Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Evasive Sleep

Nature's cruel joke--instead of preparing for a baby by hibernating, which would be nice, lots of pregnant don't sleep in the last trimester. Unfortunately, the hormones associated with creating a human also make me wakeful. I am in that stage of pregnancy in which I am exhausted from waddling around all day yet cannot sleep through the night.

Last night I woke up at 2 a.m. and could not sleep. I laid in bed for an hour and then decided that wasn't working, so I should get up an do something else. Usually watching boring T.V. works. I went downstairs, drank a glass of water, and took a dose of benedryl to help me go back to sleep, laid down on the sofa to watch part of a biography on Reagan, which was on PBS. I thought I would fall back asleep with the benedryl and Reagan bio. When the hour biography ended, I decided that I was probably too hungry to sleep. So, I ate a "toaster sandwich" and began to watch the Antiques Roadshow. I did fall asleep easily on a full belly. However, I am extremely tired today and have been for the past week and half. I can see now that this is how it will be for a while. I better get some more of those toaster sandwiches!

I am currently slurping down a cup of half hot chocolate, half coffee.

P.S. With the current election putting abortion issues front and center, I keep hearing the promotion of this "Born Alive" Bill. Every time I hear about it, I cannot help but cry (real tears--not just a sad feeling). These babies are born alive, and killed after a botched abortion. This campaign says that this happens more often than we want to think about. Honestly, in these late term abortions, I do not see the difference between killing them inside the womb or outside. With the help of modern medicine, people have survived being born at 24 weeks gestation. Further, I have heard stories of parents who have been told after testing that their child has some disability: downs syndrome; bad hear; one set of parents was told that their baby had no brian; being pro-life these parents did not abort, when doctors placed the option before them. The mothers carried the babies to term and they were born perfectly normal. The doctors and their tests were wrong. Can you imagine that mistake? It's insane.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Knitting of My Own Two Hands

The beginning of my baby sweater minus sleeves and the collar. The picture of the blue sweater is what it is supposed to look like done...provided I had followed the directions perfectly. I made one sleeve and royally messed it up. I will have to start over on the sleeves

Scarf #1: I know it looks wonky. It's just not laying flat.

I can crochet now. But, I am not very good at it. It is clear it will take a while to become good at it.

29 weeks - Its Getting Tight in Here

Friday, September 19, 2008

Protecting the Innocent - Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

Andrew and I have been watching politics pretty closely lately. Last week, we listened to commentators debate Women's Rights in relation to Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin. The debaters were all women discussing the rights women have gained. They pointed out that the major issues women have been fighting for are equal pay for equal work and the right to abort pregnancy. After all this time--fifty years to get equal employment and another fifty to fight for equal pay--women still have not exactly won the battle for equal pay. However, the right to abort pregnancy was won relatively quickly.

(On a side note: I am not one to downplay the accomplishments of women over the last couple of centuries and the struggle it was for them to achieve such.)

One commentator charged that should McCain-Palin win, they would fight to setback one of the great Women's Rights triumphs, and also charged (erroneously) that they would imprison women who had been raped and aborted a resulting pregnancy.

Firstly, I saw the fallacy in this claim right away. Just because a politician claims that abortion is wrong and should not be a protected right does not automatically lead to the claim that lawmakers would imprison those who have an abortion. As a former philosophy student, I was instantly appauled by the fallacy the debater was espousing. It was also appauling to think of a victim of such a heinous crime being imprisoned.

But now I have had some some time to think about it. I had never thought about this issue in terms of whether or not a rape victim should be imprisoned for aborting a resulting a child. That is a good question. After she has already suffered so much, should she face prison? Clearly that is not productive. She is not the one who commited the crime in the first place.

Rape is probably the worst crime to survive. A woman who survives it may never heal and the scars run deep. Now, I hate to say it, but to the rape victim, one of those torments maybe pregnancy. Though it may be difficult to deal with, I believe the only way for the victimized woman to maintain her own innocence is to carry the baby to term. Then it is her choice to give him or her for adoption, or keep the child. That should be our goal, as a society, in such cases, we should work to protect the innocence of the victim. However, whether a woman aborts the child or births it, the scars of her rape are never going to go away. Why destroy an innocent life when those scars will always be present?

The child did not do anything wrong. Why should it be murdered because a crime was commited during its conception? Easy for me to say, right? I never had to deal with being raped and pregnant. That's true. It is easy for me to SAY. But, two wrongs don't make a right.

I do know a woman who was raped, gave birth to twin girls and raised them. She does not care that their was not love in their conception. There is love between her and her daughters. There is love between her daughters and their children. Her daughters are out there being valuable members of society--fighting the good fight, saving lives. My friend, her scars are her own, but she does not consider her daughters a part scars; they were part of the healing.

So, would I imprison a woman who was raped and then aborted a resulting pregnancy? I am not sure how it should be handled. I do know that it is wrong. But, prison hardly seems appropriate; and is costly. I know that extreme duress leads people to do things they would not normally do--temporary insanity. If abortion were not so readily available and it was not a socially acceptable norm, I think there would be more women who would carry the babies to term and give them to adoption, or raise them. The goal of American society has been to rehabilitate criminals. The same should be for rape victims. We need to rehabilitate their lives after rape and all that entails.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Project Runway Fans Only

Project Runway is one of my guilty pleasures. I love this T.V. show, because it always gets my creative juices flowing. Last season, I discovered that photos from the finale at Bryant Park can be seen on New York Magazine’s Fashion website. This is several weeks before the T.V. finale. This season and last I have gotten a sneak peek and you can too.

Anyway, I was blown away by Leanne’s final designs. I sat up and noticed her after the New York City Inspiration Challenge on Project Runway. I have been impressed with her every challenge since. I have also been a big fan of Korto. I am marking down Leanne to win the show this season. If she does not win, it would be crime.

There is one huge criticism I have of Leanne’s collection. She used one color palette, or the same three colors; well really, she used one color (teal) and many neutral, creamy, oatmeal shades. But, her designs are so extravagant and interesting she gets away with it.

See Leanne’s Designs here:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"There is No Dignity in Death"

I was watching the television show "House" the other night. It was a rerun that I had seen before, and had forgotten. But, he made a good point that I could ponder on for the rest of my life. It could even be a motto to live by. He was with a patient and she said to him, "Just go away and let me die with dignity." To which he quickly responded in a fierce tone,
To paraphrase:

"There is no dignity in death. There never is. [pause] You can LIVE with dignity. But, there is no dignity in death."

I repeat it. "There is no dignity in death."

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines dignity as, "the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed" And what I think Dr. House means is that death shows no man dignity. Death overcomes man's body, breaks it, and ravages it--cause it to suffer in the pain of death. No man escapes the agony of death. From all accounts, no matter how death occurs, even if in an instant it is undignified agony. Dr. House's message to the woman was to choose life if you are given the option even if it is a struggle to live.

I won't go into an in depth discussion on this, because like I said before, it is something to ponder on for the rest of one's life. But, it also reminds me of the old Church teaching, to live everyday as though it were your last.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pregnancy Art - That's All I Have

No boasting. It's not very good. Just some haphazard, preggy, emotional drawings. She's not naked its art :-)

Renee Unplugged

This is a quick impromptu blog post. I am writing this as fast as I can--feeling speedy today.

Woohoo! Exactly 90 days until our due date. No, consensus was decided on how to spell the baby's name. I guess we will just wait and see what we feel most comfortable with when she is born. I guess you all will have to wait for the birth announcement.

Last week I moved onto Plan B baby sweater. My coworker did not have the patience to teach me the sweater. She thought it would be best to bring her big corchet hooks and just teach me the basic stitches and let me practice that a while. This all makes sense to me since it took me years to get to a point in knitting where I didn't make quite so many mistakes. Speaking of mistakes, my Plan B baby sweater is coming along great. I finished the hardest part over the weekend. Unfortunately, I did make a pretty big mistake that I can live with. I started on the next step, the smaller front panels. As I read the instructions, I realized that I made the back panel almost two inches too long, and it's not fixable at this point. I read those instructions more than a dozen times, but my pregnancy brain did not register it. The only thing I did know is when I was about 3/4 done with the back panel, I kept saying to Andrew, "This doesn't quite look right." That will show me for watching the two parties' national conventions while knitting. Lesson #1 in knitting - Do not divide your attention when reading the instructions. C'est la vie. It's going to be a long, lean sweater. I hope to return to the crochet sweater once I learn how to crochet better. It's too cute not to make.

I asked my midwife for recommendations on books about birthing methodology. She loaned me a crazy book, which is really spiritual and psychological. She said that I would find some of it odd, but that the right mindset was there and it should help get me in the right frame of mind. She was right. It's really odd, but it makes me feel super maternal and womanly. The first TEN chapters were mostly about pregnancy and birth art. It was all about how she recommends her patients do art to reveal their subconscious emotions and thoughts on birth and pregnancy. Then she uses it to change their feelings into more positive, yet realistic attitudes and encourages them to be more knowledgeable and know what they want, etc. Anyway, I have only just begun the section on actual birth methodology. It's a quick read, because most of it has been frippery that I glossed over. There were also a lot of birth stories and discussion at the beginning that I found somewhat helpful, because I haven't heard a lot of birth stories. I also tried a little bit of my own pregnancy art, because I fancy myself an artist sometimes and I felt a little creative spark inside me. I wasn't sure what would come out of my mind, but as usual all the images I thought were overly positive and idealistic. I do not think that I address pain and suffering in my life enough. I even idealize pain and suffering. I cannot tell if that is good or bad. But, I have realized latley that I am afraid of not being strong enough in birth. I am afraid of wussing out, because I really want to have an ideal, natural birth, without an epidural.

Enough of my ramblings, I am sure you were tired of it two paragraphs ago. When I have progressed farther on my knitting and birth art, I will share it via photographs.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Yarn Nest

(Disclaimer: I didn't edited this, so I think there might be some errors)
I have been knitting! And I am learning to crochet. I was feeling really depressed about the lack of creativity in my life as I watched many of my friends getting crafty. I have also felt a great need to nest. I keep telling myself that it is too early in this pregnancy to nest. But, I can’t deny the urge to nest. I have wanted to make sweet little dresses with my sewing machine. But, after months of struggle with my sewing machine—feeling inadequate, breaking needles—I have decided that it is not me; the sewing machine is broken. Every time I get going the needle breaks no matter what tension I set it to. I loaned the machine to a friend some months ago and something might have happened to it in transit—like it was dinged around in the trunk of the car on the way home. It worked before then and it worked for my friend, but it hasn’t worked since it came home. It also makes a little grinding noise, so maybe it need grease. I don’t know. I am going to have to find someone to look at it. But, I have definitely decided that my sewing troubles are not my fault. I have moved on to knitting, etc. I have knitted before and I am getting better at it. I might even try to branch out into more advanced techniques. Currently, I am making a scarf. I am knitting very fast, but it doesn’t feel like the project is moving along fast enough. I think I chose the wrong gauge knitting needle. I am going to have to expand my needle collection. I have a size 8, which I am working with now; size 13 and size 6.

I also decided to make a baby sweater. The only sweater pattern at Walmart I really liked was a crochet pattern. So, I said to myself, how hard can this be? After trying it, crocheting is not difficult, but reading the crochet lingo is. I have enlisted a coworker to interpret for me and show me a thing or two. These types of things are better learned by example. I am determined to make a baby sweater, so if crochet doesn’t work out, I do have a plan B sweater knitting project.


The rest of the Claytons in Claytonopolis are stressed. Andrew is stressed to the max because his first PhD comprehensive exam is in two weeks. Then he will have another two weeks after that. Every moment of every day he is stressed. It has been very much like the way it is the week before school finals. Study, study, study, all day and all night, then finals come and collapse. Except this finals preparation seems to be never ending with weeks on end of intense study and stress. After this Andrew will be bald and grey.

Alexander also seems stressed. In the past couple of weeks, his main caretaker at daycare had to start working part time, so they moved her back to the baby room. She has been a constant fixture in his life since he started at daycare. I think he really misses her, because he has been coming home really stressed out, whiny and clingy, like he hasn’t gotten enough love and cuddles. I feel really bad for him. But, also his behavior has been really hard for Andrew and I to deal with. He hasn’t been eating very well at home either. I am sure he will begin to adjust to this new person at daycare, but it will take some time.

I am fine. I am not too stressed. Andrew and Alexander stress me, because they are stressed. But, it is not my own personal stress. I feel a little bit of stress because I am trying to coordinate childcare at our church for parents who go to the Wednesday night Christian education classes. But, I don’t put too much pressure on myself over that. It kind of fell in my lap and I am pretty sure God is in charge of this one.