Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We had a lot of fun this year taking Samuel out trick-or-treating. He wanted to be Robin Hood this year. He loves the fox cartoon version. I really should have stuck a red feather in his hat. After eating dinner @ Marco's, we walked door-to-door in our neighborhood. Halloween is a great opportunity to catch up with neighbors and to meet neighbors you hadn't had the opportunity to meet in the past. Samuel got lots of candy. We let him eat some pieces when he got home, then he had a sugar crash, and fell asleep shortly thereafter. I hid his candy and he hasn't asked for it since. I threw away all of our leftover candy, but did save what was left in his green pail. I'm hoping Halloween will always be a positive experience for Samuel. I was relieved that none of the kids we passed were dressed in scary costumes or tried to scare him. Everyone was super friendly and nice. We had a great time!

Taking a Break

Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Although I had energy and felt well-rested yesterday, today is a different story. I fell asleep last night while putting Samuel down, and woke up at 1AM with my ipod earbuds still in my ears (I think I was listening to Bill Maher's latest podcast of Real Time). I went downstairs and got ready for bed, then went back to sleep & slept deeply all night. Even though I got more sleep last night than I've had in months, I'm dragging today. I had planned on running out to Babies R'US to get a Moses Basket or cosleeper this morning while Samuel was in preschool, but I barely had enough energy to walk into his preschool, so decided to come home and rest. I'm just going to take it easy today. Looking forward to taking a nap with Samuel this afternoon. He wore his Robin Hood costume to school today. I figured we might as well get our money's worth out of it. Halloween will be fun this year. He was still too little last year to understand, but enjoyed passing out candy at our front door. This year, he can't wait to go door-to-door, and keeps saying that he is going to eat all his candy. What we did last year was let him eat a little, then we ended up tossing out the rest. There's just no way to eat up all the candy you end up getting on Halloween! --Karli


Monday, October 29, 2007
I felt so much better this morning, but at the same time wanted to take it easy, even though I felt like I had energy to spare. Samuel and I headed up to Multnomah Village to get his Robin Hood costume @ Thinker Toys. I will post a picture on Halloween. Stopped at Fred Meyer to get Halloween candy & light bulbs for our new floor lamps from IKEA, and then stopped at Landon's office to show Landon Samuel's costume. It's so cute! I spent the rest of the day at home resting, doing laundry, and organizing the house from the weekend. When the house isn't in order, I start to sense stress and panic in myself, because I feel like if I went into labor right then that I wouldn't be able to relax with the house in disarray. The house looks great now, though, and is all ready for the new couches to be delivered. By Halloween, everything should be back in place.

I forgot to mention over the weekend that when we were at IKEA on Friday I met a very pregnant woman who was walking around with a beautiful henna tattoo on her belly. I asked her where she had it done, and she said her Japanese friend who lives in SE did it. She said she's very talented & it took her a short time to paint the beautiful design around her belly. She gave me her number, and I'm hoping to schedule an appointment to have a henna tattoo on my belly. I think it will be fun for these last weeks of pregnancy.

Birthday Party

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Samuel attended a birthday party this evening for a little boy in our neighborhood. They brought in some pumpkins they'd grown in their backyard & the adults helped the kids carve them. In this picture, Samuel is scooping out the seeds, which they saved to roast.

Our shopping trip for couches was successful & quick. We actually bought the first set we saw in the first and only store we shopped at--ScanDesign. It's a sofa/loveseat set in a soft grass green, and wasn't too expensive, so will hopefully get us through the next five years, during which time I anticipate lots of spills & accidents. Once the kids are older, we can invest in nicer furniture. For now, I'm excited about this set, because they are good quality & will be comfortable, yet not too expensive, so I don't have to panic every time there is a spill. They will be delivered on Wednesday, so I'll take pictures at that time.

I realized that I overdid it this weekend w/ the field trip on Thursday, the photo session & IKEA trip on Friday, and the moving & furniture assembly all weekend. By the time we attended this birthday party, I started thinking I was in early labor. We didn't stay at the party for too long, and I came home and got some much-needed rest. I was in a great deal of discomfort, and had a hard time getting more than an hour of sleep at a time. I decided that I need to focus my energy at this point on what matters, so that I don't waste energy on what doesn't. I also need a certain amount of down time each day until the baby arrives. Right now, my pelvis aches quite a lot, especially when I'm laying down & try to roll over or get out of bed. There are some nights I'm sure my pelvis will break in two, and other days that even slow walking is painful. Most days I feel okay as long as I don't try to do too much. Once we get through Halloween, I'm hoping things will slow down enough that I'll get the rest I need each day. I cancelled my home visit for tomorrow, so we'll do that with my midwives next Monday. I'm only 35 1/2 weeks tomorrow anyway, and the home visit is usually scheduled around 36 weeks, so this will work out great and give us a chance to get our house back in order, and give me some time tomorrow to get ready for Halloween. I still need to get Samuel's costume, which will be Robin Hood, his favorite cartoon right now.


Assembling Furniture

Saturday, October 27, 2007
When I was working for Providence, one of my co-workers was out for her afternoon walk one day and came back to tell me there was a nice table sitting in front of someone's house marked "free." I'd just moved into my own apartment, so went and picked it up in my Ford Aspire. I loved that table! I used it for a couple of years when I was living on my own, and it's been our dining table since we've been married. We've moved it time and time again into the various apartments and houses we've lived in. I decided to return the favor for someone else, so we set it on our sidewalk and within a couple of hours, it was gone. Our new dining table is pictured below. The leaf stores nicely beneath the table. Landon applied two coats of wood oil to its surface, and it looks great! The rectangular shape will work much nicer in our dining room. We're hoping to eventually get a buffet for the north wall. IKEA is great for wooden furniture, although I'm not so fond of their upholstered furniture & rugs. I do love their wooden stuff, though, and when assembling it, you realize how much thought is put into the design of their various products.
We bought this Ethan Allen armoire from a friend who paid over 3K for it. I tried to sell it on craigslist, but after nearly getting scammed & having people not show up time and time again, I decided what I really wanted was to get it out of the house, so I posted it for free, and within minutes had 10 emails from people willing to pick it up immediately. The first people to e-mail were the lucky ones, and here is a picture of them loading it up. I still don't know how these two guys were able to carry it down the steep exterior flight of stairs, as it weighs hundreds of pounds, but they were able to lighten it up somewhat by taking off the doors to the armoire. I hope they get some good use out of it. It's a beautiful piece of furniture, but it wasn't right for our living room. It towered & dominated the room, and since we don't watch a lot of TV, we wanted to downsize to a smaller piece of furniture.
Here is a picture of our new dining table with its first coat of wood oil.
Samuel proudly shows off his bug box. New bench for shoe storage is pictured behind him.

Photo Session, New Furniture

Friday, October 26, 2007

Today was a big day! This morning, Samuel and I headed down to Campbell-Salgado for a pregnancy photo session. Samuel was in many of the photos with me. I won't see the photos until Wed. of next week, and I'm looking forward to seeing them & selecting pictures to be framed for the house.

After the photo session, Landon took the afternoon off, and we headed to IKEA, where we got some new furniture (new dining table, TV stand, 2 floor lamps, and a bench for storing shoes & sitting). We gave away our old furniture to some guys in our neighborhood & a woman from craigslist took our Ethan Allen armoire. I figured it was worth it to give the stuff away for free, as these people were doing us a favor in a way by hauling it away. I don't think we could have made much on selling it anyway, with the exception of the armoire. I think entertainment armoires are sort of going out of style anyway, as many people are opting for mounted flat screens these days. It's nice to finally be able to do with our living room what I've been wanting to do since we moved in. Tomorrow, we're going to shop for some new couches. We've had our futons since before we were married, and they are so uncomfortable!


Field Trip

Thursday, October 25, 2007
Samuel's preschool took a field trip to Lee Farms this morning, and we had a great time seeing all the animals, picking out 2 pumpkins, and taking a ride on the tractor. It was really muddy, and Samuel, fortunately, was one of the few boys that didn't wade through the mud, fall in the mud, or jump in the big puddles. It was a fun morning. We each had a doughnut & I sipped on some hot cider. See more pictures on Samuel's blog.

New Day

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Well, the stress of last night is in the past, and looking back, it's almost funny how worked up we got over those bugs. The above picture shows them congregating on the south side of our house. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you'll be able to see them more clearly. The picture was taken yesterday. By today, most of the bugs have disappeared. As you can see in the picture, there is an attic vent above the 2nd story of our house. It's possible that this isn't completely sealed and they could crawl in there for warmth. There aren't any openings to the 2nd story from the attic, so I guess I don't really care at this point if they go in there. They only feed & nest in particular trees, so there is no chance of them causing any interior damage if they can crawl into the attic space. They're mainly just a nuisance to have crawling all over the exterior walls of the house. Eventually, we'll hire someone to make sure those attic vents are completely sealed. I've actually noticed several houses in the neighborhood with these bugs all over the sunny south side, so I think they've just hatched, and will hopefully move along soon.
The craigslist scam was stressful, because the thought of falling for something like that is terrible, but in all honesty, I'm too smart to fall for something like that, and it's good to have those e-mails come through every once in awhile to remind you to be smart about buying/selling online, whether it's through craigslist, ebay, or whatever.
Anyway, I woke up feeling refreshed this morning, but very tired. Samuel and I headed to the Washington Park Playground for an hour or so to meet Kristi & Ellie from playgroup. We hadn't been there before, and Samuel loved the play structure. We will have to go back. After lunch, I decided to keep Samuel up and skip his nap, thinking that an early bedtime for him and a quiet evening for Landon and I sounded pretty good. Samuel has a field trip tomorrow with his preschool. I'm driving, and we leave at 9AM, so it's probably best that he gets to bed early anyway. I'm looking forward to a long, quiet evening and maybe a couple of episodes of Nip/Tuck. I also need to get to bed early tonight, as I've lost a lot of sleep this week between the pregnancy and Samuel's late bedtimes. Friday morning is my pregnancy photo-shoot. We have two parties to go to over the weekend as well. What a busy week!

Stressful Night

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I found a picture of our four pumpkins from Sauvie Island. As of today, the three on the left have been thrown into compost. They didn't last long with all the rain we had this past week. When this picture was taken, the pumpkins had just been carved, and the weather was dry & still, so the pumpkins burned long into the night until the votives gave up the last of their wax.

I have to say that tonight was stressful. Let's see if I can remember all the things that happened as I was trying to eat dinner and get out the door for book-club. I have our Ethan-Allen entertainment armoire listed on craigslist, and came very close to nearly falling for a scam which is described here. Landon made pesto for dinner, and I opened a window to let in some fresh air, as the house felt hot and steamy after he boiled the noodles. During dinner, to my horror, I saw scores of Western box-elder bugs crawling into the house through the open window. Then, we saw that many were entering the house by crawling underneath the back door. I'm phobic when it comes to insects as it is, so in my mind, this was pretty much the insect version of Hitchock's movie, The Birds. I knew that we'd had a box-elder bug problem as of two days ago when I noticed hundreds of them on the south side of our house sunning themselves. They were up high, and I knew they were there, but I didn't count on them becoming so intent on crawling into our house for warmth. Landon proceeded to run outside and hose down the house, at which point many of them flew away. We went through the house and vacuumed up all the bugs that had somehow escaped into the house. After doing some reading, I found that these bugs hatch in spring and fall, and usually congregate and nest near maples or elder trees. Since we've never had a box-elder bug problem before, we suspect they may have been nesting in the firewood from an unidentified tree we transported home from a neighbor earlier this year. These bugs are harmless. They are not destructive to houses, but they do try to crawl in for warmth if there are places for them to do so. The key is to caulk your windows and patch up any cracks or torn screens leading to crawl or attic spaces so that this does not happen. Anyway, it was only stressful when some of the bugs got into the house, but they are all gone now, and the ones that are still outside our house I'm hoping will be on their way soon. I just have to be careful not to open any windows or leave doors open until they are gone. There were a few other stressful things that occurred (Landon was actually going to write out the full list; I won't bore you with it here), but I finally got out the door to book-club. We discussed Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, and it was an enjoyable meeting. By the time I got home & put Samuel to bed, I was in dire need of some decompression from the stressful evening. Landon and I drank some relaxing tea while watching an episode of Nip/Tuck, then went to bed around midnight. Tomorrow will be a new day!

Fall Weather

Monday, October 22, 2007

Finally! The sunny fall days I've been missing have arrived! This evening, we had a picnic dinner and took a walk through a cemetery near our house. This particular cemetery is incredibly beautiful with rolling acres and natural vegetation. It is unique in that it is not heavily landscaped & sterile like so many other cemeteries in the area. It's very old, and many founders and leaders of Portland are buried there. I've seen plots that go back to the early nineteenth century.

I got a lot accomplished today, and I think the bright weather motivated me. Raked up a bunch of leaves, packed away all the maternity clothes I've outgrown, wrote thank-you cards for our shower gifts, vacuumed & did several loads of laundry, and the list goes on. At this point, I'm just about ready for the new baby. I still need to wash everything in Dreft & purchase a co-sleeper and/or Moses basket, but I think I'm just about ready. Oh, and Landon will need to assemble the Papasan nature swing & vibrating chair. A blue gingham Brest Friend arrived in the mail this past week, and I'm looking forward to trying out this new & improved product. I used a Boppy with Samuel, but it wasn't incredibly supportive, so I think what I have now will work better. I put the infant carseat in the backseat of the car, and having another baby really felt real when I saw two carseats! There isn't any room in the backseat now, so we'll have to keep everything in the trunk of the car, which is actually the safest place for anything that isn't strapped down. We're not going to get a new car this fall, because it feels like a big decision to make right around the birth, but I'm hoping that in the spring we can upgrade to a roomier family car, like a Suburu. I'd like to avoid an SUV or a minivan if at all possible! Anyway, I'm so happy now that some sunny weather has come our way! It's amazing how one's energy levels change with the weather patterns.

Baby Shower

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My sister Tracy (far right in photo) threw a baby shower for us today, and yes, we got everything in pink! A lot of my family were present, although my Mom is in Mexico, so was unable to attend, and Landon's Mom, Susan, is in India until Thanksgiving Day. My sister Shelly is also pictured above. My sister Kristi was unable to make it, because she had strep. It was a lot of fun, and I can't wait to put some of these adorable outfits I received on our little girl, who will be here in a few short weeks! --Karli

Birth Objects

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Landon and Samuel headed to OMSI this morning, so I had some free time to get some birth objects for my room. I would still like to hang up art on the walls, but until I find the right art, I'd prefer the walls to be blank. What I purchased: the massage oil warmer will provide aromatherapy during the birth. The figure of the woman giving birth I thought was pretty cool, and the various stones (bloodstones, moonstones, and others) all have different meanings, mostly representing strength, focus, healing, and positive energy. The tapestry, from a world market on Hawthorne, is from India. I also got a rock salt votive holder in orange that my massage therapist had in her massage room. I loved it so much that I got one for my room as well. It's sitting next to the bed on my nightstand, so is not pictured above. Rock salt votive holders are made from 100% rock salt, and release negative ions into the air, which counteracts positive ions released by electronic equipment. They are natural air cleansers, and are beautiful when lit. All these birth objects will contribute to a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere and birth experience for me.

Prenatal Appointment--34 Weeks

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm celebrating my pregnancy--that's what my midwives tell me. Next Friday, I am doing a pregnancy photo shoot at Campbell-Salgado with Samuel to capture pregnancy and motherhood. At 36 weeks, I'm going to have a belly cast made that I can paint at Zenana Spa and Wellness Center. I'm also continuing to work on final preparations for our home birth in November. I'm planning to shop around this weekend for birth art, birth objects, aromatherapy and massage oils, candles, and other objects that will give me strength and promote relaxation while I labor and give birth. Everything is coming together. Lately, I've been feeling peaceful and joyful in anticipation of giving birth. Now that the baby has moved into a head-down position, my belly has become more round and pronounced. So far, I've gained about 35 pounds. My uterus is measuring 33 cm., and my pulse and blood pressure are still completely normal. I talked with my midwives today about a birthing stool, and they have one they will bring for the birth. They loaned me a Sage Femme birthing video called Birth Day that Landon and I watched; it was amazing. We've rented the heated birthing tub for pain relief and/or a waterbirth, and I got my last bottle of prenatal vitamins, as well as some cramp bark for afterpains and calendula to sooth sore and tender areas after the birth. For my 36 week appointment, my midwives will visit our home. I will have my Group B strep culture done at that time. We've decided to decline the eye drops, since there is no chance in our case of transmitting an STD to the baby, have the midwives adminster the Vitamin K orally rather than by injection, and are doing the heel prick after birth to test for certain disorders like PKU. The blood type will be determined by testing the baby's cord blood. If her blood type is the same as mine, I won't have to get a 2nd injection of Rho-GAM. Samuel had Landon's positive blood type, but there is a chance this baby might have my blood type (A-). Because I have a negative blood type, I have what is called the Rh factor. Only 15% of the population has a negative blood type. Anyway, there will be very little intervention with me or the baby unless medically necessary, which makes me feel very peaceful about the upcoming birth.

After my appointment, we celebrated my sister Shelly's 26th birthday at Outback Steakhouse. Happy Birthday, Shelly! Love you! --Karli

Fall/Winter Shopping

Thursday, October 18, 2007
Samuel must have gone through a growth spurt, because suddenly, almost all of his clothes were too short, too small, too tight... so, off we went to Target this morning to do some shopping for the winter. Target actually had some really cute little boy clothes in for fall/winter, so I totally lucked out. It's amazing how many drawers you can fill for $200.00 at Target. Except for rain boots, I think Samuel is now all set for the cold months ahead.

Poor Samuel

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I was dragging today and Samuel didn't feel well at all. He coughed all night, and this morning, I slept on the futon while he watched cartoons. I just had to get some more sleep. I'm thinking he will have to stay home from school tomorrow. When I told him that, he started to cry.

Rainy October Day

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
There were some heavy rain showers today! With all the fallen leaves, one of the storm drains was blocked, so I had to cross the street with a rake to move the big piles of leaves that were blocking the drain. I tried to nap today, because I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, but was unable to. I just laid on my bed and listened to the rain on the roof. The baby has been moving a lot today, and is laying transverse again.

A highlight of my day was talking to my friend Kyukyu on the phone, who is in Portland for a conference all the way from East Africa. He manages a grant program for small businesses for the World Bank and lives in Kampala, Uganda. Unfortuantely, we were unable to make contact until this evening, and he leaves at 5am tomorrow morning for NY, so I was unable to get together with him in person. I have fond memories of my trip to Uganda in 1998, and it's hard to believe it's been nearly 10 years since I was there!

Fun with Sculpey

Monday, October 15, 2007

Landon and Samuel made some interesting characters with Sculpey tonight while I was at a coffee shop reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, a great book about the work of Paul Farmer in Haiti. Samuel is so proud of the characters, many of which he made himself. Here are a few of about 10 or 12 that they made. They are now carefully stored in a drawer in his nightstand. He likes to open it and look at them throughout the day.


Sunday, October 14, 2007
I'm enjoying all the garden spiders this time of year (at least as long as they stay outside!). Many of the spiders have camped out in the same spots for many weeks now, and just yesterday, after feeling sorry for one in particular that has had a hard time catching a meal, Samuel and I put a dead earwig in its web & watched it feast all morning long. Samuel was so enthralled with watching it wrap the earwig up in its silk. Samuel loves spiders, and has a special container with a magnifying glass for catching bugs and examining them. Usually I let Landon help him with that favorite activity. Although I find garden spiders interesting, I'm totally phobic when it comes to insects. I am trying to participate to some degree, however, as it's all part of being a Mom to a growing boy. I'm going to have to draw the line when it comes to reptiles, however! No pet snakes in this house!
The weather has been so beautiful this weekend. It's been quite rainy so far this fall, so I've appreciated the dry, cool, fall weather the past few days. Above is a picture of a maple tree centered between two Linden trees across the street from our house.
Here is a fall pumpkin, one of the products from our first vegetable garden. Happy fall!
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Pumpkins in October

Saturday, October 13, 2007
Landon played downtown this afternoon for a small event put on by Kathleen's of Dublin to celebrate the opening of her new store on Salmon St. Our friends Miriam & Sylvia were there, and Samuel and Sylvia had a lot of fun dancing, clapping, and making each other laugh. After a few hours, the gig was over, and we headed to Sauvie Island to get some pumpkins and have some fun. The weather was so beautiful! It was a perfect October day.
Here is one of my favorite pictures of Samuel, who loved picking out pumpkins and going for many rides on the tractor/flatbed around the big farm. There were lots of Canadian geese flying overhead, beautiful oak trees, and acres and acres of farmland. We had doughnuts, hot cider, dinner, listened to live music, Landon & Samuel danced, and we stayed until late for the bonfires and night hay-rides. Traffic was backed up for hours waiting to get off the island, so we decided to stay at the farm for the evening. It was so much fun that I nearly forgot I was so pregnant. We arrived around 5:30pm, and didn't leave until after 9pm. Traffic was at a standstill on the island until around 8:30. I had never been to Sauvie Island during the fall season. We plan to make this an annual family tradition. See Samuel's Blog for more pictures of our trip.

End of a Week

Friday, October 12, 2007

We went down to The Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner tonight. I started getting some sciatic pain during dinner, so I came home and laid down to read for awhile. Samuel & Landon stayed down at the S. Waterfront for a little longer to go for a walk. Once Samuel was asleep, Landon and I watched Rome and relaxed. We're looking forward to a full weekend. --Karli
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I'm a Seller on Ebay

Thursday, October 11, 2007
Okay, part of my personality is that I really don't like holding onto anything that isn't being used any longer. Storage piles that are growing make me nervous. I'm a frequent donator at Goodwill, and I never hesitate to pass along clothes or toys that we are no longer using. Anyway, I have all these bridesmaid dresses from over the years that at the time I thought I needed to hold onto, but for what? I could make money by selling those dresses on ebay NOW! So, I thought I'd start w/ my bridesmaid dress from my brother Robby's wedding in June, because it's actually still being sold by David's Bridal. I was surprised at how many people were interested, and I made a little extra cash. To my amazement, there are women out there that collect gowns. After I sold my dress, I ran an auction for my sister's dresses from the same wedding, and a bridal boutique owner in England bought all three of those. Sweet! So, now to get auctions started for the next bridesmaid dress in line. I might also sell off some of the accessories to my wedding dress, although I'm going to keep my actual dress since I'm now having a daughter that might be interested in seeing it some day. But, the petticoat, shoes, veil, tiara...all that can be sold. It's kind of fun being a seller on ebay. I also sometimes put stuff on craigslist, but that isn't as fun, because there are a lot of people on there that never show up when they say they will, and you end up waiting around a lot. But, for items that can be mailed, ebay is great. When I start selling off some of our old furniture, craigslist will have to do. I wish there was a way, though, on craigslist to give potential buyer feedback. It's just annoying when someone says they'll be there at 3pm to look at a mattress you want to sell, and they never show. It kind of kills the middle of your day with all the waiting around. Here is a link to a craigslist ad that Landon ran recently. I hate to admit it, but the wife in the ad was me. Just for the record, though, I didn't KNOW there were glowing embers in the fireplace at the time. It was pretty darn scary when the vacuum was on fire & the living room was engulfed instantly in a cloud of smoke. Samuel said, "Mommy, don't do that again."

Sick Day

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I knew Samuel was unwell at 3am when he was sweating and said his room was too hot. He didn't want to sleep with any covers, and it was only about 65 degrees in the house. When he woke up, his first words were, "Mommy, I'm going to throw up." He didn't, but was sweaty & shaking, and ended up spending all day until about 2pm laying on the futon watching cartoons and movies. Then, at 2pm, he got up from the futon and said he felt better. He took a long nap shortly thereafter, and has been back to normal since waking up. I'm SO glad this was such a short-lived virus! We stayed home all day, but I got caught up on laundry. I actually felt kind of sick, too, so laid down with Samuel on the futon for part of the morning. Luckily, we didn't have any plans today, and now that Samuel seems to be better, he can go to school tomorrow morning. So far, he hasn't missed a day. He really enjoys it, so I'm glad that his illnesses haven't conflicted with a school day, although it's because of his school days that he gets sick to begin with. Fortunately, those Emergen-C packets are preventing him from catching every cold & bug that goes around. I usually only give him a portion of the packet with his sippy cup. I've been taking some, too, and I swear it makes me feel so much better! It could be one of the reasons that I've had some extra energy lately.

Oh, and our room is just about complete! The quilt for our bed came today from Pottery Barn, and it looks great! I've posted some pictures below. I'll take some more tomorrow during the day so the color of paint will show up better. All I have to do now is get a wall mirror, art for the walls, a small tapestry for my nightstand, and find out where to get some objects to set around the room for the birth. I loved the little Mexican ocarina giving birth in Ina May's book, but I have no idea where to get this. I also love the birth flower, and would love a small print of this for our room, but after spending some time tonight looking online, I'm at a loss where I find these things. I'm also considering buying a birth stool, but I'd rather borrow one if possible. I plan to ask my midwives about it at my next appointment.

P.S. Here are some before shots of our bedroom. These shots were taken before we moved in last summer, with the exception of the last one, and unfortunately, that was the only picture I had of our bedroom with our old stuff--sorry, Landon!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I was telling Samuel goodnight in this picture. Landon laid with him last night until he fell asleep. Then, we enjoyed some ginger chocolate while watching an episode of Rome on DVD, one of our favorite HBO shows.

Today was kind of busy! I had a chiropractic appointment, then met a couple of friends at Peanut Butter & Ellie's in SW. Samuel and Ben are pictured above. They had a lot of fun playing together during lunch.

After Samuel's nap, I made dinner and worked on laundry. I had an extra burst of energy towards the end of the day. It was a bit stormy out today, although it didn't actually rain much. I'm so glad Landon took the initiative to spread mulch on our slopes (picture of south slope above) a few weeks ago. Now all of our plants will be protected over the fall and winter months. I expect we'll have our first frost soon...

8 Months Pregnant

Monday, October 08, 2007

As you can see, my belly has grown quite a lot over the past few weeks. Things are going great, and for the most part, I just feel very pregnant, but pretty good overall. The hardest part is at night, at which point many side-effects seem to hit me at once. I get RLS, reflux or heartburn, and quite a lot of hip and joint pain throughout the night. Just like when I was pregnant with Samuel, I've resorted to sleeping on our angled futon down in the living room. It helps so much in alleviating many discomforts.

On Saturday, Landon helped me out quite a bit, and I was able to get a lot of reading done. While doing so, I tried to visualize the baby moving into a head-down position, as she had been trying to change her position in-utero all morning. By the early afternoon, she had successfully moved into a head-down position, where she stayed until I woke up this morning and realized she had moved into a transverse position overnight. By this evening, though, she's moved head-down again, and this has changed the shape of my belly, which is why I'm suddenly showing so much more. It won't be long before she will no longer be able to move around like she does now, and I'm pretty certain that she'll end up head-down for good in another week or so.

Good news--I went to pick up our camera this afternoon after picking up my Honda Accord from the body shop, and Canon actually sent us a new camera instead of replacing the corrupt chip that had been recalled! What a huge blessing this is. Our camera was about 3 years old, the Canon S1, and we got last year's model, the Canon S3. It's a 6.0 megapixel camera, and is much better than the one we had. We got a great deal, and are so happy to have a new camera to get us through another few years. We had actually considered buying a new one instead of repairing our old one a few months ago, so this arrangement worked out perfectly for us!

I'm so glad to have my Honda back with a shiny new bumper. It really feels good to have the car and camera back. Life is starting to get back to normal. Oh, and I tried making quiche again tonight, and it turned out GREAT! Here is the recipe taken from my favorite cookbook, Joy of Cooking:

Tomato and Goat Cheese Quiche
6 Servings
Prepare and fit into a 9-inch quiche, tart, or pie pan:1/2 recipe Basic Pie or Pastry Dough, 665 or Pat-in-the-Pan Butter Dough, 666
(I did it the easy way and bought pie dough from the grocery store & fit it into a 9" pan)

Brush the dough with:
Beaten egg yolk

Refrigerate. Set a rack in the lowest position in the oven.Preheat the oven to 400F. Seed, core, and quarter:
1 pound tomatoes

Crumble and blend with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth in large bowl:
4 to 6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
3/4 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1/2 cup milk

Add and whisk until smooth:
3 eggs
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme or 3 tablespoons chopped basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste

Arrange most of the tomato quarters in the prepared pastry shell like the spokes of a wheel. Fill in the center with the remaining tomato quarters. Pour the cheese mixture over the tomatoes. Bake until the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

I served this with a green salad--it made a delicious dinner! The fresh thyme was the best ingredient!

Late-Night Concert

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Our whole family went out for a late-night Nellie McKay concert at the Aladdin Theater. Samuel was such a good boy! We waited outside in the rain, then an hour inside for the 8pm show. There was an opening band, which was a cello player named Gideon Freudmann. By the time Nellie came on, it was nearly 9:30pm. She was great! Samuel fell asleep on our laps, and we had a fun time. Nellie McKay is incredibly talented for 24. My favorite album is "Pretty Little Head." Seeing her live was quite interesting. She had Landon and I laughing a few times. She has a shy and awkward stage presence, but it's what makes Nellie, well, Nellie. Definitely check her out if you aren't familiar with her music. She plays piano & ukulele. Here is a youtube clip of her song "Ding-dong" from 2006:


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Originally uploaded by landon9720
Landon is such a great husband! He let me sleep in this morning until 10am (at which point I woke up on my own), and my breakfast was set out and waiting for me when I woke up. After spending an hour in bed reading my new favorite book which I discussed on yesterday's blog posting, he left with Samuel so they could get haircuts. He brought me back a pumpkin spice latte, then put Samuel down for a nap. I read all afternoon. Now, he is at a birthday party for a friend of ours with Samuel at the community center. Samuel's having fun playing in the indoor play-park and eating cupcakes, I am sure. I really needed the rest and time to myself. Thanks for being such a great husband and father, Landon! You're the best! --Karli

Giving Birth

Friday, October 05, 2007
I started reading this book tonight, and I can't put it down. The first 1/3 of the book is birth stories written by women who have delivered on The Farm with Ina May and her team of midwives. It encourages me to read these stories about the strength of women while giving birth naturally, completely in control of birthing their own babies. For me, I've reached a part in my pregnancy where I'm completely letting go of the fear of giving birth. I think in Western medicine, fear and childbirth are synonymous, and I'm learning that fear in pregnancy and childbirth can greatly hinder the process.

I picked up my birth kit today, and stocked the shelves of our bedroom closet with supplies for the home birth. It feels great to be in charge of gathering the supplies. In doing this, I'm already feeling in control of the process, and it's amazing how much confidence I'm feeling already that I can do this. My Mom had five children in eight years, all of which were born vaginally at the same hospital. In fact, no one in my family that I know of has had a C-section, and I come from a family where all the women have so far (before me) given birth at hospitals. Considering the statistics with hospitals, this is amazing! I watched my sister Shelly give birth six years ago, and right before she gave birth, they were telling her that they were going to prep the OR for a C-section because she wasn't progressing quickly enough. Her body knew what it was doing, however, and her son was born thirty minutes later. When I think about not only all the women in my own family who have given birth, but women worldwide who are giving birth with every second that passes, I can't help but feel strengthened by the thought that our bodies are designed to give birth, and unless a medical emergency calls for medical intervention, birth goes much more smoothly without intervention and fear. In my sister's case, "not progressing quickly enough" isn't a good enough reason for a C-section. I'm so glad she was able to birth her son w/out being convinced that a C-section was medically necessary. For first time mothers, I think it's hard to know what to do in these situations.

Part of me feels that I've had to work extra hard to get to the place where I'm at today with my perceptions about birth and prenatal care because I am a woman living in a country where birth has become a medical procedure, and the mother is a patient in need of treatment and intervention. This is the mentality that surrounds a hospital birth. When I picked up my birthing kit, the midwife who assisted me told me that Holland has the fewest infant deaths than any other country in the world, and that 80% of women there give birth at home. Unfortunately, many people do not know that the United States has the second highest infant mortality rate in the modern world. In 1960, the C-section rate was 4% in the US. Today, it has reached nearly 30%. For many, a hospital birth means a safer birth, but if you look at the statistics, home births are just as safe if not safer for both the mother and the baby. One thing I learned since birthing Samuel at the hospital is that intravenous drugs & hormones are often what leads to fetal distress. One of my friends, Dale, who lives in New Zealand, gave birth in water to both of her sons at a birthing center. She said the majority of women use midwives and birthing centers, and that women who give birth in hospitals only do so because of a medical reason or a high-risk pregnancy. What a difference it would make if that were the perception here! I wasn't emotionally ready to do a home birth with Samuel three years ago, and lacked the information I needed to confidently pursue a home birth, because it takes a lot of work to get to that point in this country where only 1% of women choose home birth. Sometimes, it isn't even a choice. Insurance companies usually only pay at a discount, and many cannot afford to do a home birth where they are responsible for all or a portion of the bill when their insurance carrier will pay 100% of a hospital birth with an OB-GYN. From what I've read, vaginal hospital births usually run between 10 and 12K, C-section births are nearly 30K, and home births are typically between 2 to 3K, and this includes all prenatal visits and 6 weeks of postnatal home visits. Our insurance carrier, for example, will pay 100% of care with an OB-GYN, only 90% with a CNM, and 70% of all other midwifery care (only because we have out-of-network coverage). So, where and how to give birth in this country is controlled by insurance carriers and the healthcare industry, not by women who should be able to make these choices for themselves. In fact, home birthing is illegal in some states. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to pursue a home birth because Oregon is one state which allows it, and I also had the financial resources to pay for the portion of the midwifery fee that insurance will not cover (and fortunately, my insurance carrier pays for 70%!).

I would like to see more women pursue childbirth without fear or intervention, whether that birth take place at home or in a birthing center. Having been through a hospital birth, I feel that birthing in a hospital setting creates an environment in which it is nearly impossible to give birth without fear, completely in control, and without intervention.

Here is a quote from Ina May's Guide to Childbirth from Karen Lovell's birth story that I found to be particularly inspiring:

I was grateful to have had such an easy pregnancy and that the birth itself was not just a psychosocial event but spiritual as well. I was thankful to have such loving, caring midwives and such a loving, thoughtful husband. I knew that this was the right way to have a baby. I enjoyed how the midwives paid attention to every detail and looked at things intuitively as well as on the surface.

The next day I felt so good. I looked at the clear blue November sky and the brown oak leaves left on the trees and basked in the warmth of the sun. I realized that I was truly blessed, that there really were some things on which technology could not improve--one of those was the billion-year-old evolutionary process of human childbirth. To some it may have seemed primitive; to me it was perfect.

Hair Appointment

Thursday, October 04, 2007
I got an e-mail yesterday from Dosha for 1/2 off all hair services for appointments made on Wed., Thurs., and Friday of this week, so I decided to go get my hair colored while Samuel was at preschool. I was really tired this morning, and felt a little "off," but it was nice to get my hair done at such an affordable price. I felt overly stressed by little things today, but realize that it's mostly attributed to pregnancy hormones. I didn't feel very good in the evening, but decided the best thing for me was to get out of the house, so Landon, Samuel, and I went downtown for First Thursday. We rode the street car, because Samuel loves it, and neither of us felt like dealing with rush-hour traffic. We went into some nice galleries, then had dinner at Whole Foods before browsing at Powell's. I got Ina May Gaskin's newest book, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and can't wait to start reading. Spiritual Midwifery is one of my favorite books on childbirth, and I imagine this one will be a great read as well. --Karli

A Nice Visit

Wednesday, October 03, 2007
This morning, Samuel and I drove to Vancouver to meet a new friend, Annagrace and her 17 month daughter, Penelope at their home. It was just what I needed! Thank-you for having us over, Annagrace, and for the bag of baby-girl clothes. They're beautiful & greatly appreciated! We're looking forward to hanging out with you more often in the future. --Karli

Maternity Photos

Tuesday, October 02, 2007
I'm trying to figure out what I do want. I definitely know what I don't want. Here is an example of a maternity photo that I can't picture Landon and I ever doing. I think it's really funny . . . so over-the-top dramatic.
P.S. Happy 24th Birthday, Janssen!

Welcome, October

Monday, October 01, 2007

October has arrived with lots of rain. I am looking forward to the weather returning to a dry, crisp fall so I can hear the leaves blow across the street. It's no fun seeing the leaves lie wet and piled in the streets, turning to mulch and clogging the storm drains.
I just baked another 1/2 batch of chocolate chip cookies. They are so good, it's hard to resist.
I picked up the rental car today. Another $750.00 of damage was found on my car, so now the damages are estimated over 2K. I have a nice rental car to get me through the week, though, so no worries.
Took a nice, long nap today with Samuel. We ran morning errands (Costco, Post Office, Starbucks), and I was so ready for sleep by the time I got home.
Landon and I are going to watch "The Lives of Others" tonight--I've heard it's an excellent film.
Oh, does anyone have recommendations on CD's/tracks to add to my play-list for the birth? I was watching video footage on youtube tonight of women giving birth at home & it was inspiring. I need to stock up the bedroom closet for the homebirth over the next few weeks so that it's all ready to go for the home visit my midwives have scheduled for my 36 week appointment. That appointment will be at my house, at which point they'll do my Group B strep culture, make recommendations on where to put the heated birthing tub we plan to rent, and make any other suggestions they think might be helpful for the homebirth. Lots to do over the next few weeks...I think I'm going to put off consigning clothes until the next sale. After all, I have more important things to focus on right now.

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