Thursday, October 28, 2010

Let's Discuss: Prenatal Testing

So, when I'm pregnant, I like to read birth boards.  I love to hear what other expecting moms are up to and what they are experiencing.  The big 'buzz' right now is the 12-week NT scan, which can detect Down's Syndrome, among other problems, I believe.

This is the first I've heard of this scan, so I'm guessing it wasn't around or wasn't popular when I was preggo with the Sunbean.  That was forever ago.  You know, 3 years.  Anyway, they do an ultrasound and measure the neck folds to see if the baby is at higher risk.  From there, they'll do bloodwork or more invasive tests, like an amniocentesis.

My OB hasn't mentioned it, so I'm guessing it isn't offered at my office.  Or maybe we'll be doing it at my 12-week visit and I'm clueless.  I guess it has to be done before the 14th week begins.  Either way is fine with me.

On the birth board tonight, a woman had an NT scan today that showed an increased risk of Down's Syndrome.  Pending the results of her bloodwork and amnio, she's planning to abort.  I was floored.

Here's my opinion.  I am all about getting as much prenatal screening and testing as possible.  Whatever is logical, I will do.  I live to be prepared, and so I'd want to read every book ever written on Down's Syndrome if my child were at a high risk of having Down's Syndrome.  I'd have specialists and therapists researched and a plan and a strategy and dang it, I'd be as mentally prepared as possible.

But.  I would not, not, not choose to end my child's life based on a test result.  It makes my stomach turn to think of it.  While I think having a child with special needs (of any sort) would be an intense trial, I would never choose an abortion.  It just isn't me.  Based on my religious beliefs, I know that children with special needs on Earth will go on to inherit our Father's kingdom.  We believe that these 'special needs' are actually blessings that protect these children from the craziness of this world.  Being a parent to these children is certainly a challenge, but even more certainly, a blessing.  I look at it this way:  if Heavenly Father chose for me to become pregnant with this child, then He will provide a way for me to deal.  He has a plan.  I don't always know the details.

So, I love the prenatal screenings for the plan-ahead, be-prepared aspects, but abortion would never be an option for me.

What do you guys think?  Are you a fan of the screenings?  Why or why not?  I know my religious beliefs are a big factor in my opinion.  How about you?

Let's discuss.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

MacGyver, Party of 4

If you're my friend on Facebook (all the cool kids are), you read our big announcement on Saturday.  We're welcoming another one of these in our family:

We're super excited!  It all happened so quickly that we're barely getting used to the idea of being pregnant.  We knew we wanted our kids to be about 3 years apart, and I knew that I wanted to avoid being largely pregnant through the summer again.  We did the math and realized it was time.  We're really good at getting pregnant, so as quickly as we decided, we were pregnant.  It has been a whirlwind of a few months, but we are really pumped about it.

So far I'm feeling, well, awful.  I throw up almost every morning, which never happened with the Sunbean.  And I'm not typically a puker.  Other than that, I'm just exhausted beyond belief.

We've had more than our fair share of pregnancy problems (is there really a fair share?), so we were planning to wait a little longer to announce, just in case.  My uterus, however, has had different plans.  I know I don't look pregnant to the general public, but MacGyver and I have been shocked at how quickly my body has 'remembered' what to do.  My pants definitely don't button anymore!

Because of our history, I've already had a slew of doctor visits, and we've had an ultrasound to see a heartbeat.  I actually didn't think it would be as exciting this time around, but I think I'm more excited.  I'm not as freaked out that something will go wrong, and I know what to expect.  Exciting stuff!

I'm due on June 1st, which is my mom's birthday and my brother-in-law's birthday, so that makes it even more special.

Now I'm off to either puke or make a nest for myself on the couch.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Random Thoughts for Friday

  • First off, it's Friday!  Woo hoo!  MacGyver comes home early from work, which is always cause for celebration.
  • We're heading to Starbucks for breakfast and then the library for storytime.  We love Fridays around here.
  • The Primary Program is Sunday.  I'm excited to see how it turns out, and even more excited for it to be over.
  • We sold a bunch of furniture we weren't using and got a 'new' rug via Craigslist.  I seriously love that place.  Thanks, Emily, for pointing out the rug that I *needed*.
  • I've only been to the gym  twice this week.  Blah.
  • I loooooove this weather.  My favorite season.  I seriously heart sweaters.
  • We had Chipotle for lunch yesterday and, for the first time ever, I was disappointed.  It was not good.  For one, they shorted me on sour cream.  That's always a big mistake.
  • Sunbean has a cold and is not sleeping well.  I don't blame her, but we're all totally exhausted.
  • We don't have any big plans this weekend....I LOVE that!
Have a fantastic Friday!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Soup!

That's what my dad always said when he made's soup!  Anyone else grow up with hillbilly lingo like this?

Anyway, if you're a regular reader of this blog (and the old one), you know that we've undergone a massive transformation in the food department.  I get tons of questions about our food choices, so I've decided to do a series of posts about it.  Here's a basic time line to give you an idea of how this revolution came about.  I'll be doing detailed posts about different topics over the next month or so.
  1. I watch Food, Inc and start to research the topics in the documentary.
  2. We make the choice to eat only grass-fed and locally-processed meats.
  3. I sign up for an organic CSA (a programs that allows you to buy a share of a farm and get fresh produce for 20 weeks in the growing season).
  4. I continue my research and decide to 'experiment' with vegetarianism.
  5. I like it.  I decide to cut meat out of my diet, but not all animal products (i.e.:  I still drink milk and eat cheese and eggs, etc).
  6. I learn about the dangers of soy, and strictly limit the soy I consume, and, especially, the soy the Sunbean consumes.  Soy is really bad for females, particularly young ones.
  7. I learn about corn and start limiting processed corn products, which, by the way, is everything.
  8. I continue to learn more and more about the nutritional needs of my family...
So that's how it happened.  Step-by-step, and I'm sure we're not done yet.  I plan to write a more detailed post about lots of things, including:
  • Meat Production
  • Grass-Fed vs. Corn-Fed Cows
  • Vegetarianism
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Organic on a Budget
  • Keeping Non-Vegetarian Husbands Happy
  • How (and Where) to Start
If you've known me for a long time, you know I grew up a card-carrying member of the 4-H.  I'm a farm girl at heart, and I know lots and lots of 'big business' farmers.  I know some of them read this, and I'd just like to say that these are the choices that are right for our family.  These are the choices that I think are right for the health of our country.  I have the utmost respect for your profession, I just think it has taken some dangerous turns in the past 20 years.

Stay tuned for some food-ish posts!

I am, of course, no expert.  I'm not a nutritionist, or a dietitian, or a doctor.  I can't recommend what your family does or doesn't do, but I can tell you what keeps us happy and healthy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm a Granite Girl

 Our poor kitchen has endured oh-so-many changes since we've lived here.  First, we painted her yellow:

 And accessorized with red?  Why, oh why?  What were we thinking?  No one knows.

Let's not forget the absolutely horrible granite tile countertop:

See, when we moved in, there was one of those fake wood formica jobs.  We didn't like it, and MacGyver's mom had some granite tile laying around (she's the original MacGyver, if you didn't know).  She offered to help me tile it, and I was pumped.
Sadly, it didn't turn out:

I've been wanting to re-do it since the second it was done.  Was it the uneven tiles?  The yellowing epoxy grout?  My perpetual fear of all manner of germs living in the cracks?  Hard to say.

Herein lies the problem.  Once you've had granite, if only for 5 seconds, you can never go back.  Despite our counter's fatal flaws, I loved its heat-resistant properties and gleaming surface.  I just couldn't bring myself to pay money to get something that I didn't even want.

Then, one fabulous evening (four years later, mind you), we got a call from MacGyver's mom.  She knows a granite guy.  He could install new countertops for a fraction of the cost the next morning (we're talking less than formica).  Take it or leave it.  And take it we did.  11:00pm, and we rolled up our sleeves and tore out that wretched granite tile.  Oh, the joy.

Us being, well, us, we couldn't just stop there.  The new solid-surface granite counter inspired an entire renovation.  Behold, our new and much-loved kitchen:
 Is is not fabulous?  I love it.  Love it.  This is one of the first projects that we've completed that I've absolutely loved.

And a close-up of those fantastic counters:

 If only I could cook...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Top Ten...Books

Here are my current Top Ten books, though this list changes frequently.  In no particular order...

1. The Harry Potter Series.  As in, all of them.  As in, l.o.v.e. love these books.  At first I was anti.  Then I was tutoring a 5th grader who would have nothing to do with any other book.  So, we read the first two chapters together.  That night, I finished the first book.  They are fantastic pieces of literature.

2. Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons.  Talk about perfectly capturing life as a stay-at-home mom.  A must for all mothers.

3. Beat the Turtle Drum.  I first read this in 5th grade, and have read it several times over.  It is a really sad book, but would be a good recommendation for a child who has recently experienced the death of a loved one.

4.  Pride and Prejudice.  Tried to read this several times.  Couldn't get into it.  My dear friend forced me to watch the Kiera Knightly version, and I was hooked.  Read the book, loved it.  Watched the real version (read:  A&  take me home, Mr. Darcy), loved it ten times more.  I just watched the Mormon version.  Totally adorable.

5.  A Wrinkle in Time.  A classic.  I loved the way this made me think as a child, and I love the fact that I can still enjoy it.

6.  Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.  Does it make me a nerd that this made my Top Ten?  Probably.  It saved my life, though, so it deserves a spot.

7.  Tarzan of the Apes.  Okay, okay.  Laugh it up.  Then go ask them to dig it out of the archives at the library.  I first read this about 5 years ago for a book club, and was shocked at how well-written and thought-provoking it was.  My friend chose it because she's 'never been disappointed with a classic'.  So, so true.

8.  Anything by Dan Brown.  Suspenseful, intriguing, and well-researched.  I've read each of them in less than two days.  Certainly the mark of a good author.

9.  Plain Truth.  I love just about everything by Jodi Picoult, but this is my current favorite.  I'm not sure what exactly made this one stand out above the rest, but I've read it many times, and always find it fulfilling.

10.  Little Earthquakes.  I read this while pregnant, though that might not be advisable.  It is about a mother who has lost a child, and how she and her other young-mother-friends move on.  A great and fun read for moms, just be careful in case you are the crazy I-just-know-every-conceivable-bad-thing-will-happen-to-my-child type, like me.  A great portrayal of the camaraderie of mothers.

There you go...Happy Reading!

Any suggestions for me?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Holy Wake-Up Call, Batman

 A few weeks ago, my darling daughter strutted into my office looking something like this:


Just as I was contemplating how adorable she looked, she looked right into my eyes and said, "Do I look skinny?"

That's right.  My freaking 2-year-old wants to know if she looks skinny.  Sadly, I know where she picked that up.

Let me give you some background here.  Like just about every other American girl, I thought I was fat in high school.  Well, not fat.  Just 'chubby'.  Like just about every other American girl, I was not.  Not fat.  Not chubby.  Normal.  Of course, I had beanpoles for friends, so I was comparing myself to them.  Really not fair, but that's what I spent all of high school doing.

I went off to college and decided I was never going to do that again.  I was moving to a new town with new people, and I was going to give myself a new start.  I was going to know that I was skinny.  I had a healthy weight, so I figured I might as well embrace it before my years of matronly child-bearing arrived.

Problem was, I gained not the Freshmen 15, but the Freshman 50.  Turns out, ordering a DIET Coke with that pizza at midnight doesn't 'cancel it out.'.  I was cursed with my grandmother's fat-burning genes.  As in, none at all.

By the end of my freshman year, I was chubby.  Heck, I was fat.  Here's the problem, though.  I had decided that I wasn't ever going to feel that way again.  Oops.  So now I was overweight, but I couldn't see it.  I spent my sophomore and junior years at OU happily eating like crap and gaining weight without noticing.  I know it sounds stupid, but it's the truth.

Then, for some strange reason, I looked in the mirror one day and nearly had a heart attack.  I was married by then, so I asked MacGyver when I got so fat.  Like a good little husband, he muttered something rather non-committal.

I decided right then that I was gonna lose that weight and keep it off.  And I did!  By graduation, I was pretty dang close to what i weighed when I graduated high school.  Fast-forward a few years, and we had a rough year of non-viable pregnancies.  Spending 9 months of one year in the first trimester of a pregnancy does a number to your waistline, let me tell ya.

When the Sunbean was 6 months old, I happened to have another unfortunate look in the mirror.  Yikes!  Didn't like what I saw.  I dropped 100 pounds in the first year of her life, and am still at a healthy, happy weight.

I plan to stay here, too.  There is just one problem.  When I look in the mirror, I do not see a 120-pound momma.  I'm not saying I have some severe eating disorder or anything.  No need to send the psychiatrist over.  I just spent so many years thinking that I looked good, that now I approach myself with extreme caution.  I'm just a little insecure.

Aaaaaand now we're back to the point of this post.  Every.  single.  day.  I ask MacGyver if I 'look skinny' in my outfit.  He, of course, responds with the proper enthusiasm.  I just never thought about the impact it was having on my daughter.
In that moment, when I saw my baby girl asking me if she 'looked skinny', I saw her adolescent years before me.  I realized that I can give her a gift:  the gift of a healthy lifestyle with healthy habits and a healthy body image.  I can show her that by eating good foods, staying active, and having self-confidence, that yes, she does indeed look skinny.  No, she looks great.  She looks healthy.  She looks perfect.

I made a pact with myself that day.  I will never, ever, ever ask again if I look skinny.  I may ask poor MacGyver if my outfit looks okay, or if it matches (he's good with fashion....I'm lucky), but I'm just throwing the insecurities out the freakin' window.

It's a gift I'm giving my children, and, finally, myself.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Green Face-Clean

The Sunbean isn't exactly a 'clean' eater.  She's not a total maniac, but her face needs a good rub-down after meals.  We used to use baby wipes, but then we completely stopped using disposable products (with the exception of toilet paper).

We started using dish cloths for kitchen cleaning rather than those disposable rag-in-a-box things.  I got white cloths, so I can just bleach them and they look good as new.  So we had two cloths going each day:  counter-cleaning and face-cleaning.  Problem was, they looked exactly alike.

I'm pretty neurotic, so I had a fantastic system where I would keep the counter one draped over the front of the sink and the face one draped over the side of the sink.  Worked fine for me, but if anyone was ever helping me, especially with the Sunbean, I was always freaked they'd use the wrong cloth.
Enter the brown terrycloth:

I got the brilliant idea to just make up some little terrycloth squares to use specifically for Sunbean face-cleaning.  It took less than 20 minutes with a simple rolled hem on the serger, and now we have two different types of cloths in two different colors.

I love it because we're not being wasteful, yet I can rest easy that the kitchen-counter-germs are not being spread all over Sunbean's face.  Gag.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday Favorites

Do you have an iPod or an iPhone?  One of my favorite things to do when I've got time to kill is to look for fun new apps.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Tetris.  I've always been obsessed, so downloading this was like a dream come true.
  • Kindle.  Not the real thing (which I'd like, btw), but the free app.  I really love it, so I'm sure I'd love an actual Kindle.  Nothing beats having your book with you at all times.
  • 2Do Lite.  A fantastic, free to-do app.  Changed my life.
  • Accuweather.  Like, 10 million times more accurate than the weather app that is pre-installed.
  • Parents Flash Cards.  This has saved my daughter from many a tantrum.
  • Play 'n' Say.  Another lifesaver.
  • TV Guide.  We don't have cable, so we don't have a fancy remote with a fancy display of listings.
  • IMDb.  I'm surprised at how much I use this one.  Just like the website, only better.
  • iHandy Level.  I use it every time I hang a picture.
  • AllRecipes Dinner Spinner.  Excellent way to figure out how to use random things in your fridge.
  • LDS Tools.  I have instant access to every single person in our stake's information.  LOVE this one.
Do you have any faves to share with me?