Birth Party Plan

In preparation for the birth of my fourth minion I’ve been rereading The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.  Like so many books for and about women, labor and birth are focal points.  The births in The Red Tent are attended by sisters.  Men wait outside nervously.  Hush is trying to negotiate his way out of the delivery room, but there is no such luck for modern husbands. 

At one point in the book a mother is in a distant land and has gone into labor far from her sisters but finds that “The cries of a laboring mother bring out other women like geese responding to the call of a leader in flight.”  And delivering she “pushed for long hours, supported by women who became her sisters, at least for that day.”

I am terrified to have a baby without my Greenbomb sisters.Sorority

This is our sorority in 2011 (missing Val, Alina and Aubrey) doing what we do best: eating and loving up some babies (Silas and Otto).

I have some stand-ins who have kindly accepted the invitation to be my birth party.  This is how to have a birth party ala Greenbomb.

Step one:  Have your phone on.  You will be texted and expected when the mother is officially checked in and dilated to a 3.  Get there as soon as you can, but not neglecting this golden opportunity to look both cuter and less gigantic than the laboring sweaty mother.


Celia, Paige and me attending Otto’s birth.  Notice how we are all dolled up, but please ignore my awkward posing and facial expressions.  But damn I’m skinny!  Must have been mid-divorce.

Step two:  You are on outside world contact duty.  Ignore all “no cell phones” rules.  Specifically, please continuously update my sisters about my progress/mood/everything they’re missing.  Cattiness is fine.  Please report back all the funny things they say. The dad is responsible for the Baby is Here phone calls, which must be done in age order, Jim to Camille. Ebirth1

Paige on phones.  Sylvie’s birth I think.

Step three:  Although let’s face it, he has much less experience than you do, you are in charge of making the dad feel important and relevant.  He needs to hear and interact with the doctors because he can make medical decisions for me while I’m out of it.  Make sure he has treats and cell phone juice, please.  He is both the cause of this ordeal AND the one person who can make the mother feel calm.  Make sure he’s always in the face position of the mother, like Mark here:


E’s friend Lindsay took Celia’s place for Sylvie’s birth.

Step four:  MAKE ME LOOK GOOD.  You are in charge of making sure my hair doesn’t look more whacked out than it usually does (braids are good).  Take photos from flattering angles.  Make sure I have sufficient make-up on.  I’m going to have to look at these pictures for the rest of my life and if I look terrible in them that’s on you, team.  I’m pushing a baby out, I have other crap to worry about.  Also I’ll likely be dancing with sugar plums on Stadol. 


This might be my favorite picture of Ellie ever.


Paige making my hair tidy.  I started to faint right after this picture, but before I blacked out Celia blended the powder on my nose.


Jude’s birth.  Good photo angle.


Silas’ birth.  Makeup application by Paige.

Step five: YOU ARE THE FUN.  Births can be interminable (not mine, they take like three hours) so it’s your job to distract and entertain.  Go through all of the drawers and find the good loot and try it all on.  Bring US Weekly and gossip and baby name books.  The more talking the less I am aware of the pain.  I’ll scream if I need medical attention.  “A woman in birth is at once her most powerful and her most vulnerable.” –Marcie Macari


Paige “checking” my dilation.


Celia and Paige telling me all about Elin’s divorce from Tiger Woods.  Relevant at the time.

Step six:  Help me push out that baby.  When the doctors come in and the transformer bed is all set up your position is holding knees and talking me through the scary part.  Hush will be my focal point.  Just FYI, I’ve never taken any birth classes and don’t know a thing about breathing because I believe in highly medicated childbirth.  If the meds don’t work you have to teach me what to do, like what Celia did during my unmedicated transition with Jude.   You can look down from that position, but no looking up from the foot of the bed or I may kick you.  Prevent husband from looking, he just doesn’t need to be scarred in that way. 


This is Celia during the serious part.


And here’s Celia cracking herself up during the serious part.  Click through to Silas’ birth story to see the video Paige took of Celia while I was pushing out a freaking kid.  Oh and the video at the bottom of Mimi meeting Si is to die for.

Step seven:  You’re in charge of making sure nothing inappropriate is put on film.  All modesty is out the window during labor so if I forget to cover myself up, help a girl out please.  You’re also in charge of making sure the important moments are on film (mostly pictures of Hush and his new baby girl.)


Paige’s hand covering my nakedness while holding newborn Jude.  Celia blogged the birth on my page for me.

Step eight:  You have every right to cuddle the new baby you helped bring into the world!  And your naming opinions will be heard.  Paige helped name Mimi, Celia suggested Silas. 


All the pregnancy books talk about birth plans but this is what a birth plan looks like to me.  Many thanks to my sisters for teaching me all about how to make childbirth days the best days of my life; thanks in advance to my family and friends who have agreed to come to this birth.  I am so so very fortunate that I get to go through the exquisite torture of childbirth.  I’m even more thankful I get to experience it at a time when medicine and doctors make it less risky and terrifying.  At 36.5 weeks now I can safely say that I’m so uncomfortable that I wouldn’t mind if I had to sneeze this child out of my nostril as long as it comes out soon and perfect. 

And the greatest thanks, of course, to Hush for picking me to have his baby.



Indiana Jude

A few weeks back Hush and I introduced the children to Indiana Jones.  As is right and proper, they were instantly enamored.  During the horrible dinner scene in Temple of Doom Hush filmed us watching and being horrified by the disgusting dishes they served.  Silas' reactions were my favorite, "They're eating 'nakes!"

So for Jude's 6th birthday he requested an Indiana Jones party.  We happened to be in Dville a week before his birthday and all the cousins were around so Pam and I tee'd up the Indiana Jones themed dinner and surprised Jude with all of the gag-inducing things we could imagine.

Kool-aid with Marshmallows and chocolate chips

Silas was particularly creeped out by this.

Spiral noodles cooked in red food coloring with a monkey mask.

Indiana Jones needs a real whip, thanks Grandma Pamma!

Jude and Griffin

Mark and Baby Abe

The cousins then went on a treasure hunt and smashed a monkey pinata.  It was a party success!

For Jude's actual birthday we were back in Utah so we met our Utah cousins at the Fun Center.  (Kara, did you get any pictures of all the kids together?  I took a total of three pictures bc I was too busy not having a baby at the fun center.)

Silas' scared face.

And for his special birthday treat Jude requested Root beer floats and a man outing with Hush.  They went bowling and had a grand old time.  


But Does it Come in Beige?

Alrighty Alrighty.  We landed in Utah County and it is everything you might imagine it would be, had you ever spent any time around Provo.  There are a lot of positives.  You might expect the people to be weirdo Utah Mormons (the type who shower with their g’s on and shake their heads at any non-standard appearance or behavior) but in reality they are just too nice to dislike in any way.  Good people in Utah County.  They’re friendly, welcoming and helpful.  I like that they all have more than two children, lack any pretentiousness, and they are usually busy with their family who likely live in the same town.  The lifestyle makes sense.

And it’s the easy life.  Parking as far as the eye can see.  Every single chain restaurant your heart could desire.  Costco, Home Depot, Lowes, Target AND Wal-Mart, all within a few blocks of one another.  The biggest (seriously, outrageously big) Smith’s grocery you ever did see.  I can’t even go there because it’s too big to walk through.  Maybe with a Lark. 


One of the infinite trendy chain joints, this one I happen to love.  Swig makes soft drink mixes for like a buck.  It’s the Shave Ice of this year.

It’s a ten minute commute for Hush, which is what brought us to this area.  The school is relatively close and highly ranked.  We haven’t found a preschool yet.


The movers. 

There is nothing wrong with this area.

But it just doesn’t feel right.

It was Hush the other day who really nailed why both of us have felt so antsy in the last 10 days.  It’s the sterility and the floor plan.

First: Floor plan. 

The way this house is designed the heart of the home is the TV.  The bedrooms are on one end, all three together like we almost all share one room.  The far side is the kitchen, next to the laundry (basically my office.)  And between the two ends is the living room where we currently have our TV set up.  We’ve never had cable before, but I decided that since I didn’t know anybody and I was going to have a tiny baby cooping me up all the time, I might as well take the plunge and get cable.  It is absolutely worthless.  We have thousands of channels and the whole thing is just beyond me to the point of being annoying. 

In our previous house the TV (Netflix and Hulu) was downstairs.  Hush and I spent most of our evenings in the kitchen and in the front room where all of the instruments were, or outside on the hammock or on the front porch.  The TV was an afterthought.  It was never on.  And the product of that sort of face-to-face interaction was musical creations and sync dancing and mirror motion conversations and all kinds of other weirdness that I have recorded on my other computer.  TV prevents love.  Boredom promotes it.


Look at the half-mast TV eyes.  Oh, and when you’re really pregnant it’s good to have your four year old insist upon laying on your tummy.

Perhaps we could move the TV downstairs or turn off the cable.  Maybe just restructuring  will make it feel more like our family house: a creative by default type of environment.

Second: Sterility.

Newer suburban developments are sterile and generally unimaginative.  The yards are unique and people bring their personal d├ęcor and style, but I really like neighborhoods with a greater diversity of homes.  I don’t understand why builders make developments in beige.  And how does one go about buying one of these homes?  How do you pick between one beige home or another?  What goes into the selection process?   Now, I know that 95% of America lives in developments not unlike the one we find ourselves in at this time, but I wonder WHY are the developments built in this particular way?  (With the exception of Daybreak, which may be exactly what we want.  It’s impossible not to fall in love with the quaintness of Daybreak.)

I drive around this area with this song running through my head:

“Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds, 1962


Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,1
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

Now if there WAS a pink one, I’d be in like flynn.  But they are ALL BEIGE.


And on every corner, more development.


But oh, the models.  I LOVE those. 

So here we are for the time being.  Good people, good schools, an overall environment where we could get sucked into TV and beige and become totally okay with that.  Perhaps we will stay forever, but maybe there are other horizons for us.

Maybe my little house box will be number 67,


Or maybe our little box will be the second storey in the gray building with the red shutters.


There’s just so much world out there.  Wherever my family is we will have to figure out how to retain our color and our eccentric hobby nights at home.


Can't Won't Don't and other contractions too.

At the hospital 33 weeks pregnant trying to stop these silly contractions.  
After two weeks of nightly contractions that I refused to acknowledge as being anything more than Braxton Hicks, my doctor gave my tensing belly one poke and sent me off to the hospital to be monitored.
This on the tail of a maelstrom drive back from CA with Pam, barreling into our new home at midnight last night.
Once at the hospital things just rollercoastered.  Worse contractions then medicine to stop them that made them really hurty and made my heart race and teeth chatter, etc.
Did I mention I had all three kids with me, of course?  They were excellently behaved, Mimi especially.  Hush showed up after work and took kids for food an errands.  The nurses have to tell him everything they tell me bc he doesn't trust me to obey medical advice if I find it inconvenient.

The tests say there will be no baby tonight and that is good.  This kid needs to cook another month.
Hopefully I will be able to go home tonight and we will all find a place to sleep amongst the moving boxes that currently fill the home Hush found for us. Many many thanks to those of you who helped us move; and apologies for having an inadequately prepped home. We locked in the house on Friday and had to move the next day.  More about our new situation when I stop contracting.


Summer 2014 Overall

On our radio:
Elvis hunka burning love
Johnny cash I walk the line
Beatles hey Jude, live on Ed Sullivan 
Green day basket case
Creedence down on the corner 
Andrea boccelli funiculi funicula
Mimi learning to skate
Some of my girls at Keys on Main for baby shower

Trafalga Fun Center
Pass of All Passes 7 Peaks Waterslides
Any pool with a waterslide or water play equipment (Jude and Mimi swim, Silas is just barely water safe)
Library, nearly every day
Walking through model homes
Going to Savers
Hush's birthday in June, celebrated with BBQ in early June before disaster struck
Mimi started piano lessons, Jude started guitar
Sitting on the couch gestating
Amazing baby shower in SLC
Hanging out with Kara's lovely girls
Kids play down in the toy zone basement
Jude got a new bike, Mimi is learning to rollerskate
Baseball at Eccles for all three in July
Went to see the Tempest with Kim
So hot and uncomfortable at baseball
The man himself of his birthday (we were in CA :(

For Eats:
Shave Ice
Swig flavored drinks
Cookie butter with apples
Quesadillas and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
At the Herriman rodeo with Kara
My incorrigible lovely neighbors whom I already miss terribly

People we see:
The SLC Wilson friends
B. heights friends
Farm family cousins
Dville Cousins
Each other. A lot of three kids together time for months on end.
Houdini one time, for 24 hours. 
Hair matches popsicle
Sisi at a magic show with Amy

For watching:
Lego Movie
Hush and I watch Drunk History
Cable TV that has nothing good on at all ever.
iPad games
Mimi gets her first bank account and (prepaid) credit card

Hair as of today

For reading:
Rereading Philippa Gregory's historical fiction
Red Tent 
Jude reads books about bears
Silas likes monster books
Mimi reads anything about fashion and being fancy.
Sweet affectionate Si
The menfolk of Cousin's posse, all of whom I couldn't like more.

Az for family reunion in May
Dville most of June
Various hotels throughout Utah (including Provo and Holladay) in July
Down to St George for a weekend
Back to Dville for two weeks in July
Hush moved us in to new house at the beginning of August
Hush to NY and Az in August
Getting his last youngest kid snuggles in before baby comes
Getting his snuggles in before he's ousted by his offspring

Things take up space in my brain:
Baby growing
Overwhelming adoration and gratitude for Hush
Trying to not do anything physical
Indebtedness to friends
Shuffling money around to cover moving and hotels
Avoiding preterm labor
Trying to pick a place to buy a house
Dealing with Houdini's unreliability
Planning for new baby
Assembling baby supplies
Names names names!
Planning sealing hopefully in September
Feeling more pregnant than I look
Unsealing letter received!
Learning what the church is like in Utah County
Devising a school schedule and preschool for Silas
Registering kids for new schools
Figuring out new auxiliary activities for kids

Jude's new shirt that he prizes above all else.