We were able to get to the temple on Tuesday. It was WONDERFUL for me. Jess let me do an endowment, which is at least 30 minutes longer than if I serve in an alternative way. I was able to converse with a lady I met last month. It was really nice. Jess and the girls were really hot when I was finished. I'm so grateful for their sacrifice for me! (Especially Jess, the girls were just totally happy to be at the temple!)
Kat was especially pleased to be there. She shrieked when she saw the temple spire the first time and then when she saw it (and I was present) each time after that she would say in her sweet loving way, "Bumpoo," which, 'in Kat,' is temple, of course.
Ria was totally and completely excited to get to go to the temple when we told her about the trip the night before. She was thrilled to be there and excited about the prospect of a picnic for breakfast, made possible by a sweet, generous, and totally thoughtful gift from someone we all love! That gift enabled us to have STORE BOUGHT food (we've been bringing our own lately) and that was RIGHT UP THERE with the joy of being at the temple for Ria! ^_^ It's pretty funny how into food our girls are... but, then again, maybe not. ;) We were able to stop at Chick-Fil-A on the way home, which was our first meal out in a restaurant in a VERY long time. And our girls really seem to LOVE eating in restaurants! It's pretty cool and sort of funny. They are quite well-behaved, too! Believe it or not.
Jess and the girls gathered acorns for the purpose of making Acorn Coffee. Ria was just tickled pink that she would get to have some "coffee" and Mama is not pleased about the name of the beverage. We're trying to call it Acorn Tea, but Ria is really attached to "coffee" much to Mama's chagrin! Jess cracked the acorns and the girls and Mama worked to remove the meat from the shell on Wednesday. Jess finished the preparations and we had Acorn TEA with out dinner on Wed. It was actually pretty interesting in flavor. And then we tried it with some creamer - even better! And finally we added some Quick... WOW! What FLAVOR!!! And, apparently, acorns are FULL of nutrients (the squirrels knew it all along!). Indians used it in everything and it's really good as a fortifier! So, we're hoping to experiment with it (especially Jess). There will, surely, be a blog post about ACORNS from Jess before too long. ^_^
Today at dance class someone made mention of the fact that Karen, my midwife, is the only one in her practice so that if she had a birth and I had an appointment I wouldn' t get to see her. I acknowledged that, but added that I probably wouldn't want to see anyone else even if there was another midwife in the practice. Well, Karen had a labor this evening and I had an appointment... so I didn't get to see her. It toally IS a bummer, but I still feel that I wouldn't want to see anyone else, so it all works out. She's planning to come on Saturday, so I'll still get to see her this week. I'm in my weekly visits now, so I think she feels it's important to make sure to see me this week.
People really look at you oddly when they find out you home birth... I never really KNEW it the way I do now because when I was preggie with Kat I couldn't really talk about it since my midwife was sort of not totally legal and all. It's weird how totally brainwashed basically EVERYONE is... okay, so out of 5 women, MAYBE 1 will be admiring or say something positive about the prospect and fact of home birth. The others just look at me like I'm a freak or say something negative (or both, really). I don't say rude things about their choice to expose their newborn to untold numbers of pathogens by having a hospital birth when they are completely and totally healthy... but hey, at least I know it! I'm glad hospitals are there, but I just wish people knew how unnecessary they are for the majority of births, mothers, and babies! ahwell...
I had two talks with Ria before her dance class about her behavior in class last week and how she SHOULD behave. She did MUCH better even when she wasn't moved away from the other girls. She's SUCH a total social butterfly/magnet, though! A few times I saw her move from an "outskirts" sort of position (put there by teacher) to a position IN THE MIDDLE of the other girls. One of those moves is caught on a video you'll be able to view before long. When I asked her about it (without leading) she said that even after her teachers moved her the other girls came around her! ....hmmm.... that's TOTALLY NOT what I saw. But, obviously, that's how she felt things were happening! How funny, right?
TAP SHOES ALL AROUND
Ria received her special pink sparkly tap shoes in class this week. She's TOTALLY happy with them! I'm pleased that she's so happy and now Kat gets some tap shoes, too! :) TWO winners for the price of one! They are both SO in love with dancing and, especially right now, their new tap shoes!! Kat was completely and totally happy to get to wear tap shoes (even though they are AT LEAST 2 sizes too big!!). She snuck her little feet on the grey dance mat during class time to do her own tapping to the music and when the class was over I let her run around on the mat with her tap shoes on. She was IN HEAVEN!
I took some video and pictures of our two little dancers. They are so fun! Ria is actually very attentive and DANCING (she wasn't so much, last week, if you recall). Now, I just have to make the time (amidst my work and other activities) to upload them to the computer and then load into blogger (here).
I have this tradition around the time of the birth of a new addition to our family. I feel it's really important and a way I can show Jess how much I love him and appreciate him and all he does. It's a gift of some sort that I give to him in expectation of the new arrival or shortly after the birth. With Ria I couldn't really think of anything particular, so I arranged for a few of his buddies to take him to a bar across the street and hang out there for a while. He really enjoyed spending time with his friends, but wasn't thrilled with the whole bar atmosphere anymore. A joy to hear, but also a crimp because I would have to come up with a new "gift" for the next birth.
When I was still preggie with Kat things were crazy and I knew they would get even crazier after she was born, so even though the "gift" wasn't extra humongo or anything, I arranged for a day that I would encourage him strongly to go off and fish on his own. Considering that I was packing the house while trying to deal with our unruley 2 yr 6 month old Ria, sacrificing a day of him being away was a BIG gift from me at the time! He was pleased with it, though. If you know him, you'll think, "Duh, give that man some time to fish and he's happy for a week!" But, if you know me, you'll know that I would like to do more for him.
This time (currently pregnancy) I had something very specific I wanted to do, but never any time to do it. Seriously, I haven't even finished the new baby's blanket, jacket, hat, shoes, or Tigger!!!! Well, the other night I decided to sacrifice work time (money making time) and baby gift making time to work on his special "Daddy" gift and some other house stuff. The reason for the "other house stuff" is that I couldn't possibly do just one thing, as per Tori, I had to have at least 3 things I could vascillate among depending upon my interest and ability to focus my attention on any one of them. It worked out quite well and I accomplished a GREAT DEAL in 3 hours!
This particular gift is especially huge considering the amount of physical effort required. I have tried NOT to complain too much about the pain I've had more and more of lately, but it's getting quite rediculous, really. I'm going to share a bit about it here and now only to illustrate further what a great gift this thing that I did for Jess is. :) Illustration of my pains: most days I wake up and either my hips or back hurt VERY very baddly and I either have constipation and/or a totally upset tummy (like unable to eat barfy feeling upset!). My hips will throb off and on through the day and cause my walks, when I can kick my butt out the door (usually only 3 or 4 days a week right now), are very slow, but, amazingly, I still sweat! Perhaps I sweat as a result of the pain... either belly, back, or hips hurt every time now. Anyway... When my back hurts, it hurts ALL day. Major bummer, of course, but almost more tolerable than the off and on pulsing throb of the hips, which LITERALLY stops me in mid step and causes me to shriek when at their worst. I'm TOTALLY not exhaggerating. My poor girls are getting pretty desensitized to hearing Mama in pain... but then, maybe that's a GOOD thing! ^_^ I'd rather have neither of those pains, of course! And the upset tummy thing... well, I'm not eating very much. I'm drinking tons of milk (to get the protein in) and for whatever reason I can tolerate that. But I can often eat only 1 banana for breakfast and a ramakin size amount of most anything else. (I just discovered this is basically the perfect size (FULL) when I'm hungry. If I don't feel hungry, but need to eat, if I full the ramakin about 1/2 way it's enough to help me feel good about eating, but not feel barfy 30 minutes later. How annoying, right? Anyway... motion often aggravates the upset tummy feeling. ARGGH! BUT helps move the stuff that causes the constipation. Win on one hand, lose on the other! anyway...
Daddy's POCD Area/Spot
Back to the gift! So, when we were given the awesome livingroom furniture we have now Jess wondered what to do with the old $10 couch we'd purchased from Goodwill. I already knew what I wanted to do with it! I moved it to the garage and started a corner that I wanted to turn over to Jess as "HIS SPOT" at some point. He bugged me about getting rid of the couch, so I had to share my plan. He was really happy with the idea and subsequently found a really nice arm chair that seemed to go REALLY well with the couch! Then someone from Jessie's work gave him a small TV and VCR, which were the PERFECT size to fit in the shelving that I'd designated for his "entertainment center". You see, I got this idea that I wanted to make a corner in the garage for Jess from a house on my longer walks (way back when!). The front half of that garage was dedicated to a whole outside hang-out area/grill spot. While we couldn't do that because we park our vehicles in the garage, I could totally see using a small area for a Daddy area.
Well, over time the area was sort of jam packed with random things. Jess hadn't started using it because the TV/VCR came many moons after the furniture and he just never went out there to hang out alone when it was just the furniture. And the shelves had stuff he didn't want to move when he DID get the TV... so it just collected stuff.
The other night I spent the majority of the 3 hours I put ChaCha aside to clean up and clear out the spot I wanted for Jess. Just as a note, my back AND hips hurt really bad that night, but I just couldn't see it getting better and I wanted to have the area ready for Jess BEFORE this baby arrived. So, it was completed that night! The projected entailed reorganization of that whole side of the garage, movement of lots of things, large and small. It's been 2 days since the work and my shoulders are STILL killing me! My back actually felt better mid-way into the effort, but my hips have been significantly worse since then. But Jess is REALLY happy with it! Unfortunately, he found out about it WHILE I was doing the work because he heard something that woke him up. I was really hoping he would take the girls out there for Story Time and see it then... but, alas, he foiled my plan! My hard sleeping hubby actually awakened! :P
I had the joy of realizing exactly how much he loves his area over the past couple of days. I call his area "DADDY's POCD Area/Spot". The acronym stands for: Pissed Off Cool Down. ^_^ Appropriate, don't you think? So, not only did I find Jess with our girls chillin and sort of neslting down in HIS area after Story Time yesterday, but he told me how cool people at work thought it was (he doesn't tell people at work all that much, so that's a HUGE indicator of how much he loves it), AND again he and the girls were hanging out there today when I got up! ^_^ So, I'm SUPER pleased that he's so very happy with his spot!
Daddy's So Pleased
Jess has been Ria's primary HS teacher as of late. He's SO pleased with her reading ability and bragging to me about her reading level. I've sort of taken over the "Principal" role, in that I ask him to focus on ____ and follow up with questions about how it went afterward. It's been kind of nice. Difficult for me because he does classes SO different from how I would prefer... especially Writing Class, but I'm doing REALLY well at not criticising and just letting it happen. As Principal, though, I have asked him to be a little more attentive to reading class (since he falls asleep a lot) and to work more closely with Ria during Writing class so they can focus on spacing, which she doesn't stick to very well.
When they went to the library yesterday, Jess picked out a bunch of books that were all 2nd and 3rd grade reading levels. When he was reading through the levels of the books, he came across one that said FIRST and he turns to Ria, all surprised, and asks, "Who snuck that one in there!?" Of course, it's totally not a big deal because we DO want and ask her to choose books SHE wants to read. But it was REALLY funny for me because he was just SURE that ALL of them were 2nd and 3rd grade reading levels! ^_^
I'm not at all surprised that her capacity is so high since he's had her reading the HUGE Disney watercolor illustrated books (like +60 pages and totally NOT easy readers)! He bragged to me when I awakened today that her reading class consisted of a 3rd grade book and she'd done perfectly well with it. ^_^ As it happens, it was a 2nd/3rd grade book, but still!
What a pleasure it is for me to hear him speaking with such excitement about her education! I mean, he's been totally supportive and all, and happy for my excitement, but he just wasn't getting excited about her abilities. Now that he's involved, he totally is! So, this is another way I'm trying to see this difficult time as a positive experience. He's becoming more invested in her education and intelligence! I'm so glad I turned classes over to him since he's home!
3 months ago