Let's Chat: Permanent Contraception

Momversation's new format asks that we address (solo) what's bugging us. For me, this week, it's birth control. Specifically permanent birth control, which was my knee-jerk "Yes, I must do that" reaction to finding out I was carrying a third and fourth child. We always knew we wanted two and then we went back and forth for an entire year re: being a family of five. But six? Oy and eep. Exciting! But still very oy and eep.

Moving on.

I am positive that after this, I'll be very much finished with the babymaking portion of my life. Hal, on the other hand isn't convinced. (Hal doesn't want a vasectomy, which I totally support. We have a full-support zero-pressure system in our marriage so although compromise is what holds us together, so is our understanding of the other's free will and feelings. Also, if it was up to Hal we'd have 89890231 kids because he's an insane person.) Hencefoth! This shit is on me. Because unlike Hal, I am convinced that four is PLENTY of children to raise and adore.

Behold, a short one-minute vid where (once again) I appear to be pooping in the still:


I think its a really interesting conversation mainly because it's a huge deal to permanently alter your body in such a way. And there's a part of me that wonders "what if I change my mind in ten years?" I am only thirty. Then again, exactly. If I don't do something permanent I am at risk for having 981908903281390 children and subsequently my own reality show disaster. Then again, what if somewhere down the line a family member or close friend wants to have children, cannot, and needs to borrow my uterus? I am totally down for surrogacy and feel it's only fair for those blessed with fertile bods to assist (if they can) those who aren't so fortunate. It feels almost selfish to close my shop. Or maybe that sounds totally naive. I've gone back and forth so many times, my head is literally spinning. I told my doctor several appointments ago that if I end up with a C-section (it's looking increasingly likely I'll be able to deliver vaginally) I want him to tie my tubes. I have since changed my mind. Then changed it back. Then changed it again.

The (above) video went live on Tuesday and after conversing with various commenters both here and on twitter, I'm pretty sure I'm going to experiment with the ONLY form of birth control I haven't used: The ParaGard (copper) IUD. Even if it makes me cramp more during periods and bleed all over myself for the first six weeks or whatever, I'd prefer that to the hormonal non-period lose-my-hair-and-sex-drive alternative. (For more on my Adventures with Mirena, you can read here, here and here). If that doesn't work, I'm seriously considering undergoing the Essure procedure, which is non-invasive, very permanent and seems to be the safest, most effective way to cease procreation.

Anyway.

I would love to hear from you regarding whether or not you've closed Uterine Shop permanently and if so, what you chose to do. Have you had a permanent procedure? A tubal? Essure? Has anyone ever regretted their decision? Or on the contrary, has anyone regretted NOT doing something more permanent? (ED: Please don't tell me Hal should get a vasectomy. If the roles were reversed and he was pressuring me to do something that might compromise my reproductive system against my will everyone would agree that would be uncool. Same goes for him because he is also a human with feelings.) It's a very personal choice, birth control but I feel like sharing stories (much like with my Mirena debacle) is both enlightening and helpful for those of us on the fence. Like me.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts on this. You rule.

GGC

Eat Well: Corn in the USA

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
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When I was little, corn on the cob in the stores was yellow and starchy. I will never forget taking a trip with my parents to Pennsylvania and stopping at a stand to buy corn. We brought it back to my grandparents to eat and I had never tasted anything like it. “Now THAT is how our corn tasted on our farm,” my mother exclaimed. “We used to boil the pot of water, run into the fields to pick the corn, quickly shuck it, and then drop it into the boiling water for exactly 3 minutes.” My dad chimed in with his Midwest memories, where white corn grew in abundance “White corn is the sweetest,” he insisted. I drooled at the thought of being able to have such a magical food all summer long.

White corn showed up in my neck of the woods in the late 60’s at Chino’s Farm in Rancho Santa Fe. We would drive to the stand, 20 minutes each way, for our Saturday night summer family feasts and we cherished each ear of corn as if it were gold. My parents didn’t even flinch at the high price since each bite brought them back to their childhood. Sweet, juicy, succulent…there is nothing better than fresh corn on the cob.

Today, we can get cheap and abundant fresh, white, sweet corn at our local grocery stores and farmer’s markets thanks to plant hybridizers who have developed all sorts of new varieties of white corn that retain their sugar content for a longer period of time before turning to starch. But there are still some tricks to picking out and cooking corn to optimize flavor and sweetness.

First, look for ears that have medium sized kernels. You actually are getting less for your money if you pick out the biggest ears since chances are the sugar has already converted into starch. I feel the cob around the middle and find ones that aren’t too fat. Then I peak inside and look at the kernels:
Test kernels to see if juice is clear.  Notice the size of the kernels..these are perfect.
If they are too large, I keep searching. (Make sure they are developed, however. If they are really small and without color, they aren’t mature). The other thing to do is to pierce a kernel with your fingernail.
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If the juice is clear, it’s a fresh ear with a high sugar content. If it is milky or dry, it has turned to starch. I even sometimes sneak a kernel from the top and taste it. Then you know for sure that it is sweet! Always buy corn the same day you are going to eat it, store it in the refrigerator and shuck just before cooking.

Often our no-fuss summer patio dinners consist of several salads (including a fruit salad and green bean salad), veggie burgers, and always, fresh corn on the cob.

Boiled Corn on the cob
Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add corn, and bring back to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Serve immediately with butter and salt and pepper for those who want it (I like mine just plain!). I always cook a few extra ears so I can use them the next day in salads such as the green bean salad below.

Grilled Corn
The simplest way to grill corn is to remove loose husks, cut off any silks that are exposed, and then soak the corn for about 39 minutes in a large tub of water, placing a weight on top of it so it is completely submerged.

When time is up, pour out water and grill, turning 3 or 4 times, for 10-20 minutes. Don’t worry if the husks get brown or burn.

If you want to be a little fancier, after you soak the corn, pull back the husks on each ear, leaving them attached at the stem, and remove the corn silk. At this point you can spread softened butter mixed with chili powder or paste or herbs.

Cover back up and tie at the top with a thin piece of cornhusk and grill. Lime juice goes great with this, too!

OR…… You can grill the husked corn on the grill as in the following recipe. ED: David and Alyssa gave me a subscription to Vegetarian Times a few months ago (which I LOVE), and this recipe was in the July/August 2011 issue:

Thai-Style Grilled Corn with Roasted Peanuts
2 T unsweetened, reduced-fat coconut milk
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. grated lime zest
¼ tsp. chile-garlic sauce, such as sambal oelek
¼ cup lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts
4 medium ears fresh corn, husked

1.Brush grill grates with oil, and preheat grill to medium.
2. Whisk together coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, lime zest, and chile-garlic sauce in bowl.
3. pulse peanuts in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to large plate.
4. Place corn on grill and cook 8 minutes, or until browned and lightly charred in spots. Turning occasionally. Brush with half of coconut milk mixture, and grill 2 minutes more.
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Transfer to platter. Brush with remaining coconut milk mixture and roll in peanuts.
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(served with homemade quinoa veggie burgers + green bean & corn salad, recipe below)

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I love adding fresh corn (cooked or raw) to salads. First cut the corn kernels off of the cob using a very sharp knife and using your fingers, break them up into their individual kernels.

Then use the back side of the knife to strip down the cob to get the inside of the kernels left on the cob.
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Right now I have an abundance of green beans in my garden and green bean salad is one of my summer favorites, so I added corn and made this easy salad. You can either use the corn raw or after it has been cooked.
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Green Bean and Corn Salad
2 lbs of green beans
2 ears of corn
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ small onion, thinly sliced (red or sweet yellow)
1 clove chopped garlic
3 T red wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 T fresh basil

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook corn for 3 minutes and set aside. In the same cooking water, cook beans for about 2 minutes.
Blanche beans
Beans should still be crisp. Immediately drain and plunge into ice water to stop cooking process (you can add the corn to the ice water, too, to cool it down).
Plunge in ice water after cooked
Cut beans into 1½ inch pieces. Toss with all ingredients and season to taste.
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Refrigerate and serve cold.
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Other corn ideas:

- Fresh corn off the cob is wonderful in an omelet and this one is particularly delicious:
-It’s delicious in quinoa salads, bean salads, and is fabulous in salsa with onion, black beans, lime and cilantro.
- And don’t forget stuffed quinoa peppers which uses lots of lovely summer corn and makes a great company dinner!
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recipe, here.

Enjoy your summer corn! And happy 4th to those celebrating this weekend!

Love,
WWW

Via Nowness: Time Doesn't Stand Still

The following was taken from Nowness.com, which has become a daily must for me. For those of you unfamiliar, Nowness posts daily videos, interviews and photo essays featuring the latest in film, fashion, literature, photography, and art in all forms. A daily sampling of thought-provoking things, if you will. Occasionally the site takes itself a little too seriously but for the most part it's a wonderful place to pick up imaginary hitchhikers.

The following short stars Benjamin Millepied (yes, Natalie Portman's) and Lea Seydoux, directed by Asa Mader and is so stunning to look at, I couldn't help but reach for my pack of invisible cigarettes and stare longingly into the eyes of one of the construction workers next door, dangling by his jackhammer outside my window. Hope you enjoy:

Time Doesn’t Stand Still from Asa Mader on Nowness.com.

More on the film, here.

GGC

Twenty Four Forty-Eight Weeks

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This week marks my forty-eighth week of pregnancy, which is what I'm officially now calling myself when people ask. Next week, I will be fifty whole weeks pregnant, which will sound impressive to July 4th beach-goers.

At last week's appointment with the perintologist, I was told that the babies were kicking so much ass they were actually one week bigger than what singleton babies typically are at this stage... Which means... something EXTRAORDINARY! Or not. I feel like they're compensating for the fact they will be born early (Due date is mid to late October-ish, but because they're twins, the first week of October is the very latest I'll give birth) which makes me want to give my belly a high five. And also, take a long nap. Grow on girls/ouch my bod!
Twin babies, fetuses at 24 weeks - BabyCenter
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Babies are the size of large "ears of corn" this week. That's twenty-four inches (twenty-seven, c/o growth spurt) of lady power! And hormones! Boom/Sob!

This week marked the beginning of my, "okay, I give up and am going to sit down/take a nap/fall down in a heap in the middle of the floor" phase. I worked from home last week (instead of my usual coffee shop writing on nanny days) and since today is officially our first day of summer and Archer's home from school and here with me and Fable I find myself staring out the window onto the patio wondering what the hell we're going to do for three months. Alas, I've been told by my doctors that although I'm doing great and the babies are kicking dat ass, I should be resting mine.

I gave the whole "sorry, guys but we'll be spending most of the summer here, at home, with the blow-up pool" speech. Which sounds idyllic now, as I'm typing, but is really only idyllic for one minute and then the kids are like, "I'm over it, now what?" and I'm lying on my back in the grass pretending to be asleep hoping they can figure that part out on their own.

Last night I took the plunge into "stuff-for-twins-ville" on Etsy and before I knew it had 78798271893 things in my cart. I settled on two - one for the nursery, one for the babies' newborn heads. Because, really, how could I not?
Tweedledee and Tweedledum Alice In Wonderland Silhouette Print
Tweedledee & Tweedledum print, found here
Then, out of the box came Thing 1 and Thing 2, Dr
Thing 1 & Thing 2 hats, found here

Spent the entire weekend watching Hal put together (one of the cribs) and move the bookshelf from the garage to the nursery, hang the curtains, use power tools... The room is getting close to being complete. My goal was to have it finished in the next six weeks, mainly because "thirty weeks" is the magic number when carrying multiples. I want to be prepared in case of early labor, bed rest and any other complication that may arise. I want to be at full capacity so I can shop, organize, tape decals to the wall... And right now, at twenty-four weeks forty-eight weeks pregnant I am perfectly capable of doing, organizing and telling Hal where to move things. And then move them somewhere else.
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Last night, amid my flurry of Etsy purchases, Hal came into my office and placed a card on my lap. I had just emailed him the link to my purchases ten minutes earlier (while he was working on HIS computer in the other room. Ahhhh, modern love!)

"What's this?" I asked.

"It's a card I got you at the store."

I opened the envelope to find this:
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And inside:

Love,

Doesn't this all just blow your fucking mind?...
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Fuck yes, my dearest darling. Mindblownonadailybasisfuckingfuck.

***


***

GGC

"I'm Fable and dees ah my happy gasses."

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GGC

Gone Maternity: Poolside Picks (& Giveaway!)

*updated with winner, below*
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ignore the diving board. it's vintage.

Woohoo! It's summer! (Never mind that my banner says otherwise!) Several people have been asking about maternity swimsuits, cover-ups as well as leggings. (Mine are Motherhood Maternity, btw). But today is about summer style... specifically, pool party wears and things that are beachy. I grew up on the beach so for me, summer is all about getting back to there. Whether in person, spirit or state of mind, bro. I've never owned a maternity swimsuit before this summer because they are typically hideous.

ED: There are two alternatives for maternity swimsuits - the let-it-all-hang-out option or the wrap-it-up option. I prefer to keep things covered and comfortable when pregnant, not that the belly isn't a beautiful thing - it just invites unwanted attention, especially in a crowded beach/pool party like setting. Whereas posting pictures of your bare belly online... very subtle.

Anyway, here are a few maternity-suit options, starting with mine, a chic one-piece c/o Seraphine Maternity who contacted me about doing a Maxi Dress giveaway (see below) and were kind enough to offer me my pick of their swimwear litter as well.

First let me say: There is nothing more awkward than having your husband take pictures of you in a bathingsuit while your parents (who are watching you from the kitchen window) are laughing. This is why last year I took self portraits.
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"Look like you're a pregnant DIVER on the go!"
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This halter one-piece has already become my go-to summer staple. (It looks great under halter maxi dresses for beach/pool and is comfortable and most importantly, stays put... because LORDY knows, I'm rocking a bit of a disco bush right now and my boobs are better left to the imagination, lets be honest.) Also, these pictures were taken several weeks ago. I have no idea if I will be able to fit in this swimsuit next weekend at our fourth of July beachfest. I'll keep you posted. (I also promise I'll have my summer banner by then, jeez.)
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Other maternity swimsuits you might love, prefacing with the sad fact that maternity swimsuits are pretty much the worst thing ever for some reason. (I scoured the web for HOURS yesterday and last night trying to find bathingsuits I felt comfortable recommending to you with a straight face and I came back to the one I'm wearing... without a very... uh... straight face.)
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But also, these:
Twist Front Maternity Tankini Swimsuit
Babydoll Maternity Tankini Swimsuit
Motherhood Maternity, Polkadot Babydoll, $30
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Decorative Trim Maternity Tankini Swimsuit

I'm not usually one for beaded swimsuits but this is kind of Boho and could be cute, especially paired with a long black skirt or a cute pair of shorts:

maternalamericabeads
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The above swimsuit with THIS white linen cover up would be lovely this time of year:
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More cute options for materni-outer(swim)wear are =
Ulla Johnson Strapless Tie Detail Maternity Dress
Loveappella Strapless Empire Seam Maternity Dress
Maternal America Maternity Convertible Dress
I love this next dress a latte. It's Boden Maternity and is the perfect summer party dress for my pregnant lady friends. With a pair of gold sandals and a simple gold pendant + messy beach hair = your man is going to want to impregnate you all over again, real talk.
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I'm sneaking this one in here even though its not really pool-appropriate in the slightest. I just found it, loved it and wanted to share. Kelly Green is my favorite color. This dress is a great alternative to the maxi, for those on the shorter side. The buttons are ridic.
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Rachel Pally Sleeveless High-low Hem Maternity Dress
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Moody Mamas Maternity Stripe Maxi Dress
LA Made Maternity 'Rala' Dress
Sleeveless Twist Neck Detail Maternity Maxi Dress

Other options, of course, would be to purchase some non-maternity Maxi Dresses. More on that, here. And yes, all of mine still fit.
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That about wraps 'er up! In the meantime, I have a Tie Rope Maxi c/o Seraphine Maternity available for giveaway for one lucky preggo reader! (When Seraphine contacted me a few months back, I fell instantly in love with the Tie Rope dress which I am modeling, a few weeks ago here today with fierce poses!)
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I wore this the other night with a cardi and strapless bra (seen here) and to Archer's Kindergarten graduation ceremony (omg) yesterday and felt very comfortable, even though I had a hot flash and butt-sweated all over myself. Luckily, the dress is navy. Very hot-flash-during-Kindergarten-graduation-proof.
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(worn with Havaianas, because they are what's most comfortable.)

Wanna win yourself a Seraphine Tie Rope dress? Awesome! Just tell me in the comments when you're due! To have a baby, that is. Or, if you're not currently pregnant but would like to someday be, know someone who is, would like to rock the dress anyway, please go ahead and join the party. Everyone is welcome to maternityland. And I imagine the dress would be just as lovely for those without basketball bods. Comment away! And don't forget to include your contact information! I'll pick one winner via random.org next Thursday. Good luck to you and thanks much, Seraphine! You guys are peachy!

GGC

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Updated: Congratulations to commenter #220, Lynzie! ...

...And thanks to all for your comments! So many gorgeous pregnant women in the house! Love it. Love you all and stay tuned for more fun giveaways coming soon!