Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Guess What?

I'll give you three guesses.

Guess #1 - (feel free to insert your own guesses if you don't like my suggestions) Amy ate fish. You're wrong. (And don't ever guess this again.)
Guess #2 - Hallie is potty trained. You're wrong. (But don't I wish.)
Guess #3 - We've been having nice weather lately. You're right, it's been fabulous, but that's not what this is about.

Turns out I have a hernia.

So let's see: Nausea, check. Vomiting, check. Migraines, check. Hernia, check.

What's next, Pregnancy? Bring it on.

They're making an appointment for me to see the surgeon. The two doctors that looked at me today already told me that they most likely won't do anything until after I have the baby (apparently they don't like to do surgery around that area on pregnant women...) so please keep Hallie and I in your prayers that I can be a good mom!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oats vs. Brownies

Tonight we had chicken paprikash (a delicious new recipe) which is basically chicken in a paprika sauce with red and green peppers served over noodles. Hallie ate three noodles (plain) and two grapes, and a quarter of a slice of bread. All in all, it was a pretty good meal for her. She also took her vitamins. So, when dessert was out of the oven, brownies, I thought she could have a little piece. So I'm sitting there, eating my brownie, and I give her a little bite, and she eats it, and seems excited about it. She loves brownies.

Then daddy started getting his "dessert" ready. Now I had competition. She loves it when daddy makes his oats. When I say oats, I mean a completely unique to Devin concoction that he created during his undergraduate days when he was hungry and had nothing in the cupboard. It is oats (uncooked) mixed with a little peanut butter, milk, and a little sugar. Yeah, that's it.

So Devin's mixing this up, and I give Hallie another bite of oh so precious fresh out of the oven melt in your mouth delicious brownie. She watches daddy take a bite of his oats, and then marches over to him, and asks for a bite too. With a brownie in one hand, she chooses oats!!

She has a few bites of his oats, and then completely rejects my brownies in favor of his oats.

I'm still crossing my fingers that I can convert her to loving bacon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Handicap Accessible Hiking

So here is the story about our "hike". We had originally hoped to go horseback riding, but I was never able to get ahold of the people with horses, so we'll have to try that another time. We decided we'd just go on a walk in the morning before returning home (to my baby... I think she grew two inches while I was gone.)

This park is 3,200 acres (square acres?) so it's a pretty good size, and we figured we'd be able to find a trail for a nice walk. We had a little map, but it was terrible, so Devin said he would scout for trails on his morning run. He came back a little discouraged, and said that all of the trails (as far as he could tell) just seemed to start at random, without anywhere to park, so we'd have to leave the truck at the campsite and walk to one of the trails, and by that point as we all know from my story about the showers I would pretty much be done for walking! But he said he did see a sign that had an arrow and the symbol for handicap, with the label trail, and he was guessing that that meant a handicap accessible trail, which we hoped would mean a parking lot.

So we drove to where the arrow pointed, and lo and behold, there was a parking lot, and what looked like the beginning of a trail! Excellent. There were even "toilets", which was essential for me (even though I had just gone at the campground... ten minutes previously. Pregnancy, I tell ya, it's somethin' else.) So, I make a quick stop there (and trust me, you want it to be as quick as possible... I'm always uncomfortable wondering what exactly is down that deep dark hole) and we headed off to the "trail" for "handicapped" people.

I put those words in quotations because I quickly came to the conclusion that they were used rather loosely. I barely considered the trail "pregnant woman" accesible, and couldn't imagine that anyone that had a walking impairment that required them a close parking spot would be able to handle it. For example, the trail was approximately 8 inches wide, so wheelchairs are immediately out. That leaves those that can walk, but maybe need some assistance, or not very far. Then there were all the fallen down trees that were strewn across the path that had to be stepped over. (I think there were four of these.) Then, there was the crazy uphill and downhill, that I made Devin help me with. (It was really steep, and there were no rocks or anything, it was just loose dirt... and I'm rocky on my balance at the best of times... I did not want to subject this baby to plummeting down a hill where the nearest emergency phone is four miles away at a Casey's convenience store - I read the sign.) So we inched down that and I'm thinking "Seriously, this trail is barely manageable for a healthy person, what kind of a sicko advertises this as being a good trail for people with handicaps?" And I'm considering writing a letter to my congressman when I notice for the first time the tracks in the dirt.

Yeah, beautiful little horseshoe prints all over the place. This is the one trail in the park that the horses use when people want to go horseback riding. The very trail we would have been on, had the people called me back. I don't know for a fact, but I'm pretty certain that if a handicapped person wanted to explore a trail in a state park, they'd be able to on horseback (more so than would be otherwise). I became sure that I was right when the trail ended at a shallow river, starting again on the bank of the other side. A slow moving river that horses wouldn't even splash when they crossed.

So I felt foolish, but it was a nice, quiet, peaceful walk, when I wasn't afraid of tumbling to my death, or trying to catch my breath up a ridiculously steep hill, or trying to jump over a huge tree... it was nice to have some time just to talk and wander around with Devin. I really like that guy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pregnant Woman Hikes and Camps

It's true. Even if I don't have any pictures. (I know. It's just the way we are, we meant to take pictures...) We left Hallie with her grandma, and took off in her truck. We got our tent set up, and ate dinner, washed the dishes, then sat back and realized that it was only like seven o'clock in the evening and we had not packed any cards, or games to play, or anything. Enter thumb twiddling.

So we took a walk to investigate the shower house and toilets (flush toilets, that is) and on our way we saw a field full of deer (literally, quite full) and one baby deer who stared at us the whole time we walked past. Hey, kid.

We saw a fabulous sunset, pink and purple and swirly with white clouds. I told Devin that it was a good thing they had a parking lot next to the shower area for people to drive to, because if I actually walked that far to get a shower in the morning, I would be sweaty and gross again by the time I got back from showering, rendering it a pointless walk that I would not make again. Luckily, I had showered right before we left to go camping and we got home this morning before lunch, so we did not need to use the showers anyway, but let tell you. Well, I just did.

It would have been nice to have flush toilets that were closer, but the hole in the ground really didn't smell too terribly bad, and I was just grateful not to have to bend over a log. It has been done before.

So we got back to our campsite from our magical and magically time wasting walk to the showers/flush toilets and sat back down at our little table. Well, was it late enough yet to have smores? It was getting dark but you could still make things out in the distance, when all of a sudden a little car comes tearing around the bend, and whips into the campground opposite us. We commented, "Wow, it's a little late to be setting up camp now" and I said, "Do you think he'll leave his headlights on to get the job done?" He did, and as we watched it also became apparent that he was alone. So I wondered about that, and Devin said, "There are lots of people who do things alone." To which, I suppose, I have to agree, but I couldn't help feeling that it was a little lonely to set up a tent in the dark... alone. So I made Devin walk over with me and ask if we could help.

I call him now, in my head, as the "drive-by-camper". He was a very friendly man from Tennessee. He spends his summers driving from state to state, from state park to state park, and just lives out of his tiny little tent, and the back of his little sedan. Every now and then he said he pops back home to pay bills and tidy up, refresh his supplies, before he heads out again to the next destination. I would guess he was in his sixties. (Heather, I thought of you here) I sit here and I can't help but wonder, why? Why does he spend his life this way? He doesn't stay long enough in any place to look around, or get to know it, he just comes in after dark, puts up his tent, sleeps, takes his tent back down, and then drives away in the morning while it's still dark! I'll never know, but he did say he was very grateful to have some people to talk to, and he made it sound like he hadn't talked to anyone in a long time... (Incidentally, we had to give his car a jump the next morning before he could leave... too many nights putting up a tent by headlight power?)

Well, I'll tell you about the "hike" in another post.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Biker Chic?

My mom and I gave each other makeovers today, and then we decided we had to have a photo shoot. We went out to my mom's truck and she told me to do some biker chick poses. Hallie wanted to be in some of the pictures. Here are a few for you to enjoy.

My mom said I made her look like a mix between a "desert rat" and a "silver fox" with "batwing lips". Then when she was doing my look she got confused halfway through the word "pretty" and decided to say "beautiful" and what I heard was, "You look putrid." Thanks, mom.

We had a great time. Hallie was asleep for most of it, but when she woke up she got into the action... my mom had an old foundation that was the wrong color so we let her have it and a sponge and she went to town... then we put a little lipstick on her. She looked really great. (Al, your kitty also got some makeup... but he's recovered, and looks like a nice little black kitty again.)

I just thought Hallie looked really cute in this picture with her bubble maker. She's addicted to it. She literally sounds just like that fish in Finding Nemo, "Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!"

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 - Happy Birthday, Hannah.

Today the world (or the microcosm in which I live) celebrates the birth of one of my all time favorite people. 20 some odd years ago today (I'll keep it vague, for you Hannah) Hannah was born into this dreary world, and instantly, it seemed a little brighter.

My friend Hannah, the grass loving desert dweller. The rescuer of forlorn and pitiful looking eighth grade girls. The Janice Joplin fan. Hannah, whose artistic side took me a long time to recognize, and I know realize is an inherent part of her. My friend Hannah, who I am fairly sure in high school was composed of 40% pool water, and 60% chocolate.

I'll never forget the first night I met Hannah. I was at a sleepover, at the home of a woman I did not know, surrounded by girls I had never met before. I remember there were brownies, and we watched a Chris Farley movie. Hannah made me feel comfortable (as much as that is possible, when you're the only stranger in a room full of teenage girls at a sleepover) and she told me what I needed to know about starting middle school in the United States: mainly, I remember her warning me that each class had a specific color coded folder. She probably had no idea how grateful I was (still am) that I wouldn't look a fool in at least one area.

Thank you Hannah. I miss you. Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Welcome Baby...


Coming January 2010 to a hospital near me.

Her femur is one and a half inches long. Hallie has been saying "sister" all day. I've been asking her for weeks if she was getting a brother or a sister, and now she says it. Thanks, Hallie.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Lesson to be Learned

It happened again today. A mom was holding Hallie, and she said, "Wow, she's so light." I have no problem with this statement, it's true, and I would say the same thing if I was holding someone else's child that felt particularly light. What has been bothering me about it is my own reaction to it. Why do I get so frustrated with Hallie for being so small? (She had her 18 month checkup a few weeks ago, I know, two months late... but we got there. And she's 20 pounds, 31 inches. That's 2% for weight, and 12% for height. She gained one pound and one inch since her last checkup, at 12 months.) But the doctor keeps telling me that she's healthy. She is energetic (clearly), she is developing normally, and she looks good. So that should be enough for me, right? I should be happy with her because what does size really matter?

Maybe it's because it's so frustrating to offer her food and have her throw it. So let's pretend she does eat as much as I would like her to. Would I find something else to be dissatisfied with, say, "Oh my goodness, our grocery bill is so high now that Hallie is eating everything she can get her hands on. I wish..." Or whatever.

I started to get afraid that if I don't become satisfied with the size that she is, when will I? When will she magically reach the "right" size that will make me happy? And if I don't get happy with her size, she's going to start picking up on it (I pray that she hasn't already, she understands so much more than I realize.) and then what will that do to her self-image? Great, she's not even two and I've ruined her.

So, as of today, no more deep sighs when moms comment on how small she is. No more rolling my eyes when I have to buy her clothes two sizes smaller than other moms are buying for their kids her age. She's healthy, she's happy, she's learning, she's fine.

I think I have to take this lesson one step farther though. I have to be more happy with myself. This is the body I was given, I need to be more happy with it. Sure I need to take care of it, and eat right and exercise, and get the sleep I need, but once I've done all that complaining about my eyes, or my nose, or my teeth, or my stomach, or my thighs, or my whatever is not going to change the body I was given. It's a good, healthy body. So is Hallie's.

That's my September 7th resolution. A little late, but don't judge me too harshly, I'm still learning.

(I was going to put up a post titled, "You're Killing Me, Smalls." and then say, "First, you take the graham. Then, you roast the mallow." and then go on to whine and complain about Hallie's small size, and the food that she throws on the floor, and blah blah blah, but that's over now. I only share it because I thought it was funny... you know, the Sandlot is classic.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Near Escape, sort of.

In my defense, Hallie has never choked while eating. Not once (except while drinking, but what can you do? Like mother, like daughter I guess). AND she has sixteen teeth, with which she is usually extremely good at chewing, I make sure because when she does it she tends to put way too much food in her mouth.

I wasn't hungry when she wanted lunch today, so I sat her down with her little plate of food and she began happily munching away. My attention drifted, and I was completely distracted, thinking about, of all things, the papers on our refrigerator. All of a sudden she made a noise that will remain, for the entirety of my existence, as one of the scariest sounds I'll ever hear. My heart stopped, I turned to look at her, and she had this panicked look on her face.

I said, stupidly, "Are you breathing?" Although, again, in my defense, I have been caught many times thinking she was choking when really she was just, say, pooping. So I'm a little skeptical of my own instincts now. She started turning a little red and I was trying to get my heart pumping again so I could move my arms to get her out of her high chair and figure out how to remove the food that was blocking her airways when all of a sudden I heard this strained intake of breath. Then she exhaled and began to look more relaxed, so I tried to relax. "You're ok?" I said. She just stared at me like "what's goin' on mom?"

Without even realizing that I was doing it I dropped my head, and closed my eyes and began one of the most jumbled, albeit heartfelt, prayers I've probably ever prayed. I couldn't seem to decide if I should focus on repenting for not being a more observant and careful mom, or gratitude that my little girl was just fine and that I had not been called upon to use my rusty skills in first aid.

Phew. She's sleeping now, and I will try to curb the impulse to check on her every ten minutes like I did when she was a newborn. All is well.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I have no idea where we are.

I found this picture tonight when I was going through some old stuff, and it just made me laugh. I love how my sister and I both look fairly dorky, and yet... as always, she looks good, and I just look really dorky. :) I love that girl.