Sunday, September 30, 2007

Resturant Service

My father-in-law was in town this weekend and we went out to eat a couple times. I like when he is in town because we get to enjoy good meals and some good conversation.

Daphne, my daughter, has become harder to take out places. She ends up screaming at the wrong time, and for whatever reason, she becomes inconsolable. One thing that can keep her happy and occupied is something to chew on.

So, we are in a restaurant, and I ask if they can get me a celery stick or a carrot stick or any hard vegetable that she could chew on because she is a person to, and in almost every case, I have had a hard time getting anyone to comply with my requests.

One particular one stands out.

"Waitress, can I please get a celery stick or carrot stick or really any hard vegetable for my daughter."

"You know, there is a toy store next door, I'm sure you can buy something over there."


What kind of a response is that? I am in a restaurant and I want some food for my baby and they redirect me to the toy store?

Later, the waitress came back with a little piece of vegetable that she had taken off of someone's salad.

"Here you are miss, I had to check to make sure that we had enough for the rest of the day, but I was able to find this for her, I hope it helps."

And it did help, but what kind of a restaurant can't spare a piece of hard vegetable without checking to see if they were going to run out?

And thus ends my rant, but I do feel that there could be better service for mamas with babies that need something to eat in a restaurant. My tipping will reflect this in the future.

The C-Section that Never Ends...

My blog has a lot of random thoughts and comments on it. I’m not sure if this is even exactly appropriate to share with everyone, but I figured that since it has become a big part of who I am as a person that I might as well make it publicly known.

My c-section bothers me. It bothers me a lot.

In this day and age, nearly 1/3 of all women give birth via c-section. That statitc for me is astronomical. I can’t understand why a country with such advanced technology would be so na├»ve in their approach to childbirth. I really don’t understand how that many women did it. Every day I think about my c-section and have various regrets and upsets surrounding. Some days it feels a little consuming and other days I feel OK about it. The point is, that I don’t understand how women are allowing this epidemic to happen. Even more so, some women are scheduling their c-section, not only is this developmentally dangerous to the baby because they are being taken out before they are full developed, but it is MAJOR surgery, and anyone who wants to go through that including the recovery, is nuts.

America’s c-section rates are nearly 30%, and me, being me, not waking to buy into that crap decided I was going to have a birth out of the hospital. I chose lovely and wonderful little place called Andaluz where there are very neat midwives in very neat surroundings that help women to give birth in the water. It sounded very amazing, and the bonus is that their c-section rate is something like 3% or 5%.

And for those of you that read my birth story, I guess I was a heroine in some regards. Three days of early labor followed by 48 hours of active labor that ended in 5 hours of pushing and a C-section from hell. I was lucky. I recovered pretty well from the surgery, though I do have to admit that now 7 months later I still have pain, tingling and numbness in my scar, and I am only now starting to get back the stomach muscles and nerves that were cut through, and that sucks.

I have a lot of friends that have had babies since I had mine, and they all seem to be able to just go into the birth center and have their babies without any problems, which leaves me in a giant mystery hole as to what happened. I labored a lot longer than many of them, yet they were able to push their babies out with no problems. It baffles me and puts me into a deep roller coaster anytime that I think about it. What happened? Why did I have to undergo the major surgery? Could it have been prevented? What is wrong with me that I had to do this and everyone else can have babies normally with little or no problems?

And I sit in mystery.

People always tell me that the only thing that matters is that I have a beautiful daughter. I suppose that is true, but they have no understanding of the hell that I had to go through with the surgery and the hell that I get to live every day. I get out of the shower every day to a numb and somehow hurting scar that I get to look at every day and treat. It will never go away. My lower tummy will always be sewn up the way that they did it that fateful day when my little girl was born.

And what about future children? What kind of hell am I going to have to go through if I have another baby? Will I be able to make it or will I survive one of the complications in having a VBAC like hemorrhage or even death?

These are all things that Publish PostI get to look at and deal with every day, and it is a kind of hell.

I very much enjoy my daughter, and this c-section reality is not all-consuming, but I have my own bout of self-doubt and personal upset whenever it is rudely brought to my attention that I couldn’t have my baby naturally despite all my efforts to the contrary.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Baby and Mama

Jared took these photos and I edited them. They are really cute and endearing. I love my baby and I am glad that I have these photos.

My Gorgeous Baby

I haven't done any photos with Daphne recently, so here are some photos that I took of her yesterday. I think they are cute. They are similar to the 1 and 2 month old photos that I did of her.

Look how much she has grown. Tear.

Miracle Toy

This toy is one of my favorites. I got one for my nephew Eli when he was 1 and I liked it so much that I was convinced that I needed to get one for my own kid. I love it. It rattles and it squishes. It is totally kid friendly. The other cool thing is that it is not made in China.

Apparently, Daphne likes it too!

Ready for a Bike Ride

This is Daphne all snuggled up and ready to head out with Julie and I on a bile ride. Very cute! I love that sweater.

Eating Solid Food

Here is a proof that Daphne eats solid foods at least SOMETIMES. She will only eat foods that her daddy gives her. She won't eat anything that I give her really. I guess I get to make the food but not give it to her. Maybe this is her way of getting her daddy more involved with the food.

It is very cute though.

Food Traditions

People tell me that I am becoming more and more like a hippie every day, but I think the truth is that I am just starting to show how much I have been changed by my recent experience abroad.

While I was in Italy and Greece, I learned about food traditions. The people there made their own food and they were proud of it. The food that was made every day was family property, and it was valued. Women truly mastered the art of staying at home taking care of the household. It was an honor to raise wonderful children and cook wonderful meals.

When I went to the grocery stores on Paros, there were no boxed ready-made meals. It was unheard of. Chicken was raw and not preseasoned and individually frozen. There were no boxed macaroni and cheese or other boxed prepared food. It was all home made, and it was all wonderful. I learned while I was there one very important thing.

I learned that there are food traditions that are amazing and wonderful around the world. They are as fabulous and gracious and amazing as the traditions that we have at Christmas, and they are around you all the time--all day every day. Good meals are a big part of being a happy soul.

I don’t understand the people that think they have no time for food, it is just beyond me. Our ancestors were able to settle down and do more than survival activities because they noticed that grains grow when you put them in the earth and they were able to use that to their advantage. I thank our ancestors for this work because it ensures that society can continue to go on and I can have the job I have as a wedding photographer, which would not have otherwise been possible (because no one would have time for leisurely activities like inventing the camera). Our survival is dependent on the food that we eat, and the quality of food that we eat.

The best and most incredible thing that can be done is creating and preparing foods in the traditions of our ancestors for a happy and healthy family.

I roll my own pasta like the Italians have always done. I am starting to mill my own grin with STONE, as all my ancestors have done. I make my own yogurt and sometimes my own butter. I have time to do these things because I believe that food is an inherent part of our culture, and I am not going to buy into the bull that some deadline or some 9-5 job is more important than me fulfilling these food traditions.

Grey's Anatomy Addict

When I was pregnant and very ill, I watched a lot of TV shows. Many of them were no addicting, but there is one addiction that I carry with me to this day, and that is my Grey's Anatomy addiction.

I watched the 2nd season reruns faithfully when they were on, and then, in September, I went to Greece and Italy with my friend, and we actually downloaded the episodes with Itunes and watched them. It is a pretty silly addiction.

So, the season premier was on last night, and it was really good. I keep telling myself that I am going to not watch this TV show anymore because sometimes I feel dumb being such a big fan of it, but I keep returning every week. I just wonder when it is going to be taken off the air permently, maybe then I will get some peace.

More Toy Recalls

I ran into the following on the Ebay website.

"On September 26, 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a recall of several types of toys due to a lead paint hazard. Items in the recall include certain Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys, toy gardening rakes, tools and chairs, Knights of the Sword toys, puppet theaters, spinning wheel-metal necklaces and additional children's metal jewelry.

Also, today, September 27, 2007, the CPSC also recalled several types of Kolcraft play yards due to strangulation and suffocation hazards."

I think the thing that is being communicated here is that NO toys are safe for kids. Make your own toys or buy wooden toys from sources you know.

Though I did break down the other day and buy Daphne a donkey and a goat the other day that were made of plastic. She actually chose the donkey, and I chose the goat for her, it was very endearing.

My new rant, however, is that I strongly believe in safe toys that will last generations. Kids do not need a house full of toys. It is possible to make awesome plaything out of household garbage. I filled an empty bottle with beans and she loves that thing. It cost me less than $.01 for the beans. Doing that is a wonderful recycling technique, and it is a wonderful way to keep my daughter safe.

Are there any toys out there that are safe for kids anymore? Are there any toys on the shelf anymore?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mouse Bonk

The under parts of my desk seem to be Daphne’s favorite place to play. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it is the least safe area. There are cords galore, and the electrical situation I’m sure constitutes a serious fire hazard, but despite all my moving her and telling her, she often crawls under the desk and starts to explore.

While I was writing my last blog post, she crawled under the desk and got hold of my mouse cord. She was facing away from the mouse, but she was playing with the cord nonetheless.

With one big pull, the mouse flew off my desk and smacked her in the back of the head. It was very funny to see. She was confused why she had been hit in the back of the head, and the reason I was laughing so hard was also hard for her to fathom.

I righted everything and went on my business without moving the baby out from under the desk. The next thing I knew, the mouse flew off my desk again in an exact repeat of what had just happened GRRRR. I was laughing, but Daphne didn’t like the game too much.

And NOW. She is chewing on my phone charger, so I had better go handle that.

The Grape Tradition

I had an unexpected wonderful experience that I figured I would share with all my friends around me. I was telling my friend Julie about it after it happened, and she said that it was definitely a hippie moment, so if this changes your opinion of me, I am sorry, I can’t be helped.

Yesterday, we shoved three kids in the car (Audrey, Copper and Daphne) and headed out to a farm. Our intention was to go apple picking and bring home pounds and pounds of apples, but there was something else in store for us.

It turns out that the apple crop was esperacially awful this season, so there are no spare apples that the farmers want to allow for u-picking. The only thing that was available was grapes. After some deliberation, we decided that we would be able to do something with the 20 pounds of grapes we needed to pick and we set out for the field.

Julie’s littlest kid Copper is amazing. She has an amazing way of doing the cutest things at the most crazy of times. She was wearing a polka dot dress over a polka dot skirt and she had on some Robeez. It was the perfect outfit in the environment she was in. It wasn’t exactly practical, but it was definitely adorable. Copper lagged behind as we walked down the dirt road and if you looked back to see her, you would see that she was doing any number of totally adorable things, from picking up rocks to confronting as long as she possible could the dog that happily bound up to her.

It was the perfect day, not too hot, not too cold, and I was out with some good company and some adorable kids to pick grapes for preserves.

And then my moment—a long moment, happened. There I was with my baby strapped to me walking through the rows of grapes in the late September sun. The grapes hung down and crawled along the ground while the purple jewels of goodness were waiting for us to pick them. I ducked under the vines to go up to pick some grapes, and the way that the sun was glowing through the leaves put me back into time. It was like reliving all of the magic that I felt while I was a part of history on my Greek island of Paros. It was like I was there picking grapes as many thousands of my ancestors have done. Though my final intentions were not to make wine with the grapes, I was still partaking in the late September harvest of one of the most traditionally cultivated fruits in history.

I felt sorry for all the sorry sods in their offices or at work looking out their cement walls waiting for 5pm when they would be stuck in traffic. I got a chance to take part in a tradition that had been going on for thousands of years. I picked grapes with the sun streaming through the vines as many thousands of my ancestors have done over the past many thousands of years.

Monday, September 24, 2007

All Caught Up... Yay!

I am all caught up with posts and photos. That felt really good, but it took me quite a while. I will try to keep it up to date now. Thanks for reading!

Daphne and Grandpa

I took this photo the last time Bob came up to visit. It is one of my favorites. They both look very happy and content.

After Bath

After the food mess tonight, I took Daphne in to take a bath.

When we were done with the bath, I wrapped her up. She wanted her duck, so I handed it to her, but because she was swaddled, she had to try to bob for the duck. Pretty funny.

Food Mess

Kids make messes when they eat. Here is the start of a long line of those messes. Note the rice cake she decided to eat and then the apple all over her and not IN her.

More Climbing

She likes to climb under my desk and try to wreak havoc on the wires all under there. I caught her and this is the cute guilty look she had.

Standing at 6 Months

It was very tricky, but I got a photo of her standing. She can only stand for 5 or 6 seconds, but here is proof that she can do it at only 6 months.

Let Me Up Mom

She crawls and climbs. This is one instance when she crawled over to my chair and was asking to come up.

She has my heart wrapped around her little finger.

Pulling Down the House

She likes to pull the shelves down all around her. Here is one such instance. There is no stopping her now.

Poka Dots

Here is what happens when a baby plays with a marker... Jeez.

Steens Mountin Trip

We had a little extra time when we went to the Peter French Round Barn, so my sister and I decided to drive around the Steens Mounain Loop road. Here are some photos from our trip. It was wonderful. We had our picnic in front of that giant ravine.

Peter French Round Barn

Melissa Eli and I all went to the Peter French Round Barn in Diamond, Oregon. Here are some photos. Yay!! More photos, just what you wanted eh?

Heifer and Goats

Here are some photos of Daphne and Eli helping out with chores. Very cute.