June 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

When we first moved to our house one of the things that we loved was the beautiful front flower bed landscaping. Lots of cool looking plants, all neatly lined up. It was pretty obvious that it had been recently put together- the plants were small and compact. It looked so perfect! Well, that beautiful flower bed grew into something crazy and unruly. The plants grew up, the grass found its way in, and we got overwhelmed. At first having a ton of flower bed space seemed great, but when that space filled up with weeds and aggressive grass, it became a headache. We decided to simplify. Here’s a pic of the size of the flower bed. We had removed a lot of the flowers and plants and put in azaleas (which we wanted to keep).
Flower bed before
Pretty scary. Our neighbor recommended a guy to us who had fixed his flower beds earlier in the year. We called him and he said he’d be out the following Tuesday and gave us a quote. So while we were at work this happened:
Flower bed after
Yay! He reduced it by about a third and put down some weed guard to keep the grass at bay. Sometimes less is more.


Nesting maybe?

May 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

I thought the nesting bug had passed me by until J and I ended up in Marshall’s Home Goods for some new bathroom towels. Let’s just say I may have gone a little overboard. I basically redid our guest bath- and did it for $101! Heck yes! I don’t have pictures of the old so it’s not a before and after thing. Even so, enjoy!

Bathroom 3

Bathroom 2

Green’s a feminine color, right?

April 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

We did it! Well, with a lot of help, we did it! Juliet’s formerly lilac nursery is now officially green! A big thank you to J’s parents for enduring the paint fumes with us and making it so that we were done in about three hours. It was awesome.
photo (6)
photo (8)
And after…
Oh yeah, we put the crib together, too!
More of the room…
Things are getting real!

Where we’re *fingers crossed* giving birth

April 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

Unless my fear is realized and Juliet’s born on I-45,  we’re giving birth at Nativiti Birth Center in the aforementioned The Woodlands, TX.  I’ve had all of my prenatal care through the Certified Nurse Midwives there.

Why choose this form of care?  Three years ago I met up with one of my good friends in Dallas at La Madeline for dessert.  We were just catching up, but somehow the topic of birth came up.  I think I had randomly watched The Business of Being Born on Netflix because it was streaming or something.  She shared the birth story of her daughter.  It had been a pretty traumatic event- so much so that she refused to give birth in a hospital for her next kid.  Her experience got her to start researching birth in the US in an effort to figure out what had gone so wrong, and she basically realized that her story was not an anomaly.  It was shared by lots of women in the US, and was now starting to become a topic of serious conversation.  My friend’s experience and what she learned got me to start looking into what I took for granted as “normal.”

I didn’t realize that “normal” for American births included:

– A 33% C-section rate (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology).  That’s one out of every three pregnant women undergoing major abdominal surgery.  The World Health Organization says that a country’s C-section rate should be 10%-15%.
– 23% of labors are induced today, up from 9.5% in 1990 (National Center for Health Statistics).  Women who’s labors are induced are twice as likely to have a C-section (Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2007), as well as an increased risk of post-partum hemorrhage and oxygen required for the baby at delivery (Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 2011).
– Medically unnecessary interventions during labor, from epidurals to routine IVs, can start a domino effect that impedes the body’s natural functions, resulting in the need for further interventions to control the process.  This is often referred to as the “cascade of interventions.”

Let me just say this- I am not a crunchy person.  I wasn’t really that bothered when our apartment complex didn’t offer recycling.  I also know there’re tons of chemicals we ingest every day that I could avoid if I wanted to, but frankly, make food too delicious to pass up.  And while it’s not fun to think about, the fact that our meat products are raised in pretty gross and restrictive environments hasn’t moved me to go vegetarian.

What does make this stand out to me as an issue I care about is the fact that one in three women getting a C-section sounds about right when I think about the birth stories of my girlfriends.  I also hate inefficiency, and the amount of monetary waste our health care system goes through because of the over-medicalization of birth is out of control.  Just because insurance pays for it doesn’t mean it’s free.  Maybe it’s the capitalist in me that’s most bothered.

I’m very grateful that we have the option of medicalized births, when necessary.  It’s easy for me to criticize our system when I’m not giving birth on the prairie in the 1800’s.  I do think, however, that the pendulum can swing too far to one side, and when it does, it’s our responsibility to get it back to the appropriate middle.

All of this information led J and I to decide that when we had kids, we’d look into all of our options and weigh them to see what made the most sense for us.  As we’re a low-risk pregnancy, we decided a 6% chance of C-section at a birth center was way more palatable than the 25-33% chance we’d have in the Houston-area hospitals when the mother/baby outcome is the same if not better.  If I need medical intervention we can get it quickly at the hospital down the street and our CNM’s can pretty much do everything a doctor can do, except of course perform surgery.  We’ve loved the care we’ve received so far and are convinced this was the right move for us.  Plus I get a Jacuzzi tub in my birthing room.  Win.

Good articles:

Baby time!

April 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

We’re pregnant!  This is old news to everyone who will care to read this, but since I haven’t blogged about this major life event yet I’m pretty sure I have to start with that announcement.  We’re about 6.5 months into the process and attempting to become mentally prepared for all the changes that are coming our way!  Juliet Elaine will make her debut in early- mid July in The Woodlands, TX, though my fear is that she’ll be born in the car since we have to drive 45 minutes to the birth center.
The Woodlands
I had to get over that she’d be born in The Woodlands for two reasons.  First, because if you’re not from the area it sounds like I’m birthing off a back road in East Texas.  Second, because The Woodlands is a really posh, in-vogue place to live right now and I am so not that person.  But I got over it because we really wanted an out of hospital birth experience and this place was in-network.  Yay Cigna!
I’ll write more about how we came to the decision to use a birth center rather than a hospital and midwives rather than an OB another time.  I’ve read so many other blogs about it that I feel like I need to give back a little, especially since three years ago I had no idea you could even do an out of hospital birth safely.  Who knew that for low-risk women it actually may be safer?  I didn’t.
Anyways, J and I are cleaning out the rest of Juliet’s office, I mean nursery, this weekend.  J’s folks will come down next weekend to help us paint.  I can’t wait to have that space to start setting stuff up!  Right now her bedding is thrown all over our guest room so it’s not exactly inspiring my nesting instinct.

I’m so bad at this!

February 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

One of our marriage jokes is that I only have a hobby for about a month before I lose interest.  I tried knitting- lost interest after a month.  I will occassionally read, but inevitably get bored with it.  I was playing the Sims for about a week before I gave up.  I got on Pinterest for two days and haven’t been back.  So it’s no surprise that I would blog for a couple months and then stop.  But then I look back and am shocked at everything that’s happened between now and my last post.  It’s a shame.  I’m gonna try to catch this thing up to speed.

First update:  The cats are still alive and well!  Murphy is bigger, Kinsler is more like a cat than a kitten.  They’re both still a lot of fun!  Murphy has learned an awesome new move where she bats down toys we throw in the air.  The girl jumps crazy high.  I’ll have to post some action shots later.

Where ARE we?

August 31, 2011 § 3 Comments

Today was like any other day up at the school.  Bills to pay, applicants to call, checks to be signed.  But when I turned and glanced out our office window, I thought I could see smoke.  I went over to the window and checked.

Yup that’s smoke!  There have been a lot of fires recently- I think we’re experiencing spontaneous combustion.  But wait… what’s that in the street…

There’s a freaking horse tied to the stop sign!  What’s going on???  Oh… wait… the situation’s under control.  Some guy’s coming to get him.

Lest you be confused, we are one minute away from downtown Houston.  Maybe less.  I’m SO GLAD I took pics because a few seconds after I put my phone down, I turned around and Mr. Ed was gone.

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