Every time someone leaves me a note with some variation of, “You should write a book! Your stories are so funny/interesting/emotional/weird/etc!” I think about this bizarre idea I’ve had for a while about creating a YouTube channel where I put up videos with little dingy animations that act out interesting stories from my childhood/life. Except I can’t draw worth shit, which tends to quickly fuck that idea. Oh well, it’s a fun idea in my head.


My midwife called me up to tell me the results of a blood draw and urinalysis I asked for, mostly to check my vitamin stores (more on that in the previous entry about PD). My iron stores in particular have been alarmingly low since childhood. By “alarmingly” I mean, “How is it that you’re conscious right now?” alarmingly, but for some reason I function pretty well in spite of that so obviously my body is accustomed to it.
Anyway. The results came back with my iron levels “Good” and my storage levels “low”. Midwife sounded rather perky about it, and when I asked what my storage levels were she excitedly said, “They’re 14!”.
“Wow that’s the highest they’ve ever been in my entire life!”
“I know! That’s great! You must be doing a great job!”
I’ve never seen someone so excited by what is normally a troubling score.

// TMI Alert //

She also told me I came up positive for a UTI, which is odd because I’m completely asymptomatic. She went on for about 20 minutes with a near-autistic level of fascination about the changing hormonal and chemical balances in pregnant women and how they develop asymptomatic infections. She also wasn’t that concerned, which is a nice contrast from the internet freak out that generally happens when you mention “UTI”. Everyone seems to think you’re going to drop dead from kidney failure inside two hours and starts pulling out the hospital threats and insinuations that you’re an idiot for even wondering if there’s an alternative to antibiotics.
I requested a second test for confirmation, just because I have no symptoms and it’s weirding me out. I know what a UTI feels like: I had them chronically when menopause first started and that’s one of the many reasons why I was on a 16 week round of Premarin (which, ftr, actually helped the UTIs stop. As well as controlling the hot flashes, night sweats, etc etc). Since I have a history of curing them myself she suggested we push it ahead three days and during that time I do what I can to try and get rid of it. If it doesn’t show up in the second test, that’s cool, and if it does I said I’m fine with the antibiotics.
“Meh, we’ll discuss it!”, she said. “If you were 32 weeks and had symptoms I’d be more concerned, but it’s actually not that big a deal at this stage and we can discuss alternative treatments if you like.” Man, I just love her more and more every time she opens her mouth. I requested she call in antibiotics at my pharmacy anyway, just so I’d have them there when/if I need them. I’ve never had an asymptomatic UTI before, I knew they existed but it’s been one of those “Huh, that’s interesting” sort of things. Am I the only one weirded out by this concept? Because that’s weird.

//End TMI //

I updated my belly picture comparison after Curtis went to bed this evening.

I feel like my belly hasn’t gotten much bigger, it just feels way tighter and looks a little rounder. My belly button is starting to flatten out, too.


Curtis checked with his parents and found that all the presents had arrived at their house (from Amazon and other sources) last weekend and they set everything out in a giant package on Monday. It’s Sunday now, so we’re hoping they’ll arrive on this Monday which would be the first day of Yule. Which would be ridiculously perfect timing.
We actually have a few little gifts under the tree already, and we generally enjoy torturing the children over a period of days and making them open up the best gifts last, so the timing will actually work out pretty well. I’m just happy they arrived at all. I’m still waiting for the holiday cards and my dad’s framed print of my sister and I to get here…

Today was an amazingly good day. It’s Curtis birthday and we went out to dinner at this fantastic place we haven’t been to in several years. It’s changed up the menu and become a lot more classy. The quality of food is just incredible, and we had the most interesting desert plate with four little bites on it: a house-made cheesecake, an organic strawberry dipped in white/dark chocolate and rolled in coconut, flourless (and celiac friendly) chocolate torte with a scoop of in house coconut gelato, and finally something I’d never heard of before called a granita. Curtis, being a chef, knew all about it and spent some time explaining to me what it was. You mix alcohol with water so it becomes a sort of shaved ice dish. This one was served on one of those little Japanese miso soup spoons that stands on it’s own and was made with mint gin, then garnished with a pure pomegranate foam with a bit more gin poured around the edges. You take the whole thing in one bite and it… was… amazing. It’s like freezing cold, plus the warmth of the alcohol, plus the bursting flavour of pomegranate all at the same time. It was an experience to eat it. Going down the line of desserts after taking that one (as a palate cleanser) was fantastic. We requested a comment card so we could write amazing things about the food and the service, and tipped the waiter 25%. I haven’t had a meal that good (that wasn’t sushi…) in ages.

After Curtis’ birthday dinner we got home and collapsed on the couch in a food-induced coma, I took out the fetoscope and gave another listen; I’ve been trying to poke about every few days in hopes I hear something, but it is rather early for fetoscope success so I’m not too hopeful that I’ll pick up anything until at least 20 weeks. Much to my surprise, within just a few minutes of searching I found the heartbeat. It was very quiet, and very faint, but it was definitely there. I gave the ear pieces to Curtis.
“Listen!”
He spent about thirty seconds listening quietly, unsuccessfully, then shook his head. I knew it was there, he just wasn’t listening hard enough.
“Keep listening! It’s really, really quiet. Very faint. Close your eyes.”
He muted the TV, closed his eyes, and fell silent another minute… and then a big smile broke over his lips. “I hear it! There… it’s really small, but I hear it!”
Marika perked up, and we handed her the ear pieces. She heard it right away. Women are always so much better at paying attention!
“Squee!” she exclaimed, “This is so exciting! I just heard your baby!”

I took off the fetoscope and shimmied down on the couch so I was laying flat on my back. I sucked in my gut so that the little bump that was the baby curled in a ball would poke out.
Marika’s eyes widened. “Whoa, is that the baby?”
“Yep! Isn’t that weird?”
“Wow. Can I touch? I’m going to touch.” She poked it a few times, then cautiously put a hand around the swell. She acted as though she was afraid she’d hurt one of us with her curiosity.
“It’s okay it doesn’t hurt me, you can even move it around.” I put each hand alongside the ends of the bump and held tightly. “It’s so cool when the baby is like this, because then I can hold it and know that I’m literally holding my unborn child in my hands. Right now. With only a few layers of fat and muscle between them. Isn’t that awesome?”
“Can I do it?”
“Sure!”
I took my hands away and she moved hers in, gently moving the baby back and forth. I felt a subtle little stretch from somewhere underneath as it reacted to her play. She was spellbound as she moved my uterus in little circles. “That is so weird. Cool, but so weird. I’m holding your unborn fetus! Through your belly! Wow. It’s like… a baby. But a tiny baby. And I’m holding it sort of.”

It’s just plain fucking awesome watching her react throughout this pregnancy. She’s never been around pregnancy and birth, and has also never really held an interest in it prior to this, so the second-hand experience is very new to her. She asks a million questions, she watches the birth videos with the kids, she curls up on the floor next to me when I read out funny stories from birthing sites, and she watches intently when I pull up YouTube videos of babies being born or fetus’ moving around inside a pregnant belly. It’s just plain cool. She makes this experience all the more wonderful when she becomes excited by every little change. Having a baby is so much more exciting when you have people to share the excitement, and remind you how every part of this is both miraculous and strange.

Once we recovered from the excitement of hearing the heartbeat for the first time, I settled back down on the couch with my laptop on my belly. A moment later I felt a hard kick, so hard it actually made the laptop jump. I was so startled by it that I gasped; I haven’t ever felt a kick like that from this baby before.
I grabbed Curtis’ hand and put it over my uterus. It only took a few seconds for him to feel the next kick. It was the first time for that, too.

As he drifted off to sleep a few hours later, he told me it was the best birthday ever. Amazing food, amazing evening, hearing his baby’s heartbeat and feeling the first real kick with me. This day rules.
… And tomorrow is the first day of Yule, busy with cookie-baking, celebrating, ritual, food, family, love and sacrifice. Sacrifice, because it’s important that we give of ourselves both to this Earth, and her creatures. No one plans on murdering a goat or anything; but the intent behind the rituals are still just as meaningful today.

We make popcorn, dried fruit and nut garlands on organic cotton yarn (which can biodegrade if needed) and string them up on nearby trees where squirrels and birds live. We till and contribute to our backyard compost and talk about how it works and why it’s good for our garden. We craft gifts for family members and decorate them with supplies we have on hand to show that hard work gives the best presents (this year we’re using alginate and plaster to make castings of the children’s hands to literally give a “hand to hold” for their grandparents in California who rarely see them).
This year we’re also preparing a very special gesture that we’ve put together with the help of the kids. They’re excited to create, and to give, and that makes me excited. Tomorrow is devoted to prepping the last of the 50 small gift packages that we’ve put together for members of the homeless population in the city. It’s it’s infuriating to read the paper and hear about more stupid, pointless bylaws passed to try and make homeless people less visible without ever giving them real help; hearing about more shelters closing and more people left out in the cold; watching police abuse panhandlers or homeless youth over and over again; seeing people yell and spit as they walk by, or kids make fun of them… it’s awful. After a particularly intense conversation with Curtis about how upset we were about it, we decided to put together some little gifts with the kids. We can’t afford much, but the point is that anything and everything counts: 50 wrapped presents will go out with candies and chocolates, home-made shortbread cookies, gingerbread men that the kids decorated (with lists of ingredients in case of allergies), a sweet mandarin orange, a few funny jokes and a personal letter from our family. It’s intended to be the best parts of emptying your stocking: memories, love and smiles.
When all 50 are carefully packaged with a bow and a hand-written note we’ll put them all in a bag and go downtown on Tuesday to walk about, giving one to every person who asks for spare change. I know that 50 isn’t a lot, and I wish we could make hundreds… but it’s beyond our means right now. So in lieu of a regular financial donation that we can’t afford this season, we’ve donated several garbage bags of clothes and toys, a box of non-perishable food items, as well as spending the time and love to put these together. It’s also important to us to show the kids that even when you’re broke and don’t have money to give, you can still give of yourself. In this climate where humiliating and ignoring the poor is encouraged, we want them to learn that homeless are not invisible and deserve love and kindness too. It’s not much, and it may not be wrapped in gold or full of thousands of dollars worth of gift cards… but it’s something.



Quote of the Day:
(I should mention that both my mom and Curtis are not yet naturalized Canadians; they were born and raised in California, neither hold Canadian citizenship. With the exception of the kids and Marika, literally everyone in my family are American).

Tempest, wistfully: Xan is so lucky to have some of his gifts under the tree already…
Me: You have lots of gifts coming, Tempest. They’re coming in the mail and haven’t arrived yet. Don’t worry, you and Xan both have very wonderful gifts.
Curtis: Yours were extra special and take time to get here.
My mom: Very special. I know what they are, so I know just how special they are.
*Tempest is getting visibly excited, but trying to reign it in*
Curtis: They’re so special that we couldn’t get them in this city and we had to order them from a whole other country.
Tempest: Wow, really?
Me: A magical place called… America!
Tempest: Mommy, that’s just silly. I know where America is!
Curtis: It’s a mythical land full of prosperity and peace.
My mom: *snort* mythical is right.

Kidisms:
Not a quote, but a funny moment. Marika helped the kids clean their room before bed this evening while Curtis and I were out at dinner. When we came home she told us that she’d found a small bag of butterknives hidden on their top shelf. Somehow, we’d neglected to discover this during our last big clean just over a week ago.
When pressed about why they had a collection of butterknives hidden in their room, the kids admitted they were using them to pick the locks on doors around the house.

Tempest: Oh my god, Xan. You really just need to stop and listen.
Xan: *makes a bunch of obnoxious noises*
Tempest: XANNNN-NUHHH! Obey the rules of this game! The rules are here for a reason! They are not hard! I just don’t know what to do with you, honestly Xan you are an impossible brother.
Tempest can be bossy as hell to Xan but sometimes it is absolutely hilarious to listen to in a, “Ha ha! This is what you put us through!” sort of way.

In a conversation about gifts we’re preparing for the homeless in the city, I let Tempest and Xan know that we were also going to be making a few batches of gingerbread men for them to decorate and add in the gift packs.
Tempest: And we get to decorate them?
Me: Yep!
Tempest: Yes! How many will we need?
Me: Fifty. We’re doing fifty gift packages.
Tempest: Wow, that’s a lot.
Me: It is a lot, but unfortunately we won’t have enough for everyone… that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to do what we can, though.
Xan: Mommy, mommy! I have a great idea!
Me: What’s that?
Xan: How about we make gingerbread men all day, for two whole days, and then we’ll have enough gingerbread men to give all the people in the city who don’t have presents this year. Then they’ll be happy!
Me: That is a beautiful idea Xan, but I don’t think we’d be able to make that many.
Xan: What about for all the people in the world? I would like to give a gingerbread man to everyone in the whole world who doesn’t have a present and say, “Happy Yule” to them. Don’t worry, I can decorate them all.

*Heart melt*

Links of the Day:
Elegant wedding photographer – The best satire is almost believable, and this definitely falls into that category.
The financial crisis, simplified – This is an older video by the Vlogbrothers, but it accurately and hilariously sums up the current economic crisis and how we got there.
Bill sparked by toddler’s murder is given royal ascent – This link goes to a local news story about a bill passed into law in Canada this last week… a law based on the events in the tragic and amazing documentary, “Dear Zachary”. If you haven’t already seen it, go watch it now.
Literal Tron: Legacy trailer – This guy puts together “literal” trailers, where he sings along with the background music to describe what is happening. These are unbelievably funny. This one, and the Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows have to be my favourites.
Man cured of HIV after transplant – This isn’t a cure yet, but it’s an incredible step… we may see HIV/AIDS cured within our lifetime.
Ladybug plays with sprinkles – Don’t forget about your favourite insect this holiday season; even bugs need toys, apparently!
Wisdom Teeth” – A cartoon by Don Hertzfeldt.

Comments

comments

35 Comments

  • jewleedotcom says:

    I totally hear you about the antibiotics “cure-all” for anything that even remotely indicates an infection actually exists. I’m a firm believer that antibiotics are way too over-prescribed, and most of the time I feel like their usage is COMPLETELY unwarranted. It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my “delusion.”

    Also, I cannot believe I never thought about pregnancy this way. (When you said, “It’s so cool when the baby is like this, because then I can hold it and know that I’m literally holding my unborn child in my hands.”) Truthfully, I haven’t been feeling very enthusiastic about this stage of pregnancy, but after reading this it gives me a whole new perspective on what is actually going on inside of my body.

    Lastly, I can totally relate to pregnancy being much more exciting when it can be shared with those around you. I spent the first 15 weeks or so keeping it very tight-lipped because I was worried about certain co-workers finding out and creating more drama in the office. At this point, I’m not keeping it a secret at work and it’s made a difference in how real and effing awesome it all is.

    OK, I lied. Lastly, I am so envious of your belly. It couldn’t be more perfect. Just adorable.

  • laynerox says:

    i lol’d at the classy wedding photographer craigslist ad. bless her heart.

  • robynz says:

    Completely off topic: but I remember reading how much you like gnocchi, so I thought of you and Curtis when I watched this.

    http://www.wimp.com/preparegnocchi/

  • roguewords says:

    I’m in love with your kids. Seriously.

    I really hope that when the Evil Overlord in Training gets a little older, we can find a way to do something like what y’all are doing for the homeless in your city. Maybe even if it’s just passing out water during the summer. I got to thinking that the holidays are a time when everyone goes to help at the shelters. Summer is a time when it’s easy to forget.

    lol @ the wedding photog. that was great.

  • Anonymous says:

    very f’ing amazing

    So bleeping amazing. I was brought to tears by the story of the 50 gift bags. One of the wisest men I knew was a man who lived part of his life on the streets in Victoria, BC before he received housing. He was in his late sixties and passed away in November 2009, six months after we had moved out of town. When my partner had to move out of town for work, this man made sure that he looked after my dog outside the store while I got groceries, gave me hugs, and came to dinner when I was lonely. At the time we were student poor but when I found an oilskin coat at a thrift for $50 I bought it on our credit card after making him try it on (I asked the store ladies to take the price tag off first). He was the man I saw first when I came back to town after my father’s funeral. He hugged me – told me that life is hard sometimes but it doesn’t always suck.
    You are an incredible woman. Thanks for this post, and for doing this for people who need someone to make them homemade cookies.

    carey

    • admin says:

      Re: very f’ing amazing

      Thank you. πŸ™‚
      And, what a great thing you did for that man, with the coat and all… it’s nice to hear. I get so sick of the idea that people down on their luck are somehow disease-ridden, dangerous criminals or something. πŸ™

      There’s a commercial that airs locally for an organization that helps the homeless (United Way?) and it shows a mother and father cuddling a newborn baby boy, wondering what to name him and quietly loving on him. The image fades to the same boy, now in his late teens, homeless, curled in a sleeping bag on a street corner… and before fading to black, a caption comes up reminding us all that every homeless man and woman has a mother, a father, a name and a life. They are loved, and still deserve love. I was really happy to see an ad like that; putting a human face on homelessness is something we need to do more often, because so many people just see people in that situation as invisible, or pests. See above comment I made earlier with the story of seeing the young woman feeling ill this afternoon, and how she was treated by people walking by. Infuriating and devastating all at once. A bylaw passed here just recently, banning homeless from creating a safe (and very small, literally less than 30 people) tent city in the evenings on a large greenspace… they cited it was a “traffic concern” and that they were worried about prostitution. Bullshit! They just want them to stay invisible. There are NO family homes there, no one was “at risk”, and those who set up camp there at night were quiet, clean, respectful and kept to themselves. Everyone knew that. They also packed up the tents in the morning and moved on, leaving the greenspace open to everyone else throughout the day. They weren’t hurting a soul… what did they do to deserve having a perfectly good (SAFE!) place to sleep banned to them? At the risk of actually being arrested if they dare try to sleep there when all the shelters are full and half won’t accept them anyway (because they’re transgender, or have a dog, or have more than one backpack of belongings…). Such bullshit.

  • smiley845 says:

    i’m jealous of two things — 1, that amazing bump!! and 2, the kids’ hats. they seriously rock. great gifts. my kids would love love love them.

  • I shuddered at the UTI talk. I managed to go without noticing for months until it suddenly went to my kidneys.
    The dr assumed I had it before I had Mattea or got it from the catheter. Well I didn’t discover the infection until the end of may when it was a full blown kidney infection.

    Now I’m a paranoid mess! what is your home treatment?

    • admin says:

      Cranberry tablets, blueberry/watermelon/cucumber, tons of water. Blows them out 90% of the time within 24 hours.

      • smiley845 says:

        I’ve had luck with the same remedy on more than one occasion (with some natural antiviral tinctures thrown in for good measure). i’ve only hat to take antibiotics once, and because of the severe pain i was in i just wanted it gone faster (after 24 hours of the natural remedies). i’m so glad your midwife didn’t freak out about it and let you do your thing; mine is the same way and i love her for it!

      • I spend a lot of time on where it’s generally advised to go straight to the doctor for a suspected UTI…I didn’t realise blueberries, watermelon and cucumber could help! (I do know about cran tablets though). Out of interest (seeing as you have some experience with self-treating them) at what point would you go to the doctor, if symptoms weren’t improving after a day or so? If there was visible blood would that be a straight to the doctor thing, or would you still try and self-treat? Np if it’s not something you want to answer :). Btw asymptomatic UTIs show up in that community fairly regularly, often people are getting tested for something else and it shows up. They’re still weird though.

        I really admire what you were doing for the homeless in your area, too. People forget how much power they have as individuals in the face of larger issues.

        • admin says:

          The other fruits are good diuretics, and when taken along WITH lots of extra water and cranberry, it can really help. πŸ™‚ By themselves they probably won’t do much, it’s just an extra boost with other treatments.

          I go do a doctor if symptoms worsen after 24 hours of treatment, or have not changed within 2-3 days of treatment. Also, if the UTI presents initially with severe symptoms I’ll go in right away.
          If it’s a Friday when it started I’d sometimes go in, get the abx, then do home treatment just in case it got worse over the weekend in spite of it and I had no other option but the ER (our nearby clinics are often closed or have odd hours on the weekend). Very rarely did I end up requiring abx, unless it presented with severe symptoms and I just didn’t want to bother with anything else.

          People have this idea that if your first line of defense is not antibiotics that you’re some sort of fucking moron who wouldn’t ever go to the doctor even if they were in serious trouble. Not only that, but that you’re somehow incapable of recognizing if what you’re doing isn’t working and you need to up the ante. It’s like people get this idea that us hippy types are “all or nothing”. So either it’s the doctor’s office at the first sign of trouble, or cranberry tablets and meditating under a full moon until your kidneys fail three months down the line.
          Contrary to popular belief (not yours!) people who prefer natural remedies are not brain dead and are capable of having basic common sense. πŸ˜‰

          Anecdotally: my mom never took abx for her UTIs (neither did her mom) up until the last 15 years or so when she’s been disabled and doesn’t have the wherewithal to want to do much naturally. She and gramma cured them 100% of the time with home remedies. Yeast infections, too (gramma swore by vinegar douches and yogurt. YES, YOGURT. Never tried that myself… not sure I want to).

          • Cool thanks! I will pass on this info, there is a lot of misinformation going around and unfortunately a lot of people tend to find ~down there~ issues embarrassing and don’t ask for online help from strangers until it is quite serious. I hate seeing the ‘lulz, I usually just drink like heaps of cranberry juice!’ when someone is already complaining of back pain (and cranberry juice is useless next to cranberry tablets) :\ Thanks for the info, I know you do your research regarding abx whereas most places either shun or embrace them. Informed middle ground ftw!

            I have self treated YIs with yoghurt, I have to admit :P. One gets desperate sometimes. It’s topically soothing if nothing else (while kind of icky). My go-to remedy is having a bottle of pro-biotic tablets in the fridge, you can insert one if you feel a yeastie coming on (as well eating them, of course) and it tends to balance things out pretty fast. There’s another couple of strange things, (I think I have these right) like making boric acid tablets and inserting them and swabbing genetian violet dye on the area. I know I’ve seen pics of babies with oral thrush with the distinctive purple mouths from the genetian violet. Ah homemade remedies are fun, yes? :P.

            • admin says:

              They’re certainly never boring. πŸ˜‰

              I’ve heard of the gentian violet cure for baby thrush… but it never occurred to me to use for vaginal yeast infections (prevention or treatment) until I saw the “everyday vulva” project and noticed heaps of purple vulvas!

  • I work in the social services, and this kind of gesture is truly wonderful – our clients LOVE receiving care packages like that. In reaching out like this, your family is showing people that they are not forgotten, that they matter, that someone is thinking of them and holding them warmly in their hearts. I hope you know how powerful that can be, for both the individuals you come across, and for your kids.

    • admin says:

      πŸ™‚ I’m glad. I was worried it could be taken as cheap, since we can’t afford to give a gift package full of hats, money, scarves and umbrellas and such… our goal was to give a little package full of the best or traditional parts of a stocking: little candies, fun, an orange, etc. One of the things that we’re stressing for the kids is to ask everyone if they’d like to tell us their name, so we can address each gift personally, and so the people we talk to aren’t just “that homeless person”.

      Today we saw a young woman and her partner walk by us when we were stopped at a red light (pushing a cart with a sign, so homeless). She choked on her can of soda very suddenly and coughed so hard she threw up. Her partner rubbed her back and tried to block it from view. She was very clearly embarrassed and did her best to try and make light of the situation. Two young men passed by as she was recovering and loudly mocked her, even going as far as to slap her physically on her back (mocking the care her partner was showing to her). She is native american, and they made sure to add a slur or two in there about how she must be drunk like “all the rest”.
      “Yeah I know, it’s a disgusting sight!” she said jovially, but clearly biting her tongue. “Sorry about that! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!”. They continued to laugh at her. I see shit like that every day. Even worse from the police themselves. No one even looked twice to see if she was okay, or ask if she needed anything. It’s THAT kind of crap that makes us want to do this, and give the tiniest gesture that there are still people who DO care. I feel like seeking her out in particular to express my sympathies for how she was treated, since we couldn’t do so at the time given we were driving by. Just… argh. Fuck. I get really bent out of shape over this issue.

      • I did Easter care packs for one of our shelters with my Brownies last year, and they were simple – chocolates, socks, a card – and they were a HIT. So simple, but full of good thoughts.

        The VicPD always astonishes me with their lack of caring (although props to the two who assisted that elderly man at Hillside this weekend). The VanPD have their share of issues, but when we work with them I’m always impressed – we have a few officers who we give blankets to so their trunks are stocked when it’s cold out, they are always compassionate when we have to call the mental health car, etc. Maybe we’re just lucky, or maybe the VicPD have something to learn from the VanPD?

        On a safety note: some people may be cranky/angry, so just be prepared to wish them well and walk away, and address that with your kids. While your intentions and heart are in the right place, some people are just hellbent against seeing the good in the world (that’s something that doesn’t change with income!).

        • admin says:

          Oh don’t worry, I know – the people who are cranky butts will be cranky butts regardless of their income, and none of us are expecting to be showered with love and affection. πŸ™‚

          On the rest: the VicPD definitely could learn a thing or two from Van. Overall, I find the VicPD pretty shitty. Even the nice officers say the most fucked up shit sometimes. Like the two who took statements from my sister both said to her (they were men, btw), “Gee, maybe it’s time to start choosing better boyfriends?” as if women want to be with men who are psychotic abusive stalkers? Fuck you!

  • gardenmama says:

    It’s my brother’s birthday today too πŸ™‚ I’m glad Curtis had a good one.

    There were three women in stages of visible pregnancy at the library for story hour today. I think I made one of them uncomfortable by staring, but I was watching her baby move under her shirt. I wanted to ask if I could feel it, but I know I didn’t want strangers touching my belly. That’s the one (and only) part of pregnancy I really miss.

  • Anonymous says:

    Long time follower, first time poster, but that last comment from Xan (about the gingerbread men for the whole world) made my my heart melt, so I had to comment. You have one smart kid (well, two, but, you get the idea =D)

  • victorymarch says:

    Regarding the HIV cure link!

    In case people are interested in hearing more about the case- there was a really interesting interview with the chief scientist at the Foundation for AIDS research from 2009 regarding the first man to be cured of HIV. It goes pretty in depth and does a really good job of explaining how the cure is a)remarkable b)not a magic bullet, but c)a really exciting and interesting avenue for new research. It even goes through the patient case history etc.

    http://www.thebody.com/content/art53624.html?getPage=1

    Also, my oh my, where did you go for dinner? It sounds marvelous!

    • admin says:

      Re: Regarding the HIV cure link!

      Are you local? Fireside!

      • victorymarch says:

        Re: Regarding the HIV cure link!

        I am usually local! I’m in NZ at the moment on a University work placement until April, but will now add “eat at Fireside” to my list of things to do when I get back!

        I love your 50 Christmas package idea, by the way. When I was small I was really scared of the homeless people that we passed downtown, even though my Dad often stopped to offer a cigarette or a coffee or just a kind word as we passed. I think you’re doing an amazing thing for both your children and the people of our town. Well done.

  • I love every single thing about this entry.

  • In your belly pictures weeks number 13.5 and 16 I do not see Jericho’s hand print. Did you take them in a different mirror? or Photo shop it out? Or is it just the way Baby #4 is growing?

  • tisonlyame says:

    homeless

    Please, please, PLEASE write about your experience actually handing out the gifts to the homeless!!! I think that is amazing.

  • hey..this is kind of random but I consider you the baby guru so I figured I’d ask…

    I’m 28 weeks and hardly ever feel my baby kicking. he’s perfectly fine and growing like a weed (he’s 95th percentile…say a prayer for my vag) so I’m not really concerned, just more bummed that I don’t feel him. if he kicks 3 times a day total thats a lot. do you know anyone or have you heard of anyone with a lazy baby like mine? my placenta is to the back so thats not the issue, and when he does kick I still feel him VERY low. I’ve never once felt him even close to my belly button.

    I tried googling but that only leads me to a million pages of “GO TO THE HOSPITAL ASAP!”. he’s also very stubborn and responds to NONE of the tricks – drinking cold water, orange juice, poking at him…

    even during my last ultrasound the tech was trying to get a picture of a certain angle of his heart and he WOULD NOT MOVE no matter how hard she shook him. it was kind of funny – all he did was cross his legs in a “fuck you bitch! I do what I want!” manner.

    any insight?

    • admin says:

      I have insight, but probably nothing helpful: it’s pretty normal. πŸ™‚ Lots of babies move differently, and if he’s healthy and growing well then there’s nothing to be concerned about – it’s just his personality1

      • actually thats VERY helpful!

        NO ONE I know (except my OB because she knows he’s doing fine in there) thinks its normal and it drives me nuts.

        I posted on my birth board asking if anyone else had a lazy baby and I got a shit ton of “I’ve never heard of that. my baby is VERY active..” and it had me doubting myself.

        so thank you for suggesting its normal!

        • admin says:

          I’ve actually known quite a few people who had very inactive babies throughout pregnancy. They tended to be pretty mellow after birth, too. Xan was so wriggly I thought he was twins. In fact I was SURE of it for the longest time. I could literally feel him moving in six places at the same time. It was physically impossible and yet he managed to pull it off. He was even more mobile than Tempest was and she was WAY WAY more high maintenance than him.

          This baby seems pretty mellow so far, not quite as mellow as Jericho was but definitely toned down from Tempest and Xan. But it’s still early so who knows.

        • gardenmama says:

          Just a few thoughts: baby could be moving at times when you are also active so you just aren’t noticing. Or baby could be active when you are sleeping and you don’t notice. Babies in utero tend to be lulled to sleep when you are moving around, so he could be more active at night when you are sleeping.

          It also could just be that you have a very mellow baby. I hope this means he’ll be just as mellow after birth for you as well!

  • tastyanagram says:

    What a wonderful birthday! This whole entry just made my heart melt.

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