*Phil has our house plans in hand and we're getting ready to submit them to the city for approval. I hope we're in our new house before Pea Buddy arrives.

*We went to the Nat yesterday so Phil could work out and Ocean could get out of the house for a bit. When we got there one of the guy swimmers was working out with no shirt on. After intense scrutiny, Ocean started pulling his shirt up and patting his tummy. He kept it up for about 10 minutes before I asked him if he wanted to take his shirt off. He nodded emphatically so I took it off... and he stuck his little chest out and strutted his stuff for the rest of the afternoon.

*Did anyone else see Miss USA fall on her ass last night during the Miss Universe pageant?! Wow... I kinda felt bad for her but I laughed so hard for about an hour after it happened. A quote from The Superficial: "She slipped and fell during the evening gown portion and, well, that's kind of a big deal when you're in a competition where the only judging criteria are how you look in a bikini and your ability to walk."

*I left my pillow at the hotel when we were in Charlotte and ever since then Phil has been funny pillow guy. Our first night back he put a tiny little throw pillow in my spot just to mock me. I bought a new pillow the next day. Last night our dryer broke (again) and our pillow cases were all soaking wet... except for one. Which I of course kept for myself and made Phil take the uncomfortable spare pillow. While I was brushing my teeth he took my pillow and replaced it with Ocean's plastic ball. I'm glad pregnant women get lots of respect in this house.

*Ocean has started signing "More". We went to the pool today and he finally got up enough courage to let me hold his hands and dunk his toes in the water. I put him back on the pool deck and he immediately signed "More". So cute. =)

*I'm still trying to decide where to have this baby. If anyone has positive things to say about either U of M or St. Joe's feel free to pass it along.

*I ate half a dozen chocolate chip cookies yesterday. It was worth the extra 5 pounds I'll have to lose after I have the baby.


with woman

With Woman

From "Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method":
"In other parts of the world- Spain, France, the British Isles and Old Europe- the lives of the people centered on nature and motherhood. They honored Mother Nature, Mother Earth and Mother Creator. Women were revered as the givers of life.

With no awareness of the link between intercourse and the conception of a child, it was believed that women brought forth children at will. As creators, they were thought to be connected to deity. Statues of the goddesses of these early people were of full breasted women with bodies clearly depicting the ballooning abdomen of women about to give birth. These primal people regarded birthing as the highest manifestation of nature...

Women were nurturers and healers, developing, brewing and administering medicine. All healing came by the hands and healing spirit of women. They collaborated and exchanged learning, overseen by the 'wise women' of the village."

And later, in the same book:
"In Germany [in the early 16th century]... Martin Luther wrote, 'If women become tired [in childbirth], or even die, it does not matter. Let them die in childbirth. That's what they are there for."

I have been reflecting upon this for a couple of days now, and I'm just wondering how we got from the place where women were honored and revered to the place where we were regarded as disposable baby-makers, to where we are now... still working through the misogyny that started creeping into the human race during the second century. And not just in childbirth... this climate of woman-hating permeates through our entire culture.

Damn, you guys, I'm pissed. I better go to bed before I end up writing a book, or before my head explodes.


i may be blogging a lot today

I just stole this off of my sister's friend's blog. It's so full of truth and wisdom that I'm actually speechless. I'll just let you marinate in it...

"Jesus never talked to a prostitute...because he never saw a prostitute. He saw a woman." -Unknown


building go carts with my ex-landlord

If our paths have ever crossed, chances are good that you've made a cameo in one of my dreams over the last few weeks. I cannot begin to describe the randomness and intensity of some of these dreams. I'm assuming it has something to do with pregnancy hormones, though I don't remember experiencing any dreams like these while pregnant with Ocean (DMT experts, I'm sure you have a lot to say).

So if we've met in real life, we've probably also met between the hours of 11pm and 7am, trying to solve the murder of the famous white rapper "Tooth" in New Orleans... being taught by Martha Stewart the most efficient way to slice onions using nothing but our bare hands... receiving medals of honor for fixing spaceships which will be used to eventually save the planet... babysitting a brood of chicks while their mother, a Pomeranian, interviews for jobs...

In the words of Mitch Hedberg, "If I'm sleeping, I just want to SLEEP. I want to dream about watching myself sleep." I'm tired of waking up exhausted because I've been running around Pittsburgh all night searching desperately for a restaurant that serves veggie burgers and Soy Delicious.


the 9th beatitude

"Blessed is the man who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed."

I live my life one day at a time and happily accept surprises and uninvited treasures that come my way. Rarely do I expect much from other people; a little common courtesy and politeness is usually more than enough to satisfy me. But there are days and moments when I am blindsided by personal disappointment brought on by an unmet expectation that I didn't realize I had. How do I respond? My natural, carnal instinct is to tell myself that it doesn't matter and to deny my true hurt over the situation. But inevitably this leads to resentment and bitterness which is just too heavy a load for me to carry.

Sometimes I wish I could go through life, truly never expecting anything from anyone, being thankful for the things I do have. But as Dame Edith Evans said, "I can't imagine going on when there are no more expectations." Keeping the bar so low for people scares me... I want to have faith in the human race, believing that we really do want to make others' lives a little brighter.

I guess the only answer is to be the kind of spouse, friend and family member that I wish to have. "A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the 'why' for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any 'how'." -Victor Frankl


one is silver and the other gold

We just got back to Ann Arbor and we had such a nice time visiting our friends in Charlotte. I wish I could convince a few of them to move up this way (and you know who you are). Unfortunately Maggie still hasn't made her debut and Jess is handling it like a champ as she is well past her due date, so we're hoping to hear good news soon.

To those of you on MySpace...

Lisa, thanks again for venturing out to the mall with us. It was awesome seeing your little guys; Ocean just loves them! You're an incredible mom and I aspire to be as patient with my kids as you are with yours. One day...

Becca, you look fantastic and I'm so happy I got to see you. Life just isn't the same without you here. Take the hint.

Rachel, Lucas is such a doll and you're doing an incredible job. Wow... he's so lucky to have you for a mommy!

Lesli, I appreciated our time together this week. I miss our walks and talks! I love how motivated you are. Oh, and Kyla is just the most darling little girl. I adore both of you!

Mike, I wish we had more time to hang out but I'm sure we'll see more of each other in June. It was sweet how Ocean really took to you; you'll have to come up to visit this summer.

Courtney, I'm sorry Ethan was sick and I missed seeing you. =(

Daniel... I'm sad I didn't get to see you AT ALL. =( But it won't be long until we're back down again and I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing you next time... ;)

Miss you guys already!


could it be...?

I'm already feeling the baby move! It started last week and is a lot different than with Ocean. With O, the first movement I felt was the fetal equivalent of a karate chop to the pelvis, whereas this one is doing some spinny, fluttery action. I really wasn't expecting to feel anything for another week or two so this has been a very cool turn of events.


where i stand

As I browse through other people's MySpace profiles and I see their religious affiliations and spiritual leanings I sometimes feel a pang of guilt for not being such a gung-ho Christian as to wear MyFaith on MySleeve, or at least making my devotion to Jesus more obvious on my public profile.

Over the last few years I have undergone a radical spiritual transformation with regard to the way I see God, humanity, the world and myself. Admittedly I have become a bit of a cynic and skeptic when it comes to matters of faith in the traditional, religious sense and I find it difficult to authentically express what's in my heart without appearing as though I carry what I abhor in all circles: Judgment and hypocrisy. Let me do my best to describe my journey for those of you who may be interested in catching a glimpse of the path I'm on, or for those of you who have put me on the Prayer List.

I grew up calling myself a Christian. I tried to make the right decisions and do the right things because I was taught that's what The Bible says, and what God expects. There were standards to uphold and I made every attempt to meet them. Late into my teen years, I grew tired of trying so hard to measure up to this impossibly high marking stick; thus beginning my rebellion away from God and the church. This lasted for a few years, and I must pause here and say that I am terribly sorry to anyone whom I hurt during this time in my life. In the search for happiness I became selfish and embittered and had little regard for anyone else. For that I am deeply sorry.

Several years later I became involved with an incredible group of people who called themselves Christians but were nothing like the Christians I had known, or had been trying to be. They were loving, forgiving, selfless and kind. They welcomed me into their fold with open arms and genuinely loved me, despite my arrogance and insecurity. It took a while but I began to come around towards God again, seeing a new picture of this Creator who didn't want anything from me… he just wanted me.

Flash forward a few more years. Phil and I are married, I am pregnant with Ocean and we go to a festival called Breathe at the Columbus Ohio Vineyard. Jay Pathak, a pastor in Arvada Colorado, is talking about the difference between Christians vs. Followers of Jesus and something about this just resonated and took root within me. I realized that I had been fighting a culture war as a Christian, still holding people to the same standards that had kept me imprisoned for so many years. I used religion as an excuse for judgment, hate, hypocrisy and arrogance. That weekend, something broke inside of me and I realized what an ass I had been. In an instant I stopped giving a rip about "religious political issues"; what's being taught in science class, who people sleep with and when, what our money says, what people do with or to their bodies; the list goes on and on. In less than 30 seconds my personal motto went from "Thou Shalt Not" to "Live and Let Live… and just love."

I left cultural Christianity behind that weekend, and have since identified myself as a student of Jesus. I love him, I learn from him and I spend time talking to him. I'm convinced that none of us are "In" or "Out"; we are all on our own spiritual journeys and are searching for ultimate truth and meaning in our painful, screwed-up lives. I love all people now, regardless of who they are or how they live. Jesus hung out with everyone and the only people he got pissed at were the religious people who were forcing man-imposed regulations on the people around them and ultimately taking advantage of the social, spiritual and political underdogs of the day. So I guess that's where I've been for the last few years. I struggle with judging cultural Christians who would rather point their pious fingers at what they deem to be sinful rather than reaching out towards the hurting people in this world… there are so many. But it's a lot easier to point at someone else than to look inside and see your own ugly blemishes… which is my own admission as I grapple with my judgment toward western Christians.

So you may have been thinking that I've lost my salvation or that I'm backsliding, or whatever other buzzwords the western church uses to pigeonhole those of us who are looking for deeper meaning from a God who is the power of Love, Hope and Mercy personified, and whose depth is infinite. But the truth is that I would prefer to be on the Prayer List, because I need all the help I can get in continuing to struggle through this tension of the mundane and the supernaturally joyous existence of which we are all a part.

And that is where I currently stand.


lucky number 13

Today is the first day in weeks that I haven't felt sick. =)

So I ate... and ate... and ate. Coffee cake for breakfast, huevos rancheros for lunch, veggie tacos for dinner, and lots and lots of snacks! I can say the word "tofu" now without gagging and I was actually able to get a lot done around the house thanks to an increase in my energy level.

Apparently 13 weeks is the magic number for this pregnancy. Let's hear it for the second trimester! Wahoo!


i'm famished

I am hungry like 24 hours a day but nothing sounds good. The last couple of weeks I've been surviving on the following:

Mashed potatoes
Oatmeal Crisp cereal
Apples & Applesauce
Pineapple Orange juice

It's not that I'm craving any of these foods, it's just that the thought of them doesn't make me gag. If anyone has any other ideas, I'm open to suggestions. And if anybody is so inclined at this very moment to bring me a raspberry coffee cake I'll be your best friend forever and ever. =)