Monday, December 11, 2006


What is accomplishment? Accomplishment is making your first genuine, vegetable-full, home-cooked meal in 7 weeks without puking. I made Chicken Tortilla soup with lime, and I was even able to eat it. And enjoy it. NO GAGGING INVOLVED. Someone call the presses.

I could get used to doing this cooking thing again.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

A visit to North Carolina and a change of weather...

Thanksgiving weekend Paul and I had the pleasure of visiting my Aunt and Uncle and two of their kids from Florida in N. Carolina. They had gone up to Murphy, North Carolina and stayed at a beautiful little cabin in the quickly-dying Appalachians. Whereas a few weeks before the trees were burning with oranges, reds and yellows, most leaves had dropped or faded to nearly brown, leaving bare, tall, skinny trees. However it was so beautiful to get up into the mountains with all its peacefulness. My Aunt and Uncle invited us to come stay with them, and we quickly agreed, it was only an hour and 45 minutes drive! (Did you know Georgia borders both North and South Carolina?)

We stayed in a cozy little cabin Saturday night and Sunday spent a long day fishing in one of the many rivers. It was so much fun! It had been a long time since I trout fished. My Aunt is great at it (as is my mom). My Grandpa and Grandma loved to fish and taught all their kids. They went up to the Eastern Sierras every year when their kids were little and spent a whole month there. When they retired they spent a third of each year as campground hosts near Big Pine. They loved it, staying all summer in their motorhome; fishing, chatting with vacationers, watching kids play, and making friends with other yearly visitors. It was so sad when they could no longer make the drive, no longer meet the host duties. My Grandpa died a year and a half ago. It was nice to fish and think about him. He was probably fishing too, but with a much greater fisherman.

Anyway we each caught a fish, Paul and I each caught a 9 or 10 inch trout (they each looked like they could barely feed a child). But my Aunt caught a big 16 inch trout. It was even a brookie, a native species unlike our rainbow trouts. It was great fun (though under 30 degrees in the morning!) However I will admit I am bad with catching fish. I am afraid of them. Don't ask. When I caught my fish I started screaming as it flopped about near my rock and I nearly dropped the pole. (Similar reactions occur when I try to snorkel. I just don't want them to touch me). Needless to say I didn't help eat the fish. It was a great trip though, beautiful, relaxing, and great to hangout with family. It was like breathing after holding my breath in the city. I am so not a city girl.

P.S. the weather has changed. There were definitely some 80 degree days in Nov, but now its been 20 degrees when I walk the 2 miles to my shuttle. Brr! Baby is cold!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Of OB's, Midwives, and Hospitals...

So I've never been one to be scared of hospitals or doctors offices. I am more fascinated by them. I have even had the mother-of-all hospital experiences---- overnight in a developing world hospital. I was in extreme pain, the nurse didnt speak much English, and I am still unsure of what they hooked me up to (although I think it was morphine, all I know is it certainly felt good). So giving birth in a cushy hospital in the public health capitol of America should be fine right?

Well now that my next major hospital stay will involve my little baby, it seems so much scarier. Wil they do everything right? Will I know how to do anything right? What if my midwife is mean or weird? What if they do something wrong with my baby? Ahh! So many unknowns I can't really control. Its always a little scary to put yourself in the hands of others.

I do like the hospital though and the office we went through. We are going through the Emory clinic that has both OBs and midwives who work together at the hospital. Paul and I are going to go through the midwife/group program. Instead of just coming in once a month for a one-on-one appointment, you meet monthly with a couple midwives and a few other couples due in the same month as you. They do all the check up stuff still, there is just more time to ask questions and recieve more education as a group. I've really liked the midwives I met so far, so I think it will be a good way to go. The hospital we will give birth at is Emory Crawford-Long hospital, one of 3 hospitals Emory owns. It is in the middle of downtown, which kind of scared me going there for a checkup. It was so big! But everything is newly-renovated and the Labor and Delivery floor is supposed to be nice. The hospital rooms look like bedrooms instead of scary sterile hospital rooms, they encourage you to walk around a lot and take baths and use alternative methods of pain control (still not sure about the epidural though). There is even a couch for daddy there and in the recovery room.

Wow, I dont think Ive ever spent so much time analyzing a hospital or doctor group. It doesn't help being in public health. I have extreme criticisms of medical establishments, especially OB-related ones, because I have access to all the research about evidence-based medicine, what works and what doesn't. I am also really interested in health literacy and whether doctors and nurses make their care/instructions/demeanor accessible for those with limited literacy skills or limited understanding of health and healthcare.

Case in Point: Foods you shouldnt eat during pregnancy. At no point in time during any of my checkups was information given to me regarding foods that are and arent ok to eat during pregnancy. Of course I know this information because I obsessively examined pregnancy websites and books. But many people dont know things like unpasteurized cheeses and deli meats are potentially harmful. If you dont have books or access to the internet, how in the world would you know that? Assuming patients have access to that information (when 1/4 of Americans have difficulty reading above a 4th grade level too) is dangerous and irresponsible.

Anyways, there is my rant for the day. I am done. I know I am being over critical, and perhaps oversensitive. This is why I shouldnt blog, I just ramble on about uninteresting things.

Here is a link to the hospital, we are so excited yay! (As Audrey said, "I am not going to want to come back to Marian after giving birth here")

Well I am off to attempt to make some thanksgiving foods: Chocolate pecan pie, buttnernut squash roast and stuffing. This is my first attempt cooking in a while... maybe I need a clothespin for my nose :)

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New Experiences

So this is my first attempt in a while to try to "blog". I don't usually have interesting things to say, but it as my sister-in-law Christy pointed out, it will help me keep up with family and friends as Paul and I figure life out here in Atlanta.

EEK there is a major southern thunderstorm going on right now! Paul is working a very long day. I love thunder, but never really enjoyed it by myself. Anyway onto blogging..

Mommy/Baby Update:
Up until now I pretty much trusted by body. It gets mad when I push it too hard, it tells me when I am sleepy, and I am well aware of its physiological functioning and am in quite awe of it. However, pregnancy is temporarily changing this. While now I am in awe of that little tiny body growing in me, I am somewhat doubtful that my body knows what its doing. Is being horribly nauseous REALLY conducive to growing a baby? I don't think so. Come on body, you need FOOD to grow a baby. I have been losing weight so far, not good, but fortunately I have some organic insurance around my hips and other areas, so I should be fine. Now the sleepiness I understand, the body needs to work harder to help grow this little life, but the nausea- nope don't see a purpose.

In more exciting baby news, Paul and I have almost conclusively decided on names. If its a girl, her name will be Magdalena (Maggie for short). For a boy we were debating some early church fathers names like Augustine, Ambrose, Athanasius etc. But I decided I wasn't bold enough. So we are going with Obadiah for a boy (Obie for short) which means "servant of Yahweh" or Tobias which means "goodness of the Lord. My motherly intuition thinks its a boy (my mom was able to predict all three kids). Hey, I have a 50% chance of being right. Well, 50.05 or so considering the gender ratio. Either would be a lot of fun!

Atlanta Life:
So what's it like living in Atlanta? Well I am not sure yet. I have spent half the time here home bound, and the other half setting up home. It looks exciting though... The most conclusive thing I can say is that trees changing colors are really pretty. Decatur, the city we live in, is right outside Atlanta, and being slightly less urbanized, is full of big, tall beautiful trees that are now red, orange, yellow...and making a mess everywhere. Decatur is pretty trendy, lots of different ethnic groups and restaurants and shopping areas. My favorite part is what is called the "Dekalb International Farmer's Market". Its this huge warehouse building with tons of fresh produce for great prices from all over the world. I even found real yams (white yams), the kind used to make fufu in Ghana! Visits there are lots of fun (though I don't go shopping much anymore as I currently cannot cook). Paul and I are hoping to go camping in either the Blue Mountains or on the coast (since there may be some semblance of surfing there).

Here is a list of things I hope to do while living here:

-Go to Savannah, GA- supposed to be beautiful and fun historically
-Camp in Appalachians, hike part of the trail
-Find an awesome southern food restaurant
-Go to Charleston
-Visit the Carolinas- supposed to have pretty beaches and beautiful forests
-Get involved in a ministry- this will be the longest I have stayed in one place in a while!
-Go to the Museum of High Art

Ok so this is kind of a lot, and is budget-dependent, but we'll see!

Well, I have several assignments due this week, and I am rather unmotivated. Time to get going on them!