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, 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 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.

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