Monday, July 28, 2014

Heidi Olivia (warning: contains birth story details)

I had thought that giving birth the second time would be very very different. However, it was similar to Sophia's birth, just shorter. With Sophia, I remember vividly that I had 'bloody show' on Monday, April 30th in the mid-afternoon. We (my parents and I) were shopping at the Mall of America when I had it. Then, about 24 hours later on Tuesday, May 1st, I had my first real contraction and labor started. We went to the hospital around 9:00 p.m. and I was about 5 cm dilated. Got the epidural, and at 1:25 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2nd, Sophia was born. From the first labor sign to birth it was about 36 hours. Prior to that, I had no dilation or effacement or anything at the other doctor's appointments. 

This time, I woke up on Wednesday morning, July 23rd, for work. I had 'bloody show' that morning before leaving for work.  I thought to myself, "we are going to have a baby tomorrow!" But, knowing that not all deliveries are the same, I was hesitant expect labor to start. Especially because Sophia was 4 days late, and if I did go into labor this baby would have been 4 days early. I did call Chris and warn him at work that we might not have much longer until there is a baby born.  Work went as usual that day, no 'real' contractions or anything like that. Sometimes between 2 and 3 a.m. on Thursday morning, I started to get real contractions. Just like with Sophia, when they started, they started strong. However, these were even stronger and faster than they were with Sophia. By before 7 a.m. I was calling the doctor to go to the hospital.  Poor Chris had the life squeezed out of his arms as I was laying there in bed, crying in pain...  We got to the emergency entrance and I was wheeled up to the labor and delivery area. We got to the hospital and I was dilated to a 7! I was worried I wouldn't be able to get the epidural in time, but I did.  After the first push, the nurse said "You're crowning! I'm going to get the doctor" and then two pushes later, at 10:42 a.m. on Thursday, July 24, 2014, Heidi Olivia Pitts was born at 7 lb, 8 oz. and 20 3/4 inches long, with a head size of 13 inches.  The nurse was telling me that I was just born to give birth, given how smooth the process was.  I don't remember all of my nurses, but Carol, Misty, Erika, and Liz were some who stick out in memory. Dr. Akkerman was the doc who delivered (not the doc I saw throughout the pregnancy, who was Dr. Robert Miller, but I delivered at a different hospital and I don't believe Dr. Miller does deliveries anymore).  Interestingly, Liz was a Tottenham Hotsp*rs fan... you really don't run into many of those (mostly because they are too embarrassed, I think).

It is amazing just how much of the pain you forget. When I was lying in bed that morning, dreading the next contraction, I was just absolutely crying in pain and hardly able to control myself when they started. Before we left for the hospital I just collapsed on the stairs in pain from a contraction. What is even more amazing is just how quickly the pain is forgotten. As soon as the moment I was holding my sweet baby girl, the memory of the pain already started to fade away. I also forgot just how painful breastfeeding is right away - just gotta push through it!! Heidi was nearly identical in size to Sophia, who had the same head size and length but weighed 7 lb. 10 oz.  It is also amazing just how different they are from the start. Sophia had her first bowel movement almost as soon as she was placed in my arms, and it got all over me...and she didn't stop having those movements. Heidi, however, did not have one for almost 10 hours - I was starting to get worried (even though they say they only expect one in the first 24 hours).  Then after her first 4 poos, she stopped having one for over 24 hours, then she had one (stimulated by a thermometer), then it was ANOTHER 24 hours before she had one (stimulated, again, by a thermometer). Now she seems to be quite on track though.  Doctor appointment with Heidi went very well today; she is almost back up to her birth weight already (after only 4 days!). She weight 7 lb. 6 oz. today, which puts her in the 25th-ish percentile (I think?). She was also 21 inches, 50th percentile, and had the same head size of 13 inches, which is apparently only the 3rd percentile (maybe why she was so easy to push out?)

In other news, Chris has two weeks of paternity leave, which is awesome. It's nice to have the extra help with the two kiddos now.  I also am overwhelmed by the amazing support from our church group, who are bringing meals for us almost every night over the next week and a half.  God is so good, in all the ways that he provides and cares from the instant this baby was conceived to delivery and after.

In the midst of this, Chris had his 30th birthday on July 26th. Months ago, I was encouraging Chris to go to an Arsenal game that was played in New York ON his birthday because Arsenal was going to be playing the Red Bulls, who have Thierry Henry on their team, and it just would've been awesome. I was sure I wouldn't deliver until early August because Sophia was late... well, as I was in labor, Chris was saying he was glad he didn't go to the game.  I am glad too! And, my Dad's 60th birthday was today (July 28th).  It is a busy time for our family - Dan's girlfriend, Emily's, birthday is on the 22nd - so we have 4 birthdays in a period of a week! And, in Utah they will be doing fireworks every year on Heidi's birthday (I don't think "Pioneer Day" is celebrated anywhere else...).  July 24th also happens to be Chris' cousin's birthday (Brandon).  It was nice to have so many birthday presents covered by one event ;)

I am looking forward to my baby sister, Meghan visiting in two days. She is bringing her boyfriend, Stephen. I haven't met Stephen yet, but I am looking forward to meeting him.  I can't wait for my parents to come out either - at the beginning of September. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Grow(i)n(g) Up

Sophia has recently discovered flip-flops. These are absolutely her favorite thing, and she can't get enough of wearing them. I made her wear her Keen shoes to daycare because they are a little more stubbed-toe friendly and as soon as she got home she changed into flip-flops.

Sometimes she doesn't quite get it right when she puts them on... but I think it is just way too cute to correct her.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


This debate over the healthcare contraception is just down right silly. It is clear that people have no interest in doing their own research.  Hobby lobby will provide most contraceptive medications but won't provide controversial ones, such as the Plan B pill, which are SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO ABORT A FETUS AFTER CONCEPTION. If you aee truly that concerned, pay for the less than $50 pill yourself. Or go to Planned Parenthood (talk about an ironic name) and get the pill free. Why the attack on somebody else's rights?  Because this is a selfish generation, with a severe problem with entitlements.

I just read an article from NOW that lists the "Dirty 100", or organizations that are filing suit to be able to not have to provide contraception. On the list is a group of nuns, "Little Sister of the Poor" who apparently help tend to the needs of impoverished elderly people.  Seriously, NOW? On top of this, they strongly attack the Catholic Church. Here is a quote from the article:

"There is still an opportunity for Catholic Church leaders to reverse their mistaken and even cruel position on contraception, joining the modern world and perhaps regaining respect from the laity and the rest of the world." (Quote from "THE DIRTY 100 – The Story Behind the Litigation" by the NOW Foundation.

...What? I believe that "the world" or the secular culture is exactly what the church is trying to counter or escape. Why would that be a priority above Christ's call?  I cannot believe how far this has gone.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The REAL Football

Dear Ann Coulter,

I am a fan of yours, generally. Truly, I am. I have purchased/read several books and often make a point to read your column on  However, your most recent article was one that I found ill-informed and almost disturbing. Disliking a sport hardly qualifies it as being "liberal" or un-American. It is not as though sharing your personal opinion is what makes something American.  I thought I would give your article a response to share my viewpoint about soccer. Granted, my viewpoint is not unbiased either, as I am an Arsenal fan (I get it, not an American team) and have been fervently watching the USA in the World Cup.  My responses will be in blue. 


Now, this just seems unnecessary. Favorite pastime is hating soccer? Sure, the professional soccer thing has never been the top of our list, but who didn't play AYSO soccer as a young child? While I never watched professional soccer growing up, I did play in local organizations through most of my elementary school years, and I was a referee for a part-time job throughout my junior high years.  

I've held off on writing about soccer for a decade -- or about the length of the average soccer game -- so as not to offend anyone. But enough is enough. Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation's moral decay. 

This makes me think you have never actually watched a soccer game. Have you? Because a soccer game in "actual time" might be longer, 90 minutes of playing time, but I have yet to go to or watch a soccer game that is longer than a baseball, football, hockey, or basketball game. In actual time a football game is 60 minutes, but there is SO MUCH TIME WASTED for breaks and "huddles" and time-outs that the actual game takes about 3 hours or longer!! An average 90 minute soccer game might take up to two hours, usually slightly less. Nor do they have extravagant and flashy half-time shows with half-naked cheerleaders that make the games borderline unfriendly for family watching. 

(1) Individual achievement is not a big factor in soccer. In a real sport, players fumble passes, throw bricks and drop fly balls -- all in front of a crowd. When baseball players strike out, they're standing alone at the plate. But there's also individual glory in home runs, touchdowns and slam-dunks. 

In soccer, the blame is dispersed and almost no one scores anyway. There are no heroes, no losers, no accountability, and no child's fragile self-esteem is bruised. There's a reason perpetually alarmed women are called "soccer moms," not "football moms." 

Do they even have MVPs in soccer? Everyone just runs up and down the field and, every once in a while, a ball accidentally goes in. That's when we're supposed to go wild. I'm already asleep. 

Once again, this section begs the question, have you actually watched a soccer game? In a football game, there may be 1-2 touchdowns, and the glory may be given to the quarterback for a great pass or a running back for a great run, but it is the equivalent of scoring twice in a soccer game. I fail to see how two scores, whether the total is 14 points or two points, makes a significant difference in how interesting the game is. On top of that, there most certainly ARE heroes, winners, losers. Why do you think everybody talks about Lionel Messi, or Cristiano Ronaldo? Individual achievement is huge, and is very much a part of the game.  Just like in any sport, there are those primarily responsible for defending and those primarily responsible for scoring, and generally the scorers get the glory but a good defensive move gets just as much individual glory. And there seems to be a switch here from talking about professional vs. recreational sports - fragile self-esteem? All childhood sports now seem to coddle the children, but professional sports (soccer just as much as any sport) do not coddle their professional athletes.  For that matter, football seems to be a much "wussier" sport than soccer, because now all the players are whining about injuries that they received during playing years ago. 

(2) Liberal moms like soccer because it's a sport in which athletic talent finds so little expression that girls can play with boys. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level. 

AYSO soccer, the youth recreational league when I was growing up, DID have co-ed soccer when I was a young-un. I will grant you that. However, the co-ed age group was only through kindergarten, and after that boys separated from girls. This, however, does not mean that the sport is completely lacking in athletic ability. In fact, as a general rule boys and girls do not have a lot of different athletic ability until they are a little older. A 5 year old girl can hit a t-ball or kick a soccer ball just as hard as a 5 year old boy. I am not saying there should be equality between boys and girls. I believe in separation of genders for sports. However, at such a young age, when the children are more interested in dandelions and butterflies anyway, does it really matter? It is not as though there are co-ed leagues for soccer past young ages.  In fact, when I was slightly older and my youngest sister was in AYSO soccer, they had completely done away with the co-ed leagues anyway (at least where I lived). 

(3) No other "sport" ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer. This was an actual marquee sign by the freeway in Long Beach, California, about a World Cup game last week: "2nd period, 11 minutes left, score: 0:0." Two hours later, another World Cup game was on the same screen: "1st period, 8 minutes left, score: 0:0." If Michael Jackson had treated his chronic insomnia with a tape of Argentina vs. Brazil instead of Propofol, he'd still be alive, although bored. 

Even in football, by which I mean football, there are very few scoreless ties -- and it's a lot harder to score when a half-dozen 300-pound bruisers are trying to crush you. 

Here we go again, saying "sport" in quotations. There are probably few sports that require as much athletic endurance and ability as soccer. In football they are taking breaks every 10 seconds of play, in hockey they switch out players every 2-3 minutes, in baseball they have pinch runners so that the professional players do not actually have to expend any energy and can continue to work on their beer bellies.  But I digress. This section is primarily about ending in draws and how slow the game is.  Here's the thing...any sport is boring if you don't have someone to cheer for or you are not invested in the game at all. I challenge you to pick a team. Get to know the players. Watch the World Cup. Pick an English Premier League team. Pick an MLS team. Get involved in the game, and it is a lot more exciting.  I can't stand watching baseball, but that is because I never learned an appreciation for it, and never had a team to really follow.  Knowing the players and being involved in the game makes all the difference in the world for enjoyment of the sport. On top of that, what makes soccer interesting is that a draw still matters. The season does not end anticlimactically with a quick round of finals, but teams work hard through the entire season to earn enough points to matter.  A scoreless tie may not be the most thrilling game, especially to somebody who does not understand (or care to understand) the sport, but there are still interesting moments of watching great athletic talent. 

(4) The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport. Most sports are sublimated warfare. As Lady Thatcher reportedly said after Germany had beaten England in some major soccer game: Don't worry. After all, twice in this century we beat them at their national game.

Baseball and basketball present a constant threat of personal disgrace. In hockey, there are three or four fights a game -- and it's not a stroll on beach to be on ice with a puck flying around at 100 miles per hour. After a football game, ambulances carry off the wounded. After a soccer game, every player gets a ribbon and a juice box. 

Personal humiliation and major injury are both a part of the game. Aaron Ramsey, an Arsenal player, suffered a double fracture on his right leg in the 2010 season. That is not a rare occurrence either; there are several instances of broken legs.  Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey for the USA team have both broken a nose during this World Cup, and unlike other sports where the players might wimp out, they are both continuing to play.  Humiliation occurs regularly as well: there are own goals, there are missed chances, there are stupid mistakes like a keeper being too far out of the box.  And here once again you switch from a professional level to a recreational level. Most recently, for example, Arsenal went for 9 years without a trophy before winning the FA Cup Final this past May. 9 years! It was very trying for the fans and the players. This isn't a "fun-loving-everybody-wins-here-is-your-prize" sport. There is serious competition.  They may get a juice box - I have not personally asked professional players if they drink juice after the games so I cannot factually address that point. 

(5) You can't use your hands in soccer. (Thus eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.) What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs. Our hands can hold things. Here's a great idea: Let's create a game where you're not allowed to use them! 

Doesn't this just make the challenge of soccer more impressive? There is limited use of hands (keepers use their hands, and hands are used for throw-ins).  Unlike sports which opt for easier ways, players have to control and contain a fast moving ball with their chest or head - much more challenging than reaching out and grabbing it.  

(6) I resent the force-fed aspect of soccer. The same people trying to push soccer on Americans are the ones demanding that we love HBO's "Girls," light-rail, Beyonce and Hillary Clinton. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is "catching on" is exceeded only by the ones pretending women's basketball is fascinating. 

I note that we don't have to be endlessly told how exciting football is. simply not true. I have never even HEARD of HBO's "Girls".  Nor do I like anything to do with women's basketball.  I think light-rail is a waste of my money (as a tax payer). I have never listened to Beyonce, I prefer Toby Keith, and I am NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT interested in Hillary Clinton running for president...yikes. 

Honestly, I used to find football the most interesting and exciting sport, until I found a love for soccer. Now, when I watch football games, I find myself bored with the endless pauses and breaks and then, on top of that, commercial breaks. 

(7) It's foreign. In fact, that's the precise reason the Times is constantly hectoring Americans to love soccer. One group of sports fans with whom soccer is not "catching on" at all, is African-Americans. They remain distinctly unimpressed by the fact that the French like it. 

It may have a larger market in foreign countries, but that doesn't mean it is something to fear. Christmas trees are foreign. So is pizza. So are cappuccinos. America is a melting pot, is it not? Many things incorporated in our culture were "foreign" at one time. I would disagree, also, that it IS catching on. All throughout the country larger and larger groups of people are gathering together to watch games locally, or like in my case, gathering in pubs or bars to watch televised games together. It's catching on. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make with African-American people not liking the sport, especially because several of the players on the US team are African-American.

(8) Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it's European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren't committing mass murder by guillotine. 

Despite being subjected to Chinese-style brainwashing in the public schools to use centimeters and Celsius, ask any American for the temperature, and he'll say something like "70 degrees." Ask how far Boston is from New York City, he'll say it's about 200 miles. 

Liberals get angry and tell us that the metric system is more "rational" than the measurements everyone understands. This is ridiculous. An inch is the width of a man's thumb, a foot the length of his foot, a yard the length of his belt. That's easy to visualize. How do you visualize 147.2 centimeters?

Not a valid point. I'm not sure I should even address this one. Soccer is not like the metric system, and I'm not even sure how to rationally counter this. 

(9) Soccer is not "catching on." Headlines this week proclaimed "Record U.S. ratings for World Cup," and we had to hear -- again -- about the "growing popularity of soccer in the United States." 

The USA-Portugal game was the blockbuster match, garnering 18.2 million viewers on ESPN. This beat the second-most watched soccer game ever: The 1999 Women's World Cup final (USA vs. China) on ABC. (In soccer, the women's games are as thrilling as the men's.) 

Run-of-the-mill, regular-season Sunday Night Football games average more than 20 million viewers; NFL playoff games get 30 to 40 million viewers; and this year's Super Bowl had 111.5 million viewers. 

Remember when the media tried to foist British soccer star David Beckham and his permanently camera-ready wife on us a few years ago? Their arrival in America was heralded with 24-7 news coverage. That lasted about two days. Ratings tanked. No one cared. 

If more "Americans" are watching soccer today, it's only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy's 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time. 

More Americans ARE watching soccer. Isn't this evidenced by people taking off work early? The sport is not at a usual time, like an NFL game in the evening, but people are still watching. AT 3:00 IN THE AFTERNOON! To me, that sounds like something that is catching.  More people in America are watching the World Cup games than watched the World Series and NBA Playoffs, and significantly more watched the World Cup than watched the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It might not be as popular as football, but it is certainly gaining steam if it is bypassing our "national pastime" of baseball.  In addition, my great-grandparents (and my husband's great-grandparents) were born here, and we are watching soccer (even as I am writing this).