Listening to Myself

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Matt's mom sent me a few photos this morning that she took over Thanksgiving, and I thought I would post a couple here.

Here's a picture of our beautiful little girl

And here's a family picture.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Happy Camper

I got a call from my midwife and she said that I am GBS negative this time, yippee!! No stressing about my water breaking early and no IV antibiotics, both of which are quite a relief. I don't really understand how I can be positive one time and negative several years later, but whatever... I'll happily accept the test result without any further questioning.

It has started to rain this evening, which sounds absolutely lovely. We went out in our rain gear and took a stroll around the complex after dinner this evening and enjoyed the drizzle. It has picked back up since then into a nice steady rain again. It finally feels like fall is kicking in around here - quite a contrast to last year when it started raining in mid-October.

Another thing that is making me very happy right now is that Matt offered to let me borrow his nice cozy fleece pants this evening. They aren't exactly flattering (well, and what is, on a nine month pregnant woman??) but boy they are comfy! After I was extolling their virtues he asked when he might be getting them back and I told him he could have them back after the baby's born. I doubt I'll be that mean, but perhaps we can work out some sort of arrangement... he can wear them in the morning and I'll take them in the evening. *grin*

Oh, something I forgot to mention in my last post... this came up at Thanksgiving and I thought it was rather amusing. My family is rather astonished that my daughter considers a gun a vital piece of equipment for going into the woods. Not that we're packing whenever we take a hike, but rather I think it stems from reading the Little House on the Prarie books to a 3 1/2 year old. She's very concerned about protecting herself and whoever is with her from bears and wolves and doesn't seem to be above a little game hunting for supper either. I rather enjoy this role playing, and I must admit that I also rather enjoy how it shocks my rather liberal and gun-phobic family.

Goodness, two posts in one day, and very little of interest in each. I guess that's what happens when I don't post for awhile.


Ah, waiting. It build character or something, right?

I am almost at the point where I am further along in this pregnancy than I got in my pregnancy with Emma, since she was born at 38 weeks, 3 days. I am definitely starting to get huge now, and the baby and I are having a hard time figuring out sleeping positions that work for both of us. The baby seems to prefer me to sleep on my left (which is what I'm supposed to be doing anyways) but that makes my hip uncomfortable after a few hours. My back is out of the question, as it makes me feel like a flipped over turtle. My right side would be much more comfortable for me, but it invariably wakes the baby and makes him kick and squirm for ages, until I flip back over to my left side. I am definitely getting up feeling a little groggy and grumpy these days!

Our Thanksgiving was quite nice, and a little more lower key than it has been for a few years. We had 13 people over at my parent's - all family, except for my sister's new boyfriend. It was rather nice being pregnant at Thanksgiving, as it kept me from overeating and also made me have fewer Thanksgiving responsibilities. I do enjoy cooking, but it was nice to let Matt have the lion's share of the cooking responsibilities for our family this year. He made a wonderful sausage stuffing for the turkey, and even made the sausage, bread, and broth (from scratch!) that went in it. I think it was well worth the effort too as it turned out extremely well.

I'm starting to get things ready for Christmas, but it seems a bit early to be doing too much for it. I've already done a fair amount of my Christmas shopping, and I have just about everything together for my Christmas cards. People have started putting up Christmas lights in our complex, which I enjoy looking at out the window at night. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get Matt up on the ladder to put up ours though :-) I'm looking forward to getting our tree and setting out the decorations. Seeing all the Christmas stuff starting to come out everywhere makes me feel just that much closer to having this baby, since we've associated this baby with Christmas ever since we found out that I'm pregnant.

Friday, November 18, 2005


I had my in-home visit with my midwife this morning and all is well. The baby is head down, although his back is parallel with the right side of my body, which can lead to back labor... so I'm supposed to be spending time on my hands and knees and making sure I sleep on my left side as much as possible. Both should be far easier to do and be much more enjoyable than the breech tilt! She thinks the baby is a little under 6 lbs at this point, and will probably be in the mid to high 7's when the baby is born. I think I can handle that! I must say that things are definitely starting to feel pretty real around here. I do rather wish I had a dresser to put baby stuff in, but perhaps I can do something about that this weekend.

I've been reflecting on how nice it is to be working with the midwife and planning a homebirth. Everything just seems so much more relaxed. When I was feeling a lot of contractions on Wednesday, I really liked knowing that if things seemed like they were picking up and getting more intense, I could call my midwife, she could check me, and then either go back home or stay awhile, depending on how things went. No going to the hospital, waiting around in uncomfortable and unfamiliar surroundings and dealing with perhaps condesending nurses and doctors if it turns out that nothing is really happening. Just knowing that I don't need to go anywhere is very comforting to me and it makes me feel so much more relaxed about the whole process.

I suppose it also helps that I've been through one childbirth before, although I feel like the experience I had wasn't particularly relevant. With Emma, I didn't have any early labor signs and virtually no braxton-hicks contractions. When I was induced at 38 weeks, I don't think my body was anywhere near being ready to go into labor. I think that if I hadn't developed hypertension, I wouldn't have had Emma until at least 41 weeks or perhaps later (if they would have let me go that "late"!). Also, since I was induced I didn't experience any sort of gradual going into labor - it was immediate and very hard labor once they started the pitocin, with contractions coming quite close together and lasting a long time. The nearest I think I came to any sort of early labor was on my second dose of cervidil the day before I was induced with pitocin. That ended up giving me some very mild contractions for about 45 min or so, but nothing more developed after that.

So anyways, I'm really looking forward to going into labor myself and seeing what that's like.

Hmm... trying to decide. Should I take a nap right now, or should I start making some cookies for my brother's birthday tomorrow? Speaking of which, I can't believe my baby brother is turning 21 tomorrow!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Just thought I'd drop by to say hi

Things are fine here, nothing too exciting. I think the baby might have shifted position on Tuesday morning, although my belly has been so tense with Braxton Hicks contrations it has been a little hard to tell. Yesterday I sort of felt like something might be happening as I just felt sort of different and what I assume were still BH contractions were getting stronger and more regular, but of course they tapered off in the evening once Emma was in bed and I could sit down to rest for a bit. I've been feeling quite a bit of cleaning energy recently, which is a good thing considering my in-law are coming on Monday, but today I just feel kind of tired. Considering that Matt has two projects launching at the end of this week (one on Friday morning, one on Saturday morning!) I'm rather glad things have slowed down on my part for his sake. If I can help keep him from being torn between husband responsibilities and work responsibilities then I'm all for that.

I'm really looking forward to my visit w/ my midwife on Friday - she's coming here for the home visit, to talk about supplies and make sure she knows how to get here. I'm really hoping she'll be able to confirm that this baby has changed position!

Oh, I have to brag about Emma for a moment - we were just idly chatting while I was picking up yesterday and she was telling me about her two pretend cats. She said that the mama cat had kittens, so I asked how many and she said "5". I then asked if she kept them all or gave any of them away and she said she gave three of them away. I then asked her how many cats she had left and she answered without even pausing "4". I stopped, checked the math because I couldn't quite believe it, then just shook my head in amazement. She then said she gave away differing numbers of cats, and each time she was able to say very quickly how many cats she had left. I just thought that was really cool. :-)

Eww... there is a small fly in my coffee. Oh well, I was almost done with it anyways. I wonder how long it has been there...

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Today we had our second class at the Lindsay Museum up in Walnut Creek. The class is supposed to be about the weather, but I think the instructor has decided that it is too complicated of a subject to try and broach with three year olds, so instead we talked about spiders and insects. The kids enjoyed it, and I got to hold a 4" walking stick insect so it all was fine. There was also a good sized tarantula to look at, but the instructor was a little too squemish to take her out of her cage... which I thought was too bad, I would have liked to hold her. As you might be able to guess, creepy-crawlies don't bother me at all! *grin* I don't need to keep one as a "pet" or anything, but I do find them fascinating.

One thing I find rather funny about being up in Walnut Creek is that it is so hard to tell what the relationship is between child and adult because there are so many older parents and very affulent parents who can afford full-time in-home care for their child(ren). Looking around the park we visited after our class I found myself wondering - Parent & child? Grandparent & child? Great-grandparent & child? Caregiver & child? Who knows! The parents are commonly the same age as my mom, and many of the grandparents look like they could be the same age as *my* grandparents. Another thing I've discovered is that I tend to assume that if I see a white adult with a non-white child that the child is adopted. However, if I see the reverse I tend to assume the adult is the caretaker rather than parent. My own prejudice I suppose, although I can't say I've ever met a non-white parent who has adopted a white child... which got me thinking - why is that? It must happen, I would think! I wonder how often it works out this way, especially in porportion to the number of adoptions overall. The things I find myself thinking about as I stare vacantly into space while Emma plays at the playground...

Emma did find a little girl to play with at the playground who was reasonably close to her age and they enjoyed each other's company very much. My mom is starting to give me a hard time about not getting Emma out around other children enough (because of course without that sort of contact she will only view other children as alien beings or something) so I always find it rather gratifying when Emma plays easily and well with other children. Not that I would expect otherwise, but still my mom does manage to plant a seed of doubt. I did find it interesting that the little girl was at the park with her grandmother, who was about the same age as my grandmothers (late 70's, early 80's by what she was talking about remembering). She did say that this little girl was her youngest granddaughter, but the youngest grandchild of any of my grandparents is turning 21 next week. Quite a difference!

Depressing housing trivia for the day

I read this in our local freebie paper today:

"Thirty years ago, a family earning 70 percent of the state's median income could afford to buy a house at the median price. Today, a family must earn $110,000 per year, or 175 percent more than the median income, to afford a house that is priced at the statewide median, which is $469,000."

Ah, lovely. And then to think that the median price is higher in the Bay Area (granted, our median income is too, but not enough to make up the difference)... yup, hopeless!

And in completely unrelated news (ha!)... that housing measure I mentioned in my last post went down in flames, only garnering 28% of the vote. Let's see - 3.2 million spent to win about 6,000 votes - that works out to about $533 per vote. I really wonder what the developer's next step will be.

I know there is some connection between the first and second part of this post, but given what the developer was planning on building (50% above median price, 25% median price (i.e. approx 650K around here), 10% senior housing, 5% very affordable (earning less than 80% median income for this city per year for a family of 4), 10% affordable (earning less than 100% median income)) I'm not sure how much that would help make housing more accessible overall. It seems hard to believe that there is really a shortage of above median price housing and that by building more it would somehow address housing accessibility. The only thing I can think of is some sort of bizarre housing pyramid scheme where people who can afford more house can move up because more expensive houses are available, thus freeing each tier of housing for people who can't afford as much... sounds rather teneous and suspicious to me. And besides, most of the people who are buying the above median houses are banking on the equity provided by their existing home, which is in turn financed by the person who buys their home... and on and on until you get to the first-time buyer who gets to shoulder a pretty amazing financial burden in most cases. One thing I would really like to know is just how much does it cost the builder to build a basic suburban tract home? And how much housing stock would have to be developed to catch up with all the demand that seems to exist? And at what point is the bottom of the housing ladder going to be tapped out - i.e. when do even entry level houses and condos become so out of reach that the first time buyers can't even get started, thus stalling out the whole cycle of equity building and moving up?

Another thing that comes to mind is a conversation I overheard at the park in Walnut Creek today - two women in their 70's were discussing the area and what it was like when they were growing up here and then first settling down to start families just after WWII. They both were reminiscing about how expensive they thought homes were then and how hard it was to make it work at first... so perhaps the more things change, the more they stay the same. (although I would argue that the mid to late-40's where a rather difficult time in the housing arena because of the pint up demand, returning GI's, greater availability of financing, etc, etc, all which served to create a huge amount of demand that wouldn't be seen again for quite some time)

Someday I will no longer be quite so obsessed with this I'm sure... someday when I can be snug (smug? *grin*) in my own home and it won't be at the forefront of my mind. In the meantime, well, I apologize for boring to tears any of you who have made it this far.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Election Day and other stuff

I read this morning that this year's "special election" spending has exceeded previous elections, even though there were half as many propositions on the ballot. I reflected back on the election season and realized that we only received one piece of mail relating to the state elections, and that I've only seen a handful of billboards relating to the propositions. We also received absolutely no phone calls (pre-recorded or otherwise). Where ever they were spending the money, it was spectacularly ineffective in reaching this household! Really though, I'm not complaining, although I am curious about where the money went. I guess it must have largely gone towards TV ads?

We also had a record breaking local election, where a real estate developer spent over 3.2 million dollars trying to convince the city's voters that the 2,450 housing unit development they want to put to the north of the city is a good idea. Personally, I think something is not quite as it seems if it requires that much money to convince approximately 80,000 residents that the project is a good idea for the city and I'm very curious to see how this turns out. There are a lot of things about this particular measure that are rather suspect, as well as a lot of promises being made by the developer that aren't actually in the proposition or at all legally enforceable.

Two of the things we're voting on for the state elections are conflicting prescription drug programs for people who meet various income requirements. Both propositions seem pretty suspect to me, and I wasn't really too interested in voting for either one. Matt and I were discussing it this morning and I told him which one I was leaning towards voting for, while remarking that I didn't like either one of them. He astutely observed that I was under no obligation to vote yes on either one of them, and that he was planning on voting no on both. Oh, right... *smacks forehead*

Oh, one more little election thing - I thought this was pretty funny. It seems that when Schwarzenegger's advance staff went to do check to make sure he was on the voter rolls and everything would go smoothly for the usual governor voting photo op, they found that he was marked as having voted already in the machine. After checking things through, they ended up finding out that the people who tested the machines before setting them up had entered his name as a test then never cleared it. Gotta love those computerized voting machines (and their handlers!)

On other subjects, the baby still seems to be more interested in sticking his head into my ribcage than assuming the proper position. I am slowly getting over the urge to poke my belly every 15 minutes to see if he's changed position (managing to restrain myself to every couple hours now) and I've developed a strong dislike for the "breech tilt". I really hope this baby turns soon, because it seems that my birth options, if the baby stays in this position until near my due date, are either an attempted induced birth at UCSF where I get to be a heavily monitored science experiment or a scheduled c-section. Yippee. As I'm sure you can imagine, neither option fills me with joy. Ah, California and its overly zealous liability laws. Thank you for "protecting" me. Blah.

Other changes are afoot around here as well - Matt is currently unloading his computer, filing cabinet, chair, etc from his truck. My brother is coming over at 8 to help him set up the office and tomorrow Matt will start working from home. I'm curious to see how it goes. He's done it upon occasion before, but that's quite different from doing it on a daily basis. I think it will work out well, and I'm looking forward to having lunch with him on a regular basis. I think Emma will be able to leave him alone well enough, and once the baby is born it will be nice to have him around. The only downside I can see right now is that it will probably lead to my husband showering less often. *grin*

Alright, the pasta is almost done boiling so I better get this computer out of the way so I can set the table. I had planned on doing this new recipe for a wild mushroom and potato soup tonight that looked really yummy... and then I forgot to buy the potatoes when I was at the store. So we're having spaghetti and meatballs, which at least has Emma very excited.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005



At least the baby's only been in this position since Thursday night (I think) and I'm "only" at 34 weeks.

My midwife doesn't seem too concerned as of yet, and everything else seems to be looking just fine so at least there's that.

But still, *sigh*