Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What's What Wednesday: Denim Day

As you may know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As you may or may not know, today is recognized as "Denim Day", a day for protesting the misconceptions surrounding sexualized violence. Denim Day is a national rape prevention education campaign that began in protest of a 1990 Italian rape case that was dismissed when the judge discovered that the 18 year old victim was wearing tight jeans. The judge determined that since the woman’s jeans were so tight that she had to assist the attacker (her 45 year old driving instructor) in removing them, it meant that the act was not rape but consensual sex. Women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans to work, and “Denim Day” was born.

Denim Day is recognized in various ways. I devoted a service project for my Women's Studies course work to organizing a local event, in which I asked local businesses to participate by allowing their employees to wear jeans to work, along with a teal awareness ribbon (the color assigned for Sexual Assault Awareness) in exchange for a minimum donation of $1. The intention was to use this day as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexualized violence, and to support a good cause. All of the proceeds from this local event will benefit the local women's center and shelter. 

I encourage my readers to seek out local Denim Day events, or to make your own social statement with your fashion statement by wearing jeans today. If you find, like I did, that there is no event in your area, and that your community is lacking in events such as this that raise awareness about this important issue that effects women everywhere, consider organizing your own! I'm already starting to plan for next year's event, so that I'll be able to solicit more participation from bigger businesses and draw more attention to the issue. While this year's event is a small one, I have been touched and inspired by the support of local businesses, some of which are matching their employees donations and encouraging their customers and guests to get involved. 

An important step in solving the problem of sexualized violence is understanding that it is never the victim's fault. It doesn't matter what she wears, where she goes, or how she behaves; no woman deserves to be sexually assaulted. No woman "asks for it". It is not the victims who are to blame, it is the perpetrators of these violent acts and the society that excuses them by pointing fingers elsewhere. 

If you aren't local or if your employer is not participating, please consider supporting 
Denim Day by making a donation using the button below. 
All proceeds will benefit New Horizon's Shelter and Women's Center.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

At Long Last

Dear Delilah,

One of the many milestones that you've adopted the tortoise mentality towards (Slow and steady wins the race!) is hair growth. You've been one bald baby for a long time. Your hair growth has been so gradual that until a friend mentioned it, I didn't realize that your hair is finally long enough for this:

While I'm generally not one for frills, even I must admit that this is adorable. I still don't think you've got quite enough for a whale spout pony tail or pig tails, but this is an exciting first step in what I'm sure will eventually become the battle of your hair. I just hope you won't develop a flair for extra-fancy hairstyles, since the extent of my hair styling repertoire is limited to barrettes, ponytails, and braids!



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Monday, April 25, 2011

Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail

Dear Delilah,

This Easter weekend was action packed! Once again, I can't help but reflect on last year's holiday and marvel at how much you've grown and changed since then. This year, we kicked off the weekend with an overnight visit to Grandma Laurel and Grandpa Bruce. They spoiled you, as usual, with new toys and books. You stayed true to your tendency to save your big milestones for their house, and put more steps together than ever before, taking great strides with your walking. (As you can see, I'm staying true to my tendency to make groan-worthy puns.)

Photos by Grandma Laurel
Saturday morning, we dyed Easter eggs, getting them into their colored baths as fast as we could before you could grab them, exclaim "Ball! Ball! Ball!" and throw them on the floor.

Photos by Grandma Laurel
While you didn't quite get the concept, you were certainly a much more active participant than last year:

Speaking of last year, let's have a look at Easter Sunday, shall we?

This year at Grandma Bev's, it was nearly impossible to keep you still long enough to get photos of you!

With the leaps and bounds you've made this past year, it's hard to imagine what next year will be like. Perhaps you'll be more excited about coloring eggs than tossing them on the floor and marveling at the sound of them cracking. Maybe you'll be curious about the Easter Bunny and ready for an Easter Egg hunt! No matter what happens, I know that next year will be filled with as many smiles and happy memories as this year and last year have been.



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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Wisconsin Spring

Changing things up with a Wordless Wednesday, because really, there are no words for this:

April 19, 2011
Spring in Wisconsin

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spreading the Natural Parenting Love

Visit Natural Parents NetworkOne of the communities I've found and fallen in love with since becoming a mother is the Natural Parenting Network. I love it so much that I devote some of my precious free time as a volunteer administrator on the NPN Facebook Page! Through my work with NPN, I've had the pleasure to get to know some wonderful parents from all walks of life who share a common goal of parenting naturally and gently. Today, we're all showing each other some love by sharing some of our favorite blog posts from NPN Volunteers! Please take a look through the links below on a wide range of topics and get to know some of the mamas that I've come to know and love!

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Snuggly Swinging

Dear Delilah,

The weather lately has been typical of Spring in Wisconsin. Within a week's time, we had 80 degrees, tornado warnings, and yes, even snow. You went from trying out your first pair of flip-flops and back to winter jackets and hats more than once!

Yesterday was a bit of  a reprieve from the latest bout of nasty weather we've had, so we took advantage of it and headed over to the park in our neighborhood. I was sure you'd enjoy the swings, since you love your swing in our backyard so much. I got on the swing with you on my lap, facing forward, but instead of delighted giggles, you let out some terrified shrieks when I set us into motion! I turned you around to face me instead, and you found the snuggly swinging far more enjoyable. I'll tell you a secret. So did I.

 When we tired of the swings, we headed over to the little jungle gym and played around on that for a while before heading back home. Last night, a friend with a baby around the same age as you noted that at 18 months, babies officially become "toddlers". You will always be my baby, but there is no denying that you're growing up. Your father and I marvel every day at how you've grown. Almost every night after we put you to bed, we stop at the book case to look at your newborn photo, and sit in awe of how much you've changed as you transform into your own little person. Looking at photos of you these days, there's no denying that you're more "kid" than "baby".

All too soon, you'll delight more in running away from me than cuddling up, and will be asking me to push you on the swings rather than join you on them. The memory of you swinging in the park with me, snuggled up resting your head on my chest, feeling safe in your mama's arms, will remain forever etched upon my mind.



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Friday, April 15, 2011

Day of Silence

Dear Delilah,

Image Source:
One of the foremost values that guides my parenting is that of celebrating all forms of diversity. I actively seek opportunities to speak out on behalf of oppressed and marginalized populations, and to promote a message of inclusiveness of all people, no matter their background. I have written here before in support of LGBTQ rights. Today is being recognized nation wide as a Day of Silence, a day on which students across the country are taking a vow of silence in an effort to bring attention to the problem of the harassment and bullying of LGBT youth.

I applaud the efforts of these brave students, along with the parents who support their children in advocating for this cause. I applaud parents who encourage their children to embrace their unique individuality, and to celebrate their differences.

Just yesterday, I read of outrage over a J. Crew advertisement that portrayed a mother and son in a moment of bonding while the mother painted her son's toenails bright pink. The article includes quotes by an "expert" in the field of psychology, who implied that the mother should be setting aside money for therapy for her son, along with others who accused the woman of exploiting her son in the name of "liberal, transgendered identity politics". Any "expert" in the field of psychology should have a firm understanding that childhood is a time of exploration; of trying on different roles to see what fits. Many say that our search to find our identities continues through the first 25 years of life. At age 31, I am still trying on various roles for size, and would argue that this search never really ends, but is a continuous journey that lasts as long as we do.

The suggestion that painting a boy's toenails would "turn" him gay or transgendered would be laughable, were it not so apparently widely believed, if the level of outrage over this ad is any indication. Your aunt and I once had a grand time painting your uncle's toenails when he was a little boy, and it certainly caused no lasting damage. Your grandmother opted to leave his nails polished rather than exposing him to the chemicals in nail polish remover, and her retelling of the story every now and again has not caused him to question his sexuality or his gender identity. Chances are that boy in the ad saw his pedicure as a fun time playing with mommy, not as something that he shouldn't enjoy because it is "for girls".

The author of the Nerdy Apple Bottom blog astutely remarked that if the ad had been of a little girl playing in the mud with trucks, no one would give it a second thought. Why is it that boys participating in traditionally "girly" activities draw so much negative attention, but girls playing "like boys" is no big deal? It speaks volumes about the hierarchical design of our society. Men are higher on the totem pole than women, you see, so of course it is acceptable for girls to "imitate" the "superior sex" but shocking and unacceptable for boys to lower themselves to the level of girls play.

Already, in your short life, I have been on the receiving end of gender-based feedback, often from complete strangers. I've been told that I "need" to buy you a pink carseat. I've been told that I need to dress you in more girly clothes, because your short hair makes it easy to mistake you for a boy. Strangers often refer to you as "he" in public, and I rarely correct them, because in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. You're a baby. A toddler, I suppose. You have the rest of your life to determine just how much "like a girl" you prefer to dress, play, and behave. I have no desire to guide you into predetermined gender roles, no desire to imply that anything is off-limits to you because of your biological sex. I don't make assumptions or have expectations about your sexuality or gender identity. I view both sexuality and gender identity not as matters of polar opposites, but as continuums, upon which most of us do not fall at one extreme or the other. I certainly don't intend to prevent you from enjoying stereotypically female activities, but nor do I intend to prevent you from exploring stereotypical male activities.

I am optimistic that activism campaigns such as today's Day of Silence will serve as baby steps to bring us closer to a society in which white is not better than black, male is not better than female, straight is not better than gay, and biological sex is not better than gender identity. I am hopeful that the message in students' silence today will speak volumes, to their peers, teachers, and parents. To the world.

To those of you who are unable to commit to a vow of silence today, I encourage you to go ahead and use your voice. Use it to speak out on behalf of the LGBT victims of bullies. Use it to voice your support of the students participating in this courageous event. Use it for good, for the hope that our children can grow up in a world in which they are accepted and celebrated for the beautiful, unique individuals that they are.



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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's What Wednesday: Birth Planning-Part Five

My Victorious VBAC
A Guest Post By: Angela Vogel

From a young age, I knew that birth was natural and beautiful.  I knew that if I ever gave birth, I would try to do so naturally.  My mother is a childbirth educator, after all!  However, I became pregnant shortly after moving 800 miles away from my family for my husband’s job.  I was terrified of beginning this journey into motherhood so far from my support system and with a husband who worked 80 hours a week.

We took the generic hospital childbirth class and made a written birth plan.  Unfortunately, since I was planning a natural delivery, I didn’t pay much attention when the instructor was talking about cesareans.  I had no plan, written or otherwise, in the event of a cesarean.  As it turned out, my water finally broke 11 days after baby’s due date.  After 12 hours of labor, I was completely dilated and they told me to push.  I had heard about the strong urge to push that women get when it is time.  But, I never felt that, despite the fact that I was un-medicated.  I pushed for 3 hours with no progress.  Baby was still at 0 station.  My doctor was at another hospital in surgery.  One of his partners checked on me and it was decided that it was time for a cesarean.  We found out that our son Ignatius was posterior.  He was also 8 lbs, 9 oz.  Immediately following his birth, I blamed my “failure to progress” on his size and his position.  After further reflection, I realized that it might have had something to do with all of my fears.

Eighteen months later, we were excited to find out that we were expecting baby #2.  I knew as soon as Ignatius was born that I would try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).  I knew I needed to surround myself with positive birth information and supportive people.  I needed to take a proactive approach.  I now had some support in the area.  I loved attending La Leche League meetings and found a number of other moms there who had delivered their babies naturally, and even one who had two successful VBACs.  I started taking prenatal yoga to be more in tune with my body and try to avoid a posterior baby.  My husband and I decided that we were more confident having a hospital birth in the event that there were an emergency.  However, this time around, we found some midwives who offered a natural childbirth class.  During the class, I realized that my biggest fear going into this birth was not that it would end in a cesarean, but that I would be separated from my baby.  I had been separated from Ignatius for three hours after he was born!  We also found out that our hospital was not very VBAC friendly.  If we really wanted a chance at a successful VBAC, we needed to change hospitals.  Driving 40 minutes instead of 25 minutes was definitely worth it! 

During my first labor, my mother had come in town and acted as both mom and doula.  For this birth, we decided to hire a doula who worked with the midwives.  This way, I didn’t have to worry about whether or not my mother would make it to town in time.  It also gave us someone who was on our side supporting us, but not emotionally involved.  Luckily, my obstetrician agreed to a trial of labor.  Where we were living, it is hard to find a doctor willing to do this.  We tried to research our hospital’s policies on VBACs and certain protocols, but were often told varying evasive answers.  After consulting a number of birth planning websites, we made a simple, one page, written birth plan that our doctor signed, but we still expected there to be a few hiccups.

Birth Plan for Angela Vogel

Obstetrician:  Dr. Michael Last Name                       Due Date:  Friday, November 28, 2008

Attendants:  Dave Vogel (Husband), Kylene Last Name (Doula), Mary Last Name (Mother)

We believe that labor and delivery can occur naturally.  These are our preferences for the birth of our baby.  However, we understand that complications can arise such that our plan cannot and should not be followed.  We hope that barring any extenuating circumstances, you will be able to keep us informed and aware of our options.  Thank you.

During Labor & Delivery
            Room Quiet with Dim Lights
            Saline Lock Instead of Routine IV
            Drink Clear Liquids
            Free to Walk, Move, & Change Positions
            Intermittent Fetal Monitoring
            Please do Not Offer Pain Medication
            Access to a Tub and/or Shower for Pain Relief
            Minimal Vaginal Exams
            Freedom to Videotape & Photograph Labor & Delivery
            Perineal Massage & Support to Avoid Episiotomy
            Dave has Option to Cut the Cord
            Immediate Infant Bonding

In Case of Cesarean Section
            No Medication Prior to the Spinal or Epidural
            Dave will be Present for Cesarean
            Baby will Remain with Angela in O.R. & Recovery Room
            If Medically Necessary, Dave will Accompany Baby to Nursery & Kylene or Mary                                   will Stay with Angela

Baby’s Care
            Immediate Bonding
            All Care Performed at Bedside or On Mom
            Baby Exclusively Breastfed on Demand (No Pacifiers or Supplementation of any kind)
            Do Not Treat Baby’s Eyes
            Do Not Give Routine Vitamin K, unless requested due to traumatic birth
            No Routine Blood Sugar Tests
            No Circumcision
            No Hep B Vaccine in Hospital
            No PKU Screen in Hospital (will perform at first visit to Pediatrician)
            Dave and/or Angela Notified and Present During all Procedures Performed on Baby

For the most part, things did go according to our plan.  Labor started one and a half days after my mother arrived and two days before baby was due.  When we got to the hospital, I was already 5 cm dilated.  They were concerned that baby’s heart rate was slightly elevated.  My doctor suggested giving me some fluids and that seemed to calm me and baby down.  There had been a few things that the hospital had said would be left up to my doctor.  My doctor had said those things would depend on hospital policy.  (Varying evasive answers!!)  Though we had been told intermittent fetal monitoring would be fine, once we were at the hospital, they wanted me continuously monitored.  Since we were expecting a few hiccups like this, it wasn’t a huge disappointment, just a nuisance.  Luckily, I was still able to move around.  I did not use the tub or the shower during labor, I don’t think it ever really crossed my mind.  Thank goodness they never offered me any pain medication.  I was experiencing some intense back labor and probably wouldn’t have had the fortitude to say no to pain relief at that point.  My doctor checked me once when he arrived at the hospital.  Then he told me he would leave me alone for a couple of hours unless I wanted him to see me again sooner.  As it happened, I did request to see him sooner when I felt the urge to push.  He checked me again and I was, in fact, complete.  I pushed for 90 minutes and out came another beautiful baby boy. Our son Augustine arrived posterior asynclitic (sunny side up with his head tilted) and weighed in at 9 lbs, 2 oz.  This explained the severe back labor I had experienced!  I did tear during delivery, but I preferred that to getting an episiotomy.  Dave was able to cut the cord and I was able to have immediate bonding time with Augustine.

Labor had been challenging and I was exhausted.  My back continued to ache and my stitches were extremely uncomfortable.  But this was nothing compared to the grueling recovery from my cesarean.  I could use my abdominal muscles to sit up, get up, and lift up my two year old.  Best of all, I had been able to initiate nursing right away.  It had been a wonderfully empowering birth.

Angela Vogel lives in Ohio with her husband Dave and their two sons, Ignatius (4.5 yrs) and Augustine (2.5 yrs).  They are eagerly counting down the days until they can finally move closer to their families this summer!

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Monday, April 11, 2011


Dear Delilah,

One of the routines that has evolved over time since you were born is bath time. I remember giving you your first bath at home, and how much you absolutely hated it. We filled your little tub up with water, set it on the kitchen table, and carefully undressed you and placed you in the water. We were thanked with incessant crying while we washed you as gently and quickly as possible, to put an end to the apparent torture of getting cleaned up! I'll resist the urge to post the video of that first bath, to spare everyone your heartbreaking cries!

Before long, we moved your tub from the kitchen table to the main bath tub. It didn't take long for you to discover the joy of splashing around in the water. We slowly added toys to the mix, and your glee with bath time continued to blossom.

Bath time has been mostly Daddy's domain. He still uses your baby tub, since you still easily fit in it and it requires less water than the main bath tub. In addition to taking advantage of bath time as play time, you've recently recognized the relaxation potential of bath time, letting the toys go to lean back for brief pauses to kick back and relax. I sometimes peek in to get a glimpse of your fun and bonding with daddy, but mostly just smile at the sounds of your splashing and giggling, grateful for some moments to myself.

On the occasions when bath duties do fall on my shoulders, I've taken to filling the main tub and splashing and playing right along with you. You love having deeper water to move around in, and helping yourself to sips of my milk in between splashes. It's a delight to slowly pour water from a cup while you concentrate on trying to grab and pinch the stream of water, perplexed that your fingers just move right through it.

Playing in the bath with you brings back memories of my own bath time growing up, when your Auntie and I would stay in the tub until our fingers and toes were all shriveled up and the the entire bathroom was soaked. As I enjoy those fleeting moments in the tub with you, I look forward to seeing you enjoying bath time with a sibling of your own one day, showing them how to squeeze the toys to make water squirt out and making shampoo mohawks. For now, I'll continue to savor the good clean moments I get to share with you, and serve as a grateful spectator during your bath time bonding with your father.



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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's What Wednesday: Birth Planning-Part Four

A plan, but not my own
A Guest Post By Tiffany Gallagher

When I found out I was pregnant with who turned out to be my son, Isaac, I was eager to interview and hire a homebirth midwife as soon as possible. My daughter, Eleanor, was born at the hospital a few blocks from our home, delivered into the hands of a CNM, and it was an experience I was eager to supplant with a better version. The third midwife we interviewed turned out to be The One; she was young, relatively hip (for a midwife), and very trusting of the process of birth.

I did my duty of creating a birth plan for my first pregnancy. No, I do not want an epidural. Yes, I do want to be able to eat during labor. No, I do not want fetal monitoring. The usual. The CNM was open and encouraging of all of it. That is, until things didn't quite go to her plan of what a pregnancy should look like. The last few weeks of my pregnancy were spent in a state of constant anxiety over urine protels, blood pressure, and bedrest. Eventually, I was induced, and as the IV went into my arm, my birth plan went out the window, every last bit of it. (Out the window with the exception of eating; maybe they wisely deduced that I'd be even angrier if they didn't feed me.) It was if the hospital staff felt it I did not deserve to have preferences once I set foot into their medical stream.

My plan for my homebirth was that I didn't have one. At least, I didn't set one down on paper. I had planned, in the looser sense, to have two doulas around, one who had been at my daughter's birth, and a friend of mine who attends births occasionally. I wanted to surround myself with a caring tribe of women who would encourage and nurture me. After all, having been induced, I had no idea what labor would bring for me. I was scared of it lasting days, and scared of feeling contractions that were not prompted by synthetic chemicals. Yes, a tribe was what I needed, and a birth tub (because doesn't a water birth look so calm and relaxing?), and a whole list of supplies, and Emergen-C. As far as our daughter goes, she could stay with her grandma, or another friend of ours.

Okay, so I guess that was sort of a plan.

A proud father and his son moments after birth.
The rug was never the same again.
As it turns out, only one thing went according to "plan," and that was that I ended up giving birth to Isaac while on all fours, hanging off the side of the couch, just as I had imagined myself someday giving birth a very long time ago, long before babies were even a possibility for me. I didn't expect a labor that lasted two hours from start to finish, if we're not counting the very mild contractions I had before going to bed the night before. I didn't expect my water to break with an audible "pop" while I was playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook, having woken up after just a few hours of sleep thanks to my pregnancy-induced insomnia. I hadn't expected to be the woman who, calling to her husband that her water had broken, had a husband who bolted out of bed with alarm, reaching for his clothes. (I have never seen my husband move quite so quickly before or since.)

By the time I downed some Emergen-C, contractions were hitting me with full force. My husband was frantically filling up the birth tub while I paced, first elated, then serious, then swearing (but rememberingth at the book about the Bradley Method I read told me it was exactly what would happen). My midwife arrived, but I wanted nothing to do with her. "Do NOT touch me," I growled. She helped me onto the soft bed, which was agony. I howled. I pushed away hands and told my husband, "Do NOT call anyone. Leave.Me.Alone. Stop filling up the &$(@#  birth tub, I'm not going to make it in there!"

Even if I had planned to be the angriest laboring woman on Earth, wanting absolute solitude and quiet, I hadn't planned on the fear that overtook me when I knew it was time to push. I announced to my midwife that I had to, and told her that I needed her. I needed her to touch me and tell me it would be okay, which she did, and my son was quickly ejected into the world.

"Ejected" is such a good way to describe it because that is precisely how he came. Reading about the fetal ejection reflex while writing my birth story, I was struck at how, when left to its own devices, the body (usually) knows just what to do. The total lack of intervention (despite, I must note, having high blood pressure at the end of this pregnancy as I did at the end of my first) made for a birth that followed a plan totally not of my own making, but of nature's. I am humbled and awed to have been able to experience it, to feel the most primal urges and sensations that female mammals throughout time have felt, and to know that no matter what I dreamed or decided, it was written in my genes that this was how birth would be for me.

The Gallagher family resides on a small plot of land deep in the suburbs of Minneapolis, where they pretend they are pioneers and work on converting to Judaism. Tiffany blogs at Sowing the Suburbs and Oy Betcha! , and is also a postpartum doula and Certified Lactation Counselor sometimes known as The Boob Geek.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Playing Outside

Dear Delilah,

One of my favorites day each year is the first day the crocuses bloom. Those little flashes of color against the drab background of last year's dead foliage carry with them the promise of spring, beautiful weather, sunshine, and playing outside.

Last year around this time, you weren't terribly mobile yet, so "playing outside" usually looked something like this:

Last week, on the first day the crocuses bloomed, we played outside. I started pulling some of the dead weeds around the crocuses while you bopped around using your favorite mode of transportation: the butt hop. I kept my eye on you while you hopped your way down the sidewalk away from me, looking back every few feet, seeming to gauge how far away from mama you were comfortable wandering. You came back and "helped" with the weeding by liberating the weeds from the oppressive pile I was forming them into. You explored the lawn a little bit, taste testing the grass and delighting in the crunch of leaves in your hands and under your feet.

It is getting to the point that I have to come to terms with the bittersweet reality that your infancy has come to an end. Just today, your Grandma remarked that you are looking more and more like a little girl than a baby, and she's right. While part of me longs to hold on to your precious babyhood, most of me is thrilled to be able to interact with you in a more reciprocal manner and to see you discover and explore the world around you and all of its mysteries. I look forward to the many days of playing outside that lie ahead of us, and will do my best to savor each and every one!



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Friday, April 1, 2011


Dear Delilah,

Last night, we got to see the Harlem Globetrotters in action, up close and personal. VERY up close. When your Grandpa announced that he had gotten tickets to the show (game?) for the whole family, I didn't realize they were court side seats! Of course, me being me, I fretted all week about the interruption to our nightly routine, the late bed time, and the potential for over-stimulation with all of the lights, noise, and action. I worried about the logistics of the whole evening, since I had agreed to cover a group for a co-worker which lasted until 7:30. The big event started at 7:00.

I was certain you'd start melting down and that by the time I got there, I'd have to turn around to bring you home. I considered packing pajamas and a night-time diaper and was prepared to leave one of our vehicles behind overnight so I could nurse you on the way home with the boob-dangle technique that I've perfected after our road trip experiences. Ultimately, we decided to just go with the flow and see what happened.

As usual, you handled the new experience remarkably well. When I arrived, you were happily bouncing between your father, grandparents, aunt, and uncles; clapping and cheering along with the crowd. Our seats were right behind the basket, but being so close to all of the action didn't seem to phase you a bit. You had a blast. We all had a blast! My only regret is that I wasn't able to be there with the rest of you from the beginning, but I'm glad to hear second hand how excited you were as the show got started.

To my surprise, you lasted until the end, having fun the entire time. It took you a while to wind down, which is to be expected, but even though your bed time ended up being a good two hours later than normal, there was no melt-down. It certainly didn't stop you from being up and at 'em at your usual 7:30 am!

As you grow, I need to loosen up a bit about changing up our routine and delaying your bed time for special occasions. You are proving to be a very resilient and adaptable little girl, and the fun we had as a big family was well worth the slight inconvenience of a baby up past her bed time!



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