Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Mason Panzer Division

When Austin's parents came to visit after Mason was born, Terry helped Austin fulfill a longtime dream of his.....building a rocking tank. It started out as a hilarious discussion about how fun it would be, but seemed impossible. But those amazing Keaton men made it happen! It was so endearing to watch Austin becoming a new dad, and then working with his dad on such a cute project. The painting is still a work in progress, but Mason loves it! Spencer and Seth have big plans for some big kid upgrades--a real gun on the front, an engine, wheels, a remote control, etc. We'll wait until Mason actually grows into it first.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why wives shouldn't nag their husbands about their hobbies

Austin has always been obsessed with guns and shooting. I knew this dating him, I knew this when I married him.
He worked at a gun store for 4 1/2 years.
Our entire basement was dedicated to gun cleaning, repairing, ammo reloading, etc.
When we moved 40% of our possessions were guns and ammo related.
We can't use the coat closet downstairs in our townhouse because it has to house the gun safe.
We receive a regular subscription to Guns & Ammo magazine.
And monthly Austin has me do the "drill" where I show him that I know how to use the home defense shotgun in under five seconds.
Many times I have been tempted to be annoyed by this true love of his. I would hold my breath when anyone brought up the issue of gun control, knowing we were all in for a good rant.
He has always said that his absolute dream would be if he could teach history or turn his love of shooting into a career. I would usually give a nice sarcastic eye roll at that.

But I have been humbled.

I can't believe he was actually able to do the latter.

And he is amazing at this new job.

I've always assumed he knew quite a bit in this area, but I had no idea just how much he really knows. In four weeks at his new job he has become their source of all gun information. The people working there know ammunition since that's what they do. But no one knows as much about the actual guns as Austin does. He has answered questions for the board of directors during meetings, and his boss is having him fix one of his collector M1 Garands.

And earlier this week he discovered a manufacturing error in one of their lines of ammunition that will save the company millions of dollars. His boss's boss's boss came down to personally thank him.

The best part is that he is also learning a ton, which he loves to do. He comes home every day (at 4:30 which is awesome) and just seems over the moon about whatever it is he got to do that day. They actually pay him to go and shoot guns on their gun range. And talk to people all day about guns. And his boss was a history major and they talk history all day long. Austin has always gotten along best with anyone above the age of 60, and that describes about 90% of the people he works with. He is really just in heaven.

I am so proud of him and so happy for him.

And that was worth moving to Lewiston for.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The truth about natural birth

I read this article today called "The Truth About Epidurals". I was obviously expecting to be slightly annoyed at the content of it, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it was written. The information is presented in a biased, yes, but matter of fact way. Birth articles tend to get emotional, and this author did a good job. BUT....

What always drives me crazy about these kinds of discussions on the birth issue is that natural birth does not mean just no epidural. It means so many other things. I chose to have our baby outside of the hospital because I wanted the option to NOT have....Pitocin, unnecessary IV fluids, antibiotic eye ointment, Hep B vaccine, to not have to deliver on my back, to not have a ticking clock on my labor progression, or an automatic induction if I was overdue, etc.

If I had just wanted no epidural, I probably would have delivered in a hospital, like so many women do just fine. But so many of those other standard protocol interventions were not what I wanted as part of our birth experience, and I believe many of them would have made it harder to give birth without pain medication. And the fact that they don't offer, at least where we live, alternative methods to coping with pain is pretty backwards to me. None of the hospitals in Utah offer a birthing tub at all. A CNM told me that they can't let women labor in tubs because the malpractice insurance won't cover them if they do. So that tells me that their decisions during my birth would be made based on pleasing their insurance company rather than on what was best for me as an individual.

Maybe epidurals are better than they were 20 years ago as the article states, but it does not change the fact that birth has been overmedicalized in a billion other ways. And it IS a slippery slope of interventions, no one can deny that. The author of the article even said that she blames her emergency C-section on the fact that she was medically induced.

I'm not someone who judges how other women give birth, I think it's a fundamental right for women to choose that experience for themselves. But what does bother me is the lack of research that women put into how they will give birth. I wish women read more books or just talked more openly about childbirth experiences. Make an INFORMED decision rather than just going in blindly hoping things go okay. Maybe I'm just a control freak and wanted to know every detail of everything that could happen to me during childbirth. But everything went exactly how I had hoped, and I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful experience. And I believe that being prepared and informed was 99% of why it went so well for us.

But I don't know the other side because I obviously have never had an epidural, or hospital birth, or an emergency that required medical intervention. I love to hear any birth experiences, and would love it if anyone wants to share theirs and how they made that decision!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I read this cute article today about following Dad's lead when it comes to certain aspects of parenting.
Austin has already taught me so many things just watching him take care of Mason. And I don't think he had ever held a baby before we had our own, so it's all instinct with him.
He was the first one brave enough to put Mason in the real tub when he was clearly too big for the infant one.
Or he lets him stand up against walls and furniture that I would never consider, but Mason is totally capable.
Even Austin's willingness to just take him to the store for a quick errand when I feel like it's a hassle to put him in the car seat and drag him out.
Sometimes Austin will take Mason in the mornings if he doesn't have to work so I can sleep in a little bit. I'll come downstairs to find Mason either just in a diaper or some crazy outfit, playing in a giant pile of toys. And he is always absolutely delighted.
Or this afternoon when I came out of the kitchen and found Mason in a giant box. He played in that box for over an hour, having the time of his life.
Who would think of that except a Dad?
I'm grateful that our little guy will grow up with the influence of both parents. Daddy is fun, but someone has to do the laundry. =)

Skyping with Grandma and Grandpa from his new box home.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gender Wars

I read a couple of articles about "gender disappointment" before I got pregnant and thought it was pretty far-fetched.
{The sociologist in me has to make a disclaimer that this really should be called SEX disappointment, because it's the sex of the baby that is being discussed, not technically gender. But I guess that would make for a really weird title of an article}
I came across another article today. It meant something completely different to me now, having a child of my own, and especially having a boy. Now I realize that it's absolutely absurd. Apparently moms who are disappointed most often are those who found out they were having boys instead of girls.
Read it here if you like: get pregnant {miracle}, you have a perfect, beautiful little baby {miracle}. And you're going to act disappointed that you can't dress it the way you imagined? Or you can't buy the toys you always pictured? Or because you swore it was supposed to be a girl and how did this mix up happen?

Am I opposed to having a girl? Absolutely not. I love the relationship I have with my mom and would love to have that someday if we have a daughter.
But will I actually go through depression if we continue to have boys?
I certainly hope I will have a little more perspective than that.
Maybe I'm way off base and tons of people feel this way. It really just never crossed my mind to have a true and honest preference to the point of being worried that I wouldn't get what I had pictured.

People always asked us before we found out the sex of the baby what we "wanted".
Well, we wanted a baby.
That's why we got pregnant.
And thank the heavens, the ultrasound confirmed that it was just what we always wanted.
A sweet, darling baby.

Who would be disappointed in this?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I decided that this would be my year for actually writing down and making a plan for keeping some New Year's resolutions. Austin and I set a lot together, and our first one is the most typical of all resolutions--to lose 10 pounds. Everyone says "I'm gonna lose weight" and then they just keep doing whatever they're doing and just act confused about why they're not making their goal.
So we are going to do it in 6 weeks, and do it by more closely following the diet we were given by our homeopathic nutritionist Cecelia.
I've been doing the diet for Mason's sake since the beginning of November, but with the move and the holidays it was really hard to keep it up as strictly as I should have been. Basically it's no dairy, no soy, no gluten. ALL organic-fruits, vegetables, seasonings, everything. Free range chicken and turkey and only grass-fed organic beef.
It's definitely a life adjustment, but I feel amazing when I'm sticking to it. And it doesn't feel at all like deprivation. I get to eat things I never would have when I was dieting before-like peanut butter, nuts, organic potato chips, etc. Eating this way has gotten me 6 pounds under what I weighed when I got pregnant. But as every mother knows, things still aren't the same as before, it's like everything shifted around. I'm pretty sure I will have muffin tops for the rest of my life no matter what I do. =)
Part of my goal is to start exercising on a more regular basis again. I was doing spin class again and I LOVE it, but we decided not to renew our gym membership cause it's so expensive. And it's hard with a 7 month old to find the time/motivation. Any moms have a good suggestion for me? Anything that's worked for you?
I figure writing out my goal on my blog will motivate me to actually stick to it. I'll give some updates on our progress as we embark!
What are you New Year's resolutions for 2012??

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Our Town

Lewiston Idaho is a darling little town.
There are a lot of quirky, one of a kind things that we've discovered in just the week that we've lived here so far.
But it's also missing a few things.
Main Street is adorable, with the coolest old vintage buildings. There are so many spaces that would make for a perfect....

breakfast cafe
dessert shop
clothing boutique
ice cream shop
vintage store
stationary/paper shop
organic foods store

Just to name a few.
I guess we'll have to live here a little longer and then see if we are brave enough to try to fill a niche with our own store.
I've always wanted to do that, and this feels like the perfect place!
Anyone want to encourage/discourage/tell me I'm crazy for even considering opening a business in this kind of economy?? I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Two Idahoans and a Baby

I am totally lame. I'm sorry about the complete lack of blogging. Isn't it ironic that when nothing is going on in our lives I write more blogs because I have time, but now that a billion things have happened, I've written nothing at all? This habit coincides nicely with my journal writing, sadly. Which is why New Year's Resolution #7 is NOT to blog more, but to write in my journal more consistently.

Anyway, I have no pictures to post because we do not have a camera cord easily accessible as of late. But I will post later. For now, here's a little update.

We moved to Lewiston, Idaho one week ago. The drive took 16 1/2 hours (10 1/2 at normal speed) because we had the truck hauling the car and had to go super slow. Siara and Tyler are saints and drove up with us so that I wouldn't have to drive alone with the babe. Mason was a little trooper. I think he cried about ten minutes of the entire trip. He slept, played, ate, and enjoyed listening to the Republican debates in New Hampshire with us. We made it safely and were able to unload the truck and unpack a good portion of the house while Siara and Ty were still here. Austin LOVES his job. He works four 10 hour days, so we have 3 day weekends permanently. And his commute is about 3 minutes, so we get to see him for his lunch breaks too. We love the town so far, it's extremely reminiscent of Camas, WA where I grew up--even has a paper mill and a little downtown theater called The Liberty! And thankfully, our townhouse is nice. We were concerned since we decided to rent it based only on pictures and not having seen it in person. We are adjusting well to the area, I haven't cried in 4 days. =) I don't miss Utah, just the people there. Particularly my sissy. I've never lived anywhere that she wasn't there with me. And that's all I'm going to say about that cause I might break my 4 day no crying streak.

Little Mason man is 7 months old now. He weighs 20 pounds even and I'm not sure of his length because I haven't unpacked my sewing box and don't have a measuring tape. =) But he is definitely a chubby, healthy baby. He is starting to crawl, getting on his hands and knees and scooching around. He can make his way all around a room gathering his toys. And as I'm writing this he made his way up to the couch and is currently trying to pull himself up. Uh-oh. Better babyproof ASAP! Our little night owl still doesn't sleep through the night, but it's tolerable. And I just read an article that says that gifted children have a hard time sleeping through the night because they can't "tune out the world that they are so interested in learning about". We'll just pretend that's the case here. It will be my one solace, that possibly I'm mentoring a genius at 4 am every day. He typically only wakes up once, and he has a cold and is teething and we just uprooted everything he was familiar with to move to a new place. So I can see where he's still struggling. He is an absolute delight to play with, he is so curious and interested in everything. He loves books and will pay close attention while he's read to. He LOVES to be sung to still. Anything will do, as long as we sing it really enthusiastically. And he still loves Taylor Swift, she saved us a few times on the drive up. He's eating solids regularly now, his favorites are peas, avocado, potatoes, pears, and bananas. He's not the biggest fan of sweet potatoes and carrots, but we are working on a good variety of veggies so he still gets them in the line up. He has two teeth, the two bottom front, and he likes to chomp your fingers with them. He's babbling more word-like sounds now, and I secretly tell him to say "mama" all day while we're together. =) He is a seasoned little traveler as well. He had been to 6 states by the time he was 6 months old, has been on a plane three times, and one looooong road trip.

Okay that's all for now because we have a huge day ahead of us running errands and finishing setting up the house. I LOVE this new 3 day weekend schedule! We can get so much more done!! Which I'm sure is exactly what Austin is thinking....=)