Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Road Trip to a Wedding

I was in a wedding this past weekend; my high school friend Julie got married in a lovely ceremony just outside of Chicago, and I was one of the bridesmaids. Since my husband's cousin was also getting married the same day, he went to that wedding and my mom came with me and Little B.

We stopped at Steak N' Shake in Michigan City, IN for lunch and my son tried on the complementary hat that came with his high chair. Isn't he adorable?

This also marked my son's first stay in a hotel. He found the luggage carrier very fascinating and his Oma even let him sit on it!

My friend Janice was another bridesmaid ... her newborn was only eleven days old at the wedding! Now that is friendship.

My little man looked so dapper in his whale romper! It makes his blue eyes seem even bluer every time he wears it.

I am not used to having an updo and am always astonished at the amount of bobby pins it takes to hold hair up (41 for this 'do) and how awful it looks when you finally take it down. Like this ...


Monday, June 29, 2009

200th Post

Wow, I can't believe this is my 200th post! Time sure has flown by since I started writing this little blog. My little man has gone from a baby with little head control ...

to my little man.

I hope you all have enjoyed this so far ... I hope to continue writing for many years to come! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Feeling a Little Cheated

I found out today that the hospital my OB/GYN works at no longer does VBACs because of the liability involved. So I have two choices now, either a) have a scheduled c-section at the end of my next pregnancy (no, I am not pregnant right now) or b) get a new doctor that works at the hospital in town that still does VBACs.

I love my OB. She's an awesome lady, and she appreciates that this is a crappy choice. I started going to her in the middle of my pregnancy with the little man because I wasn't happy with the one I saw previously. So I searched, asked friends, and finally settled on her, by far one of the best choices I have made in recent times. She's smart, effervescent, factual, and very relatable. Plus, she's an MSU grad, so you really can't go wrong! I don't want to leave her office, but ...

I wanted to try a VBAC so badly. I hadn't expected on having a c-section the first time around; it was sprung on me the day before my due date when we realized how big the baby was (estimated 9 lbs. 12. oz. - actual 10 lbs. 10 oz.) and would have ended up being a c-section anyways as the umbilical cord was over the top of his head and would have slipped out when my water broke, choking him in the process. The whole idea of a c-section was foreign to me; we had taken the birthing classes, practiced the breathing, and I wasn't even nervous about the pain that surely awaited me. They only covered c-sections in class for a whopping total of about 15 minutes, and truth be told I didn't pay as good of attention as I should have because I thought, "That'll never be me."

While it was a little bit of agony waiting for something, anything, to happen, it was exciting as well; I was ready, any moment, to spring into action. To shout out those magical words: This is it! Then, after the c-section was scheduled for the day after my due date, I had to hope that nothing happened. And I had to accept the fact that my hospital visit would be very different than I had anticipated; there would be no bonding with my husband over contractions, no shouting at him (he really wanted me to yell, "You did this to me!" as I was contracting away - he thought it would be funny, and in truth I agreed), no walking around to help the baby out, no music playing from the playlist my husband concocted for me, no ice chips, and, worst of all, no holding my baby the moment he came out.

Instead, I was given a hospital gown and a spinal block (that took probably about 20 tries to get in properly - my "labor" wasn't entirely without pain), and laid down for the whole shebang. Drape up, they made the incision and scooped my little bubba out of me. My husband left my side, as I hoped he would, to be with our son, and I was left lying there, being stitched back together with the words "It's a boy!" ringing in my head. Don't get me wrong, the moment was magical and something I'll never forget if I can help it; it just wasn't what I was expecting.

So, given what I know now about how I handle pregnancy, what kind of children I tend to bear (LARGE ones), and what I can do to make the next go around better, I was hoping to try for a VBAC. We're only having two kids (unless my mother's wishes are granted and we end up with twins on the second pregnancy) so this is kinda my last chance to try something a little more natural. To do it the way I had envisioned.

But now it's not looking like that's going to happen. What should I do? Should I just have another c-section? Should I find another doctor at the other hospital (and chance that I might have to have another c-section anyways)? Should I do what this couple is doing and have a home birth with a midwife?

Soooo ... I talked to my husband about it. If it were entirely up to him, I'd be having another c-section; he cringed when I mentioned the word "rupture". But he said he'd support whatever decision I made ... good man. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Happy birthday, sweetheart! Wow, you had quite a 27th year ...
What a way to start it off - dealing with a very pregnant wife in our nation's capitol on a hot mess of a Fourth of July!

Finally, the little man arrived and made you a dad. Lucky, lucky guy.
Then you became an uncle ... again.

We took a couple trips,

had a relationship milestone or two,

and made so many wonderful memories.

Happy 28th birthday, Bryson! Thank you for all that you do for our little family and all that you are to me and our son. We love you so much!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon and Kate

I have been wanting to write about the goings on with Jon and Kate Gosselin for a while, but I haven't quite known what to say. I have watched the show sporadically since the beginning, but it always felt a little weird to me. And I can't say I've been the biggest fan of Kate (if Jon had hit her the way she hit him people would have been up in arms), so I haven't always enjoyed watching the show.

Last night's episode was anything but enjoyable. Hearing two people that were, once upon a time, so in love with each other talk about the dissolution of their marriage was heartbreaking, gut-wrenching. But I think it is important to see what has happened to them. I know hundreds of people are picking apart their lives, criticizing them up one side and down another, and I hate to follow suit, but it's hard to see an obvious error in behavior and not want to talk about it.

Kate said last night that her focus is on her children, that they are the most important thing to her, and I believe Jon said the same. And while that might seem admirable on the surface, I think it could possibly one of the most detrimental things to a marriage. You have to have the love for your partner first and foremost. Children are easy to love; it doesn't take any effort and it is pretty much guaranteed to always be there. But marriage takes work; you have to put in a lot of time and attention or the love will slip away like sand through your fingers.

While it may seem selfish to put so much time and work into your marriage, it really is one of the best things you can do for your children. Marriage isn't just for adults; it's for the kids as well. Staying together, showing them what love is and how it can enrich your life, that is your job. Be there for them and each other.

Some days it will seem like too much. Some days will be devastatingly difficult. And maybe Jon and Kate got bogged down with those days. Maybe they took the easy roads the whole way and didn't take time to pump energy and life into their marriage. After only six months (so they claim) of unhappiness, they are divorcing, cleaving from one another; I say they should have tried a little harder, a little longer - for themselves and for their eight children.

Just my opinion; hope I wasn't too long-winded. Sorry for jumping on the bandwagon.

Cape Cod: Quickie in Boston

Our flight home left from Boston's Logan Airport, so we did a quick visit of the city before heading back to our beloved Michigan. We had lunch in Faneuil Hall (another Pilgrim sandwich for me) before taking a brief spin on the Freedom Trail. This little bit of history will certainly be a vacation stop later on when my son (and his future sibling - knock on wood) are older.

The crowds were a bit much with a baby in a stroller, so we decided to head down to the wharf to check out the harbor and relax a bit before our big trip home.

We had a great time in Cape Cod ... I even loved it in spite of the not-so-hot weather. And we'll definitely have to take another trip to Boston some time; it seems like an awesome city! Hope you all enjoyed the pictures of our trip!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cape Cod: Last Day in Chatham

Our last full day in Cape Cod was spent seeing the sights and relaxing in Chatham. We spent most of our time shopping up and down Main Street, searching for the perfect candy, necklaces, pies, etc.

Yup, that's me nursing my son on a park bench without my nursing apron. I could feel the breeze on my bare back, shirt hiked up, my son peeking up at me every so often before he fell asleep. It was a humbling moment, let me tell you.

Ah, Chatham Candy Manor ... how you tempt us! This was a delectable little store filled with delectable little treats. Yes, we picked up a few. Jealous? You should be.

Turtles, carmels, and peppermint patties ... oh my!

And some of the most delicious saltwater taffy I've ever had.

We ate at the Wild Goose Tavern for dinner that night. Incidentally, it was one of the few restaurants we ran into that actually had a changing table in the ladies' room.

These kids were playing music on the sidewalk. I speculated that the kid with the bongos got them for his birthday, decided he wanted to start a band, and this was what he could scrape up. They had a nice beat going, but apparently they only knew one "song". And, personally, I would lose the flannel shirt ... way too 90's Seattle, if you ask me.

All week, Little B had a thing going for the carbon monoxide detector. He'd crawl from all the way across the room just to try to play with it, only to be met with a big fat, "No!" from whichever adult happened to be nearby. Thwarted again, little man!

One must have one's tongue sticking out while inspecting fine woodwork.

Trying on Daddy's Cape League hat ... a little too big, but I'm sure he'll grow into it.

Cute family photo, courtesy of the tripod and timer.

All I wanted was a picture with my sister ... check out the middle left window. Sneaky little man!

We took a trip to the park nearby to check out the playground. Here's the little man on one of those things that bobs back and forth. He seemed to enjoy it enough.

The baby swings were definitely where it was at, though. He loved them, as usual, and I loved that they had straight bars near the seat so he wouldn't pinch his fingers in the chain!

My sister and I went to Marion's Pie Shop in the morning to pick up some treats to have in the evening.

My favorite dessert we picked up was the shop's specialty, Bailey Berry Pie (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries).

It was probably the best non-homemade pie I've ever had. And it wasn't even at the perfect temperature, but it was sooooo good!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cape Cod: Sandwich Glass and More!

Sorry, I know the title of this post is cheesy and stupid, but I have been up since 5:30 a.m. and I can't come up with anything better.

Anyhow, on to our trip to Sandwich, MA! This quaint little town was definitely a highlight of the trip for me. Steeped in the rich tradition of glass blowing, this town has a lovely history of turning out some truly beautiful artwork. We first visited The Glass Studio on Cape Cod (this may be incorrect - I'm working off the phone book - but no one else is up to ask ... I will update this if I'm wrong). The upper portion of the house is a gallery/boutique full of blown glass to purchase; from tiny figurines to large platters, they had a wide variety of beautiful pieces for sale.

After Mom and Dad bought a vase, we headed downstairs to the studio to watch some real artists at work. Apparently we had shown up on a very special day; they usually only work with clear glass as a base, but since they would soon be installing a new crucible they were working with black glass for the day! I took way too many pictures to post, but I thought I'd post a few of them to share our experience with you.

Glass just out of the crucible ... with one breath it took a more bulbous shape.

Rolling the glass in some silver to give it a gorgeous sheen.

Glass blowers usually work with at least two or three people; the glass has to stay hot during the whole process or it could easily shatter upon reheating. Here, one guy blows while the other shapes.

Keeping the glass hot with a blow torch, while simultaneously adding a little depth to the color.

Adding a ring of blue around the top of the bowl.

Stretching out the bowl and enhancing the fan of the edges. How wild is that?

The little man was riveted the entire time.

After the impromptu glass blowing demonstration, we decided to head to The Bee Hive Tavern for lunch. I had an awesome burger and some of the best french fries I have ever tasted; I would highly recommend this quirky little restaurant if you are ever in the Sandwich area.

After lunch, we drove to the Sandwich Glass Museum for a little history and demonstration of glass blowing. The museum itself was fascinating, a real wealth of knowledge about all the aspects of glass making. The receptionist was also the day's resident glass blower, and she demonstrated how to make a pitcher. Here is the finished product:

Sadly, it promptly cracked when she added the handle because, as I mentioned previously, working alone she wasn't able to keep it hot enough. She did a great job with the presentation, though, and took us through a quick history of the Sandwich Boston Glass Company which included a demonstration of a glass press ...

Finally, she took us through the steps it takes to make a glass swan, one of the initial pieces all glass blowers (at least in the U.S.) have to make; in making a swan, you have to use all of your tools, so it demonstrates proficiency of your use of the tools.

After spending some more time at the glass museum and picking up some souvenirs, we drove around town a bit and ended up at Ice Cream Sandwich for a little homemade ice cream. I got Celtic Pride, a derivation of mint chocolate chip, and it was divine! My sister got soft serve vanilla and said it was possibly the best she'd ever had. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

After the ice cream, we headed back to Chatham, and my husband and I left the little man with Oma, Grandpa E, and Aunt Christine so we could go on a little date. We walked to town and had a nice dinner at Chatham Squire; along the way, we saw this rose and I had to take a picture of it. It was just too pretty to pass up. All different types of roses are blooming in this area right now, so it's a nice reminder of some of the lovely flora we've seen on our vacation.

After dinner we stopped at Celestino's for a mixed berry tart; it was wicked good. This is also where we got the cupcakes earlier in the week.

Oh, and it turns out my mom was almost right about the name of the place where I got the awesome pilgrim sandwich ... it was the Chatham Village Cafe. They also have fantastic muffins, especially their cinnamon one!

Once we got back from our date, we had some fun playing with Little B. Unfortunately, soon after this picture was taken he fell into the end table (behind him in the photo) while trying to pull the games down from it. He got a bloody upper lip and cried so hard he couldn't catch his breath, but eventually, after a hug from Mama and a snuggle with Mr. Bear, he was back to his usual antics.