Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2 glimpses

Christmas Eve church service.
Both kids have been wonderful.
5 minutes left.
Willa's getting restless and starts talking louder and louder about the music, about the candles, about her tights...
I whisper that she needs to be quiet for just a little longer.
The minister announces a time for quiet prayer.
Willa talks louder.
I again ask her to be quiet.
She yells, "Mama, you're driving me CRA-ZY!"
Surrounding old ladies chuckle.

Minutes after this, the choir is singing "Silent Night."
It's beautiful.
Jim is holding Henry.
I turn to smile at him and notice he's wiping his eyes.

I leave church feeling very, very blessed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Willa's imagination and Sinki status check

Willa just told me she'd like to go to 10 more stores today. All by herself. She's planning to go to the caterpillar store and the star store (where she plans to pick herself up a worm). When asked how she's going to get there she informed me she'd drive herself in a purple van, and she'd turn on music by herself. Soundtrack of choice? "Go for G" by They Might Be Giants.

I have in my back pocket a little post about my ride on the postpartum depression water slide. I'll be putting that up in a few days. For now, please know that having a baby (both times) make this naturally inclined homebody an outright hermit. If you've been feeling neglected, you're probably not alone. Time, a healthy baby, and medication have been making things much, much better, so Feliz Navidad to my psyche.

As I type, Willa is sharing her recently acquired fact that caterpillars turn into butterflies with Jim. Her eyes get wide when she whispers, "they turn into butterflies."

Rounding out the rest of the family check in, Henry is asleep and snoring on my lap. Jim is sitting on the floor with Willa on his lap rhapsodising about Christmas cookies. He's on day #3 of antibiotics, waging a war against ear infection #438 of the year. It's in his good ear, and making him nearly completely deaf. The doctor's connected him with a specialist, and next week we might find he needs tubes.

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone. Drive safe, hug your family, don't forget to leave treats for the reindeer.

Fa la la la la

Whoooo-wheeeee, I'm beat. We just had an exhausting 5 hour shopping extravaganza, and - save 2 $5 purchases at the grocery store - we're done! One might think hopping from store to store with a 2 year old and a 9 week old would be tricky, but it was a breeze. Even at the end of the night, Willa wanted to go to "more stores, please." There was a bit of a rocky moment when, faced with Santa, she turned shy. We have a lovely photo of Henry on Santa's lap (coming soon to a blog near you), and a less lovely photo of Willa's face with Santa about 15 feet behind her.

Christmas shopping has made Henry and I more familiar with fitting rooms along 28th street. In a pinch, sitting on the floor is a comfortable nursing environment.

I'm so, so, so excited for Christmas morning - and the Saturday after (when my family will gather)!

Off to bed...

Monday, December 22, 2008


"I want to write a letter for my cousins."
"You do? What do you want the letter to say?"
"C. And E."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowy days

While Henry was turning 2 months old, it snowed. A lot. And then it snowed even more.

Luckily, the snow removal crew works for snow nibbles and hot chocolate.

The dogs have been enjoying the season too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

No John-boys around these parts

Some examples of final words before going downstairs, leaving our sweet 2 year old to read a final book to herself by the dim globe night light:

"Goodnight, Bert."
-giggle- "Goodnight, Ernie."

"Goodnight peanut butter."
"I not peanut butter! You peanut butter!"
"Okay, goodnight jelly."
"Goodnight peanut butter."

"Goodnight Miss Piggy."
"Goodnight Kermit."

"Goodnight cutie-pants."
-giggle - "Goodnight cutie-pants."

"I love you soooooo much."
"I love you too."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Right this second...

Henry is in his bouncy chair cooing at the Christmas tree. Willa is playing with her train set. Jim is going through today's huge newspaper. He asked Willa what he should get me for Christmas. Her response? "Umm..... a dino-saur. Willa would like a dinosaur too." She held up both hands. Jim said, "10 dinosaurs?!"
"Yes! I would hold them a lot," she said while fixing the livestock fence from the train set.

Friday, December 05, 2008

More on the Santa Claus birds

I should say that I did not invent these guys. It's a fib at least 2 generations old now. Growing up, my parents saw the birds while my sister and I were arguing, or my brothers were getting into something they should. They also checked in on our cousins. And on Christmas Day, there were little notes in a special stocking ornament. The notes were reports Santa received from the birds about good behavior they observed: Lisa's been good at setting the table. Bill's been doing his homework, Brian is picking up his toys, Amy is -as always- the benevolent eldest sibling (ha ha, right mom?).
The Birds are evolving, as our Santa Claus Birds were invisible. I've changed that up - I think Willa would see right through the claim of invisibility.
HA! Get it? See right through.... invisibility. peeking outside to see if my invisible Santa Claus birds appreciate a good pun.

A related holiday tidbit: Willa is worried about seeing Santa right now. We watched Shreck the Halls on tv the other night. It showed Santa eating the head off of a walking and talking gingerbread girl. Anyone else have to convince a 2 year old that Santa is not likely to chew on their head?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Deception in the name of good oral health

Willa's gone on a tooth brushing strike this week. Protesting sibling-hood through the promotion of tooth decay, that one. Lucky for me - and her 20 precious baby teeth - Christmas is around the corner.

"Willa," I said this morning, "remember when mama told you that Santa Claus brings presents to boys and girls if they've been good? Well, Santa can't watch all kids all of the time, so he has helpers watching. His helpers are birds, and mama just saw your Santa Claus bird peeking in the window. So... do you think you should brush your teeth now?"

On the ride to school this morning, Willa and I talked about the Santa Claus birds. Hers, she told me, was a red bird. Instantly I thought of Cardinals, one of the birds we might actually see out the window this winter: jackpot!

Some bloggy business:
Jim asks that I mention that it's MaKenna on my lap in the photo below, and that Willa has not had a remarkable growth spurt that turned her into a four year old. HGH, to answer your question, she liked the new do.
Thanks to all of you for your words about both the haircut and the birth story. Kerri, I imagine that the docs okayed stadol and not an epidural because an epidural may have stalled contractions again and we did NOT want that.
Heather, I would totally be there to coach you on Wed, but I think I'd be too late by then. Good luck, I know you're doing a great job.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A little off the back

Finally. It's gone. During pregnancy, I grew my prenatal vitamin and hormone boosted hair out with plans to donate it.
Last week, Erin the fabulous came over with baby Brody and liberated my head from 10 plus inches.
Willa didn't notice until hours later when I held up one of the gigantic ponytails. She looked from the hair to me, "mommy! You have funny hair. Fix it! Put it back!" No dice, kiddo.
This mane is Pantene bound, ready to be made into a wig for a woman with cancer.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Henry, inside out

I know, I know... you've been sitting at your computer just waiting for the rest of the story of Henry's birth, right? When I left you I had just started - after what seemed like months of receiving pitocen - a good pattern of contractions that put me in active labor. And now, as Paul Harvey would say, here's the rest of the story. A lot happened pretty quickly (from the end of this sentence to holding Henry was 3 hours and 15 minutes), so I'm not sure I have all the details exactly right.

First, I forgot to tell you that I had asked the nurse if breaking my water would prevent the necessity of labor inducing meds. She told me that the baby had moved back up the birth canal and was so high that breaking the water would make contractions more painful and less productive. So, no...

Okay, so I'm in a hospital bed, on my side still, in full back labor. And that hurts. Jim and I discovered that if he pushed his balled up hands against my lower back on either side of my spine through the contraction, I found relief. After about an hour and a half of this, the attending doctor checked dilation. I came in at a 4 and after an hour and half, I was still at a four.

"Sarah," I said, "I think I want to just talk to someone about an epidural."

Ninety minutes and not even a centimeter of progress? After a pretty sleepless night? And how long is this going to take? Can I do hours and hours of labor like this? I wasn't sure and wanted to discuss options and float the idea.

Except I wasn't a candidate for an epidural with no progress. And for the second time in 24 hours, I nearly cried. Nurse Sarah called my doctor to go over the situation. My doctor called my room. "Honey, I know you're having a hard time," she said. And then suggested a medicine called stadol. If I could go an hour on that we'd reassess. Between contractions we reviewed the merits of it. With Willa, I took stadol and felt absolutely no relief. But, it seemed this was the only option for a gal stuck lying on her side, in a heap of pain, and not progressing.

Just a few minutes after the stadol was added to my IV, I was more relaxed. Stadol didn't dull any pain for me. It dulled how much I seemed to care about it. I also stopped worrying that we'd have to replace the hospital's bed if I had broken it while using my kung fu-woman-in-labor grip on the side rails.

We continued.

After a while, I asked again about breaking my water. The nurse said she'd talk to my doctor about it now that I had a good amount of active labor and no progress. I whimpered a little through my next contraction. I heard Nurse Sarah tell Jim, "I think she can do this soon, and without an epidural."

That, more than any medicine prepared me for the last part. I started saying "I can do this" with every contraction. Jim said it with me. At some point, my mom joined us in the room, and I think she was saying it too.

Someone checked my dilation, and I had progressed a lot in a short amount of time. It was time to call the doctor who was at home cleaning up her son's birthday party. It was, in fact past time.

And she took forever to get there. We couldn't break the water bag until she got there because it would go fast after that. At that point any loyalty I had to Dr. B was gone. I was thinking break the water and Jim can catch the baby. Still, we waited.

There was construction, and roads closed because of the city's big marathon, but she got there. The water bag was tough and took a few tries to break (this involves catching a tool that looks a lot like a crochet hook on the membrane that holds the amniotic fluid). Dr. B said it was so tough it was likely keeping the baby from descending into the narrow birth canal. There was a gush.

A few contractions later I felt the distinct urge to - I'm sorry there's no delicate way to put this - poop. And even though I knew what this meant in the delivery process, I remember being concerned that the medical staff - there were a lot of nurses and my doctor and a few in training it seemed, and they were all casually chatting as though they were having coffee - would not let me get up to visit the bathroom.

I told the nurse that I would like to watch the delivery in a mirror. I had done this with Willa, and it empowered me to get through 3 hours of pushing. She called for a mirror.

And then I started pushing. No one told me too, I wasn't trying to, my body took over. I said out loud, "I don't know if I should stop, but I can't stop pushing." And it felt sooo good.

There was no time to break the bed apart for the birth. There was no time for stirrups. I am pretty sure I had enough time to roll from my side to my back.

I asked about the mirror again, and Dr. B asked if I wanted to reach down to touch my baby's head. I was astounded I (mostly because the last 6 paragraphs all happened in about 4 minutes). I started to reach down, but before I could get there, I had another contraction that my body pushed through. And a newborn baby - sticky, white, slimy and wailing - was placed on my chest.

And at this point, I did cry. Joy, relief, and feeling like the most powerful and lucky woman on the planet.

There was no epidural. There were stadol and bed rails. There were Jim's hands and words and comfort. There was knowing my mom was in the corner (this was not planned, she was there to offer labor comfort and things progressed so quickly it was a "are you in or out" scenario), quietly in awe and watching the birth of her grandson. There was the incredible nurse who gave me the confidence that I could do it.
In the following days, I was amazed at the strong partnership that Jim and I shared during this birth. He was right there, doing and saying and being everything I needed. I was amazed with my body and its ability to take over and do what came naturally. My blood pressure was back to normal.
Most importantly, I was amazed with the new little life that joined our family. Henry James, we're so glad you're here!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What we did tonight...

Here are my favorite 3 little birds singing along with Elizabeth Mitchell and her daughter on CD. At over 2 minutes, it's long but if you stick around, you'll see Willa befuddled about seeing herself on the other side of my camera phone as well as a bonus feature Henry's belly zurbert.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dispatches from Willaville and Grandmas

When singing along with the song from Mary Poppins, Willa shouts, "Let's go fly a kite and send it snoring." Instead of "soaring."

She calls the big guy in the fur trimmed red suit "Snow Claus."

She turns the baby swing on. I ask her to turn it off. She says, "I want it on." "Mama said 'turn it off." She stands with her hands on her hips, "I said turn it on." Someone needs to learn the hierarchy of the Sinkis.

Aside from Willa, it was a big day for Grandmas.

My mom was here for a nice visit which included a trip to the Meijer Gardens. There was a photographer from the Press following us, hoping to get a shot for today's blurb on their holiday display. I checked today's paper. They ran a photo of a younger girl who was very cute and put together. Her mom must be very efficient as it looked as though the cherub even had her hair brushed. I'm kidding, we do brush Willa's hair. Her new coat creates enough static to power a small town.

Jim's mom had a different kind of adventure: triple bypass surgery. She came out of it well, and now has a tough recovery ahead of her. If you are a good thoughts sender, she could use some sent her way.

I know I owe the blog and it's gentle readers part 2 of Henry's birth story. Coming soon! Promise. In the meantime, here's what's been distracting me:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One month old

Today Henry turned a month old. We celebrated by smiling (real smiles from him for the first time today!) at each other for a while. The rest of the day he was pretty grumpy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Henry is born: part 1

This is going to be long and, perhaps for many of you, boring. This is the story of Henry's birth. This blog exists for many reasons, and one of them is that I no longer keep a personal journal. I'm writing this for Jim and myself primarily. And Henry too, should he ever care to know the details. But if you want to read, please go ahead...

A blood pressure of 170/100 bought my ticket to Labor and Delivery on Friday, 10/17/08. Pregnancy induced hypertension, over time, can age a placenta prematurely. However, the immediate concern is for the mother's health.

I left my doctor's office and called Jim. "What are you doing?" "I'm leaving leaving Lowes and driving back to work." "You're going to have to turn around. It's time to have a baby." Jim and I arrived at St. Mary's at about 3 pm ready to have a baby. Now. At 6:40 pm, pitocen (the contraction inducing med) was started at the lowest level of .5.
Some historical notes: I needed pitocen with Willa's birth as my water had broken and contractions hadn't started on their own. Because of an infection risk, babies in this case should be born within 24 hours of the water breaking. My experience with my first birth ended well, but was not - at all - what I had envisioned. I was exhausted, scared of the unknown, and experiencing what felt like a many hours freight train ride of a solid and darn painful contraction. I went in saying I wanted as natural of a birth for as long as possible.

I have been at peace with my need for an epidural midway through labor with Willa. But I wanted a different experience this time.

So I read. A lot. When I stopped reading, I felt better educated, empowered and prepared to deliver a baby in a manner I wanted. At the same time, I recognized that anything could happen, so I stuck with the mantra of "as natural as possible for as long as possible." This birth would be somewhere between an epidural and me clinging to a high tree branch and relying on gravity and a positive vision to get the baby out. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So. Jim and I settled into the hospital room: he in the uncomfortable "father's chair" me on my side in the bed with monitors measuring the baby's heart rate, my uterine contractions, and constant blood pressure checks. My medicine was upped a level every half hour. The nurse said they typically don't get any higher than 20.

We kept a log throughout the day and night. Here's Jim's entry from 1:20 am: "Pitocen set to 11. Almost 12 hours after I got the call, and we are still not seeing any result from the pitocen. This is troubling. What happens if it doesn't have an effect? Consensus is that we go home and wait. But Amy's bp is keeping us in inducement state. No one wants to endanger mom by sending her home with a high bp."

I was very frustrated at this point. I could feel contractions after I unhooked myself to use the bathroom or moved around a little. The nurses insisted that I remain lying in bed on one side to help my bp come down. So the medicine wasn't giving any contractions and because my body was experiencing a 170/100 coup, I wasn't allowed any hallway strolls which may have brought contractions on more naturally. I wasn't even allowed to sit up in bed. At 5 am I was near tears - feeling trapped, defeated and disappointed by the thought of packing up and going home without a baby. Also, after a week of bedrest and hours of nurse smack down, my hips were hurting. At 6 am, this happened:

a beautiful sunrise right outside our window. Jim said he'd call this "a new day." Minutes later, I started feeling small contractions. I know! Like a made for tv movie, right?

My small contractions were enough to make me feel better, but not enough to open the cervix any more or push the baby down to the launch pad. At 9 am the pitocen was at 22. My contractions were about 6 minutes apart, and not bad enough to stop me from getting a little nap in.

Two hours earlier I met Sarah, my new nurse. She came in with her hands on her hips saying, "I hear you want to get up and move around. You do know why you're here, right? I've had a patient seize on me from high blood pressure before. You're not going to be another, got it?"
After I had some time to process this, I told her that I respected that she was doing her job, and that I was grateful for her experience and know how. I told her I wasn't ignorant about the birthing process and that I had some hopes about how this would go. I told her with a little give and take we'd work pretty well together. And then we were BFFs (for those of you who aren't 12, that means Best Friends Forever).

That afternoon - after reaching 28 on pitocen (remember up there, when I said they normally stop at 20? yup, not this time) with no strong contraction pattern established - nurse Sarah suggested that the doctor take me back down to 10. Which did the trick: something about flooded receptors becoming immune to the medicine.

At 3:15 pm - 18 and a half hours after starting the medicine that, with my first birth, nearly immediately threw me on the ground and ran me over, and then spit on me (with flaming acid) - I was finally in a pattern of contraction that hurt like hell (as they should) and were 3 minutes apart.

And I was very, very happy.

Stay tuned for part 2 (part 2 is the exciting part: it's quick and there's blood, oh, and a baby!).

A baby who needs to eat now...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election day

Jim and I (and sleeping spectator Henry) just returned from voting. I was both glad and disappointed to arrive at our voting location and not find a line of people wrapped around the building. At 3 pm, we should surely be in higher numbers than voter 330 if this is to be the rocking of the vote that has been widely publicized.
I carried Henry up to the booth with my paper ballot and put his car carrier on the floor next to me. I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion and teared up a bit. This is an important election. Our country is facing some scary crossroads economically, and we could use a new guy to help us make friends around the world. Come January, our country will have either a Black president or a woman vice president. It wasn't all that long ago that those demographics couldn't even vote. And now here I was with my son beside me, casting my vote.
I darkened THE circle thinking "you'd better do a good job" over and over again.
I have been cynical about presidential elections since, well, you know (Florida, Supreme Court, Al Gore...).
I have been cynical about the candidates since well, forever, and that was cemented when the story about John Edwards was proven true.
But I've never been cynical about the power of one person and one vote - yes, even in the electoral college set up we've got going on. My opinion matters. Your opinion matters. My dad's opinion (though, due to it's stark contrast to mine is wrong- kidding) matters. And I love that today there are people waiting in line for hours to darken a circle or touch a spot on a screen, or punch a card to translate their opinions, their hopes for the country, their dreams as individuals and families.
I fervently hope that this election will have a clear winner by the time the sun comes up (heck, it would be nice if there was a declaration at Henry's 3 am feeding). And I, of course have even stronger hopes that the winner will be the name next to the circle I darkened.
In weeks, the mourning will be less painful for those who didn't win, the celebrations for winners will be less loud. America will be able to take a breath of fresh air, unpolluted by the division and nonproductive negative commercials and pundit-speak.
And in January, we'll all start anew.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Willa was a pink bunny. Henry was a carrot. Mommy likes the hot glue gun.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

10 days w/ Henry

I have been mighty quiet here, but there's not a whole lot of text to be had from my days. Like Henry and other newborns, I've been eating and sleeping. He and I have been spending a lot of quiet time together: staring at each other, cooing at each other, grasping on to fingers... He is a good baby. He cries when he needs something, and stops when he gets it. His - and my - favorite napping position is with his head wedged under my chin, his wispy near black hair brushing my lips.

This mom with one newborn experience is feeling much more confident and relaxed this time around.

He had a doctor's check-up today; he's gained an inch in length and 8 oz. He's molting right now, and his cord is just starting to show signs of jumping ship.

Jim is in love with his son.

Willa was reported to have lifted her shirt in order to feed one of the dolls at school today. We all knew that was coming, eh?

A final note for the day: I'm wearing jeans that I wore prepregnancy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

just a moment

Jim was in the video store while I stayed in the car. I turned off the radio and shut my eyes. Serenity flooded me as I sat listening to the rhythm of my two children breathing while they napped.

walking on sunshine

There is much joy swirling about in the Sinki house these days. Today we welcomed another new member to the family: our washing machine. Last week (on Jim's birthday) ours decided to retire. On Friday afternoon I called Jim:

"Where are you?"

"I am driving from Lowes back to work. I found a great deal on a washing machine."

"We'll have to talk about that later. I need you to turn around. It's time to have a baby."

I'll be writing about the process of Henry's birth later this week. Right now, I think about it and get overwhelmed and teary (in a really good way).

So... the washing machine. Turns out the great deal machine (marked down because of a small ding on the side) sold while we were distracted with labor and delivery. But when Jim went back to find a new one, the deal had returned. He snapped it up (at an even better price!) and it was delivered the next day. Too good to be true? Yup - the machine was returned because it did not work and a paperwork error put it back on the sales floor. Jim worked with the sales guys there (he used to be a sales manager there, and sorta knew the guys, and really knew the system) and got a super duper deal on a machine that has just now been delivered and set up. And it works.

The manual is about as big as the encyclopedia set that used to sit in the shelves next to my parents fireplace. Jim's researching as I type.

Willa is at school in paisley pants and a t-shirt with a monkey wearing a grass skirt. I wondered out loud this morning about getting stickers printed that read, "I dressed myself today." Kind of a disclaimer for Jim and I.

Henry is sleeping. He has been kind to his family thus far. He eats and sleeps well. So far, I haven't hit the wall of exhaustion (leaving now to knock on every tree in the neighborhood) that comes with a newborn, though this post may suggest otherwise. On the other hand, I know I'm still on an adrenaline high.

A final note about our darling son: 2 nights ago while nursing him in the dim light, I burst out laughing. He makes faces that reminds me exactly of Ned from Three Amigos (thanks Martin Short).


Henry, mom hopes you continue this level of enthusiasm throughout your whole life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sinki update for Thursday

This is the Mr. posting. Mrs. DeSinki is sitting home with a small cloud above her head. She is irritated because she has all of this time on her hands due to bed rest, and today the internet connection is not working correctly. So she asked her marvelous, witty, and super hunky husband to post, so that no one would worry.

As far as the little sinklet goes, he is not choosing to show his head. Like the groundhog that his birth will honor, he is afraid to see his shadow. The reason for the groundhog metaphor (by the way) is that as near as we can figure, conception occcured around the time of groundhogs day last spring/winter. To further this metaphor, I walked out of the house to see a fat, well fed groundhog scurry under the neighbors fence yesterday, after snooping around the remains of the tomato patch from this summer.

Mrs. Sinki and I thought that it might be a sign that the groundhogs were keeping track of of the offspring of groundhogs day. As far as I am concerned, I feel that our son has a fairy groundhog's mother! And for those of you that think I may be leaving an obtuse clue to the boys name, it ISN"T Phil! (Is that an actual clue, number three? Four?)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Update #284

My husband. Sigh. He's pretty wonderful. Last night I had a little freak out about, well, every little thing. As I was talking he said something like, "I wish I had a recording of this. You said almost the same things with your last pregnancy, I'm just remembering."

What was I worried about? Um... me dying.

Or him - in a car wreck on his way to Mt. Pleasant today for work.

But mostly me dying. A few years ago there was a terrible movie out where Jennifer Lopez was married to Ben Affleck and she died in childbirth. Only after Jim's words did I remember tears running down my face while blubbering "BUT WHAT IF I DIE LIKE J-LO?!"

I am not likely to die like J-Lo. I know. But this is the irrational portion of pregnancy.

So during this little freak out, Jim held me and calmed every fear. And mostly didn't laugh.

Willa's still singing "Three Little Birds." It's a reassuring mantra: "every little thing's gonna be all right."

As I type our son is shifting inside of my belly. I go to the doctor this afternoon, and we will have a pretty serious talk with possible actions to follow about keeping me and the little guy healthy while my blood pressure is still too high.

Today I've been thinking about the possibility of an induction vs. my wishes for a totally natural birth. I'm at peace with the fact that we'll do what's in the best interest for baby and I. Jim pointed out last night that while I may not have exactly the birth I've envisioned/wanted, we'll have the child that we have and do.

It is now 9 pm, and it's been a roller coaster of a day. I wrote the above before my afternoon appointment.

My blood pressure is still very high. The doctor was ready to send me to get this show on the road. The concern here, by the way is that high blood pressure ages a placenta quicker, and we need the little guy to get all those final nutrients. Also, high blood pressure is not so healthy for me. So, she wanted to send me, and I wanted to go. But she wanted to check with a specialist. I went home to wait for the decision, but felt sure today was the day.

The specialist wants us all to wait. I go for a few tests tomorrow to make sure he's doing all right in there. If all looks good, but the blood pressure stays up, AND if the baby hasn't come on his own, we'll induce on Sunday.

So, I have a deadline. I'm now dilated between 4 and 5 cm, so I've definitely been doing my homework.

Monday, October 13, 2008


On Friday I started writing, and ended up deleting, a post about my envy of other pregnant animals.
The stresses of work have not helped me glide though the end of this pregnancy. Last week was very stressful.
On Friday I had a blood pressure check. It was high. I laid down for 30 minutes and they took it again. It was high. I was sent to triage of labor and delivery. It started coming down. Other lab work is coming back a little elevated, but still within normal ranges.
It looks like I might just have pregnancy induced hypertension. Same with pregnancy #1.
I also have an urinary tract infection. My first ever.
I was sent home after the attending dr. and the nurse laid out modified bed rest for me. That's my deal until I see my doctor tomorrow.
I got permission to go to the pumpkin patch over the weekend. We had a great time, and I'll post some photos when they're up.
So, for now, I am to act just like any other mammal. Lying in bed and getting up only to eat and visit the bathroom. I'm allowed to spend a little time out and about, but the nurse told me if she sees me at the mall, I'm in trouble.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Good stuff

I did not share here, but my cervix, that wonderful plug to the baby's swimming pool is starting to get itself ready. I am 3 and a half(ish) cm dilated. For those of you who aren't savvy in the birth process, you push when you get to 10. This means I'm 1/3 of the way there!

My evaluation was today; it was fair, I did well. I am relieved.

I am starting to come out of the triage state of "holy crap - this baby could come this week." I am headed for calmer pastures now that fear has forced me to get so much done at work and at home.

If I get through tomorrow at work, I'll be very happy. If I get through Saturday just hanging with Jim and Willa, I'll consider myself very lucky.

I know a lot of moms of more than one can relate and have written about this, but I'm getting sentimental about the time left as a family of 3. Last night I cried at Noodles and Company when I talked about wanting to get some more quality time in with the other 2/3 of the Sinkis.

Excessive swelling and emotional imbalance will be cured by birth.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Holding pattern

I am at work right now taking a little break from the madness that happens when one goes to a routine appointment and gets sent directly to the hospital.
There's a heck of a lot to do here, and the truth is - no matter if baby comes in 2 minutes or 2 weeks - all of it is not going to get done.
Same for at home.
I have a call in to the doctors office to see if there's any kind of game plan, and haven't' heard from them yet.
Stay tuned folks.
And keep guessing 0n the names. Haven't seen it here yet, but a lot of your guesses were on our list.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Not what I envisioned for the evening

Hey gang! So, it's been a wacky day...
I got a bunch done at work and then headed off for my 4 pm dr. appointment.
My blood pressure was up. There was protein in my urine. My doctor sent me off to the hospital for monitoring for pre-eclampsia.
But first - she gave me permission to go back to the office to get just a few more things done.
I came home at about 7 and the Sinki's ate Wendy's for dinner together. I packed a bag. We took photos. We brought Willa to our friends house and finally got to the hospital at 7:45.
-At this point, I'll remind you that Willa was born after I was in the hospital for pre-e monitoring and when I was being discharged, my water broke.-
I was nervous. We're ready, but not that ready for our son to arrive.
Good news: blood pressure went down. I have a large container to pee in for the next 24 hours. My liver enzymes are slightly elevated. I go for more lab work tomorrow.
So, we all sit tight for a while.
Name clue #2: baby's name is 5 letters long.

She totally gets it, only she doesn't at all

"All three [Sinkis - no, I used our last name with her, just not here] are lying in bed snuggling."
"No, four [Sinkis], mama."

"Willa, did you know that when mama was a little girl she had a pet chicken?"
"Willa have a pet chicken too."
"She does?"
"Where is your pet chicken, Willa?"
"In da belly. Wit my little baby brudder."

Last night she was peeling her peas, in search of the little baby chicks.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Every day life on the weekend

What a wonderfully full weekend!

Friday we went to dine with Jenny, Joe and Julia. We enjoyed how Willa and Julia (6 month difference) played by themselves in Julia's room - they were laughing at each other's laughs. It was really nice to be able to sit with other grown ups and talk while the kids played in a different room.
Saturday morning I had a work program. It was a long morning and afternoon, but great to be there mostly as support and see a lot of friendly familiar faces. Here's a shot my coworker got of me and the belly. She was merciful in not including my feet in this photo; I look so great in my work clothes and sneakers. These shoes and I are spending too much time together, but they're all that fit right now.
Also? My nose? My nose is wide in normal life, but through the magic of pregnancy small ships can use my nasal passages for trade routes.
Saturday afternoon I spent waiting for my mom and sister to arrive. They took the scenic route from Warren to GR and knocked on our door 6 hours after departure. The outlet mall and M21 wooed them. It seems that they had a good adventure. We all sat around the house and talked for a while. Willa showed both Grandma and Aunt Lisa her big girl room. We went out for dinner where Willa ordered ice cream for her meal (but strangely enough, that ice cream looked and probably tasted a lot like mac and cheese). We ended the evening with ice cream at home. Pregnant woman + family visitors + Jim's sweet tooth + a 2 year old adorably ordering ice cream = darn right there's gonna be ice cream!
Sunday Jim and I woke up* before Willa and enjoyed some quiet time. I finally had to go upstairs and bring her down after shouting upstairs, "Willa! Come down, lazybones!" brought the answer of "No thank you - I stay here." We cuddled in bed under the blankets and I remember feeling that the day was somehow charmed, not unlike Christmas morning. We went out for breakfast and ran some errands - there are newborn diapers in the house. Bring on the baby!
Last night I spent some feet up time on the couch while Jim got Willa ready for bed. I went upstairs during story time. Willa noticed me and patted the bed, "come here, sweetie," she said. I climbed up next to her, and then cried a little when she stroked my hair. Hormonal? Absolutely.
* I woke up way earlier, but stayed in bed thinking of things to do before the baby came. The oregano, for instance, needs to be torn out because my Arbor Day Foundation ornamental tree could show up soon, and I want to be prepared. And what if Jim has to plant it? Overplanning? Perhaps yes.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Three little birds...

Yesterday was a very bad day at work. Our 32 person staff was reduced by 6 people. My to-do list just got a little longer, and my region got a lot bigger. I'm overwhelmed, but so, so glad to still have a work to-do list.

Jim came home stressed from work too.

This little slice of perfection was just what we all needed:

Jim was getting Willa ready for bed. They were listening to an Elizabeth Mitchell cd and Bob Marley's song "Three Little Birds" came on. I peeked in and they were dancing. I joined in. Willa was radiating joy and yelling "three little birds" randomly.

Every little thing is gonna be all right.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It's October

Well, here we are - at the start of hot apple cider and sweaters and crunchy leaves season.
I'm not sure what happened to September - I think I fiddled most of it away thinking, "I'll do that tomorrow, we've got time."

And now I'm having a baby. Well, not right now... this month. Holy moly - time flies when you're geniunely having fun. Even if that fun sometimes includes snickering at the wardrobe choices of your two year old and hanging up the 20 outfits that didn't make the cut for that hour.

Today Bill and Jackie have their ultrasound this afternoon. They've decided to find out the gender of their baby, but have said that they're not sharing for a while. We'll see. Someone(s) kind of has a reputation for not being able to keep good secrets.

I am kind of the same way. Jim and I agreed that I could start giving name hints via the Sinki. So... hint #1. This baby (oh my goodness - I just typed his name instead of "this baby" that would be some hint, eh?) will be the only Sinki (dogs included) to not have an "A" in his first name.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I know my doctor and you, sir, are not my doctor

36 week appointment was today. The good news is that there are no changes in my blood pressure or protein levels. I've ducked the pre-eclampsia curse for another week!
Actually, it's all good news. There was no bad news.
I am a grown woman and should be able to handle better the news that my doctor was called away to deliver someone else's baby at the last minute, so another doctor (just as good, no 2nd string comments here) would be doing my appointment. Except this doctor was a man. I know he's a professional, and just as much as I think a qualified woman could/should be Vice President, I believe a qualified man could/should be an OB/GYN.
Just not mine. And just not today.
Today, the day where I would be taking off clothes again for a test as well as a look see for dilation (which I know means nothing really, but well, I'd like to know if THAT'S what those pains were).
Anyhow, baby is doing well, and so am I.
Next week I'll be a week closer to THE date. Hopefully, my doctor stays put in her office.

Monday, September 29, 2008

nap on the go

Jim got some tile down on our kitchen floor yesterday. In order to do this, he needed Willa out of the house. So, the plan was that I would take Willa Halloween costume shopping after she woke up for her nap.

Except she didn't take a nap. After 90 minutes of lying there reading books, pretending she had to go to the bathroom, yelling at Jim (at that time working in the garage) through the window, "DAAAA-deee watcha doin? I not tired!!"

I gave up on the thought of taking a nap myself while she did, and got us off to the store. And she was sleeping 4 minutes after takeoff.

Undeterred, I pulled into the store's parking lot, put her and a blanket into the big part of the cart where she snuggled back to sleep. She slept the whole 45 minutes that I walked up and down just about every row of toys and clothes and books.

An older woman peeked in the cart, "now THAT's the way to shop."

"No, kidding," I said, "she's pushing me at the next store."

No costume was found, but that floor is going to look nice.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Busy October

A few of you sharing dates of importance in your lives and are suggesting that baby Sinki arrive then.
We could start a pool. Who ever guesses closest gets the office rubber plant that I need to find a home for.

In our family/circle, October is pretty busy too:
4 - Jenny and Joe's anniversary
11 - Brother Brian's birthday
13 - Jim's dad's birthday
15 - Jim's birthday (and his brother Joe's birthday - nope, not twins - and Maggie the dog's birthday too!)
22 - Julia's birthday (we were just sponsors at her baptism. Can we call her our Goddaughter?)
24 - Brother-in-law Ken's birthday
25 - Niece Kenzie's birthday
29 - Our Anniversary

If you look at that list again, you'll see all of the fella's in Jim's family were born in October. This baby is a boy.
All of the ladies in my family were born in April. As was Willa.
Neat, eh?

We stopped at 6

Willa and I were sitting on the couch eating popcorn last night.

"Doonnnn't eat da seeds. Dey hurt your teeth."
"That's right. No seeds."
"Dey hurt my belly too. And my two babies."
"Seeds hurt your belly? You're right, you shouldn't eat them."
"Uh- huhhhhh... seeds hurt my three babies."
"You have THREE babies in your belly now? Let's count them."

"Otay...." she lifts her shirt and points to her belly, "one... two... free... four. Four babies in Willa's belly."
"Wow. You have four babies? Mama has one baby in her belly."
"Willa's baby brudder. Willa has FIVE babies."
"That's a lot of babies. Are you done with your popcorn?"
"Ummmmm.... no. Don't eat da seeds. Dey hurt Willa's six babies in da belly."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's too early to feel like this!!

I was here yesterday starting to type and then deleting, and then trying again.

The thing is, I don't really have anything to say (which, if you were a smart blog reader should be your cue to stop here and check in another day). If we had current pictures loaded, I'd opt out of writing and just post those. But alas.

I've been consumed with grasping at how much and how little time there is until October 26. Just under 5 weeks is a very long time, if I consider the aches and pains and excitement. It's a blink of the eye when I look at the "to-do" lists for both home and office.

Knowing October 26 is just an estimate drives me up the wall. A belly this pregnant should come with an expiration date stamped right on it, you know? Willa was 5 days early. I've gone done the foolish path of expecting to meet the new guy by October 21. Because of his size, and mine, others are saying I won't make it to the due date. They're just enablers at this point. But kind ones.
Because of that, I'll likely be back here mocking myself in early November when the baby still isn't here.
That is not my belly.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's all relative

"And then my mom said -"

"MY dwanma!" Willa corrected me from the floor where she was obsessively lining up 40+ tiny rubber ducks.

"Willa, your grandma is my mom."


"You're right... your grandma. And she loves you very much," and then I muttered under my breath, "but she knew me first, and she's MY mom."

Jim laughed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mothering and babies

So, I've been in the mom business for 29 months now, and sometimes it still sneaks up on me.

Willa and I were lying on the couch watching Mary Poppins. She snuggled in a little closer, turned to me, smiled and patted my forehead. "Ohmygosh," I thought to myself, "Jim and I invented this, our daughter."

I really, really like being a mom.

Even on the ride home from daycare when the soundtrack was about 18 minutes of a heartbroken cry from the backseat. She had smuggled one of her plastic lizards into school that morning, and lost him. I couldn't get her to calm down, so we just drove home. To drown out the ruckus, I concentrated on the road and some thinking. I know Willa was sad about the lizard being gone, but I think she still has some magical thinking about her parents. In her head she says, "I want the purple lizard" and I should be able to make it materialize. I think she's starting to realize that even her parents have some limitations. Kind of a bittersweet realization, I'd bet.

This morning I brought her (lizard free, and pockets checked) to school and talked with some of her friends. One of the little boys looked at my belly and said, "I used to be a baby." And then all of the friends informed me that they, too, had been a baby. I said, "can I tell you a secret?" They nodded. "I was a baby too. A long time ago." They looked confused. A mom could not possibly have been a baby. "And your mom used to be a baby. And Ms. Whitney (the teacher) was a baby too." There was nearly a riot as 4 kids protested loudly that their mom had never been a baby. "Actually," I said, "every single person you know used to be a baby." I think I heard their jaws dropping.

I walked out the door, laughing. I had just blown the minds of a bunch of 3 year olds.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We're the cheesiest!

I woke up at 5something this morning laughing. I had just dreamt that I suggested to the folks at Kraft foods that they hold a nation-wide contest to find the "cheesiest family." The winner of the contest would get mac-n-cheese for a lifetime AND their family photo featured on the box. They thought it was a great idea, and - hey, small world - the Sinki's won.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday, monday

First, I am feeling better today. I really am, I'm not just saying that so my mom won't worry or to make myself feel like less of a whiner. Thanks to everyone for the words of encouragement. The best thing about this medical condition, as many of you pointed out, is that it's got a shelf life (less than 6 weeks left now), and a pretty sweet cure.

The weekend was pretty... wet. Our usually very dry basement had a little bit of water in it. Jim kept us dry with several visits to the basement and the wet vac.

I canned peaches. It seems my first foray into canning was a success. They're still the same color they were when we started, so, yay.

This may be nesting, but it seems I would incorporate some house cleaning if that were the case.

Friday, September 12, 2008


When asked how he is, my dad will often say, "I've never had a bad day in my life."
This is, of course, not the truth. I can be quite certain that I, myself, may have been the cause of one or two bad days in his life. However, what an enviable lie. What a great response. Another one from the book of Charlie is, "if I were any better, I would be twins." Which could very well be the truth. He's cool, my dad.

I? I am not cool. Not this week. And so, I am using this space to complain. Don't bother reading the rest. It's just kind of a pity party. Honestly... go watch Access Hollywood or something. Even that would be a better use of your next 2 minutes.

My ankles -what's left of them - are swollen. As are my fingers, nose, lips (I do have some pretty full lips right now)...
There are 2 pairs of shoes that I can wear. And one of those might not make it through the weekend.
Tallys of the time it takes me to find a comfortable sleeping position vs. how much sleep I'm actually getting shows reason for frustration. And some grouchiness.
I have been tempted - several times - to kick my sweet snoring Jim who is clearing sleeping.
My sinuses are clogged.
Flax seed has helped other system clogging.
Morning sickness made me take a half day to go back to bed today.
Veins are coming out of places that - in normal life - contain said veins.
My back hurts.
My hips hurt.
Sometimes, my eyeballs hurt.

I could go on, but are you really interested? And even if you (so kindly) were, there's not much either of us could do.

Today I told Jim I'm in no way ready for this baby to come. But at the same time... I don't think I'll be feeling better soon.

Here's hoping this is just a bad week, and next week, I'll be over some biological hump.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Playing in the dirt

Pregnancy has turned me into a heat and humidity wimp. For this reason, my flower beds have gone largely neglected over the summer. Grass and weeds are growing where they previously have not been permitted to linger. Early blooming mums have been lucky to be looked at, let alone deadheaded. Black Eye Susans and my purple Coneflowers had a turf war, and the Coneflowers lost. They survive, but don't look great (anyone else have a bummer year with the Coneflower?).

Yesterday evening, we got a little glimpse of how life can be when it's not in the 80's and humid (I've heard our summer hasn't been that bad. My hormone-infused reality sees it differently).

I worked. Weeds were pulled. Plants were divided and transplanted. Small trees growing under our deck were removed. New plants and a small tree were considered. I shoveled, raked, pulled, watered, fiddled... and 2 hours later I had a hard time moving at all.

But geez, the front our our house looks nicer for it.

And it made me feel so much better. I've been missing scrubbing dirt from my fingernails.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wake up call

"It's sunny out now," she said as she stood by my bed in her pink footie pajamas and a huge smile.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I love her.

I was upstairs lying with Willa in her twin bed. I had read one book to her, and she insisted on reading the other two to me (she gets 3 books a night). I was feeling pretty tired, so I let her. Lately she's really enjoying "Are You My Mother." She was playing with plastic Easter eggs the other day, opened it and said, "and out popped a baby bird."
After she finished her books, she rolled my way, put her forehead on mine and said, "I need to cuddle you."
Some time later, I woke up to Jim standing over us grinning.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Candy and fire

Twizzlers have a permanent spot in our house. They're above the stove, next to the light bulbs. Jim will be glad I've not posted our address here because everyone knows the internet is crawling with miscreants who will stalk your blog and later break into your house to steal your licorice.
If she knows where the Twizzlers are, Willa can not reach them.
She is reduced to asking us for them: "I want lick 'er, please. Willa's own lick 'er? A NEW lick 'er?"
Ironically, the liquor used to be stored in that spot. One vice for another.

In other news, one of my top 5 restaurants in GR caught fire on Friday night. We ate there and left at 9:38 to get to the Celebration on the Grand fireworks a little late. When I was putting Willa to bed, Jim yelled up the stairs, "Little Mexico is burning to the ground." Fire started just after we left. I'm so glad we were not there for the chaos and sadness of evacuating the burning GR landmark.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Willa is...

...still sleeping upstairs, blissfully, and keeping her big girl panties on, dryly.

To add another big transition to her life, this is her last day in the room she's been in at daycare. She graduates to the next step on Monday. Given her affection for Ms. Kelly, this might be the first time a school room transition will be tougher on her than me.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Willa, Willa, Kwame, Tina/Sarah, and good eggs

Some randomness today:

I picked Willa up from daycare and peeked in to see her first. Wait, I thought, she's still wearing the same outfit that I brought her in. Throw some confetti and start up the marching band, folks. Willa went all day at daycare in her big girl underpants!

On the way home I was talking to her and suddenly she stopped responding. "I hiiiiddddinnngggg," she giggled from the back seat. I turned around to look. She had her bathing suit over her head, and was peeking at me through a leg hole.

So, Kwame's gone. Think we could get Dennis Archer to unretire?

In an effort to achieve balance, I watched a good portion of the Republican Convention. I am much more partisan that I had thought. And, I know I'm not the first to make the comparison, but, I'm hoping Tina Fey (formerly from Saturday Night Live) stops this practical joke on America soon. "HA!" she'll say, "America, I was just joshin' you with that whole I'm a Gov. from Alaska thing. Don't forget to watch 30 Rock." I listened to Sarah Palin speak last night. And while I'd like to have lunch with her someday, I really don't like the idea of her as a Vice President.

And, because Republicans seem to be mocking the noble profession of community organizing, I want to give a shout out to my hommies who feel that connecting with individuals, families and institutions in the name of bettering neighborhoods is worthwhile.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Chicago with a side trip to crazy-town

I am not someone who likes to blame a lot of my behavior on the major chemical imbalances that pregnancy hormones may cause. If I'm upset about something, it's likely that I would be upset about it in a non-pregnant state too. Maybe it's not true, and certainly proportion may change when things come up while pregnant. I think Jim's finally relaxing after "the dress comment" of '06.

But, my friends (John McCain is teaching me how to speak more folksy), this is the post where I admit that I was poisoned by hormones over the weekend.

We went to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium on Saturday. When I suggested this trip, I envisioned Willa holding Jim's hand, both of them delighted and captivated by the beluga whales. I pictured her grinning while saying "starfish." I pictured us leaving at closing time, and heading to the car smiling and maybe holding a fish shaped helium balloon.

This did not happen.

Chicago's Shedd Aquarium was very crowded on Saturday. Humanity was not feeling kind, and folks were throwing elbows to get a better look at the lizards (at the aquarium? I didn't get it, but it's been a popular temporary exhibit for them). Willa didn't want to stay in her stroller, I couldn't physically hold her much, and Jim was getting weary of the pointy elbowed masses.

Stern reminder to self: your darling husband does not like crowds - a gazillion times more than you do not like crowds. Stop forgetting this.

I thought I was a super-genius to suggest we go claim our seats for the dolphin show an hour before it started. It would give us some space from people, and we'd be able to sit down and watch the dolphins in their tank for a while. Jim thought he was a super-genius for claiming the seats against the fake rock formation that encircles the shows bleachers (back rests! yay!). And our plan would have worked if it weren't for that meddling kid - I mean our super-genius daughter who wanted to spend the time climbing the fake rocks.

The show started. She was not riveted. "Dolphins, schmolphins, mom," she could have said, "look at these fake rocks for climbing!" If there weren't the possibility for a stitches inviting head wound, I might have let her. Instead I held her on my lap, whispering in her ear a narration of what the dolphins were doing. She started to whine. She started to cry. She started to yell.

We left the dolphin show. While Jim was putting Willa into her stroller, I started to cry too. "No one's having any fun," I blubbered (this is your brain on hormones, friends).

We left the aquarium. We left Chicago. The whole time I couldn't shake the funk. In my head the entire day - the entire weekend - was ruined. It was our last big family trip before the baby comes and it was a failure. Which meant, of course, that I was a failure.

We ate at a super-fun place which actually turned out to be a highlight of the trip. That's for a different post.

We got home at midnight and by then I had worked myself into such a quiet knot that I was miserable. I didn't know what was happening. Jim was tired, so I went to sleep on the couch.

Suddenly I was sobbing. I went back to bed to wake Jim who wasn't sleeping. He was probably lying wide eyed and afraid of the hormonal hurricane that he knew was coming.

I said a lot of things that I didn't really mean and am not really concerned about. Like what? How about this gem: "what if we don't like our son?" I said that. Out loud.

I figured out, while lying there with Jim hugging me tightly, that I was just getting hit with the very normal (right?) fear about how drastically our lives are going to change once the baby arrives. How happy the three of us are together, and "why are we screwing with that chemistry?" Hormones took those fears, shot them up with 'roids, put them under a magnifying glass - in the sun - and started a fire.

When I was breathing normally again, I was able to laugh at my outburst. Then I started to get upset about how the day - the whole weekend - was ruined by my behavior.

So. There it is, my tale of pregnancy nuttiness. It happens. I'm admitting it. I'm scheduled for detox and recovery next month. In the mean time, send Jim vibes of patience.

Movin' on up

I know that just by typing it here, I'm vexing our family into a week's worth of turmoil and bad sleep. Eh, who likes it easy and well rested?

Willa is, I think, pretty much done with the nursery. Peter Pan heard it was time for her to leave the nursery, so he sent Tinkerbell (who Willa insisted on calling Alice) to teach her to fly and join him in Neverland...

Oh, so... maybe I could use a few nights of better sleep.

Anyhow, the facts:
- we gave her the choice of her crib or her big girl bed for several naps and night sleeps over the (blessedly) long weekend. And she chose big girl bed every time.
- given how fun her big girl room is, and the fact that it's upstairs and out of good earshot, she did not nap at all that first day. Also? The molars... come on, dudes, just pop out and give the kid a complete set.
- she woke up this morning in her big girl bed and told me proudly, "Willa sleep in da big girl bed alllll night, mama."

So far, so good. And much easier than I anticipated.

Monday, September 01, 2008

It's genetic, I think.

Most kids ask "why?" over and over again at this age. Willa says "why not?".
That's a much more difficult question to answer, by the way.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Full tickets

John McCain has picked a running mate, and Sarah Palin is not the name of a man.
I'm excited to be a part of history: come November we'll have a minority in the office of President or Vice President.
But. Sarah Palin?
Astute followers of politics knew McCain's VP choice would be a woman or racial minority. Given the media-reported island of Hillary Clinton supports still adrift on a sea of ire (Word to the island: come on, and move on; biology aside, she didn't run the best campaign), there are a lot of votes out there ripe for the taking.
Obama has been criticized for his lack of experience. I think McCain probably ought not use that line any more, as his choice for "wing woman" has only a year and a half of experience as Gov. of Alaska. Hm.... Alaska... pipeline... oil... hm.
There are so many other Conservative women in American politics who have a better resume, I'm perplexed by this choice.
We expected this type of transparent choice for his VP, but I thought it would be someone with more... well, anything.
Obama picked a running mate to balance the ticket and fill in some of his weaker spots.
McCain, it seems, picked someone who would get him votes. Great if you think the American public is stupid enough to vote for a slate just because someone on it doesn't have a penis. America, I am certain, is smarter than this (America? Please, please, please consider).
Even after the Democratic love fest in Denver, I am not in love with Obama. But it seems his choice is the better balanced and responsible one for the country.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


"What's your red monkey's name, Willa?"
"Sin-cil-la" (translation: Chinchilla. The zoo visited daycare a few weeks ago, and she loved the soft chinchilla).
"That's a great name for your red monkey! What about your horse here? What's her name?"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Love from Mom

I love Grand Rapids. I am home here. I know, I know... I've talked about this before.

We are not moving, but...

Jim started off last week with an ear infection, and sure enough I ended the week with a sinus infection and bronchitis (and made a doctor who wasn't my own go pale after I stood up and he realized he darn near prescribed antibiotics to a woman who was in a family way.) I got the meds eventually. This is not the point of today's post.

My mom came to visit on Friday and Saturday. On Saturday we got up, had breakfast, talked and the next thing I knew I was waking up an hour later with Willa and my mom upstairs. A nap. Sigh... so nice. Something about my mom taking care of me while I'm sick and pregnant - even though Jim does beyond a great job - made me think about picking up the family Sinki and heading east.

It was a nice visit with my mom. I like it when she can see Willa playing on her home turf. It was nice to be in the same room and talk and check up on each other to make sure that, after my sister's loss of the twins, we're both doing as okay as possible with it. We sat on blankets with Willa (while Jim was at class) at Reed's Lake and enjoyed some breeze. I shot mom dirty looks as she laughed out loud when Willa misbehaved. "This," she said, "is fun."

Yesterday, I made pasta sauce with tomatoes and peppers from mom and dad's garden which is a few weeks ahead of ours. It was delicious.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Alice pants

Have I told you (the collective you out there) that Willa has seen - more than a few times - and loves Alice in Wonderland? She likes the rabbit, she gets sad when Alice cries, she bounces to the music.

When she sees a photo of any female Disney-esque character, she calls them Alice. Tinkerbell? Alice. Cinderella? Alice. We were at a garden shop a few months ago and she informed me "Alice sleepy, mama." I followed her pointing finger to a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Willa is doing pretty well with potty training. She's nearly at 100% at home. Daycare is going to take a while longer. I don't always like to leave a fun group of friends when I have to go right away either. So, we're patient.

She has a few pairs of big girl underpants with Tinkerbell all over them. She calls them her Alice pants. Soon, even the pairs with My Little Pony were called Alice pants.

During our last visit to my parent's house, my mom gave Willa several more sets with Elmo and Curious George. She knows and likes these guys, so we're hearing "big girl underpants" a lot more than "Alice pants."

Jim left 2 comments in the Willa-isms post that I didn't publish. I told him I'd use his reminders of more Willa-isms in another post. This is one. We wanted to get Alice Pants captured here before we forgot. Look for more Willa-isms soon!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I thought I would maybe have "knowers remorse".

When I was pregnant with Willa, we did not find out if we were having a boy or a girl. We're all about gender neutral at Camp Sinki, and wouldn't have planned any differently, had we known the gender. I like to think we're not raising our daughter one way or another just because she's a girl. We also looked forward to the surprise element of "it's a ...." when she was born.

And like I've written here, I have no memory of that moment. 9 months is a long time to wait for something you don't remember happening.

So, with (oh boy, I just typed and then erased his name. Something has to stay a secret, I just hope I can keep it for two more months.) er... this one, we opted to find out.

Going into the second ultrasound, I could have very genuinely told you that I had no preference for girl or boy. Jim and I were both very happy to know we'd be welcoming a son.

Part of me is a little sad that there won't be a Hazel (my top girl name choice that Jim was slowly coming around to) any time soon. I was going through some of Willa's newborn clothes and actually felt sad that all of the cute dresses would be kept in storage until another girl - our own or someone else's - came along. Sure we could use them on the boy, but we aim for gender neutrality, not gender challenging.

I love knowing I can refer to him as a he. I can have long conversations with him in the car and call him by name. Willa's gearing up for her "tiny baby brudder, swimming in mama's belly." I like to tell Jim, "your son is moving around a lot right now."

I have some learnin' to do about the care and maintenance of a baby's and later young boy's penis. Other than that, we're not preparing ourselves any differently than we did with Willa. With, of course, the lack wide eyes and saying, "we're going to be parents?!"

This time it's more, "holy crap, 2?! What have we done?"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Zoo photos

We went to the John Ball Zoo on Sunday. This is the perfect size zoo for a hot August day with a toddler while 7 months pregnant. The Sinkis had a great time.


That's Jim holding Willa who is holding a seed-laden stick out to a budgie. The birds were not hungry on Sunday morning.

If she had asked if the goat could come home with us, I probably would have gone out and bought black ninja gear for our midnight goatnapping. She did not ask.

We pulled her strolled up to the spider monkey exhibit. She stood up and immediately did her monkey impression: "ooh ooh ooh, ah ah ah" with the scratching of the armpits. Funny kid, this one.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Then again...

On the wall, next to Willa's crib are 2 hats. One is the kid sized Detroit Tigers batting helmet autographed by Justin Verlander and Marcus Thames. Below that is a large sombrero.

On Saturday morning I woke up feeling jostled. Jim was urgently nudging me and whispering, "look, look!!" I opened my eyes and standing next to the bed was Willa, holding her stuffed doll and horse. She was wearing her pajamas, the sombrero, and a huge grin. "Good morning, mama," she said.

And that can be a good simile for parenting on other days...

Our first tomato

Jim handed me the first red tomato from the vine.

We started our relationship with this tomato over the winter when we planted their seeds in soil and put them under grow lights. And we regularly check on their water and light levels. Jim and I were excited to see the first sprouts and laughed when nearly all of the 100 or so seeds turned into little plants. We found homes for some of our overabundance of sprouts and planted the rest in our brand new box that Jim designed and built just for these plants. We've been cautious about weeding and watering. We've treated these plants very well. I don't think J-Lo gets better care while she's touring. If they asked for pink M&M's and a handspun silver boa, our tomato plants would get pink M&M's and the prettiest handspun silver boa, darn it.

I turned the first red tomato over in my hand admiring it, and feeling proud of our journey.

Then Willa asked for it.

I watched her, only the week before, eat 7 tomatoes from my parent's garden.

She put it in her mouth, bit down, spit it on to the driveway, and walked away.

Jim and I looked at each other. He told me he wanted to share it with me. We looked at the fruit, chewed up and spit out on the driveway.

On some days, this is a good simile for parenting.

Over the weekend Jim and I ate the second and third (nearly - we couldn't wait) red tomatoes.

And they were fantastic.

Send your recipes and preservation techniques my way please, folks. Over the next few weeks, we're going to be up to our elbows in tomatoes.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympic fatigue

Jim has an ear infection. Again. Do they do tubes for adults? He gets them fairly often - especially since our own little germ transductor (Willa) has been living with us. My body weak point is my sinuses, his are his ears.

I told him this was probably brought about by his Olympic fever. He's got it bad, folks. Last night he turned off the television after 1 am. I think there were tears in his eyes after seeing one of our gymnasts take the gold. (post script note: I found that more than a little endearing)

And I? I am the Olympic grinch. I would totally go to the olympic village and take their little pins and medals if it meant that I didn't have to see that Phelps guy or Misty May again. I do not think I would be redeamed with a bigger heart that felt closer to the true meaning behind the olympics. World wide harmony over the thrill of athletic competition, bah humbug. It's all about the money.* I'm pretty sure there are other sports besides swimming, gymnastics and beach volleyball in the summer games. But the smaller sports don't draw the viewers, and advertisers won't pay for spots unless they are guaranteed big audiences. And don't get me started on faked fireworks and a lipsynching cutie...

Are we done yet?

*See what happens when my favorite, "wholesome" politician goes and admits to an affair? John Edwards made me jaded and cynical.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

so "that" kid

We went to a Whitecaps (minor league baseball for you non-natives) game last night. The thing about minor league games is that they make such an effort for family friendly fun you forget there's baseball going on. Willa and I spent some time at the playground instead of watching the game, as I had hoped we'd do.
For the last 2 days she's kind of been Dr. Willa and Ms. Hide, as in hide from her: hide well, and hide fast. I think the upper molars are destined to arrive soon. Hopefully on that glorious day the moodiness will pass. Before leaving the house there were tears over milk, the wrong song playing on the cd player, and the fact that the yellow crayon was missing.
So. No baseball because I didn't want to, nor had the patience to, endure another crying fit. Instead we spent 20 minutes waiting in line for the bouncy house. It was finally her turn. She jumped and ran and fell like the other kids, all older and bigger. When their 5 minutes were over, the other kids filed out. Willa didn't follow. I told her, "Willa, it's time to get out and let other kids have their turn." She replied, "in a minute."
The other kids and parents who had been waiting in line were not amused. The person working the bouncy house gave me dirty looks as I hissed at her through the netted window, "Willa. Get. Out. NOW."
She jumped with a giant grin - she had the whole place to herself - "in a min-ute!"
One mom sent her twin 7 year old girls in after Willa. They ran to her, and Willa screamed.
I could not go in - the opening of the place was tiny and my greatness with child is fairly great. I nervously looked at the back of the structure while bribing her to get out. No escape hatch, and cookies were not luring her out.
Finally mom of the twins went in and scooped her up.
Willa grinned at me as she got out. "In line again?"
We went back to where Jim was. I handed her to him and walked away for a moment, very enviously eyeing the large beers the vendors had.
It was a rough night in parentville.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sinki security team

This morning I heard Greta growling fiercely. Arlo started barking. I went into the living room to see what had offended them. They were standing at the window looking into the side yard. Hackles were up, and I think I saw Greta's teeth.
I peeked out the window. Our neighbor has a new lawn ornament. And our dogs feel they need to protect themselves, their humans, and their den from the 18" tall, wooden uncle Sam with a flag.
I let them out of the house, they ran toward it, stopped 5 feet before it and started to bark their fool heads off. A minute later, they had apparently gave him the what for and trotted off to threaten the squirrels.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


On Sunday I cut Arlo and Greta's nails. Greta doesn't seem to mind it much. She sits and offers her paw, like she's getting a manicure. Arlo doesn't like it, but puts up with it. I have to hold him in my lap. This is the first time, I think, Willa's observed this ritual. She stayed with us the whole time. After Arlo tried to slink away the first time, she crouched next to him and said, "you're okay now." While patting his back and putting him in a headlock.

Willa's declaration of needing to use the bathroom consists of looking at us and saying, "don't pee on da floor."

Bill and Jackie's dog is, and may always be "Otis da puppy." And my parent's place up north is called "Grandma's Grandpa's cottage, fun." Lake Drive, she knows, is where we turn to "see Baby Brody - today?" (a friend's little guy who Willa has a slight obsession with).

When Willa was a baby we got the Elizabeth Mitchell CD with the song "Little Bird" on it. I've been singing it to her nearly every night ever since. Now she sings along. It's one of the best moments of every day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A mistress must be the new American flag lapel pin

Dear John Edwards,
You'll have to make your own grilled cheese sandwich next time you're in GR.

I heard the rumblings start a few weeks ago. "Edwards cheated" small headlines of news sources with questionable credibility suggested. I took a party line, chalked it up to Karl Rove moving his GOP machine right over the man who could have been a great VP for Obama.

And then he admitted it. You'll recall that I put a great deal of stock in Mr. Edwards.

Now I know how an 8 year old football fan and devotee of Michael Vick may have felt. I have not generally been one to put a lot of stock in people simply because of celebrity or power. I do not recall having a lot of famous heroes growing up. I never joined a fan club. I don't keep up on celebrity news, and don't hold much stock in the rumor mills of Hollywood or DC. I don't watch "reality television" because it bores me. I just don't care much about people who I don't know. And I think I've rarely fooled myself into believing that I knew someone via interviews and performances. Politicians and celebrities are not idols to hold up as a way to live your life. They are human and they make mistakes. They are learning how to be, just like everyone else.

But it seemed like John Edwards was talking to my heart. And my heart and his were old pals. And I wanted him, so much, to be in charge of what happened with my country - something else I care about a whole bunch.

I do not think that the private sex life of anyone should disqualify them for a job. Training dogs to fight and betting on them doesn't make you less of an awesome football player. It makes you an asshole...

I thought he was so much better than that.