Monthly Archives: January 2011

Sleeping Beauty

My Loves

Front. Bach.

Marshall has this shirt.
On the front it says “Front”.
On the back it says “Bach”.

And because we are both incredibly dorky music nerds, it makes us laugh every.single.time.

When I got the press release from Sony Music about a new Bach album, I almost didn’t even listen.  I have an old Bach CD that was my grandmother’s and the case has long been lost.  The CD itself doesn’t have much info on it other than “Bach Piano Concertos”, and I have no clue who performed which pieces on that album…but I love the recordings.  However,  these days I find myself listening to more Justin Roberts and Veggie Tales than Bach and Chopin, and I figured why bother getting another album I won’t have time to listen to?

Well, I had a few minutes to spare and decided to watch the video(which you can see below) about this new album, “Bach: A Strange Beauty” by Simone Dinnerstein.   In the video she talks about how the album’s name came to be and the sentiment that “anything that is truly beautiful is not perfect”.  I was intrigued that it was the imperfections and the unexpected turns that attracted her to Bach.  Because one of my favorite pieces(Concerto No. 5 in F minor: Largo) is so simple and yet interesting because just when you think you’ve figured out the pattern of the song, it changes.  And then it bursts into the Presto so unexpectedly that it’s impossible to not be slightly startled(in a good way).

Mrs. Dinnerstein’s sound is equally captivating.  At one point in the video she mentions that “her” sound is one that is incredibly clear.  Coming from many people that may sound like self-flattery, but I can assure that this is the truth.  Closing your eyes, it really sounds like the wind is forming these notes as they float through the air.

I am glad that I had a those few minutes with nothing to do, because now not only have a found a new performer with a fabulous sound, but I have re-introduced my children to the classical sounds that have slowly-but-surely been replaced by songs about baseball and grilled cheese.  (Not that those are bad things!  I love both of those songs!)

After listening to a few pieces of this album, Carter told me that he really loved this music “even though it didn’t have words”.  And he asked if he could play the piano like that one day.  So, I guess I’m off to find a piano teacher.  That’s one extra-curricular activity I don’t mind him participating in.  (I just have to go buy a piano!!)

P.S.  All you Atlanta peeps, she’ll be performing at Emory on Friday, April 1st!

I worked with Sony Music to bring you this review and I did receive a free copy of the album.
However if you take a few moments to listen to the gorgeousness, you’ll see why I think it would be a fabulous addition to any musical library.

She’s Here!

No pictures yet because the hospital doesn’t have wireless 🙁 and I have not mastered  the art of posting from my phone.

But she’s here:  Miss Anna Alden Ivey

Born today at 2:21pm
Weighing 7 pounds
Measuring  20.5 inches.

More details to come soon…

My, how things change.

I mentioned yesterday that I didn’t have my bag packed for the hospital.
(I still don’t have it packed.)
But I thought it’d be interesting to review what I had in my (40lb) bag when I had Carter
versus what I’m planning on taking this time.

Baby #1 (in random order)

  • CD player(pre-iPod age) with CDs
  • Comfy nursing gown with matching robe, purchased specifically for this day
  • Boppy Nursing Pillow (helpful, but probably not worth lugging to and fro)
  • Non-slip socks (Because that’s what all the online packing lists said to bring)
  • 3 outfits with matching shoes (Really?  Where did I think I was going?)
  • A “to-call” list (written on index cards, one card per person with a list of who should call whom)
  • Diary (I did write in it…but now I can’t find it.)
  • Thank you notes (Seriously.  I’m not even joking.)
  • Scrapbook paper (For footprints)
  • My nicest undergarments (All ruined, for the record)
    (Um…by the time I had #2, I stole those mesh granny panties they give you because they’re awesome.)
  • UNO cards (We totally played UNO that morning)
  • Magazines (I’m fairly certain we did the PEOPLE crossword, but I got mad when we couldn’t finish it)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush, headbands and hair twisties
  • Hair stuff including a hair dryer and curling iron
  • Makeup
  • Camera

Baby #4 (in order of importance)

  • My phone
  • Phone charger
  • Camera
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush and hair twisty(probably already in use)

(Although I do admit that my “to-text” and “to-email” lists are in my phone.)
(And I probably should go find a piece of paper to get those cute little footprints stamped on.)

I’ll wear a hospital gown and the mesh granny panties.
I will brush my teeth, but I won’t have on makeup.
I will leave in the same clothes that I wore when I arrived.

My, how things change.

The Calm Before The Storm

It appears that I will be delivering a baby on Thursday.
And Wednesday is jam-packed with little things that need to get done.

And so here I am with today…
what I thought was going to be the calm before the storm.

But life with littles is never what you expect.
Lydia has croup.
Asa seems to be having some kind of insane I-must-empty-every-square-inch-of-my-intestines thing.

I didn’t sleep well last night(again).
I actually did sleep, for a change, but when I woke up I was even more tired than I was when I went to bed!
I’m thinking it was probably the billion low-level contractions – strong enough to wear me out, but too weak to wake me.

I had a few last minute things I was hoping to get done around here.
(For one, I still haven’t  packed a hospital bag.  Oops.)

But I’m not complaining!
I’m still in my pjs and I’m cuddling with two of my little people.
They are watching absurd amounts of TV while I finish my laugh-out-loud-often book.
I’ve got ice to eat.  (Gotta love pregnancy pica.)
I’ve got my sweet, snoring dogs beside me.
My mom is coming to make breakfast lasagna for dinner.

Life is good.
It’s not what I had planned for today-
It’s better!


It’s a game I don’t play well…
This sitting,

I like to know how things are going to happen.
Plan details,

One strong contraction followed by a plethora of little ones.
And I yearn for consistency and a rhythm.
And yet simultaneously, I don’t.

I am ready.
I am oh-so-ready.

But not.

It is coming.
It will be here soon, I know.

My doubts, my fears…this time so different from the times before.
Gone are my worries that labor will hurt.
(It will.)
Gone are my worries that I won’t know what to do when I hold the fruit of my labor in my arms.
(I will.)
(And I won’t.)
(Does anyone ever really know what to do?)
(Aren’t we all just floundering our way through parenthood?)

This time my fears are based on me, my memory.
Will I remember the feel of baby kicks and hiccups?
Will I remember the breathlessness that comes with each contraction?
Will I remember the cumbersomeness of a full belly, one which begs for mercy?
Because I thought I remembered from before…
But I didn’t.
Not really.

But this time has been different, I tell myself.
I’ve purposefully taken the time to close my eyes,
Ignore everyone else,
And savor these moments.
I’ve committed them to memory the best I can.
And I pray that it will be enough.
I will remember.

Four babies, four times on bed rest.
This time so different from the others.
Instead of getting restless and pouting about what I’m missing in the outside world,
I’ve embraced the slow, easy pace that’s been forced upon me.

Read books – both to myself and to the children.
Watched movies – with them, by myself, with Marshall.
Done crafts and played games.
Taken long, leisurely baths.
Napped unapologetically.
Snuggled and cuddled.
Closed my eyes and listened with my soul.
Captured memories with my mind instead of my camera.

I am ready.
One foot stepping out into the unknown,
Ready to put a face to the new life that’s so long been a part of me.
And yet the other foot firmly planted in the here and now.
Waiting for just…the…perfect moment…
To step out,
To move onward.

When that moment comes,
I will hold my breath,
Close my eyes,
And jump across to the other bank.
I will leap from fertile soil
To dry, barren land.
Because this is it.
The final movement of a beautiful symphony that is my child-bearing years.

But here is the best part…
The dry, barren land isn’t really dry and barren.
It, too, is full of life.
I will continue to celebrate milestones.
I will continue to close my eyes and breathe in the tiny moments.
I will watch in awe as each of my children grows, changes-
In life, just as they did within me.

The cursor will keep blinking.
My story is not over yet.
Thanks be to God.

Littlest Diva Details

This is fairly cheesy, but it’s always fun.

Here are the details as we have them now(if you’re curious):
*I will be 38 weeks on Monday.
*At my last appointment(on Thursday), I was dilated roughly 2 cm and about 25% effaced.
*At the last ultrasound(last Monday), she appeared to be roughly 7 pounds.
*If she still hasn’t arrived by Jan 31st, I’ll be induced by then(at the latest).

Things I’ve Learned: Pregnancy Edition

I am surely not an expert on childbirth or pregnancy or all things obstetrical…
But I have done this 4 times and every time I learn a little more.

You really do learn a lot during those 40(ish) short long weeks,
but there are a few things that I wish I’d known going into that first pregnancy:

  • Just go ahead and buy a Bella Band or get a similar BeBand from Target.  I admit that I’d heard of these during my pregnancy with Asa, but felt like it was just one of those things that was over-rated and not really necessary.  Now?  I may never not wear one…even after the Little Diva arrives!   In the beginning, it helps you use your regular pants a little longer by holding up unbuttoned pants.  Then when you hit the “I’m-not-fat-I’m-pregnant-you-idiot” phase, it helps hold in all the jiggly bits.  And then, when you are stretched to the max and even your maternity pants don’t fit anymore?  That little piece of fabric does its thing and keeps those pants in place.  It’s a mini-miracle, I tell you.  I can’t believe that I tugged and pulled on droopy pants unnecessarily for 3 pregnancies.
  • Another one of those things I always dismissed as just another way for companies to pull a few more pennies out of moody mamas?  The Snoogle Body Pillow.  I mentioned on Facebook that I was having trouble getting comfortable at night.  A friend said that she was planning on getting rid of hers and I snagged it from her.  Thus began the love affair of the century.  (Although I must admit that I love it much more than Marshall does!)  It wraps around and supports your head, neck, back, belly, hips and knees.  Seriously? It should be called the Miracle Pillow.
  • Exercise ball – buy one.  Recently I had a baby banging her head on my hip bone and it was extraordinarily painful.  And now at this point, my back aches nearly constantly and the pressure on my girly bits is less than enjoyable.  But sitting on that big, forgiving ball really did a lot to relieve a lot of that pressure and pain.  Someone also mentioned that it’s great after the baby comes, too!  Bouncing up and down with a crying or colic-y baby…brilliant.

But it’s not all about stuff you should buy.  There are practical things, too.  Things that no one ever told me…

  • I’m convinced that constipation is God’s way of preparing you for childbirth.  You’d be wise just to embrace it and be grateful for the practice.  I could really say a lot more, but I’ll refrain.  But do also know that stool softeners are your friend; hemorrhoids are not.  Enough said.
  • Your feet will probably grow.  Mine have grown with ever single pregnancy.  I used to wear a size 7.  Now I’m somewhere between an 8 or 8.5.  I’m banking on being a 9 next time I go shoe shopping.
  • All that stuff they tell you not to eat or not to do?  Well, I followed all the “rules” with my first child and he was born with 8 toes.  I followed a few of the “rules” with my second and she was a horrible baby.  I broke all the “rules” with the 3rd and he was pretty much the perfect baby(well, mostly…).  I’m not saying the rules aren’t good ones, I’m just saying if you want to eat lunch meat or soft cheeses, then eat the meat and cheese.  Just use common sense.  I’m certainly not recommending that you binge drink or smoke or do drugs while you’re pregnant.  (For the record, I really don’t recommend that you do those things when you aren’t pregnant either.)
  • These days you hear warning after warning about postpartum depression, but not a lot about depression during pregnancy.  You are almost guaranteed to hit a low point (or two)(or three) during your pregnancy and you may hit a point where the anxiety is nearly crippling.  I don’t know why people don’t talk about this, but I promise that you aren’t the only one who feels this way.  Talk to your health care provider, your partner, your friends, your family…anyone to whom you can say: “I know this sounds crazy, but…” and they’ll listen and nod in all the right places and not think that you’re going to jump off a ledge at the end of the conversation.  (If you don’t have a person like that in your life, email me.  I promise I get it.)
  • Reading baby books can be fun.   So can getting those little emails that tell you what your baby looks like at XX weeks gestation.  But don’t forget to read other books that you like and watch movies that you want to watch and go places that you want to go…because (especially if this is your second, third or tenth child) you won’t have a whole lot of time to read/watch/do what you want to do for a while once your bundle of joy arrives.
  • It doesn’t really matter if you have a “natural” birth, a home birth or a meet-me-at-the-door-with-that-epidural birth.  Talk to your doctor and your partner (but don’t over-Google the hell out of it), then make your decision.  Pick what makes you happy, then (by all means) go ahead.  You can even make a birth plan if you want, but remember that sometimes(and by sometimes I mean often) things don’t go the way you plan or expect.  This won’t be the last time your little monkey throws a kink in your plans, I assure you!  But you’ll love her/him anyway (even if it isn’t love at first sight).
  • Babies are icky when they come out.  It’s kind of gross.  And there are so many things going on(like getting that placenta out…YUCK!).  And you may look at this new cheesy-covered creature and immediately fall in love…or you might not.  Even after they clean her/him up, you may still hold him and think “meh“.  It’s ok.  It’ll happen.  I promise.  I really do.  And if it doesn’t and if you start feeling more than just the “baby blues”, talk to your provider.  There’s no shame in a little pharmacotherapy.

Really?  This is just the beginning of the things I’ve learned.
I’m sure as soon as I hit “Publish”, I’ll think of a hundred other things I wish I’d added to this list.
Is there something imperative that I’ve left out?  Most of you guys are moms…let’s hear it!

None of these are affiliate links.
None of these things were given to me to review.
None of these things make any money for me.
I’m just being nice and sharing my opinions…for free.


Days creep by and drag on.
One repetitious chore after another.

Feed them.
Dress them.
Feed them.
Undress them.
Jammie them up.
Prayers and bedtime.

Over and over.
The schedule never changes.

Stuck in a cycle that feels like it’s in slow motion and hyper drive all at once.

It rushes past me,
leaving me spinning
and trying to decide which way is up.


One cascades into the other,
pushing them all like a domino train…
Faster and faster and faster and faster.
The momentum pushes us all forward.
Time marches, no races on
And we are left with no choice but to grab hold to what we can.
To take in as many sights and smells and tastes as possible.

Relishing the here and the now
While remembering the then and there
And occasionally glancing towards what will be.