06 February 2009

7 Quick Takes

I had a conversation with my cleaning lady the other day about sex/nudity in the media. She said that Americans are prudes, that we think it's okay to watch people shooting each other, violent stuff, but not nudity, "which is natural." I gave her the point about violence; I stopped watching 24 a few seasons ago because, seriously? Our Hero Jack Bauer was torturing someone in every episode. Of course now we've gone back to watching it with the new season...New, Improved! Less torture and more burying alive!

But also, the sex thing? I listen to top 40 music on the radio, and for the most part it seems to be the same as it has always been. But the videos I've seen in passing are getting more and more raunchy. I don't know if I'd be so sensitive to it if I didn't have daughters. I just know that I do not want Katrina or Annika to grow up thinking that womanhood should look like a Pussycat Dolls or Beyonce video.

I've been involved in a writers critique group for about a year. Someone e-mails their work to the group and we give them feedback and constructive criticism at the meeting. It's so interesting to see how different everyone is and how it's reflected in their writing. I absolutely love critiqueing others' work--trying to make it better. More than I love writing my own stuff. I think I miss my former life as a copyeditor.

I'm a pretty good public speaker, at least if whatever I'm saying is written out. So I read the Scripture at church every so often. Whenever I do, I get compliments, particularly from the pastor, who probably has heard his share of indifferent or stumbling readers. But the compliments make me uncomfortable. Because it's not hard for me--I'm a reader, I love to read, out loud or not. It has nothing to do with virtue or hard work. And it actually makes me feel like I need to perform, which is not the best attitude to have while reading Scripture for the glory of God. So despite the fact that I enjoy doing it and am good at it, I don't sign up to read except once every few months.

Annika has taken 2- to 3-hour morning naps the last two days. I'm hoping it's a pattern. She has also been a bit more restless at night. I'm hoping it's NOT a pattern.

Katrina started karate last week. This week, I watched on the closed-circuit TV as she sparred with a little boy. The instructors had them all decked out in padding from head to toe, but I was still sure it would end up in tears. It didn't, though. She was just annoyed that she didn't win and that the little boy was stronger than she was. (He was also more experienced--he had a yellow belt and it only her second session ever.)

I've kept up with praying the hours, at least during the week. It gives me a bit of structure to my day. And reminds me that I am not the one in control. I have a long prayer list, suddenly, it seems. People struggling with cancer, with their marriages, with being deployed and coping with their spouse being deployed. All people I actually know personally. It helps to be reminded a few times a day there is a higher perspective...a longer view than what I or anybody can see.

My husband's been working on our taxes the last few weekends. Meanwhile, we keep hearing on the news about these prominent people who somehow get away with NOT paying them. So, the Congress spends our taxes but can't be bothered with paying taxes themselves? Nice deal if you can get it.

03 February 2009

First Bites

Annika had her 6-7 month well-baby appointment last Friday. She is doing very well, except that she is still anemic. So back on the iron. But the doctor said, "She's big!" with raised eyebrows and a surprised look on his face. (I, on the other hand, am not too surprised. We grow 'em big in this family and it was only a matter of time.) She's also about where she should be developmentally; the doc had recommended "baby gymnastics" (physical therapy) at her last appointment, which we didn't follow through on because of her surgery in November and going to the States in December. Now he still recommends it, but only in an "all babies would benefit" way.

We do need to make an appointment to see a pediatric cardiologist for an ultrasound of her heart. When she was born, she had a very small hole in her heart, which the doctors said was nothing to worry about and would probably close up on its own. Now is the time to see if that has happened.

It was also interesting to see first hand the difference a few decades make in how a doctor approaches the same issue. Annika's doc (who I'll Dr. Smith) is new to the practice, probably in his thirties. Katrina's doc (Dr. Smythe) is near retirement age (hence the addition of the young guy to the practice). Katrina has had minor stomach ailments on and off, and nearly every time I mention that I have celiac disease, and maybe we should check Katrina for it? Since it's genetic and all? And Dr. Smythe brushes me off (with the exception of the last time, when it finally seemed to register, but we still decided to see if it Zantac would help before doing other tests).

I mentioned that I have celiac to Annika's doc, in the context of when/what to feed her solid foods. Dr. Smith says, "Oh, we can do a genetic test next time we need to draw blood, just so you know if she's at risk. And she doesn't even need to be eating gluten for a genetic test." Score!

Also this week, Annika started on solids. We started with rice cereal, and I added some mashed banana after a few days. I was startled to realize how much I've forgotten about this stage. I remember Katrina loving sweet potato, but when did I introduce it? With Katrina, I did what I always do when faced with a new situation: read a million books about what to do and then decide. With Annika, I keep thinking, "I've done this before," and then totally wing it because my memory is so faulty! So, on order is Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter, which I remember as a very good book on feeding.

And, now, pictures of Annika's first feeding!