Saturday, November 29, 2008

This does not seem real. Jennifer, my sister-in-law. I miss her.

Jennifer Alene Gilbert

GILBERT, Jennifer Alene Brown

Jennifer was born June 6, 1974 and passed away suddenly on Monday, November 24, 2008 at the age of 34 in Sacramento. A Sacramento resident all her life, she is survived by her beloved husband, Troy, and three loving children, Makenzy, age 7, Kacy, age 5, and Jake, 9 days old. She was preceded in death on February 23, 1994 by her mother, Sherrill L. Miller. She is survived by her father, Bradd Brown and stepmother, Ann Brown of El Dorado Hills; stepparents, Norm and Cynthia Miller of Fair Oaks; brothers, Kurt (Katie) Brown of Provo, UT, Brian (Jennifer) Miller of Roseville, Steven Miller of Fair Oaks; father and mother-in-law, John and Susanne Gilbert of Orangevale; brother and sister-in-law, Chris and Naomi Gilbert of Rancho Cordova; and numerous step-brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and other close family members whom she loved and who loved her dearly. Jennifer graduated from Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks where she was active in cheerleading and student activities. She held several jobs as an event coordinator in the hotel industry, Jennifer married her high school sweetheart in June 2000 and became a wonderful, loving mother to three children. Jennifer valued her family relationships above all else and she was devoted to her husband, children, parents, brothers and her large extended family. She had a joy for life, loved keeping family traditions, and was an understanding and supportive friend to many. Her good-natured, sweet, and down-to-earth attitude made her easy to talk to. Jennifer also found great joy in her service for the LDS Church where she worked in the Primary and Relief Society Organizations. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends. Words cannot express our profound grief at the loss of Jen, beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Services will be held at 11:00am on Saturday, November 29, 2008 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 5505 Hackberry Ln, Sacramento, CA 95841. Interment to follow at Sierra Hills Memorial Park, 5757 Greenback Lane, Sacramento, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Jennifer Gilbert Children's Trust at Bank of America. Arrangements by East Lawn Mortuary 916-732-2020.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's a dark day...

This will be short and sweet. I have more to do today than time in which to do it.

Quote of the day

Elizabeth: "It's okay if we drink blood, right, Mom?"*

Yeah, I'm a little excited for tonight.

Love Ramona? Me too.

Bursting into tears, she threw herself face down on the couch. She kicked and she pounded on the cushions with her fists. Everyone was against her. Nobody liked her. Even the cat did not like her. The room was silent, and Ramona had the satisfaction of knowing she had stopped their laughing. She heard responsible old Beezus go to her room to do her responsible old homework. Her parents continued to sit in silence, but Ramona was past caring what anyone did. She cried harder than she ever had cried in her life. She cried until she was limp and exhausted.

Then Ramona felt her mother's hand on her back. "Ramona," she said gently, "what are we going to do with you?"

With red eyes, a swollen face, and a streaming nose, Ramona sat up and glared at her mother. "Love me!" Her voice was fierce with hurt. Shocked at her own words, she buried her face in the pillow. She had no tears left.
The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

The Today Show ran a segment about doulas. I don't know what their purpose was in airing it, but it was not to educate the public about what a doula is and does. Their main consultant was an obstetrician whose hospital has banned doulas because of past conflicts. Apparently this particular hospital had a doula or two who made it difficult for the doctor's recommendations to be followed -- doulas are not supposed to give medical advice or do anything that can be construed as doing such; it's against our code of ethics. The OB said in no uncertain terms that doulas are not medically trained (which is true) and that therefore they only interfere with the medical aspect of birth (I have no words for this because every time I try to open my mouth, fire comes out instead of speech). The upshot of the segment was "Don't get a doula because they're poorly trained. Oh, and trust your doctor unquestioningly."

Well, of COURSE obstetricians are going to have a skewed perspective about doulas, because they're not in the same line of work. They work in the same sphere, but they have different objectives within that sphere -- or, more accurately, they're responsible for different parts of the same sphere. The boundaries of our practices do not really overlap.

But it is a little like asking a gay rights activist to explain the beliefs of the LDS church. You're not going to get a very favorable perspective, and the good points will definitely not be emphasized, if they come up at all. I don't know why they chose the approach they did, but what I do know is that a lot of people take The Today Show as factual information, and this sort of publicity will take some effort to overcome.

Well, I'm going to go chant with my rain stick for consolation now. My doula recertification is coming up and I'm way behind in my chanting.

*The context was that she was worried after swallowing a little of her own blood during a recent bloody nose. That was all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wherein I reveal that I am truly a geek. But at least my kids are cute.

Angela, at her friend Rusty's birthday party:

Angela: "Happy birthday!"
Rusty: "Happy birthday!
Angela: "Actually, it's not my birthday, but thank you."

Conversation at church:

Angela: "Smell my breath!"
Me, teasing: "Eww!"
Angela: "Now smell me."
I smell her neck and she giggles.
Angela: "Now smell something not on my body."
I pick up her hand and sniff it and she laughs.
Angela: "Nooo! Not on my body! Smell the church."
I breathe in deeply (smelling nothing) and say "Ahh."
Angela: "It smells YUCKY! because I tooted!"

What I've been doing:
  • Getting ready for next week! We have family coming in to town for two weeks over the holidays. That means Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations this week. Whew!
  • Reading! I've been devouring books lately. And I achieved my goal of finally, finally, finishing Pride and Prejudice.
  • Teaching! I have had the opportunity to see fear turned into confidence as women learn about childbirth. In discussions and classes, those who worried about what would happen during birth, avoided learning about it out of fear, and then found out that their fears were is thrilling. It reminds me that though we often avoid the things we're scared of, we might find, through facing our fears, that they're not nearly as bad as we'd thought. We shouldn't let fear keep us from the truth.
  • Feeding my 70's sci-fi appetite! Rob and I have been watching as much of Solaris as we can stand, and I have to say that watching a creepy movie before bedtime helps with the nighttime cuddling.
So, if there was ever a week beyond July 2007 to geek out, this is definitely it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween parade

Elizabeth's school Halloween parade:

A lone Yoda:

Here she comes!

Getting closer...

...And then she lost a shoe, found it, and then RAN to catch up with her class, missing the photo op and not seeing her mother in the sidelines but finding her classmates:

Walking back to class:

Here is the Mary Poppins costume (I didn't get a great picture of it, but as you can see, it was awesome):

"Look! I can touch the ceiling!"