Saturday, November 29, 2008

Update: I'll let you know

On Wednesday night after dinner, I started having Braxton-Hicks contractions (the painless ones that don't do anything) every five minutes. I just thought 'that's odd' and went about the business of going to bed. I woke up in the night and I was still having them, and I had them all day Thursday. My sister Amy and my sister-in-law Tonya both thought that I could get them to turn into real contractions if I went walking. I walked. And I walked. And I walked. Nothing much happened else on Thursday (except for everyone calling every hour to see if labor had started.) Friday, I walked some more. More Braxton-Hicks. Around 1 in the afternoon, I started having back pain and I got really excited that true labor was (finally) getting started. I had some bleeding and some other gross signs of labor. More walking. I was still having the B-H contractions every 5-7 minutes, but they weren't getting more intense. By last night, my back hurt, my abs were tired from all that contracting, and I was getting a big headache from the pressure of the contractions pushing on my blood vessels and backing up the blood in my head.

So, here it is Saturday and the B-H contractions have slowed down, but not stopped. My pelvis hurts. My back hurts. Now, I don't want to go into labor because even if it started right this second, I probably wouldn't have the baby until late tonight or early tomorrow, then I'll be stressed about what we're going to do with Lillian on Monday and Tuesday. But just because I don't want to, I will because that's just how my body is: spiteful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Labor Induction

I think there has been a change in the obstetrical winds since I had Lillian and I'm not sure if it's a timeline difference, or a geographical difference. When I had Lillian, the doctor implied that I wouldn't be induced until 14 days after my due date unless there was some other pressing medical problem. I just thought that's how it was. I moved to Arizona and suddenly everyone was asking me if I was going to get induced or go naturally. I was so confused, "Do I have a choice?" I told people that I would just wait and go naturally, nature knows best right?

I'm 37 weeks today and the doctor and I have not discussed this issue previous to today. She checked me (warning: potential overshare) and I'm almost 2 cm, 50% effaced. After she was done, she asked, "so, when do you want to have your baby?" All those 'nature knows best moments' flooded back to me, kept on flowing, and I found myself jumping up to look at the calendar and saying, "well, my mom is coming this day so maybe the day after that. (December 15th)" I asked her if this was just because I'm as progressed today as I was only after 10 hours of labor with Lillian, or if she lets other patients go two weeks after their due dates. She looked aghast and said, "Oh no! I never let my patients go more than 3 or 4 days past their dates."

I realize that if I had a midwife, they'd probably let me go late, but when I was pregnant with Lillian, the midwife recommended to me that I be followed by an M.D. So here I am with an appointment on the 15th to have my baby.

(P.S. the above picture is Lillian at about 3 weeks old with gentian violet face.)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In case there wasn't enough crying in your life...

Mom asked me a while back if we had accidentally almost drowned her when she was an infant. Nope. She just really, really hates getting her head wet.

We think we've found it

After about a month of searching, we think we've found our house. It's in Rancho Sahuarita,where we looked before. You can view pictures of the actual house here. Right now, it has a whole bunch of bachelors living in it, so you may not really be able to get a feel for it (and what's with the red tapestry curtains?) If you're really interested, you can check out the builder's website and look at the model home. If you check out the virtual tour feature, you can see pictures inside. Just note, ours is a mirror image of the model (I was convinced they weren't the same house for a while. I'm not too good with all that spacial stuff).

I'm ambivalent about how it backs straight up to the lake. On the one hand, how cool is that? A lake in your backyard? But on the other hand, there's a path right there and all sorts of people could be walking past and looking at you while you sit on your porch and eat your breakfast/play out back with your kids. There's no gate, so we won't have direct access to the lake (and people won't have direct access to our backyard). Tyler tells me that I should really consider the alternative views we could have in our backyard: cactus or someone else's backyard. The neighborhood is really nice, so it's not like we would live in the type of place where I'd be constantly afraid that someone is going to jump my fence or stare at me menacingly. When we were there looking, there were some people walking past and some people fishing... all minding their own business.

And $244,000, is that insane or what?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Potty-Training Diaries

Probably a little less than a year ago, we decided we'd start introducing that wonderful concept called potty training. I didn't expect it to stick right away, but who knows, we could have had a little Allison on our hands who will take any opportunity to tell you that she was potty trained at 18 months. This was all well and good. As far as I could tell, potty training is supposed to go something like this:
  1. Just sit the kid on the potty at intervals throughout the day. They will eventually go on accident. When this happens, make a really big deal.
  2. Seeing your excitement, the kids will want to reproduce this joyous event (probably more so if they got some sort of treat like an M&M)
  3. For a while, it's a conditioned response and you, the parent, take them into go periodically throughout the day. Until, one day, the child recognizes that there's a connection between the feeling of having to go, and going.
  4. The kid starts to be better about recognizing their own signals and eventually can tell you when they need to go.
So far, our adventure has gone something like this:
  1. Introduce Lillian to the toilet at intervals throughout the day. She goes on accident a few times and I make a big deal about it.
  2. Tyler accidentally let her fall into the toilet making Lillian deathly afraid of going potty.
  3. Much bribing and cajoling goes on to get Lillian to even sit on the potty.
  4. She doesn't go on accident. Ever. I tried all the 'tricks' like trying to make her drink a lot of Crystal Lite. But, she's a stinker and won't drink if she's not thirsty. Six months goes by.
  5. Lillian begins to HATE sitting on the potty and refuses to do it. I take a break.
  6. I begin to be very tired of changing diapers, especially as Lillian begins to be more of a stinker and runs away and wiggles and I'm getting bigger and bigger and my ability to chase her down diminishes. More bribing and cajoling (and time outs for running away) to little effect.
  7. I purchase training pants to help Lillian recognize the connection between going and being wet and needing to go in the potty instead of your pants.
  8. She doesn't care at all about walking around in wet training pants with pee running down her legs. Not one bit. That little turkey.
So all you moms out there, what to do next? Do I take another break and wait for her to be a little older so she has more conversational power and we can talk about it a little more effectively? Just keep at it? Be patient? I know Allison has told me that Tristan didn't "get" it until he was almost three while Jack "got" it a little after he turned two and she did the same things for both kids, so it might just be that I need to be patient as Lillian is still only one month shy of being two and a half.

I just had a dream of not having two children in diapers at once. It seems as if that dream, like so many dreams I've had in motherhood, is just not to be.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


I realize that a lot of my posts lately have been about pregnancy, but have you ever really thought about it? As we spent another Saturday morning invading peoples houses and looking in all of their closets, I started getting really tired and really short of breath. It got to the point where if I didn't really really like the downstairs, I wouldn't even bother going up the stairs. I started thinking about how if somehow you didn't know you were pregnant, you would think that you were dying. Here's just a casual glance at the "What You May Be Feeling" section of my pregnancy book:

  • Heartburn, flatulence, bloating
  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion, occasional nosebleeds, or ear stuffiness
  • Bleeding gums
  • Leg cramps
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Increasing clumsiness
  • Fatigue or extra energy, or alternating periods of each
  • Hair loss
  • Extreme irritability
I left out the obvious pregnancy symptoms like, 'Fetal activity', because we're pretending you don't know your pregnant and anything with the word 'discharge' in the description, because that's just gross. I'm no doctor, but I am a nurse and know something about disease processes and if someone came in to a clinic complaining of flatulence, hair loss, bleeding gums, clumsiness, and extreme irritability, wouldn't you not only think they were making it up, but in the back of your mind, be wishing you could refer them to Dr. House?

As a side note, I think the extreme irritability is extremely unfair. Between the flatulence, leg cramps, nose bleeds, difficulty sleeping, and frequent urination, (and the fact that I'm gigantic) I think I have enough to be irritated about without any extra help, thank you very much.

In the words of my sister Amy, "If Heavenly Father wanted us to have a lot of kids, you'd think he'd make it a little bit easier."

Friday, November 14, 2008


During Storytime at the library yesterday, Lillian was trying to reach a paper apple that was suspended about 8 feet above her head. As she was stretching and reaching in vain, my friend Bridget leaned over and commented on how whimsical Lillian is. This was something I never considered before, I just figured she was two, and that's how two-year olds act. Who knows? What I do know is that Lillian cracks me up all the time with her "playfully quaint or fanciful" behavior. (Definition courtesy the dictionary.)

A bit of explanation concerning the video.

The first half is what I found when I got out of the shower a few days ago. I'm not sure who Lillian was mimicking... I don't know anyone who would hide from their toddler and read in bed. Do you?

The second half took place during lunch today (hence the mac and cheese on her face). She was telling me about the Little Einsteins episode that she saw this morning. They had to make Rocket Soup for Rocket (who Tyler likes to point out is actually a jet) because he was hungry. Rocket Soup consists of three ingredients: Cheese in the possession of the little mouse, peas in the possession of the Good Knight, and jumping beans in the possession of Joey, the kangaroo. Please do not make this for me when I am hungry. The video is take two, so it's not as funny or detailed as it was when she spontaneously expounded on the subject the first time around. But, I'm posting it because it does show how quirky she actually is.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Keep Calm and Carry On

I don't often editorialize on this blog (or any other blog for that matter), but I'm fairly sure Allison is tired of me calling her to complain. Did I say complain? I meant discuss this issue. Which is: I'm not sure I like being a mom. Now, let's quantify that statement: I don't feel like that everyday, I don't hate being a mom, and I'm far from resenting my offspring or spouse for my position.

I've been reluctant to post about this because I don't want people to think that I hate my life. Also, I'm pretty positive by nature, so I don't want people to think that I have this secret depressario alternate personality. But, I thought it might encourage some conversation and maybe if there's other moms out there who feel like this, they'll know they're not alone.

Perhaps an illustration. Every Sunday at dinner, we discuss our plans for the week. Tyler had average things he was going to do: work, bike ride, ultimate. I looked over at the calendar and wanted to cry. It was blank. Which meant that my days would be filled with Sesame Street, laundry, grocery shopping, reading some fabulous literature like Mail Harry to the Moon, our current favorite, and for extra fun, cleaning the bathrooms. I realize that these are things that all SAHMs do. The question is, why are all these other moms doing it with a smile and talking about how much they love being at home with their kids? If Motherhood is my divine destiny and the 'highest, holiest calling,' then why don't I like it more?

I think this feeling is a combination of factors that all surround our move to Tucson. I've moved before and lived far away from family, but I've never moved to a place where I didn't have at least one friend. Thus, I've never had to start from scratch at this friend-making business. I have made some friends here, but for some reason, it's been harder than I thought. This plus going from being a full-time student and mom to being full-time mom was a bit of a shocker.

Another stop of this pity train is the fact that I see so much less of Tyler nowadays. When we were both in school, I dreamed of the day when we would just be able to enjoy each other's company without one of us having to run off to lab or hole up in the library to write a paper. The realitiy is that I see Tyler way less now than I did when we were full-time students. We lived close to campus so there were many times where Tyler would pop home for lunch, or for an hour or two between classes. Now, his office is 40 minutes away by bus, so there's no popping; we take him to the bus stop at 7:30 and pick him up at 5:30. That's 10 hours of me and Lillian time. Just me and Lillian. I think often of my own mother who was left home with multiple little kids for months at a time and wonder at how she kept a positive attitude. I asked her about it once and she said, "well, I just did it, I had no other choice."

Oh yeah, and I'm 8 months pregnant, and I live with a moody 2-year old.

After talking with a few moms, the most popular solution to this motherhood-induced ennui is to get out more. Whether that means being more organized and getting together with other moms and kids more often during the week (this is something I'm notoriously bad at; I'm horrible at calling people and setting up playdates, and I have a notion that people are much busier than I am and that I'm bugging them, somehow) or going to work part time (which is not an option for me at this exact point in time).

Maybe I need a hobby. I read (a lot) and sew and bake and go for walks and do crossword puzzles and of course do mom and kid things, but something inside me feels like, "is that it? Is this my life?" Perhaps all mothers of young children feel like this, that it will never end. What did that forward mom sent around say? "I feel like my hands have disappeared into peanut butter never to be seen again."

Phew, I already feel better; this was very therapeutic. And Lillian is tickling her own feet and laughing histerically. Who can stay in a bad mood with that sort of thing going on?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm sorry for the poor quality of these photos. Our camera somehow all of a sudden won't hold a charge so I think we're going to get a new one for Christmas (any suggestions?). Until then, I'll have to either take pictures with our video camera (as these were) or with Photobooth, like I have been doing.

We went to our ward's Trunk-or-treat. Last year, Lillian was so freaked out, she hid in the car most of the time. This year, we let her go around to the cars and get candy, and who's not into that? We don't have any pictures of that due to the above mentioned lack of functioning camera.

Everyone agreed that she was the cutest thing they'd ever seen.

She carried her salt canister by herself, but Tyler ended up holding the umbrella for most of the night. It was kind of unwieldly for a two-year old.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm still not really "used" to Tucson

Every morning while I eat my cereal, I read the news. My google news page gives me regular and local news. When I moved to Tucson, I changed the local news to reflect the move. I knew I was moving to a big(er) city, and I knew that the crime rate was going to be higher here. But, I still get a little shock when I turn on the computer and I'm greeted by headlines like this morning: Police Investigate City's 69th Homicide.

Just to compare, I switched it back to San Luis Obispo news and the top story was Veterans Day Events around San Luis Obispo.

Just to assure my jumpier readers, I live more on the north side of the city and a lot of the problems occur on the south side. I feel like my apartment complex is relatively safe (even though Tyler's (non-locked) bike was stolen out of our front gate and on a seperate occasion, I think the gardener took two sippy cups that I had absentmindedly set on the wall outside our house after bringing them in from the car. Maybe he was just tidying up and thought they were abandonded trash. They were the nice insulated sippy cups too.) I wouldn't walk around town by myself at night, but then again, I wouldn't have done that in San Luis Obispo either; you never know what those rowdy college kids are up to.

The only person I know who's life has been personally touched by the Tucson crime is my friend Patrick that used to live here. The incident didn't even happen to him, it happened to his cube mate. In short, his cube mate woke up to find his fridge and back door wide open. Upon examining the crime scene, they found that the only thing missing was a box of Hooter's chicken wings. With a little investigation, they found out that there was hungry homeless person wandering the neighborhood looking for food.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The House Hunt

Previous to moving to Tucson, we had been poor college students for a few years. Three degrees plus one baby is not really a formula for a really solid nest egg. We decided that we'd rent an apartment for at least a year and save for a down payment on a house. A few weeks ago, we met with a mortgage broker just to see if we were on track and what all sort of house we could afford when it came time for that sort of thing. He ran some numbers for us and based on our credit scores and the market and the housing legislation just signed into law by President Bush, he convinced us that we should buy a house sooner rather than later.

Thus, what was a casual interest in the housing market became an active interest. We've been going out with a realtor every Saturday for a month and this week, I think we found at least the area we'd like to live: Rancho Sahuarita. It's a new community, so it's shiny and clean. On every block or so is a mini park with grass and a playground and in the middle is this amazing community center with a gym, pool, drop-in child care, above pictured splash park, massive play structure, little tricycles for the kids to play around in, an electric train, a lake (about the size of tri-city park for all my family in California) which you can boat on and fish in, hiking trails, and biking trails. I mean, the city has a staff of event planners.

We haven't found a specific house we like yet, but at least we can stop looking everywhere in the greater Tucson area and concentrate on one area.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Man, language is rough

Lillian pulled out the little book of pictures that her day care in SLO gave her before we moved. She was pointing to different pictures telling me all about it while I ironed. She pointed to a picture of herself and said, "It's you."

Me (correcting): it's me
Lillian (confused): it's you? It's not mom.
Me: No, it's you.
Lillian: it's you.
Me: (I point to myself) It's me. (Then I use Lillian's hand to point to herself) It's me.
Lillian: It's not me. It's Lillian.

Pronouns are tough for a two-year old.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Oh, I care

I'm not sure why I care so much about ridiculous details, but I do. Like, when people mix up 'who' and 'whom,' or, like the lady in Claire's office, people who say 'oldtimers' instead of alzheimers, and... I can't think of any other examples at the moment except the subject of this post:

President Grover Cleveland

Last night, Tyler and I were watching Barack Obama's acceptance speech. Immediately afterward, Brian Williams came on holding a chart with all the previous presidents' faces. He pointed to the sea of white men to hammer home the point that we've never had an African-American as president before. He said something along the lines of, "These forty-three white men have served as president...." I rewound it to make sure I had heard him right. Yup, he said 43.

True enough that Barack Obama will be our 44th president, and probably there were 43 pictures on Brian's chart. What I would have expected Brian Williams of all people to know is that two of those pictures are of the same man: Grover Cleveland, the only man to serve two non-consecutive terms in office making him the 22nd and 24th president.

(Tyler wonders why I would expect anyone to know such obscure facts. This coming from the man who didn't know who Robert Burns was, a fact he revealed to me while we were at the Tucson Celtic Festival. In fact, he was so sure that no average person would know who Robert Burns was and offered to take a straw poll. I thought we would probably get skewed results at the Celtic Festival, but I guess I can open it up now. Do you know who Robert Burns was?)

The point is, Brian, I'm sorry to tell you this, but only 42 men have served as president. Get your facts straight.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

To answer your question:

To answer your question, yes. It was actually a little bit stressful for me. Well, a lot stressful. I'm still stressed out about it and won't rest easy until tonight when the winner is announced. For FHE last night, Tyler and I went through and read the candidate statements and decided all about who we were going to vote for. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing until I was saying my prayers last night. I was explaining my choices when I got the distinct feeling that the person I had picked to vote for for president was the wrong choice. Ack! How could I vote for the other guy? We don't agree on 80% of things, but the guy I picked, I really didn't agree with him at all on that last 20%. It made me stressed and agitated and I didn't know what to do. The feeling followed me all the way into the polling booth and I stared down those two candidates' names. In the end, I said a quick "if you say so" prayer and went with what the spirit was telling me to do. I feel peaceful about it, but that was a tough one.

In pregnancy news, I'm 34 weeks and 45 inches around. A whole inch bigger than the last update. I saw the doctor this morning and she didn't seem to be too concerned about my belly splitting open. She said it was common and would heal on it's own, maybe even before the baby comes. She echoed the sentiments of yesterday: take it easy, drink a lot of water, no heavy lifting, take Tylenol if it hurts. She also said that I only have to be pregnant for two more weeks. (I thought they tried to make you go 37 weeks, but I wasn't going to argue with the doctor.) That's the go mark: if I go before then, they'll stop my labor, after, and it'll be baby central. Of course, Amy is the only Calder lucky enough to have her kids weeks ahead of schedule. The rest of us are dismally on time, or worse, late.

Also, in a category that could be labeled "oddly enough" I have never really owned anything purple except a Nalgene and a lavender umbrella. Recently, I purchased purple shoes, a purple dress and the above pictured purple shirt. I had no idea that my clothing purchases were a part of a change in the zeitgeist of the nation but lo and behold, this week's Time magazine has a whole article about purple. Kristina Zimbalist writes, "On the off chance that it has escaped your notice, purple is having a moment. And while many may assume a sudden color explosion to be just another whim of fickle fashion, the analysts and anthropologists who study shifts in chromatic preferences see this particular manifestation - the purple proliferation - as a sign of our uncertain times."

Maybe all this purple is the reason I couldn't decide whom to vote for.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I get all the fun stuff, medically speaking. A week or so ago, I had a little sniffle so I was coughing quite a bit. This made my stomach sore. Then it was just sore in one spot, but only if I coughed, sneezed, or laughed too hard. Yesterday, I was drinking some water and I sputtered a little bit and coughed a lot. Then my stomach hurt a lot in that one spot, about three finger width's to the right of my belly button, but still only with movement.

I called mom and we had a "can this wait until Tuesday" conversation (my regularly scheduled appointment with the OB is on Tuesday). We decided it was just a pulled muscle and they weren't going to be able to do anything about it anyway, so I decided to just try to take it easy today.

This morning, I sneezed unexpectedly and it was the most painful thing that's ever happened to me in the history of painful things that have happened to me. I may have just imagined a popping or ripping sensation, but I'm pretty sure I felt it. I was crying it was so painful, and the pain didn't go away. The sharp, stabbing pain. I called the OB nurse and she said I had....

Abdominal Separation or Diastasis recti. In short, my stomach muscles have separated at that spot due to the stress of my big belly. Her solution: take it easy, lay down a lot, take Tylenol, and don't lift anything heavier than 10-15 lbs. Just so you know, Lillian weighs about 25 lbs, so... I'm not sure how that's going to work. Today, we laid around and did nothing. I didn't go to the grocery store or do laundry or vacuum or pick up toys. We watched a lot of TV and I read my book.

I'm no doctor, but I think the only cure for this thing is to have the baby, which won't happen for another seven weeks. I see the doctor tomorrow, so we'll find out if it will get better or not before then. If not, I'll just have to get used to having the messiest house on the block and turning my clothes inside out to get a second wear out of them. I'll keep you updated.

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