Sunday, June 30, 2013

Home Improvement Heat Wave

One week closer to our baby shower, and getting really excited! I've gotten our RSVPs back, and we will have 30 people! Definitely a party :) We've decided to set up a photo booth, so I'll be excited to share those photos here at the end of the month. Should be really fun to see everyone and celebrate our baby girl! Pam is officially the only family member that will be there, so stoked she will make it all the way out here! As for the rest of the fam, I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone when I fly back with Jocelyn in February (if all goes to plan). But our shower, yay! Jason's had some great ideas for games, decorations, and planning, and I don't know why more people don't involve their husbands in their showers. She's our baby! He should get to have some celebratory fun too! I'm sure going to miss sharing some of his homebrew this time, but it will be great to have it ready just in time for the party and all our guests. I'll make my fresh lemonade, and iced tea, which isn't his HB, but they're still pretty good :)

This weekend, Jason finished the bamboo in Jocelyn's closet, and is putting together a rocking chair that my mom sent us, and the "pack n' play" that my sister sent. Jocelyn's room is feeling more and more like a baby room all the time. Starting to feel more and more real!

I ripped out all the floor trim/molding in our guest room, and am putting down some click n lock vinyl floors. There's no heavy lifting (Jason's been bringing the heavy boxes up to me), no hammering, no toxic glues or paints, so its a project I can do on my own to make the guest room look more finished (I did call for Jason's help in removing some of the extra stubborn side molding, and nails- he's such a great partner and papa! Thanks J!). It really turned out well with the quick-stick tiles in the guest bath I did last weekend, so I'm excited to tackle the guest room, and make it ready for our shower guests, and post delivery visitors. This room should be easier, since we won't have to remove/replace a toilet, and no weird edges and angles around bathtub or sink! I should finish it all today pretty quick.

Next weekend carpets go in the hallway and on the stairs, and then ALL OUR FLOORS in our house will have been updated! Its only taken us three years, haha but we'll finally be done with that part of our home reno. We've come a long way from 60s carpets in all our bathrooms and kitchen! Haha, oh the joys of buying a mid century house.

We still need to put floor trim in (all the rooms we've redone floors - upstairs and down), but that's it. Floors will officially be DONE. So stoked! Also we'll need to replace our hand-rail for the stairs, since Holden got to it as a puppy haha. This time we'll probably put something metal in. Its really great to look back and think of how our house looked when we bought it, and see how it is now, also knowing that Jason and I did all of the work with our own two hands. Well, Holden helped with his teeth and paws, he sure was a lil adorable (terror of a) puppy haha and ripped out some of the carpets and destroyed several things haha, so glad he's outgrown that- but other than his "help" we have done it all, and really put in all our love, blood, sweat, and tears, and its finally starting to pay off and not only feel like our home, but look like our home, and not an unfinished project. :) - for the most part!

My belly's getting bigger all the time, and she's moving around so much. I've really gotten used to all her dance moves in there. When I first started to feel her, it would surprise me when she would have a big kick or wild "jazz hands!" quick movement, sometimes making me gasp out of surprise haha. Now I'm so used to her moving in there, I love feeling her and am sure that I will miss this part when its over. Its so fun to watch her too, when she really gets moving I can see my belly poke out where she pushes, and turns around. Pretty sci-fi cool. I'm really looking forward to the actual birthing part too, and feel completely at ease in my decision to be 100% natural, and though I know I will feel lots of strong, uncomfortable sensations, I'm really looking forward to laboring. I'm not nervous about that part at all, I really thought I would be more worried/scared about it. But the more I read, the more I meditate, the more I practice my yoga, and feel in touch with my body and my baby, I trust myself, trust my body, and the natural course of birthing that women's bodies have been doing for centuries. I really am looking forward to experiencing this part. I'm totally not scared like most women in the states are brainwashed by the medical industry to be about childbirth - which I'm surprised by, because I thought I would be more scared, which I'm not. I'm really excited about it, and though I am thankful that we have medical technology available if needed, I am not worried about needing anything more than my body to do nature's work. I mean, giving life? Experiencing that? I can't wait. Such an incredible gift to give, and experience - however it happens, it will change my life forever. I feel so lucky.

Its been so hot this last week, we had record breaking temperatures of 106, but I'm trying to keep myself as cool as possible, staying in doors as much as possible, minimizing yard work during the times of day when the sun is out, drinking lots of ice water, using my desk fan at full blast at work, and keeping my hand-fan flapping in my face when i'm at home like an old Southern lady. Miraculously, the 30% chance of rain that we had in our forecast, actually happened last night! We had thunder and lightening (I know since I get up to pee twice every night) and we got some MUCH NEEDED rain, along with it a "cold" front, bringing our thermometers down to the mid/upper 90s. SO thankful! To all of you back in California, with your "75 degree heat wave" trust me, having 95 in Texas right now, actually feels nice and cool comparatively! Those "super hot" 75 degree days back in Nor Cal sound like a lovely freezing breeze - though I'm sure they are uncomfortable to everyone over there. Regardless I hope that y'all can appreciate it for me if you can!

I can't believe its already JULY tomorrow! Jocelyn's getting closer and closer to joining us on the outside, and we can't be more excited to meet her. Amazing to think that I've already been pregnant for just about half a year. She's already been with me that long. SO cool. According to my baby app, she can now start to distinguish light and dark from her developing eyes, and also hear sounds beyond my voice. Jason wants to start reading to her and singing to her so she can get to know her papa better. Before bed, we practice our lullabys to each other (and to her), and hearing him sing makes my eyes tear up - hormones or not, its the sweetest thing to hear, even if sometimes a bit out of tune. He's already such a great loving papa. Jocelyn is such a lucky girl.

My sister in law recently sent a bunch of hand me down baby things to my mom that we went through together yesterday over skype, so she can send what we need over to us for Jocelyn, and we are so excited and grateful to have so much family love, even when we are way across the country. Technology is amazing, I even was able to show my mom the new floors we've put in. I love having the ability to have video phone calls, this is the future! I remember when I was a kid talking on my land line telephone (which was a rotary phone by the way) to my best friend Kate. We would image what it would be like in the future when our phones would have video chat, that was such a cool futuristic idea, which now we can use routinely! I can only imagine the kinds of innovations that Jocelyn will see in her lifetime... Hopefully towards a greener, more efficient, loving and intelligent planet. A mama can hope.

This last week had a lot of excitement with all of the political happenings here at the Capital with Wendy Davis standing up for Women's rights in Texas with her 13 hour filibuster, and with the death of DOMA and prop 8! I don't remember the last time I felt so much joy, pride, unity, and straight up happiness for our country and the representation of our people. I know that Rick Perry is calling the bill back for a vote tomorrow, and unfortunately as inspiring and successful Wendy Davis was this last week, along with all of the people in the crowds who showed up to share their support in defense of the woman's right to choose, I'm not entirely confident that the Texas Governor still won't shut down the majority of Texas abortion clinics in this state, leaving only FIVE remaining. We'll see what happens tomorrow, but my outlook unfortunately is grim. Davis said that she will keep fighting, but I'm not sure what will keep this horrible Bill from passing, if her filibuster didn't already. On the upside, yay for Marriage Equality! Even though that still doesn't make same sex marriage legal in Texas (yet), its such a huge step forward in human rights, that should have happened ages ago. Paris also recently celebrated their first same sex marriage, which warms my heart to see this kind of progress taking over around the world.

Politics aside, I've been super proactive about our thank you notes, which feels so good to stay on top of, considering how amazingly forgetful about things I've been lately- which is unlike me. Haha, "baby brain" is a real thing apparently. I'm not sure if its proper etiquette to send thank yous before your shower, but I'm just happy that I am able to be sure I thank everyone as gifts are received, so no one is accidentally forgotten. Which I am sort of paranoid about accidentally doing! So far so good :) I'm the queen of spreadsheets, so that has also been helping me stay on top of everything.

Time to get going on these floors!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Jocelyn Pic of the Week

Had to re-charge my camera battery, so these pics get their own post. She's getting big folks!

And, thank you aunty Marci, for my maternity skirt and bra top! Love them! Love you! <3 <3

6-Year Wedding Anniversary

Today is Jason and my 6-year wedding anniversary! Wow, 6 years ago already, time sure flies when you're having fun! This year we are so happy that our anniversary falls on a weekend, so we can enjoy more time together, doing exactly what WE want! Yesterday for me that was...

Sleeping through Yoga. I usually wake up every morning at 7am, 8am at the latest, but I guess I really needed the extra Zzzz's after my long grueling work week, because I didn't wake up until 10:30! It was a bummer I missed Yoga, but I did some stretching at home, and figured that my body needed the rest. We then went to Home Depot and picked up some easy-stick tiles, so I could put in a new floor in our upstairs guest bath. It was a DIY home project that I could do with no heavy-lifting or toxic chemicals, and I finished it all on my own! Except for removing the toilet - which Jason did, and then I helped him replace the wax-ring to put it back down on the new floor. It looks so much better, and that much closer to being ready for our shower guests, and baby. I initially wanted to put in river-stone pebble tiles, but considering we will eventually remodel the bathroom all together (take out shower/bath, put in a claw foot and replace the old sink cabinet with an updated and more space-efficient one), the easy-stick tiles were less expensive, so won't be as heartbreaking to eventually rip out or tile over.

Jason fixed the part of our back fence that Zombie had been hopping to run around in our neighbor's yard (to do who knows what, aside from being a pain in our ass getting her back on our side haha - luckily no dogs our cats at that neighbor's house). So that's all good. I weed-whacked about half of our back yard, until Jason unplugged me and told me to stop doing so much and to just relax. Haha, I told him I wasn't too hot outside, but he wouldn't hear it, and told me to go put my feet up and drink some ice water after doing everything I already had that day. Little does he know that hard-labor to me is relaxing sometimes. Haha, maybe while he's bottling this batch of home brew today I can sneak back outside with the weed whacker and sun hat and finish my choppin!

We decided not to exchange gifts this year for our anniversary, as Jocelyn, really is our gift to each other this year, that and the day off to spend some quality time with one another. We have been going to the movies for our anniversaries, and this year World War Z is in the theater, which we might end up doing (Zombies, Full Super Moon, and Anniversary!) but going to the theater for me isn't as fun as watching movies in our home theater, since I have to get up and pee every 30 minutes haha. So we might just go out to a nice meal together instead, and keep working on the house, nesting away.

I finished writing the first batch of thank-yous for our baby registry gifts, and already feel so much love and gratitude for all our loving friends and family who are helping us welcome our daughter into our lives and home. Everything's coming together, and I'm finally starting to really appreciate the 9 months it takes to welcome her here, as I feel like we still have so much to do to prepare for her arrival. I am also really enjoying this part of pregnancy, and am sure I will miss it and think back on this time, carrying her magically and fondly. This part is definitely better than the beginning, which is why I think I felt so impatient at first. I feel like right now, I'm taking in every present moment, and appreciating it exactly for what it is, and its really rewarding.

Last night I had a dream I was having twins, and I woke up thinking for a second that I had two babies in my tummy, only to remember (somewhat thankfully) that I only have one lil girl in me. I think perhaps the dream was because our household is full of pairs, me and jason, zombie and holden, molly and roxy... but also there are quite a few friends and acquaintances that are having or just had twins so twins must be on the mind!

To honor Jason's Black Foot Native American heritage, we've chosen our daughter's secret Black Foot name. I feel like it already suits her well from what I know about her, but we'll see after she's born if it truly is her name, or if we will feel the need to pick a new one. Our beautiful Jocelyn girl! We are still undecided on her middle name, but are looking forward to hearing suggestions from our guests at our baby shower.

Time to get the day going with my true love! Happy anniversary honey, I love you so much!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wild Week, Soccer Girl, Summertime!

Happy Friday! Today has been the best summer solstice ever. Truly making up for a long, exhaustive, week from H-E-double-Hockey Sticks. Finally getting the chance to write!

This week my uterus is roughly the size of a soccer ball, which is fitting considering how much she is kicking these days! She is also roughly 13.5 inches long (longer than a ruler!) Really turning into a little person in my belly, its so amazing to feel her, and think about her in there. She's definitely what keeps me going, grounded, and calm regardless of the shit storms around me.

So major bummer, was that my centering appointment/class for this month was cancelled last minute the night before. As arranged with my boss, the half day hours I spend in the morning at the Birth Center (for the 8 pre-scheduled Thursdays) have to be made up that week, so this week I had already worked 3 back to back 10-hour days, getting to the office early and working through my lunch breaks to only learn that, oh! Just joking, what you've been looking forward to for the past month, and worked your tired pregnant butt off for the last three days is actually NOT happening. The other disappointment was that because centering was cancelled (due to 3 of the 5 moms in the group couldn't join this week's meeting), was that the remaining 2 of us were scheduled to come in at least, for our regular belly checks. My "15 minute" appointment was at 10:45 (I got there early at 10:30), but no one saw me until 11:30! I had taken the centering being cancelled the best I could though being totally disappointed, as an opportunity to go to my vet's to refill Holden's arthritis Rx, and hopefully take myself out to lunch and have some "me" time- which I barely was able to swing over to the vet's afterwards and had to skip another lunch break and revert to my stash of glovebox clif and LARA bars, and bag of raw baby carrots on my drive back down to work the rest of my afternoon. It was- how else do you say it, a TOTAL bummer.

On the upswing, I found out at my appointment that I have gained roughly 20lbs, and for my starting BMI (which was healthy- but apparently "underweight"), its totally normal for me to gain up to 50lbs! Haha. OMG. That's so crazy. Then again, I didn't even realize I have already put on 20 pounds (which basically is a pound a week), and my midwife said especially with my healthy vegan diet, regular exercise, and overall body size, she is not at all worried about me gaining TOO much weight, and she's not worried about me not getting enough nutrition to my lil one, since I'm eating all the right foods and taking all the right supplements. She reassured me that all the weight I gain is good weight, and healthy weight for baby so basically keep going at it! Eat whatever the ef I want- which I've already been doing :) All vegan still of course, and I've even found that while pregnant I'm not finding CHIA seeds repulsive. So I've been putting those into my morning kale/flax/hemp protein smoothies too. I also got to hear Jocelyn's heartbeat again, and hear that both she and I are perfect models of health and doing great, which is always good to hear, regardless of all the let downs of everything else regarding this month's appointment. After my midwife said she was talking to the other gal (which apparently took over an hour before me - I bet she was more pissed than I was haha), we were both reassured that they wouldn't cancel another centering appointment again, as they understand how both of us had to make arrangements with our work ahead of time, and how it wasn't fair to us to drop that bomb (duh!), and that they felt kinda bad about it haha. So that's good at least. Not that they felt bad (sort of), but that they won't do this to us again. They said that if only 2 of us will show up the next time, we will still meet, and if we need to, we will just end our session early. That way no one is punished for other people canceling.

ANYWAY! So, several long work days this week, cancelled centering, and delayed appointments later... I do have some great things to balance out the week, and bring it up several notches! Thank Goddess it's Friday! After so much time spent working, this week, I took myself out to lunch (even though we are being very frugal and trying to save all our pennies and not eating out - I decided to anyway), and when I went to buy my taco salad at Whole Foods, apparently the Taco guy only put a sticker for $0.50 on my $9.50 meal, and the check out lady told me, "It's your lucky day! Its too much of a busy lunch time rush for me to see what the charges should be, so that will just be $1.87 for you today" (with my big vegan chocolate chip cookie of course). And even though it was super busy at wholefoods for lunch, I was able to get a table INSIDE (yay AC and wifi). I feel like whenever I eat there at lunch I have to sit outside which is hot, and their wifi has poor range outside. SO AWESOME!!! And, then luck had it that my boss decided to close the office an hour early today at 5, which means I was able to get home before 7 for once! When I got home just before 6, I even had a box waiting on my doorstep from my sister (and mom) with tons of baby clothes and accessories handed down from my niece Gigi! OMG. So many SUPER CUTE lil things. I can't wait to put my baby into them! Great way to end the week, feeling all the love, and cosmic karma rewarding my calm amidst chaos attitude, and hard-working week with treats and now a great start to my weekend!

This is a great start to summer too (happy solstice!), we still haven't had a triple-digit day in Austin for 2013, which I am SO GRATEFUL for. In 2011 we had already had 17 triple digit days, in a heat wave that totaled over 90 days of triple digits. Still hoping for a mild Texas (as mild as Texas can be) summer, and seemingly getting my wish. I'll take 98, 99 any day over 100 (it really does feel different). So glad for the weekend! A full, super moon on Sunday, which is also my 6-year wedding anniversary! <3 Going to work on the house, I think I might do a couple tiling projects for our upstairs bathroom and downstairs infront of our sliding glass doors, while Jason finishes the baby's room floors - bamboo in the closet and trim (nesting much?). A perfect way to spend time with my lovely hubby. We also have our carpet installation scheduled, July 6th, so that's in just a couple weekends too! Will look and feel so much nicer and be safer for our stairs. I'm also so excited for tomorrow morning's yoga, and of course swimming and sunshine (probably Sunday). Loving Summer! Belly in Texas and all!

Lots of love out to the universe!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yoga South, and Nutrition

Since today my North Birth Center's yoga is cancelled (and for the next weekend(s)) until the new yoga room is finished being remodeled (CAN'T WAIT!) and its getting too hot to continue outdoor yoga- I drove down to the South Birth Center location and took their Saturday morning class.

The South Austin Area Birthing Center is a lot bigger than the North location, but still has the same homey feel about it that makes me feel so happy we have these facilities and environments here in Austin to birth our babies. Unlike my North Classes, this yoga sesh was inside (oh AC, how good you feel with summer baby-belly yoga!), and upstairs in a carpeted area that felt more like someone's living room. The teacher down there is the extreme opposite energy and style of the North Saturday teacher, but by the end of class I was really enjoying myself, and felt restored, even though I felt we didn't spend enough time on poses, and we completely skipped shavasana (the end laying down meditation). This lady had so much energy I think she probably sleeps standing up haha :). We did do a kundalini meditation at the end, which was the first time I ended on such an active, quick-breath'ed note - in any yoga class i've done. We did a quick inhale "sut" (1/2 a second), then quick exhale "nam" (1/2 a second)  - while seated, arms held out to the sides from our shoulders, and bending at the elbows, motioning our fists with outstretched thumbs to point down back down to our shoulders, then outstretched again, back and forth with each inhale/exhale).

The instructor (I forget her name already- Kim?), was however very informative about the whole birthing process and experience, and her very high energy was contagious and by the end of class we were all laughing together. I felt like for every inhale/exhale I did, she did about 2-3. Haha, I just tried to listen to my body and do the movements at my own, slower, longer pace to really feel them, so I got what I needed out of the class. We also spent a lot of the class talking about our bodies, and she invited us to share our experiences with our pregnancies (amidst, and between poses), and even brought in a model of a woman's pelvis she passed around to show us the inner parts (that were removable on the model), muscles, bones and ligaments. It was pretty cool to look at, but definitely different from any yoga classes I've taken. I'm not used to so much talking, I'm used to more movement and silence/breathing through the practice, but I will say that it was still a lot of fun, and the poses she did have us do definitely loosened me up and energized me.

She showed us a bunch of pressure points on our feet to help soothe various discomforts we may have leading up to birth, and during birth, which were helpful. I mentioned that I have had toe cramps happen a couple times, when I've been pregnant, which I thought was a sign to drink more water (even though I drink SO much already). But with the Texas heat, its easier to get dehydrated, so I really need to drink even more. Another lady in class said you can also eat more bananas, and get more potassium to reduce cramps like that. I eat a banana every morning in my green smoothie, but I like them, so might as well start eating them later in the day as well. Now that its summer they turn brown super quick anyway, so might as well! On a rated note, I saw this article today, "The 6 Nutrients You Need While Pregnant, (And which to avoid)" regarding nutrition during pregnancy. Yay vegan nutrition for mamas! I think the take-away for me here in reading this, is that I should never say no to avocado! I love them, so I'm in luck. Here's a recap of the article, and how I'm taking these nutrients in daily (on top of my daily prenatal vitamin):
  1. Folate/Folic Acid: Kale (every morning in my smoothies), beans (especially black-eyed peas), nuts, avocados, romain lettuce, parsley
  2. Omega-3s: DHA daily supplement, Flax seeds (every morning in my smoothies)
  3. Calcium (With Magnesium): Kale (calcium - in my morning smoothies), with Hemp Seed Powder (magnesium - in morning smoothies). Also lots of various other greens, collard greens, cucumbers, broccoli, and romaine lettuce.
  4. Iron: Lentils, Chickpeas (and hummus), black beans, and she says to eat the beans with foods high in vitamin C to maximize absorption like hot peppers (we eat those with everything, really happy I don't have heart burn, though I've been cutting back some on the super super hot foods we're used to, and easing into them- so far so good!), as well as bell peppers, parsley and greens (which we always do).
  5. Vitamin D: My daily supplement, I also go on daily walks outside to get some of the beautiful Texas sunshine, which is always in abundance. 
  6. B-12: Nutritional yeast to the max! I eat this regularly pregnant or not, and its basically all B-12. I also eat Marmite with my toast and some of my sandwiches, 
  7. also Protein: Again, tons of beans, nuts, kale, and my hemp powder in my smoothies. I also love avocado, and should probably eat more of them, since they are so good for the pregnant body!
And here's what she says to avoid:

What to Avoid Eating While Pregnant
"Just as there are foods you should try to get more of in your diet while you’re pregnant, it’s super important to avoid certain foods due the potential toxins that are present, like mercury or dangerous bacteria, despite any potential benefits (like the omega-3s in fish). You’ll want to discuss the limitations with your healthcare provider, of course, but the Mayo Clinic lists:
  • Fish that is likely to be high in mercury, like swordfish, shark, tuna, king mackerel, and tilefish
  • Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood, like lox
  • Unpasteurized meat or soft cheeses
  • Deli meat or hotdogs, unless cooked until steaming (there are so many other reasons NOT to eat these foods while pregnant or otherwise, which we won’t get into here!)"
So as a vegan, luckily all of the foods to avoid really don't have any impact on me or my baby, since I never eat any of them anyway - pregnant or not. And now I'm off to make a big avocado sandwich, for me and my sweaty husband putting in bamboo floors in the bambino's room. <3 Already gave both of the dog's baths today, and will probably head outside (vitamin D!) to weed whack, and then put in my ear plugs and read through some of the upstairs hammering. Weekends, I love you!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Full House!

We have already had some RSVPs trickle in, and I'm so excited to have some really sweet, special visitors lined up for our shower! Can't wait to see Sara Pedal! She came out and stayed with us a couple years ago for SXSW when Holden was just a puppy, now he probably weighs more than she does. Haha, our lil pony. She will be with us for the whole weekend, so excited!

Jason's hometown next door neighbor (more like a mama), is coming out to stay with us for a whole week from California!! I am SO excited to have Pam stay with us, and join us for Jocelyn's shower. Yay Grandma Pam!! I think she might be the only family member that will be able to make it (that I know of so far), way to represent Felton! <3 <3

We will also have our dear friend Kristin stay with us and her 2 year old daughter, Jody, from Dallas. Kristin was one of Jason's first buddies when he moved to San Francisco, and a year later when I moved to SF to be with him, she was one of MY first friends in the city. We love Kristin, and are SO stoked we can have her with us! It's hard to believe that her baby shower for Jody in Dallas was already two years ago. I hope she has as much fun at mine, as I did at hers. Yay, babies!!!

This is really turning into such a special day for us already. I might have to order a third cheesecake for all the guests! woo hoo! It really makes me wish I could take some time off and party with everyone for more than just the weekend. It's unlikely, but I'll see what I can do, at least I'll have Saturday and Sunday off to spend with everyone! And the evenings :)

Speaking of taking time off, so Jason, again super husband, surprised me today by working from home today, so he could get a head start on the flooring for Jocelyn's room. He sent me a pic on my lunch break of the carpet all torn out of there already (and Holden rolling around saying goodbye to "his" room haha). *Swoon!* I told him I wanted to help when we started talking about plans for everything, but he said he wouldn't let me, and maybe keeping me out of the house is the only way he can do that. Haha, go Daddy Jason, go!

I feel like as the mama, I am the one getting the most attention, but papa Jason really deserves all the love and attention just as much, this is his lil baby, and he is definitely putting in all the love, hard work, and thought into making her the luckiest lil girl in the world. I love you papa J! So Friday night plans? Home Depot for bamboo floors, and hopefully Jason left me some re-organizing to do with all the musical instruments moved out of the baby's closet into the guest room closet.

Here's to another weekend of swimming and yoga! While the hubby kicks me out of the house to do hot manly home reno. He better at least let me bring him some cold drinks and snacks, even though he told me to, "not lift a finger!" Its really hard for me not to get in there and saw, and hammer in some of those planks. Actually this will be the first room of the house that we haven't worked on together. I'll let him do it, I think while I'm over here creating life, maybe this is his way of also creating something only his body is capable of right now :) Can't wait to see when its all done!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bedtime Stories

First off, I have to say how my husband makes the BEST black-eyed-pea chili, and the BEST curried potato lentils. Three cheers to a hard working husband who cooks for his pregnant wife throughout the work week! So delicious. Feeling very grateful and well nourished, mind, bodies, and spirit.

So last night, Jason and I were reading in bed together. He was reading the Birth Partner, and I'm still reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. Every so often we would each have our own giggles and then share the new amazing insight into the woman's body, or tips for helping a laboring partner. Here were some of our favorites from last night, that were either just really cool to learn about or made us giggle:

  • The female pelvis is not just one bone, but FOUR bones, attached with ligaments that stretch and expand to accommodate a baby's birth. One way you can feel  how your pelvis can stretch is by standing (or kneeling) with one hand in front on your lower stomach, and one on your lower back. Lean back slightly and feel how close together your hands become, lean forward and  feel how far apart they become. When on all fours or leaning forward your pelvis is at the most expanded, which is why kneeling births, or where women can bend forward can be easier to push large babies (unlike laying flat on your back when it is most restricted). 
  • Men can also practice doing Kegels, which can aid in reducing likelihood of prostate disease and other prostate issues.
  • Pregnant women should practice their Kegels regularly, and do 10 "super" kegels a day leading up to birth (this is where you hold them for 30 seconds! and repeat x 10). We both were trying to do this and started laughing immediately. It says that you can build up these muscles, and even if its tough at first, you will eventually be able to hold them for up to 30 seconds, which will greatly help strengthen these muscles that are very important when birthing (and for other, well, *cough* more recreational fun too!). When you are holding remember to breathe, and relax all other muscles. If you are unable to hold the whole time, gently refocus and squeeze again, keeping all other muscles relaxed.
  • Pregnant women should practice doing 10 squats a day, and hold each for 30 seconds (I feel like the Birth Partner book is somewhat of a personal trainer's manual for labor partners haha). 
  • Birth partners should bring a rolling pin to the birth (Jason didn't say any more about this one, but we were "rolling" in laughter... i'm guessing to help massage my lower back?, all I can think of is the hip hop song, "Roll out~! Roll out!" haha)
  • Birth Partners should prepare themselves for high-endurance, and pulling possible all-nighters (luckily Jason is a pro at the all-nighter as he does this regularly with his work). Its recommended to strengthen your upper body, arms, chest, and shoulders, as your partner may want to push against you, hang from you, and ask for you to apply constant strong pressure to her lower back and hips. (I'm glad this partner book is telling HIM to work out too! haha).
  • Laughing, kissing, and making "moooooooo"ing sounds like a cow, or "loose lip neighs" like a horse are all conducive to helping advance labor, and ease pushing. The Moooooing, can help the laboring woman laugh, which helps with birthing. And the horse sounds, also probably will sound pretty funny which is good because laughter helps release endorphins and relax the lady, but also Ina May notices the correlation between woman who have flexed/tight lips and jaws tend to have tighter birth canals, and women with loose lips (mooing and neighing relaxes these muscles), loose jaws and mouths are more relaxed and more open to push better with less tearing. Most women can more easily, "relax their jaws and mouths" than know how to "relax their cervix/vaginal area" during birth, even if they aren't making barn yard animal sounds. Singing during birth, can also loosen up these muscles.
  • Its recommended to sing to your baby the same song over and over, or read the same book over and over to your baby while still inside her mama. She will learn to recognize mama and papa's voices, and if a song or book is repeated enough times, it can be a soothing sound to her after she is born, and calm her when she is fussy. One mom who played Cello would  play for her baby for hours before he was born, and after giving birth, playing the cello would immediately calm him down.
These books are so fun to read, and so much fun to read and share together. This weekend Jason and I are going to work on the baby's room, and he is going to install bamboo floors. We have our appointment all set up for the upstairs hallway and stairs to be carpeted, so that should happen in the next coming weeks. Getting pretty excited! The nesting bug is really starting to take root, I think that doing bamboo in her room is a better idea than the carpet after all. Since Jason will do the labor, it will be cheaper anyway, match our bedroom, and be much cooler during all the hot Texas months. Carpet on our stairs though? A must!! Safety first :) 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mind-Baby Connection

When you're pregnant, your midwife (or your doctor) will tell you that if you don't feel your baby moving for a day or two, you should contact them immediately. At first, when I was told this in my centering group, I had just started to feel slight movements, so was skeptical that you really feel her every day. But now that she's growing, she definitely is moving daily! I've really grown to love this feeling, and  love being pregnant. So worth the beginning being as rough as it was, this part is really, truly  fun.

I've noticed from the beginning, that she has routine times when she likes to wiggle and kick around in there. Just recently I made the connection that when I'm happiest, she is too! And she celebrates my happy moods with mini innerbelly dance parties. Here's when I feel her busting a move:

  • When I wake up before work, and laze in bed for 15 minutes cuddling  with Molly (my black cat). I love starting my  days like this, easing into another long day at the office, I really appreicate these extra  moments of rest, while I'm awake and aware of them enough to really appreicate every moment. 
  • After lunch. A full belly, equals a happy pregnant lady
  • Whenever I'm talking to my dogs. I thought at first that it was her way of wanting to break out and play with them already (perhaps also true), but I realize that this is when I'm happiest. With my animals. 
  • When I get home from work and put my feet up. She really goes wild when I do this, and inside- I do too! 
  • After dinner when I cuddle on the couch and watch TV with my husband. I love this time we share together, usually each of us with a dog curled up next to us or on our legs. 
  • And then the last two weeks, at the end of my yoga classes, when I feel so blissed out, happy, and restored. 
All of these moments are when Jocelyn proclaims her interpretive dance of, "Rejoice! Rejoice!" the strongest. I strongly believe that surrounding yourself with as much positivity as possible is so important, regardless of being pregnant, and to do what makes you happiest, even if that's just an extra 15 minutes of laying in bed each morning with your black cat nuzzled into your arm. Appreciating and really truly enjoying all the small moments of happiness are good for the soul. Now, having such a fresh new life on board the Tyler train, makes my  need for surrounding energy of love, light, and happiness just as (if not more) important. Happy mama, happy baby. Nourishing our mental health is just as important as our physical health, for baby too! <3 <3

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Discounted/Free Breast Pumps through your Insurance Provider

My Centering group has a google forum set up, and one of the members recently posted this:
"I recently found out that breast pumps are now covered under most medical insurance plans.  This is a consequence of the Affordable Care Act.  You can contact your insurance company to find out which medical suppliers they use, and which breast pumps are available.  I was told that I would not be able to request mine until after the 30th week of pregnancy - it is a little early still.  But, these are a costly item, and if you have insurance you should definitely take advantage!"
So awesome! Another gal in our group then responded that she called her insurance and was able to get a FREE Medelo breast pump with her provider. I haven't called my insurance yet, and we didn't initially intend to add a breast pump to our wishlist of baby needs (as I'm not planning on going back to work for a while), but if they are actually at somewhat of a reasonable price, or FREE, might as well take advantage of that. Especially since some moms who are stay at home as well, end up needing to use a breast pump anyway to help get their milk flowing.

Thought I should share without anyone else out there expecting. :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Sphincter Says What?

So it turns out that I have plenty more of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth let to read (reading on a kindle makes it hard to gauge how "fat" a book is sometimes). I was told that the first half of the book was about positive natural birthing stories, but in my addition there are several other chapters after that first one. YAY! I love reading her stuff. So, I'm currently on the chapter appropriately titled, "The Law of Sphincters." Haha, which immediately makes me think of Wayne's World, but her law of Sphincters is actually so perfect in describing the mechanics of natural childbirth and a woman's body.

So, unlike the standard US Medical rule of thumb for hospital births- which is to provide medical intervention at the first sign of any struggle on the woman's part to give birth - taking it as a sign that her body isn't built for child bearing (I'll have to look back and quote Ina May's term for this)- Ina May goes by the Law of Sphincters instead. What does that mean? This law of birth for her is wonderfully described, because  I think anyone can relate and understand (male or female). First, a sphincter is a muscle (group of muscles? I'm not an anatomy person)- that controls the passage of things out of your body (urine, excrement, and of course babies). Ever noticed how you can't pee if you are in an uncomfortable place? Or how you can't poop if you're in an uncomfortable place? Haha. Well the same goes for using the sphincter muscles during child birth.

All of these muscles are naturally in a flexed state, and only relax when they are active to release whatever it is you are trying to release. If you can't pee or take a dump with a stranger standing over you, does that mean your body is not equipped to pee or poop? Of  course not. There is a psychological, emotional, mind-body connection that is very real, and I'm sure that everyone can relate to that. There is nothing wrong, or "not working" with our bodies, we are just not in the right mindset, or comfort zone to relax those muscles. This is the same with childbirth. Doesn't that make so much sense? I feel like her law of sphincters should be more commonly practiced in all birthing situations in the US, however unfortunately the mind-body connection is primarily ignored and the woman's body is seen as ineffective. Because most women (or men I would assume) can't relax being strapped on her back, denied food and water (ice chips only), with a catheter put in her urethra, most times pumped with IV fluids, drugs, and having strangers coming and going, in an uncomfortable hospital gown, under florescent lights and given the pressure to hurry everything along to stay on schedule.

I know that natural birth isn't every woman's choice, and I respect that. I know that natural birth isn't an option for all women who choose to go the natural route either, and no way of giving birth is any "better" than the other. They all bring the joy of life, and can be extremely special for each of their own moments and reasons. I just hope that more women, especially in the united states would educate themselves on their options, and trust their bodies to do what our bodies have done for hundreds of thousands of years. Our bodies are not broken by default, and our feelings and minds are just as important as our bodies in our birthing process, and in our lives. We are amazing creatures, and yes, We can do it! xo

Yoga and Sunshine

June has really begun with a great start! Every weekend since June 1st, I have been making sure I get in plenty of Yoga, and plenty of Sunshine. Though weekends never seem long enough, this recipe has made me feel so great, and energized starting the new work weeks. This awesome middle-stage of pregnancy really does  feel so AWESOME! Still having plenty of mobility (though a lit more limited), energy, and appetite. The yoga and sunny swim days I think play a big role in it too. I have to keep this going! It will be my key to survival for the impending doom of the Texas heat (i'm sure).

Yesterday Chenoh (godmama) and I went swimming, and she had the fun suggestion to do Tie-Dying at the baby shower for the white onsies! I love the idea of having my guests decorate them, but tie-dying I think will make really cute, personalized styles that even the non-artsty types can get involved with and create something really fun and beautiful for her. Such a great idea! It could get a little messy, but I think if I set all that up outside it will be so much fun, and Jocelyn will get a whole new wonderful collection of hippy dip-dyed creations. YAY! Can't wait.

Liz (vegan buddy) and Heidi (Jason's sister) have really cute ideas for our party favors, and I can't wait to put them together! I won't say much now to keep it as a surprise for our guests. I will say that (did I already mention?) that Jason's next batch of homebrew will be ready for the party, so everyone can enjoy some of his amazing brewskis, and I will be brewing up a bunch of iced teas as well. There will also be lots of delicious vegan eats and treats. I really hope that Liz's husband can make some of his vegan deviled potatoes (like deviled eggs but vegan) that she's  told me about. This will be so much fun. :)

And speaking of, I've sent out the majority of all our invites, only a few left that I need to confirm mailing addresses to first. I think that our group will actually be closer to 20 people +/-, which will be so great! We'll see after RSVPs are returned for sure. Getting so excited :)

With all this baby excitement, Jason and I sort of forgot that its our anniversary this month! 6-wedding-years! And what do you know it lands straight on the day of the Full-Super-Moon, and, as always right after the summer solstice. We usually go out to the movies, which we'll probably do again this year, but since it lands on a Sunday (Weekend day) for once, maybe we will go do something else special. Hamilton Pool? -If its open. Book a nice dinner somewhere different? La Condesa apparently has really great vegan options if you call in advance and book a reservation. We'll see! And traditionally the 6th year gift is supposed to be Iron, so perhaps we should go eat somewhere with plenty of kale and spinach! hahaha. Jocelyn I think is our real gift to each other though this year :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Summer's Starting to Shine Already

Last weekend marked my first dip of the year, and first weekend of swimming which I plan to do EVERY weekend for the rest of summer. Tomorrow I'm hitting up Barton Springs with the lovely Miss Chenoh, to work on my tan and get some low-impact exercise swimming laps.

23 weeks! Here's some pics after a full morning of yoga (Cat the instructor went 30 minutes over today, and it felt sooooo good!), and after a trip to home depot finalizing which carpet to install for the baby room and stairs, hand-writing and addressing all of the baby shower invites that I have addresses for, picking up and mailing out all the father's day cards I send out annually, and all the birthday cards for my gemini siblings, and finally taking a prom-queen shower (the full beauty works!). Feeling refreshed and grateful. No make up today, just me.

My favorite part of yoga is at the end, when we go through the guided, suggested relaxation mediation, and feel each part of our body release and relax. After our instructor guides us through each body part, toes to crown, we then meditate on our baby relaxing. Jocelyn, I can tell is already a little rebel, because without fail, this is the part of the yoga sesh when she wakes up and kicks around after being quiet for the whole practice. I have to use my energy to try to mentally tell her to calm down, and laugh with her wildness quietly inside- almost making me laugh out loud when I'm trying to respect our instructor's guided words of relaxation. HAHA. Such a lil character!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Baby Shower Planning

We have our date, we have our location, and things are snapping into place. Though we have our huge, wild dogs, I think having it at our house will be easiest, and most comfortable considering the summer heat. I'm still thinking it will be a cozy lil crowd, so our living room will be the perfect size. The invites came in the mail (I had those printed, I wanted to make my own but with work there's just no time), and have started hand-writing notes and addresses on them. I think I'm supposed to have someone else do this, but honestly, I enjoy writing letters, especially to my loved ones that are all so far away. Keep on the lookout for yours, I think they turned out really cute!

There are so many tips online for decorating and planning, and most of them seem so incredibly wasteful to me. Decorations that go straight into the trash after the party. Instead of all that wasteful crap, I'm thinking that I will string a clothes line in our house across our support beam that runs above our living room, and clothes pin a bunch of white onsies. Our guests can take them down and paint/draw on them, then pin them back up. Cute decorations that we will use and not throw away, and a fun baby shower activity. Plus, I want to have a small clothes line I can put outside for cloth diapering, so I will reuse the line and clothes pins as well. Maybe some balloons? But again, straight to the trash, and I think they might scare my big scaredy cat dog.

I've decided that I want to have it be a tea party, so lots of iced tea and light snacks. Also, I want to have cheesecakes! I've already contacted Capital City Bakery to get prices. I'm not really a cake/cupcake person. I always liked the ice cream part of birthday parties much more than the cake. Unless there's a cheesecake! So why not? Plus cold cheesecakes sounds so much better for a summer party, and a tea party at that!

I've already been told that a bunch of hand-me-downs are being sent my way. I'm so excited! My sister who has a 2 year old little girl is mailing me a bunch of her old baby clothes, and a belly belt (for pregnant back support), among some other baby items that lil Gigi has now outgrown. Our good friend from the bay area who moved to Dallas a year or two before we moved to Austin has a 2 year old little girl as well, and we're going to get together in the next weekend or two, as she wants to give us a bunch of Jody's outgrown things. Perhaps even a crib! Though we are so far away from where I imagined I'd have kids (with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents around all the time), it feels good to know that we are not alone regardless of distance.  I'm also so much happier to recycle baby items, than buy the majority of new stuff that will only be short-lived anyway (and it adds up!). I've done dozens of clothing swaps for me and my girlfriends, but where are the baby clothing swaps? There are so many vintage clothing stores in Austin, but where are the baby vintage stores? THAT would be awesome. Who wants to go into business with me? :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Happy Effing Monday

The best part of this Monday, is coming home after a long work-day to be greeted by a husband home early to start dinner for us, with the whole house smelling of his delicious primavera/marina. A friend from his work brought him a big yellow homegrown summer squash that he put in, along with a bunch of sautéed bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, soyrizo, wheat sausage, and all the other goodies and spices that he uses to make the best whole wheat pasta ever. Fresh parsley and jalapeños are still waiting to go in. YUM! I can't wait!

The NOT best part of a Monday like today, aside from the obvious, was going upstairs to change into my around-the-house clothes, to find that Houdini took a big dump in the baby's room. Yes we know the difference between Holden and Zombie's "brands" and I will not go through the details. The poor guy probably drank too much river water this weekend. Jason helped me clean it up, and luckily that old carpet in there is all coming out either next weekend or the one after anyway, as we have our new carpet for that room, the other guest room, the upstairs hallway and stairs already all picked out. Just need to decide on exact color (something gray-toned, light enough to hide Zombie's hair, dark enough to not be a white carpet in a house full of animals, a baby, and a couple of marinara loving vegans). Anyway, its all just another day in the life of having a couple of big pups, and only reaffirms my sense that cloth diapering really can't be anything as "bad" or "scary" as people make it out to be. Anything to be greener, and save money I'm down for! Why waste all those plastic diapers that will still be in landfill for several more lifetimes ahead of us? That's what's scary, and gross to me. I mean, and it can't be as bad as cleaning up after two 100lbs+/- dogs who shit on our carpets. With cloth diapers, its at least all contained.

But! Enough of that. Today, I did have the lovely surprise to run into Chenoh, Jocelyn's godmama on my lunch break, which was so nice to see her for a bit. And I will say that though today was really long at work, I did still have some lovely energy going through me from such a great weekend. I went to my first prenatal yoga class on Saturday at my birth center, and it was awesome. I'd been meaning to go to this outdoor, morning, weekend class for a few weeks, but I would always remember too late. Not this weekend! I was so happy to be there with the other mamas, feeling the early morning sun on our faces, and feeling the fresh breezes through the trees up by the birth center. I've always loved yoga, and have practiced on and off for more than the past decade, but this class taught me some new modifications on some old poses to help accomodate my new bump, and I'm so happy to know that I'm finally getting the energy back to not throw up haha and exercise with Jocelyn. It feels so good to move!

After yoga, Jason and I had to take our cats into the vets for their three-year regular check up and round of shots. Both were in tip-top shape! Though both had each lost 1 pound (but still healthy, and molly of course still with her lil belly). I can't believe they are 8 years old. Time goes by so quick. I love these lil cats, and am glad they are both super healthy and happy.They were really good about being in the carrier this time too. I suppose after a 3-day, 33 hour drive with our old car when we moved out here- compared to the 20 minutes to the vet's- made them appreciate these short trips haha.

After all that, I met with up with Liz, a friend I met through the Austin Vegan community, and we got tacos (or well, I got tacos and nachos, and she got tacos). It was really great to hang with her, as another vegan, looking to eventually grow her family with her vegan husband. She also brought her copy of Spiritual Midwifery (the other Ina May Gaskin book recommended by my midwives), and let me borrow it. So awesome! I'm almost finished with Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, so I'll have another one lined up now :) She's a really neat lady, and was really sweet to help out with some of my baby shower planning. She looked up some pricing for cupcakes v. cake from Capital City Bakery for me (omg YUM!), and even offered to pitch in and bake something if I wanted her to as well. Thanks Liz! You're great!

The only thing that could have been better about Saturday, was if I had some swimming in there, it was  a HOT day, and whenever I wasn't out of the house I was either taking another quick cold shower, or wearing my short, hippy mumu and eating ice cubes. There should be a medal for ladies who live through a Texas summer while pregnant, its only just starting and I can already see how much FUN it will be haha, as long as I have an endless supply of icecubes I think I'll be okay.

Yesterday I actually slept in! (until 9am). Which felt so good. We met up with some friends and took our dogs out to Bull Creek to do some swimming, and Holden had so much fun! He loves all the kids and is so good with them, and there was also one really cute, tiny lil husky puppy (named Dixie) who decided to follow him around for a while, and was so effing cute! With zombie's ice white, lil husky eyes. I didn't get a pic of the Dixie, but look at this cutie in his lil (big boy) life vest. I love him so much!

Going out there, was my first time this year to put on a bikini, and surprisingly all my bikini's still fit. I just have quite a bit more in between the top and the bottom these days. It felt so good to get some sun on my belly, and take a few dips in the creek after all the rain. Swimming is a definite must this summer. As much as possible.

After all the sun and swimming Jason and I went out for some sandwiches, because I've been craving sourdough bread from San Francisco like NO other. All the bread out here in Texas really sucks, they really don't know how to do bread like the west coast. Maybe its because of the humidity? I've also never had to buy my bread frozen and keep it in the refrigerator until I moved to Texas. So weird haha. All in all it was a perfect weekend, but always too short. I'm hoping that as the summer picks up, I won't get too uncomfortable in the heat and sun - since I love sun bathing (with sunscreen) so much, and swimming is pretty much the #1 reason we moved to Austin in the first place (that and the vegan culture, and you know NOT California real estate prices). My midwives gave me the A-OK to get as much sun as feels good, but to listen to my body and not overdo it, and to stay super hydrated.

But, wow, its hard to believe we've lived here for as many years as we already have now, that we bought a house in our twenties out here, and are now raising our family- in the middle of Texas. Life has a funny way of surprising you for the best sometimes. I still miss my family, every day, and the ocean, but right now I'm so happy to be brining my baby into the world, in this awesome city!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

No Barbie Household

I'm not sure how it came up, but my husband and I somehow ended up talking about Barbies. I told him, that I didn't believe in buying them for our daughter, and would prefer to keep them out of the house. Though at first he had the instinct like so many parents to associate their young daughter having lots of Barbies strewn about to trip over and stub his toes on, he totally was in agreement how giving a young girl a Barbie can negatively affect her sense of body image and perpetuate body dysmorphia. Having an unrealistic model of what a woman who's idealized is supposed to look like is unhealthy, and I think exactly the opposite of what little girls need- to help build up their self esteems into body-healthy, mind-healthy young girls, teenagers, and young adults.

Later on this evening a friend from college posted this article, that related back exactly to my conversation with my husband about how we plan to raise our daughter to value her mind, more than her image. Before reading this, we had both agreed that we will make all efforts to surround her with a loving environment that praises her mind, and her ideas, rather than putting such a strong emphasis on "how pretty" or "how cute" she is (though we are SURE that she is going to be the CUTEST lil baby EVOR- of course). We want to instill in her from the beginning that we value her thoughts, her input, and her feelings first and foremost.

This article I feel stands the same moral and gender strengthening ground that Jason and I want to provide for our daughter. Imagine a grown woman visiting a friend's house and meeting their 5 year old daughter for the first time and how she would approach meeting her:

"As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are. What’s wrong with that? It’s our culture’s standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn’t it? And why not give them a sincere compliment to boost their self-esteem? "

Which I feel is so true, and how engrained it is, for us to go back to the default, "Why hello there, aren't you a pretty little thing" when we meet a new little girl. Or to give her some form of compliment that only praises her based on her beauty or her outfit. What the woman in this article goes on to do, is continue to restrain herself from any mention of physical looks, and tells her how nice it is to meet her. Followed by asking her what her favorite book is, and if she likes to read. The little girl (like most kids) love books, and runs up to her room to get her favorite book and reads it out loud to this new friend.

"Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. It’s surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls [...] So, one tiny bit of opposition to a culture that sends all the wrong messages to our girls. One tiny nudge towards valuing female brains. One brief moment of intentional role modeling."

I really like what she says at the end (you might as well just read the whole article since its short and I've pretty much posted the whole thing already haha)-

"Try this the next time you meet a little girl. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Ask her what she’s reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You’re just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain. For older girls, ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. What bothers her out there in the world? How would she fix it if she had a magic wand? You may get some intriguing answers. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. Model for her what a thinking woman says and does." 

 I think that it is up to us, and how we talk to our younger generations to help build them up to be the future that we want them to be. It may take a little bit more thought and work on our part to recondition ourselves to see them as thinking, intelligent little people before seeing them as cute, or adorable, but isn't it worth it?