Monday, December 28, 2009


We are vacationing in Puerto Rico with Robin's parents and sisters. It is amazingly beautiful, and we are having a wonderful time. We are keeping our picasa photos updated, so to check out our adventures, go to
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

I drove home in this!

Still have those Minnesota winter driving skills! It was nothing!

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa Claus Came to Austin Early

Since we always travel during the holidays, Robin and I have a tradition of exchanging our gifts the night before we leave. It's our way of having some quiet time together celebrating Christmas before we take off on a whirlwind of vists. This year, we included Lydia in the fun!

Time Out

This H1N1 is pretty much as bad as they say. I was down for the count Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and this week, I was still exhausted. I feel compelled to say this: Get the vaccine. I wish I would have. I'm not normally into vaccinations and shots and all of that good stuff, but this flu was horrible. Illness paired with the last week of the semester has knocked me off my feet; I could lay my head down and nap nearly everywhere.

On a different, more uplifting note, Robin, Lydia, and I will be on vacay through January 2nd, and in an effort to focus on spending time with family, I will not be blogging other than random iPhone photos here and there. Look forward to tales of our travels beginning after the New Year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to Find a Doula

As I've said about 700 times on this blog, I really loved having a doula for Lydia's birth. I believe that Kristen helped make the experience empowering and positive, and ultimately, Lydia's delivery is something I am incredibly proud of. So, to find a doula:

A good starting point is DONA International. DONA certifies doulas and has a directory on their website. It can be found here.

We found Kristen through word-of-mouth. Our cousins hired Kristen to support them during their daughter's delivery, so we interviewed her and experienced love at first sight. We also interviewed a second doula, but there was a schedule conflict, and we were so happy with Kristen, we didn't pursue any more people to talk with.

Some things to know:

--There seems to be an overriding value in the community of doulas, at least in Austin, that anyone that wants labor support is entitled to have it. Both doulas we interviewed gave us a price range and allowed us to determine what we wanted to pay.

--In Austin, there is a network of doulas that offer services for free, and there are also doulas-in-training who are seeking out births to attend and assist with for no cost.  

--Some hospitals have doula services available, but nurses often forget to mention it.

--In Austin, doulas are a pretty tight bunch. If they find that they're not a match for you financially or personality-wise, they may be open to helping you find more names and resources.

Finally, you will be hard-pressed to find a doula that doesn't expect their client to be prepared and educated about the birth process. Our doula expected us to take a class and do some reading, and she helped us find a the awesome series of class at Any Baby Can that cost us a whopping $10!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sitting Back to Watch

As a teacher, there aren't always a whole lot of opportunities to sit back and watch what my students and I have accomplished, but today was just that: a chance to see how far my kids have come.

This year will be the third year that I have taught Creative Writing at Lanier. When I student taught at Reagan, I watched my mentor teacher teach a Creative Writing class and upon learning that Lanier didn't have one, I started one. I have 21 students that I see every other day for 90 minutes, and we go through writing workshops on poetry, narratives, short stories, you name it. 

Today the kids turned in their writing portfolios: fifteen pieces of writing plus a prologue from each student. The portfolios included both pieces of writing from class and pieces they wrote independently. As a culminating activity, they each chose one piece to share with the class. While a student read, their classmates wrote one constructive comment for the reader, so each writer left with 20 pieces of feedback.

Some of you might remember high school well enough to recall the feeling that you alone have embarrassing insecurities, thoughts, and experiences and how intensely self-conscious adolescents can be. If you do, you will know just how big of a deal it was to watch each one of my students go to the front of the class, put their piece of writing on a projector, and read to their classmates. Not only did some of the kids share some really nice writing, many of them shared really personal thoughts and experiences, which told me that they felt confident enough in themselves and safe enough in my classroom to open up to their peers. It was an incredibly rewarding day.

Sad Fact

While looking through our photos to put together our holiday card, we found exactly three pictures since September of all three of us together: one from Halloween taken by the Luthers and two from Aaron and Aidan's birthday party. Apparently we need the Luthers for family photos. :) 

This is going to be my New Years' resolution. We have thousands of photos of Lydia over the past nine months,  so we have been good about that, but family pictures are important to me!

On a related note, I now feel like a "for real" adult. We are sending out Christmas cards.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Swine Round Two

It's my turn. After staying home with Lydia on Monday and Tuesday, I went back to school on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday morning I woke up feeling exhausted and feverish, so I stayed home. Thank goodness I did, because despite spending all day on the sofa, I felt more and more sick as the hours passed. I went in to the doctor to make sure there wasn't something I should be doing or something I was missing, and she instructed me to go home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. I told her that Lydia had tested positive for a Type A Strain of the flu, and she echoed what the pediatrician said: that it was most likely H1N1 and guessed that is what I have, also. She said that regardless, treatment was the same. Today I feel much better, but I am still not up to speed. I'm confident I will be better by Monday and will be back in school. Ugh. Stupid swine.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Presents Under the Tree!

Christmas started a bit early this year, as presents from both grandparents arrived in the mail. I think there was eagerness on all sides to watch Lydia enjoy her new toys, so she opened them both today. Here, without further ado, is Lydia, enjoying her first taste of Christmas!

This morning, she opened her gift from her Hahn grandparents...
(Please note the wave hello to Robin behind the camera!)

And this afternoon, she opened her gift from her Ganser grandparents!

I'd say she's going to clean up this year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Flu Update

Lydia is doing a lot better. She was feeling under the weather on Sunday, so after a call to our pediatrician, we took her in to the doctor on Monday morning, though not before exposing our good friends including their 1-yr-old to her germs on Sunday afternoon. Our regular pediatrician was out of town, so she saw someone else. She had a fever, was coughing, had a runny nose, and was cranky and clingy. After talking with us, they ran a flu test, and she tested positive for a strain of Type A Flu, which is most likely swine flu. This was, for the record, her first doctor's appointment that was a non-wellness check. In true Lydia fashion, she decided to make it memorable and come down with the most hyped illness of 2009.

I, of course, panicked. We have all been listening to news stories of this flu for months, and it was scary, but the doctor assured us that there was nothing to be scared of and sent us home with a prescription for Tamiflu. In hindsight, I am irritated that she didn't spend a little more time with us talking about things to watch for, etc., and I KNOW if we would have seen our regular pediatrician, she would have been a lot more reassuring and comforting.

Anyway, we were sent home with our prescription and instructions to make sure she had four wet diapers through the next 24 hours to make sure she wasn't dehydrated. Yesterday, Lydia was definitely not herself. She was grumpy and fussy, and we spent most of the day on the sofa. She ate well, though (see the video posted below), and has had five wet diapers. Today she is clearly feeling better, and here is the proof:

This was taken this morning, so nervous grandmas, grandpas, uncles, and aunts: no fears! She is okay!

I am home with her again today, largely because I wanted to get lots of rest in hopes of warding off the flu myself and also because I didn't think my coworkers would look to favorably upon the possibility of passing on her germs right before our long-awaited winter break. I'll most likely go back to work tomorrow, and Lydia will return to daycare on Friday.

Feeding Herself

Lydia has near-mastered the art of the pincer grasp. Here she is feeding herself bananas, though she can also tackle doozies such as peas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Put a Pig Over Our Door

Lydia has the swine.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Hi guys!!
I just learned this really cool game, and it's my new favorite thing. You have GOT to see it!
Peek-a-boo! I'll be honest. My dad set me up for this. The best part was after he would stand me up by the window and then run around to take the picture from the other side. Mommy would have had a fit if she would've been there, but she wasn't, so we had fun. But seriously, it is my new favorite game. I laugh and laugh and laugh. Even when I'm grumpy in my carseat.

Yay for peek-a-boo!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lydia's Thoughts on Crawling

This about sums it up. It is hard not to be frustrated as we watch friends' babies meet this milestone while Lydia is still just not particularly interested. Sigh.