Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

January 31, 2005

Labor Month begins

I've started the ninth month of pregnancy, which Dr. Sears calls the Labor Month because my body is getting ready for labor and delivery all month, and I can really tell. I not only waddle, but I feel like I lumber around when I walk because I'm generally sore from ligaments stretching. It's taking longer and longer for me to get myself up off of the floor if I'm sitting there. I have a harder time sleeping because it's hard to get comfortable and I have to get up many times in the night to go to the bathroom. Apparently my body is getting rid of extra water now that I've been carrying as amniotic fuid, maybe because the baby's so big now that there's not room for it anymore. So all that makes me tireder and grouchier than I have been. And when I'm tired and grouchy, I feel less able to deal with difficulties that are presented to me. Less capable, less patient. And I have to take naps in the middle of the day sometimes, which the kids don't enjoy, even if they sometimes get to watch extra TV while I rest. I'm really introspective and inwardly focused a lot of the time, which makes me not want to go out anywhere or talk to people very much, although if I have the energy, it's really good for me to do both of those things. But sometimes I just feel so sensitive that I can't bear to be around anyone that might say something jocular or irritating about pregnancy or third babies or having three girls. I'm always trying to figure out what I can and should eat to avoid heartburn and still get in all the good stuff for baby. I've gone back to eating apples all day. Yummy! I spend time talking to and thinking about Theresa a lot, and thinking about and rehearsing labor stuff like relaxation techniques and self-talk to get through painful contractions, which looks to the outside like I'm studying my very outy belly button. I have a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, especially when I'm tired and stressed from a long day, which only compounds the tired and stressedness. Can you tell that I'm getting close to the end of pregnancy where one has had just about enough? I felt so much better about this fact when I read that all the things I've listed are simply symptoms of the Labor Month.

I look around the house every day and try to figure out what needs to get done before the baby comes. Yesterday we finally oiled the hinges on our bedroom door that have been getting squeakier and louder over the whole time we've lived here. Now it's totally silent so it's ready for a sleeping baby. Billy says he expects to see her in there now that we've gotten it ready for her. We've gotten all of the things we've been collecting and saving for new babyhood out of the attic, and each thing makes Theresa's arrival more real- baby monitor, nursing stool, new changing pad, all the little clothes washed and put away in her dresser, little tiny diapers (so cute!). I've also been packing my bags for labor and the hospital stay. I have to do that in short spurts because it's intense to make that part real.

I've been relaxing by taking baths (also to get ready for laboring in a water birth tub) and trying! to watch funny movies, although I'm having a hard time thinking of any because I'm so distracted. Saying prayers for Theresa is also wonderful, but usually makes me cry becouse I get so, I don't know, hormonal or sentimental, or maybe just full of that intense mommy love. I've also been playing with my NEW SEWING MACHINE! which I ordered online and got a couple days later. It's a very simple Janome with an extra quilting set of attachments. I've been playing with scraps and making them into a wall hanging with little pockets in it for each person in our family for Ayyam-i-Ha. We had one like it when I was little that my mom made. It was a really fun tradition. If the presents were too big to go in the pockets there would be ribbons attached to them from the pockets or clues to where to find them. I feel too distracted to work on anything larger than improvised little projects right now, but that's fine. It's just where I'm at.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 09:33 AM | Comments (4)

January 24, 2005

Play the guessing game!

OK, it's time for all you out in weblog-land to guess when this baby's gonna come on the scene and how much she's gonna weigh. The winner, gets, um, to hold the baby...and...to be right! Let's see who gets the closest without going over. It may be helpful to know that her due date is offically February 27th. And just to throw you off, Georgia was 6 lb 15 oz and was 5 days late, and Maya was 7 lb 10 oz and was 2 weeks early. Ha! How's that for confusing?

P.S. to Liz: I couldn't help it! I wanted a larger audience for this one.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 11:54 AM | Comments (15)

picture day

It's picture day!

Guyot Dinner 0028.JPG
"Little" Amy turned three with the family in attendance. Yeah!

Guyot Dinner 0035.JPG
Billy and Maya made snowflakes at their respective skill levels. Billy's is a masterpiece of stars and interlocking shapes, Maya acheived her goal of being silly by just cutting the top off of her piece of paper and laughing when the pieces flew across the table.

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The new style - you saw it here first! Yes, those are pants on their heads.

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Here's my tummy, and my hand is being a Theresa 'puppet' and talking to the kids as her. I'm impressed that just putting two fingers together can cause the kids to have a total suspension of disbeleif and they sincerely talk to my hand as if it's Theresa. No special props or effects needed.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 07:53 AM | Comments (3)

January 21, 2005

you're going to be fine

So what a week it's been at the Baker household. We hired a doula for the upcoming labor and Billy has decided to change jobs. The two are swimming around each other in my head because they seem so connected.

First the job FAQ's: the new job is also here in town, and it's actually in walking distance, or at least biking distance because it's on campus. It's with NCSA which stands for something about National Supercomputing Applications (I'm sure I'll learn the accurate title soon, but you get the picture). It's a two year position that could lead to a more permanent thing if it goes well. It's in a field that Billy wants to get into that's 'cutting edge' scientifically in computers called 'grid computing' or something close to that. Beyond that, you'll have to ask Billy what he'll be doing. He'll have three more weeks vacation than at his current (or I should say past) job and it will be more stable than working for a start up. Health insurance will be the same, thank you God.

Making this decision has been very painful for dear Billy because it's so hard to decide between two seemingly similarly good jobs. It took until the night before his decision due date for his water to break and as he went into active labor with it Monday night, I got to be his doula and try to help him get through all the pain to the birth of a decision. I asked him every question I could think of to tease out the differences between the two jobs in the past, present, and future and just to be there for him, reflecting his power and true self to him. The reality started to emerge around 2:30 AM that NCSA was the decision that was right for him and for us. There's something about consultation that just smacks of labor and birth sometimes. The result can be amazing, not what you thought, and hopefully right, but, if nothing else, when the result is unity of thought, there is something almost sacred about it that you have to really pay attention to and that you can confidently act on.

So the doula interview (I was being interviewed as much as or more than the doula was) went really well and it was really great to get to talk to an experienced labor person about my experiences to try to get some perspective on them and learn from them to help with Theresa's birth. (She's doing fine, by the way, measuring well, heartbeat is good, she's about four and a half pounds now and eighteen inches long. She's in just the right position, both for coming out well and for kicking me in the ribs. That's fine, I can take that much better than back labor.) The doula I was talking to used to be a therapist, as in counselor, so I really got a lot of mileage out of our conversation. The doula program at Carle is the kind where you get whoever is on call, so I don't know if it will be her, but I'm pretty sure that it will be a positive experience, no matter who I get. I've met them all, and they all seem very supportive, though some seem more experienced than others.

Both of these experiences made snatches of this old Ani DiFranco song pop into my head tonight, and it's been years since I actually heard it, but I'll try to recreate the parts of it that seem relevant:

We can't sit back and let people come to harm
we owe them our lives.
Each breath is recycled from someone else's lungs
our enemies are the very air and the sky.

And I am looking, looking for the holes
the holes in your jeans,
because I want to know
are they worn out in the seat or are they
worn out in the knees.

(something something)...they told me you were stashed
last time I asked
and she said I've been out now for all of three hours
I just resurfaced and
here you are...
A strong wind could blow you down I heard myself say.

Skeletons are fine,
your closet or mine
we took turns recounting the details of lost time
and when we had both admitted it all
we threw our heads back and we
laughed until we cried.

And I was aware that with every word,
spoken and shared I could see her shaking subside.
And I said, sister, looks to me
like you're going to be fine.

-Ani DiFranco (sorry if I got any words wrong, Ani)

Posted by Bahiyyih at 03:09 AM | Comments (2)

January 17, 2005

mission accomplished

Graham Cracker House 0011.JPG

Georgia, Maya, and I successfully created a gingerbread house on Friday. It doesn't have a lick of gingerbread on it, however. It's made of graham crackers 'glued' onto a cardboard house with royal icing (that superwhite icing that hardens to rock consistency when it dries). The roof is shingled with frosted mini wheats. It was really fun to make for all involved. I really got into making a miniature house, and the kids had a lot of fun with the 'glue', which they squeezed out of plastic bags with a little hole cut in one end onto every surface they could manage. Sticking all the candy and things into that oozy stuff was very satisfying too. I had a strategy to keep them from eating too much sweet stuff- I only bought candy that either didn't taste very good or really tasted bad, in my opinion. It worked pretty well- Georgia mostly ate graham crackers and Maya had one of each kind of candy but wasn't interested in seconds. And then, once the candy was stuck to the house, they weren't allowed to take it back off again- and they didn't want to mess up their creation!

Graham Cracker House 0017.JPG
(glamour shot)

Posted by Bahiyyih at 08:59 PM | Comments (4)


Here's a fun quote about the meaning of leadership, in the context of homeschooling, from "Teach Your Own" by John Holt and Patrick Farenga:

"Leaders are not what many people think- people with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see whether anyone is following them. "Leadership qualities" are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. The include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, determination, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head even when things are going badly.

This is the opposite of the "Charisma" that we hear so much about. Charismatic leaders make us think, "Oh, if only I could do that, be like that." True leaders make us think, "If they can do that, then by golly I can too." They do not make people into followers, but into new leaders. The homeschooling movement is full of such people, "ordinary" people doing things that they never would have thought they could do- learning the law, questioning the experts, holding their ground against arrogant and threatening authorities, defending themselves and their convictions in the press, on TV, even in court. Seeing them, other ordinary people think they can do the same, and soon they do.

This is why it can be a little misleading to speak of the homeschooling "movement". Most people think of a movement as something like an army, a few generals and a great many buck privates. In the movement for homeschooling, everyone is a general." p. 66

This page of the book stood out to me because I feel myself immersed in trying to figure out how to 'do' homeschooling and at the same time to defend my right and good sense in choosing this path to family and friends. Doing those two things at the same time is a lot for me to keep in my head, especially with pregnancy brain, where I'm all 'baby baby baby' in my head all day. Anyways, the above quote is encouraging to me because it reminds me that it's ok to do what I think is right, even if it's different from what most other people are doing. That's always nice, as I add homeschooling to the long list of things that are different and unusual about me.

And since it's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, it seems especially appropriate to talk about what makes a leader effective.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 08:36 PM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2005

for Husayn and Suzanne

OK, everybody who knows the Allmarts, let's send them off to their new place in Evanston with happiness- please send me in the comments the funniest memory you have of either Husayn or Suzanne from their time here in C-U. It needn't be the all-time funniest, that's much harder to judge- just a funny one. Hopefully this will be fun and they will get a kick out of reading it.

Here's one of mine and, of course, it involves scaring Husayn. I had just come home from Louhelen Baha'i School and was eager to see my family again, who were over at the Allmarts. I ran up to their sliding glass doors and yanked them open, and Husayn was sitting right there next to the door and jumped up and screamed from the surprise of me pouncing into his house.

Now I'm sure those of you with better memories can top that one. How bout it?

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:05 AM | Comments (2)

January 11, 2005


"I know nothing stays the same, but if you're willing to play the game, it will be comin' around again." -Carly Simon (I think)

I've got some dear friends leaving town and others planning their move this summer. Changes always take my breath away and make me feel like life is all weird and uncomfortable. And you can't really replace friends like these, even though other dear people have just moved here, and more will be coming soon, and BORN SOON. It just makes it feel more complicated. I know I'm not very good at keeping in touch with people that are far away, though the weblog phenomenon should help quite a bit. I'm really grateful for the time I've spent with these friends, and I know nothing stays the same. I will just have to keep playing the 'game' so these good times can 'come around again'. And they always do, even if it takes awile.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 04:14 PM | Comments (6)

winter playing

It's been an exciting time for playing outside for the kiddos. Here's proof..

Ice and Snow and Guyots 0020.JPG

Here's Maya looking for more ice to eat.

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Billy took the girls sledding one day, and they spent most of the time eating snow, but got some good sled action in too.

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Here's Georgia walking on (frozen) water in Busey woods. Don't worry, the ice was at least 6 inches thick on this day.

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and when it's too cold to play outside, Billy takes them on wacky indoor fieldtrips- like this one to Lowes to play in the bathtubs and showers on display.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 09:05 AM | Comments (1)

January 03, 2005


Here's a thought I thought while making a color-by-number picture for Georgia to color in: There are many different palettes in nature. There's really something to fit every person's taste of color and line and shape somewhere in the world or in the cycle of the seasons. I can't think of a person who could not find some color from the outdoor world pleasing. There are those crazy neons in sunsets, the whole brown and dark green of leafy things even on a dreary winter day, the high contrast of snow and black tree trunks, the clear blues and fluffy white of clouds on fair days, tan and slightly different tan sandscapes, moody purples and blue-greens of oceans and shadows, the palest pink and yellow of spring wildflowers, and on and on. It makes me feel like even our senses of beauty are all provided for and satisfied by a Loving and Omniscient Creator. Thank You!

(This is the wonderful effect that quilting all day has on me. The kids let me quilt while they played in intervals all morning and afternoon until I had finished my little project of making my quilt square for the quilting circle. I wanted to be done with mine ahead of time so I can help any new people that come to the next one get started. Anyways, working with all those different colors in the fabrics brings out all these happy color thoughts in me. I tell people that quilting keeps me out of trouble, and I really mean it. In this case, it keeps my mind focused on the positive aspects of life and helps me live in the creative part of my brain:)

Posted by Bahiyyih at 05:10 PM | Comments (2)


Today the girls pretended for a long time that Maya was getting married at Bake and Shake (their version of Steak and Shake) wearing a doll blanket wrapped around her middle for a wedding dress. It's true that kids work out their understandings of things by pracising with play- they just went to a wedding reception a couple days ago and had a great time. (Though the reception in real life was not at Bake and Shake, of course)

Posted by Bahiyyih at 02:07 PM | Comments (1)

January 02, 2005

homeschool school

Heidi told me about these schools around the country ( and world, for that matter) that I'd never heard of before. A lot of them are new, but the original has been around for thirty years in Framingham, Mass (a town that Billy really likes, having lived next door in Natick in his Boston years). The schools are called Sudbury Schools or more generally democratic schools and they basically do all the things that I'm so philosophically interested in that made me want to homeschool, except in a small private school setting. Interesting! I have yet to inverstigate whether or not they live up to their mandate in practical everyday life, but the idea is good. The flow of power is one thing they are big on- all the kids and staff each have a vote on rules, hiring, and the running of the school (I've never heard of that before). They're big on freedom- trying to do the American ideal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for kids- and kids basically choose what they do all day without any curriculum and are helped along by 'staff' (not even called teachers) when the KIDS ASK THEM TO AND NOT BEFORE. Kids often learn from each other- the school goes from age 4 to 18 or 19. There is no testing or evaluation of academic work, except what the children do themselves. They are responsible for finding interesting things to do and learning what they want to learn. They do a lot of going outside the school to play and learn and there is generally a lot of play that happens that naturally leads to learning. They have had great success with this approach and graduates (who defend a thesis that they are ready to be productive members of society to get a diploma) have gone on to all kinds of careers and most go on to college and advanced degrees. Mostly, though, they know who they are and what they want. They can still think for themselves at the end of their school days. Revolutionary! It costs a lot, but not as much as Montessori, and they often have sliding scales and/or discounts for second and third, etc. children from the same family. So go check it out if you're curious- you can google it to find Sudbury Schools.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2005


Georgia really wants to make a gingerbread house. We've been looking at pictures of them on the web and they all look so yummy and fun. So hopefully we'll try and make one in the next week or two. Does anyone want to make it with us some weekday afternoon? I've never done such a thing, so we may get some kind of kit and cheat with the whole gingerbread baking part of it. I think the real attraction is being in close proximity to all that icing and candy but I don't know- I really LOVED building little models and dioramas when I was little. Those are some of my fondest memories from childhood.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 05:53 PM | Comments (2)