Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Parenting Books Suck.

There. I said it. No surprise, I have lots of unpopular opinions.

I'm an avid reader...of fiction and have course read a lot on bed rest. It also seemed like a good idea to read some parenting books I hear people rave about. I'm not interested in pregnancy books, as I read one during my last pregnancy and it was fine, but non fiction books have never really been my thing. Plus, my pregnancy is far from normal and I can't relate to those books. If there was a "Hey, you've got one fucked up pregnancy going on" book, I'd probably check it out of the library. But I haven't seen one yet.

So I ventured into the land of parenting books and I regret it. I did like one book, and which book it is will probably give you an idea of why I didn't like the rest of them: Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay, by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. That is my kind of book. The highly recommended bible of sleeping strategies, The Happiest Baby on the Block, is not my kind of book.

Without going into details of why this book bothered me (um, 4th trimester theory? Clearly something only a man could come up with), there are many general reasons why I think parenting books are crap. I'm well aware that I'm not dealing with a newborn yet and I may eat my words...but I don't think so.

What bothers me is the mentality that these methods, whatever they may be, will work for every single baby. Not all babies want to be swaddled. Not all babies will react the same to each method. It's a false sense of security that you'll read this book, know what to do and have an infant sleeping through the night by the time they're a week old. Your baby may respond well, but your baby may not. Then what do you do?

But what bothers me even most is the need for these books, and the fact that they are such money makers, in the first place. What happened to trusting your instincts and asking your friends and family for help or suggestions when you need them? Oh yeah, I forgot. That's not always a good idea, either.

For whatever reason, women are grossly unsupportive of other women who raise their child differently from themselves. Whether it's attachment parenting versus crying it out, formula feeding versus breast feeding, routine versus no routine...somewhere along the line, instead of accepting each other's parenting styles as whatever works for your family, it became a different parenting style equalled a wrong way to raise your child. As a result, many women don't share their tips or advice with new moms for fear of being crucified because Johnny drinks juice before he's 2 years old. Who cares? Really, how does it affect them?

For me, and what works best for my family, is I'll stay away from the books that I think are crap and ask my friends and family for their advice when I need it. By the way, Kyera - I have a question about bottles. So email me, k?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Rooster Hell

4:00 a.m. - a rooster crows several times and stops.

5:00 a.m. - a rooster crows again several times and eventually stops.

5:55 a.m. - a rooster starts crowing really loudly and incessantly and doesn't stop.

We are victims of a stray, wild rooster that has decided he really likes the area between our house and our neighbors (that is filled with bushes and trees) and this rooster crows all.day.long. We've come to terms with that after numerous attempts to make him leave, and a serious lack of help from animal control. But, the early morning roostering is new and unacceptable.

At just before 6 this morning, we were both wide awake and couldn't take it anymore. We couldn't figure out if he was in the front yard or the back yard but upon further inspection, it was clear he was much louder in the front yard. Chris went out to investigate. At 6 am. In boxers and a t-shirt and bare feet. He comes back in and informs me he must be out front.

"Did you spray him?" (We attempt to spray him with water by shooting it in the general direction of the noise. We can't exactly go into the neighbors yard so this is all we have.)

sigh. "No, I'll go back out there."

I get my robe and slippers on and join my husband in the rooster hunt. By the time I get out there, he's spraying water into the bushes. The rooster has stopped, maybe he got him and he'll shut up for a couple hours.

Suddenly, a bird flies out of the tree (in our front yard) that Chris is standing over. A big bird. A big ass, black and white bird. The fucking rooster was in our tree, watching Chris shoot water into the neighbors yard.

I didn't realize roosters could actually fly. I'm aware they have wings, but all I've seen is a little hop, nothing you would call flying.

In my defense, it didn't look like the rooster had much experience. It was almost as if he was sideways, didn't get a ton of air but did manage to land on the neighbors roof.

Chris is now laughing as I'm screaming, "It was in the tree! It was in the TREE!" I'm really hoping this doesn't end up on You Tube.

The pathetic thing is, it's not like it was hidden inside a massive redwood covered in branches and leaves. The tree he chose is a very Charlie Brown-ish tree, with just a couple bare branches and very few leaves. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but it's little and very much a "how-in-the-fuck-did-you-not-notice-a-big-ass-white-black-
and-red-rooster-in-the-tree" kind of tree.

It really was shocking to see it "fly" out of there, and given that I'm 22 weeks pregnant and bladder control isn't what it used to be, it's amazing I didn't have an accident.

So now it's on the roof. We can't get to it. I try, repeatedly, to get the water to spray onto their roof but it won't come close to reaching. I storm back into the house and head into the back yard to see if I can get it from there.

In the meantime, our poor cat is traumatized by the whole experience. He excitedly thought he was getting breakfast early but instead had to witness mom and dad both storming in and out of the house repeatedly. It was like he was trying to say, "Hey, canned chicken is just fine. You don't need to kill one fresh for me." (a shout out to Chris for that one, that was his line from early this morning during our rooster hunting frenzy. It was too funny to pass up.)

In the back yard, I still can't see it. But I can hear it. Not roostering, though...clucking. Like a chicken. Cluck, cluck, cluck...which shortly turned into laughter. I shit you not, it was laughing. Then I saw it, climbing to the very top of the neighbors roof. Waving the white flag, I went back inside.

He won. Again.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Things I've Learned on Bed Rest

(Latest update...no change! Still hanging in there.)

I'm not a bed rest kind of gal. I'm your typical Type A, and lemme tell you, Type A plus a baby on the way and not being able to do everything I'd like to get ready for that is a bad combo. But clearly there is no choice in the matter and I have to do this to try and keep her safe and sound, so that's what I'm doing. I'm lucky that I'm not on strict bed rest as in I can get up and move around some, take care of some things around the house here and there - as long as I spend the majority of the time laying down or reclining, and make sure I stay down if I start cramping and having contractions.

I have never not worked for a long period of time, and I've worked since I was 13 years old. I think the longest stretch was when I started college in a new city and it took a couple months to get a job...but at least I was in school full time. This is a huge adjustment for me. But I have learned a few things:
  • We do not have the same mailman every day.
  • The free local newspaper is only being delivered to people who pay for the other local newspaper, the free paper's competition. Since we don't pay for the other one, now we don't get the free one. And the guy delivering the free paper drives a Lexus.
  • Roosters are stupid and will crow at any time during the day.
  • Daytime television consists almost entirely of soap operas and shows about babies.
  • Too much television will indeed rot your brain. Since being on bed rest, I am unable to answer hardly any questions on Jeopardy. Frankly, I don't even understand some of the questions these days.
  • My depression over both Rock of Love 2 and Real Housewives of New York City ending is abnormal and should be concerning to those around me.
  • My anxiety over Big Brother ending this week is also concerning.
  • My teenage neighbor and her friend seem to cut class every single day, and they play music really loud and it irritates me.
  • I think Kelly Ripa and I would get along great and have a lot of fun together.
  • I've developed a hatred for Elizabeth (the blond) on the View.
  • I'm suffocating my cat with attention because we don't have anything else to do.
  • My cat seems jealous of the laptop and I'm concerned about how it's going to affect us.
  • As appealing as it has sounded in the past (especially when my alarm goes off), I don't think I could just not work. I need some kind of mental stimulation outside the home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The latest and greatest from the land of bed rest...

We made it to twenty weeks on Sunday! Halfway there, although realistically for us, we're more than halfway there. And Mama is gettin' big. Hence the full panel skirt in the belly pic. Jeez.

The good news is the cervix is holding stable at 2.8. Not a great length for 20 weeks, but no change since last ultrasound a little over a week ago and that's all I could ask for. I'm on bed rest through the duration of the pregnancy, though, but...we ordered a laptop so I'll be back in the land of the living - soon. I have a ton of blog posts in my head but can't spend the time at the desktop to post them, so I'll probably overload the blog once the laptop arrives.

Last week was pretty hairy, I was really wound up about the cervix and then I started realizing that weird feeling wasn't the baby rolling around but actually contractions. I tested positive for Group B Strep, not normally an issue until you deliver, but since I was symptomatic I started antibiotics for it. It's helped the contractions and cramping quite a bit. I still have a lot more than I'm comfortable with, but they are far less frequent (from several an hour to several a day) and much less intense. At this point, there isn't anything that can be done to stop them, medication won't work this early (and my doc won't administer it unless I am dilating, which I am not) and the monitors won't even pick up most contractions. They think I may have an irritable uterus on top of everything else. Polyps, short cervix, irritable uterus...oh, my.

I'm really happy with my doctor and how she has agreed to monitor and treat me, and I feel with my twice weekly appointments, weekly ultrasounds and bed rest, we're doing all we can to keep our little girl safe and inside for as long as possible.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Majority was right!

It's aGIRL! A perfect, beautiful baby girl. Everything is wonderful with our daughter.

Mom, on the other hand, needs some help. My cervix has shortened a little too much (down to 2.8 cm, from 3.7 six weeks prior...a big jump and not a good number) so I'll be on bedrest for now. We'll evaluate next week. So this may be my last post for a while since I don't have a laptop and I'll be following all instructions to keep pressure of my cervix, which includes sitting at the computer. Gotta do everything I can to keep our little girl safe.