Childbirth: friend or foe?

I have been perhaps always obsessed but not always knowledgeable about childbirth and what it entails. I cringe thinking about pain but get excited thinking about little creatures that live in your body. I find it interesting that specifically American culture views childbirth as a painful negative event that must be “endured” for the end result. It wasn’t like that 100 years ago. It’s not like that today in Japan and the Netherlands, both economically similar to the U.S. I’m currently reading Ina Mae Gaskin’s “Guide to Childbirth.” I will update another time.

Ikea: Disneyworld for adults

Saturday, Matt and I ventured into IKEA for the first time (we had a coupon for 3 free energy efficient lightbulbs).  I wish I had slept well and eaten before going, because it was a journey.  The parking lot was immense, and upon entering the store, there was a long line.  Was it to enter the store? No is was a place to drop off the bratty kids.  There was a ball pit!  I may be able to fit into children’s clothes, but apparently that doesn’t qualify me for ball pits anymore.  I guess I have to have a kid to go into those heavenly places again.  So we found our way into the store and it was designed like a freakin’ maze with arrows on the ground.  We were fine for about 15 minutes, enjoying the different scenes, bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms.  It was artfully displayed; I was glad I don’t have to buy or decorate any house stuff because it would have been TOO easy.  So after those lovely 15 minutes and no need to buy anything we both got antsy but there was no way OUT!!  We had to stay in the maze, which led to the warehouse (they have paper and pencils at the beginning of the rat maze so when you see a bed or kichen fridge you like, you write it down and find it in the warehouse), which led to the food court of swedish meatballs and ice cream, which led to check out.  For all the people in the store, we didn’t have to wait long.  Regardless, I was shell shocked and visually-overstimulated by IKEA.  It was an adventure, though.  I enjoyed the swedish bi-lingual everything
I try not to support the large conglomerates and padding those CEO’s while they exploit the minimum wage workers.  Supporting locally has much more benefits but I was surprised to see IKEA be so environmental.  They are working towards all their wood being FSC certified, but the current claim is that it does “not come from intact natural forests or forests with high conservation values”.    They do not allow child labor, they ban CFC’s and formaldehydes in their products.  They are constantly improving and I was pleased to learn of a large company that actually cares about their footprint on this little planet.
One more thing to add for improvement: adult ball-pits.