Monday, June 30, 2014

on that supreme court ruling...

I really think it's time we need to wake up as Christians and refocus our priorities in places that Jesus was most passionate about.

Today the Supreme Court ruled that certain for-profit companies are not required to pay for specific types of contraceptives for their employees.

I'm not going to get into the specifics of the law. I am no expert in the law and don't pretend to be. I'm more bothered that this court case made it all the way to the top.

Interestingly enough, corporations like Hobby Lobby are not opposed to hormonal birth control pill coverage. They are more concerned about birth control that covers emergency contraception. I'm going to lay this out on the table right now: I am pro-life. But I think pro-choice is a lot more complicated than us pro-lifers are willing to consider. You know what I'm referring to: specific cases such as rape or where the mother's life is in jeopardy if she continues with a pregnancy. In this specific case, the latter isn't as much of an issue since the emergency contraceptives in question would not likely do anything once it becomes obvious that the mother's health is in jeopardy.

Do I think options such as Plan B are often abused? Absolutely. Do I think that means we should just assume that all women who take the morning after pill are reckless and made a stupid decision? Absolutely not. The reality is, nowhere in the Bible does it specifically say life begins at conception. Many pro-choicers point to Genesis 2:7 where it actually says that Adam's life began when God breathed life into his nostrils. I'm not going to get into the verses where the Bible discusses knowing a baby in the womb (Isaiah 49 comes to mind) because I think a lot of this is still somewhat open to interpretation. My opinions are confounded by my own struggles making sense of my miscarriage. My point is, while I understand the motivation behind being pro-life--that every baby deserves a chance at life and that, as humans, we toe a delicate line when we start thinking it's right to take someone else's life--there's no way to know for sure that we're right.

I'd like to believe that if I was raped I would be willing to bear a child who could come from that rape and raise it to know God's love and that it could possibly be a beacon of light to this world.

But I've never been raped. I can't say for sure what I would do. I can't say whether I'd be able to look at and love a child that bore the face of the man who violated my most intimate being. I can't say how I'd react during the minutes, hours, and days of pure crisis I would certainly face. And the absolute last thing I would need during that time is the fear of how I would pay for emergency contraceptives and/or the general condemnation of the Christian community at large should I take that path. That's not the grace and love of Jesus.

At the end of the day, God gave us a choice. We could choose to love Him. We could choose to reject Him. We could choose to sin against Him or to strive to be like Him. Our bodies are temples. God gave us moral codes to abide by. But God gave us a choice. Forcing someone to make what you consider to be the 'right' choice does not advance the kingdom of God. It does not change that person's heart. Actually, it might have the opposite effect and push that person further from God. If you genuinely believe that life begins at conception and that God is omnipotent, then why are you putting Him in a box? Do you not believe our God, the Supreme Miracle Worker, could prevent emergency contraception from being effective if that life was part of His will? This is an absolutely broken world. We make choices every day that we will live with for the rest of our lives (and, if you believe in the God I do, entering eternity), but that's just it--our choices. Our God-given ability to choose. I don't have all the answers. I just have a plea to my brothers and sisters in Christ: be less quick to judge. Stop being so foolish in thinking you know every single thing that God intended when He dictated the Bible. There is context and culture and so many other factors that have been lost in translation-especially for those of us who have not studied the Word on an academic level. Let's follow God's greatest example and love our neighbor unconditionally. We don't know it all and we never will. It's time we stop pretending.

24 weeks

Week: 24.
Baby is the size of:  An ear of corn.
Weight gain: I should really probably bring up our scale from the basement and actually step on it. Because dessert is my main food group.
Cravings: Olive Garden salad & breadsticks, Cinnamon Life cereal, Kit Kats, cotton candy.
Sleep:  #3 is most active at night. I'm still only using the bathroom once in the middle of the night, but I always need to have a pillow under my belly when I sleep on my side now. Things are starting to deteriorate in the sleep department for sure.
Movement: B
ecoming more frequent and more intense. This kiddo also gets hiccups all the daggone time, just like Elden did.
Symptoms:  Heartburn all day erry day. Starting to experience round ligament pain. Generally feeling huge and like there's no space for this baby to continue to grow for the next 16 (!!) weeks. Crazy dreams.

Happenings:  I've figured out how I want to make #3's baby mobile and I'm pretty excited about that. I also have my gestational diabetes screen in a week and I am so not looking forward to that (see also: weight gain). I believe week 24 marks the week of viability so if stuff were to hit the fan and #3 were to make an appearance now medical interventions would at least be taken to try to support his or her life. It's not much comfort, but it's something. Making progress in Elden's room and hoping to start the official nursery by week 26.

Friday, June 27, 2014

still more kids room progress

Last night we did the first coat of paint on the trim and doors in Elden's future room. It started out fine although we were hoping to only need one coat. That being said, we might still need just 1, but we couldn't tell with the poor lighting last night. The jury will determine if everything needs a second coat or if we can just do some touching up in certain spots today. I also had a bit of paint color remorse as the minutes ticked by and it got darker and darker outside. I worry the trim is too almondy but Jon is absolutely in love with it. I'm waiting to see what it looks like with daylight streaming in today. Even if I hate it I'm going to use it because helloallthatwork.
It definitely makes the cabbage ceiling look green (finally!). We've revised our strategy a bit--once we're done with all the trim we're going to paint the top half of the walls brown, the bottom half the same color as the trim, and then put up the faux wainscoting and paint it on the wall. Originally we were going to try to paint everything off the wall and just do touch-ups later, but we think that might be a bit too challenging. There is still some caulking and spackling to be done, and even though I didn't have it on the original list I'd really like to replace the faces of the light switch and outlets in the room. It feels like we're in the home stretch but then I remember we have a second room to do the same things to and I want to curl up in a ball and ugly cry.

to do:
-paint the ceiling 
-prime the trim x2
-prime the doors x2
-paint the trim
-paint the doors
-spackle  
-caulk
-remove the existing light fixture (it's been moved to the hall!)
-install a ceiling fan
-install the faux wainscoting
-paint the faux wainscoting
-paint the upper half of the walls
-give a facelift to the curtain rods (I have a really awesome idea about this that I'm hoping will pan out)
-install new furniture
-decorate the walls with the shelves and wall art we have

Thursday, June 26, 2014

elden's new room - progress

Praise the Lord, I'm finished priming. It's not really a hard process since the primer we used is so bomb, but I want to start seeing results!
Jon also caulked the really bad window. You may recall that in the top left portion of this window there was a huge gap between the window frame components:
We have two leads on excellent condition used wooden bedroom furniture sets for Elden's new room so we feel the pressure to really move on this room now. Hopefully Jon can finish caulking everything today so that I can start painting the woodwork tonight once Elden goes to bed. After that's done I think a lot of the remaining painting tasks will move pretty quickly.

to do:
-paint the ceiling 
-prime the trim x2
-prime the doors x2
-paint the trim
-paint the doors
-spackle  
-caulk
-remove the existing light fixture (it's been moved to the hall!)
-install a ceiling fan
-install the faux wainscoting
-paint the faux wainscoting
-paint the upper half of the walls
-give a facelift to the curtain rods (I have a really awesome idea about this that I'm hoping will pan out)
-install new furniture
-decorate the walls with the shelves and wall art we have

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

on co(not)sleeping

I've never been a big fan of bedsharing. I'm definitely in one of those to each his own camps on this particular topic, but it just wasn't something I wanted to get in the habit of. Even though Elden was in his bassinet next to our bed those first 2.5 weeks, multiple nights I woke up panic-stricken, convinced my newborn was floating somewhere in the sheets. I can only imagine how much more panicked I would have been if we had been practicing bedsharing. Really, we just didn't want to get in the habit for a variety of reasons. There were definitely times that we did so out of desperation, but I can count the number of those times on one hand.

Then 22 months old happened and someone have developed the ability to dream up scary dreams and has a very sudden & very, very real fear of thunderstorms. In the past 2 weeks we've resorted to bed sharing three times. The first was a storm, the second was nightmares, and the third was yet another storm. It's a trade-off, really. On one hand, it makes me feel like we're doing something right in our parenting that our son clings to us when he's frightened and finds comfort in our laps. On the other hand, none of us really sleep on nights that we share a bed. At all. Elden gets all excited and chattery. He lays still with eyes wide during the peak of the storm, but as soon as the thunder is a distant rumble he's all, "hi mama! pillow! dada! blanket! kitty cat!" The most recent night he was playing with my hair which quickly turned to pulling on my hair. Hard. After about an hour or two we usually all pass out... but then the flailing begins. Sweet baby Jesus have mercy, the flailing. I'm not sure which of us Elden inherited that lovely trait from, but homie is a mover and a shaker in his sleep. We're talking limbs across my face, kicking feet, and all up in your grill flailing. I'm usually the first to wake from the sleepless slumber (except for the last time, where Elden gingerly popped up with daybreak and yelled, "EAT!!!!") and in my groggy state I glance over at the two most important people in the world to me, sleeping in the exact same stature with the exception being one on his belly (Da) and one on his back (Elden) and I feel mostly okay about the night's events. I also feel like I want a very large cup of coffee.

Suffice to say, we will continue to avoid bedsharing at all costs necessary and I think you bedsharers are a hint of crazy for enduring such shenanigans erry night. But at the same time, I will treasure these memories (I can say that now that I've actually had a decent night's sleep) and the fact that my littlest guy is a spitting image of his dad when he sleeps.

But seriously.. you bedsharers are cray.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

guest room progress

The primer we bought for the trim is doing a ridiculously awesome job of covering the stain--I seriously can't recommend it enough. I don't know that it even needed a second coat since the paint we got is paint+primer, but we decided not to chance it. Almost the entire room has had its first coat of primer (spare the very bottom of the trim that needs taped) and half has the second coat. The trim is going a lot faster than we expected which is great since we have an additional room to finish after this one. Jon also installed the ceiling fan today so things are really progressing.
I think the next big things we need to complete are finishing priming the trim, spackling a few screw holes in the window frames, and caulking several pretty sizable gaps throughout the room--mostly in/around the windows. Once that's done I think we'll really zip through the rest of the room.

to do:
-paint the ceiling 
-prime the trim x2
-prime the doors x2
-paint the trim
-paint the doors
-spackle  
-caulk
-remove the existing light fixture (it's been moved to the hall!)
-install a ceiling fan
-install the faux wainscoting
-paint the faux wainscoting
-paint the upper half of the walls
-give a facelift to the curtain rods (I have a really awesome idea about this that I'm hoping will pan out)
-install new furniture
-decorate the walls with the shelves and wall art we have

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

22 weeks

 
Week: 22.
Baby is the size of:  A papaya.
Weight gain: I think I'm just now hitting my pre-pregnancy weight? But I haven't been weighing myself so I could be way off.
Cravings: I get whiplash from my savory/sweet waverings. The weirdest cravings I've had lately are oatmeal with chocolate chips (I can honestly say I've never craved oatmeal), white cheddar cheese, and all the candy to exist ever.
Sleep:  Still not great, but not terrible. I toss and turn a lot. Laying down is the position I feel baby move the most so I feel #3's kicks and jabs all night long. Not complaining.
Movement:  Definitely more each day. I mostly only feel the kicks but not the rolling around like I did with Elden. That being said, as #3 grows, I feel the other movements slightly more.
Symptoms:  Heartburn is definitely the most prominent. The girlies are becoming large and charge (no complaints from Jon). Other than that, no aches or pains. 

Happenings:  We painted the ceiling and put the first coat of primer on the trim in Elden's big boy room (which means the nursery progress can move forward sooner). Picked out fabric for #3's curtains, diaper organizer, changing pad cover, and quilt. I'd say I'm about 98% sure this one is an Edith which is no bueno when I see little dresses and hairbows on the cheap. I may or may not have bought at least 5-10 girly clothing items because of this gut feeling (if it's a Nohl I figured I'd know someone else to have a girl in my lifetime that I can gift these items). We're growing more excited to meet little mister/miss with each day that passes!

Monday, June 16, 2014

the best date

For our anniversary, I requested that as my gift Jon would plan a date for us (childcare included). I usually handle this because he's so laid back about things we do and I'm the pickier one so it's just easier if I make most of the plans. He happily agreed and I waited with baited breath for the deets.

On Friday night, everything I could have dreamed of in a date came to fruition.

We dropped Elden off at Jon's parent's house. Then we headed to Charmed Thai where I gorged on chicken potstickers, a salad, Thai iced tea (it tasted a lot like a pumpkin spice steamer!), and vegetarian pad Thai. After dinner, we headed to mini golf (I won by 2 strokes) and ice cream.
How does the date get better, you ask?

After mini golf, we roll up to this place. I don't know about you, but any place that bills itself as "The largest candy store in the USA" is basically a pregnant any person's heaven. We probably spent way too much money on things that are way too bad for us, but that's what a date is for, right?
I told Jon that he can plan all of our dates moving forward because it was so amazing. We discovered that we love mini golf and all Jon can talk about is planning a double or triple date with some friends to go again. I have to admit, I really enjoyed the mini golf part, too. We're wild ones, Jon and I, so look out U.S. Open: we're coming for you.

Friday, June 13, 2014

the kids' rooms

We haven't fully decided which child will end up in each room just from an ease of transition standpoint. Since Elden is currently in his nursery, we have begun the transformation of the spare room since there is no major furniture in there and we don't need to worry about paint fumes. However, once we finish the spare room, we will order Elden's new dresser and twin bed and have them setup in the spare room so we can redo his room. If he adjusts well to sleeping in the spare room we will just make that his room. If it's a disaster, he will go back to his current room when that's done and we will make the spare room the nursery. The colors we decided on are Eddie Bauer Home's "Cabbage" for the ceiling, Eddie Bauer Home's "Brown Suede" for the top half of the walls, and Valspar's "Belle Grove Antique White" for the wainscoting, trim and doors. We finished the ceiling in the spare room last night and I was a little nervous about putting green on it but the change is so subtle it barely even shows up in pictures (so it's perfect).

Here are the before shots of the room (and please pardon the mess/poor quality phone pics):

As for the to do list in here (it's daunting):
-paint the ceiling
-prime the trim x2
-prime the doors x2
-paint the trim
-paint the doors
-spackle 
-remove the existing light fixture (it's been moved to the hall!)
-install a ceiling fan
-install the faux wainscoting
-paint the faux wainscoting
-paint the upper half of the walls
-give a facelift to the curtain rods (I have a really awesome idea about this that I'm hoping will pan out)
-install new furniture
-decorate the walls with the shelves and wall art we have

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

twenty-two (and eldenisms)

At 22 months old, Elden surprises us each day with his growing vocabulary, imagination and understanding of the world at large. He's fully into his play kitchen now and insists on having one of us help him cook at least three times a day. On the menu? Pom pom soup. Each day he gets more imaginative and seeing his creativity bloom is such a satisfying experience. Elden still loves his big boy bed and climbs into it willingly during the day. We're working on phasing out the pacifier completely and are very nervous about that transition but hoping for the best. Elden is not a big fan of veggies lately but still inhales fruit. I think his favorite food is the infamous hot dog, but he is always quite enthusiastic about new flavors, textures and combinations. He's been taking a 3-hour nap pretty consistently during the day and we've pushed bed time back to somewhere between 7 and 8, depending on his mood. Elden is very into playgrounds, going for walks in his "bike" (the bike trailer), and being outside in general. He hates storms ("I hear thunder!") and is able to tell us things matter of factually now (for instance, when his diaper leaked overnight he told me, "I peed through."). We love this kid so stinking much!

Some Eldenisms:
"Stop It Sign!" = stop sign
pointing to the male mannequin's groin at Jon's work "mannequin penis"
"Elden fart" - said any time his stomach or bowels make a noise
"I carry you, mama" - said as he tries to carry me across the room

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

elden's first swim class

I started looking for swim classes for Elden during the summer of 2013 but had no luck--they were all either too expensive or offered during normal workday hours. I hit the jackpot this year with a baby and me swim class--8 half-hour classes for $60--offered two weeknights for four weeks. We had the first class and Elden was a pretty big fan!
i LOVE his expression in this.
I'm really excited to be able to do this with him before #3 arrives. I think we will probably alternate which parent is in the pool so Jon can experience it too!

Friday, June 6, 2014

#3's close-up

So yesterday we had #3's big anatomical ultrasound--what a wonderful anniversary present that turned out to be! The tech was newer so we got to look at the baby extra long which was nice. Everything looks great although I do have an anterior placenta which is why I've felt very little of this one's movements. The good news is the placenta was low-lying but not crossing my cervix so unless something drastic happens we are good to go for a hopeful vaginal birth. We did not find out the sex since thankfully everything looked good. This peanut was less cooperative than Elden--kept moving and had its little legs and hands all tucked up in the same spot (my right side--where I've felt most movements), but the doctor was happy with all the shots he got. Unfortunately, we only got 3 pictures this time--all profiles--so we don't have nearly as many as we did with Elden. The baby had the same long, skinny legs and was measuring 20 weeks exactly (I was 20w2d at the scan) so maybe it will be a little smaller than Elden? Eh?

So what do you think? Do we have an Edith or Nohl on our hands?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

the fruit/flower anniversary

c/o Nine Zero Three

Dear Jon,

The last four years have been extremely challenging, filled with fights and compromise and learning how to love one another better. They have also been the most rewarding and cherished years of my life. It isn't going to be easy in the years to come, but I really wouldn't want to do life with anyone else. I love you and I am so grateful you're my partner.

Yours, always.
Dani

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

20 weeks {halfway!}


Week: 20. Halfway!
Baby is the size of:  A banana.
Weight gain: Still only up about 4 pounds from my lowest first trimester weight thanks to another GI bug.
Cravings: Dave's Cosmic Subs. Still. Olive Garden salad and breadsticks. Chicken tortilla soup.
Sleep:  Getting worse. Had my legit middle of the night bathroom trip last night. 
Movement:  Still not much, but getting more frequent. Please be a mellow baby!
Symptoms:  Feeling more and more uncomfortable in a full sense. Hard time finding a good position to sleep. Heartburn is rearing its ugly head.
Happenings:  We have our anatomy ultrasound this week! We will not be finding out baby's sex unless something is wrong which will hopefully not be the case. This week we will also be taking our anniversary/babymoon trip and I am *so* stinking excited for it. Continuing to make progress on cleaning out the guest room. Nothing crazy exciting to report yet.

Monday, June 2, 2014

a tale of two possums

So Jon and I have long noticed a ginormous hole on the flowerbed side under our sun porch. The last time the exterminators were checking our preventative termite traps we asked if they could set some sort of trap to capture the offender. We're starting to worry about the state of our porch's foundation because this hole is huge.

When they came back with the trap, the exterminators mentioned they thought it was a groundhog based on the size of the hole. This was on Friday night. The trap was baited with apples. Halfway through the night I smelled skunk and was convinced that was what was living under the porch and was now captured in the trap. And had likely sprayed errythang. And I wasn't sure whether we had a number besides the main office number and who would be checking the phones on a Saturday? So we were going to have a trapped skunk dying of heat and starvation and dehydration with no means of removing it and I didn't sleep well the rest of the night.

Good news! No skunk. Bad news! Nothing trapped. But apples were missing. How does that happen?

Saturday we went about our day and after coming home and putting Elden to bed I noticed the trap had been triggered. Who's inside? This little guy making other-worldly hissing and barking noises:
squirrel from hell
I was sufficiently frightened, so I went inside and suited up in basically full body armor. As soon as I got the trap open he scurried out like a bat out of hell and scaled our house, which I didn't even know was a thing (it is). I reset the trap, added more apples and waited.

Nothing Saturday night or Sunday during the day. Not entirely sure there were still creatures living in said hole, Jon covered it up as a test. Around 9 o'clock last night I decided to go see if the hole was back.

Back it was. And it wasn't alone.

Four sets of beady little eyes staring back at me. I freaked out. I yelled for Jon. The eyes were unblinking. I got sweaty. Jon asked what the commotion was about. I said we either had possums or mutant mega rats. He said there was no way it was possums which only confirmed my mutant rat hysteria and I got sweatier. He spied what was in the hole and said "yes, possums. They're vicious. Get inside!" and I ran and got the sweatiest. We Googled what to use to catch them--wet cat food came highly recommended. We reset the trap with the rest of Marsala's wet food and then I had all the emotions. What if it was a mama and her babies? And we would be effectively separating them and the babies would basically die without her? Or just be heartbroken. Or be heartbroken then die. I second guessed our decision. I barely slept, and when I did I dreamt of sad and trapped possums. This morning I ran out to check the trap as soon as I woke.

It was empty. I'm teetering between wanting to keep the possum family happily intact and not wanting my porch to cave in. I put a call into the exterminators to see how they want to proceed since this seems to be a more complex project than initially thought...