23 May 2015

Babies, islands, and pickup trucks full of chocolate pudding

I.e., seven quick/late takes. Linking up with This Ain't The Lyceum, as usual!

My dad and siblings take "running season" seriously: Beginning in late April as the roads dry out, they start running in preparation for a 10k race that takes place the night of the Saturday closest to the summer solstice. Every year since, hmm, probably since I was 12 or so, Dad and all of the kids old enough have spent those two months running pretty much every night, working their way up to a little over 6 miles on the hilly dirt roads. This year, though, Dad and the two still at home but old enough to participate settled into a different rhythm that usual; they run every other night instead of every night, and have focused on running non-stop over increasingly long distances instead of making speed/time the focus from the beginning. Nearly a month before the race, all three of them are already running longer distances than any of us ever have, and doing it without taking any walking breaks.

At the beginning of this running season, my dad challenged my 11yo brother to run 8 miles non-stop before race day. What was the incentive? my brother wanted to know. A pickup truck full of chocolate pudding! our 6yo sister suggested. Everybody laughed, but it became a running joke, and then he started steadily adding on the miles and Dad realized he'd better figure out the logistics of the improbable bribe just in case. My brother reached 8 miles non-stop on Friday, and yesterday Dad brought home a plastic kiddie pool to stick in the back end of our 20yo brother's pickup (not his own, of course! :-) and fill with a giant batch of instant chocolate pudding. They haven't done it yet—they don't have nearly enough pudding powder—but I'm looking forward to seeing them make it happen!

So, late takes this week. And I didn't manage to post at all since last Friday. Matt spent most of the week on the island of Kodiak setting up a video conferencing classroom, and having Little Bear all to myself day and night while being this pregnant was... draining. It's hard enough not having any energy and needing to sit down all the time when I have someone else to help with him. It was sweet that Little Bear was so happy to see his dad on Skype in the evenings, though, and when he woke up on Friday and saw Matt he was so incredibly happy. "Daddy is home!!!" He was very sure Matt shouldn't have to go in to work that morning. Matt didn't have much time to see Kodiak outside of the campus—there was more work to be done than they'd allotted time for—but he did make it down to the docks one lunch, visiting a fish processor and arranging to bring home some halibut and pacific cod fresh from the Gulf of Alaska! I was so glad to have him home Thursday night; everyone had been telling him that the weather forecast doesn't really mean anything and you won't know if your plane will be able to leave the island pretty much until you get to the airport, but all of his flights were fine.

Since he'd worked late one night in Kodiak and overtime isn't allowed anymore, thanks to huge state budget cuts stemming from the low price of oil, Matt was supposed to get an early start to his Memorial Day weekend. He did get to leave work at 3:30pm Friday, but instead of it being the relaxing start to a long weekend, he had to meet me at the hospital: sharp abdominal pain, cramping, and trouble talking through the pain had my midwife sending me in to the women's center to be checked again because I'm still not full term. Soon, child, but not yet! They didn't see contraction patterns on the monitor and I wasn't showing signs of labor progressing, so we were sent back home around 6:30. I can't wait for next Friday, when I'll be full term and won't have to worry about early labor! I can stay at home as long as I want to and see what happens, rather than needing to go in right away to stop any potential labor so baby doesn't come too early.

UPS delivered Baby Kit's new car seat not even an hour after we got home from the hospital. That made us laugh! We still have to try it in the car to make sure it fits, which can't happen until we rearrange the garage because as it is now the right rear door can only open about 5 inches, but hopefully it will work and we'll be ready whenever Kit does arrive. We ordered the Britax Roundabout; anyone have any experience with it? This will be the first Britax I've used, but a friend who has nannied for years highly recommended it.

I'm hoping/planning to wear Kit much more than I did Little Bear; I definitely realize that I'm running out of time here, but I'm looking into simple, lightweight carriers like a ring sling or maybe a baby k'tan or mei tai. I never liked carrying Little Bear in his carseat and only rarely did it, and I'd much rather slip Kit into a carrier to go into the store or whatnot. With Little Bear, I thought I'd use the carrier more in the winter than I did; when it got down to -30 F or colder, sometimes I did carry him in it, but more often I felt like I could keep him warmer carrying him against my body wrapped in an afghan. I do have an ergo and a moby wrap, but the ergo is too big for an infant and the moby is so huge and hot and heavy and inconvenient. I'd like something simple that I could just leave on in the car between errands, instead of making a huge production out of getting ready to take the kids in for every stop. Plus I never did manage to figure out how to nurse Little Bear in the ergo or moby, and from what I've seen and heard, ring slings are really easy to nurse in.

Since I'm talking/thinking about babies so much anyway, I have to share this medical animation I found of the birth process. It was so neat to see how the baby turns and moves through the birth canal, and how dilation and effacement work.

Have a good weekend. To all of those serving our country and their families, thank you for all of your sacrifices!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED my ring sling when J was a baby. Granted, it was the only carrier I had, so I can't really compare newborn wearing devices. Anyway, I would leave it on in the car between stops and I would nurse in it, so those are two pros. And I found it was pretty easy to keep baby warm--though not necessarily in subzero temps; we stayed home then! Anyway, what I did was put on the sling and then put my own coat overtop and then pop baby in. (If your coat is big enough, you can then zip it up baby and all!) I'd put a hat on him and then hold the tail of the sling over his face if there was a cold wind.