Friday, April 4, 2008

Birthdays and Half-Birthdays

Today is my most official half birthday; that's right, folks, I'm 25 1/2 today. When I was a kid we would get to pick out a cereal that we wanted on the week of our half birthday. This means a lot more when you realize that I was mainly raised on hot cereals, like Cream of Wheat, Cracked Wheat, Tapioca (betcha didn't know that could be a hot cereal even. It's delicious.), Rice Pudding (yet another surprise hot cereal. My mother has a broad imagination when it comes to hot cereals. And yet, I absolutely love this breakfast; I've never learned to make it though, I far prefer having her come and make it for me), and of course the old standard, Oatmeal.

So getting cereal at all was a big deal; I remember one Christmas, when I was in first grade, finding a box of Honeycomb under the Christmas tree. We were so excited for it, and of course immediately ate it for our Christmas breakfast. This memory stands out even more because it's the only thing that I do remember getting for Christmas that year. That's right, an entire Christmas morning was eclipsed by cold cereal. I could practically try out for Mary and Laura Ingalls, who when they got little cakes made completely with white sugar and flour for Christmas on the Prairie were speechless.

Of course, as we grew older my mom grew less diligent, and cold cereal crept into my life. But for much of my childhood getting to pick my own cereal was very exciting. The funny this is I can't actually remember any cereal that I did pick out for my half birthday. I do remember my older sister Camilla picking puffed rice, the kind that came in the big off brand bags for her cereal. This would have been when she was 10 or 11. I think the logic was how much cereal she could get, and also she had never tried it before. It turned out to be a flop for a cereal, but we did end up using it for months and months in our games when we played house, or whatnot.

This year I forgot about getting the cereal, and I didn't go grocery shopping with Avram because Lydia had a stomach bug yesterday, and so threw up everything she ate, so I stayed home with her while he went for us. So I didn't even get reminded. Avram did bring home a nice box of basic Cornflakes, which we've eaten most weeks since we've been here (to be fair, we haven't really followed this tradition since we've been married, and so it's not like he forgot to get me "my" cereal).

(Lydia had a blessing last night, and in it she was promised she would stop throwing up, and she did, even though it hadn't been 24 hours yet since she started being sick. I love the Priesthood. Today she's back to her old self).

Other than that I don't have a particular method of celebrating half-birthdays. In fact, my own birthday is pretty far from my mind; mainly I'm thinking of the soon-to-be-but-not-nearly-soon-enough birthday of little Elisheva. I'm thirty-five weeks along now, and I just want her out. I told Avram this this morning, and he suggested that we go to the hospital and tell them that, and they can just take her out. Ha, ha, if only they would. But then I'd have a C-section, which of course I don't want.

I've been spending way too much time reading homebirth stories in the UK, and although it helps me feel confident and prepared for labor and a home birth, at the same time it just really makes me want Elisheva out here with me, and not inside getting bigger. I'm driving poor Avram crazy, too. For one thing, his capacity of talking about the details of labor and birth is about five minutes (a little longer if I don't require a response from him). Mine at this point in my pregnancy is basically endless. It's rather pathetic, really. I'd like to think that I'm not a woman that gets so caught up in childbearing and raising that she can't talk about anything else, but at this stage in a pregnancy it's almost like being possessed by an alien; your body's not your own, and so it's natural that your thoughts aren't your own either. But this too shall pass; in five or six weeks (around May 8th) she'll come, and then I can return to obsessing about other areas of my life. Like what cold cereal to eat.


  1. Happy half birthday to you and me! My mom sometimes made us a cake (just a cheap, simple one) and we would eat it for a snack after school (no party or anything).

    I'm excited about Elisheva; I hope everything goes wonderfully.

    A few days ago I showed Samuel a few pictures of me *right after* I was born (we're talking seconds after). I think he was a bit disturbed.... I mean, I think it looks gross too, but it just doesn't disturb me as much I guess. Hopefully even less so after I actually have a baby.

  2. I used to think that new, newborn babies were ugly; I even used to tell people up until I had Lydia that I thought this, and I would even think this about my own baby.

    No, Lydia was beautiful as soon as she was born. Of course she was red, and a little squished, but it was all beautiful nevertheless. Now that I understand why newborns look different, I really do think very differently about them.

    That's right, it's your half birthday too. It's funny; I always remember that we have the same birthday (it's the best birthday to have, after all), but I had forgotten about the same half-birthday.

  3. I'm with Samuel on this offense Lydia. I still think you are wonderful!

  4. H'm!


    I feel for you, Avram.

  5. happy half birthday thora! I too rembmer that puffed rice cereal.. I also remember another christmas where there was captain crunch under the tree and everyone was really excited about that too. I also loved to sleep at friends houses becuase they always had cold cereal that i thought was just so exciting. I think they felt bad for me that I liked it so much! In college my freshman year i always had about 6 different boxes of cereal that i would eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner if i was wanting it. Even in my married years I have a little place in me that loves getting junk cereal. I usually get a box of reeces peanut butter cup cereal and i eat it for desert when cory is having ice cream ( which i dont like) Its also a lot less calories too!

    we just had porters half birthday, and all day i remembered that. Although we didnt do anything for it.. because he has cold cereal all the time.. and not sure what else one would do ( or if porter would understand a half birthday and not be upset that along with the word birthday there was no candles or parties or cake) He actually went to his first dentist appointment that day... happy half birthday to him!! lol. he did well though, let them clean his teeth.

    I LOVE to talk about labor, birth, etc too. You can call me or instant message me anytime!! Cory doesnt like to talk about it either. First off it grosses him out i think. He doesnt see the point i guess... But as a woman i am really into reading birth stories and different positions and such for when in labor. With this being my fouth i have read so many things about pregnancy and labor and delivery that I think i am getting close to being able to pass a midwife exam!

  6. the conversation with the pictures of me as a newborn covered in gunk was kind of humorous:

    Aleatha: here are some pictures of me taken right after I was born
    Samuel: .....oh, yuck!
    Aleatha: (pats him on back) well, it's just something to keep in mind.
    Samuel: ....................


  7. LOL, indeed Aleatha!

    It does make one think...

    ...about getting a puppy! ;D

    - Matt, whose wife has gone out of town and left him unsupervised on the internet!

  8. Thora, I make rice cereal too, but not like your mom made it, because incredibly, Oliver will eat it, and he can't tolerate large quantities of egg. But the way I make it is even easier than your mom's. You just take left over rice, and put it in a pan with whole milk (I guess you could use low-fat, but hey, it's PUDDING after all, why not splurge) and stir, stir, stir over med. heat. The rice will start to give up it's starch, and thicken the milk. When it gets to the consistency you like, add your sweetener (honey, brown sugar, maple syrup...) and your toppings (dried fruit, nuts, etc.) and your spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom...) and heat through. My fav additions are brown sugar, Crasins, and mandarin oranges, with a few almonds. So yummy, and really hits the spot on a cold morning.