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04-17-2002 @ 11:39 p.m.
Nothing Like a Productive and Pleasant Day

Today was quite a full and pleasant day. It started when I went to Joey's classroom to help her classmates finish painting zebra stripes on a chair to be auctioned at the school fund-raising carnival at the end of the month. It was a fun little project and the kids liked all getting to paint a stripe.

After the painting, I came home to meet Christa and talk about birthplans. We discussed her concerns and what she hopes to have happen and not happen. We discussed some of the ways that I can help her and some of the things she can do to help get labor started as she is worried about going beyond her due date and having to be induced which would make an unmedicated delivery very difficult. Her last delivery resulted in a baby with a broken shoulder bone and her midwife is worried about shoulder dystocia so she's urging Christa to be induced a week early. We're trying to avoid an induction so she's going to be used acupressure and exercise and sex and evening primrose oil to try to urge things along. I printed out several different check list forms for writing a birth plan and asked her to look at them and decide which of the requests she wants to make. We'll meet again next Thursday morning to go over her plan and then I'll come home and write it up for her since she doesn't have easy access to a computer. I'm also going to take pictures of her--some for my project and some of her belly. I'm really looking forward to that.

We ate a quick lunch of spaghetti with some yummy meaty, mushroomy, spicy sauce I made yesterday and then she was off to meet her eldest son at the bus stop. I'm so excited about attending her birth. She's going to call me while she's still laboring at home as that has been the hardest part of her labor in her last two deliveries. I'm so psyched!! Even though I'm not going into midwifery right now, I'm still a serious birth junkie!

When she left, I called Amy to come over and got out my scrapbook stuff while I waited for her to arrive. I bought a new book on brush lettering (lettering using those brush tip felt pens) and tried the technique out. I had fun with that. I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I am a calligrapher and have been doing calligraphy and creative lettering since I was 12. In high school, I used to letter certificates and even did a few professional signs. Anyway, I had a great time learning this new style and foresee many dollars being spent acquiring more brush pens. I only have 6 of them and they're all dark. This technique uses lighter colors and color layering so I need some of the lighter colors. Nothing like a new pen obsession. Anyone who has seen my tacklebox with hundreds of dollars' worth of archival pens in 3 different formats (bullet tip/fine point, calligraphy, brush tip) knows I have serious feelings about my pens. And now I have more pens to buy! I'm going to have to clear out a new slot for my new brush pens, I see. (I *love* my tacklebox of scrapbook tools and pens. Love it!)

Finally Amy arrived and we started scrapbooking. She did her first 4 pages (2 2-page spreads). It was so fun! I did seven pages and it felt so good to be working on my books again. I love to scrapbook but I seem to not do it often enough. I'm glad Amy wanted to start learning how to scrapbook because it means I'll be getting my stuff out regularly with her. Maybe I'll even get it out when she's not here. Mmmmm--imagine that.

After Amy left, Joey was home and doing her homework which consisted of writing a story based on the 3-sentence story starter. She wrote in the space allotted and then proceeded to write 2 more pages to finish her story. She said, "I love writing. It's my favoritest thing to do. If I couldn't write, I think I'd die." Isn't that great? My daughter is a writer. So is that nature or nurture? Or does it really matter? She loves to write. I've seen this thing budding in her for years, but this was the first time she articulated it so well.

Amy and I split a case of chicken today from the Cattleman's guy so for dinner, I defrosted and grilled up 2 of the Cajun-marinated chicken breasts and put them over some spicy noodles. I made the sauce with about a tablespoon of olive oil, fresh garlic, about 3/4 to a cup of marinara, about a 1/4 cup of Schlotsky's pepper sauce, some sherry and a tiny bit of butter. I tossed the barely-drained pasta in the sauce and then sliced the chicken and laid it over the top. I called it Buffalo Chicken Pasta and it tasted so good! Ed loved it and even reheated some of it for a late-night snack. I'm definitely making that again! Mmmm--good. That chicken is going to be great to have in the freezer--it's delicious. In addition to the cajun, I have lemon pepper and honey mustard marinated and a big bag of chicken tenders and 3 prime T-bone steaks.

We went out for Chinese the other day and my fortune said, "You have a fine capacity for the enjoyment of life." Boy, did they hit the nail on the head with that one! Ed's said, "Your family is young, gifted and attractive." Couldn't have said it better myself. :-)

And on that happy note...

--L

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