12.15.2011

I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

. A month ago, I ventured into the realm of the one thing that really defines womanhood, childbirth.  Forget feminism movement, the desire to show that women are equal to men, you want to show toughness?  I have to say that this was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and ultimately the most rewarding.  I'm talking about Natural Childbirth of course, with no drugs. 

I never really given childbirth much thought before I found myself pregnant.  Doing research on it, I stumbled on this little documentary called "the business of being born" (ok, my sister recommended it) and I was sold on using a midwife and trying to go natural.  Being married to the military, my expenses were only paid if I went through a hospital, so I had to find a midwife who delivered at a hospital.  I found mine through the same OB-GYN office my sisters used, and they were fantastic!

I'll admit that at first I wasn't sure if I was going to make it without drugs or not, because Triage just about had me.  Later I was told that's how they seperate the girls from the women, and it sucked!  I wanted to kick the nurse in the head!  But alas, I get ahead of myself. 

My labor started four weeks earlier, with my baby shower delayed by some false preterm labor.  I thought my little munchkin's coming was immenent.  Alas, such was not the case, but when you get a false start like that, and your body adjusts to preparing itself for childbirth, you expect it to come at any moment.  I was told I probably wouldn't make my due date, but no guarantees on that.  Well, I didn't make my due date.  I missed it by 57 minutes. 

I tried natural induction methods to spur labor into gear because waiting for baby to arrive was irritating once you are given notice that her coming is 'any moment now', but the induction that ended up working was butchoring a couple roosters.  Poor Ebony and Oreo had it coming, they were tormenting my hens, and I like my hens.  They have a job to do and they are cute.  Roosters are good for meat.  When they start bullying my hens, they have to go.  So off with their heads, and two hours later I was definitely in labor. 

Of course, the stripping of my membrane might have had something to do with it as well.  I wanted to go natural with no interventions, but with me at my current state, and a mild case of gestational diabetes, well, no medicine was involved so we went ahead and proceeded with the stripping of the membranes. 

    I may have mentioned that triage was a pain in the butt.  Well, it was.  I should have labored longer at home but this being my first baby, I wasn't sure what to expect.  So off to the hospital we went, being twenty minutes from town and contractions suddenly coming four and a half minutes apart and lasting for nearly a minute.  It kind of came on quicker then I expected so I felt it was time.  Once we were in triage though, I thought I would give in to the meds, as I wasn't exactly prepared for the leg and back labor I experienced.  Thank goodness for my doula, Pam.  Because my birth plan of doing this gig via Hypnobirthing went right out the window.
    Let me tell you about my friend Pam.  She's a mother of eight with one more on the way, and she has a passion for babies and childbirth.  She was my lifesaver (along with my two sisters).  She's also a Doula, which is a birthing assistant, in a sense.  I had never even heard of a doula before a couple years ago when she helped my sister deliver her daughter, my sisters told me about her and recommended her.  Because she is pregnant, they helped out with all of the nifty little pressure points and so on, but I can't go without giving credit where credit is due.  As soon as I came out of triage, Pam was there, and she was a big support.  If you are pregnant and want to deliver naturally, get a Doula.  They are definitely worth it!
I also mentioned I had two sisters that were there to provide aid.  Having a support network of sisters, close friends, mothers, mother in laws (and the father to be of course) is awesome.  I was so grateful for them to be there.  I had an idea of what I wanted, but like I said, when you get something you aren't expecting, in my case, very intense back and leg labor, things kind of go out the window.  I used my breathing techniques I had learned to get through the process, but hypnobirthing, which is the process of getting yourself into a relaxed state of self hypnosis and having a calm, easy childbirth, well, it didn't really happen for me. 
I labored as much as I could in the tub, walking the halls, Pam played Drill Doula with me and had me speed walking and doing lunges and squats out in the hallway, bouncing away on the delivery ball, anything to relieve the pain.  For leg labor, I'll tell you, walking helps.  Also the little pressure point on my feet that my mom found and relieved instantly.  That little spot was gold!  But when it finally came to a point where i was basically not making any progress, my midwife suggested we speed things up by breaking my water, which had not broken yet.  That did the trick.  But then, the relief I had gotten from soaking in the tub wasn't there anymore.  Well, for that matter, the fact that I had to lay on my back in the tub wasn't helping either.  So I waited until I was ready to bear down and bring this baby into the world on my hands and knees.
I am very grateful for my husband, Gus.  However, when it comes to child birth, he was a little lost, as he went through the hypnobirthing class wiht me and that went right out the window.  He soon discovered that his laboring wife had no sense of humor and didn't want to be touched.  My mom said she was surprised he made it out of the delivery room with his head still attached.  Poor Gus, I appeared to have a lot of patience considering the circumstances with everyone BUT him.  I think it's also related to the fact that he was the odd one out, he was the only guy in the room and everyone else had been there done that.  They knew what to expect.  And he kept joking about jumping on the damn horse to spur labor along.  I was not amused.  

It's amazing how your thoughts go through your head.  You may be the most modest and unassuming person in the world, but when you are in the middle of delivering a baby, you don't care if somebody is livestreaming your crotch on the internet, you just want the baby out!  Once bearing down begins, the mood completely changes.  The lights come out, the scrubs come on, and everyone is waiting for the inevitable arrival of that little someone.  Nobody is more eager for that arrival than you.  And you do what ever feels comfortable to get there.  I bore down on my hands and knees at first, but then transitioned to on my back, and it actually worked quite well for me.  I was actually a little surprised.  I was told it took about twenty minutes of pushing to get that munchkin out.  It felt like a lot longer then that. 

As I was bearing down, what felt right was the scene you see in movies of the woman screaming.   I thought they made it a little dramatic, what do you know, for me it worked!  I had no drugs in my system whatsoever, and being vocal actually helped!  So I went ahead and let it out.  My midwife warned me about the "ring of fire", yeah, that's a good name for it.  I was also apparently a little to eager to get my little bundle of joy out of my womb and into my arms because I apparently tore like crazy.  I was told to reach down and grab my daughter and take her in my arms, and I was still in a state of disbelief that I had actually undergone the transition into motherhood as i stared at my baby and tried to wrap my brain around what just happened.

I may have been in shock as well, as soon as my baby was born I was given drugs and being stitched back up on account of heavy bleeding.

 But in the end, meeting a tiny, healthy, perfect little girl that was a little bit of me and a little bit Gus made the whole experience worth it.  And to say that I was actually able to endure the process until the very end, I can't describe how empowering it actually made me feel to be able to say that I did that.  If you can endure childbirth, you can endure just about anything.  What truly makes a woman a woman?  This right here, the ability to nurture within your womb a tiny little seed of life and bring it to term, then introducing that person into the world.  It is a distinctly female trait, and with modern medicine, to do it naturally (though with the tearing, thank goodness for modern medicine) is even more empowering still.  A woman's body is distinctly built to do this very task, to bring that child to life and nurture and provide for it's needs and I think that is absolutely amazing.  I have never appreciated that fact until i did it myself. 
 It's nice to finally meet you, Babe.  We have the rest of our lives to get to know each other, and I look forward to the adventure.

11.24.2011

Thankful

I woke up to a bout of Post Partum this morning. Yeah, great timing, don't you think? And it was definitely a case of me not knowing why I was so upset. Really, one of those cases of depression that you can't explain. Guess it's the hormones coupled with the lack of sunlight and trying to get better while taking care of an infant who has been quite fussy recently, and me learning the ins and outs of motherhood and baby care. I guess all I really can do is hang in there, and as long as I keep my mind off of the baby blues, I will be ok.

Because really, I have a lot to be thankful for. I can honestly say in the last couple of years I have been genuinely happy. I have long since learned that there are a few things that matter, and this little infant at my side is one of the key ones at the moment.

In the spirit of getting my mind back on what matters most, and enduring this short bout with depression where I know I'll be back up and loving life again, I decided to make a list of what I'm thankful for.

My Husband, Gus: When he asked me to marry him, I'll be honest and when I said yes, I was thinking, 'well, it's not official, I can back out of it later, right?' because I didn't know if there was anybody out there I could be happy with. I didn't want to disappoint him. I won't say that we have a perfect marriage, I don't think those exist, but we have a pretty darn good one, and I can say that I genuinely love him. We compliment each other so well, he tempers me, I can't help but know that I was waiting for him, and he was waiting for me. How we met was a total fluke, I don't know anybody who have a courtship like ours was, but we were meant to be together. He is my soulmate, if such a thing exists. I feel very blessed that I have him in my life. I'm glad he chased me down and eventually chose me to be his wife. And he puts up with a lot from me.

My daughter, Kaia: She's only nine days old today, and I have an entire lifetime to get to know her. She has given my life a whole new perspective, and i see things in a way I have never done before. I used to be quite selfish, without really meaning to be, but I guess it comes with being the youngest and growing up in this generation. My life has changed completely upon marriage, and becoming pregnant and having a baby has changed it even more so. My entire outlook on life is completely different now, and it has honestly been for the better. I don't think I would trade what I have right now for anything. Not to mention that she is pretty darn cute. Gus and Kami genetics proved to be a winning combination. I can't wait to meet the person she becomes.

My Family: I am blessed with a very close family. We genuinely enjoy each other's company and look for excuses to get together all of the time. It is also good to know that when push comes to shove, when you reach hard times, they have your back. We have helped one another out so much, and I know if I need help with anything, they are a phone call away. It's funny how very different each of us are from one another but how each of us completes the family unit, and how obvious it is when a member is not there for family gatherings. There is definitely a hole there.

Then of course, there is my other family. I married into an amazing group of people (and still learning who they all are) and have been welcomed and accepted with open arms.

Friends: There is an old saying that goes "Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other Gold." Sure, it's a bit cheesy, but the idea behind it is very much true. There are only a handful of friends I have managed to hang onto from my childhood, and those few friends I have I feel very blessed to know. I have made some fantastic friends in the last few years as well.

Facebook: Yes, it is a time waster, and a sucker of souls, but me, the person who falls out of contact with everyone I meet, has found the perfect tool for staying in contact with people that matter to me, plus a way to share my life with those who matter, and follow along on the adventures of my family and friends. Now, I'll be honest and admit I don't know why I need 353 friends, and Facebook Drama can be quite annoying, but social networking is an amazing thing.

Craigslist: It is odd, I love the concept of Craigslist, but without it, I wouldn't have met my husband. Yes, it is an odd story. Plus, I love the ability to barter for things and the treasures you can find on there, often for a great deal.

My Home: Part of home making is making a house into a home. I love the peace and tranquility of where we live, sure it's out in the boondocks, or so I keep saying, but the atmosphere is something you won't find in the suburbs of a city. We may not be here forever, but I would be content to grow old and die here.

Tricare: I told Gus he cannot leave the military until we are done having kids. I think we will be having one more (unless an accident comes upon us) but Tricare is great for child birth. They covered everything with very minimal out of pocket expenses.

My Health: Aside from that pesky depression issue, I am blessed with great health. I'm already bounding back from my pregnancy (though far from 100%) and I was grateful that I was strong enough to endure labor without caving on drugs. In time, I know I'll be in great shape again, and next year I plan on taking advantage of it.

Painkillers: I am not 100% yet. I am very thankful for painkillers.

Horses: I love horses, I have been a horse nut since I was about seven years old. And I have two of them. I am very blessed I am in a position to own a horse and can afford too.

The Air Force: The military can be frustrating at times. But in this economy, my husband has a stable job and his unit has stepped up and helped us several times. I am grateful for the support network that they offer, and along with the rest of the armed services (noteably the Army, of course) for keeping our country safe.

My Unit: I have an awesome army unit. They are very supportive of me, especially considering my present circumstances, and I know they will do what they can to work around it. Because I am now a new mom, I am looking more and more on getting out, but if I do decide to stay in, this would likely be the unit I would stay with until i retire. I've got two years on my present contract left, but I'm in good hands.

Cell Phones: Ok, in truth they are a pain in the butt, because we did manage to go without cell phones for centuries. Now we have smart phones, which are enormous wastes of time, and I don't think we could live without them, but in truth, it is nice to always be able to contact somebody, especially if you need to talk to somebody right then. Or even texting, something I didn't do until about two years ago. Kind of crazy, actually.

Emoticons: I used to be horribly annoyed with them, but I have grown quite partial to this guy -> :P

My Car: I have a great car. It's practical, it's reliable, it gets good gas mileage, and it gets me from point A to point B. And it's paid off! I am glad I have the means to get around. And my lead foot has decreased in weight quite a bit over the last few years.

Chickens: They eat just about anything, they are amusing to look at, and they lay eggs! When you find yourself with a rooster, they also make for a great chicken noodle soup! Plus they are cute, which I find myself kind of amused to discover that chickens are quite cute.

Cats and Dogs: endless amusement, there is something very soothing about a purring cat on your lap, and I have two friendly barn cats that have instant purr mode as soon as I start petting them. I also have a crazy dog that likes to herd them, and they aren't amused. Watching them interact is quite entertaining.

The Gospel: I don't like to get to religious on my blog, and I am not the most religious person out there, but I am grateful for having the church in my life. I need to make a better effort to go, however. Lately I've been more of a heathen. With the new little one, I do want to raise her in the church with a set of moral standards and it is something I want to share with her.

Freedom: I am an independent person, I am grateful be to be an American and with all the rights and privileges that come with it.

Guns: Yes, I am a gun nut. I love guns, for a variety of reasons. They are empowering, and they certainly level the playing field. I am thankful for the security they provide. and of course, most people who follow my blog know me for my bad ass pose with one.

Sleep: I think I am about to crash now. Must be the new mom in me. But first, I need to feed the munchkin.

There are many more things I am thankful for, this is just a rundown of some of them. Indeed, there is quite a lot to be thankful for. Just some things to remember when the baby blues start getting me down.

11.17.2011

What's in a Name?



Kaiana Jade Donnelly was born November 15th at 11:03 PM without intervention. My natural childbirth is the topic of another blog post however. This is a post all about my daughter's name.


I had some stipulations on what I wanted to name my kids for some time, mostly following a set of rules. If I ever had a daughter, one name I really liked was Tobi, but Gus nixed that idea. He's not fond of unisex names that err on the side of the opposite gender, and to him, Tobi is too masculine for a girl. So that name was out.


We didn't know what we were having until the ultrasound, for some reason we both were thinking a little boy with my first pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage, and that name carried over to this one. However, we didn't have a girl's name. I love the name Jade, but not for a first name, so we agreed early that it would be her middle name (though they don't recommend choosing a middle name before a first name, oh well, me and Gus break a lot of rules like that). So it was a case of figuring out what her first name would be.


There were a few rules for our kid's names, and I think we'll follow them for all of our kids.


1) Their first name is uniquely theirs. Nobody named after a family member, though we might make an exception for a family name a few generations back from a deceased member.


- that means no duplicate names used by existing family members, including extended family. This is quite the challenge, as Gus and I both come from very large families.


2) Name does not show up in the top 100 names for that year.


3) No asexual names. This was Gus's rule, I love little girls with somewhat sexual ambiguous names, especially if they are total girly girls, but Gus is a traditionalist in that sense. For him, he wanted the gender to be known with the sound of the name.


Hence my choice of Tobi was vetoed. And obviously, we both had veto powers over any name.


Anyway, those were our basic stipulations when we decided on a name for our little boy (I'm not a fan of asexual names for boys so we were both good there) but we were a bit stumped on the girl.


Then we went to Hawaii, kind of a summer babymoon, Gus has family in Hawaii, I had never been, and this was the last opportunity to do anything like this for a while. When we were in Hawaii, they had one of those booths where they can translate your name into Hawaiian, basically using the rules of the Hawaiian language to find out what your name is. Gus smiled at me and told me to do it, that they couldn't translate my name. And sure enough, my name fits the perameters of the Hawaiian language (though true, it isn't a true Hawaiian name). I then took note my mother has a Hawaiian name, Lana. I also have some cousins and a couple of nieces with Hawaiian spelled names too, but Gus came up with the idea of starting a tradition with the girls of our family, in case we had a girl. We would follow the tradition through the female line from our daughters maternal grandmother, to me, to her. Of course, she can choose to continue it or not, but it got a theme to go by, and since we found out what the gender of our baby was the day after we got back from Hawaii, we thought it would have some meaning.


And sure enough, we were pregnant with a girl. So there came a new set of rules for naming our baby girl. The Hawaiian rules are:


Only using the letters A, E, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, U, W


consenents must be seperated from one another, however we could have as many vowels as we wanted.


Gus came up with the idea, but he just let me decide on the name and he would tell me if he liked it or not. Her middle name doesn't follow the Hawaiian rules, obviously, but then again, neither does mine or my mom's so we looked for something to go with Jade. My first choice was actually Kiana, pronounced KEY-ah-nuh, which I think Gus would have been fine with except for the nickname being Kia. He didn't like her being named after a car. I really liked that name, but thought of other names similar to it and found Kai'ana, pronounced KY-ah-nuh. I liked the sound of it, I liked the nickname Kaia, and took it by Gus. He liked it too, and it went really well with Jade.


Of course, the spelling is a bit different, poor girl will likely be spelling it for people her entire life (but I have the same issue), though we both think that she will ultimately go by Kaia. That's fine too, considered just naming her Kaia but I liked giving her a more formal name to go by as well, that and it's handy for discovering telemarketers.


I thought we would mull over names for a bit, but we had our name in about a day after we found out we were having a girl. We actually didn't tell people right away, my sister, mother and mother in law were the first to find out what the name was and they immediately loved it, though they still admit to calling her Kiana and figuring out how to say it and spell it. And having the Hawaiian theme was kind of fun, we'll stick to it if we have another little girl, but for some reason, I suspect that our next little bundle of joy will be a boy, and we're not doing the Hawaiian theme for that one. He will undoubtedly have a unique name still, perhaps just a completely different route.


Now the final question, what does Kaiana mean? Well, it is a very unique name (though a genuine name, I swear I didn't make it up!) and we can't find it in any baby name sites. However, they do talk about a legend of a Hawaiian prince named Kai'ana, so irony of irony, it is actually a Hawaiian boy's name. Hah, we broke one rule :) However, most people wouldn't see it as a boy's name (besides, we took out the comma, no use torturing our poor girl!). Well, after a while, Gus finally decided to come up with his own definition of our little girl's name. Green Princess of the Sea. Well, her middle name is Jade, which is a green rock, the name is royalty, and Kaia means water.


I like it. Most people seem to approve, I've had a couple nay sayers (people in my unit gave me the most grief, but I am in a Drill Sergeant unit and that's just part of the whole shin dig) but it's been a winner for most.


Now I think we have another theme started. Kaia's middle name is Jade, Gus is a rock lover (mostly in regards to extreme sports) so will we use names of minerals for middle names in the same line as Jade? Hmm, we'll see :)


But that's how we decided on a name.

11.07.2011

The end of the world as I know it. . .

. . . and I feel fine.

I recently heard that REM broke up. Pity. I did like their music and grew up listening to them, one of those bands that I can listen to over and over again. REM brings happy thoughts.

In other news, yep, still prego. I've got two due dates, by the way. Last known Cycle puts me at November 16th. Ultrasound puts me at November 13th. So basically, I'm on my last week before I enter the realm of over due. My midwife told me that chances of me making my due date were slim, but that I still could. That was over three weeks ago. She could make her arrival at any moment, and there has been a few close calls where I wasn't sure what was going on.

So, that puts me at around 39 weeks, give or take a couple of days. Some days I feel fantastic, other days I feel bleh. I'm just trying to stay calm and mellow, and trying to ignore my carb cravings. I lived on carbs up until a couple of weeks ago, and it's a pain that I can't just live off of them more. Dang, carbs are in EVERYTHING. And I can't really stomach greasy foods at the moment, so it basically makes me feel like I need to eat like a rabbit. Tomorrow I'll pick up some salad, or something like that. I'm usually a carnivore at times, but lately I don't really want to eat anything that's meaty. I can't win with this right now (sighs)

So, due to popular demand (somebody requested it) pictures of my pregnancy thus far. And me and my belly baby in all of our glory.




The picture above was taken while I was still being mum about the whole thing. I was having difficulty with eating and I actually lost five pounds in the first trimester. Bleh! This was at about eleven weeks, since there was no sign of belly, I didn't see a point in taking a picture every week. I wasn't showing at all. But baby was definitely incubating.



Enter Week 14. Still not really showing, looking a little thicker through the midsection, and in fact probably just looking like I normally look. Nobody would know I was pregnant unless I told them, which was fine with me at the time. I still fit in all of my clothes, and the morning sickness had largely gone away. I just realy felt like me, until I tried to lift something, and then I did recieve a little reminder telling me I probably shouldn't do that. Oh yeah, right, silly me, heheh.



Week 17, and showing the faintist of baby bumps, but it could be excused as me having gorged myself on a food baby. For the most part, still hiding it, when I told people I was pregnant, and how far along I was, they were going 'huh?' Funny, when I told my family I was pregnant, they all told me I would gain all sorts of weight and bloat, because that's what we do in our family. I did not want that for me, no thanks. So i was perfectly content to stay trim and healthy, even though, due to previous miscarriage, I was taking it easy with the pregnancy so as not to cause any problems.



Week 19 showed the first signs of an obvious baby bump. We were posting pictures of our trip to Hawaii and people were all aghast that I was suddenly showing! And of course, it puts me off my usual picture taking cycle, usually I'm displaying my belly facing right, now I'm facing left. But lookin' stylin! Sportin that little munchkin (who at this time, we were still not sure whether munchkin was a she or a he).



Ok, by week 21, we found out Kidling was a girl, and now there is no ifs ands or buts, I'm definitely preggers. Depending on what I was wearing, I could still hide it, but entering summer, most of my clothes were starting to feel a bit tight, well, it was time to just focus on wearing more maternity wear. Must embrace the pending motherhood. It's alright!



Week 24 brings us to family reunion time, and I met up with my cousin Rocia who was rockin' it with her fifth child at 37 weeks. Girl looked fabulous (and was quite gutsy to make that trip to the ocean, but she's an old hat at it by now). I had a great time, my belly was extending a wee bit further, and hoodies made me look fat, or so I discovered.



27 weeks gone by, and I have given in to the lounge pants. The only way to go for any pregnant girl to be really comfortable. Belly protruding a bit further, and feeling a little less agile, but still feeling for the most part rather fine.



My sister takes pictures and at week 31, she offered to get some of me for a maternity session. I think this is one of my favorites out of the bunch.



Week 35, getting closer! Up until this point, overall I had a pretty easy pregnancy. I felt relatively healthy and active, didn't have to much of a waddle when I walked, and overall just felt pretty good. She woke me up about this time and I found myself barely able to move my legs without groaning. Not a fun point, had a few concerns, so called my midwife and she informed me that baby had indeed dropped and my cervix was starting to dialate.

Starting the next week was my regular check up, I was supposed to have my baby shower that Tuesday, and I woke up with really bad back labor and all sorts of preterm labor symptoms. Going in, I was informed I had effaced 90%, still dialated at a one and the baby was at -2. I was a little concerned because it was still pretty early, but she informed me I still could be pregnant for a couple of weeks. I still could make my due date, nothing set in stone. Was worried and called my instructor, thinking maybe I needed to drop out of class because it seemed like baby was coming at any time. Canceled the baby shower, in the end, no big deal. Cause I'm still pregnant.



Week 37 is the magic milestone we were aiming for after our preterm labor scare. I wanted to hit this because this is officially when the baby is at term, and in truth the longer she's in there, the better for her. Of course, we also learned news of our glucose levels being a bit elevated, and now I have to watch what I eat. I don't feel like I'm a threat for gestational diabetes, I've felt pretty good so far. Well, let me tell you, as a pregnant woman, they are a pain in the butt. Ok, so we got to week 37, now I'm ready when the baby is.


Week 39. Well, I hit week 39 yesterday, according to the ultrasound, or I'm at week 39 on Wednesday, according to that lovely last known monthly constitutional. A couple nights ago I felt a bit under the weather, thought maybe this was it, but no, it lingered for to long and eventually went away. So this is where we are at. Me feeling ready to explode with my belly hanging out there and just trying to remain comfortable. I feel now that I'm watching what I eat, I'm actually not eating as well as I used too *why does EVERYTHING i crave carry carbs???* and the nesting instincts have kicked in. Baby is bound to come sooner or later.

Taking this one day at a time, was hoping to go to Portland for Thanksgiving to spend it with the husband's family but that is looking more and more out of the question. In truth, I've still got plenty of time for this baby to make her arrival, I'm giving her until the end of the month before I induce, but I am trying to go natural so avoiding medical induction and all other interventions. I've been healthy for the most part. the gestational diabetes thing has me hoping for an earlier rather than later baby though.

Maybe she just wants to be a Veteran's day baby and have the designer birthday of 11/11/11. You know, that would be pretty cool, and be rather easy to remember, if not a little bittersweet.

10.26.2011

Still Living Life

My poor neglected blog. Facebook has really done a number on you hasn't it? I guess it's because Facebook is just so dang convenient. And addicting. Yikes!

So the latest? Well, still pregnant. In fact, pregnancy does take a number on you when you just want to rest all of the time and a quick jot on Facebook to keep people updated on your thoughts and life is all you really have time for.

So, I guess this is my status update:
- Animal Stats: I currently possess two horses (plus one boarded horse that pays for the other two), two barn cats, five hens, two roosters, two rabbits, and a dog. The dog is a recent acquisition. I recently had to rehome one of my horses, the old mare. She no longer became a kids horse. That story is infuriating to me.

- I had a preterm labor scare, if you didn't know, I am trying to go for natural childbirth, meaning no interventions, and letting the wee one come when she may. The first scare came about two weeks ago, at 35 weeks along, when she undeniably dropped. Last week, I had to cancel my baby shower because I was having back labor and a few other labor signs. We were pretty sure her arrival was imminent, and my midwife checked me out, told me I'm dialated at 1cm and my cervix is effaced at 90%. Basically I just need to dialate to 10 and my water break and she's entering into the world. Because my husband frequently works out of town, to calm my mother's nerves, she had me stay with her until he came back.

-I'm at 37 weeks, which is about three weeks shy of my due date (wee!), however apparently I had elevated levels in my glucose testing, which tests me for gestational diabetes. Well, apparently somebody missed something, so I had an ultrasound today to see where baby is at. Apparently, she is weighing in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces, give or take a pound (which is quite a spread actually). I just got to cut back on my carbs these last few weeks and watch what I eat. And I get to check my blood sugar levels as I'm at a heightened risk for gestational diabetes. Nice.

- So munchkin is arriving at any time, but since I'm not working at present (love my husband) and just doing odd things to help with the income, I've been taking online classes. The army pays for them so while I'm still in the army I need to take full advantage of that. I was going for a business major, thinking it was more marketable, but decided after my first business class that I shouldn't torture myself and went into Education instead. I keep going back to education. My first class specifically geared toward my new major? Child and Adolescent Development. Very relevent to my life at present.

- I really need to do a post on hypnobirthing, but I think I'm going to save it for when I have the baby. So I can give all the little details and how it worked (or didn't, but we'll try to stay positive and focus on it working) after baby arrives.

- I think very little in my life is not centered around the squirt in my belly. But I guess in regards to current events, I really don't get the occupy wall street movement. Due to trying to remain positive, I will leave it at that.

- Trying to get into the coupon clipping madness, in an attempt to save money seeing we are a one income household at present (and whatever side dollars I bring in on my spare time). It can be maddening.

- Had a debate with somebody on facebook in regards to professional photography (I do it for fun, with a little income on the side, but not enough to require a business license) and it was kind of amusing. Eventually I would love to be able to do it full time (not the wedding side, I think that would cause me to shoot myself), but I was basically told that I should not do it in that regard, even for friends, as I'm doing them a diservice by not referring them to a professional. Actually, I think my pictures are pretty decent. I've been building a portfolio for the last year or so with random people here and there. Lot's of trial and error, that's why I say I'm doing it for fun. Big debate to be had though.

I guess I'll leave it at that for now.

8.18.2011

Pregnancy Ramblings

To those of you who didn't know, or only check this blog once in a blue moon, I happen to be Pregnant. Unlike the last pregnancy, which lasted until Week 7, this one appears to be taking. I am at Week 27 with thirteen to go, next Wednesday I will officially be in my third trimester. And I watch my expanding belly get larger to accommodate the fact that I'm carrying precious cargo, every now and then I feel normal, forget for an instant that I'm pregnant, then she kicks, or I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, or a variety of random events and I am reminded that her arrival is fast approaching. Will my body ever be the same after this? Is this really happening? What am I going to do with myself when she gets here?

This experience has been incredibly surreal to me. The idea of motherhood has appealed to me for some time, but I also avoided the thought of it because of what it entailed. Basically, I'm stuck with a little person that is dependent on me for a good eighteen years (toward the end of that eighteen years, not so dependent and likely obnoxious). The thought of this somewhat horrified me. But I think that is a common reaction for a lot of women to go through when they are having their first child, especially when they wait until they are thirty before they finally decide to venture into this strange new world.

One thing I have noticed, before becoming pregnant or even being married, is how judgmental I could be in regards to other mothers and how they raised their children, or how their children acted in public, or this, that and the other thing. It seems like those who don't have children always has advice for those who do. I did, and being in a disciplinarian field, I always felt like I knew something about the whole process. Since I have become pregnant, I have done my darnedest to not offer advice or be critical of others and their children, because I have learned over the years that children are their own person, with their own little quirks and traits, and you can be the best mother in the world and still have a little trouble maker on your hand. As soon as I get critical of one parent and their rearing techniques, I just know I'm going to find myself with a kidling that is worse then theirs.

So over the years I have been taking little mental notes, parenting skills I observe that appear to work, and those that don't. I think a lot of this will be trial and error with me and the munchkin as we get to know each other and figure out what works and what doesn't, but that being said, I have discovered, ironically enough, being pregnant has made me much more patient with kids. I do notice babies and like to coo at them, but I'm not at a position where I want to hold them yet. I like babies, but I like to pass them on to somebody else after a few minutes, I'm not the type to want to hold them for hours on end. That's something I know I'm going to have to get used too.


Meanwhile, I have noticed a lot of opinions I have held previously are changing. For one, I have a very active little squirt hanging out in my uterus. I feel her constantly, and she definitely let's me know she's there. I felt her at just before 14 weeks, that is crazy unheard of for a first pregnancy where most women don't feel their babies until 18 weeks or later. I wasn't sure what it was, I thought it was gas or something after I did research on feeling the quickening, but she confirmed later that it was indeed her making her presence known. She was dancing the jitter bug at seventeen weeks. She's been doing acrobatics for the last ten weeks, and it feels bizarre at times, especially when she rubs up against my ribs or kicks my belly button. Please don't tell me that this movement inside of me is a mass of cells. A mass of cells doesn't just move independently of you of their own accord. She reacts to me, she seems to tell me to move, this little girl has a fierce determination about her and she's only two pounds, I feel like I'm already getting to know her and I've only seen her in an ultrasound. Well, I have always been pro-life, knowing I could never have an abortion, but the pain of going through a miscarriage with a pregnancy I didn't think I was ready for was tough enough for me, and being pregnant, I can't imagine anybody reaching this stage in their pregnancy and electing to have an abortion. How could you even consider it? Especially this rambunctious little spitfire? I know she's going to give me hell more then once in our upcoming life together, but you can't tell me she only becomes alive once she takes her first breath independent of me.

Of course, I also understand that every circumstance is different, I went out of my way to make sure I was in a position to be able to care for a child if I did get pregnant. To me, third trimester abortions should be completely outlawed. A woman has gone through that long carrying life within her, you can't tell me she hasn't been affected by it, and to kill that life at that stage, especially when it can live viably outside of the womb, adoption is always an option, there are plenty of people out there who want to give a child an opportunity to live. Second trimester abortions should strictly be due to the health of the mother. If you are going to have an abortion, it should be done in the first trimester, perhaps at the beginning of the second trimester at the very latest. Again, I'm pro-life, I don't believe an abortion is ever a suitable alternative, but I also understand the world we live in and concessions some people have to face. Because you are going to inflict a lot of emotional damage on yourself if you wait to have an abortion (unless you are just plain sadistic and have a thrill or power trip with ending the life of a twenty week old fetus), if you have to get one, get it as early as possible. Again, I never really thought I could have an abortion myself, but it was definitely confirmed by the mere action of becoming pregnant. This little life was meant to live.

I don't like to focus on a lot of negativity at present, I try to stay positive (that can be difficult to do, because I'm still me and still highly opinionated) and just focus on me, the beansprout, and my husband as we come to discover the joys and headaches of being a family. Through thick and thin, we're stuck with each other. I guess we better make this whole arrangement work.

If I had a choice, of course I would want an easy baby, but I know that she will be her own little person. All I can do is give her the moral guidance to try to make the right choices as she goes through this crazy little thing we call life. But I'm excited to go through this latest adventure of parenthood, with all the trials and tribulations that come with it. Please, just don't give me to many grey hairs when you hit the trying age of thirteen.

8.10.2011

Catching Up on Life

Wow, so much going on, yet so little motivation to write about it. 

What can i say?  I'm still pregnant, and being pregnant makes me not want to write about things that gets my blood boiling, because I want munchkin to be happy and healthy and I don't want to send negative vibes her way, so I try to think positive things. 

Meaning political blogging is definitely out.  Nothing quite like opining on current events to get my heart racing and blood going. 

In regards to life, well, I've been busy going every which direction these days, at the end of June, the husband and I did a little babymooning before the baby came and headed to Hawaii!  I've never been and I had a great time, though the way we did it didn't leave a lot to be desired in regards to "private" time between the two of us.  But we definitely had a lot of fun, staying on Oahu and the Big Island and seeing my cousin Shevaun and borrowing a Volkswagon Camper Van from Gus' Uncle (note, if you ever want a unique and fun way to visit the Big Island, I recommend checking out Happy Campers and renting a van from them, you get your hotel and rental car taken care of in one shot!)

I think I need to actually make a post just about our time in Hawaii, where before we left I wasn't really showing and while we were there my belly just popped out of nowhere (where did THAT come from?)  Now it's undeniable that I'm pregnant.  No hiding the kidling's pending coming into this world now!

Though there was a lot of things I have always wanted to try if I ever made it to Hawaii that I couldn't do, darn it, on account of having a baby in utero, I guess I'll have to find a way to do it later.  Like surfing.  But Gus tells me surfing is over rated, five seconds of fun, he's more of the kite surfing type, because it's pure adrenaline rush as long as you got wind in your kite. 

Meanwhile, came back to the mainland and found out the day after what we were having.  A girl, which i have actually dreamed about more then once.  I kind of started suspecting I was having a girl, and everyone is threatening me with a girly girl that we won't know what to do with.  Well, if she's girly, that's fine, she just better be able to hang in there because our little family isn't exactly into docile and dainty activities.  Especially with Gus as a father, he's an adrenaline junky.  My mom said his face flushed when it became obvious on the ultrasound that it was a girl, but I have a feeling she's going to steal his heart.  Little girls are known to do that with dads. 

In other knews of interest, I had a rodeo, a reunion and a four day drill weekend that could all stand to use their own posts, except the drill weekend probably won't because if you haven't noticed I don't really post about military matters anymore because they are more of a headache then they are worth.  It has gotten me wondering about my military career or lack thereof, especially with the bean sprout entering the picture and we being dual military.  I already know Gus deploys enough as it is, and I'm of the old fashioned mind that I would rather be home with the baby rather then both of us off in some foreign land paying somebody child support to watch our offspring.  That is a very real possibility, so we just have to figure out a way to make it work. 

So anyway, where was I?  Hmm, future potential topics to blog about.  Whether I do or not is up to how motivated I am to actually blog.

Being Pregnant and how wonderfully bizarre it really is.
Vacationing in Hawaii, with tips of places to go see
PRCA Rodeo!  In another life I want to be a Rodeo Queen!
The Chickens are Restless!
HypnoBirthing (because yes, I've really become a hippy with this whole going natural thing)
Seaside OR, with my wonderfully massive extended family reunion
Baby Names (Oh hell, I really am turning into a mommy blog, aren't i?)

Sounds like fun! 

6.12.2011

Projects

Starting to feel like I'm getting productive again, though I have a lot of projects around the house that I want to get done. If I get to them or not, who knows? My goal is to have a lot of them done by a week from Tuesday.

1) Garden:
I have a garden, supposedly. It's mostly just dirt and weeds right now, and it is a project that I am constantly wanting to work on. Unfortunately, this has been one heck of a year in coming to terms with the seasons, spring lasted all of a couple of weeks as we had snowfall into May. I never got around to planting the dang thing, (I also blame pregnancy) so this will likely be a trial year with it. I think I'm going to do more research next year, on top of all the critters in my area that will likely plague it. Mainly, deer, birds and the horses when they get out.

We planted strawberries and raspberries as well, all but two raspberry bushes died, the strawberries appear to be holding on but not growing.

2) Chicken Coop:
I bought 12 baby chicks and had three hens (two got picked off so I'm now down to one) and I got the chicks, now Pullets, in the chicken tractor. it is not made for 12 chickens, so I need to get a coop for them, as well as an area set aside for them to peck and dig away at. We got the area we want for them, now we need to fence it off and get a hen house for them. I found one on craigslist, i just need to get it home, it's an old coop that is nothing special, but I don't need anything fancy.

3) CDs:
I got a gob of CDs from my time working at hastings and getting them on discount. Now I want to burn them all to my hard drive and sell them back to Hastings for cash or credit, still debating on what I would rather have (get more for credit). I will hang on to a couple that I can listen to at any given moment of course, like Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill and a few staple CDs like that, but this is an ongoing task.

4) Pictures:
Getting ready for a reunion at the end of July with the Ericksons, and I've been tasked with the slide show. Which means going back into the archives of time and putting all of these hard copies of pics into Digital means so we can share. Doesn't THAT sound like fun?

5) Baby Area:
We got to figure out which extra bedroom gets to go to the kidling. We got two extra bedrooms, both of which are in use right now, and the dilemma of having to much junk. Good thing the squirt will be squirt sized for a while and we have time on this one.

6) Yard Sale!:
We're having a yard sale this weekend, weather permitting. I just need to go through my treasure trove of junk and get rid of a bunch of it. Or find a home for it on the walls or what not.

7) Studio:
I have a room, designated as a space that Gus has allowed me to have for my art and other means, that needs to be organized. Desperately. Right now it is a chaotic mess and always has been. This would go in hand with up above. I have a strong desire to get organized in my life, with little to no motivation to making it happen.

Those are some of the current projects I have lined up, now the question is, will they ever happen or am I just fooling myself? Did Gus have any idea what he was getting himself into when he asked me to marry him? I don't think he really did :P

6.08.2011

Back To School!

I've got about a year where the army says other then my weekend drill, they aren't doing anything with me. Of course. I did have a plan to go to some kind of Annual Training, but that got nixed on account of the whole pregnancy thing, and by extension, me being on a temporary profile, and temporary profiles are the scourge of Army Reservists.

Thinking of other things to do, so it set me to plan B. Finding a job. Well, finding something that I can do from home. I've kind of got this photography thing going, or at least trying to in an oversaturated market for photographers, and I really don't see that as a stable source of income (though I'll likely keep doing it just for fun, and the added bonus of having something come in) and with gas prices and el Pregnento issue, well, I'm not really feeling the whole going back to work a retail gig. And then there was that fiasco the other day with considering an online business, but I'm not digging that specific route, though this is probably the way I'll eventually go so I can stay at home and tend to the kidling for their first couple years of life at least. Unless I get deployed, though I wouldn't mind the money, but I'm trying to avoid that at the moment due to my priority being the munchkin.

Which brings me to plan c, which hopefully will eventually go back to Plan B. Getting myself the skills necessary to get a decent job. That means going back to school.

In a perfect world, I would do the full time gig of going to an actual campus. This is not a perfect world, so I'm going to try the online thing, again. Love it. Ever since I got my AA from the community college oh so many years ago, I've been flirting from one college to another trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, which I apparently still haven't done. My attempt to get some more education since my AA has also not been the most straightforward, and at times has gotten expensive. You can blame that on me and my indecisiveness. I've gone a variety of online routes, an attempt to get a computer animator degree when I realized this was a pipe dream and in no way marketable, I decided to go a different direction. Last year I started thinking about getting a health science degree, I can't even remember the full term which tells you how well I stuck with it. I wasn't impressed with the offerings of that particular college, and during this last drill, a mandatory fun day with the unit, they had another college there. I still have tuition assistance, so i decided, hey, why not? They looked like they had some interesting offerings.

Now the question is, what exactly do I want to get my degree in? I keep leaning on education, though I don't know if I could teach a lot of young kids without wanting to blow my brains out at the end of the day. I can take kids in small doses (and I'm going to have my own, which will ALWAYS be there, this does freak me out) but I'm looking at other alternatives, such as a business degree, they have one for eMarketing and Entrepreneurship (don't laugh if I misspelled that) which would assist in my desire to work from the home with a home based business (my ultimate goal) but also looking at other options in case that doesn't pan out and I'm forced to go into working outside the home to help support the family. That might be a possibility so I'm willing to accept it if necessary. We're just trying to avoid day care if at all possible, I don't want to work to afford day care, you know? No thank you. Besides, I'd rather not have other people raising my kids. They'll get plenty of that in public school as it is (which I'm dreading).

Of course, there is always Healthcare. Definitely something I'm leaning towards, as there will always be a demand for healthcare.

But really, the question is what exactly do I want to do? Mostly I got to get something that can keep my scatterbrained attention span and interest so I don't feel like I'll get partway into this degree and change my mind like I'm apparently prone to doing. So, question is, what now?

Well, as long as the Army is paying, might as well get a degree. If nothing else, it's nice to have a Bachelor's when I go after a Job on the economy, if nothing else, it can make me more marketable at least.

6.07.2011

Mom Blog Time! - Pregnancy So Far

When one is pregnant, it seems like your entire life revolves around the fact that you are pregnant. I actually knew I was pregnant at about three and a half weeks, and had it confirmed at four. I was out of town, but I wondered if it was to early to go get a pee stick to see if I was or not. So I kind of didn't say anything for about four days, woke up early Tuesday morning in the beginning of March, snuck into the bathroom, and whizzed on a stick. I came back pregnant.

As soon as I got that, I headed to the Airforce Base to have it confirmed, because it's free there, being an Airforce Spouse. They did a blood draw and I went home, to my husband still in bed (he was working swings and got home late) asking me where I went. I just told him I had to run an errand until I got the phone call a little later, yep! I was! When I got that news, Gus knew. I was actually planning on getting pregnant about this time of year if we hadn't gotten pregnant already, but if it didn't happen when it did, I don't know when it would have because Gus's schedule has been all over the place. So I guess the kidling was going to come when it was going to happen, otherwise it might have been a while. I guess things happen for a reason.

I actually sat on this news for about a month, I told my horse friends because I wasn't riding as much as usual and they just seemed to find out. I didn't want to out and say it, because after the last time, miscarrying, well, even at seven weeks, after knowing for two weeks, it wasn't fun. About a month after it happened, I had people still coming up and congratulating me since they hadn't heard the news that I had miscarried and it kind of stung. Their intentions were good, but it just kind of dug the pain in a little more. I wanted to make sure this time it stuck before I made the formal announcement to the world.

My family finally got the official word in April, when I was about nine weeks along, a couple siblings knew, but everyone else was excited for me. I made the formal announcement on Facebook at about twelve weeks, and as of tomorrow, I'll be seventeen weeks along. I think I felt the quickening, in fact the first time I thought I felt something was at about thirteen weeks, though that is insanely early and it's just been here and there. I'm starting to feel it more and more. We'll likely find out the gender in the beginning of July.

I'm going through a couple Nurse Midwives, going through a hippy phase I guess :P, just because I want to try to go natural. Going natural might be permanent birth control for me too, who knows? I may never want to have another baby after this, but our goal is two. We'll see how up I am for that after I've dealt with an infant for a few months, as we have discovered getting pregnant appears to NOT be a problem. I just knew for whatever reason I was super fertile, and I've never been on any hormones or birth control or any of that. I think in a lot of ways that has kept me pretty healthy. After baby number two comes along, one of us is going to have to get fixed or I have a feeling infants will keep coming, and as exciting as pregnancy is, after the scare with my first miscarriage, I've taken it easy with what kind of activities I do. I really would like to have a life again and do stuff. I feel like I can't do squat right now. We went on a motorcycle ride, I felt ever bump in my uterus.

Can't wait to meet you, babe. Though I do fear losing my independence.

6.06.2011

To Good To Be True?

I went to this workshop today in regards to starting an online business through an online company that has apparently gotten some poor reviews in the past. Alright, I'll just out and say it, it's a company called StoresOnline.com, perhpase you've heard of it? Now, I consider myself a fairly saavy person when it comes to the internets, but I really need to do some research on this kind of thing and I am grateful to have a partner that can kindly (or forcefully) tell me to just walk away. Being Ms. Impulse, I do need that and marriage has helped me at that, he's not nearly as impulsive as I am.

In short, about a month ago my mom got this letter in the mail asking about this little workshop and I agreed to go with her, mostly to get the information to see if I can use it. I thought they had some good information so I went ahead and got a seat at the all day workshop for today. To be honest, I'm glad I went to it, I still think there was some good information, and if done wisely I can turn around and do my own research on it and use it. I don't know if I will or not now, that remains to be seen, but I will also admit they had smooth talking salesman and using the infamous pitch of 'buy it now for this one time offer', which Gus is leary about. That's the main reason he wanted me to walk away, to him that's a warning sign.

It was also a warning sign initially for me by how much they were asking for the product. At first the sticker shock made me go "ouch". But then, if I did the right research before hand, I could have better phrased how much it is really worth to me.

To be fair to the company, I think the right person with the right skills could take their business opportunities and be successful at it. The problem is that a lot of people who aren't in a position to build their own business and don't have the technical know how to make it successful often get duped into it and end up putting in a lot more time money and effort into the whole affair and end up feeling scammed. I almost fell for it, but I insisted I had to talk to my business partner first, because it did seem like a good investment opportunity and I probably could make it work if I could get over my motivation or lack thereof at times. He wasn't buying it, I tried to sell him, he talked me out of it. It's a good thing I'm not a sales person, I will never be a sales person, but the business model does sound like a good idea if I can get to that point.

Anyway, long story short, I'm only out a little money and the day for today's workshop where it could have been a lot more, but I still got some good info out of it so maybe in the long run I could find some kind of business opportunity, try to get back into blogging (well, you can see how that's going), get some kind of internet presence once more, I just need to learn how to market. They did stress over and over they weren't selling a business in a box or it wasn't a get rich quick scheme, and a lot of the negative reviews on websites seemed to be from disgruntled customers who didn't know what they were doing in the first place (though a lot appeared legit as well). I do still want to find something to do to bring in a little extra income into the house other then doing my weekend warrior stint and finding myself working retail. I'm a traditional, I would like to do something where I could work from the home.

I guess I'll find a way to go back to school instead. Hmm. . . guess I've never been one to work on my own business opportunities. Could go to school for business, but I don't know if I'm the entrepeneur type.

6.05.2011

Thoughts On Genderless Children

NOTE - This post is very personal and draws from my own experiences and the outcomes of those experiences. It also explains a lot about what kind of person I am and why I am who I am.

Ok, me being me lately, I have not been all that motivated to jump online and comment on recent events like I used to. I was once a blogging fanatic, but that has changed with me getting married and the destractions that come along with it, to include my current pregnancy. And Facebook, which I promised my husband I would take a week long sabatical from, just to prove I don't need it. As I type this, I'm wondering if that's the quickening I've felt. I'm not even seventeen weeks along, but it certainly doesn't feel like the digestive track. Is the baby doing jumping jacks in there? Or is that just my small intestine? HOW DO I KNOW IF IT'S THE BABY??? I've felt things before and wondered, but I'm told it's to soon for my first pregnancy (to this point at least)

So anyway, about a week and a half ago, there was this big controversy with this >Canandian couple that decided to raise their child as Genderless, the story of which has died down. Me, being the conservative person that I am, you might think I might jump on this story as most others of conservative persuasion might and think of how wrong this couple is to raise this child with no set standards of gender identity, in affect, letting the child choose how it would like to identify themself when they come of age. And in a sense, I am inclined to think that the child does need to know that they are a boy or a girl from an early age.

However, believe it or not, I kind of get where these parents are coming from.

You see, growing up, I preferred to see myself as Genderless without realizing at the time what that meant. I didn't want to necessarily be a boy, but I didn't see myself as a girl. I hated playing dress up, I couldn't stand ribbons and lace, I didn't like wearing my hair down and if I could, I would have fought tooth and nail as my mother forced me to dress for church on sunday, but as soon as we were home, I was in my jeans playing out in the dirt. The only thing remotely girly I played with was My Little Pony, and not because it was girly, but because they were animals. I could play with animals all day long, in fact whenever my siblings played house, I was the cat. When my best friends (twins) and I played together anything along the girly lines of mom, dad and baby, we did it with animals and I was always the baby, who was always an it. No, not a boy or a girl, an it. Why did the baby need a gender? I didn't know, I certainly didn't care.

As I grew older, I did go through a bit of an identity crisis in regards to figuring myself out, as going through puberty, unlike some girls, I was horrified when it became more obvious that I was no longer a kid and was growing into a woman. I had my period before my older sister, what was up with that? I swear that fate was out to get me. I can often see where people who have gender confusion come from, I have never necessarily seen myself as being male though, asexual would be a more proper term for me. I have wondered about my sexuality at times, wondering if I was more inclined to like girls then boys, but, well, as you can see, that was a phase I went through, mostly in my late teens early twenties. At the time, I wondered if I was perhaps Bisxexual, but no, Asexual was more of a fitting term for me. I can't imagine having sex with a girl, sorry. I did go through this awkward phase because of my asexuality and denial of my gender that lasted from, oh, eleven until twenty six or so. This whole issue of trying to figure out who I am is part of the reason why I joined a traditionally non-female job field of the military. I still am very much down to earth and with me, what you see is what you get. At least I try to be that way. I have never really tried to fit into gender norms, I have always been, well, me. Sometimes I identify better with guys then other girls, but not always. Guys are sexual beasts, and me? Not so much.

However, as you can see now, I am definitely a girl, I am happily married, to a guy who is a great guy bytheway, and I'm currently pregnant, something I wondered if it would ever happen to me. I really did have to meet the right person, and I'm grateful I met a guy who loves me for who I am and has been so patient with me with the whole insanity of married life. I am excited at the prospect of being a mother, and I want my kids to be who they are, I don't want to force them to be something they are not, and certainly if I have a daughter who hates anything girly like I did, I'm not going to force it on her (well, except for Sundays at church). However, if she's miss Princess Frilly Fru-Fru with Ribbons and Lace, well, I'm just going to be wondering where she gets it from, because she certainly didn't get it from me (or Gus for that matter). However, that's Ok too (and my family jokes that I'm going to have a total girl if I have a daughter, just to spite me). I want my kids to be who they are, but they will also have a knowledge of WHAT they are. Just because I saw myself as genderless doesn't change the fact that I'm a girl.

So, back to this family that is choosing to raise their child as genderless, and their two older boys with their asexual names of Jazz, Kio and Storm. Jazz of course, being five, chooses what he wants to wear and how he likes his hair. In fact, he wears his hair much the same as I did when I was that age. He looks like a cute kid, but at first glance, he also looks like a girl. At his age of five, I don't know what his schooling is like, he doesn't seem to care much, but something I have discovered with my experiences of wishing to be genderless and forced to be a girl is that I am grateful now that I knew from a young age that I was indeed a girl. If my parents had raised me, a truly genderless child to be genderless without a knowledge of my identity but knowing what boys and girls are, I would have been horrified to discover that I was indeed a girl. At that age, I would have been more inclined to act like a boy then a girl. I thought girl stuff was stupid. I played with Ninja Turtles and mutliated barbie dolls. My stuffed animals played war and I was better bonded to my brother and male cousins then my sisters and female cousins, and the ones I did hang out with were always younger then me. I didn't chase boys, I barely noticed them.

If Storm is anything like I was, that poor kid when it becomes obvious what they are. The parents aren't doing that kid a favor by letting them choose their gender because it doesn't matter what they decide they are, when they discover what they really are, they are going to be disappointed if they are opposite of how they decide to see themselves. If that little baby starts identifying as a girl and discovers later that he's a boy, or vice versa, they are going to face a lot of stigma in life and probably become confused with their sexuality which will lead to problems with depression later. Believe me, my depression in my early twenties stemmed greatly from my gender confusion. There is nothing wrong with telling that kid what he or she is, and so they understand the biology of what they are, because nothing is going to change about that. Sure, you can hack off your penis and get a sex change and call yourself a girl, but I honestly think transgendered people are often times just very confused about their identity. It's not going to solve a lot of issues down the road. This poor kid, I hope for their sake that they go by nature versus nurture and take their natural gender role because nothing is worse for a genderless child then to go through puberty. Why? Because I went through puberty. Being genderless is fun until your gender decides to give you a kick upside the head that no, you are not an it. And hacking off my breasts and removing my uterus would not have solved the problem. I think that would have compounded the problem for me, it would have probably driven me further into depression.

Honestly, I think the best thing these parents can do for their kids is to let them know what they are, including Baby Storm, but continuing to allow their children to be who they are. Trust me, you think you are helping your kids out by giving them the freedom to decide but you're not. If human beings were born genderless and got to choose their own gender at puberty it would be a whole lot easier. But Biology is a part of who we are. It is not the same as Sexuality, which I think is what these parents are trying to do for their kids, but a child still needs to know their biology. It's not a matter of casting society's views on what gender roles should be, it's for the child's own sanity that they understand what gender roles are. If they identify with one gender and discover they are the other, they will be in a heap of trouble. It will be interesting to see if this experiment continues or if Storm just finds out on their own long before then. Maybe we can do a case study and Jazz, Kio and Storm in twenty years to see how they turn out.

So in Summary, what am I trying to say here? Being Genderless is fun and all, as a kid. There is no such thing as a genderless teenager. I know. I tried to be one. It didn't work, and this is from somebody who's Nature is Genderless with a parent that was Nurturing me as a girl. It just led to confusion and depression. Save the kid a lot of trouble, just tell them what they are and then let them be themselves. If they are truly genderless, you will probably know in time. If you think as a parent that you should condone their genderlessness, that is up to you. But chances are, Baby Storm is going to act on their own Nature and if they are a boy, chances are he's going to just be a boy. If she's a girl, she'll act like a girl. If Storm falls into their gender role, it's not going to make much of a difference to tell them what they are at that time. For the kid's sake, I hope that's what happens for them.

Rambly much? Probably. Remember, I'm pregnant, a lot of what I write doesn't make much sense.

5.25.2011

Blogging Ills

So, what have I been up to for the last month or so?

Yes, I know, I haven't blogged in a while, and if you're still reading this, it's probably because you follow my feed. Well, I have been up to a lot. And really, I've been up to a whole lot of nothing.

My husband, who is in the Air Force, is away at school at present, he comes back this week and it will be nice to have him back. While he was gone, I had all sorts of things planned out on what I would do. This included building a chicken coop for my twelve chicks I bought, planting a garden, organizing my studio space, getting my website up to date and republished, working on my webcomic that has been largely neglected, fine tuning my zombie plan, Yoga, and a host of other little odds and ends.

What did I end up accomplishing? Well, I did a whole lot of writing, and napping. I nap almost every day. What can I say, my energy levels are bleh. But I do have a valid excuse, you see.

Back in March, I kind of suspected something was up, though it was still quite early. Being newly wed and having few distractions other then the interwebs kind of leads to other things. However, seeing how last year went when I spilled the news after a week of knowing, this time I held onto it for a little bit longer. My horse friends found out quite soon, seeing as I wasn't doing much riding, but i waited until the eight week mark to tell the family.

Yep, pregnant again. I'm at fifteen weeks today, due for an early birthday baby in November. So yeah, when i do blog, it might be mommy related. I just hope I'm not as annoying as some moms I have seen.

So far everything is going smoothly, except for the come and go energy levels. seriously.

4.13.2011

Government Funding

So, apparently we averted mass chaos and the government can run once more. But then again, I look at all of the wasteful spending done by the government and think to myself, if I was in charge, what would I fund and what would I cut? Being an average ordinary citizen with no political aspirations, I'm not corrupted by special interests, so I can write about what I would do in a perfect world.

So if I had my way, what would be funded by the government?   Well, first, everything will be locally funded as much as possible, when it is to big for the city, it is funded by the county, then the state, then federal.  Federal should not be funding pet projects.

Military / Defense: It is one area that can't be funded any other way. Of course, it is nice when the big whigs up top decides to invade another country or send us to war, that they do it with the intent of letting us finish the mission.  Really is a shame, we are becoming more of a police force and peace keepers across the world then what our primary mission should be, which is defense of our great nation.  That said, the military must remain funded, but how we use our military could probably save us a few bucks.  Unfortunately, when we go to war, it is usually not funded and has to be paid for later, which was the case with WWII.  Also, Police and general security fall under this category as well, though that should be locally funded as much as possible.  Don't forget the FBI and CIA, though sometimes you wonder about them.

Infrastructure: This too is the job of the government, to pave roads and maintain public use areas.  This is best done as locally as possible, but some of it can be federally funded, specifically freeways and the like across the great plains states. 

Social Security: Unfortunately, this boondoggle is here to stay.  It needs to be reformed like crazy, because back in the thirties when it was created, people didn't have the lifespans they did and ten workers supported one person on the program because people had a jillion kids back then.  After the baby boom of the fifties, birth control came into play and well, now the average family has 2.5 children (though I don't know any average families).  Now three workers support one on SS, and they are living a lot longer these days.  People have been paying into this program for years, you can't just nix it and tell them 'screw you, bub'.  In the long run, it would be nice if society was like it had been before and never introduced this program, as a family unit supports themselves and your children were your social security but that is a thing of the past.  This is a safety net and it's not going anywhere.  Unfortunately, the program is broke.  I'll be honest, I'm not counting on it being there for me.

Public Land/National and State Parks: I'm a big fan of these program, even with it's socialist roots, I know.  As long as it remains accessible to the public and cared for (because sometimes the public can be a bunch of assholes and tear things up because they wanted to take a piece of that petrified tree or dump shit everywhere), I love visiting places like Yosemite, Yellow Stone, the Adirondacks, Mt Rushmore, the Redwoods, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Shenandoah Forest, the Smokey Mountains, etc etc. These are our national treasures (and some state treasures too) and in truth, they probably could be privatized but I feel the government is probably the best choice to care for them.  I don't mind paying a little fee to go visit them either, because let's be honest, most people don't want you walking around on their private land, even if they've meticulously cared for it.  Also, the Smithsonian Rocks.  You can keep funding that too. 

Border Control: I don't mind immigrants, but dude, come here the legal way.  Becoming a citizen is hard work and something people born in this country take for granted.  I don't care who you are or where you come from, if you want to be a part of the American dream and earn your right to be a US citizen, I welcome you with open arms.  If you just want to come here, mooch off our government, work for a pittance and then collect a welfare check while you use our hospitals and schools and then send the money back home to your family while you hold no allegiance to our land and laws, get the hell out of my country.  I don't want you.  And the border should be the first enforcement to that.

Schools/ Primary Education : This is an important tasking that gets our children on the right foot in life.  Unfortunately, the Teacher's Unions are more concerned about keeping crappy teachers then educating kids properly.  This should be funded as close to the local level as possible, get rid of the Department of Education, it has done nothing for our schools and just added to the bloated bureaucracy that is our government.  Schools and the teachers need to be held accountable, and Physical Education should be a requirement until graduation. 

Welfare: I am not a fan of Welfare, have never been and will never use it if I can help it.  Once upon a time there was a shame in being on welfare, but it appears that has gone away and people seem to think it is their right to mooch off of other people, and that really does piss me off.  Welfare should be a net to assist people down on their luck to get back on their feet and that's it.  This program should be strictly regulated so people do not abuse it.  If they need more, charities and churches can provide further assistance, and when able, people often donate to these institutions generously.  But I do see a need for a welfare system available in government.  This should be a state program, and should work more along the lines of unemployment insurance then a give me. 
WIC: in line with the above, this is a fantastic program and I would highly encourage participation.

Environmental and Safety Regulation: I am a believer in the free market, but I also believe in protecting our environment and sometimes business can be greedy and sacrifice health and safety in the name of profit.  During the industrial age, people didn't give a lot of thought to what they were doing to the environment with the pollutants and what not.  I do believe all businesses do need to have some oversight when it comes to safety and the environment to make sure they do not abuse it.  That said, the Environmental Protection Agency needs to back off because it is becoming a joke.  Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant, it's tree food.

NASA: Ok, this is a pipe dream project that we have sunk billions into, but it is such an awesome program that spurred countless dreams and has led to so much innovation that I can't help but suggest it needs to continually be funded.  if we are going over budget, unfortunately, it is also one of the first on the list to face cuts.  I love NASA.

Public Health: caveat, I don't believe the government should be telling everyone how to live their life.  However, it can make recommendations, and that includes educating the public on healthy life style choices.  Public Health is 90% education and prevention.  You prevent somebody from getting sick, it saves a lot of costs in the long run.  There is also some lifestyle choices some people make that require some assistance on the part of the government to help in the long run.  For instance, STD screenings.  Mostly STDs are preventable, but people are people and people are dumb.  You know, if you're partner looks a little funky down below, you might not want to get to comfortable with them, but some people don't think about that when they are thinking with their reproductive organs, and some people are absolute whores.  That's just one example. 

These are some examples of things I would fund if I were in charge of the government.  However, there are countless of programs and things that are funded by the government that probably don't need to be.  Yes, I am a member of the Tea Party for it's original intent, to downsize the scale of the government and keep spending down.  I believe I know how to spend my money better then my congressmen does (though I do admit I got a great Congresswoman) and if my taxes are low, I have more money to spend on things I want to spend them on, to include organizations that are partly subsidized by the government that might not need to be, if people were allowed to choose where to donate their money.  Sure, some people would keep all of their money if allowed, but you know, that's their right as well. 

I think a lot of things in the government has their hands in needs to be reformed (badly) like healthcare and entitlements and the such, as it is a giant money pot that is eating away at our finances and budget.  The intentions may be noble, but the purpose has run it's course.  We need to downsize or we're going to go the way of Greece.

Anyway, my thoughts.  There might be a few other things I would fund as well if I was ruler of the universe, but what would YOU fund if you had the power to choose?

Priorities

So, we made $600 million in cuts to Community Health Centers and 0 cuts to Planned Parenthood. Nice priorities, government. Especially when PP refers its patients to Community Health Centers for those cancer screenings it was toting.

Oh that's right.  Community health Centers provide healthcare,  not abortions.  And PP are big backers of democrats so we will make NO cuts to them.

We're in debt up to our eyeballs. I think everything should be slashed, because you can tax the snot out of the richest americans and it is still not going to cover the 1.5 trillion we overspend and the 14 trillion debt we have. But Obama has a plan, to decrease the deficit by 4 trillion over the next ten years by, well, spending more.

Damn, we're surrounded by idiots.

3.30.2011

Adventures In Dog Sitting

One of my husband's coworkers is out of town for the week, and kind of a last minute thing they needed to find somebody to watch their dog. Gus can't blame me for accepting, since he asked me if I wanted to do it and I said sure. She's cute and all, and I like dogs, but my adventures in watching a young Golden Retriever has me contemplating getting a dog of my own, something I've been considering for the last few months, if we can find the right dog.

Abby, the dog, is an adorable little snot that loves attention. She also likes to be outside and enjoys running around on five acres of property while I go about my errands of feeding the horses, where she harasses the chickens and hasn't quite figured out that the cats do not like her. I'm waiting for her to get that lesson down, but to save her face from being mauled, I try to intervene. Of course, I also intervene when she decides to take a dump in the hay barn, NOT the place for her to do her duty.

So, we go to the trials of dog sitting, and the reason I'm kind of mum on the idea of getting a dog. See, she's young, still a puppy, and it turns out, not entirely housebroke. Don't get me wrong, she doesn't poop in the house, but when she gets excited, like when she meets a new person, she starts wagging her tail and piddling on the floor. That gets annoying. She could have just peed outside and she will still piddle on the floor if she gets super excited. I don't know if that's something that will go away in time or if she's just a nervous dog with an uncontrollable bladder.

Then there is the play bites, which I think I'm getting into her head is not ok. She tries to jump on the couch with me and I push her off, she thinks its a game and she puts my arm in her mouth. Not breaking the skin, but I have had to work with her that no body part goes into a dog's mouth, ever (unless somebody is breaking an entering with the intention of harm, then go right on ahead!) But the most disgusting thing I have seen her do is eat horse manure. It almost made me vomit the last time she did it. Dang dog.

But she is cute, in her I'm not quite a puppy anymore but I'm not a full grown dog sort of way. Still, it has made me realize with the constant craving of attention (thankfully we have a kennel for her at night) that I really am a Cat Person at heart.

As long as the Cat is halfway sane and not a murderous fiend of course. Anyway, I think I'll let a future kidling try to talk us into getting a dog when I actually look at getting one. I'm glad petsitting is only a week.