my literary feet, I have just started Mansfield Park

It’s funny;  I long neglected Jane Austen, because I was afraid she was beyond me, both in femininity and literary prowess…  I was fearful that the much-beloved author would be little appreciated by me, to my shame, not hers.  But, then, earlier this year, I actually started reading her, and whaddya know?  I love her writing.  I have consumed all of her books with unhealthy rapidity — the kind that has me staying up until 2 a.m. to read “just a bit more” knowing that in a very few hours, I will need to awaken for the day and mother and teach four kids, and that operating on four or five hours of sleep isn’t a help to either. 

So, why my hesitation to start Mansfield Park?  Because, once I’ve read it, I’ll be finished with Miss Austen.  There will be no more new, fresh, unread Austen novels for me to read, and that makes me sad.  😦

Here in the beginning of the book, Austen is contrasting the Bertram sisters’ excellent (home-tutored) education to that of their poorly educated cousin, Fanny, who has come to live with them. 

“…and as her cousins found her ignorant of many things with which they had been long familiar, they thought her prodigiously stupid…”

and, a page later:

“…and it is not very wonderful that, with all their promising talents and early information, they should be entirely deficient in the less common acquirements of self-knowledge, generosity, and humility.  In everything but disposition, they were admirably taught.”

This SO makes me think of my own children.  I will certainly attest to the fact that it’s easier to teach them subjects that are advanced beyond their years, and certainly beyond their peers, than it is those “less common acquirements of self-knowledge, generosity, and humility.”  And, SO MANY times, have I had to caution my boys that a lack of knowledge in someone else doesn’t mean that the other person is stupid; it means that they likely haven’t had the opportunity to learn the same things that they have.

In short, it’s easy for a homeschooled kid to grow an inflated view of his/her own intelligence;  kids are quick to equate knowledge with brilliance, when, really, the latter has only a small bit to do with the former. 

The longer I school them, the more I aim for those “less common acquirements” of a gracious character, and the less acutely concerned I am about them operating beyond grade level.

Today was better than yesterday

Thank you all, dear blog-friends, for your commiserations, advice, and encouragement after my awful day yesterday.  Today was much better!!!

Last night, I went to bed before my husband (which virtually never happens), and slept 10 hours.  I think I was just mentally worn out.  Or something.

Yesterday got worse before it got better.

Since I have a lot of curriculum left from last year — at least a couple months’ worth — plus some hand-me-down stuff that my youngest boys can use, I only need (for now, anyways) to buy math for all the boys, plus English for Grant, my 4th grader (who is a year behind in English… but, then, we’re using Rod & Staff, which by many accounts, is a year ahead in English, so who knows?). 

So, after school and lunch, during their quiet times, I sat down at the computer to (finally) order the curric I needed.  I should just go to the websites I know have a good selection of new stuff and reasonable shipping and click “buy.”  Because, for years now, it never fails:  I spend HOURS looking for the best deal, and, yeah, I may find a spot that saves me $2 or even $10 overall, but I have to spend three, four, five hours to find that “savings” which, in the end, isn’t much of a savings… especially when you factor in shipping costs for buying books at five different places.

And, after my 2+ hours of online searching yesterday, what I finally ended up doing was buying new stuff from Sonlight and Rod and Staff Books, which took me all of 10 minutes. 

Then, perhaps unwisely, I decided to blog about my day, which took about another 45 minutes.

THEN, I attacked the house, figuring that, since my mom & stepdad were bringing dinner, I had 2.5 hours to clean, including the previous day’s dishes, which were still in the sink.  But, those 2.5 hours suffered a great deal of more… well, parenting.  I shouldn’t be surprised.  My four kids are not self-sustaining, especially when I don’t allow them to watch TV nonstop just so I can have a clean house.  Maybe I should have bent and done that.  Anyways.  After breaking up countless squabbles, dealing out discipline, changing Audrey’s clothes two or three times (what happened??  She was fully potty trained, and has been for months, and now, the last couple of days, it’s like she’s forgotten all about what a toilet is for… and we’re out of Pull-Ups, so I couldn’t just slap one on her and ignore it)… two of my allotted 2.5 hours had completely evaporated, and there were STILL 24 hrs+ of dishes in the sink when my hubby walked in.  To me, that is the absolute worst feeling ever.  It’s even worse because he’s so forebearing about the whole thing.  He just looked at the sink, looked at me, and kissed me.  But, as he spent a bit of time with the kids and got changed, I tore into those dishes, and they were done by the time my mom & stepdad arrived.

And, they arrived with some fantastic fajitas.  Dinner was great.  Audrey was getting crazy, because we started eating dinner around her bedtime… but my mom, who was quite a disciplinarian when I was a kid, finds her antics “delightful” and gently chastized me for calling Audrey “crazy.”  Then, we put the kids in bed, watched the Diamondbacks lose to the lowly Padres, whilst my stepdad and me started dozing.  They went home, I went to bed, and didn’t wake up until 7:20 this morning.

Bringing me to today.

It’s funny — it seems to be a lot easier to write about a cr@ppy day than it is to write about a great one.  Other than Audrey having two “accidents” — hm…. maybe she’s just feeling neglected??  Anyways, there were no tears, no serious digging-in of heels, no spanks or other discipline, we got a lot done, and everyone was happy.  🙂

We’re still easing into things.  We read John 1:19-50 together (and the boys wanted me to continue!), I read three chapters of Follow My Leader to the younger boys, punctuated by four exercises from a logic & patterns book, plus, my stepdad came over (again — he’s really fantastic) and gave a general music lesson to all the boys, and a trumpet lesson to Ethan.  Ethan pretty much “just” did music, trumpet, and read 50 more pages of Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, answering a good deal of comprehension and narration questions with absolutely no problem afterwards.  So, it wasn’t like the world’s toughest day of school ever.  But, it felt like we got a lot done, and there was no tension in our home…  I even got a whole bookcase of homeschooling books sorted through while Joe did music with the boys!  That felt great.

So, while the grass remains greener elsewhere — either in some other ideal school situation, or in the apparent (or real) bliss of families with loads of kids who eagerly dive into school — it’s not so bad here, either.  Usually.  At least, not today.  😀

Not the most ideal first-day-of-school ever

For this, our seventh year of homeschooling, I wanted to start school on the 18th, but I didn’t have my act together, nor all the curriculum ordered.  So, I set my sights on the 25th, today. 

I still didn’t have my act together, and I still didn’t have all the curriculum I needed, but I am motivated to get in at least a solid six weeks of school before the Baby Fiala is born, some time in October.

So, in advance, I had decided that today, we would ease into school, spending most of the day reading… hanging out together…  I had visions of us all, cozily sitting on the couch, enjoying a read-aloud novel together.

What the day ended up being was three boys, highly resistant to me on virtually everything, squabbling, copping attitudes, being disrespectful, and not willingly participating in even a simple conversation, and me, fairly disappointed and discouraged.

My 11yo, who, last week, was asked by the optometrist to do near-far-focus eye exercises because he’s SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME READING (and it’s making his eye muscles act like he’s nearsighted, though he’s actually not), seriously started crying when I told him that he would need to “work” for most of the morning reading Carry On, Mr. BowditchCrying.  Why?  Because it’s not his favorite book, and because I’d be asking him comprehension questions about it.  Because it’s not just reading, it’s reading with accountability.  I was patient with him for about five minutes, but when the tears were still flowing, and the attitude was worsening, I basically told him to suck it up and start reading.

I found myself wishing that they all had the opportunity to spend at least a week in a regular school, so that they could be aware of just how good they have it.  When I poured out my disappointments to my husband over the phone, as he kindly inquired about our first day of school, what did he say?  “I wish they could have an opportunity to spend a few days in a regular school just to they could know how good they have it.”  Hehehe.  At least we’re thinking in unity.  He clarified to let me know that he does not (as I do not) actually want them in a regular school, he just wishes (as I do) that we could slap them in the face with reality a bit, so they quit whining about their really, really good life.

Martin also shored up my own dreamy attitude about schooling.  “It’s really my heart that school be fun, and that we all enjoy it…”  to which he responded, “Well, it sounds like what they really need is some discipline and some character-building.  Sometimes, school isn’t fun, and they just need to learn to apply themselves and be faithful.”  

Although the boys each daily do 30 to 90 minutes of chores a day, and a mandatory quiet time of 90 minutes in the afternoon, and we had swimming lessons and a vacation thrown in there, they have had ten weeks of doing pretty much whatever they wanted.  I mean, within reason.  I really limit their TV, and they each only get 20 minutes of computer time a day.  But, the rest of the days were spent playing, playing, playing.  And, here comes Mean Ol’ Mom, with the plan to — GASP!! — put a halt to all that playing.  Or, a third of it.  Or something like that.  Even though they knew it was coming, they all dug in their heels.

So, Martin was telling me that, no matter how pleasant school is (and he doesn’t even see making school “pleasant” to really be a priority!), to our boys, it’s still not going to be prefereable to days of doing essentially nothing.

I’m not discouraged about homeschooling in general.  It’s just that my dream of our first day, and its reality, bore absolutely no resemblance to each other.

I keep thinking that, someday, an absolute love to learn is going to kick in with them.  I loved to learn.  I still do.  When I was a kid, I know I would have absolutely adored what we do.  I would have eaten it up.  Um… they don’t.  ~sigh~  They don’t hate school, usually, but I have this undying hope and partial expectation that some kind of learning maturity is going to blossom in them (or at least ONE of them!) and they’ll stop fighting me over school issues.  It hasn’t yet happened, and if today is any indication, it’s not going to happen any time in the near future.  

(Although… as I write that last paragraph, it comes to mind that, in particular, my 9yo middle son has been giving FITS to Martin and me about basic obedience in pretty much every area for the last few months, so it shouldn’t surprise me that it has extended to school, nor should I blame his resistance on “school.”  Hope that makes sense.)

Don’t get me wrong:  There is SO much about homeschooling that I adore, and I am very motivated to continue (thanks, Melanie, for the indirect encouragement to do so!!!).  One bad day is simply not going to make me lose heart or focus.  But, I do wish today went better.

I find this disturbing

I just clicked on the tag surfing button, then was reminded why I virtually never do that.

I find it really disturbing how many “sermon”-type posts are published in blogs.

Are people really getting their guidance from blogs?

Do those who post their (often) diatribes really think that they’re having an impact for Christ?

In my most charitable moments, trying to extend a wee bit of grace, at least, I think, “Well, maybe they’re pastors, and their intended audience is their own congregation.”

I dunno, though. 

It has the feeling of standing on a corner with a bullhorn, yelling the message of the Gospel, which, in my opinion, is really ineffective, and possibly doing more harm than good.  But, the guy with the bullhorn feels better after he steps down off the box, because he has “done something” for Christ.  Hm.

Most of those who post the kinds of sermons that really grate on me have eponymous blogs.  This bugs me.  It’s like, “I wanna make a name for myself, I want you to know my name, and, by the way, here are my thoughts about where you’re going astray, and a whole bunch of verses to back me up.”  That strikes me more as personal marketing than true Christianity.

It’s not that I think folks shouldn’t blog about their Christian convictions — anyone who’s read here for more than a few days knows that I’m a Christian.  But, the blog-preaching.  That really bothers me.  Where’s the relationship?  Where’s the accountability?  Where’s the love?  Where’s the church life? 

Again.  I dunno.  Maybe there are some far-flung folks around the world, who simply have no access to a Christian church, and who are eating all of it up, and who are very grateful to be preached to by a stranger.

~sigh~

It just doesn’t, somehow, seem right to me.

I’m not good at dieting

I think it’s personality-based.  Or laziness-based.  Or habit-based.  Or something.

But, I’m just not good at dieting.  At all.

My new OB has suggested, for a couple of different reasons, that with the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy — wait — 9 weeks, now — that I go on phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, and limit myself to about 100 grams of carbohydrates per day.

I didn’t think it would be really all that hard because, as a family, and as the Head Chef in our home, I pretty much always cook and live by “South Beach” type guidelines:  lots of fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, reduced carbs, high protein.   

However, I’m finding the diet quite difficult, and wondering if 100g of carbs is even attainable for me!!  Right now, it’s 2:20, and I’ve had 99g (not even counting the 13g of dietary fiber I’ve eaten), and that’s with me being really conscientious.

The killer for me?  The thing that has set me back the biggest, for the day, is that I had 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce.  That’s 26g of carbs.  How can a bowl of unsweetened applesauce be 1/4 of the amount of ALL the carbs I’m to have in a day???

A lot of South Beachers (and other low-carb dieters) rely on artificial sweeteners to make it through.  Well, I don’t do artificial sweeteners.  Well, not usually.  My hubby, who has a profound skepticism regarding their safety, would prefer that I not have any, ever.  (He’s even passed it on to the kids:  During Diet Coke commercials, they generally stick their fingers in their ears and loudly chant, “Blah, blah, blah” so they can’t hear it, and shoot me dirty looks, or give me mini-lectures about Diet Coke, which I typically have ONCE per week.)  Martin does give a little for Splenda/sucralose.  But, Splenda isn’t in a lot of products, and the products that it often is in I think don’t NEED extra sweetening.  Like canned fruit.  When I do get canned fruit, I get the unsweetened kind, or packed in pear juice.  Maybe if I was trying to wean myself off of peaches in heavy syrup, Splenda-sweetened fruit would be more useful to me.  I don’t know.

In lieu of raw sugar, which I used to use, I put stevia in my (decaf!) coffee in the morning, but by itself, it tastes odd.  So, I put in about 1 tsp honey, too.  Well, that honey is 6g carbs.  Per cup.  I usually have two. 

Ugh.

I’m just not your regular American woman who has lots of experience with diets, so maybe my tolerance factor for this whole game is unusually low. 

I’ve been on one diet before, in my whole life, and that was about 8 years ago, when my hubby and I both did Body for Life, which we did with great success, but was an awful lot of work.

When I was a kid, I was super-crazy-skinny and tiny, though that was probably related more to undiagnosed celiac disease than anything.  But, I was the kind of person, who, up until my early 20s, could eat and eat and eat and eat and still be stick-thin.  I didn’t even gain weight in college.  The phrase “Freshman 15″ had to be explained to me.

All that changed, at least somewhat, upon my first pregnancy, where I gained 50 lbs.  I then fairly quickly lost 40 of it…  The same thing happened with my second pregancy:  Gain 50, lose 40.  With my third pregnancy, I decided that the trend couldn’t continue.  I did gain 45 lbs, but I lost it all.  With my 4th pregnancy, same thing:  Gain 45, lost it all.

So, here I’ve been, at 5′ 7.5”, camped out at roughly 155 lbs for the last eight years or so… and not that I could write a book on perfect excercise and diet, but I have remained active — sometimes, even VERY active — and eaten healthily… and while I haven’t been totally thrilled with being 155, my body seems to settle there, and I’m usually wearing a size 10, sometimes a size 8, occasionally a size 12, feeling quite healthy… like an 8.5 on the scale of 1-10.

(Not that my hubby and I eat exactly the same thing, but it’s close to it — even his lunches at work are usually dinner leftovers.  He just had a total health assessment, and at nearly 42, he is completely healthy.  There was not one item in any of his blood work, or any of the other tests that the doc did, that was ‘off.’  Everything that is supposed to be low, is low.  Everything that is supposed to be high, is high.  Again, Martin and I are not the same person, of course, but I think it’s further evidence of our family, in general, living very healthily.) 

So, I haven’t really felt a need to diet.  I mean, for me, it’s always been WAY more trouble than it’s worth.

And, now, I’ve been prescribed one, and I’m finding it very difficult, and I’m feeling a little rebellious.  Like, it’s hard for me to think, “Artificial sweeteners are preferable to honey.”  I just can’t wrap my mind around that.  Or, “unsweetened applesauce just has too many carbs.”  Or, “You better not eat that nectarine.” 

I’m not going to give up yet (I just started on Friday!), but I may just keep keeping track of my carbs, and when I see the OB, tell him, “Well, I can’t do 100g, but I can consisitently do 130g.”  And, maybe that’ll just be the best I can do.  Or the best I’m willing to do.

[Whining is now completed.  Generally pleasant blog should now continue.]

Woo-hoo!! One good doctor found, one to go…

I wrote, last week, about my search for a couple of good doctors, specifically an allergist and a new OB/GYN.  I think I found one.

For the record, I have nothing against doctors in general.  I’ll use a prescription when it’s truly necessary.  But, my desire in pretty much everything medical is to a) be as natural as possible, b) avoid medication whenever possible, and c) find the root source of a problem, instead of just medicating symptoms.  This seems fairly reasonable to me, but is rather rare in doctors.

My old OB, who retired, wasn’t quite a crunchy/natural kind of guy, but at least he understood, respected, and accomodated my desire to be such.  The guy I’d found to replace him?  Not so much.  He was my first OB’s medical partner, and he’s the one who was actually present at Audrey’s birth, which went wonderfully.  But, having him be the doctor for all the prenatal care of this pregnancy has been continually problematic.  He blew off my concerns, didn’t seem to care about my own desires in taking care of myself, tried to medicate me for herpes (when the thing I had/have turned out to NOT be herpes!), and was already prepping me to be induced, which I do not want to be.  (I’m 30 weeks pregnant — he wasn’t pressuring me to be induced NOW, just telling me that, when the time comes, that would be his recommendation, if I went even a couple of days past my EDD.)  Plus, that doc’s office staff was surly and disorganized, and appointments took FOREVER, literally up to three hours, and all of them at least two hours…

ANYways.

I went to the new doctor (Dr. Paul McKernan, for anyone in the north-Phoenix area) on Friday.  My appointment was for 7:15, and I walked in at 7:05, dismayed to find a full waiting room.  But, after I filled out my new patient paperwork, they got me in right away.  I was completely done by 8:00, and I didn’t feel either rushed, nor that I had waited too long.

I felt, right off, that we were on the same page — or at least a very similar page.

  • He said that upon examination, he could understand how the other doc might have thought it was a “herpetic lesion” but given my history — he said something like, “Given that you’re not in the habit of swinging around biker bars or anything like that…”  He gave me an rx for a low-dose steroid cream to use for a week, and some written instructions of how to care for it.  For some reason, it made me feel REALLY good that a doctor actually believed that my husband and I are totally faithful to each other, and that an STD was an extreme unlikelihood.  I really felt like the previous doc was accusing me and/or my husband of being unfaithful.  And, it felt good that Dr. McKernan had a plan of action — an already-made written document that said, “Here’s how to care for yourself.”  The other doc’s directions were always so nebulous, like he didn’t really have a plan, ever.
  • Dr. McKernan said that, since this is my 5th baby, and since there’s another issue — which I really don’t want to blog about — I’m dealing with, my risk for hemorrage is increased.  But, it’s not scary-high or anything, which I was a little afraid of.  So, I’ll likely give my own blood as the due date approaches, just so it’ll be handy if anything goes awry.  I had tried to bring this up with the other doc, but he blew me off.  It feels good to be listened to, and not blown off.
  • As a standard practice, I was surprised to learn that Dr. McKernan does NOT give episiotomies.  This is important to me.  My first three children, my boys, I either tore (doc did not get there fast enough), or got an epi, and recovery from that is… well, uncomfortable.  The very reason I had been going to doc #2 was because he worked with me when I was delivering Audrey, and I did not tear or need an epi, and she was 9 lbs., so I know it’s possible.  I just didn’t want to have to convince a new doctor of it.  And, now, it’s especially important that I do not have either, to avoid further risk of hemmorage/bleeding.  So, to hear him say that with all his patients, he basically applies some natural birthing methods (stretching, pressure, lubrication, judicious/minimized pushing) to ease the baby out with no surgical intervention…  well, that just made me tear up.  I literally started to cry, I was so relieved.  And, he has the mother assist with the last couple of pushes, pulling the baby out herself.  WOW!!  For those of you who haven’t birthed, that might sound scary/weird/gross/whatever.  But hearing that just made delight well in my heart, and helps me to eagerly anticipate the birth, even more.  (Weirdo that I am, I am REALLY looking forward to the birth of this baby… It’s just the pregnancy that I have to get through!!  Pregnancy does not agree with my body.)
  • He placed me on, basically, the South Beach Diet.  That’s roughly the sort of diet I aim for anyways — lower carbs, high protein, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains — but now, I’m even more careful about what I eat.  So far, I’ve gained 22 lbs, which is the best yet (least amount of weight gain of all my pregnancies), but I still have 10 weeks to go…  and gaining the least amount of weight possible from here on out will minimize the impact on my cardiovascular system (especially vericose veins), and hopefully, keep me from having a 10 lb baby.  So… I’ve been eating a lot of celery.  🙂  I think, though, that I’m going to have to start keeping track of my carbs.  He wants me to keep them around 100 grams per day, and I think I’m probably at 150 or even 200.
  • He did say that the “trend” currently is to not let mothers go much past their EDD at all, but he understood that I am motivated to birth naturally, and that I’d rather give birth to an 11 lb baby who is two weeks late than be induced.

So, I’m greatly encouraged. 

I feel weird/bad about switching doctors — I’ve never done that before, much less at 30 weeks pregnant — but, it appears that it was the right decision.

Sometimes, I cave

Along with living on homemade rice milk, candy and g.f. pretzels if I let her, my 2yo Audrey would also watch Noggin 24/7.  She wakes up, and nine times out of ten, the first thing from her sleepy-eyed, tousled head is, “I need Noggin.”  From how often she asks, you’d think that we were total TV junkies.  We’re not, really. 

The temptation is there, sometimes, to plunk her down in front of the TV, I admit.  She has two speeds:  Havoc, and Watching TV.  There’s no middle ground with her.  She is almost insanely active, so when her feet skid to a stop, and she sits down to watch a show, pretty much everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief.

Audrey is, by nature, actually quite polite.  One of her first phrases was a cheerful, high-pitched, sincere, unprompted, “Thank you!!!”  However, she can get quite demanding when she wants something, and extremely displeased when her desires are thwarted.  So, instead of letting her say, “I need Noggin,” I have her ask, “May I please watch Noggin?”  What really gets to her is, after I’ve corrected her, and made her ask nicely, most of the time, my answer is still, “No, not right now,” to letting her watch.  I’m cruel like that.

What with the Olympics, we’d had the TV on for most of the day yesterday.  Though I adore the Olympics, and watch as much as I can, having the TV on for so long really wears on my nerves.  So, I had turned it off, and told the boys, “No more TV.  We’ll turn the Olympics back on in a couple of hours, but for now, don’t even ask, OK?”  It was late afternoon, my hubby had come home from work early — sadly, that’s an extreme rarity — I was exhausted for no good reason, and having tons of painful contractions.  I just wanted, truly, to sit in relative silence, enjoy Martin’s puttering about the house, and rejoice in the fact that he had decided that we would spend part of a gift card/rebate on some take-out from Pei Wei

Then, Audrey awoke from her nap.

She immediately crawled into my lap and with her tiny little voice, started begging for Noggin.  The TV had been off for all of about ten minutes.  No.  No.  No TV.  No TV.  She changed tactics, and started asking politely for “her” channel.  “May I please watch Noggin?  Yes??  Noggin, please???”  Her sweet little voice… her wide, hopeful eyes…  her attempts at politeness… her crazy hair, sticking out all over from her nap…  It got to me.  I caved.  With a big sigh, I said, “OK.  I will turn on Noggin for you.”  She let out an excited gasp.  She clasped her hands together, and with utmost sincerity, pleasure, and thankfulness, she said, “Oh, Mommy!!  You maked me so happy!!!”

~sigh~

Could you resist?

   

The search for a doctor…

I hate finding doctors.  I really do.  I like finding ONE person who fills the need, then staying with him forever. 

I had that strategy with my OB/GYN, whose patient I was for 13 years… then he retired.  Retired!  How could he do that to me?  😉

So, I replaced him with his former partner, and I’ve had nothing but frustration — literal three hour appointments; an inept and disorganized and blame-shifting office staff; taking two weeks to return multiple phone calls; the doctor himself pushing me towards increasing medical intervention (after I’ve had four all-natural births); and to top it off, insisting that a problem I have must be herpes — herpes!  I said, “It’s NOT herpes.”  But, he gave me medicine samples and everything, which I didn’t take.  “Oh, well, the medication is safe when you’re pregnant, so when the test results come back confirming that it is herpes, you’ll have a few days’ head-start on the medication, which means you’ll heal up that much sooner.”  When they finally called me back with the test results, guess what??  It’s not herpes.  But, it’s something, and I do need medical attention, and I don’t feel confident in him as a doctor any more. 

I did a little investigating, and was recommended to another doctor who is, according to reports, much more willing to let a patient control her own birthing.  I see him on Friday.  The only bummer is that he only has privileges at a hospital that, while it is the nearest hospital to my home, it’s not my first choice for giving birth in.  But, if he’s a good doctor, I guess I’ll just live with that.  Plus, the hospital is a lot nearer to family and friends, so that just means more visitors after baby Fiala is born!  😀

I’m also looking for an allergist, mostly for Wesley, but also for the rest of our family.  Back shortly after Wes was diagnosed with celiac disease, and it became apparent after he was still having problems, that he had other food issues, we went to a supposedly-good allergist.  His response to just about everything was, “Well, food allergies are really hard to pin down.  Just avoid food that seems to be bothering him.”  Well, duh.  I don’t need to shell out a $20 co-pay, plus pay $8/hr for a babysitter for the rest of my kids to figure that one out.  He also was pushing to put Wes on tons of medications, rather than finding out the source of the problem!  I’d much rather avoid something that’s causing a problem than medicate its symptoms.  Apparently, I’m in the minority on that one.

So, I’m having a hard time finding an allergist.  The only pediatric allergist/immunologists within 20 miles of me and covered by our insurance only do skin-scratch tests and RAST tests to find the source of allergies.  I’m not a big believer in skin-scratch tests, nor am I eager to have my dear boy’s back scratched up.  And, RAST tests require drawing a particular amount of blood for each allergen tested, and they require that the allergen be in the body’s systems in order to come up with a positive result.  I want a doctor who will do Sage testing

Sage tests for a large variety of allergens in one blood draw, and gives a result of four levels of allergy (five, if you count ‘not allergic’), including delayed responses.  The doctors who know about it swear by it, but it’s relatively new technology, and not every doctor is even aware of it.  Oddly enough, my chiropractor can and will order the test, but we have to front the cost, and then we get reimbursed if insurance doesn’t cover it.  I’m trying to find out if our new insurance covers it or not.  And, honestly, while I really appreciate our chiropractor (who is also a nutritionist and NMD), I’d feel a bit better under the care of an allergist/immunologist.  But, a GOOD one.

We have figured out, nearly completely on our own, that Wes has celiac disease, and that he’s highly allergic to peanuts and dairy.  That has solved 95% of his health issues, and certainly the most serious ones.  But, there are still some lingering problems, and I’m pretty certain that they’re allergy-related, and it would be nice to know what those things are, so we can get Wes healthy-strong, not just not-sick, if that makes sense.

~sigh~

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