Friday, May 18, 2012

Summer Days..Tell Me More Tell Me More

It's May! Well almost June right? The end of the school year is here and summer officially will begin. It's hard to believe. And sooner than we can possibly imagine our little family of three will be a family of four. Last year at this time, I was all scheduled up with various summer adventures for Lydia and I, in addition to a family trip and summer school. This summer is not all that different. Though I am not teaching this summer because of obvious reasons and we've decided not to take any big trips, for obvious reasons.
Last Summer at Lake Eerie
In June, Lydia will be participating in the Berkeley Summer Camps once again. This year it is Kinderarts which is actually music and art every day for a week. We also have our annual passes to the Glazer Children's Museum and Busch Gardens which I would like to use to the fullest. In lue of a big trip we have decided that there are many day trips we have been talking about taking but never seem to do because we are so busy thus our summer bucket list is pretty lengthly.

Last Summer at Niagara Falls

Our list is pretty good and we figure that we can pick one each week when Eliot is off and take an adventure. Here is what we are thinking: Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks and Greek Orthodox Church last time I went there I took a bus full of old ladies from a church I was working at almost 13 years ago. I remember spending the day with a retired art teacher that retold her adventures painting through Europe before the astronomical costs of flights and trains. Florida Southern College, my alma mater, to tour Frank Lloyd Wright's "Child in the Sun" even though I went to school there I have never taken the offical tour and haven't set foot on campus since I graduated 14 years ago. Eliot loves Frank Lloyd Wright so seems like a perfect choice. Our very own Dali Museum in the impressive new building which we have planned on going to for almost 2 years. The Sarasota's Amish community because who doesn't love the Amish and their wooden crafts. Bok Towers which is a national historic landmark that I have never even been to and it's supposedly beautiful. We have also heard that MOSI has created a toddler specific section which we may have to check out as well.

So along with beach days, friend days, rainy days, library storytime we will be filled to the brim with activities. This is of course if I can roll my self out of bed and dare to enter the summer heat as the weeks of this third trimester fly by.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The complex workings of a 20 month old mind

I am, as most parents, constantly in awe of my daughter. She makes connections to things that are hilarious and ingenious simultaneously. She is such a little person. As I have reflected many of times, she is a little person, that was bor n with her strong willed personality, which leads me to the post of the day.

We started swim lessons again a couple of weeks ago. These lessons are more structured and more intense then the previous lessons that we had participated in. The first lessons were relaxed and very centered on how strict the parent really wanted to be with their child, plus a good portion of the time was spent in unstructured activity. These lessons on the other hand, are rigid and the parent functions only as the  private that is following orders given directly by the captain. From the first lesson, it was evident how different the class would be, in a good way.

Lydia, however, seems to struggle a little bit with following directions. Seconds before she is dipped in the water she is told to close her mouth to prevent her from swallowing water. Her response is to open her mouth as wide as she can. Anyone would first think she doesn't understand the direction, but at home when we practice she intensely will close her mouth. Matter of fact, she will suck her lips in so tight that she looks like a little old lady. When we tell her to open she throws her head back and stretches her out so much a whale could curl up and nest in there. She knows the difference, but the question is why doesn't she do it? She cannot possibly enjoy swallowing water every week, but yet she does.

Another great example is her fascinations with kicking and throwing balls. She has a whole bucket of balls which she will depending on the size either grab and throw across the room, or kick and yell "Goooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaallllllll." (This is my father's doing not hers.) Adorable undoubtedly, however not so cute when she throws her little people zoo animals or kicks them, or when she finishes meals and throws food on the floor to indicate completion.

Eliot and I, are still honing our parenting skills may appear as laid back and easy going folks most of the time. This however, should not be mistaken with the other part of our neurotic order loving tumberware labeling sorting coocoo birds that we are which of course do become very irritable when constantly picking up food from a clean floor. Once again, where is the loss of translation in that magic word, "no!"  for our daughter? She responds to not throwing the ball when we ask her not to. She knows to throw it high or low. My goodness, she knows which balls are throwing ones and which ones are for kicking. But she chooses to still throw her food when she is finished. We redirect her sterning saying no. We explain that we don't throw food. We have her notice that mom and dad don't throw food. We have her pick it up (which she enjoys a little too much). We have smacked her hand. Here is a kicker, she doesn't throw food in restaurants. So what else is there to do?

There is no way to completely understand the complex workings of a 20 month old mind. Lydia is pretty verbal as well and thus each day is able to provide a deeper sneak peak into her process but in the meantime I take a sippy cup in case she is thirsty and that is why she voluntarily swallows pool water.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sugar Rush Annoyance

As many know I have had a little bit of roller coaster with my blood sugar testing during pregnancy. While carrying Lydia I was borderline the entire time and the last few months were sugar tests on every visit. I never had gestational diabetes likely because I didn't gain much weight and I delivered vaginally which is rare for those that do have gestational diabetes. Thus this time my midwife wanted to be extra careful. I took my first blood sugar test at about 16 weeks. The hour test came back elevated slightly, so I was required to take the 3 hour test. Against all biological indications I passed all 3 of the blood tests in that series. Success! Honestly, I couldn't believe it.

Imagine my surprise when they told me at my last visit that it was time for my blood sugar testing at 28 weeks.  My mild protest was quickly over when it was explained that now was the traditional timing for the blood sugar testing and thus, it had to be done. I woke up this morning, after fasting all night, dressed and went to the office. I drank the flat orange soda, saw my midwife and waited patiently until they took my blood.

I was told not to indulge on a bagel or any other high carb food because I was already pumped with sugar. I picked up a sausage egg and cheese burrito and some decaf cafe con leche my mom had made for me. When I got to school, I ate a cookie with my advisory thinking that I had already proteined up. Then a small Hindu god of destruction fell on my head. Now I feel a little funny. I don't know if it's the bump on my head or the sugar overload, but I feel sort of yucky. Hoping it passes soon.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Head Aches

Certainly, I am among one of the lucky ones. Pregnancy is quite lovely for me. I am attempted to write easy but I am sure that will jinx the final months to come. I had what I would consider waves of nausea during my first trimester and I have managed to maintain my weight once again, at this point only having gain a total of 11 pounds. It's warm outside and it does feel hotter than last time, however, it actually is hotter than last time, so not too unusual. Sleep is touch and go but that is also normal at this point. I do better with naps than evening sleep but since I am still at school I try my darnest to at least close my eyes and rest.

My one complaint. Gripe. Issue. Headaches. I mean really Head Aches.

I have had so many headaches this pregnancy. Some must be to hormone shifts, the others to dehydration since 90% of headaches are caused by dehydration, but some I am not sure where they are coming from. I have had a small hand full of migraines in my life and now I can say that most of these have been during this pregnancy.

Last night was we went to bed comfortably. I had a small dull headache since earlier in the day but assumed it was because I had such a great brunch with friends that I didn't eat again until after 6. I was starved by that point and ate fairly quickly assuming that once the nourishment hit my bloodstream that the pressure would subside. It didn't really. So I ignored it. I flipped like a fish on the cold side of a bridge from side to side. I took off my sheets so I wouldn't be so warm. I could even really stand a pillow because the angle of my head on it made thing worse. I drank water. Went to the bathroom. Had a protein bar. Flip some more. Finally at 5 something AM I took some tylenol. Many of you may wonder why that wasn't my first reaction, and the reason is that pregnant people can't take anything othe than tylenol or benadryl, so it's sort of the last possible option.

Eliot's alarm clock went off; it felt as a missle had been shot through my temple. I contemplating calling into work but it seemed like more work than getting myself together and going. Luckily the tylenol did begin to work some and the brightness of the morning didn't send me into a deeper discomfort.

Why am I having so many headaches? Is it due to allergies, some sort of sinus build up? Is it because I have not been wearing my glasses because the prescription is fairly low and my glass are both falling apart, so my stigmatism is suffering more than normal because of pregnancy? Do I have a tumor? (At this moment I hear the voice of my friend Eddie sounding like Arnold Schwarzenegger, "it's not a tumor.") Whatever it is. It's annoying. I am now going through the day barely conscious from my lack of a full night's sleep, fearful of the pain returning.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Methodist Madness

Where I stand politically: Unapologetically I am a liberal. I believe that all people are equal regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, and yes, even religion. In some ways, I suppose I like the idea of less government because I would like everyone to live and let live, however, I believe that everyone should have the right to various opportunities like education, health care and nourishment. Perhaps I miss something along the way, but none of this seems too complicated to me. It's not the job of the government to determine who marries who but it is the job of the government to ensure that those people have a chance for good health care since our capitalist society has significantly put it out of reach for not just the poor, but much of the middle class as well.

Where I stand religiously: I became part of the Methodist church somewhat by accident, but for the last 18 years it has been part of my life. I worked at a Methodist summer camp for 8 summers. I attended a Methodist undergraduate school and graduate school. I am roughly 9 credit hours away from a Master’s of Divinity which would allow me to become ordained however; I do have a Master’s of Theological Studies from Emory University. I have worked at 5 different Methodist churches. I was married in a Methodist church. My daughter was baptized in a Methodist church. I teach religious studies and I am sure to always give John Wesley a shout out.

The Methodist Madness: During the last week the international United Methodist community has convened in their ritual 4 year cycle to discuss both structure and social issues that are pressing.  United Methodists are the largest denomination in the United States but interestingly the African and Asian constituencies have grown tremendously. Their representation at the Global conference is evident and perhaps may be one of the primary reasons for a stale mate in voting particularly with social issues. These countries are traditionally culturally quite conservative thus this is reflected in the last few votes regarding our homosexual brethren. The votes have been said to be close, my opinion not close enough, but still no changes have been made. It disheartens me as I look at the future of the church and it angers me on behalf of family and friends. The perpetual disenfranchising of the “other” to me is the largest smack across of the face of Jesus our society can offer.
My brain and heart desperately try to understand how Christians can repeatedly cast stones, became the judger, hate their neighbor as they proclaim other Biblical texts as support for their ignorance, fear, and violence. The lack of education of these voices is evident as those that have truly studied the text can explain its content within its context. Perhaps, I could for a moment set aside the academic argument against this hateful campaign but as I do I am refueled by the words of Christ himself. Matthew 22:37-39 “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and all of your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  We are called as Christians to be lovers. We are called into acts of grace and compassion. We hope is for freedom, equality, and joy through love.
The other part of my frustration is purely out of a concern for my Methodist church here in the States. If our international Methodists are not progressive in their social stance, do we have to be bound by their short sighted judgment?  Must we wait to see if the rest of the world would like to become socially progressive to be accepting here and now? Clearly it reads in Romans 2:1, “Therefore, no excuse you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself.” I don’t want to wait for them. I want us to do what is right, now.
What can we do to stop the Methodist Madness?