Monday, December 30, 2013


I can't tell you how sad I get around 8:30pm. Just knowing the bed time is nigh and soon Tyler will be asleep and I will be awake. The night is lonely when things go wrong. Like when your baby gets a chunk of your boob off and you're bleeding. It's hard to physically move so even when your tailbone feels like it's disintegrated and you might have bed sores and milk is dripping everywhere but both adult size towels you have in the bed are already soaked... And you just lay in the blood and milk and sweat and after a good full body cry and yell whispering "I don't understand!" Then you can look in the dim light of the lamp with a shirt and yoga pants draped over it and see your baby fart smiling. And his dimples. 

It's also lonely when Tyler leaves for work.  But at least I can text people. And at least people are updating on Facebook at that hour. I got an hour of sleep last night and when I woke up it was only 12 something am. I was so sad. I just hate to be alone. But then sometimes it's ok. 

Tyler said he is worried about me, mostly I think because I seem sad. I'm pretty somber. But as soon as I can comfortably wear a shirt, I plan on being very happy. 

We went to the Pediatrician today and she is awesome. So is Leon. It was exhausting though. Thank goodness Hannah went with me. 

I told Tyler that I always feel stress. Even when I sleep I'm worried that his poop will stick to his balls. My upper back feels like there is a knife in it. 

I asked Tyler to make me a bourbon and ginger ale. He said he would be glad to and that I deserved it. That made me cry. I didn't even have time to eat today  hardly. I got a cookie down (paleo awesome stuff that Tyler made) while I had Leon on one boob and pumped the other in a hovering position to help remove some clogs. My legs fell asleep. 

For our 5 year wedding anniversary we are going to costco and buying the expensive things we never buy, like nuts and liquor. We are both excited about this. 

I'm ok. I'm not depressed. I know this is just how it is. Just being honest about my state. It's hard. And nothing can prepare you for it. 

In the mean time, my baby is growing up fast. He doesn't look like he just came out anymore. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Breastfeeding: a very descriptive post

I used to see my sisters breast feeding their babies when I was 14 and I couldn't wrap my mind around it. Boobs were sex things and supposed to be shoved together, not dangle apart with milk dripping down the belly. I was totally (and understandably) disconnected from the animal instinct that comes with being a mama. Partly because I was young, but also because AMERICA - the place where there is soft porn on billboards but breast feeding in the open is not family friendly. Anyway. 

After I had Leon, I was still quite traumatized by my overly bloody birth, the fact that my nether regions were stretched out, and my boobs were painfully and horribly massive - similar to those of a blow up doll. But I don't think you can order a blow up doll with scabby, bleeding nipples. The horror of looking in the mirror, the inability to wear a shirt, the pain that comes when the heater kicks on or when you get chilled, the ache that takes place while you sit on the couch and try to smile while your family laughs about stuff but you don't know what, and the shear dread that sits on your shoulders as you count down the minutes to when you have to feed your baby again - All of these things were the first two and a half weeks of postpardom. 

Slowly you start to find the shirts that are super absorbent and those that are not. You learn to wear a cardigan to bed so you can at least keep your shoulders warm. You sometimes remember to thank God that at least you have milk to feed your baby. When they eat for an hour and take a three minute break, and want to eat for another hour... Thank God. A starving baby is one of the saddest things to behold. 

Last Sunday, my sweet tiny boy stopped latching. It was stressful. Tyler and I both cried. I had so much milk, which I was apparently drowning him with. So he'd latch for 3 gulps and pop off of there. After 6 hours of trying, my raw skin wanted to give up. I finally fed him with a syringe, but he ended up losing 6 oz. and I swear his little skinny baby alien skin got thinner. 

I called a lactation consultant and paid an extra $50 for her to come to my house. Is it legal to drive shirtless? With a baby in the car would probably make me a sex offender. All this time I've tried to avoid things like bottle feeding, using a nipple shield, a passifier, or even the little mittens so he wouldn't scratch himself - all in the name of things being the way they are supposed to be. Babies cry - passify them with skin to skin or breast milk or a diaper change. Don't cover up their hands because of sensory such and such. And so on. 

I'm here to say that I stand by that stuff... But damn it, God made people smart. If your baby won't eat, try a shield. If their face is covered in scratches, put something on their hands. And if your husband is at work and you need a shower but letting your baby cry while you shower makes you cry and stress out, use a passifier for 5 minutes. There is a balance. 

I will never judge a woman who does everything she can to feed her baby. It's important to be present and make informed decisions. And it's hard. It's so hard. And while I lay here blogging from my phone with milk oozing from me, know that my cardigan is super absorbent, and that my wrinkly little monkey of a baby is full and warm on my belly. And he was fed through a plastic shield. It doesn't make me less of a mama or love my child less. I still birthed a baby like a lioness. No, I did not beat my chest and feel like I could climb a mountain after, like I've heard so many women say. I hardly crawled to the bathroom. But slowly as things begin to move in the direction of balance, I'm like hey... HEY! Come see this cute thing I made! Mountain climbing isn't really for me though. But I do think it's all about "moving in the direction of," even if you havent quite struck balance. 

I guess my thought is that nothing goes the way we plan. Or maybe it does sometimes. Just stay alive (both of you) and kiss your baby 100 times a day. Let them sleep on your belly. Pat their bum. Put your nose on theirs. And feed them. 

Today between long feedings, all I wanted was for him to sleep so I could like, trim my nails and put pants on. He finally drifted off after eating for a good hour, and I just couldn't put him down. I stared at him. Then I fell asleep with my face an inch from his. When I woke up he was staring at me with his dark eyes and little baby bird mouth open, ready to hit the tit again. 

I'll end with this side note. People talk about what's going on in their lives. When I started to write this, the only thing I could write was about breast feeding because currently it's all that I do. I've had the issue with moms before that I don't know how to talk to them because all they talk about is mom stuff. Well, such is life. This blog will mostly be about mom stuff. And perhaps those moms had an issue with me because all I knew how to talk about was work or yoga. Anyway... I am working on meeting people where thy are. I hope you'll do the same with me. And perhaps sometimes be like, "Shannon. Go read a freaking book. You're boring." 

Someone doesn't like being the baby spoon
Eating his blanket for a sec because I needed a 2 minute timeout
Ah, sleep. And my new L bracelet that I love, from Anthro. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

I knew babies ate a lot. But I didn't know it was constant. All night long. All day. I'll get a 15 minute break here and there when he falls off. And currently Tyler is trying to sooth him while I regain a bit of humanness. I showered and put on deodorant. 

I know newborns aren't supposed to cry it out. But 20 minutes. I just need 20 or so. Probably less. What a neat skill to be able to eat and sleep at the same time. Neat. 

Things are getting better. I told myself I'd never complain about him eating again. So. I won't. I'm so glad he gets his food from me. And what a miracle really. Ah he just calmed down. 

Well. I'll be done now. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Our life now

Well. I sit on this couch a lot. And feed him a lot. Speaking of feeding him... Breast feeding is hard. Really hard. I prepared so much for labor and birth. I'm glad I did (even though it was basically out of my control). I thought, "I'm tired," when I looked at breast feeding books. Figured it would just work out. Well. It does eventually, after lots of tears and pain and frustration and prayer. 

My hair never dries. I shower (or takes a whore's bath - ask Grandma D if you don't know what this is) and my hair goes up immediately. I'm either feeding him or holding him or something. I totally get people cutting their hair when they have kids. In the mean time... I'm scared of getting moldy hair. Haha. Gross. 

I'm so slumpy now. I gots to get some abs. 

Leon is asleep and I must get things done now. Merry Christmas Eve, my friends. 


Usually around 3 or 4 am Tyler takes a turn :)

The face he makes right before I shove my boob in his mouth. 

The face he makes when he's thinking about boobs. 

Complete exhausted from boobs. 

The End. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Well, my incredible birth teacher said many times that "it can take a woman up to a year to integrate her birth story." I like to tell Tyler that in a deep, whimsical voice. And then we laugh, but not too hard since my muscles are shot. But I imagine the gritty details getting typed out will at least help. Here it goes...

Wednesday, December 11 at 5:23am I rolled over to go pee again. I heard a loud pop and I thought it was my hip. My first thought was, "Oh my gosh, I just crushed my babies head," but when I stood up my bones did not shatter. And I had some pretty damp unda-briches. I went to the bathroom (my birth teacher also said that denial is the key to get through labor) I thought "Oh, I lost my mucous plug." But alas, as more and more fluid poured forth, I realized (but did not acknowledge aloud) that my water had broken. And then I pooped for thirty minutes straight.

If you didn't realize yet that I am going to give every detail I can remember... well, now you know. I'd think I was done pooping, get up to go back to bed, and have to sit right back down and poop more. By 6am, Tyler was home from the gym and I was done pooping. Contractions, little baby ones, had started. I knew this because I had much more intense ones in the prior weeks, some lasting all night. I said, "I think my water broke." Tyler said, "Don't you just know?" and I said, "No, it's just like that in the movies. Plus, I think I'm not sure if it broke or not because I'm just me." I told him to go to work, because I envisioned this taking days. I called my midwife at 6:30am though, to tell her this was legit. I told Tyler to stay home.

In the next four hours, I transitioned. I first threw up the tastiest smoothie Tyler has ever made for me and then a bunch of water. Tyler had a nice 5 gallon bucket for me lined with a trash bag. Part of this time I spent on my left side in bed - I'd contract and grip the bed, Tyler would hold my hand, I'd vocalize a bit, and then sleep between contractions. I had wild dreams. I dreamed I made baby wipes for friends and they hated them. Also motorcycles. Contractions were 1 minute long and started at 2.5 minutes apart... then moved to 2 minutes apart pretty quickly. My midwife arrived at 10:30am, but didn't check me until 11:00am when she told me "I think you're good to go." It took me about a half hour to realize she meant push, so of course I double checked with her how dilated I was and what exactly she meant by "push."

I started out slow. All together pushing for 2.5 hours, but didn't really start to push hard until more than an hour in. I asked my MW later why I took so long - she said she wanted me to figure it out. She kept saying "push all your energy down to your butt," and man, I know now what the groanings of childbirth sound like. Tyler kept saying "Shanny, you're a beast." I think I may have been a little scary.

About 45 minutes from Leon coming out, they told me to reach back and feel for his head. It was about an inch inside, but again, I made her double check that it was actually a head. It felt like a wrinkly brain. From that point on, every contraction I would reach back and feel my pushes moving him down, but man, his head was stuck there for a while. When he came out, I apologized to him for giving him an alien head. Turns out his little hand was up by his face, just like it is right now as he sleeps next to me. Once I pushed his head out (oh the burning) his whole body wriggled free. I had been on all fours, and I think I stood up onto my shins, they handed me Leon, and Tyler was behind me holding onto me. My legs were beyond exhausted at this point. I was delivering the placenta and holding onto Leon. Tricky business. I said, "I think I'm in shock," and then passed out for just a few seconds. Tyler caught me and the baby, when I came to I heard someone say "That was scary," or "You scared us." Something like that.

They laid me back on Tyler and propped my feet up. They put me on oxygen, gave me three white pills that do not chew/swallow easily. I took them down with some OJ. My friend Lisa who acted as my Doula fed me a bowl of oatmeal. They gave me a shot of pitosin in my leg, three more white pills, and then some stuff to hold under my tongue - all of these things to make my uterus contract and slow the bleeding down. We had learned in our birth class that eating a piece of your placenta can really help stop hemorrhaging/bleeding. So Tyler blurts out "WHAT IF SHE ATE HER PLACENTA?" At this point, there was (to me) a very slight sense of panic in the room, but we still joked, and I was being fed oatmeal like a child while I looked at my wet little baby. So we tried it. I said, "Can you at least rinse it off?" They did. It was like slurping down a little baby fish. Yerm.

After about two hours on the floor, they helped me scoot my body more onto the blanket I had delivered on and they drug me across my house to my bedroom. They were going to put me in bed, but I slowly got up and did it myself. Everyone present was my midwife, her partner, my doula, and Tyler.

I had to pee in the bed that night. It happened three times. So. Much. Pee. The third time, my body just did it without me even having a say. Poor Tyler changed the pee pads. He was amazing. He had to change all of the baby diapers. I wasn't supposed to walk for 24 hours... but I did. Oh, and I wore fashion panties, which is how my MW refers to adult diapers. So cute, she is.

I sang to Leon when he came out. I had forgotten about it until yesterday. I sang, "go to sleep, little baby. Go to sleep little baby, hm hm hm hm hm hm hm hm, don't need nobody but the baby." There are so many verses to that song. I get them all confused, but I've been singing it to him for the past few months. He came out crying, no cord wrap that I can remember.

Between contractions I'd sit back on my heels like Child's Pose legs and just hang my head. My neck and throat hurt so bad from vocalizing and head-hanging that I was sure I had Meningitis, but I didn't tell anyone. What a weirdo I am.

Here are some pictures that were a little too intense for Facebook (in my opinion). Enjoy?

Tyler was such a good coach. He would say, almost in shock, "You are so strong."
I think I would be a good pushing coach, maybe. Terrifying, but good. 
My sweet man watching our boy come out
A real live baby
Oh yeah, I forgot about the oxygen part. After an hour on the floor, I asked Tyler how he was doing. He said he was so uncomfortable. Ha. What a nice guy!

After they dragged/drug me to the bed :)
fresh baby. He looks just like Tyler here. 
exhaustion finally hit the next day. My MW got all the dried blood off of me, but forgot to take one of my socks off (I was freezing) so the next day, I was quite shocked to remove the sock and see my completely bloody foot. Childbirth is gross! and Cool. 
little drunk milk mouth
almost a week later, I could put him on my chest (almost) painlessly. No one told me how taxing engorgement could be - physically and emotionally. I looked like a blow up doll. 
one week birthday milk hangover. We party hard over here.

So, a few more things. Advice, things I learned: 1) be around encouraging people. 2) just make it to one week, and then look back and go "wow, I lived." I did that this morning. I'm alive. So is my baby. We're doing it. We did it. Praise Jesus.

Leon is so sweet, and a good baby so far :) We named him after every old man out there named Leon. They usually have good stories to tell. His middle name was Tyler's Pop's name. Granville - pronounced like "anvil." You can say it with a hick accent. It's fun. But you don't have to.

And I guess that's all I have for now. Thanks for caring about this story and wanting to hear it. 

Love, Shanny. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I've been mopey. Yesterday was pretty mopey, and today started out mopey. The dogs have been pretty bad, mostly due to it being cold outside and getting crazy inside. They knocked down my Christmas tree twice and broke a majority of the homemade ornaments... which I spent a decent amount of time on, and was also in a really bad mood while I made them. 

So, now the tree looks like poop and I'm thinking of just taking it down. Or it can stay. I don't really care anymore. The couch is covered in dog hair. Gross, I know. They normally don't get up there.. kind of.. but man, when it's too cold to play outside what else can I do. I feel like a mean mom. I yelled at them when they knocked the tree over and put them in their crate. Their crate is supposed to be a safe place where they sleep and love. I made it sad. 

Tyler truthfully asked me if we could get rid of Russ. I said no. Then he said, "Ok, what about both of them?" Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. No. In two years, they will have settled down, my child will love them, and we will not be able to imagine our lives without them. I know this. I just need to chill out and breathe and have a baby. Charlotte is seriously so needy. Russ only always wants to play. This is our life. 

This morning I made breakfast for Tyler. I make breakfast off and on, but I never form the sausage patties myself. I only cook bacon because it can be done completely with a fork. Well. I made the sausage, and I ate it. And now I think I want to be a vegetarian again. Guh. It's so gross. 

I went back to bed and slept. I got a text, I told the person how mopey I was and they said "take a shower and put some makeup on." So I did. I feel better. I'm so busy waiting to have a baby that that's all I'm doing. Waiting. No need to shower, I'm just waiting. No need to get out of the house. I'll just sit here and wait. I could be waiting for another month. I know! Yesterday I said I wasn't impatient. Well. 

I'm making cheesy quinoa bites that I found on pinterest for dinner tonight. It's just a side. We're going to a friends house. I'm going to have Tyler make some baked sweet potato "fries," and he mixed up an amazing cocktail for our Gospel Community Christmas party the other night. Ginger ale, Bourbon, and OJ. 

Anyway, I made a list of things to do, so I best get to it. Also, I love the Christmas presents I made. They're just cute, sitting there on my table. I wish I could post a picture of them .

Monday, December 9, 2013

I'm teaching yoga this morning for a business in Chesterfield. Then I have two classes left at BBY, and I'm done until about 6 weeks after the baby is born. Wacky.

We had a Christmas party last night with our Gospel Community. We did a beverage exchange/rob your neighbor. I got cocoa, and Tyler promptly told me that I lost. He wanted me to steal his beer from someone, but I chose to open a new gift. It was the richest thing I've ever drank. And now we have 49 packets of cocoa, so come drink it.

So last week when I started to get sick and then I slept for 14 hours... I didn't have water during tht 14 hours, and then I met my friend and thought "Oh, a little coffee won't hurt." So after I was severely dehydrated and contractions kicked in, I drank water like normal, but I probably needed an IV or something (I'm not being serious). I taught class that night, came home to hang out with friends and bounce on an exercise ball. The contractions hurt, and it was awkward. What do you do in that situation? I was trying to be in denial, but at the same time I knew I wasn't in real labor. "Oh, sorry I'm not listening to anything you're saying because it feels like my hips are going to explode," or "sorry I'm bouncing on this ball like a freak, I think my baby is crowning." It's just weird. Then I went to bed and slept off and on through contractions until they stopped at 4:30am. It was frustrating, mostly because I knew deep down it wasn't time... but I wanted it to be.

So anyway. People keep saying "you're about to have a baby!" and I'm like "Yeah, who knows. Maybe not. Maybe this is just the way I look now." I don't say that, because that would also be very awkward. But a small part of me thinks I will never have a baby. Some mornings when I wake up and don't feel like my bladder is about to explode, I wonder if I'm still pregnant because my belly feels smaller.

Anyway, he or she will come. I know this. But I'm not expecting it anytime soon.

I got nothin cool to say

Friday, December 6, 2013

New kick

Ok, I'm on a new kick. It's called dry skin brushing, and it works with your lymphatic system to remove toxins. I have read about it (helpful book on the Kindle, sisters/mom) and I just watched a short video. The woman on the video says that she's seen this technique change eye color from dark to light, or even brown to blue, just because of how much it detoxes the body. I've done it two times. My skin feels nice, it makes me feel refreshed afterwards, and it just feels nice...

A few of the benefits of dry skin brushing: 
Detoxifies the skin 
Stimulates blood flow 
Cleanses lymphatic system 
Removes dead, dull skin cells on the surface of the skin 
Stimulates and strengthens the immune system 
Stimulates hormonal and oil producing glands 
Tones muscles 
Assists digestion 
Relaxes the nervous system 
Skin becomes softer and smoother 
Skin brushing is like a gymnastic workout for the circulatory system and skin

So there you have it. 

I was starting to get sick yesterday afternoon. Achy head, neck, and upper back. So I juiced, took garlic and vitamin C, and made some Oatstraw Tea. Went to sleep at 7:45pm, woke up to eat and say hi to Tyler at 7am, and then went back to bed until 10am. Lots of sleep. It was nice. I feel back to normal now, except that my hips are hurting a great deal, like the dull ache plus period crampiness that I had when I was having contractions a few weeks ago. This child moved down some more. I'm the queen waddler now. Something just feels different. I teach tonight and both classes tomorrow... should be interesting!

The end. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

It's spitting ice here. I taught 6:30am Rise and Shine at the studio. Sometimes I pray that no one will come to the early AM class, but three people showed. If I lived farther away, I wouldn't go (as a student). I live three minutes away though. So it's just too easy, even with an icy windshield.

Guys, I'm not scared. I told Tyler that my fear of giving birth is at the level of fear I had as a freshman in high school, nervous about going to college. Birthing this child feels like it will never happen, and I'm not impatient. I feel like I'm in a decent place mentally and emotionally.

Though, I bought this DIY stuff to make for people for Christmas and it didn't turn out as planned after I'd already complete five of them. FIVE. I threw a silent fit in my brain and Tyler stuck out his bottom lip for me. Ah well. I'll try again. But, this is why I just don't do this stuff.

Anyone have restless leg syndrome when they were pregnant? It's terrible, but I'll live. It reminds me of when I'd get a cut and my mom would put peroxide on it and I couldn't hold still. Ya just can't hold still. Have I already said all of this?

My obsession with coconut oil continues. It just occurred to me that coconut oil has calories. I should be checking on that.

Never fails - as soon as I say to myself, "Wow, my skin isn't looking too bad," I get four zits.

I have to share that I love our Pediatrician. She is a sweet woman from India, and I feel like she is a wise grandma. I love her. She's very well-rounded and I want her to be my friend.

Ok. Nothing offensive said. I'll be done now.

Monday, December 2, 2013

37 weeks

Leslie, MB, and Jenny - thanks for your kind words. And it's true, no matter how this baby gets here, it will be sweet. And Jenny, Tyler has been "naturally prepared" (that was the name of our birth class) and I think he will be so awesome. I don't think he knew what was coming before we took the class! A good dose of healthy fear, and knowledge, goes a long way :)

My brother just left. He called me Saturday afternoon and decided to come visit. Got in around 9pm, we stayed up until 11. I taught classes the next morning and he attended both. Tyler came to the second class and we went to lunch after. Not a typical Sunday morning, but fun nonetheless.

We watched This is the End on Sunday afternoon - do not waste your time. Maybe three funny parts (as funny as those guy are) and then just drawn out stupidness. We made beef stew and ended the evening with Lars and the Real Girl.

I've been making Christmas ornaments for the tree. They're black and white. All of them. I didn't have any other paint, and who goes to the store? Not this girl. I ran out of string to hang them, but I'll get more today.

I have some things on my list to do today. But I keep finding myself drifting off into thought about laying on my stomach and wearing whatever pair of pants I want. I'm excited to do a juice cleanse, and have an Old Fashioned... but not at the same time. All of these things I haven't been able to do for a good part of 8 months. I'm telling myself, right now, that I will always be pregnant and that this baby will never come out. That way, IF it does, I'll be pleasantly surprised. Tyler said he wants me to be pregnant constantly. Um. We shall see about that.

Right now the baby seems to be chilling. He was still for a while, but now pretty movey again. I think he shifted down because I've been peeing a lot more and waddling more. My round ligaments are kind of killing me. I jogged from the car to the yoga studio (1. is that allowed? and 2. it sucked) and after about four steps I was like, nope. I'm 37 weeks and 3 days. I imagine I've got two weeks left.

Well. That's it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Waiting game

Five years ago, the method of how I would give birth wasn't a thought in my mind. Even two years ago. About a year ago is when we got snowed in, walked to the Summers' house and watched The Business of Being Born and drank a lot of PBR. A lot of people's come-to-Jesus moment with birth was when they watched that documentary (which is not only informative, but entertaining and you should watch it). I'm one of them. And I'm also someone who just said "come-to-Jesus moment" in reference to something other than coming to Jesus. That's annoying. But I won't backspace it.

Currently, I'm researching ways to clean the hose that will put the water in my birthing tub. Weird.

I got a little scared yesterday, but I think it was a good scared. I talked to my natural-birthing sister on the phone. I was there for one of her natural births, and it was petrifying and beautiful and she screamed a lot and I cried really hard (and quietly) as I held her leg back. She is also super tough. So last night as I let my humidifier soak my face and I lay wide awake in bed, I let myself be scared.

It's about time, because, as I've said before, I'm overconfident. I look at things like, "It's got to come out somehow," and shrug my shoulders. I guess that's not confidence. But. I know that some people are sighing and going "Oh, Shannon. Stubborn, bossy little 4-year-old Shannon." I've always "known" what I was doing and I've always had to make my own decisions/mistakes and sometimes it worked out and other times it didn't.

Anyway. It's almost just a waiting game now. I'm 36.5 weeks along. Tonight I'm taking dinner to my friend who had a baby last week, and her birth was like a dream. Her midwife showed up and she was 8 cm. She had no idea, and at 10 cm, a picture was taken of her where she was smiling. Now, I could only hope and pray for something like that, but I'm not expecting it. It exists though. And people need to know that.

I've had some fears lately, like of people taking my baby away, or both of us away from Tyler. I've been reading about human slavery and I should probably tone it down a bit. I have fears that I'll bleed to death, or that the cord will be really short. I'm even fearing going to the hospital.

So if you have a chance to pray for my anxieties and the health of this little baby and that I have a blissful birth :) please do so.

Lastly, what I want to take away from this time right now is just to remember how to treat other people in my stage once I've moved past it. Encouraging words are few. Bitter words are overflowing. Even if a person says something negative and then laughs about it, or tells me that ignorance is bliss, they may as well have said "you're screwed," and walked away. I want to the be woman at the grocery store who maybe tears up a little bit and says "these next few months will be the hardest and sweetest of your life. You can do it. You are already a good mother. You know what's best for your baby."

And now, onto sterilizing the hose.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The dogs are restless because it's cold outside and their hair is short. I know, people say "but they're dogs," and literally, Char is outside for five minutes and it takes her an hour to stop shivering. So they fight inside and jump on the couch or tear up a piece of paper and follow me to the toilet. I think they will be very difficult to handle when we have the baby. We will get through it though.

I am so blessed - I swear I get a package in the mail once a week. Today it was from Amanda - a bobble stitch blanket that she made herself and it is high quality and beautiful, like something you'd spend $50 for at a neat little shop, and her gently used diaper bag that is hard core and exactly what I wanted. I tell you what. Free things are great. They don't have to have the tags on them or still be in the package. I got two used chairs, a lamp, this diaper bag, a few slings (one very fancy) - for mostly free. Our crib and changing table were $50 bucks.

I understand some people want new stuff. I like new stuff too. But one day I look forward to sharing all of my cool stuff with people.

I'm having yoga teachers from Blue Bird over tonight. I cleaned my house and now I'm freaking tired. We're just eating finger foods and chatting... probably about yoga, because that's just what happens. It's a little bit ridiculous.

Tyler is taking me on a date tomorrow. He called it "our last date." I'm still excited.

And officially, I hate everything that I wear. I think there are two outfits that are ok, but I'd rather just stay in the house and look like Fancy Nancy than try to look cute. Ah. Well. It will... never be over soon.

But also, there are two jackets that I wear incessantly and I wouldn't have them if Ange hadn't sent them to me in the mail. Thanks, Ange.

I'm going to make some beef stew and get things ready for tonight. No naps today

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I've written several posts lately and left them as drafts.

Here are some thoughts. I see people who have opinions and are passionate, and even if I don't agree with them, I'm like, "GOOD FOR YOU!" because at least they haven't picked everything apart until there is nothing left except except coexisting (I do that a lot). I do believe in truth, and I also believe that not everything is black and white.

I posted an article that I really like about not shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. I agree with it, especially being someone who worked retail for four years. Honestly, Black Friday wasn't too bad at my store because we sold expensive shoes and gave minimal discounts. We weren't like Wal-mart. The dread of Black Friday came from the depravity of man that I experienced year round.

I know there is another side of this story. Some people want to work holidays because they have no family or their family life isn't great. I get that. But that doesn't take away from the black hearted consumerism that takes place as people get trampled and stabbed over a television. People have their traditions, and that's fine. But when your tradition goes against the entire idea of the holiday, I just don't get it (thankfulness and greed and green beans). But then again, what's so wrong with buying a TV for a nice discount?

I don't know. All I know is we can pick this apart all November. The root is that people are dark, and anything that dehumanizes someone is evil. Bullying, human slavery, trampling someone. Of course, as Christians we can go into that and try to make it better by being nice to a sales associate? Sure, that is really nice actually. Brighten someone's day, and get your discount. I sound like I'm being sarcastic, but I'm really not. I don't have an answer.

Anyway, I've tried to find my passion/soapboxes and not be afraid to share them, but I think ultimately I just want it to be the gospel infiltrating my life and what I do. And perhaps that means being quiet about certain subjects. Like shopping on Thanksgiving.


Monday, November 18, 2013


Yesterday, I had the sweetest church shower and I got to share it with my dear friend Holly, due a couple of days after me. The theme was rain drops! So cute. They did such a good job, and there was lots of food, and Picasso's coffee that I did not drink, and lots of women showed up. It was so sweet.

Every gift was thrilling, but one in particular caught me off guard. I was opening gifts and rattling off names of gift givers and what they gave to my friend who was writing everything down. I opened one from my mother in law, and then imediately after I opened one in the same wrapping and said in a business like manner, "Ok, this one's from Granny," and began to open it. I stopped abruptly, looked up at Olivia who was taking my picture (Tyler's sister) with a confused face, she smiled and shook her head yes, I reread the tag again that said "granny," and opened it up to find a beautiful quilt.

I knew she had made one for Brittany's little boy, but didn't expect to get one since she passed away. Turns out she had put the squares together about 40 years ago and they were sitting in her house somewhere. Tyler's mom found them and told Granny they could just get it backed for my baby. She said Granny was so happy because it was one of the few things on her list she hoped to get done before she passed. So sweet. And I couldn't quite contain myself after that - tears, sweat, I didn't talk for about five minutes.

Sort of a lovely, overwhelming day. I was exhausted and sat in my baby room for a good while just staring at bags of things. Lacy flattened and folded all of my tissue paper and bags. We slowly found places for things.

After eating Indian food and returning/buying at Target, we came back to the baby room and hung some things. It's coming together nicely.

Ok, so this morning we drove out to Granite City, IL to lead worship for a church. They are a congregation of probably 40? It's small and sweet and they meet in a community youth center. Normally they just sing with youtube videos or MP3s and it's my understanding that many people in the congregation are recovering addicts. I think the church is just a couple of years old, and ours is seven. I just find it interesting how the more established a church gets, the more formal things become. Now, there is something, for sure, to say about order. It's important and necessary. But this church was not put together and it was awesome. It was hot, the sound system wasn't great, people came in late. Toward the end of the service, the tornado sirens went off, so we went to the basement. Once it passed, we went upstairs and a girl a little younger than me got baptized - she's a recovering heroine addict. I could hardly sing because I was so choked up being in the same room with these people who's worship was so raw. It was beautiful, and I'm thankful to have been a part of it.

It really seems like the more shit you've been through, the more honest your worship. And I'm not saying you have to raise your hands or close your eyes or dance when you sing, but there was a noticeable different between the group from our church and their church.

I slept hardcore this afternoon. Complete exhaustion, but it was worth it. Tyler went to the grocery store for me, and the pups and flipping out over the wind.

Exhaustion has truly hit. When I got up for the second time from my nap to pee, I really though "Whoa, this is it. It's got to be crowning." Now, of course I'm way extreme. But it was so ridiculous. I walked to the bathroom bent halfway over. Pretty soon I'll be doing the Alyson and crawling to the bathroom. I can feel it's sweet little legs sitting across my belly button and toeing my right rib cage.

I've had maybe three people tell me that the painful contractions happened to them weeks before their due date. I'll be honest - I don't want people to think I'm a baby. But to hear someone say that it's normal makes me frustrated, because my midwife says it's not normal. It's like, "no, it actually hurts, it's not just my belly getting tight, and they're actually 6 minutes apart." So, I'd just rather not tell people anything I guess. I think it's just more terrifying to have contractions happen and think that I'm going into labor at 35 weeks, but then that weird feeling of "I'm probably overreacting," so I sit alone in my bed with scared tears in my eyes and yell "noooooo" with every wave. But in two weeks, I'm going to clean the house and go for walks and scrub my tub. I think this baby will come before 40 weeks.

We shall see. Happy Sunday night.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Well. Contractions.

For being such a "hyper-aware" person, somehow I don't realize when I need to slow down. Or that I'm stressed... until I start crying (that was a before-pregnancy thing). But, gosh. I went to bed at 9:15 last night and woke up a little after 11 thinking it was time to wake up and teach a yoga class. I cussed. 11:15 and wide awake. I waited around until after 1am, and made a bowl of ginger snap cat cookies mixed with cereal and almond milk. I ate the crap out of it, and tried to go back to bed. The contractions were lighter than last time, but still made it extremely difficult to fall asleep.

Tyler put is heavy hand on my head, in a loving way, but it's like when someone hugs you and smashes your face in their hug. Anyway, heavy hand on my head... he says, "You're going to be a good mom." I always ask very quickly and abruptly to people who say that, "Why?" Mostly because I'm curious. And a little bit because I think they're just saying that. Anyway, Tyler says, "Because. You're so loving... AND a hippie." Well, alright. Then later in the night, "How's the baby?" I say good, and that I'm having contractions. He says, "Oh." Rolls over. He's cute though. Oh, I forgot I'm not supposed to tell people this stuff.

I taught this morning at 6:30. I came home and herbed myself. I need to herb myself again. If it were time to give birth, I would "welcome" these contractions. It's not time though, so damn it, I'm frustrated.

Nap time. But first, I did meet with my midwife yesterday and she measured me at like, 31 inches? I think. Last time I was 29. My belly is, therefore, growing. I've gained about 15-18 pounds, depending on my starting point. My weight fluctuated so much before. Let's just say 18 pounds and I'll stop having a competition with myself in my brain. The baby is in perfect postion, and kicks me hard in my right ribs. Shoves his butt into my left side, I think I saw an elbow during yoga, but stifled my yell. Oh, and it's a boy. I'm fairly sure. We just say he.

Ok, goodnight. Please say a prayer that these contractions cease. I need at least 2.5 more weeks.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Ah, Monday. I remember going to bed on Sunday nights full of dread at the thought of a new week, due to work. I am thankful not to have that feeling anymore. I had some intense belly itching going on yesterday. I was in KR again with sixteen 4-6 year olds. Thankfully, the women's restroom has body cream, so I loaded it on my belly and tried not to yell at children. Controlled chaos. Tyler doesn't help. He says things like "CLEAN UP!" in a loud voice with his hands over his head, and blocks go flying. I did not give the kids snacks yesterday because we had about seven goldfish and thirteen nasty plain cheerios, and time flew. It was almost time for them to go. At the end when Tyler told them their parents would be there soon, all the kids came up to me - "we didn't get a snack." I said to them, "Yeah, but would you rather have stale, plain cheerios or a really tasty lunch with your family?" and they'd just stare at me.

All I know is, a kid in the nursery for forty-five minutes to an hour doesn't need a snack. A kid asked for water. I told him to drink his spit, because that's what my Aunt Janet always told me to do. Tough love, my little children! Aunt Shanny doesn't care if you're thirsty. Ok, I don't know why I'm talking this way. Moving on.

The baby has been a little more still last night and this morning, but still shoving itself into painful places. So he's fine. She's fine.

The other day I got jealous of someone. Jealousy is silly. Sure, sometimes I look at other people and long for their flat abs, or their sense of style, or something of theirs that usually has to do with identity, but it's more like a "Oh, that would be nice," and not a "I'm bitter and upset that I don't have that." But the other day a sweet girl with an immaculate body who is halfway through the yoga training that I decided not to do... well, she taught a class. I taught after her, so I asked how it went. It was her second class to teach. Of course she was nervous, but I was so happy for her when she said it went great. Then, a guy who comes to a lot of my classes walked up and said "That was your second class? I thought you'd been teaching as long as Shannon." I just smiled. No, dummy. No. But that's okay.

My issue that I've been working through in counseling is being misunderstood. I wanted this guy to understand how much work I've put into teaching, and how his comment just drowned all of my efforts. Not truly, but almost. In my head, I wanted to take away this girl's skill to make myself feel better. And that isn't fair at all. I'm sure she taught an incredible class. And maybe he was just trying to be extra encouraging.

Either way. I try to be honest with myself. And I want honesty from other people. I am a good teacher, and I have more to learn. My students love me. I had a brand new student in class the other night who hugged me after and said, "it was just that good." On the other hand, I had a woman who pretty much just sat on her mat and scowled at me about a week ago - I think I blogged about it - I talked to my teacher and she said, "You know, Shannon, not everyone is going to like yoga, or Blue Bird, or us as teachers." Amen, Sister. Good reminder.

Anyway. I'm going to move along to the rest of my day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tyler came home. We talked on the phone for three years when we dated long distance, so we're kind of over that now. Our long distance talks when he's on a business trip go like this: I say hi, ask what he ate for breakfast/lunch/dinner, ask if he has any funny stories to tell, how the day was, and then say goodnight. He likes simple conversations. His answers are normally one word. "Good." "Steak." "No."

Sometimes I'll tell him a story or two, because golly, I'm a story teller. Sometimes I'll save them for when he gets home though. But then when he got home, I was cranky pants and contractiony and mad. And quiet.

I taught a fun handstand class this morning, then met a new friend for coffee. She's 2 weeks away from having her second kid. She brought a bag of cloth diapers and a babydoll to give me a tutorial in the middle of a busy coffee shop. It was awesome. She is sweet and she does not care about being a little goofy. I like that she wears long socks and cuffs her jeans short.

Then I met my sister-in-law for lunch. I really love her. We are so different, but we just laugh at each other for how different we are. Glad to be related to her.

Birth class tonight. I think it's nap time.

But also, I just figured out putting a cookie in a cup and pouring almond milk over it and eating it like cereal. Yum.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day Two: Bachelorette Style

Yesterday I managed to feed myself an apple and some coconut ice cream, not including what Tyler made me for breakfast before he left. Then I went to Trailhead for a nice glass of water and some nachos, and fellowship with my dear friends. I texted him this morning to let him know that without him, I would be a disgusting and unhealthy, possibly starving person. But rather than using all of those descriptive words, I said I'd be a man.

Besides practicing yoga in the morning and going to a yoga class last night, I literally spent the day reading. Eventually I realized I was sitting in my own filfth and I took a shower. The thing is, I didn't feel bad about it. I think you're allowed one of those days every once in a while.

Lately I've had many subjects of things I want to write about floating around in my head. I wrote out my Gospel Story to share with my community group girls. I'd encourage everyone to do it, and maybe just start by sharing it with one person or two. You can always take things out or add things to it as you realize the significance of things. Don't get me wrong - it's terrifying to share. But it's good. And it's basically your life story through the lens of the gospel. Mine is specifically from the perspective of how my experiences have impacted my view of who God is, mostly in a negative way, and coming through that as a 25-year-old, married, pregnant woman rediscovering the true personality of God.

The other two subjects I've been wanting to write about have to do with yoga. One of them being a letter to new practitioners. I basically want to say go see a counselor before you start yoga. It sounds insane, but people come expecting a workout class and then find themselves challenged with their insecurities and inabilities, and then literally throw fits during class. Sixty year old women sitting on the floor scowling at me, saying "WHAT?!" when I give and alignment instruction. Another big one is that new practitioners are so obsessed with getting into the pose and "being good" at it that they don't listen to a damn thing. I'm working on being patient with people who literally do not listen. But I want to yell at them.

And lastly, trying to figure out why yoga is so much different for some people than other kinds of workouts. It's not my religion, and I don't want people to think that my life is yoga + God. Yoga is another activity like drinking coffee and going for a walk. But, these things I know: I've never left a class not feeling better than I did when I came in, it challenges me not just physically, but mentally for sure, sometimes emotionally. Spiritually, because it's an hour of being quiet and sometimes I'll talk to God during that time. It causes me to think about my purpose. I can tell you that practicing yoga consistently for over 2.5 years has increased my level of awareness and desire to be present, not just on my mat either. It's different from any other "work out" I've ever done. Yet, I still can't put my finger on what it is. Maybe it's having a teacher. Maybe it's that I've learned to be my own teacher. I don't know. The hardest part so far has been being pregnant and actually learning and believing that I don't have to take it to the limit. I can only do what my body lets me today. And then I see people who have taken three classes, have a knee injury, and can't touch the floor, yet they push push push because they are out to prove something to themselves and others. For some reason, seeing people where I was when I first started is so frustrating. I want to give them tips to help them speed up their process, but perhaps they should just enjoy it. No, they should. It's kind of like how I want 12 year olds to be much more mature than they should be.

Sorry for blabbing about yoga.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

They were lovely because He loved them.

I figured out the Bloglovin' is just a reader. It's not for posting. That's ok. I love robots and humans.

This morning Tyler and I were in Kid's Refuge (our church is called Refuge). We have kids age 4-6, and we usually have about 12-15 kids. It's kind of nuts. Today they were oddly calm and fantastic. I love asking them questions and reasoning with them. We were drawing pictures of the world and talking about how God made it. I asked them if God made Halloween candy, and they all flipped out "NOOOOOO!!!" But He did make milk.

 Anyway. I really connected with some of the kids today, and some that have a reputation for being "bad." Kids just need to be listened to. They're smart, and they want to be sweet.

Tyler read them the story of Creation from the Jesus Storybook Bible. At one point it says, "And they were lovely because He loved them." And I had all these little girls sitting around me and one of the "bad" little boys, and I just wanted to hug all of them and tell them how lovely they are, not because they're good, but because He loves them, and always has.

I took a catnap, Tyler made this incredible lunch of ground turkey, squash, zucchini, and some canned pumpkin.. spinach too I think. Anyway it was awesome. We went for a walk at the Eco Park with the dogs who probably felt like they were on vacation, running through the woods with no leashes. I never had a dog that would do that without running away or murdering a small child, so it terrifies me and thrills me at the same time, and I get a little controlling and bossy... but I love it. We drove by Charlotte's dad's house, Mac. He was out, as was his sweet owner Janet, who hugs me and kisses me when she sees me. We let them play together and it was a madhouse.

A really inspiring girl named Hope, who I barely know through my soul sister Lacy, is doing a two week yoga challenge and documenting it on instagram. Practicing for 20 minutes a day and documenting one pose. It's a lot harder than you think to have a home practice. The space needs to be right. It helps to have a freakin mat, but mine is always at the studio. I'll bring it home tomorrow. Anyway, I feel great. Just what I needed right now. And whilst the interweb can be a tricky labyrinth to maneuver, I'm thankful for it because I actually get to know really cool people that I wouldn't otherwise.

I reached out to a lady on facebook that I've been seeing at church, but had yet to meet her. I am normally the one to awkwardly facebook message or ask a basic stranger to coffee. There's just something in me. When I get the little push, it just can't be stopped. Usually it's well received, and sometimes I think I terrify people. Anyway, I was behind this woman at church today and I could have not said anything and she wouldn't have known. I considered it. But then I said "Hi, Whitney" from behind her and stuck my hand out to say "Nice to meet you in person." She stared at it, possibly even disappointed, and said "Oh, I want to hug you." So we hugged and talked and I kind of love her.

I'm heading to girl's night now, for our Community Group. Tyler leaves me tomorrow morning for a work trip and won't come home until Wednesday night, so I might just die. But... no, I'll live. With the lights on, and crazy sleeping patterns.

With love... Shanny.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hm, ok. So I'm trying something different. A girl I follow uses bloglovin. I haven't tried it enough to know if I like it, but I'm tired of robots reading my blog. Seriously. I have twenty million views, and most of them are from robots. No thanks.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

PS, Amanda and Denise, thanks for your mantras. I like them a lot. And now they're mine.

Thursday, October 31, 2013


I'm on a posting frenzy. All day, errday, my friends.

I just got home from counseling, so let's process. If you want.

We discussed my cynicism, creating new habits and thought processes. It was good. But my mind has moved on since then. This week, from different people, I've been told I'm hyper-mobile, hyper-aware, and hyper-sensitive... physically as well as mentally. What does that mean for a person? I feel like hyper-anything is bad.

The conclusion we came to in counseling is that my awareness of my issues is the best start, and from there I can actively break down habits and thought processes.

Ok, that didn't take long.

I dislike when people say they went to therapy, because therapy sounds really trendy. People on TV have therapists. It's real cool. This is just my point of view. I know that therapists exist, and therefore it's therapy. But... I prefer to say counselor.

I couldn't sleep last night, so I made cream of wheat. I felt like I was 10 again. I really wished we had marshmallows though.

Lastly, my friend told me she had a mantra about her body. It's this: vehicle to my dreams, instrument of my life. She said it's made her to push ups twice. I told her I liked it so much I was going to make it my own. I came up with this: bicycle to my dreams, cello of my life. Good, right?! I'm not serious.

I feel like people go to counseling/therapy and get all these mantras or phrases to live by. I don't really have those. Guess I'll come up with some. And if you have one, please post it in the comments so I can have it too.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Beer and birthdays

Last night we attended birthing class. It was one-on-one so we talked about our legit fears. Mine were like "My baby won't breast feed" and Tyler's were like "the birthing pool leaks."

It was good though. Tyler told the teacher it's a great class, even if it just means thinking about the birth for 3 hours a week. She said, "You should be thinking about it more than three hours a week." Haha. We are.

Anyway, we always do what's easy and comfortable when it comes to social situations, so Tyler was like "Let's just go to Trailhead." That's the place we always go. We have a bar tender there. He gave us a chest of drawers for goodness sake. We needed a change. So for Tyler's 26th bday, we did end up going to The Civil Life Brewing Company. It is such a cool place. They have a simple menu of food, and it's actually good. You can get a half pint of beer for $2.50 or a full pint for $5.00. They encourage you to try their different beers. It's more about appreciation. It's in sort of a warehouse ish type building in the middle of a neighborhood. It's cool.

The bartender had this badass mustache and he was reading this HUGE book titled "BEER."

I had 8 oz. of beer. I don't want anyone to be scared, but I'm just being honest. My midwife prescribed a glass of wine and a bath for my contractions. In my humble opinion, it's ok. It's ok for the baby. This is America. They tell you not to eat or drink certain things because we don't know how to do it in moderation here. Heck, I've had lunch meat a time or two. And an occasional zebra cake, which, mind you, should be on the list of things to not eat when you're pregnant. Or ever. Good heavens, things are a little backwards.

So I sipped and savored and nursed 8 oz of the tastiest ESB I've ever had (that I can remember... it's been a while) and we shared pretzels with spicy mustard and these incredible stuffed peppers (they were stuffed with prosciutto, which I'm sure is on the list... and the cheese was soft!).

We discussed age. Tyler said he was "pleased with the trajectory" of his life, that he liked his wife, and that 26 seemed to be a good age. People sent him sweet messages about what a great young man he is and how they're excited for his next chapter of life. How sweet. People are sweet sometimes.

And I slept like a freaking baby. I don't even know if I got up to pee, whereas the last two nights I don't think I hit REM cycle. Ah. Beer. Also, it was hoppy, and Hops is the herb I've been taking to calm my contractions down. What a nice night it was. Perhaps I dreamed I was a birthing mama cow, but I don't remember.

This is the end of my post.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tyler's birthday, chalk drawings, animal behavior

Well, I'm back again, yes, so soon. Last night while Tyler was in class I worked on his "birthday present" and watched the Card's game. He told me a few days ago that he wanted a drawing of a longhorn steer in the house somewhere... and I was like, Gross, Texas. Sorry, Texas people. :):):):):):):):):) But really, it makes no sense. A longhorn steer says "texas" and we aren't a texas family. It just doesn't fit. You get it.

I tried it anyway, five times I tried it. Well, first I painted chalkboard paint onto one of our large white plates that my sister Amanda gave us when we got married. Then I tried to chalk a simple bull, and it looked so dumb. I am an impatient little girl right now, but I didn't give up until my 5th cow. He always asks for the simplest things, like an apple corer or just a birthday party. He asked for a cow and I could not deliver.

So I drew a picture of our window, because I love our home, and I wrote a song lyric by Frightened Rabbit. It's chalk! I'll erase the S word when the baby starts reading. 

I made him a Florentine Omelet and wrote him a love note, like back in high school. 

We have our One-On-One Birth Class tonight, so we're going to get a drink after to celebrate his birthday.

I was in such a good mood all day yesterday because I was feeling better. I did all the stuff I was supposed to before bed, and then I laid down and the contractions hit. Our birth teacher told us about contraction timers, so I downloaded one. 6-8 minutes apart, anywhere from 35 seconds to a minute long, and the farther apart they were the more painful the next one was. I'd drift into sleep in those 6-8 minutes and then be half awake when they hit, dreaming that I was a different animal in labor. I think it's because I did my birth class homework last night and it was about the Primal Brain. 

What I'd love is to be able to get some comfortable sleep, but I know that's being a bit too demanding at this point. All I want is my midwife to say, "Ok, this isn't totally normal this early on, but your body is just preparing you and everything is fine." OK. I will stop complaining and just make a construction paper chain leading to my due date. 

This morning after I made Tyler his birthday breakfast, I had an extra piece of bacon. The dogs had just been given their dog food, Char in the well-lit kitchen and Russ in the unlit sunroom. I gave Char her half of the bacon, and then thought "I should turn the light on, Russ won't be able to see me," and then I didn't do what I said I should do and Russ bit my thumb so hard when I gave him the bacon. He slightly punctured the nail right at the quick. He held on tight. Good heavens. I never want to be eaten by something stronger than me. So frustrating. It bled, but skin is skin. It's the joint that hurts, and he got my index finger too. Poor guy, he had no idea why I yelled.  

So that's that. Ange and I were just texting and I said "I'm eating a zebra cake because I have anger in my heart." After Russ bit me, I cried. It was an angry cry. A frustrated one. 

I can do this. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sigh of something

Well, last week I randomly got on Google+, and really, who does that anymore? I think I got an email from them or something that prompted me. So I started finagling around with my photos on there, and there is an entire album of 245 pictures attached to this blog... so 5 years of photos that I've posted here, for you lovely beings, not for the entire google+ world.

So I made the album private. Then I come here to blog and all of my photos are negative signs. I couldn't fix it for the life of me, so I had my friend David fix it a few days later. It then sent an email to a bunch of people saying "Look at this album," which I didn't really want to happen, but oh well.

In the meantime, I even went to wordpress to make a new blog. I hated it. I think I've done it before too - wordpress, tumblr. Several times I'm sure. But I love familiarity and comfort, so I'm sticking with you, blogger, even though at every turn of my life I have started a new blog.

We had Tyler's "birthday" party on Saturday night, but it was mostly a "watch the cards game" party. More low key, which was fine. Not our typical kegger.

Starting last Monday I was noticing more intense Braxton Hicks. I think I mentioned it on here. Well, by Saturday night, I was on the couch nearly the whole night during the party, very uncomfortable and on the verge of tears a lot. Sunday morning I sang, and right before I went up to sing my friend came and asked how I was doing, to which I responded by crying. So I missed the first song, which was fine. I didn't feel like singing in the first place because I was in some pain. I feel weird calling it pain - it's a dull ache in my hips and low back, and then the sharp feeling like someone is sticking their finger in a wound, but it's just a baby limb in my hip nerves or something.

By Sunday afternoon, Tyler made me call my midwife. I was slightly frustrated because she said I should go to the chiropractor. I explained to her that the chiropractor told me to stop coming because it was making me worse. Of course, she can't know how I'm feeling or how "bad" it is unless she felt it herself. Or, like those freaking rating systems - "On a scale of 1-10, how bad does it hurt?" people should stop doing that, because everyone says a different number. I freaking hate it and want to punch people when they do that. Thankfully, she didn't do that. She is a very sweet woman. And she did say, "Well, these sound like more than b&h so I don't want to act like it's nothing."

She suggested a bath. I hate baths. They're disgusting. I'd bathe in a hotel before I'd bathe in our bathtub. All I can picture is the woman we bought the house from bathing with her cats. And there were stains we could not get out of the bathtub, so no. No bath for Shannon. She also suggested a glass of wine, which I savored and enjoyed and loved. Ah. Gnarly Head. It's our favorite. It helped, but I still did not sleep well last night, and I woke myself up a few times moaning... so I did get some sleep actually, but you know. After breakfast this morning, I went back to bed and slept so well. Then I went to Cheryl's Herbs and got some skullcap and hops... and I drank a few drops of them in water. It's supposed to quell contractions. I do believe it's helping, plus the nap. And the wine.

I think stuff was just catching up with me. And yes, I'm drinking lots of water.

So I won't call it relief, but it's better than going into labor at 32 weeks.

Tomorrow is Tyler's 26th Birthday. I've had my eye on him for ten years now (well, much longer actually, but nothing can come of love in the third grade). He's gotten cuter and sweeter and funnier. And I love him so much.

The End.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'm all over the place

Woke up this morning to teach Rise and Shine yoga at BBY. That's Blue Bird Yoga, to all you strangers. The painting on the wall at the studio looks almost identical to the tattoo on my back, which is kind of funny... but sometimes I feel like I need to clarify that I got my tattoo two years before the studio opened. OR, they can just think I'm really dedicated.

My friend bought me a foot scrubber, because I was telling her how dry and disgusting my feet were. I just used it, and wow, my feet are soft. I soaked them in hot-ish water with Apple Cider Vinegar and some Baking Soda. It's nice. My skin is floating around in the foot soak.

So I have had Braxton Hicks for a long time, like they probably started at 20 weeks. It's nothing really, just the belly getting way tight and usually a bulge happening somewhere. Well, the last three days they have been more intense. I thought it was just a coincidence, but I'm going on day four of needing to stand up or breathe through the rushes, and I'll just be 33 weeks on Saturday. It's painful in my left hip and sometimes low back, like I need to make more room. So standing up helps. Can't wait for the real stuff. I did text my midwife, just so she's aware.

I'm picking up a 13 year old girl from school today and taking her to Starbucks. She goes to my church, and she has a lot of energy. The kind of energy that makes me very quiet. I'm trying to think of questions to ask her.

I suddenly feel a nap coming on - but first. I made cauliflower crust pizza, which was awesome. Then I made beef stew with carrots and onions. My pee smells like beef broth.

And if you saw the Cards games last night... wow. So many mistakes, it was like watching The Happening when you're like "Why is that guy running his car into a tree?!" before you realize it's because of pollution... except we were like "WHY IS HE STARING AT A FLY BALL AND LETTING IT HIT THE GROUND?!" It was a horror movie. I was waiting for a broken bat to fly into someone's throat. And I'm not even a fan. I just live here, and I've gotten sucked in.

And the title of this post suggests that my emotions float me to and fro. Yesterday I put mascara on and told myself that I was pretty, that my husband liked me, and that I was already a mommy master because I took care of a baby and made stew, all in one day! The day before, I was purt'near the bottom. Sometimes things have to be faked until you believe them. I have to do this a lot.

I can't wait to update you tomorrow on our birth class tonight and all of the interesting things that go down.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Do something scary

Yesterday I did something that scared me. I went on a walk, almost by myself, but I actually took a 4 month old with me in my awesome stroller. It was terrifying.

I made a list. I'll show you a picture of it.

So, on the list you might see the word DRAW - I promised to draw something every day. To the right, you will see a chandelier. It's the chandelier that hangs elegantly in my dining room. The drawing is not good, which is why I will practice every day. 

And then I promised I'd do something that scared me every day, and maybe I'll sub the word "challenges" in as well. On my list I wrote "go for a walk by myself," because that freaks me out. Also on the list was going to the grocery store by myself... and a lot of other things that end in "by myself." 

I wore my nephew around a bit yesterday. He crushed my belly, but he's really cute. 

I am entirely uncomfortable. And if you ask me how I'm feeling, my eyes will well up with tears and I will calmly say "it's tight." Because if I say more, the liquid surface tension will break and pool over and it won't end, and there will be snot. I might try to say more and spit will start flying out of my mouth with each word. Sobs. I cry a lot in the car - sometimes when I'm singing with Katy Perry, because I'm not louder than a lion. I am weak and exhausted. I don't have the eye of the tiger. 

I went to the James study this morning that I didn't do a drop of homework for. But, I showed up. Sometimes that is all we can do. Sorry if I sound like Elizabeth Gilbert right now. I'm not trying to romanticize my laziness, or make it ok. It was good to just be there, to put myself in the way of pursuit. I'm not hiding, but I am just here. Kind of giving up and saying, "God, I drove through the construction and am sitting in this awful chair to listen to a crazy woman talk about James (crazy in a good way). Please do the rest." 

I get so frustrated with people when they don't listen. Mostly in yoga. I say, "Straighten your right leg," and the person keeps their leg bent, looking around the room with this face that says "Who is this idiot teacher?" because they think everyone is looking at them, when really no one is looking at them. Everyone is focused on themselves, thinking that everybody else is looking at them. NO ONE IS LOOKING AT YOU, now straighten your damn leg. 

Yoga is cool because you can see change so quickly. 

Life is cool, but much harder. I struggle with the same stuff, forever. Now, let's throw a kid in there! 

12:19 pm is nap time today. When I wake up I'm making a grocery list and I'm going to do a scary thing... go to the store by myself. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Birth Class

Tyler and I started our "Naturally Prepared" birth class last night. There are three other couples, but only one was there last night. They seem very smart and put together. Smart, in the British sense, like "They were a smart couple."
(neat British English
a) a smart person is wearing neat attractive clothes and has a generally tidy appearance [= sharp American English; ≠ scruffy]:
You're looking very smart.
b) smart clothes, buildings etc are clean, tidy, and attractive)

When we got in the car I said, "I think they're more mature than us, but that's ok." Like, Tyler asked the teacher if using breast milk for pink eye worked, and she responded "Oh yeah, it works for a lot of things." and Tyler responded, "Like chocolate milk?"

At the end of class we had to "find our breath" while our partner massaged us, and we listened to "Keep Breathing" by Ingrid Michaelson. I love that song. When the song ended, she said "thank your partner," so I turned and bowed to Tyler, and he died laughing... the other couple looked like they needed to find a room, which is totally fine. So I thought "AH!" and hugged Tyler, because of course this is an emotional journey. I suppose sometimes we can be jokey, as a means of protection or a way to ignore the fact that we're terrified. Or we're just different from them, and that's ok.

Tyler is more terrified now, but I think it's healthy. Our instructor (who's name is Samanda. That's Amanda with an S) showed us what a contraction might look like. The husbands looked like shamed little boys. She was on her hands and knees, rocking forward and backward, moaning, yelling, it got really intense, I was sweating. And this woman described herself as a feminist hippie, so picture that. It wasn't a beautiful scene, but I certainly appreciated it.

I think I will feel much more prepared after the 6 weeks is up, and as usual, I am overly confident. Not because of me, but because it's in there and it has to come out and people do it all the time. So. That's it. What else can be done, except to hold handfuls of ice and "welcome your contraction" while finding my breath... haha. All you moms want to punch me. It's ok.

I bought a drawing book yesterday. I went to Hobby Lobby for the rubber and carving tool for my new stamp business endeavor, my new life calling, and they had no stamp rubber! So of course, I bought a drawing book and this beautiful box of pencils. We did an art project in the birth class, but it was with giant pieces of chalk, so my precision was... not great. We drew a labyrinth, and when finished, it looks like a cervix opening. Yowza. At the entrance we had to draw a symbol or something that represented us, so of course I drew a lion. My art looked like crap! and we're adding to it over the next six weeks. So I'll be working on my own cervical labyrinth in my own drawing book. And then I'll share a picture with you when I'm done.

I get a haircut today. I'm excited.

Warmly, Shannon

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

There is a Pinterest/Craft Night coming up this Friday with ladies from my church. I'm looking forward to it. Never in the last 6 years have I felt the desire to sit around with women and craft something, but I've been feeling nesty and crafty lately. I just needed to find my craft and go with it.

So apparently humans carve rubber with tools and make stamps. And I'm going to do that. I think my house is chalk-drawn enough. Time to start carving. Soon enough, you will be getting a card from me, or perhaps a receiving blanket... or a kerchief... with the Wheeler logo on it. I'm kidding. We don't have a logo, and I know you wouldn't want it if we did. I'll be making a trip to Hobby Lobby soon, with some warm cash in my pocket. I don't know what warm cash even is. Sounds gross though, now that I think it through. If stamping isn't my life calling... I guess I'll just raise children.

I've been doing some severe napping, and the dogs love it. They snuggle hard core with me. Russ inched his way up the couch and rested his floppy face right on my belly. It was so sweet. They know something is up.

I read this article, which some of you may have seen on Facebook, titled something like "Stay at Home Mom - WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY?!" And I just want to say I am guilty of saying, "Do you work for a living, or just stay home?" Or, "Do you plan to just say home?" and the "just" really weighs that sentence down. I apologize to the moms I've said it to, and would definitely appreciate some grace. The "just" implies that you are doing one thing (one umbrella that covers a lot of things) - raising a kid - instead of two things, raising a kid and working for a paycheck. Such a tricky line to walk on. Imagine how I feel now. People ask if I'm keeping myself busy, I'm like, YEAH. I blog, I take a nap, I take a yoga class, I get coffee with a friend, then I teach a yoga class, I go to counseling and work through all of my stuff, I read books, cook dinner, teach another yoga class, and try to come up with a life calling - like making stamps! So. I'm super grateful for this time. And at times, I feel like a spoiled high schooler during summer. Honestly. If I had to work and Tyler was staying home every day, I would be 1) obnoxiously jealous and 2) expect him to remodel the house.

That's all.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Writing what I think

My sister's blog talks about a book she is reading about writing. I think I will get it. Here's a list of rules for a writing exercise:

1. You can't stop
2. You can't cross out
3. Don't worry about punctuation or grammar
4. You must lose control
5. You must not be logical
6. If something comes to you in writing that scares you, you must dive right into it.

Well, in that case... I cleaned my church a little bit yesterday, because our awesome janitor is on vacation. There is something scary about being in an empty building that is usually full of people. I wanted to sing so badly, but I wasn't sure if my pastor was studying in his office. Then I also wasn't sure if he was taking a big dump when I went to do the trash in the men's bathroom... so imagine my awkwardness as I knock on the men's bathroom door in a dark hallway, humming quietly, hoping that they don't watch the security cameras. And also, I don't know how to open a baby gate. The security cameras definitely got that one. I laughed to myself and hiked my pregnant leg over the damn gate after staring at it, then jiggling it for a good 47 seconds. 

I ordered my new gauges from Etsy. I can't wait. Everything that I find and love on Etsy ends up being shipped from another country - my headbands are from Australia, my nose ring is from Israel, and these gauges (custom made, yo) are from Canada.

The other night at a friends, we talked about "image management," and how we're always attempting to appear a certain way. It's so true. I appreciate, and perhaps idolize, a certain type of person. I want to be "this" type of person, so I dress that way and adopt lifestyle patterns that match who/what I want to be like. I buy into it. Someone said the other day that on Facebook, we only put the good stuff. I disagreed though. People definitely put the bad stuff too, because a lot of times we find our identity in our crisis or our current state. Imagine this: literally every time I speak to a person and ask what they did over the weekend or how their day has been, they say "Oh, well I have insomnia, so, I didn't do anything," or, "well, I have insomnia so it's been a bad such-and-such." Number one, I know you have insomnia because you've told me 17 times. Number two, don't define yourself by your ailments. THAT IS SO HARD. I know it is. But sometimes we hold on so tightly to the bad stuff going on that it becomes a part of us and that's why it won't get better (not always. I know that our thoughts can't cure cancer - but I do think there is something to say for positivity and quality of life). I think eventually we get to the point where we don't want to give up our shit because then, what would we talk about? Who are we when we're not complaining/bragging about how busy we are? Who am I when I'm just quiet for a second, and not trying to appear a certain way? What's my excuse for not making changes?

At the same time, God created us different. And we are humans. We complain. We hurt, and we shouldn't keep it all in. I'm always looking for that balance, and as you can see from this blog I swing really high in both directions every other day, or few hours.

But, I just "dove into it," (dived?) as the rule commanded me, and when I do that I tend to offend people, mostly because I see things from my perspective, which is based on my circumstances usually. But, I love seeing things from other people's perspective when they're shared with me and going, "Oh wow, yeah. I haven't thought of that before." But then seeing too that we can both learn from each other and grow. How nice. Growth. I love it. 

PS. I want this cute baby out of me. Tyler said yesterday, "I want that baby out! So it can be right here!" and patted his chest. I just need to say that I am so grateful and honored to be married to a guy that is so excited to meet our kid. He told me I wasn't allowed to tell people this anymore... so here it goes! When he sleeps, he turns into a seven year old boy. He says things in his sleep all night long, with great emotion and zeal, like "Shan, you are my BEST friend in the whole world! I love you so much," (it's a whisper yell) and tells me I'm his favorite, that I'm the most beautiful girl in the world, etc. It's hilarious and I laugh a lot. Well, earlier this week in the middle of the night, he put his hand on my belly and said, "Uuuugghh, I love this baby so much." So sweet. Puke if you want. 

The end.