Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Right now I'm watching an old episode of 19 kids and counting - the one right after Josie is born at 25ish weeks. I've just realized that she is the size that my Amelia is now. And that if Amelia were to be born today, she'd be this size. This small, this helpless, this fragile. Fragile takes on a whole new meaning when you look at a baby that small.

Today I had a prenatal appointment and got to hear Amelia's heartbeat. It sounded so strong and so perfect. Like always, she protested the doppler. She really doesn't like it AT ALL. Poor kid. But she settled in after a minute and let us listen to her. She's strong, and healthy, and perfect.

To think that she could be born right now and survive is amazing. To think that she is capable of living outside of me is just astonishing. On the other hand, looking at how tiny she would be/is - I'm equally astonished. That she could be so small and still look like a person. With fingers and eyelashes and everything. I'm amazed. Really amazed.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Perfect Snow

At the end of the day, snow is falling very slowly past a streetlamp outside my kitchen window.

For about 45 minutes, we thought we'd been stood up for Thanksgiving. We started the day slowly; thanks to HHBC we didn't have much cleaning to do to get the place ready for company. Around noon I started cooking, slowly, and thawing some of the frozen goodies I'd set aside for today. Dinner was supposed to be at 4, and by 4:30 no one was here.

Last year, we had 5 friends over, and some of them brought guests. Nice and busy, but not too crowded. We really couldn't have handled too many more people without some uncomfortable chaos. This year, we didn't put the word out very early, and the roads have been horrible (like, record setting dangerous) so we weren't expecting a huge crowd, and we weren't sure how many people were going to try and venture out.

3 minutes before we were going to start calling people, friends came. Just two this year, and it was, again, perfect. With our little one being so active and interested (in EVERYthing), a bigger crowd would have been really hard to handle.

At the end of the day, I have a full belly, a warmed heart, an exhausted and sleeping baby, and a slightly buzzed husband. I'm sitting here not wanting to go to sleep simply because I'm not ready to let go of such a wonderful day. I'm not ready for it to end, so I'm staying awake.

I think I've had a revelation since I've been sitting here. Part of why my marriage has changed is because we no longer drink very often. We were never big drinkers, we didn't drink much or often, but we became accustomed to wine with certain meals and beer with certain others. So, maybe 5-6 times per month we'd have alcohol with dinner. We both get a little warm and touchy after a drink or two and wind up cuddling on the couch. I think once I got pregnant and that alcohol consumption decreased, our innocent touching decreased as well. Not intentionally, not purposefully, but I believe it did. Tonight as we cuddled on the couch I suddenly remembered how wonderful that used to be. I suppose I know what we're going to start working on! That physical intimacy is harder to come by with a toddler running around, but it's very important to maintaining a relationship.

Yes, I'll have to talk to the hubby about this tomorrow. Maybe we'll start some after baby bedtime regular activity so we can get this touching in more frequently. Yes, definitely.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Funny, my bible doesn't say that. . .

A friend from long ago posted a scripture as her facebook status yesterday:

"Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones;a spanking won’t kill them. http://read.ly/Prov23.13.MSG"

Funny, my bible doesn't say that. In my NIV, Proverbs 23:13 reads "Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die."

Proverbs, a book of POETRY, written for young men, was never intended to be either a book of promises or law. As poetry, it is full of metaphors and symbols meant to help the reader bring his knowledge forth into wisdom. [Knowledge is the possession of facts, wisdom is the application of those facts.] Learning how to apply the rules of the law to your life is an art, and one that takes much practice and patience. Nowhere in Proverbs does the author use a word referencing children under 13(ish). Then there's the whole discussion of the rod - that one's been beaten almost to death I think (ha ha). But at the very least, if you are taking Proverbs literally, how would spanking your toddler with your hand on their butt be the same as using a staff across the back of a young teen? It isn't.

Also, let's look at Proverbs more closely. If we're taking individual Proverbs about 'fools' and 'folly' (which some have applied to children and their childishness) and trying to apply them to our lives, let's look at two right next to each other. Proverbs 26:4-5.

Proverbs 26:4 "
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself."
Proverbs 26:5 "
Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes."

How could both answer and not answer a fool according to his folly? Would it depend on the situation? Would carrying out these instructions involve wisdom and discernment and an understanding of the situation and players involved? If a tired toddler has a meltdown, is the wiser approach to punish her or to get her the rest she needs? Do you need to engage in your own antics to prove your authority, or, as her parent, do you need to help her learn to care for herself and help her learn how to deal with her frustrations? You won't always be there to threaten punishment when she has to make a difficult decision. Your child needs to learn how to evaluate a situation and address the true problem - not just the obvious symptom. Taking an aspirin to cure a headache does nothing to address the dehydration that caused it in the first place. Many situations will arise for your child that need to be addressed in the same way. She will need to understand that in order to have a productive relationship with her husband or cow0rkers or children, she needs to eat well, get rest, and practice the Gospel daily. Threats of punishment don't teach any of those things. Proverbs 26:4 & 5 are trying to tell you to evaluation a situation and address the root cause. Whether you engage with the fool or not depends on the folly and the fool. Babies don't always get what they want, but sometimes what they want is a little joy to relive boredom. Or help getting to sleep. And those things, those things you can engage with. If you learn to listen to your children and understand what they're asking you for.

And clearly, as Godly parents, wouldn't we have higher expectations than simple survival for our children? Is my only responsibility to keep them still breathing when they turn 18? Seriously? I don't think so. Setting your bar for success at 'breathing and obedient' isn't doing anybody any favors. It's just allowing you to be lazy.

But, all of that doesn't fit in a FB comment to a status update. And it would only provoke heat in a discussion that has far too much already. I'll just continue raising my children with gentleness, love, and WISDOM; everyone else will do as they see fit.

Here's a quick outline

Since I left a link to this blog on a forum I really enjoy, I thought I'd post a little recap for anyone who's taken the effort to click the link.

So. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska. I moved here with my husband in June of 2009. My daughter was born in August of that year. This year, we found out that I'm pregnant with number 2! She is due to appear in March.

In February, my husband (who is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks) has a HUGE comprehensive test. How he does on that test determines whether or not he stays in the program (and thus whether or not we made a ginormous mistake moving up here). Yep, I'm due to have our baby a few weeks later. Our older daughter will be 18 months old.

Phew. This is going to be a rough winter. Basically, we only get a few hours of twilight per day right now, and although that will start changing after the winter solstice, we will still be seeing a lot of dark when the babe is born. Husband will be busy, I'll be chasing a toddler, baby #2 will be trying to burst forth through my tightly stretched skin, and we won't even have sunlight to help our moods. Luckily, God will be even there.

If that sounds like a fun ride to read about, then stay tuned. I'll likely be posting more as I'm able to spend less time outside. 40 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) is a great temperature for blogging.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I've been working on my house lately. Clean, clean, clean, clean, clean.

And it looks great! Plus, Nanook is learning how to play by herself (at my feet) while I do dishes - added bonus. I was prepared to carry her in the Ergo, but I'm glad I don't have to.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The girls' first fight

Tonight as I was rocking Adelaide to sleep, Amelia staged a protest. Addie would relax, and then Amelia would kick. Amelia was kicking up into the top of my stomach and was connecting to where Adelaide's stomach rested on mine. So Amelia would kick, Adelaide would startle and throw out her arms and legs, then Adelaide would settle back in for a while only to have Amelia kick her again.

Ladies, oh ladies - this is the first step down a very long, hard road.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beautiful :)

Sitting here sipping hot chocolate, watching kids and their dad on the sledding hill. I can hear Nanook snoring over the monitor, my bathroom is clean, my kitchen floor is clean, my upstairs is all clean (!!!), and my husband will be home any minute.

Sometimes life is really good.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

cause for joy

126 videos that I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to get off my camera are finally on my computer. PTL! I am so excited!

*happy dance*

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

You Tell Me

I make a statement about my commitment to be a gentle, non-spanking parent/family or to never let my daughter cry, alone, to sleep.

You say "Just wait - once baby #2 comes along you'll change your mind."
Or "Once you get tired of being a martyr you'll be singing a different tune."

Shouldn't I be able to depend on my sisters in Christ for support in my morals and ideals? Shouldn't a friend be someone that will help me when I'm struggling? Help me to do the right thing not to give in to an easier, more tempting option?

The ideals I hold to may be different than yours, but they do not in any way conflict with the bible. So how could you NOT help me? Is it because you don't want to see me struggle? Because you don't want to see me work hard for something that is more than adequate? Would it be better for me to try less, work less hard, and achieve only an average or minimal goal?

From my perspective, giving in isn't minimal - it's far less than enough. Letting my daughter cry it out tonight would be an affront to the way I want to parent. Doing something that I KNOW jeopardizes her brain chemistry and future sleep patterns because I don't feel like working hard is not good enough. It's not ok. My bar is set much, much higher.

I don't think I'm better than you. I don't think that you're failing. I think we've committed to different ideals. Obviously, I think my ideals are, well, ideal. Why would I (we) have chosen and committed to them if I thought there was a better option? Most parents want to take care of their children according to the best way they know. Not many people begin with a lesser goal.

And accepting failure isn't OK. Maybe that's my real problem. I suppose I'm just more stubborn than most. I'm going to work harder, and persevere longer. I just will. Again, not because I'm better than you, but because it's who I am. I have come a long, long way. And I do not plan on forgetting all that I've learned.

Attachment matters. Attachment to people, to ideals and goals, to relationships and to your commitments. I've committed to this child, and to my ideals as a parent, and I could no sooner abandon my intentions to do my best than I could my daughter herself. I've grown attached to her, and I've grown attached to doing what's best for her. Including the hard things.

Breastfeeding wasn't easy. It was never easy. But I wouldn't just stop. I wouldn't just shrug my shoulders and give her something I know will put her at so many more risks. I worked. I researched. I studied. I networked. I asked around. And I found what I needed. And I fed my daughter.

Her sleep will be handled no differently. Had I listened to you when you first started telling me about letting her cry at night she'd probably still be experiencing miserable pain all night. I wouldn't have known to take her off dairy because I wouldn't have known what was happening with her. I couldn't have known what she was going through without staying up with her, focusing on her, listening to her. I couldn't have known that she had so much tummy pain if I hadn't been lying with her night after night watching her move and struggle.

Had I not addressed the underlying cause she would be at risk for serious problems later in life. Not to mention misery every single night even now.

No, I don't think the easier way is the better way. I don't think that doing less is justified by more responsibility. I don't agree that any parent who's been a parent longer than I or to more children than I inherently knows what's better. For my family or for any family.

So please, just support me. If you can't do that, say nothing at all. But don't undermine me. That does not sound Christ-like to me.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

With my last pregnancy, I watched birth videos and sought information voraciously. I ate it up. Could not get enough.

With this pregnancy, I watch a video and I'm filled with emotion and caught up in all the connotations. I am so emotionally connected to my last birth that I feel like I can't prepare for my next one. Maybe it's too soon? Maybe I should call Lady A.

I just can't let go of all the emotive memory of last time. How do you prepare for birth with so much memory? I had a great birth. I was healthy and strong and confident and my birth was perfect. Easy (as easy as can be anyway) and smooth. But it was still painful and it was still a lot of work and it was still a test that really pushed me.

Maybe that's what shocks me. I don't often feel like I'm pushing my own limits. I don't often feel truly tested. Maybe I need to start testing myself. Can I really do this or that or the other thing?

In Denver, I would push the limits of my independence regularly. I would take the bus all over town, I would search and seek out things I wanted to do that I'd never done before, I was strong and independent and confident. I rode that through my first birth. This time, I'm surrounded by a climate of fear and intimidation and uncontrollable elements.

Alaska, you do not seem to be good for my birthin' mind.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A new schedule

dishes (clean sink at bedtime!)
load of laundry
clean kitchen floor
tidy toys downstairs
tidy toys upstairs
clean highchair

10 - church
12 - Hubby's study group
vacuum upstairs
tidy our bedroom

6 - Hubby's class
clean Adelaide's room

9 - Hubby's on campus
baking/cooking projects
baby bath

2 - Hubby's class
clean kitchen

9 - Hubby's on campus
take pictures

5:30 - book club/playgroup
clean bathroom

baby bath
vacuum upstairs
tidy our bedroom

Adult clothes
Adult clothes
Baby clothes
Baby clothes
Towels/kitchen stuff
Shower curtain

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Matthew 5: 38-42

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

work, work?, work!

Genesis 16:9 The angel of the LORD said to her, "Return to your mistress and submit to her."

So, I have this great new job. Very rewarding, both emotionally and financially. I feel very blessed to have gotten this job in this economy. But when my employers found out I am pregnant, their attitude completely changed. They are not happy with me.

One boss has told me (several times) that she simply doesn't believe anyone can work and take care of two small children. I've tried explaining that millions of moms do this every day, that many of her own clients do this, and she just seems to think it's hogwash. The other boss is concerned about maternity leave. I've told her what I think will work and based my expectations entirely on what other people have previously done. None of those options were acceptable.

Apparently, the only acceptable option is full time, shortly after birth. I'm to get back with them next week with a number of how many weeks I want. Without a transition period of part time, I have no idea how many weeks I want. I can't imagine going back full time at 6 weeks, but I'll go plum crazy staying home for 12. I could randomly pick something in the middle, but I'm much less optimistic about no-work-then-full-time going well. Originally I was hoping I could stay home until my husband finished school for the year, then work part time until he went back in the fall. Then, when I went full time and the kiddo started day care, he or she would be about 6 months old. I really thought that seemed reasonable.

There is talk of a new option. One that is being investigated and may really help me out. But I need to give them numbers. I need to decide exactly what I want. And I have no idea how to do that.

I keep thinking the above verse should be telling me something. It really, really jumped out today. The simplest interpretation would be that I am to accept what they offer and keep working the job I've been placed in. God is rarely that straightforward. And I am no slave, neither are my bosses any sort of mistresses. Maybe I just need to suck it up and give them some numbers? Eek!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New plan!

I may or may not keep up with my other ideas for this blog. But today I am adding something new. My physical prayer and bible study journal is filling up, and I think I'm going to try keeping all those thoughts here from now on. I'm going to start reading the bible on a website, so an online journal to go with it might work just fine. Plus, this way I can be accountable in a way that I haven't been before. I may even find a real live person to check on me! Eek!

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Don't worry about what other people think- they don't do it very often."

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

"All children behave as well as they are treated." -Jan Hunt

"Christianity started out in Palestine as a fellowship. Then it moved to Greece and became a philosophy, then it went to Rome and became an institution, and then it went to Europe and became a government. Finally it came to America where we made it an enterprise." -Richard Halverson, while he was US Senate Chaplain

"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic." -Dave Barry

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." -Blaise Pascal

"Preach the gospel at all times -- If necessary, use words." - Saint Francis of Assisi

"Saints as a rule, know a great deal more of the Bible than they know of Christ." -J. B. S.

“I believe that the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man’s mind into a habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God.” -Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

"Why, then, is there so much unfreedom in religious circles today? The sad truth is that many Christians fear the responsibility of being free. It's often easier to let others make the decisions or to rely exclusively on the letter of the law. Some men and women want to be slaves." -Brennan Manning in The Wisdom of Tenderness

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

"In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." -Augustine

"The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. Just move to the side and live differently." -St. Francis

"When sinful, broken, hurting people are pleasantly surprised at how accepting we are, and religious people are outraged at how accepting we are, there is a good chance we're starting to live like Jesus." - Bruxy Cavey, in The End of Religion

"There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread." -Charles Dickens

"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it." - Ellen Goodman

"It is a mistake to look to the Bible to close a discussion; the Bible seeks to open one." -William Sloane Coffin

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” -Mark Twain

"[When our children] need discipline, we should give them the best example and the most effective way of guiding them to a place of understanding - spanking doesn't work on their heart and mind, just on their fear reaction. I am coming to see punitive parenting more and more as 'junk food for growing hearts'." - elcollins.

"What is more important? That I have a heartfelt connection with my child and am therefore able to influence them out of love, or that I am able to obtain obedience at all costs? Don’t make an idol out of obedience."

“Before becoming a mother I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and only one theory: Love them, especially when they least deserve to be loved.” -Kate Samperi

"People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The Good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; go good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you have anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway. "-Mother Teresa

"In the midst of an unbearable Winter, I found in me an invincible Summer." - Albert Camus

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mother Ease One Size Fitteds

One Size: Diapers that have vertical rows of snaps that allow the rise of the diaper to be adjusted as the baby grows.
Fitteds: An absorbent piece designed to fit like a diaper without requiring folding, pinning, or twisting. These require a waterproof cover.

These are my husbands favorite diaper. They are not mine.

  • trimmer than prefolds
  • absorbent (terry cloth sucks everything up like a bath towel)
  • adjustable (both width and height actually accommodate a good range of sizes)
  • they really never wear out (mine are on their third baby bum (that I know of) and show no signs of wear. These diapers are seriously made to last
  • very rookie friendly
  • they didn't go small enough even for my 9 lb newborn, they fit her when she was around 13 lbs
  • the terry cloth isn't very soft (granted, mine are very used. maybe it's better new?)
  • on its widest setting, a second set of snaps rest against the baby's skin in a way that looks uncomfortable to me
  • 4 of my diapers had snaps deform in the dryer. they melted a bit and are now sharp on the side that would be laying against my daughter's skin.
  • They are not trim in the front. Nanook's diaper cover is like an inch from her skin. She looks like she has a beer belly from this diaper.
The husband loves these diapers, probably because they're easy and quick to use. I do like that she can wear them without a snappi when she's going cover less and I like that we've NEVER had a leak. I paid $40 for 16 of them plus 8 doublers, and I think I got a great deal. At $11.95 each new, I don't know if we'll get more for the new babe or not.


Some people should not be facebook friends. Seriously. If you only sign on to criticize, then I might just prune you.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tired of sparkly, perfect diaper reviews?

Me too.

I look up diaper reviews and they all sound like paid advertisements. Because frequently, they are. On store websites some reviews will be negative, but many are solicited as entries for a giveaway. "Review my product, and you'll be entered to win more of my product!" A: That's a narrow audience to draw from. B: Who wants to review something negatively and jeopardize your chance of winning?

So I'm writing up my own reviews. I'll review the products I've tried, and I'll include a pros and cons list for every product. *gasp!* The negatives will be included!

I think I'll even add a list of links to the reviews on the sidebar so specific products will be easy to find. Maybe I can add a list of links to resources that don't need to be redone too.

Products I've used and could review today:
Mother Ease One Size fitteds
BumGenius One Size Organic all in ones
BumGenius Sized all in ones
BumGenius 3.0 pockets (though the company calls them all in ones, they aren't)
Bottom Bumpers Sized all in ones
Bummis prefolds
Bummis covers
Fuzzi Buns sized pockets
generic prefolds (I'll include a link to the store where I bought them in case they ever list the manufacturer)
Home made fleece liners
Bummis fleece liners
Organic vs. non-organic cotton
Natural vs. non-natural fibers

Products I want to try:
Flip system (pretty sure one could use the inserts with any cover
Newborn inserts in small covers (like a cheaply rigged flip system)
Thirsties covers (especially the pretty one with the tree pattern)
More hip snap diapers or covers

Guardians and Godparents

I feel compelled to consider guardians and godparents for my little Nanook.

The decision is complicated though. The people that immediately come to mind, DAL would be amazing parents. They have huge hearts and an incredible desire to serve God and serve others. They are wonderful, good people. But I'm afraid that naming them would place an undue burden on them financially. Though I have no doubt that they would do whatever is necessary to care for my daughter and any other children we might have, I do not want to jeopardize their own plans and family. Though they would tell me that in a situation in which our children need a home, their family is already jeopardized and permanently altered.

Another option would be CGM. Wonderful people. Close friends with DAL, if that tells you anything. They too are feeling the brunt of this economy, and they too would be wonderful role models, teachers, and parents to my children. We haven't known CGM as long as DAL, but our connection with them has always been strong.

Third option: JLB. Financially secure for the long term, but they approach their faith very differently than DAL or CGM and very differently than Mirus and I. They are amazing, loving parents, and their parenting style is probably much closer to what Mirus and I are trying to do, but their faith is different.

I suppose I could name JLB as guardians with DAL and CGM as godparents, but I wonder how that would logistically work. I wonder if being 2 thousand miles apart would mean that JLB would, realistically, be doing ALL of the parenting and teaching, and that DAL and CGM would be on the fringe, only sometimes able to contribute what they would want to.

I so value when people approach theology directly with God. I want that for Adelaide. I want her to get in the habit of raising a question, studying it in the bible, praying about it, talking it over with people she trusts, and really searching out the answers for herself. I do not believe at all that an inherited faith is what Jesus wants for my daughter, or anyone. I don't want her looking at the Book of Concord when she has a question or just accepting whatever her Synod tells her as truth. When that's how your questions are answered, I'm not sure it's your faith. When you're only spouting what you're told, you are an extension of the Synod's agenda, not an active part of the body of Christ. Maybe I shouldn't use the pronoun 'you', but I'm not sure how else to say it. DAL and CGM approach their faith the way I want Nanook to learn, JLB approaches their faith the other way, which is the way Mirus learned. Obviously it's not horrible or toxic or anything, it's just not what I believe God wants for His children. And as her parent, I feel responsible for ensuring that her faith is nurtured in my absence as it would be in my presence. And so I find myself evaluating the faith and spiritual lives of people I love and trying to judge what would be best for Nanook.

I would love to name NEW, but I'm afraid they would allow my parents contact that I would be entirely uncomfortable with. Granted, I wouldn't be around to feel uncomfortable, but that's not the point.

Another point to be considered: who would be willing to stand up against my parents and extended family? I can't name specifically what battles will need to be fought, but past experience tells me that my childrens' guardians will need to be on guard. Sad.

Also, I'm late. I may be actually planning for two kids and not one. Only a day late, so I'm not taking any action today. If no show by tomorrow, I'll buy a test. Wouldn't it be fun to find out about one baby on Christmas Eve and the other on 4th of July?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Little Prince?

People keep referring to their sons as little princes and their daughters as little princesses. Really people?

Something about that just seems so overdone. Fake. Do you really believe that stuff?

I think my daughter is unique and special beyond measure. I think she is valuable and worth more than any precious stones or expensive metals. But I have no illusions about her being royalty. Of purer or nobler blood than anyone else.

That being said, my daughter's name does mean 'of noble blood' so maybe I'm full of it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sometimes my heart is broken. I don't know how to hang out with people who are doing things I don't approve of. I don't know how to watch people treat their children like dogs. I don't know how to ignore it or impact it. I don't know how it will impact my daughter. Bah.

I'm trying some new diapers. I have 9 different diapers in my rotation. I always thought mamas who had so many different kinds were weird. It seemed strange that they didn't just get a whole set of the ones that they liked. Now, I'm one of those crazy, weird, cloth diaper obsessed mamas!

Does anybody know anything about converting diapers? I have some Mother Ease and the snaps are sharp on the inside. I need to alter them somehow so that the sharp parts can't poke or scratch Adelaide. I'm not sure what I want to do with them, I just know I can't throw away perfectly good diapers!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The evolution of a previous point

I do not desire obedience from my children.
More to the point, I do not desire simple, obedient children who will grow up to be simple, obedient sheep to whatever shepherd finds them.

I'm not really sure how obedience became the ultimate goal for kids. I want so much more than obedience. I want strong, confident, faithful children who can walk into a forest, see the leaves, see the trees, see the branches, and see the place the forest has in the world. I want children who can make a decision about right and wrong without having to think about what someone might think, or what I would tell them to do. I want them to be able to make those decisions because I've taught them to think for themselves.

Obedience doesn't come close to that.

Obedience teaches submission. In theory, that's a good thing to have from your kids. But only in theory. Why would I want to raise kids who are submissive adults? Even as a wife, I expect my daughter to be much more than simply submissive. Yes, there is a place for submission in a marriage, but not the way people seem to think. How could I expect my (theoretical) sons to lead their families if all I've taught them is submissive obedience? I do not want my children at the mercy of a charismatic leader.

I want to raise disciples. I do not want disciplined (read=punished) kids. I want the discipline my children learn to be the discipline that keeps them hungry for the Word, and the last person to get fired from a job. I want the discipline my children learn to be the discipline that teaches them to sacrifice themselves for others not out of habit but out of love. Out of passion.

I want children who will fight the good fight with me. I don't need them to be my friends, but I do need to know that their presence is making the world a better place. That they're ready and able to evaluate an action, movement, question, etc and determine the what's good and holy in the situation. I want kids who know how to do that because they've been doing it since they were little. That kind of fire comes from being allowed to choose incorrectly. Then learning how to do better next time.

I'm all fired up and preachy tonight, but too tired to finish this post well. Blah!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Getting laid off the second time is MUCH less intimidating.

Being a stay at home mom is so, so much better when you have a house husband. I highly recommend everyone have one.

Since hubby's been home we've been having so much fun, and get SO MUCH done. Right now, at 5 to 9 in the morning, I've been to the gym, showered, entered my temps for the last few days on fertilityfriend.com, caught up on some 'reading material' (i.e. forums and blogs), had breakfast, finished 1/2 my water for the day (I have GOT to start drinking more water!), and I'm about to finish the curtains I started last night. Then, I'll work from 10 to 6 and go to a women's bible study.

Now, my Fridays are generally pretty productive, but this is a little crazy. I was luck to get my teeth brushed by 9am during the school year!

Next week I'm going to start looking for a big kid job. One that uses my degree, inspires me, has health insurance and (hopefully) pays enough to make working out of the house actually worth leaving my baby with a babysitter. Hubby will watch the cutest, happiest baby in the world until his program starts back up in the fall, but we'll have to get a sitter then if I want to keep working.

Speaking of the cutest, happiest baby in the world:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Before I had my baby, I read a lot about homebirth. I read about laboring 'on your own turf' and giving birth 'in your own space' and could not imagine why that was important. What's the matter with these women that they can't breathe and push in the hospital's 'space'?

And I remember reading about all the women who praised their midwives for 'listening to my body' or 'letting nature take it's course' and those women didn't sound any less crazy. My body is the one that doesn't even know when to sleep or be awake. I've had 25 years of daily practice and my body can't guess correctly which of the two it's supposed to be doing at any given moment. Why would I think it could birth a baby? And nature isn't always gentle and it certainly isn't painless or safe. A lion taking down a newborn zebra is nature. Animals hide during labor because nature is out to get them. Why wouldn't I hide from nature in the hospital where I have lots of shiny instruments to defend myself?

I always wanted to plan a c-section. I see no reason for pain. I see no reason for the icky stuff. I could just pick a date, show up, and be put right to sleep. No epidural for me, I want general anesthesia. Knock me out completely, wake me up where there's a baby to snuggle. I am not needed for any of the intervening hours. I may even skip pregnancy too - if the first pregnancy was uncomfortable we'd just adopt the rest of the kids. No problem.

Then I had friends who had their babies vaginally. And without pain meds! Who are these crazy women I let into my life? Why in the world would you choose that? To impress people? Count me as unimpressed. You must be uninformed, and I am unimpressed.

Then I had friends who had babies at home or in a birth center. Are these people trying to make some sort of point? Who cares what you do with your vagina? Are there really enough of you wanting to be so special that a birth center can stay in business?

Some of these friends tried to work on me. You don't want an episiotomy, because cut flesh tears much faster and much worse than torn flesh. Are you seriously asking me to choose TORN FLESH? Disgusting. Someone else: Anything I'll need in a hospital can be brought by the midwife to my house. Why should I have to go to the hospital in labor? Why shouldn't the midwife come to me? Well that one made sense at least. I like being served more than I like cramming myself into a car at 50 pounds overweight and cramping.

And then I inadvertently learned about the placenta. It's less like a smart, discerning barrier and more like a bloody sieve. It doesn't carefully choose what my baby can and cannot have, it just leaks everything I take in to the poor kid.

My husband and I watch a lot of documentaries on Netflix. Maybe we're weird, I don't know. But I enjoy hearing one side of the argument. Even when the arguments are ones I don't care about. Business of Being Born was on the list. So we watched it. I assumed it would be about how hospitals make ridiculous sums of money delivering cute babies. It wasn't. Not exactly. My husband was sold. If what was said in this documentary was true, he wanted me to birth at home. AT HOME. What kind of crazy person had I hitched myself to?

Well, I guess I'll just find out if any of that was true. It was. All of it.

Fewer women die under the care of a midwife than the care of a doctor. Surely, that's only because doctors care for high risk patients right? Wrong. Even when you compare births carefully, matching patients in each category for all the risk factors, homebirth is safer.

Fewer babies die when they're born without drugs. What goes in to me goes in to the baby. Directly and without discretion. Drugs also increase problems during labor. Pitocin can double the risk of an emergency c-section. It changes the contractions and pitocin contractions cut off oxygen to the baby. The human body doesn't make pitocin for labor because it can be dangerous during labor.

Babies need to be squeezed through the birth canal. It's actually good for their development. What kind of craziness is that? Their poor little heads have to be reshaped just to fit, how can that be good for them? Babies practice breathing with amniotic fluid. All that fluid needs to be pushed out of their lungs, and passing through birth canal does that.

Fewer babies die born at home because the home is cleaner. Yes, cleaner! What kind of craziness is this you say! Clearly, you've never seen my home. Well, whatever germs are in the home the mother has already been exposed to. The germs in the hospital are an entirely different sort. And they are much, much more deadly to a newborn. Hospitals are not sterile. They are not glistening beacons of perfection. They employ uneducated people to clean, pay them menial wages, and regularly house sick and dying people. I have nothing against the poor, the uneducated, or the ill. Of course not. But I wouldn't trust a lawyer to count my money and I don't trust someone without a high school diploma to be educated on the latest in germ theory.

Doctors don't know everything about birth. There, I said it. It's true. Ob-gyn's are surgeons. That is their training. They train in the surgical solution to problems of the gynecological nature. They train to surgically remove babies. Some babies need it. And for those babies our training is tops. But lots of babies don't need it. And surgery for those babies is overkill.

That overkill is dangerous. The World Health Organization tracks all kinds of information about all kinds of things. When a country's c-section rate rises to about 15%, maternal and neonatal death rates decrease. (When a country can and safely does more c-sections, more people survive giving birth and being born) When a country's c-section rate rises above 15%, maternal and neonatal death rates increase. (When a country does more c-sections, more people die.) What did Einstein say? "Simplify, simplify, simplify, then stop." Something like that. Do what you can, but stop doing what doesn't need to be done. Just because you have a hammer does not mean that what you see is a nail.

Am I a crazy hippie? Yeah, maybe. But I am also, now, a mother. I've made the switch from 'being delivered' to
pushing, if necessary, for my child. For the rights of my child, for the safety of my child, for the love of my child. This was a huge switch for me. Very emotionally significant. I no longer do as I'm told by the authority figures in my life. For the good of my child, I am learning to think, gather information, think some more, make a decision, and act. The information is out there. Homebirth is safe. Not the only way to birth, but arguably the safest. As a parent, or as someone making the transition from individual to parent, you have a responsibility to get the information and make a decision. Allowing yourself to wind up somewhere or allowing something to 'just happen' with your birth is allowing it for your child too. That's a lot of weight. Think, gather information, think some more, make your decision, and act. But don't skip the first three steps.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sick Sick Sick!

I actually resorted to putting breastmilk in my nose today. I am DONE with this stupid cold/sinus infection. DONE! Hopefully this little rinse will make my sinuses done with it too.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Proverbs 31

So you'll notice that the passage describing the character of a wife mentions getting up while it is still dark. But for several months a year, there is no dark in Alaska. Ack!

A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

No Bueno

I'm sick. Adelaide seems to be feeling better, but I slept from like 9am to 4pm.

Blech. No wonder the kid has been so clingy. If this is what she's had, then I understand completely.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 3!

Did I do 30 Day Shred yesterday? No.
Do I feel guilty? Not really.
Sweet baby is sick with two pretty painful ear infections so she snuggled on my lap pretty much all day. This morning, I went to the gym with my neighbor and did the Shred. Most of the moves I'm modifying up a level, so I may try Level two either tomorrow or Friday.

I thought I was going to quit all the way through the workout. I kept giving myself chances and excuses over and over. I'd think, "I'll just do one circuit now and I'll do the other two later" or "I can skip all the cardio because I did the bike this morning" or "I don't need the leg stuff because I'm going for a walk later." But then I just didn't. I never quite got around to quitting. Then, I was done. And I'd done it all.

Schedule for the day:
Addie's nap
LLL meeting
finish my last assignment for class
dinner (hmm, what to make . . .)
time to relax with my sweet, beautiful daughter

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Today I'm all hopped up on worry and new-mom-paranoia.

Poor baby, she has a fever, cough, and might have just ruptured an eardrum.

Lots of cuddling today.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Free Diapers!

I'd stopped entering giveaways when I got discouraged. I just didn't have time to pursue empty promises.

But today I'm jumping back in! The Cloth Diaper Blog's Feed Your Stash Friday (see button on the left) is giving away organic cotton fitted diapers, and I would LOVE some more fitteds!

Hip Little One
is giving away a diaper I've heard a lot about. I would LOVE to try a BabyKicks Fitted.

30 Day Shred

Today was Day 1. Verdict = Thumbs Up

Workout felt good, I'm actually sweating, I'm pretty happy so far. In the middle I thought "There is now way I'm going to do this for 30 days." I didn't think that because the workout was hard, but because I'm lazy. I know I am. This is no surprise.

Maybe if I post my measurements and make them public I'll have a bit more accountability. I suppose for that to work I would need to ask people to keep an eye on this blog. Hmm. Am I ready for that level of commitment?

Bicep: 13"
Bust: 42"
Ribs: 34"
Navel: 40"
Sucked In: 37"
Hips: 46.5"
Thigh: 24.5"

I have to include a sucked in measurement or I'll cheat later on when I want smaller numbers. Can you tell I've done this before? Well, maybe I haven't had good motivation before. Maybe I just didn't know what time management really meant. Maybe I didn't have a daughter for whom I needed to be an example. Whatever the excuse, this is the new time.

Hubby and I may end up trying to procreate again, and we may even be doing so very soon. As in, 'next month' soon. If I want to feel good at the end of that pregnancy, I have to exercise now. If I want to exercise during that pregnancy, I have to prepare myself now. If I want to be able to look at the scale as my pregnancy progresses, I have to exercise now.

On that note, my current weight is 181. Yikes. At 5'6" my BMI is 29.5. I don't put a whole lot of stock in numbers, none of them seem to reflect how healthy I feel, how well I can exercise or run around, or how fit I look when my clothes are off. And all of those things mean more to me than numbers. But, the numbers do have some significance so I'll include them.

Want to hear some good news? Several of these measurements are down significantly from my February measurements. This is very good news indeed. 3" off my waist, 5" off my thigh, 2" off my bust (though that measurement could be entirely due to variations in nursing). *happy dance, happy dance*

Baby is fussing. Does Jillian have any idea how much harder crunches are when you have a baby leaning over your chest to kiss you? Or how much better they are? I love my girl. She gave me sloppy baby kisses at the end of my workout, and stood up next to me while I did strength stuff. She even chased me a bit during cardio. I'm guessing all of those extras were helpful ones.

Off to be a mom!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Culture Shock: Transfer Sites

I made out like a bandit at the transfer sites today. I brought home:

  • ironing board
  • crochet hook
  • stacking baskets for my bathroom
  • smaller baskets for my medicine cabinet
  • grill (wahoo!)
I'm really thinking about going back for that stairstepper, but I'm not sure I want to move the carseat and put the backseat down to get it home.

For anyone who isn't familiar with this particularly Alaskan adventure, I'll explain 'transfer site'. Transfer sites are areas around town where residents can throw away big things like furniture or cars, dangerous things like paint or oil, or re-usable things like clothes, furniture, or household items. Everyone frequents the transfer sites, whether they pull up in a Mercedes or a car with a bungee cord holding the trunk down. People dropping stuff off are friendly and quick to tell browsers about their items. Hubby and I have gone a few times, but we hadn't picked anything up until today.

Oh Alaska, I love you.

I also got a new pair of running shoes for $29, a potted plant for Mother's Day, and had ice cream for lunch. I love today!

Mother's Day

Before I had my daughter, I had not anticipated the opportunity to worship that motherhood would provide. I have in motherhood not just a subject for praise but daily, hourly chances to praise God in action. To sacrifice for Him through my gifts to her. I don't get up at night and feed her because I like the nightlife. I don't do it out of obligation. Acts done out of obligation don't keep happening for long. I wake up at night because of a compassion that I feel, a love that I really had never experienced before I knew God. Learning my role as a child of God has given me a chance to better understand how it feels to receive unconditional love, and uncomprimised, unlimited grace. And I'm excited to give that to her. To honor what God has given me in my gifts of service to her.

"All that is within me cries
For you alone be glorified
Emmanuel, God with us."

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and I had another moment of revelation at church today.

Misery may love company, but so does joy, in a different way. Miserable people love other miserable people. Joy, on the other hand, self-replicates within someone AND in others. Joy grows exponentially and without hesitation. But it doesn't come on it's own. You may be happy due to external circumstances, but to experience joy you must choose it. That first act, the beginning, is intentionally. It may sometimes be an incredible feat of the will, and it may even come through tears of grief or pain, but when it comes the joy is consuming.

Today I felt joy. As we sang in the church today I kept thinking of our first day at this church last summer. The sun was pouring in the windows near the ceiling, and the visible light reflected the spirit of light and friendship and joy that drew us in last year. What a day.

"Hold me close
Let your love surround me"

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Vanity Plate


I read: HELVIS
Couldn't for the life of me figure out who 'helvis' was. Maybe a female Elvis? Maybe a cross between Helga and Elvis? The plate certainly got me thinking, though not in the way the owner probably intended.

Psalm 34:4
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

The more vanity I seek, the more I want. When I want to spend money to make something extra special, I find myself wanting to spend more and more money to make other things (everything) special as well. Someday, I hope to really learn that things are special whether I spend money or not.

I don't need to splurge to make vacation special. I don't need to splurge to make myself feel better. I don't need to splurge to make my daughter feel loved.

Some lessons are learned after an upheaval or crisis. Hopefully, this will not be one of them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A tip for other moms:

If you get amoxicillin on your thumb as you prepare your child's antibiotic prescription, DO NOT LICK IT OFF.

Resist the temptation! It's a terrible idea!

A letter to my daughter:

Over the last week, you have injured yourself several times. My love, you must be careful with yourself. I worked hard to make that perfect little head.

First, I let you play with a pot and wooden spoon. You had great fun, until the pot flipped over (so it was bottom down) and you tried to stand up braced against one side. Pushing down on one side of the rim made the other rim whip up and get you right between the eyes.

Later that night, you were playing on the porch while your dad and I ate, and you grabbed the bike rack that was leaned up against the wall and brought it down on your finger.

Yesterday, you were sleeping so soundly on the couch. I went into the kitchen to grab a glass of water and heard a *THUMP* and then you crying. You'd rolled right off the couch and onto the floor.

Then, you were playing with a spoon and smacked yourself in the forehead so hard that it left a bruise.

Today, you tried to pull yourself up against a toy and knocked yourself into the corner of a wall. Your first goose egg.

In just a few days, you cut the bridge of your nose, cut your finger, bonked your head, bruised your forehead, and gave yourself a goose egg. Either I'm a terrible mother or you're getting to the age where you're going to start hurting yourself all the time.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Today in Alaska

Sunrise: 5:14
Sunset: 10:24

That's 17 hours and 10 minutes of daylight. We're well on our way to 24 hours of sun!

And I'm well on my way to being in shape again. If I lose 5 more pounds I'll be back to my pre-baby weight. 10-15 after that would be ideal. Friday and Saturday my husband and I CHOWED down on chocolate chip cookies, then tonight I went out and got chocolate ice cream and strawberries to make milkshakes (they were fantastic). I'm not sure I can expect to see anything good on the scale tomorrow. . .

Oh well, as long as I keep moving and feeling better I'm giving myself permission to splurge once in a while. And certain hormonal situations make self-control nearly impossible.

Coming up: SEVERAL things will be checked off the Alaskan To Do List. We're done on campus on the 14th (I think) and after that we're heading off on a whirl-wind adventure. I don't have details or solid plans yet, but I'm thinking Denali, Anchorage, and maybe Kenai. As soon as I get my class finished I'll start making plans for a month long journey around the great white north. Then, we'll head back to Fairbanks to fly to Michigan for my brother's wedding, that will be an almost 3 week vacation, and then we'll come back and be responsible adults with jobs and boring lives.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The last week has been intense. Playdates and work and homework and and and and. . . .

and now I'm watching something on the History Channel about God=alien. I generally try to keep my language clean, but wtf? I love the History Channel. So very weird sometimes.

I have the hardest time remember whether or not I decided to use my daughter's real name on this blog. Argh! [While we're on the subject, go to spokeo.com and search for yourself. Then copy the URL to your page and go to the bottom right and click privacy. From there you can use the URL you copied to remove yourself. It's an online phone book that has everything from your address to pictures to approximate credit score. Too weird.] Well, whatever I call her, she is amazing. Her third tooth is making her look super cute. She also got her first two injuries last night. She knocked herself between the eyes with a pot and pulled something down on her finger. Both spots seem to have broken the skin.

Apparently, DNA is a medium for transferring information, and has enough space to store all the information of an entire society. So we should be looking at our DNA for a message from the aliens that planted/designed/seeded us. Yeah, ok, sure. I'll get right on that.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

National Poem in Your Pocket Day

Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This is how I'd really love to see Denali:

Wouldn't this be the most amazing trip ever? Biking along, taking your time, stopping to camp where you wanted. Traffic would be considerably reduced (and much less dangerous) because motorists aren't allowed in the park, so shuttle buses would be your only traffic. Plus, you could pull a trailer with your camping stuff and save your back. I'll pull a trailer with the kid, hubby can pull our tent, etc. A nice, long, slow tour of the most incredible place on earth. Sounds like heaven.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

My daughter loves her daddy!

My little 'laide Muse was having trouble going to sleep. She was exhausted but not able to slip over the edge into dreamland, so like any good mom I popped her in our Moby wrap. I got her settled in and then pulled open the shoulder/chest pieces so she could snuggle in. Which she did. She loves her Moby. I covered her up and we walked around the house. Here would be a good time to mention that I have an attention span similar to that of most toddlers. Which is why I get along with most toddlers. Anyway, I had only walked around wearing her for about .2 seconds before I was bored. So I figured I would walk toward campus and meet my husband walking home from class. I'd be putting the baby to sleep, getting some exercise, and doing something nice for my hubby. Win-win-win. I walked out our door, through the woods, and before I got to the sidewalk, my daughter was settled in and dozing lightly. As soon as I met up with my husband, he said something along the lines of "Hi honey! I love walking home with you!" And my little girl jerked her head out of the wrap, looked up at her daddy, and started smiling and kicking her legs and bouncing up and down. She went from cuddled, tired, and dozing to excited, happy and wide awake just from hearing her daddy's voice.

She is incredible.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet Victory

My daughter's crib is pushed up next to our bed. It has only three sides, so she can be with us, but in her own space. This is especially good, because we have a full size bed, and that bed is full enough with just the two of us.

Usually at night, the baby wakes up hungry, I pull her into bed with me, feed her, then wiggle her back to her bed. Wednesday night, she finished nursing, then thrashed and tossed and turned for a while. I sat up and tried to clear my eyes, and to my amazement saw my sweet baby crawl sleepily to her own bed, then crash into a deep sleep. I blinked at her, then covered her up and went back to sleep myself.

I couldn't believe it! I hadn't been trying to teach her that she MUST sleep in that bed (it's not required, just preferred), but somehow she'd decided she'd rather sleep there. Allelujah.

Anyway, I decided not to expect it, but to just be grateful to have witnessed such a miracle.

Then it happened again last night. Though, this time she fell asleep before she got all the way into her bed. Seriously, people, I love my life. That little girl of mine amazes me. As a matter of fact, I'm so amazed that I think I might go cuddle up with her *right* now.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dinner x2!

A friend gave me the first half of the recipe, I made the second. Enjoy:

Ingredients for 2 people:
2 chicken breasts
3 cups chicken broth
2 tomatoes
sour cream
shredded cheese (mozz. and cheddar work equally well)
1 can pinto beans
1 can corn
whatever rice is leftover some other meal

Put the chicken breasts and broth in a crockpot with 1 cup of salsa. If you're using chicken on the bone, add an extra cup of water. If you're using boneless chicken, add an extra cup of broth. Let it cook on low for 4-5 hours, and check to make sure the chicken is done.

Pull the chicken out, shred it, and make chicken tacos. YUM.

After dinner, take whatever chicken is left (doesn't need to be much) and add it back to the broth/salsa mixture, stick it in the fridge. The next day, add the beans, corn, rice, and a diced tomato (or can of diced tomato, whatever) and heat it up with whatever spices you have in the cupboard. I am heavy handed with cumin, cayenne, chili, pepper, and salt. Once the soup is heated through, ladle it into your bowls and add a little sour cream and shredded cheese to each. Then, serve it with tortillas or tortilla chip crumbs.

I've been doing this every other week for a couple of months, and we are still loving these meals. I'm terrible at thinking up side dishes, but I'm sure something yummy could be paired with these. Since I'm usually cooking for two adults, we rarely even finish the main dish. Anyway, enjoy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

runners, runners everywhere

I'm suddenly aware that the fittest people I know are all runners. All of them.

I guess it's time to take my running more seriously. I practice Get Off Your Butt parenting, it might be time to try Get Off Your Butt exercise.

hmm, interesting concept.


WHY do you insist on telling me about the bridal shower you threw for my brother's fiancee when you KNOW that you refused to even HELP me have a shower when I got married? Why do you think that's ok? Why do you insist on telling me how much fun you're having planning her wedding when you refused to even come to mine?

Why do I torture myself by looking at her pictures?

I'm glad that my future sister in law gets along with her soon to be mother in law. I'm glad that my little brother isn't experiencing the pain and frustration that I did. But part of me wants to warn her. You two aren't going to be nice forever. You aren't going to maintain this facade.

Yes, people can change. Sometimes they do. It's possible you have. But the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior and with the exception of the last 7 months, you've been horrible for the last 20 years. That's a lot of history and habit to overcome.

All my cousins and family should have come to celebrate with me, the ladies at church should have come to my bridal shower. They were my friends. Instead, I gave up any semblance of normal celebration and eloped. You wouldn't let me have even a wedding day.

I knew once Mimi was gone life was going to change. I knew without my mediator, my ally, that I could never have a happy wedding day or birth a baby without your narcissism. I don't believe that I'm being selfish by wanting those things. Those things and feelings are normal. Being wretched to your daughter is not.

I miss my Mimi. Happy birthday Mimi! If you were alive, I would never forget your birthday. I'd be sending you postcards and pictures from Alaska. Judging by how excited you were to come see me graduate from AmeriCorps in Colorado, I bet you'd have come to see me have a baby in Alaska. I bet you'd have come to my wedding and helped me celebrate my engagement. I know you'd have continued to love me the way my mother never will.

Oh Mimi, I miss you. You'd love my sweet Adelaide. She's beautiful and sweet and busy! and passionate. She's going to be somebody who lives life in a big way. You'd be so proud of how much she's learned and how big and fast she's growing. She'd love playing with your rings and necklaces. She'd love your sweatshirts and brightly colored fingernails. She might even love being held by you as much as I always did.

I miss you Mimi. Happy birthday.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Our Alaskan To Do List

I'm making this official. Y'all can keep me accountable if I let us leave the Last Frontier without finishing my list.

Here it is, in all its glory:

  1. See the Arctic Ocean
  2. Enter the Arctic Circle
  3. Watch the Northern Lights - DONE!
  4. Experience Iditarod start in Anchorage
  5. Take the Denali Bus Tour
  6. Kenai Fjords National Park
  7. Glacier Bay National Park
  8. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
  9. Hike a volcano
  10. Go to the Midnight Sun Baseball Game
  11. See the Yukon Quest (start or finish)
  12. Ice Park
  13. Walk on a glacier
  14. Winter Solstice Festival
  15. Wildlife/Glacier Cruise
  16. Outhouse Races - DONE!
  17. Anchorage
  18. Anchorage Zoo
  19. Polar Bear in the wild? (Completing this depends on whether or not we can find a way to do this safely)
  20. Chena Hot Springs
  21. Less Developed Hot Springs (Tolovana)
  22. Permafrost Tunnel
  23. Alaskan Railroad
  24. Tour the super computer
  25. Touch a musk ox
  26. Visit Santa at North Pole - DONE!
  27. Get a PFD!
  28. Play with the super cold - water disappearing, bananas shattering, whatever.
  29. Museum of the North
  30. Alaskaland! (Pioneer Park) - DONE!
  31. Salmon Bake (mmmm)
  32. I'd like to see the salmon run at one point. Anyone know where I can see a river so full of fish that I could just reach in there and grab one? Or are those rivers all claimed by bears?
  33. Ice Museum
  34. Gold Mine (any one of the cheesy tourist attractions will suffice)

What an amazing place I live in.

Alaska is Awesome

Two license plates I've seen in Fairbanks this week:

Oh Alaska, how I love you.

I could not get enough of Alaska today. Yesterday we went to Family Reading Time @ the Library and got a free book for the baby, then we went to the Literacy Council and found the cheapest used books in Fairbanks, hung out in Pioneer Park and enjoyed the weather, went to Home Grown Market for local food, and tucked my daughter into bed at 9:30 before sunset. Today, baby and I walked to the lake, checked out the musk ox farm, and enjoyed the sunset around 10.

Another reason Alaska is the best state of all time: people pass on their stuff. I went to say hi to my neighbors tonight (and bring them banana bread) and they offered me 2 grills, a patio set, and flower boxes for my porch! Sweet! I've been scouting the transfer sites for all of those things! I have also prayed for each of those things in the last week. Ask, and it shall be given to you. (Matthew 7:7) [That verse is NOT saying you'll get anything you want just by praying or asking for it. Intentionally misrepresenting bible verses might be a sin. Oh well, it's already typed; no way to fix it now.]

Alaskans are fantastic.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Personal revelation this morning.

The answer to the question about when a life begins may not be a fixed point in time. In other words, sperm + egg, blastocyst, zygote, fetus, breathing baby, these terms are shades on the gradient of the transition from not life to life. Maybe a person isn't instantly a life or not a life.

Can't we die slowly? Medicine has created specific criteria to determine whether or not someone is alive, and we may pass from 'passing' to 'failing' instantly, but that doesn't mean that our life didn't end sooner or will end later. For years, life was determined by the presence of breath or a heartbeat, but as it turns out those criteria weren't good indicators of life. Maybe in ten years we'll feel the same about the presence or absence of brain activity. Maybe these principles apply to the beginning of life as well.

Could the question about life be answered by something that isn't life vs. not life? Could life begin slowly? Or simply be outside our capacity to define?

A friend raised this issue with me while I was debating the morality of birth control. She's a smart woman.

The conversation went like this:
Me:So if abortion is wrong because it takes away a potential life (or a present life, depending on your definition), wouldn't birth control be wrong because it takes away the potential for life? If God has a plan for sperm+egg, who's to say He didn't have a plan for the sperm, or the egg? Who am I to decide that God's plans start when the two meet and not when they implant in the uterus or when the neurons begin firing or at any other arbitrarily appointed time? How can I take birth control when I have these thoughts bouncing around in there?
Her: You're missing the point. It's not about life vs. not life. It's about using ALL of the body God gave you to do what glorifies Him. Including your brain to manage your uterus. Disregarding birth control completely isn't evidence of faith, it's just naive. [I'm not sure I paraphrased that very well. Somebody remind me to message her on Monday and get the text of our conversation.]
Me: Touche. Just because I am capable of eating all day every day does not mean it's God's plan for me. Just because I can continue to walk does not mean I keep walking until God sits me down. I can and should make judicious decisions about how (and when) to use what I've been given.

So there's that. I guess I'm less open to QF, and more confident about using birth control. No hormonal options, because I'm still breastfeeding (and even the mini-pill creeps me out while I'm breastfeeding), we have condoms but don't use them because they SUCK, IUD's weird me out because they're stuck in there for so long (plus we plan on another one soon - why bother with getting it put in, etc.) so I guess a diaphragm would be the way to go. But, that too would require me to go in and be fitted and pay for it, plus get spermicide, plus put it in every time.

I've been spoiled with sex without consequence. And blessed with the revelation that my husband and I have been trusted with our fertility, and we wouldn't have been trusted with it if we weren't capable of handling it. I'm not saying our (my) conclusions are absolutely right, or that we can't make wrong decisions, only that it's ok for me to keep thinking and be acting while I think.

Monday, April 12, 2010


No wins. I really have no reason to expect to win every internet giveaway I see, especially since I'm not convinced that they all actually give things away. Still, a girl can dream. And I did. And I was let down. So far.

This is my next dream:

One day my friends, I too will have a Zigo and be pulling a kiddo along behind me. We're talking serious thigh workout. Remember the Thighs of Steel workout tapes from the 80's? This is even better than that PLUS you get to be outside! I can't wait to live somewhere that 'outside' is an option for more than May - September.

I suppose I could be outside now. I'm supposed to be at the gym. Instead, I think I might curl up into a hole. Maybe burst into flames or implode. I think this might be a good morning for yoga. *Ohmmm. Ohmmm.*

Monday, March 29, 2010

I am so excited about this Zigo Leader giveaway.

Seriously. I don't know how many times I've entered the contest, but I am so not done.

Next blog giving it away: Rave and Review is giving away the Zigo Leader. One more perk about this bike is that with the kids up front, you can not only talk to them easier, but you will be more stable with the weight spread out in the front instead of dangling in the back like a traditional trailer. At least, that's what the reviews have said.

Found another blog doing the Zigo Leader giveaway! I'm not sure how many places are doing this, but I'm entering every one I can! The newest blog is SeeryusMama. I'm following her on Twitter, using an RSS Feed, using Google Friend Connect, using Facebook, and I may subscribe by email as well!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Christianity dumbed down

For a long time my husband and I attended churches that spoke to the lowest common denominator. They wrote their sermons for 7 year olds and nonbelievers. This disservice to the church is very common among many denominations. Then, one day, we happened upon a church that was different.

We decided to check out the evening service of a church we often passed. We thought the building looked very old and the architecture was interesting, and we wanted to see the inside. So we went to a service and were surprised to find a pastor preaching challenging, relevant, unsafe sermons.

He wasn't preaching to the lowest common denominator. He held himself (or maybe the elders are responsible for this) to a higher standard and he spoke so that anyone could take something away, but also so that everyone got more. We dug deeper and more thoroughly understood each verse. Sometimes we spent months or even years (well, the church spent years, we weren't there that long) on a very small section of scripture because there was SO MUCH information to unpack. My husband and I were changed, and maybe a bit spoiled.

We moved to Alaska for school, and we have not yet found (or heard of) a church that spoke to us on that level. More accurately, we have not yet found a pastor that spoke to us that way.

We've been to several churches, most were ok. We've also been to two churches with outstanding communities. OUTstanding! Fellowship and grace and love like I've really, really never seen.

I guess we'll keep looking. Or maybe we'll stick with one of the outstanding churches and just listen to podcasts of the more challenging stuff on the side. I don't know.

Oh Zigo, How I want you.

Go Graham Go is another website hosting the Zigo giveaway. This giveaway is serving many purposes for me. One, I get a chance to win an AWESOME bike/stroller/bike trailer/bike+kid pod and two, I'm finding lots of new giveaway blogs to keep my eye on. This site looks like a lot of fun, and as soon as I'm done entering the Zigo giveaway I'm going to come back and see what else Felicia's got for me!

Happy Hour Mom is running this giveaway as well. It's a cute site, and seems to have a lot of different ways to search through their posts, which I like. I can look only at the posts that are relevant to my child instead of wading through a ton of stuff that my daughter wont be interested in for years.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Giving Giveaways another go!

Starting another round of giveaways while my husband makes dinner, and my daughter plays with her annoying little 'piano'. It's a good day.

By the way, I'm pretty sure most of her toys will never get batteries. Just saying.

Found a new giveaway blog, Monkey Tales. They're giving away a Bum Genius Organic One Size All In One diaper (OS AIO). I have a few of these and love them. I'm a little concerned that the rise will be too small as my daughter gets older, but I have two friends who put these on older children (2 year old and almost 3 year old) and they fit those kids. Plus, these diapers have a really high resale value. So as long as I keep them in good shape, I can sell them and get different diapers if these no longer fit. Anyway, the diaper being given away is from Fluff Envy, which has a pretty cool site. Plus, I like the name. =)

The B Keeps Us Honest is giving away an Exergen Temporal Scanner. My midwives have one of these and it is much faster and less hassle than any other thermometer I've ever seen. Right now this would be handy because a feverish baby is not always the stillest of creatures. And I'm not really expecting her to become less active any time soon. This giveaway seems a little more reasonable too, there are 456 ways to win, just a few ways to enter so you can feel you've given yourself a fighting chance without spending all day on it.

I've found the mother of all giveaways. Jollymom (and lots of other sites) are banding together to offer the Zigo. This is a crazy fantastic bike/stroller/jogging stroller/bike trailer deal. You can ride it as a normal bike, a bike pulling a trailer, a bike with the child on the front, you can use it as a jogging stroller, or a regular stroller. And it has a fun look to it! I'm excited. This is something I might even consider buying. Whoa.

The Zigo giveaway is being hosted by babyelandaily as well. You can enter as much as you like. It's such a fun product for a communal giveaway!

Good luck!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I feel incredible today. Ready to enter more giveaways, ready to win a few giveaways, ready to keep working on this baby weight (after this bowl of chocolate ice cream!), ready to help Nanook sleep through the night, ready to be her mom again tomorrow, ready to be diligent with my time, ready to relinquish control completely.

Today I'm remembering whose authority I live under. My life is not my own. I am not my own. And that is good.

Psalm 112:7-8
He is not afraid of bad news, his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.

Bring it on.
"If that's what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain."

no luck =(

So far no luck in any of my giveaways.

I suppose I should keep trying. Entering doesn't cost anything but time, so when I get some time, I'll give it to the giveaways.

For now, I've got my class, my workouts/weight loss, my daughter, my husband, my work, and my God to work on. That list is in no particular order by the way.

Sermons from this church have been kicking my butt lately. I put their pod cast on while I work in the kitchen (and since I started letting the kiddo have solids I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen) and I have been truly convicted, over and over. Preach it Russ, preach it!

Mirus and I attended that church while we were in Denver and we both really appreciated the way that Russ McKendry portrays/teaches/studies the Gospel. I always left church with something very practical and very important to work on, and I always felt equipped to do so. I also really respect the commitment of that church to be a church that the city needs. Russ always asks: "If we were to disappear tomorrow, would anybody notice?" It's a good question to be asking yourself. Really, truly, you should be noticed. Not because you're important or special, but because you did important, special things. This may be the only day you have, give it to God and leave your (and therefore God's) mark on the world.

i.e.: go out with a bang!


Sunday, March 21, 2010


Growing up, I knew a family with 13 children. Not only were all the children nice and funny and good sports (I knew them from showing horses - that doesn't always bring out the best in people, and certainly not kids), they were also an example of one of the only families I knew who said they believed in something and actually lived up to it. The parents didn't believe in birth control so they didn't use any. Any. None. Most people I know who say that don't believe in birth control are either only opposed to some types of birth control or only keep that belief until that belief is tested. They don't believe in birth control, but have 3 kids in 4 years so they decide to step in and take control of their fertility. That, my friends, is no trusting God.

I don't know where I stand. Right now, Mirus and I aren't using any birth control. We have condoms, and we used them for a few weeks, but neither of us are very sure about whether we should or should not use them. A baby would not be a burden (shouldn't a baby always be a blessing - regardless?) and neither of us feel 'unready' so . . .

If we aren't pregnant by this summer, we plan on trying. That is not quiverfull. Trying to get pregnant is the same as trying not to get pregnant. It's still taking charge of your family and your family planning. Somehow it seems less offensive to God.

This is one of those decisions that should be left up to grownups, but I find myself facing it anyway. Luckily for me, I breastfeed and cloth diaper, so babies aren't really very expensive in our house.

Outhouse Races

Have you ever thought to yourself, "I know my outhouse is the best, but I need a way to prove this to the world."?

Well, Alaskans have a solution to this age old quandry. We race them.

How do you race an outdoor commode? You strap skis to the bottom and get four friends to push you over the finish line!

Oh Alaska, you never cease to amaze me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

An Awakening this Morning

I think I've found why I dislike punitive discipline so much. Or, at least found a way to verbalize the reasons behind my feeling of dislike. And why I dislike the idea that I should punish my child the way God punishes me. Here it is: I am not God. I am not even a little God in the eyes of my child. Nor do I aim to be. I do not want that job. I do not want to take the place of God, but to face him with my family. To prepare my children to face him. I am raising my children to be my brothers and sisters in Christ.

I want my children to be disciples, not just disciplined.

Minnesota Mama's Must Haves

Looking for some great reviews and giveaways?

Minnesota Mama's Must Haves is your answer. So far I've entered 5 contests and I'm so not done. Plus there are more giveaways that I'm not even trying for. This is one busy site!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Giveaways, cont.

I have found giveaway heaven.

Babybix blog is giving away $75 worth of wall graphics. I've been dying to put some of these up in our bedroom and down here in the living room. I am way too excited for my own good. I think I've entered this contest every way possible, as many times as possible! If I had less integrity I'd consider cheating!

More giveaways!

I found a great site for giveaways! Mommy and Me is full of great giveaways and even links to lots of other contests as well. I'm just hoping no one else likes the giveaways I do! This giveaway is for some fantastic natural laundry soap.

My daughter is so ready for this walk and ride toy by Playskool. This giveaway is perfectly timed, with any luck we'll get this before she starts running around like a madwoman!

Another Mommy and Me giveaway is for Tiny Tush hemp diaper! I have a few hemp doublers that I love, and a hemp fitted might really help us get through the night. Plus, my husband greatly prefers fitteds, so the more the merrier in this house!

Babybix blog is giving away Sophie the Giraffe and a Lambskin! I cannot tell you how excited I am to put Sophie in my daughter's Easter basket and for the next baby to enjoy the lambskin!

What a great way to welcome a new baby into the world! Check out this Baby Shower Event and sign up for any of the giveaways!

Monday, March 15, 2010

First contest

The first contest I entered ends today. The suspense is making me craaaaa-zzzzzzy.

Today has been remarkably productive. Dishes done, laundry done, hallway pile o'junk cleaned, etc. I even found a way for my good friend to have her next birth at home without having to take three years to pay it off! I love being the bearer of great blessings! *happy dance*

I've made a very official decision. My Nanook has not really played outside yet. She's 6 months old. Not acceptable. So we're going to go play on the swings either tonight or tomorrow morning. We'll have to bundle her up like no other, but it's got to be done.

we will it so/and so it is/past all accident

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Woohoo! I love free stuff!

Feed Your Stash Friday: Mar. 12-18, 2010

Dirty Diaper Laundry is giving away a one size Bumboo diaper. I love any diaper with side snaps. Apparently they are harder for babies to take off themselves, I like the side snaps because they give a flatter, less bulky front side and that looks a lot nicer. This giveaway ends March 22nd.

I found another diaper giveaway! The Cloth Diaper Whisperer is giving away some of the cutest diapers I've ever seen! I hope they work well, because I'd love to put her in those dipes. This one ends on March 18th.

The Cloth Diaper Report is giving away some GREAT balm for a baby bottom! I have heard nothing but rave reviews for Earth Mama Angel Baby Bum Balm, and since the name of the product is such a mouthful, it has to be good or my friends wouldn't take the time to say it!

The Cloth Diaper Report is giving away a fantastic wet/dry bag! It's designed to hang on a doorknob, so it will take up less space, plus it has a separate space for dry items. Oh, and it's washable AND DRYABLE! This would be PERFECT for a friend of mine.

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