Thursday, July 31, 2008

Birth Track

So, news of this device actually being marketed has been buzzing around the blogosphere, and my initial reaction was no way. Here's yet another way to interfere with normal birth. Another piece of technology to rely on. Then I thought about it some more, and when I read this piece over at the Birth Activists blog, I felt the company marketing the product does have a point. At least, one that seems logical to them. They feel using this device to track cervical dilation throughout labor would actually decrease the chance of c-sections, at least those due to failure to progress. Measuring dilation would be more accurate if done with this machine, instead of by a nurse or doctor. And as long as it shows progress, even minimal, then a failure to progress diagnosis could not be used as an excuse to wheel the woman into the operating room. Really, you should read the whole post over at the Birth Activists, she lays out a very interesting discussion she had with a representative from the company. And she makes some excellent points toward the end of her post. Like, the potential for even more theories about what the normal length of labor should be, and the normal rate of progression. And if the machine doesn't show progression at that rate, well, you could still end up with the failure to progress diagnosis that would land you in the operating room. Obviously, this device would also be a bad idea for anyone planning a low-intervention, unmedicated birth. If this became a "mandatory" monitoring device, as the external monitor currently is, you could see how women would be strapped down even more. And have to put up an even bigger fight to not be subjected to the monitoring. Because, let's face it, external monitors can at least be unplugged for a while, so a laboring woman can move around, walk, go to the bathroom in peace and quiet... I'm afraid this internal monitor would make all of that a lot more difficult. Anyway, go read the post at the Birth Activist. It really is a good read, and gives great insight into the minds of those who come up with these types of gadgets. Tell me what you think. Would you like to have something like that during your labor? Would you love to see the progress on the charts? Or would it be yet another reason to stay away from the hospital? I'm putting up a poll for this, too. Even though it's not Friday yet. :p

ETA: Another thought I just had. One of the things the representative mentions in the interview is that if the monitors show slow progression, it would enable the doctors to augment labor sooner, which may shorten the duration of a woman's birthing time. I'm not sure that's such a wonderful argument to make, as the use of drugs to speed up labor brings with it another host of risks. Which may, in turn, require a c-section for other reasons, such as fetal distress. I suppose whether the device would really reduce the rate of c-sections remains to be seen...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Random Poll Friday

That's right, another week has come and gone! This week's RPF is really important. One of those issues you just have to vote on. Ha! :p I kind of got bored with the look of my blog, and decided some change was in order. I'm not sure how much I really like the new look, though. Is it too much? Or is it just really cool? Or somewhere in between? Go vote and help me decide whether to keep the layout. :D

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Garden in July

Thought I'd post once a month to document progress. This month's is rather boring, since we just barely got the tomatoes in. I need to get some stakes for them. The watermelons seem to have survived the transplanting. There's also yet another seedling popping up in a corner, I'm going to leave that one alone and see what happens. I'm going to probably thin out the watermelons to just a couple of plants, since they will not doubt overtake the garden. I don't even know if they're going to turn out, since I have no clue what type of watermelon it is and how long they take from seed to maturity. We may be looking at the end of September or October, and it may get too cold for them to produce good fruit (if they ever even make it that far). I figured I'd give them a shot, though, since I can't really plant anything else until September/October, anyway... :p

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Dark as night...

...and pouring buckets. That sums up our morning so far. I think it's the outer edges of Dolly going through. Yesterday was really windy, so the clouds mostly just passed over, and it was actually a pretty nice day, cool and windy, with an occasional shower. No wind today, so the clouds are moving slowly, and, well, it's pouring and gloomy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Crawling?

Seriously? I thought we had a few more months until the mobile stage! Elly apparently thinks that she must begin to try and keep up with her siblings. Or, well, at least she thinks she needs to make sure she gets to her toys. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it myself, trust me. Miss Elly has figured out the army crawl. She totally did it on purpose, too! This evening, she was on the floor, just hanging out, when she decided to roll onto her tummy and check out her surroundings. She's gotten quite good at that, and usually just kinda looks around to see what's going on. Well, she saw this toy, and decided that she really wanted it. So she stretched out her arms, and then pulled herself forward while giving a little kick with the legs. Like, well, an army crawl. Or maybe like a caterpillar? Hard to describe, really. But she did it a few times in a row, until she got close enough to where she could touch the toy. I'm shocked, really. She just turned 4 months a couple of days ago!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hurricane Watch!

That's right, we're under hurricane watch. That didn't take long. :p Tropical Storm Dolly is, apparently, headed our way, and expected to intensify. Nothing too serious so far, but something to keep an eye on.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

4 months!

Little Elly turned 4 months old yesterday. It's so strange to think we hadn't even decided which job to accept when she was born. In fact, the night she was born was supposed to be the night we talked about all of our options, and make a decision. Instead, we were a bit busy birthing a baby. The next day, Dave asked what I thought, we both looked at each other, and said well, let's go for Houston. Weird. And here we are. These last 4 months seem like a big blurr. I don't think any of our other kids ever grew up quite so fast, haha! Elly is doing great. She nurses wonderfully, and a lot. She won't accept a binkie, or even my finger anymore. So I'm officially the pacifier now. Ah well, she's my last baby (at least according to our plan), so I may as well enjoy it while I can, right? Elly is also getting quite strong. She's learned how to roll over both ways now, and loves to reach for and grab toys. She's even beginning to try and sit by herself. And she loves attention. Whenever someone talks to her, she rewards them with cute little coos. What a sweet baby. Here she is. :o)



Saturday, July 19, 2008

Circumcision - why not?

So I realized that I left out an option on my poll. Sorry to those of you who are undecided and didn't know how to vote. :p Maybe you're thinking the way I used to. If doctors perform circumcisions, there must be some benefit, right? And then you're wondering, why is this a "hot topic"? I have to admit that when I was pregnant with my first son, I did wonder for a while why, if there are some medical or health benefits, routine infant circumcision was not practiced in Germany (where I grew up). I never did explore the issue, however, and just trusted that if doctors were performing routine surgery on a newborn, there must be some very good reason that the rest of the world just hadn't heard about. Soon, other issues became more important, and when Tyler was a day old and the doctor came in to take him to be circ'ed, I never really thought twice about it. Well, I wish I would have done more research then, so whatever decision we ended up making would have at least be informed. If you're one of those people who are on the fence, here are a couple of websites for you to check out. My husband would argue that they are biased, and I suppose I have to agree and say that they are. They most certainly exist to discourage routine infant circumcision. There are lots of good articles to read, though, and lots of common questions that are answered. Go ahead and check them out, that way you can make a more informed choice. :o)

Circumcision Resource Center - this one has links to articles discussing common issues and questions
NotJustSkin - FAQ's, check this one out for quick answers!
National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers
Circumcision Information and Resource Pages - complete with a reference library

Friday, July 18, 2008

RPF - Circumcision

Hot topic, I know. If you want to leave a comment, please be respectful. :o) Oh, and if there's more than one answer that would fit, pick the one that applies the most.

ETA: I realized I left out a couple of options here. If you chose to have your son circumcised for religious reasons, sorry, I didn't mean to be ignorant! If you're undecided, sorry, I left you out, too. Check out this post for more on the topic!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Memories Game

Found on my cute sister-in-law's blog. :D

Here is a fun little game...Leave a comment on my blog of a memory that you and I have had together. It doesn't matter if you've known me for a short time, or a long time, anything you remember! Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.On your mark...get set...blog your memories!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gardening in Houston

Now that our garden bed has been restored, I can't wait to plant something. Of course, seeing as it's July, it's still too early for most Fall garden things. I think we're going to try tomatoes, though. There are also some things growing in the garden that look like seeds that got dug up and are now sprouting. I have no clue what they are, if you have any idea, let me know if they're worth keeping.



For those of you in the area, here are some websites with tons of info on gardening here.

Urban Harvest
Galveston County Master Gardeners
Fire Ants
Fruit Gardening
HoustonGardening - take time to really browse this site, a wealth of information!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Random Poll Friday (RPF)

Do you ever have random thoughts? Or wonder about random things? I do. :p So here it is, the first edition of Random Poll Friday (RPF). I'll have a new one up each week. Please indulge my curiosity, and feel free to comment. :D

What have YOU done?

Found this on a friend's blog, and it looked like it'd be fun to do. Which is funny, because I don't usually do these things. Like, you know, tags, or email forwards. I guess I figured I had better post something, since it's been nearly a week, and anything else I would have posted about today would have likely been a rant, and I think I've written enough of those lately. So here you go. Feel free to do one yourself. Just copy and paste, and highlight all the things you've done! :D

200 Have and Have nots!

1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby’s diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said “I love you” and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
(I was in an airplane at the time, does that still count?)
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a professional sports game
17. Been to the top of the Sears Tower
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
(more than once...)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31
. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
(the day after Elly was born, couldn't stand it for more than a day, though)
51. Gone snorkling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don’t
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Sung on a CD
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
(I still do :p)
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone
67. Bounced a check
68. Read and understood your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
(Martin Luther is somewhere far down the line on our family tree)
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
(though I didn't initially intent to start over, lol)
73. Seen the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph (and got a ticket)
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
(when I got married...)
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
(I think I am, though it's taking surprisingly more work than I thought :p)
99. Had to see someone you love in hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap (though you couldn’t tell what it was)
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway play on Broadway
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
(does miniature golf count? lol)
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
(and didn't pay for it!)
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
(well, I used to be able to waltz...)
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to sew
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a campfire
189. Kept a blog
(DUH...)
190. Had chicken pox
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Received a professional massage

Saturday, July 05, 2008

So many thoughts...

...so little time to write them all down. It seems like lately, I have all these great ideas of things to blog about while putting Elly to sleep. Unfortunately, I'm laying down with her and nursing, and by the time I'm done and get back downstairs, I get distracted, and forget what I was going to blog about. The sad thing is, it usually only takes me about 10 minutes or so to put Elly down. My memory clearly isn't what it used to be. Maybe my brain cells are falling out with all the hair I've been losing lately. Yeah, I'm going through that lovely hair loss that happens about 3 months after giving birth. It's getting ridiculous, really. How's that for a random fact about me? :p

Life continues to be busy around here. Dave's parents are here for a visit. We went to see Wall E yesterday. The men were less than impressed with it. I thought it was kind of cute, and I'm finding all kinds of underlying messages. Which, of course, nobody here takes seriously. People just don't care about trash. If I wasn't so pushy about recycling, nobody in this house would be doing it. Someone please tell me I'm not the only one feeling a serious need to save the planet? LOL Sometimes I wonder about people in church talking about how we've been given stewardship over this earth, and we've been commanded to take care of it, and then people just don't? I guess there are a lot of things I wonder about, but that's certainly one of them. And I'm getting into a rant here, so I'll stop. Since, you know, it's 11 p.m., and I really should be going to bed. But feel free to share your thoughts on the topic, if you feel so inclined. :D

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New niece!

Born this morning, after what sounds like a pretty quick labor and birth. Congratulations, Dan and Melissa! :o)