Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our new baby!

On Wednesday evening at 8:35pm, our new daughter was born. She weighed in at 6 lbs 14 oz and was 19 inches long. The labor took a relieving 4 hours... relieving because our first baby took 36 hours of labor before entering the world.

Here's a picture of the family now. We're testing out two names for the baby and will decide soon.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I haven't called already. Love, the Leahys

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rewards for Good Behavior?

So, a few days ago, I took M with me to run a few errands (something I increasingly do as JoDee's pregnancy progresses) around town. One of the stops was at Blockbuster. JoDee had been excited to watch the movie Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow and I was tasked with the job of finding it.

Well, after I had found the copy that I hoped was the right one (I didn't know at the time that the Paltrow Emma was the one JoDee wanted to see), I went up to the register to rent it and found out I needed a new Bbuster card. The clerk gave me an application and the whole process took some time.

During this 10-15 minute period of time, M was playing with the candy in the aisle and, periodically, bringing a package up to me and showing it to me. I responded once with, "Yes, honey, that does look yummy! Would you mind putting it back?" And she did.

A few minutes later, she brought another piece of candy up to me: "Hmm, what kind of candy is that?" She told me she didn't know, but that we needed it. So I told her I was sorry but we weren't going to buy it.. unless she had some money. I asked her if she did and she said no. "I'm sorry, sweetie, but I guess we can't get it. Would you mind putting it back?" And she did.

Every parent knows how nice it is not to have to nag in public and I was grateful for M's good behavior. I wasn't the only person pleased by M either. A guy in the line behind me made a comment about what his grandchildren would be acting like and said he couldn't believe she was putting the candy back. I laughed and said, "Well, if she doesn't, she doesn't get to come with me next time. Not that she always behaves, mind you." The clerk made a comment about M and about how terribly behaved his 2-3 year old nephew was. This generated a short chat about the challenges his brother was facing as a single father and I wrote down the name of a book that had really helped JoDee and me with M.

Well, after all that fuss, I finally got the movie and was nearly leaving the shop when a lady came up to M and another boy that was behaving well and gave them both a small bag of candy that she had bought them for being such good children. M thanked her for the treat.


On the way home, I found myself musing at how M got rewarded for good behavior.. how pleased I was at her good behavior and how I hoped she wouldn't expect to get something every time she acted well in public. :D

Found something else that took place since my last post. M served a nice picnic breakfast or lunch, I have no idea what time of the day this took place but I'm still wearing my 'jammies,' so I'm hoping it was a breakfast event.

If you look closely, you can see some of her princesses and a little statue of Mary that JoDee had to buy while in Russia.. something about a glow-in-the-dark Mary that she couldn't resist.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


So I got a comment on my last post asking me about the benefits of using a midwife, and rather than go on another long soap box tirade about something I feel very strongly about (and a lot of my family has already heard many times. Sorry guys!) Let me just tell you my story really quick and point you where to go for better information than from me.

Let me start by saying, I'm a pain baby. I've always been really quick to take a pill to alleviate whatever might be feeling not quite right. So when it came to the idea of childbirth, I always knew I would be going straight to the hospital, getting whatever it takes to remove ALL pain, etc. no questions asked. Let someone else be a martyr.

Then I got married. My husband really wanted to try to not use drugs, for the baby's benefit. I thought, "Fat Chance!" but agreed to do some reading up on the subject. We had some really close friends in town who had their baby at home, with a midwife, hypnobirthing style, and a lot of other things that I thought were nuts, but her prerogative. More power to her. She loaned me a book however that changed my entire outlook.

I really appreciated this book as my first in a long line of reading, because it seemed to me to be a mostly unbiased look at all the different options and medical or nonmedical procedures that are available to women these days and compared them side by side exposing all their benefits and drawbacks; and then let you be the judge on what was best for you. My husband laughs, because as I read further and further along and just became educated in these things I knew so little of, my comments were... "Honey, I think maybe let's try no drugs after all..." "Honey, I think I'd like to use a midwife in the hospital..." "Honey, forget the hospital, I think I'd like to do this at home..." I think he got more than he bargained for when he started me on the reading route.

Anyway, the name of the book is "The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. And I would recommend this book as the first reading anyone should do if they would like to explore the options that are available to them in childbirth, including, but not limited to, the hospital/OB route.

I read several other books with my pregnancy with my daughter M, most of which I don't now recall, but this book really changed my entire outlook on what was best for both me and my baby when it came to birthing. I found myself wanting to take the same route that I had so ridiculed in my friend not too long before. It just made more sense to me now. Maybe she wasn't so crazy after all.

If after reading this book, you find yourself thinking that there may be more to midwifery than our popular society would have you believe, like I did, then there is one other book that I would recommend as strongly as the first. This one was given to me by my current midwife (we moved since our first child) and has left an equally strong impact on me and has solidified and given strong facts and statistics to back up my understanding of both superiority of the midwife model of birth and the greater safety it provides to both the mother and the baby. It's called "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin, one of the leading midwives in the country, who has attended literally thousands of home births, and is one of the foremost authorities on the subject. Seriously, I found this book to be a fascinating read.

Anyway, I don't profess to be an expert of any kind on this subject, but I did think I'd share with you all the two books that have influenced me the most in all my decisions in regards to my pregnancies and births. Then if you're really interested, you can read them and discover for yourself what is best for you. Ok, I'm really going to get down off my soap box now, and get back to blogging normal everyday stuff again. ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9 Months?

So it's official, I am exactly 36 weeks along in my pregnancy today!!

You know, this is our second child, so this really should not be a revelation (Maybe I was just too caught up in the newness, adventure, and excitement the first go round to pay attention to the whole "weeks" thing.) but I've been thinking recently about this whole tracking your progression by weeks rather than months thing and it hit me that I've been duped my entire life.

Everyone knows that the human pregnancy term is nine months, right? WRONG! It's all a scandalous sham that only serves to drive false hope and discouragement into the lives of already waddling, uncomfortable, and inpatient women. 9 months times 4 weeks per month is 36 weeks. Simple math. However, I am now officially 36 weeks along and am I anywhere close to delivering this baby? NO! My "due date" is still an entire month away (Oct 9th)! I still have another week before I'm even out of danger of life threatening prematurity, were the baby to come this early. We're not pregnant for 9 months, we're pregnant for 10! And I think it's shameless to perpetrate this false belief only to have our hope of delivery ripped out of our grasp in the last month of pregnancy when we need hope, support, and sympathy more than ever.

Ok, now I know what some of you are thinking: a month really isn't exactly 4 weeks. That really only applies to February. The rest of the months are 4 weeks and 2 or 3 days. But even with that consideration, the extras times 8 months (most pregnancies will include February somewhere along the line) is only a little over 2 weeks. So we're pregnant for 9 1/2 months. Kind and generous psychology would say that instead of rounding down in this estimation and generating false hopes of delivery only to be cruelly dashed away, we should be rounding up to a "almost 10 months" pregnancy and leave women with that pleasant surprise when it doesn't actually take a whole 10 months.

Instead a lifetime of trust in the 9 month pregnancy myth has been dishearteningly exposed to my eyes, and instead of looking forward to being almost done with waddling, itching, clothes that don't fit, tossing and turning at night, a shrunken bladder, tired legs, and all the wonderful experiences of the third trimester, I'm trying to reconcile myself to the fact that there's still a whole month for things to get worse, before they get better. Sigh!

Ok, enough of the soap box tirade. Aside from the impatient nature that I harbor, I really am excited and happy for this baby to be coming in the next month. 36 weeks means that my midwife visits are now being ramped up from every other week, to every week; my chiropractor visits are being ramped up from twice to three times per week and are changing focus from alignment to stretching and loosening joints and tendons in prep for the birth; I'm having to pay more attention to my posture and lounging habits to assure that this baby settles into an anterior position this time(Little M was a posterior baby; NOT fun!); and I've started collecting all the supplies and such so that our home will be stocked and ready for this birth, whenever she decides to make her appearance. Hey, maybe she'll be more impatient than M was and come a few weeks early, rather than a week late like M did. Here's to hoping!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day

This last weekend was Labor Day weekend. In addition to seeing the beautiful balloon-glow event Saturday evening, we went to see the ballloons launch on Monday morning. We caught up with John and Rachael at the park along with a number of other families that attend our ward. It was a fun time for the kids.

The balloons almost did not take off due to weather conditions. When we arrived at the park, the weather condition flag was showing yellow. Green, of course, is the all-clear indicator. Yellow indicates conditions are not optimal for balloons but it might still allow some intrepid ballooners to take off they wish (I may be mistaken about that--they might not be allowed to lift off unless the flag shows green.) Lastly, if the flag is showing red colors, the pilots can't lift off.
Skimming the lake. That is what makes lifting balloons off from Colorado Springs a bit different from other locations. The park that acts as the launching pad has a lake in the middle of it surrounded on most sides by trees. So, the pilots have to launch their balloons, clear a short tree line and touch their baskets to the surface of the water and then get up and over the trees on the other side of the lake. It's exciting to watch the pilots attempt this. Some pilots come down, get close to the water, and then fire too much hot air and miss the lake.

Others come down and sink their baskets into the water by a foot or so and are blasting their 'jets' to get up and out of the water asap (this also severely retards the speed of the balloon too). This guy looks like he was more than foot into the water.

The best performance is when a balloon just barely touches the surface of the lake and sort of coasts along for a bit before boosting up and over the trees on the other side. Two years ago, nearly all pilots attempted to skim the lake, but this year, due to the direction of the wind, most pilots simply took off into winds that carried them in other directions. This year, one pilot tapped the lake, lifted up a bit and then came back for another touch before moving on.
(you can see M saying 'cheese' for the camera in her cute poncho.)

M really enjoyed the balloons. She had the chance to help open up the United Van Lines balloon.

For me, seeing the balloons reminds me of one of my few memories with my father. He had taken my brother, Mike, and me to see balloons launch somewhere in Maryland or Pennsylvania when I was very young. All I really recall is the coldness of the morning, the dew on the grass, that it was really early and the box of donuts that we enjoyed-- A rare treat for us. You know, the kind with 4 plain, 4 powdered, and 4 chocolate covered... I could never understand why they wasted 4 good donut spots with plain ones. I wonder if M will remember this year's balloons.

We went to IHOP for breakfast and went home for naps. We finished off the day at a nearby park with the Schroeders and the Austens for a picnic dinner. I got to fly a kite which was a lot more fun than I ever expected it to be. The kids played in the playground. I'll see if we can get a picture or two from the other parents that were there.

Oh yeah. JoDee and I watched 'Next,' a pretty good flick with Nicolas Cage, Jessica Biel and Julianne Moore ( Inspired by the same author ( whose short stories gave us Minority Report, Blade Runner and Total Recall, this movie was a really fun one that we both enjoyed.