Friday, June 30, 2006

It’s time to celebrate! Two wonderful things happened today and the day isn’t over yet! The first big news… Scott got a promotion with a raise! He’s now director of The Hilton Times Square a nice low-stress property. It will be a nice change for him after working at The Sheraton. Go Scott!!

The second big news… Abby peed in the potty! Her first time to make it to the potty in time! Maybe this is the start of some thing good. Big hugs Abby! Now she gets to go to Toys R Us and pick out a toy. What great stuff!

Yesterday we ventured over to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to see the art exhibit on show. I was impressed with Will Wilson’s Auto Immune Response. It was super post apocalyptic and eerie, just the kind of stuff I like. His archival inkjet prints are amazing. I’ve never seen a print that big before. The prints mixed with his installations combined past traditions with an uncertain toxic future. The other show was by Virgil Ortiz titled La Renaissance Indigene. I found his ceramic sculptors provocative and almost dominatrix in nature. Though his couture collection felt a bit too pop for me. The techno music that was playing just added to that feeling. After visiting the museum we headed across the street to Battery Park for a picnic lunch of almond butter and jelly sandwiches and watched the boats and tourists for a while then headed home. It was a nice day trip and totally free.

Monday, June 26, 2006

On August 30th 2004, I went in for the stress test, the one where they hook your belly up to a machine to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and your contractions. All I remember was that I had to pee so badly, and I was terribly uncomfortable lying on my back. I also had an ultra-sound. Abby was so squashed in there it was hard to make out her different parts. The Doctor wanted to induce. He left the room for Scott and I to talk over our options. There weren’t many at the time induce or cesarean. I didn’t know there were others.

I was scared. Scott looked terrified. We agreed to the inducement. 6pm that evening we were to go to the labor and delivery ward at Howard County General. I was told to eat a hearty dinner. It would most likely be my last for a while. Chinese sounded so good, but once it was in front of me I had no appetite. My nerves were all over the place.

Scott checked me in at the hospital, as the nurse got me settled in bed and hooked me up once more to the fetal monitor. Abby’s heartbeat filled the room and was comforting to hear. Scott held my hand as the first step to the inducement took place.

Allyson and her mother, Claudia, stopped by to see how I was. I remember she came by to pick up the house keys. The cats needed to be fed. Claudia said I had a contraction, did I feel it? No, I didn’t. It must have been a really small one. I secretly wanted them to stay. Allyson always makes me feel better.

Later in the night the nurse came by with something to help me sleep. I think Scott slept on and off through the night on the pull out chair bed. The sleeping pill made that night spacey. Drifting in and out of sleep, not really awake not really asleep. Hearing the nurses laugh and talk at the nurses station, some one telling me to get some sleep. I was trying.

In the morning, the doctor did step two of the inducement, a Pitocin drip. Forever, I would be connected to an IV. I readied myself for the violence of Pitocin induced contractions. I watched TV and tried not to think of them. Soon they were all I could think about.

The contractions came so fast, so aggressively, I couldn’t think. I could only concentrate on how white my knuckles were while I grasped the bed rail and my Grandfather’s knuckles. My Mother told me one evening my Uncle Joe had wanted to watch a TV program. My Grandfather had said no and Uncle Joe put up an argument. For talking back, Uncle Joe was sent to his room where he whined, “I want to watch my TV program” continuously. My Mother said my Grandfather’s knuckles turned white as he gripped the couch to control his anger. I always think of those white knuckles. How one’s knuckles turn can turn white.

Around dinnertime, Scott left to get a meal. I don’t remember him leaving, only returning with food. I looked at my saline drip. A nurse checked my cervix, 4cm. I was riding the pitocin waves, yet my labor was as slow as a snail climbing up hill. The doctor broke my water. I felt relief as the warm fluid ran down my legs, then a brief moment of panic, where was the fluid going? No one seemed concerned, so I let it pass.

Abby’s head pushed hard against my cervix with the next contraction and my hips felt like exploding into pieces. I was tiring. It had already been 12 hours since the strong contractions began. I needed the epidural to rest, but first I needed to empty myself. Scott helped me to the bathroom. I cried.

The anesthesiologist asked Scott to leave for the epidural. The nurse held me as I sat at the edge of the bed riding through another unbearable pitocin induced contraction. The epidural let me sleep, so did Scott.

My cervix wasn’t dilating evenly. The nurse helped me change positions every once in a while to let gravity do its work. She told me to talk to Abby, to ask her to help. Abby needed to rotate just a bit to get my cervix where it needed to be.

The nurses had a shift change. It was 10pm. The doctor said around 1am I would be ready to push, and I was. I pushed and pushed. Pushing was the only thing that stopped the feeling like I was going to explode. I needed to push. Scott held my legs the way the nurse instructed. She left us alone in the room. I began to get terrified. Why did she leave? Where did she go? What if the baby pops out? Who is going to catch her? Scott watched the monitor. Breathe. Breathe. Push 1, 2, 3… Where’s the nurse Scott? She came back and checked the monitor, corrected my breathing, and left. Scott said he could see hair. I was scared. He was happy, smiling, watching me open with every push. I see hair! I see hair! That’s the top of her head! Yes. Don’t let go of my legs!

This time the doctor and the nurse both came back together. The doctor watched me push a few times and then told me the baby wasn’t moving down. All my pushing was doing nothing. It was 3am. I was done. He decided to do a c-section. Scott began to get our things together and left to put scrubs on. The nurse shaved me. I closed my eyes.

I remember we were shown the recovery room for mothers who have c-sections during the hospital tour. The room was so white and barren. A narrow bed in the middle surrounded by monitors no room for any chairs. I didn’t want to end up there. I thought about that room as two nurses wheeled me into the operating room.

Somehow I was on the operating table, a bed with wings. Shivers rattled my teeth together and my legs shook. A nurse said it was the anesthesia. I was worried that my shivers would cause my insides to spill out once I was open. I kept my fears to myself.

The nurses helped me roll to my side so the anesthesiologist could perform a spinal tap. He couldn’t find any spinal fluid. I needed another epidural. A spinal tap wasn’t going to work. Once on my back, a nurse laid a heavy warm blanket across my arms and chest. It felt so good. All that warmth spread over my chest, I felt so helpless I just closed my eyes. I didn’t care anymore what they did to me. I just wanted it over. I wanted my baby.

A radio was playing popular music. A nurse came back with a pin and was poking my belly. Did I feel anything? Yes. Five more minutes. Do you feel anything now? No. Ok. Scott finally was allowed in, and he sat next to my head holding my hand.

I felt a tug. Is the baby out? No. Slight chuckles from the nurses and doctors. I feel another tug. Is that her. No. This time I see the nurse stand up above me, and then I feel extreme pressure and pain. I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! I see Scott move out of the way as the anesthesiologist injects something into the IV bag by my head. I know I screamed and I feel embarrassed, exposed. Here she is! She’s out! Baby girl! I don’t see her. Scott was taking pictures with his mother’s digital camera and showing me Abby on the screen. I was too tired and in too much pain to cry. I smiled. I closed my eyes. It was 3:52am. Madonna’s Material Girl was playing.

When I came to I was in the recovery room. Abby was in the little plastic box. I felt better. The nurse put Abby in my arms and asked me to nurse her. Abby was still wet, naked, red and swollen. Her eyes watery and bright, she looked at me. I kissed her and held her little body against my breast. The nurse tried to help us nurse, but Abby was too sleepy from the drugs I was given. She took her to the nursery while I slept.

At 8am in the maternal child ward, Abby was finally brought to me clean and swaddled. I never let go of my sweet nursling from that moment on.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Wow. What an uneventful day. It was so slow I polished the floor. I got down on all fours and scrubbed. The Method Wood Wipes rock. They make the wood floors all shiny and slippery. Only thing is they come from Target. Oh how I love to shop at Target. Target is one of those stores you know you shouldn’t shop at, but like a bad addiction you go anyways. Target supports their pharmacists who won’t fill prescriptions for contraceptives or the morning after pill due to their moral and religious beliefs. Icky. Victoria’s Secret is another one of those guilty pleasure stores. Here is a company making tons of money off of women’s boobs and they won’t allow a customer to nurse in their fitting rooms. They say it’s against store policy because it’s “unsanitary.” Really? What’s unsanitary is when people try on bras and panties. That’s unsanitary. To help Victoria’s Secret realize women who nurse also shop at their store and some times need a place to feed the baby, there’s going to be a country-wide nurse in! On July 1st at 1pm at your local Victoria’s Secret. There’s a thread about it at Check the lactivist forum for more details and exactly why this is taking place.

Abby and I took our usual walk down to 60th street and back. Soon, I should start walking down to 70th street. Walking 30 blocks doesn’t tire me out like it used to. I love walking down 8th avenue in Brooklyn’s China Town in the morning when all the fish trucks arrive to drop off their goods to the seafood markets. Salmon, eels, trout, snails, conch, frogs, turtles, crabs, puffer fish, and shrimp all being tossed into huge vats of water, some still alive and squirming, the rank smell of fish and ocean filling the air. I feel like I'm in a different country.

For dinner tonight- locally grown zucchini, sautéed lightly in olive oil, with spaghetti and a bottle of Brooklyner Weisse Beer. For desert locally grown blueberries and peaches, first of the season. Go farmer’s markets!! Support local farmers! Buy local and direct!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Abby has Roseola. Not too big of a deal, the fever just makes her a bit lethargic. It’s times like these that I’m so happy I breastfeed. Her fever could be ten times worse than it is. It’s only 102, and normally kids can get fevers of 105 with Roseola. Breastmilk is liquid gold. This is the second time Abby has ever been sick in her life. She had a mild bout of croup this winter. I thought it was horrible, but the doctor was like, “This is nothing! She’ll be fine tomorrow!” Go breastfeeding again!! Not to mention that nursing brings her great comfort when she's upset or cranky.

And in response to the comment a few days earlier, here is some thing to think about: “Because a person who is contemptuous, hating, jealous or holds grudges will realize no benefits.” –Daisaku Ikeda, from For Today and Tomorrow.

Monday, June 19, 2006

We had a nice Father’s Day yesterday. Though Scott had to go into the office for a few hours, the time we spent together was nice. We had a traditional American dinner- homemade buffalo burgers and fries. Scott played a bit on the computer and then we all relaxed in the living room for the rest of the evening.

I went online and pulled up a few nutritional tidbits about buffalo meat. You can find it at health food stores (i.e. Whole Foods). Here’s the comparison to beef, just remember that a ‘normal’ serving of meat is 6oz (about the size of a deck of cards). You should only eat meat about once or twice a week.

Buffalo game meat, 3 oz. (85g) (cooked, roasted)
Calories: 111
Protein: 22.8g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 1.5g
Fiber: 0.0g
*Excellent source of: Niacin (5.3mg); Vitamin B12 (1.5mcg)
*Good source of: Iron (1.8mg), and Selenium (10.2 mcg)

Regular ground beef (broiled), 3 oz. (85.05g)
Calories: 245.6
Protein: 20.4g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 17.5g
Fiber: 0.0g

The sprinkler is on at playground. Abby is still a bit terrified of it. I’m hoping in a few weeks she’ll actually play in it. With the older kids out of school, things get pretty rough at the park. The kids like to fill bottles with water, then pour it down the metal twisty slides and then slide full speed down. These kids fly off the slide. I’ve seen the younger ones skid on the rubber mats a few feet. It’s crazy and dangerous.

Pablo has been gone for a few days now. The van has been gone, and Marjorie has been watering the back garden. Maybe she finally threw him out or he left. Marjorie gave us the lease to sign for next year a few weeks back. She gave it to us at this weird time where I was out of town and Scott was really busy at work, and we just never got around to signing it. Which isn’t that big of a deal, because this lease ends July 1st. Well, for her it was a big deal. Marjorie must have called us twice a week, and I kept explaining what was going on. Scott misplaced the lease at one point. We finally get it all in order and I put it under her door like I said I would on Saturday morning. Monday morning I get a phone call from her.
“Umm, Hi. This is Marjorie. Yeah. How are you doing?”
“Ok, Hi. What’s up?”
“Ummm… Yeah. You said you would, uhh, put the lease, uhhh, under my door on Saturday?” She has a tendency to put sentences as questions.
“Yeah. I did. It’s been there since Saturday morning.”
“Oh. Uhhh. I must not have seen it. Ummm. I’ll go, uhh, look again.”
How can you miss a huge white envelope that’s been slid under your door for three days? Aggravating!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Tonight Scott and I are going on a date. The first one in a while! We’re having dinner at Scottadito’s. I’m looking forward to some grown-up time. Since the restaurant is right next to the co-op, I’ll pick up some desert for Abby. Maybe some rice milk ice cream. Thanks to Jill and Steve for watching Abby tonight!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about anger and why people hang on to it for such a long time. Why hold grudges? It just seems like such a waste of energy and time. I guess people have nothing else better to do but dwell on anger and resentment. What a horrible world to live in.

On a lighter note, there was a very pregnant lady on the subway who was admiring my Mei Tai. I had some business cards and wrote our babywearing group info on the back. She seemed happy that I had offered her information. Scott was with me and said to “stop pushing my agenda on people,” but if I can help just one mama realize that there are other options out there than the Bjorn or a big stroller, then I feel I have done my job. How much do I love babywearing?! Abby loves it too.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Looks like there are now two people in this house that can make fried rice. Mateo said we could eat his food while he is back in Maryland, and I used a bag of his Trader Joe's Stir Fry Frozen Veggies. I added some frozen peas to the mix for Abby. So it has bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, chinese pea pods, carrots, mushrooms, water chestnuts, green soy beans, organic peas, and organic rice all mixed together with organic soy sauce, organic garlic and a dash of pepper. Yumm! To top off the goodness Abby and I baked totally organic ginger breakfast cookies from scratch for desert. Oh boy! A totally vegan meal.

Pablo was on the roof today. I heard him go into the attic and then there was all this banging. I look out back and I could see his shadow on the ground. It looked like he was leaning way over the side of the roof. With all the huffing and puffing he was making up there, I thought for sure this man was going to plunge to his death. Then he lowers this electrical wire from the roof to the shed. It passed right in front of our back window. The scary thing is, is that the wire has tons of electrical tape holding it together. He must have taken it down, because it's not there anymore. Pablo has all this wood bolted together into poles on top of the shed. I swear he's building a dooms day device.

Monday, June 12, 2006

This was Abby this morning. She's becoming very selective about her slings and Mei Tais. Abby didn't care what baby I put on her back as long as some thing was on her back in the carrier she had picked out. She was all ready to roll! Just needed some pants!

Abby had an intellectual growth spurt some time last week. She's been talking like crazy! It's kind of nice that Abby can say what she wants. Especially when it comes to food. Mango and Veggie Booty are her two top favorites, followed by avocado on rice. Scott is working the evening shift tonight, which means Abby and I have to fend for ourselves for dinner. Cheese-less veggie pita pizza it is. I hope Abby outgrows the dairy allergy. She's almost eczema free from her last out break. There's a few more patches behind her knee, but they're very slight.

I'm getting the itch to make another carrier. Only this time I want to make a wrap. I need four yards of high quality woven fabric. When I make a Mei Tai, it's easy to order the fabric online. 10-oz canvas is pretty much the same anywhere, but I need to feel the fabric for a wrap. I guess I'm on the hunt for fabric. Maybe I should do a gauze wrap since it's getting hot. See any good wovens or gauze let me know.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Ok. Today was not the day to go to The Central Park Zoo. It's Puerto Rico day. There was a parade down 5th Avenue right next to the zoo. I couldn't hear myself think. Abby enjoyed the polar bears, and was terrified of the turtles this time.

I can hear Pablo downstairs fiddling with the front door lock. It always comes loose after a while. Speak of the devil, he just rang the bell for me. The man's key doesn't work. He broke the lock trying to get in. Great.

Tonight I have to finish my API questions. I have just one little bit left to do, but I keep getting side tracked with other stuff, like MySpace. Scott says it's for teenie boppers and sick horny old men, but it's addicting looking up old friends to see where everyone ended up. Ahh, well, the novelty will wear off soon.

I'm so used to seeing pigeons on the ground, that it's odd to see them way up in the tree desperately trying to hold on to a branch in the wind.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

We decided to renew our lease for another year. The living room looked so nice and bright today, I took a photo. It’s the first time it hasn’t been raining in a long time. Abby took her bike out for a spin around the park, and we just enjoyed the sun.

I realized the other day that the only time the TV has been on has been when AMC is on. There’s nothing on TV that we want to watch, and watching a DVD from Netflicks just hasn’t been a priority. Go us for only watching 5 hours of TV this week!

I thought this was a good picture of me.

Here's Abby when I asked her to smile.

Friday, June 9, 2006

I've got a bout of insomnia tonight. I hate when this happens. I get so tired I can't sleep. It's one of those times where I just lay in bed waiting and waiting to fall asleep and nothing happens. Reading usually tires my eyes and mind, but these kinds of nights, I could stay up all night reading. At least it's not too late in the night yet. There's still hope for a good night's sleep.

Abby and I took advantage of the sun this morning and went to the park. I met another mother there who stays home on Fridays. Her daughter was a year older than Abby. We had a pretty normal day. Scott took us out for a nice Turkish dinner. Oh, how we all love Middle Eastern food!

The other day, Pablo spilled coffee on Marjorie's rug. The shrieks that came from that old woman's throat! I thought she was dying! Scott told me he saw Pablo climbing up to the roof of the shed. Pablo is not exactly in the best of health. He can barely climb the stairs to our floor, and I can hear him wheezing a mile away. Scott, nonetheless, called down to him from the window about our leaky bathroom faucet. The poor man was startled by Scott calling to him, he almost lost his balance. Pablo has "fixed" our leaky faucet three times now, and it's worse than before he fixed it the first time. I hate leaky faucets.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

It is raining again. I thought I would share some breastfeeding pictures. At The Bronx Zoo there were two baby gorillas. Scott was able to catch a photo of one nursing. Here’s a photo of Abby nursing in the Mei Tai. I rarely wear her in a front carry unless it’s an emergency. This photo was for a demo.

I made play dough today. When Abby wakes up, we’ll play with it a bit. The only thing it’s missing is cream of tartar. I couldn’t find it at Key Food. I hate that place. It’s junk food central. How do people find anything to eat there? The customer service sucks too. It once took me a half hour to pick up a sack of whole-wheat flour because the cashier was so slow. Insane.

Talking of insane, Pablo has a two by four sticking out of the top of his shed. There’s a work glove on the roof of the shed. I have no idea how it got there. This morning I noticed he put a black metal head and footboard to a bed as a small fence to part of his garden. I took a photo of the metal bed frame and wood.

Friday, June 2, 2006

Things are finally getting back to normal around here. There was a bit of a sewage problem in the basement, but it’s been fixed- hopefully. Pablo kept turning the water on and off. At least the bathroom doesn’t smell funny anymore when I take a shower. Scott and Mateo put in the air conditioners. Tomorrow, I’ll have to do a more thorough cleaning.

My father’s stay here went all right. I believe they made history with an eleven hour drive from Maryland to NYC. They ran into seventeen miles of stopped traffic. We went to The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The Bronx Zoo and enjoyed a Polish dinner. Two toddlers in one house is a ton of work. As the girls get older, I think they’ll get along better.

While I was at my Mom’s, we did a spa treatment called The Blue Grotto. It was amazing. My skin was absolutely radiant for days afterwards. If you ever are in Fulton Maryland, check out The Pearl Spa off of route 216.

The thunderstorm we had last night was incredible. We all sat in the living room in the dark and watched the electrical light show. I heard in Maryland the storm dropped hail. As I type this it looks like it’s about to storm again. Of course it’s going to rain right as I want to leave for Utrecht to get easel paper and a chalkboard eraser.