My Halloween Queen & Pumpkin!

HAPPY HALLOWE’EN 2008!

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October 31, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Wooden Anniversary & Phillies World Title

The Phillies are World Champions! And yes the baby is officially a Phils fan! However I did buy the baby a pair of Brewers socks during my weekend in Milwaukee. Shira and I recently enjoyed our fifth anniversary. Traditionally it is referred to as the wooden anniversary. I’m holding the personalized wooden Brewers bat recently given to me by Grandpa Ray. Shira is holding the wooden platter I gave her for the momentous day. Phils win this week, now let’s elect Obama!

October 30, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Five Year Wedding Anniversary!

Here’s a pic from our wedding day five years ago! Mike snapped this photo in front of the family tree Neila made for us. We are looking forward to all of the fun (and challenges) that come with our addition to the family tree. Happy anniversary to my wondrous and magical wife!

October 25, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Phils vs Ray!?!

Shira + baby in Vet Seats

Shira + baby in Vet Seats

No Grandpa Ray is not singlehandedly taking on the Phillies. He’s cheering them on in Cherry Hill vs. the actual Rays! Over the years he has been very generous in improving our baseball memorabila. Last night we watched game 1 of the Phillies World Series quest from our seats from Veterans Stadium that Grandpa Ray bought us.

 Hey if you can’t beat em join em, right. I’m supporting the family cause and cheering on the Phils. Grandpa Ray recently bought me a replica of the Brewer’s County Stadium and a personalized Brewer’s Louisville Slugger. In 2007, we took a family trip to Citizens Bank. Here is a snapshot:

October 23, 2008. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

My Little Pumpkin

My mommy (Grandma Cheryl!) used to tell me that when I was born she briefly called me her “little pumpkin” because it was around pumpkin season.  Well, it’s that time of the year again, and yesterday Allie and I went pumpkin picking at a patch on Wilkens Farm.  This year I couldn’t pick and carry a really large one, but I chose a nice one that’s perfect for carving.  Stay tuned for pictures of our carved pumpkins!

Someone turned their baby into a pumpkin ?!?

Earlier that morning before we went pumpkin picking, we took a tour of the hospital where we will be giving birth.  One of the nurses took us around and showed us the various rooms, some with birthing tubs and some with birthing beds.  I didn’t know this beforehand, but the nurse told us that when a woman gives birth in a tub, she has to get out before she delivers the placenta.  So basically, you would have to get out of the tub almost immediately afterward in order to do that, which seems like unnecessary moving around after having struggled to give birth.  My guess, however, is that the nurses don’t want to have to de-clog the drains of placenta.  Yummy.

In 2005, I was lucky enough to be in the birthing room of a good friend of mine.  After she gave birth, the doctor took what looked like a large yellow Tupperware bowl and caught the placenta (or most of it anyway) with it.  Who knew that Tupperware would come in handy in a birthing room!  They never mention that at the parties.  I think it’s a selling point.

If anyone out there have any pros or cons regarding tub birthing, let me know.  I want the whole story!

Allie is “with pumpkin”:

October 21, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Pumpkin Patch

This morning we made our official visit to Phelps Memorial Hospital. I’m sure Shira will go more into detail so I’ll just let you know after our visit we made our annual trek a little farther up the Taconic to Wilkens Farm. Shira carried our “pumpkin” around the patch as we each picked out our pumpkins for this years carving. We saw some wild turkeys on the way up and Shira commented “See you on Thanksgiving!” This was extra funny to me because Shira is typically very caring and kind to animals. This was particularly “out of character” but I guess she and the baby are jonesing for Thanksgiving turkey. It was another thrilling day as we paid a visit to Randi & her family. Neila showered us with books and then it was off to see the nephews and crew.

October 20, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Got Milk?

I am going to breastfeed my baby.  I am reading all about breastfeeding, and I also think I will work with a lactation counselor when the time comes.  I’ll also be using a breast pump.  I was advised by Angela (Allie’s sister, Aunt Angela!) that I should stick with the single breast pump as opposed to the double because it takes some concentration to pump just one breast, let alone two at a time.  But when Allie and I were at the midwives’ group the other day, we picked up this pamphlet, just in case we change our mind:

Apparently for busy moms on the go!  Imagine if the person on the other end of the phone line knew that while they are discussing the quarterly reports, Mom is double-pumping her milk – with no one the wiser!  It must be important to have your datebook open while double pumping breast milk, just in case you pump into your next appointment.

I hear that breast feeding feels very nurturing, and also helps to strengthen the bond between mother and child.  I’m looking forward to trying!

I wonder if Allie wants to breastfeed too.  We could go buy that contraption that Robert Deniro wears in Meet the Parents, where he sports a breastfeeding apparatus for men.  I tried to find a picture on the internet of him wearing it, but alas, all I found was this:

Notice that this man is also holding a fake baby.  I think he has issues.  It just goes to show you – you can find almost anything on the internet, except Robert Deniro breastfeeding.

Today I finally had my pre-natal massage at the Village Day Spa.  It was amazing!  She turned me into mush and my back felt much better when I left.  Debbie the massage therapist that worked on me pinpointed exactly where on my back it was knotted up and hurting (although it was a full body massage, pre-natal style, of course).  I’ve been having back pains since my belly has grown and I’ve had to tilt my body slightly backwards in order to balance.  I was so glad to finally have a massage.  I think I might get another one in my third trimester, which is coming up soon!

I am in week 26 right now, which is about 5 months and three weeks (I know the math doesn’t add up, but they count the weeks leading up to conception as well).  While my doctor’s due date for me is January 22nd, I could give birth anywhere from about two weeks before that date to two weeks after, so January is actually a “due month.”  The Hypnobirthing instructor calls it a “guess date.”

It’s almost baby season!

October 16, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Phils win the Pennant!

Shira and the baby cheer on their Phillies in the first game of the 2008 playoffs! As we begin the third trimester our home (and the ballfield) remain festive. On our fifth anniversary the World Series returns to Philadelphia for the first time since 1993. Yesterday we had an appointment with Robin our midwife. News remains good and we appreciate all of the kind words you have all said about this blog. This has been one of the quickest autumns imaginable and I look forward to sharing more memories and moments.

October 16, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Alive and Kickin’

Oh boy! (or girl).  I am feeling pretty big kicks now.  One kick was so big that one of my cats, who was

barefoot and pregnant

barefoot and pregnant

sitting on my lap last night, moved her paw involuntarily where the baby kicked.  I literally saw my belly move.  The cat wasn’t really paying any attention, though.

Allie and I have signed up for a special HypnoBirthing class which begins mid-November.  In Hypnobirthing, we will learn relaxation and self-hypnosis techniques, which will help us to eliminate fear and tension during labor.  Apparently, when a woman gives birth, she may fear the pain, which actually prolongs the labor process (because the birthing mother may go into fight-or-flight mode, which draws blood away from your womb, where you need your strength, and into your arms and legs).  Being as comfortable and as confident as possible in myself sounds good to me!  In our introductory “class”, we also learned that there will be two important breathing techniques to use during “surges” (the new word for contractions).  It all sounds very interesting, but the true test will be in the birthing room.

Allie and I were talking to his parents the other night about a special that was aired on PBS many years ago about the birthing process, culminating with the mother giving birth.  Ralph and I both thought it was made in the 70’s, but according to PBS, it was made in 1983.  I clearly remember watching this show, and how amazed I was.  I just Googled it, and wouldn’t you know, it’s available on DVD!  Not only that, but there was a sequel made in the year 2000, and you can even watch the sequel online here. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/miracle/program.html)

Before Allie and I moved from New Rochelle to Bronxville, where we are now, we were cleaning out the basement and I found some old watercolors that I did a while ago.  A number of them were birthing or fertility themed.  It’s funny to go back and look at the stuff I’d created because I was so removed from it.  I must have been really obsessed with the birthing process, even though at the time I created the paintings, I certainly was not ready to have children.  But the amazement of pregnancy and childbirth still moved me enough to create art about it.  And now I’m getting ready to create the most important work of my life (until the next kid)!

What’s really interesting to me is that for thousands, even tens of thousands of years, humans have been using art to emulate and honor fertility and childbirth.  It must be instinctive.  I found a few examples and have posted them here:

Venus of Willendorf – neolithic

Venus of Willendorf (from the Neolithic period) is a fertility goddess, showing her full, nurturing breasts and a shapely body that is pregnant-ready.

Venus of Willendorf (from the Neolithic period) is a fertility goddess, showing her full, nurturing breasts and a shapely body that is pregnant-ready.

Cybele, Roman Goddess of Fertility

Cybele, the Goddess of Fertility, the sculpture by Mihail Chemiakin, in front of Mimi Ferzt Gallery in Soho, on Prince Street. - 20th century, which closely copies the multi-breasted ancient sculptural depictions of the Roman Goddess Artemis

Cybele, the Goddess of Fertility, sculpture by Mihail Chemiakin, in front of Mimi Ferzt Gallery in Soho, on Prince Street, NYC. (20th century)

The above sculpture closely resembles the multi-breasted ancient sculptural depictions of the Roman Goddess Artemis:

Artemis, ancient Rome

Artemis (black), ancient Rome

Artemis, ancient Rome

Artemis (white), ancient Rome

Next, I found a picture of a reproduction of the awesome Sheila-na-gig, whose figure appeared all over old Irish churches before the 16th century:

Sheila-na-gig, Irish, 16th century.  Top o'the mornin' to ya.  Oh, HELLO!

Sheila-na-gig, Irish, 16th century. Top o' the mornin' to ya. Oh, HELLO!

Goddess Ixchel (Mayan) - this is a modern rendition of Ixchel, who, as a fertillity goddess, is pictured with a rabbit, another symbol of fertility.  Allie gave this sculpture to me as a present.

Goddess Ixchel (Mayan) - this is a modern rendition of Ixchel, who, as a fertility goddess, is pictured with a rabbit, another symbol of fertility. Allie gave this sculpture to me as a present.

The above is Goddess Ixchel, sacred to the ancient Mayans of Mesoamerica.

African fertility statue – This couple reminds me of me and Allie, even though our baby hasn’t come out yet:

This statue of African fertility is said to bring couples good luck in wanting to conceive.

This statue of African fertility is said to bring couples good luck in conception.

Israel rock carving, woman giving birth – located in one of the most popular archeological sites in Israel:

israel_rockcarving

Israel rock carving of a woman giving birth (Timna, Egyptian period, from the 13th to the 12th Century BCE)

Egyptian mother squatting and giving birth, assisted by two goddesses (Hathor and Taweret),from the Temple of Hathor at Dendera:

What a relief!  Ancient Egypt - Woman giving birth

What a relief! Ancient Egypt - Woman giving birth

Below is the Hindu Goddess Kali depicted as giving birth.  This is unusual because Kali is most often depicted as the Goddess of destruction and transformation.  But it does make sense because I believe that when a woman gives birth, she is between life and death, which is transformation.

Kali

Kali

October 7, 2008. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Somethings Brewin

9th Row View

9th Row View

It was one of those weeks just wish wouldn’t end, but then again when it did we became one week closer to baby! While I didn’t find a Menard’s or Piggly Wiggly during my stay in Milwaukee, Dave and I did make a huge haul of Brewers gear at Kohls. We arrived early to the stadium and I received a tour before the gates opened! I was glued to my seat and was in the center of the Brewers universe. It was a homecoming of sorts. There was of course the rare Brewer playoff win!  I arrived home early Sunday and my parents kindly drove me home. I bought the baby a pair of infant Brewer socks. I have felt several more kicks from the baby as it has been very active. Shira described it as moving furniture today.

During game 1 in Philadelphia, we were interviewed by a Milwaukee radio jockey.  Here’s the snippet:

(If for some reason the video doesn’t show up on here, you can go to YouTube.)

October 6, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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