11 Random Things

I was reading The Art of Darkness the other day and she had been tagged in one of those random memes that goes around. She invited whoever wanted to play along and since I had some time on my hands this morning (spent too much time praising the porcelain god and now I just feel like a dish rag that’s been wrung out) so I decided to join in the fun.

1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people! (Yeah on this last one I’m cheating too)

So… 11 things

Following Cobweb’s lead, I met my husband when I was engaged to the bass player in his band. My now ex decided he was in love with first my now brother in law and then my husband, but since they didn’t swing that way, he suggested I date Jarell since he had a crush on me. The rest, as they say, is history.

I hate cleaning most rooms of the house, but a messy kitchen is enough to drive me to distraction and although I go to great lengths to avoid cleaning (surprisingly getting pregnant has worked the best) the kitchen is the one room that has to be neat for me to function in it. I haven’t been cooking much lately, so this obsession has fallen off a bit, but I still get in there and do dishes (a chore I hate) when they start to pile up, even though I risk spending more time huddled in a ball trying not to hurl from the smells that are multiplied 10-fold by pregnancy hormones.

I love taking my classes online, but I hate reading the textbook assignments. I can learn so much about the subject I’m studying by just searching reputable sources on the internet, and for some reason I’d rather do that. To date I’ve got a 3.67 GPA having barely cracked a book and I know for a fact that the C I got in Algebra would not have changed one bit if I had read that book.

I spent a lot of time alone as a child because we lived in the country and there weren’t many kids my own age around. Because of this, I learned to read early, and began what has become a lifelong love affair with books. I’ve always been smart, but I choose not to read books that are considered worthwhile. (the classics like Moby Dick and Pride and Prejudice) Instead I prefer to read romance novels, sci-fi and fantasy, and favorites from my teenage years. I have read Gone With the Wind several times, but prefer the sequel Scarlett. I also read Peyton Place at the age of 11 which got some raised eyebrows from our local librarian, but also earned me an adult library card so that I didn’t have to keep getting my mother’s permission to check out books from the adult section of the library.

I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not had a pet, and I am thankful for that. Whether the pet was a dog, a cat, a fish, a rat or even my goats, there have always been animals in my life and I believe I am a better person because of it.

If things go as planned, I will get to find out the gender of my baby on the 5th anniversary of my marriage to my wonderful husband and I’m even nerdy enough to be giddy over the fact that it will be a Wednesday- the same day it was when we got married.

Despite being 14 weeks pregnant, I’m at my lowest weight in 4 years (now sitting at 195 as of yesterday’s appointment) and I’m more than a little amused by this fact. I’m not losing a lot of weight, but I’m not gaining yet either and that feels funny to me.

I love music and will listen to it as often as possible, but when I don’t feel well, I inevitably get a song stuck in my head that actually makes the nausea worse than it would be without the song. This morning it was a song by Priscilla Ahn, but if I go look for the title, it will get stuck in my head again so it will have to remain a mystery. Something about not associating with fish for those of you who are actually curious.

I have 5 different tabs for my homepage on my internet- Yahoo, Facebook, Google Reader, my blog, and my school web page. This equally motivating, and a  recipe for sitting for hours catching up on everything I missed overnight when I first start my computer in the morning.

I always wanted to go on American Idol, but despite it being nearby at least 3 times that I’m aware of, I’ve never gotten the courage to try out.

I am deeply in love with the part of the country where I live despite the heat in the summer time. I also love NorCal where I grew up, and my deepest wish is that the two states were next to each other so I didn’t have to choose between the two because Missouri will always win. There is something about this place that holds me captive and I don’t mind one bit.

  1. What is your favorite candy?      I like gummy bears and jelly beans, but candy and I don’t really talk much
  2. What is your least favorite vegetable?  This one is hands down water chestnuts- their texture really bothers me
  3. Do you play a musical instrument?  Several badly- the baritone, a bit of piano, dulcimer, harmonica, and several more. We’re a musical family.
  4. What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had? I broke my toe once… knock on wood, I don’t get hurt much
  5. What’s under your bed? A platform or a secret and well hidden entrance to Narnia’s neighboring world, Walmartia- where giant smiley faces knock things down all the time
  6. If you could publish one book, what would it be about? Oh lord- I’d write stories about my cinema quality dreams that actually had a recognizable beginning, middle, and end. I have really good dreams, but I can never get all the details down before I forget.
  7. Do you believe in ghosts? yes
  8. What’s on your mouse pad? No mouse pad
  9. What are you currently reading? What to Expect when You’re Expecting and The Girl of the Limberlost
  10. If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be? I’d become a famous photographer who didn’t have to search for clients, doing fun themed photo shoots
  11. What’s your all-time favorite TV show? The Gilmore Girls as boring as that may be with the X-Files coming in a close second.

Good Day :)

Had a really nice walk with my dogs in our field today. I haven’t had much energy since the advent of the baby so the mile or so that I rambled around in the field while my babies ran to their hearts’ content was wonderful. I sat on the ground and soaked up the sun and the warm (50 degrees or so) weather while they raced back and forth between me and their adventures.

They’ve grown so big in the past year- they’ll be a year old on Valentine’s day and they have grown to be such beautiful animals. This picture is Chowder (he’s my Chowder-head) and Betsie running to me on one of their rounds

We went down into the woods to get them a drink from the creek that runs through our property. This pool and waterfall (mostly dormant with this dry weather) is my favorite spot on our land, but thanks to poison ivy, its only accessible in the cold months so I always try to get out there several times in the winter and fall.

Turns out the dogs thought it was pretty cool too- they all went for a swim

On my walk back to the house I snapped this shot of one of the mini ponds that has sprung up in the terracing on the fields where the water collects when it rains. I love the way each one makes a beautiful oasis in a field otherwise covered in tall grasses. One such pond even boasts a tiny willow tree that has sprung up in the last couple of years.

I took these pictures with my cell phone because I didn’t take my camera along, but good news! My sweet husband must have found my lens when he was cleaning (doesn’t remember, but I know it wasn’t me) so that’s one less thing on my mind for Monday.

Back to school

The last 7 weeks has really flown by what with the holidays and the whole being pregnant thing. I’m so thankful to have been off for so long because I really needed the break, but now that my classes are scheduled to start back up on Monday I’m a little nervous. My two classes that I’m taking this session are Lighting, and Color Management. Both of these classes are photography classes in my major which should be exciting, but instead I’m a little worried. ‘Why worry,’ you might ask, ‘After all your supposed to be a photographer…’ But the problem is I haven’t taken a photography related class since July. Seriously- my last three courses were Art History, a web design class, and College Algebra. I’ve barely had time to pick up the camera (as evidenced by the lack of pictures lately) and somewhere along the way, this baby has stolen some basic camera knowledge from my brain. Add my lack of organization leading to one lens having gone AWOL on me and I’m a little worried about how I’ll fare in these to courses.

In all seriousness, school has taken a back burner to this baby I’m growing and I’m having a hard time taking interest in anything but that. Photography is my one true love (aside from my husband and baby) and even that is not enough to make me pick up the camera and take pictures right now. The weather is cold and gloomy, as I mentioned before my lens (my FAVORITE lens no less) has gone missing, and I just feel… blah. I’m loving lazing around the house where its warm and cozy and resting to my heart’s content. This new life inside me has taken precedence over everything else and its making some other things difficult. I’m hoping that with the transition to the second trimester, I will start to feel more energetic, but the reality is, I live in Missouri where gray is a standard color for the sky this time of year and gray makes me want to stay inside whether I’m pregnant or not.

I’m really struggling with this because along with grants, I am wracking up a sizable student loan debt with these classes and there’s no way I would want to quit at this point even if I didn’t have that looming over me. I’ve come so far to give up and be uninterested now, but I’m not sure how to get re-inspired. (or where to find my lost lens as I feel like that would make me feel a lot better and less panicked)

Pregnancy Symptoms

More specifically cravings and aversions. Soooo much fun! not…. When I first got pregnant, I felt so silly. I mean- I shouldn’t have been feeling so…. pregnant….. yet, right? Even the books reassuring me that the hCG being detectable in my blood stream also meant feeling pregnant weren’t enough to keep me from feeling silly. I mean, sure, I could understand bloating, some nausea, a heightened sense of smell and feeling a little tired, because those are supposed to be “normal” early pregnancy symptoms. I could even understand the food aversions because of the sense of smell. But the cravings were a little more confusing. When I picture pregnancy cravings, I picture the movie standby scenes of heavily pregnant mothers to be standing in their kitchen in the middle of the night with a bowl of cookie dough in one hand and an egg roll in the other. Or the classic scene from Father of the Bride Part II where Steve Martin races in with takeout from 5 or 6 restaurants for his wife and daughter.

That is what I think of when it comes to pregnancy cravings. So imagine, how I feel being 3 months pregnant and having serious cravings that started nearly from the beginning. At first it was pineapple and mangoes, then mashed potatoes and green beans, tacos from Taco Bell (which I can barely type without gagging) a sub from Blimpie’s (I cooked the meat and ate that with toppings as a salad, no bread). Lately its been tostadas and Chipotle’s burritos. Mexican food in one form or another seems to be a constant. None of these cravings really make sense, but they are undeniable nevertheless and they drive me crazy. I would give so much to know what I wanted to eat and know too that the food I cooked for dinner was not going to make me sick the next day when I went to heat up leftovers for another meal.

Yeah for all of you who’ve never been pregnant, these things and more are coming to you when you reach this stage. And if you’re a man, then maybe your partner has this to look forward to and let me tell you, if she says she wants it or needs it, please just say, anything you want honey like my husband does and she will adore you like I do him.

Body Image

Over the years that I’ve had this blog, I’ve talked before about my weight some and how I wished I could get into shape. When Jarell got sick back in August, we both renovated our lifestyles, started taking some supplements to fix some issues, and began being healthier in general. It was discovered that I not only had an issue with hypothyroidism (thyroid slows down production of certain crucial hormones, causing weight gain, hair growth, and a ton of other fun stuff), the IBS that I’ve discussed in the past, but also a gluten allergy. When I began addressing these issues, the weight started melting off even though I was eating more than I usually did. It wasn’t a fast weight loss, but, I am proud to say that since the end of August last year, I’ve lost about 25 pounds. I’d been hovering at just over 200 (yes I’m short and round, but I know a lot of it is muscle, as I wear comfortably the same size as several of my friends who are my height and weigh 30 pounds less than I do) for a long time, and I was okay with that. Then, I got pregnant and my weight at my first doctor’s appointment was up several pounds which came as quite a shock since I’d only weighed myself 2 days before. I was okay, but it did seem off. Then two weeks, and a bout with food poisoning later, I went back in and they were shocked to see me sitting 10 pounds lighter than the previous visit. This made more sense to me considering both the food poisoning and the fact that it lined up with where I should have been. Since then I have ignored my scale, only getting weighed again last week when I went in to see my OB one last time. Again, my weight was where it had been before (I have a sneaking suspicion that I lost quite a bit in the month between the two appointments but finally started to put some weight back on when I was able to eat again and everyone else has commented on it as well) and I was thankful for this fact as it meant I wasn’t losing or gaining weight in an unhealthy fashion.

You might well wonder where I’m going with this rambling diatribe about my weight, but your patience, if you’re still here, is about to be rewarded. My weight right now at 3 months, 5 days pregnant is 197 and I’m perfectly okay with that. I have fought my weight for years and in one of those supreme ‘go figure’ moments, I am at my thinnest I’ve been for 4 years at least, while also 3 months pregnant. I look in the mirror and don’t see a body that is gradually gaining back the pounds I’ve worked so hard to lose. Instead, I see a body that is being transformed into a temporary home and safe harbor for the infant I am growing inside me and what I see is beautiful. The swell in my belly that is more than just flab left from problems with the gluten allergies and a faulty thyroid is amazing to me and my breasts that are growing slowly to enormous proportions (and I was a 36 DD before the baby started making its mischief there) are not alien to me, but merely a much needed and quite conveniently free baby accessory that is going to make my life so much easier when the little one makes their arrival.

I find it amazing how one simple change in the weight gain formula can so easily affect how I see my body. For the first time in a long time, I am happy with what I see and although I still have concerns about the various issues that go hand in hand with being overweight while pregnant, I know to that I have the tools to avoid most of those pitfalls in the form of better nutrition, a healthier diet, and the willingness to get out and move when I have the energy. (which is supposed to be coming back any day now… right?) I am thankful for the first time for my wide hips and stocky muscular build that will help me lift this child and carry the weight of it through pregnancy and infancy.

What are you thankful for?

I’m kind of a hippie…

And I’m cool with that. Not in the traditional free love, flower child, smokes a lotta dope sense of the word, but in the sense that I will breastfeed my children, carry them in wraps or other carriers, possibly cloth diaper them, avoid immunizations, co-sleep and of course there’s the whole home  water birth with a midwife situation. I write this post because I was recently added to a local group on Facebook for cloth diaperers and as I’ve read some of the stories on there, I was surprised to find how many people face so much opposition to these natural things. Women being called hippie freaks in Wal Mart because they have their child in a sling, family and friends lecturing about cloth diapers and home births, not to mention breast feeding. Its all so backwards to me, who was raised with most of these things. I don’t think I was carried much in a sling, although I do have very vague memories of a carrier more like a Mei Tai that my mom and dad both carried me in before my younger brothers were born. I am so thankful tho that all these things are not only normal to me, but encouraged by everyone around me from my mother, my mother in law, my husband, friends, extended family, and even people that I’m only slightly acquainted with. I know there may will probably come a time when someone decides to tell me that what I’m doing is not natural, (giggles) or safe, or normal (snorts), but up to this point I’m thankful beyond words for the people who have raised me to believe these things are natural, as they most definitely are, and not only normal, but the best possible way to raise my family.

I know that part of my respite comes from the fact that, at 3 months plus a couple days, no one can tell that I’m pregnant. I am prepared for the fact that once I start to show many more people will have opinions (that they can keep to themselves or risk the wrath of this pregnant mama) whether they know me well, a little or are strangers on the street and I’m okay with that. I have begun already to build myself a bubble that keeps my baby safe and if that means going from the quiet, sweet and good natured personality I normal possess to angry mama bear, so be it. I know to that putting these beliefs out there  for anyone and everyone to comment on leaves me open to criticism from strangers, but I’m okay with that as well so if anyone feels the need to comment in a negative fashion, please be prepared for some serious backlash from yours truly. I know I only have about 6 or 7 people reading my posts on a daily basis (and many of them get here searching for Charlie Brown, Lot Lizards, and the Michelin Man) so I don’t worry too much about negativity since no one really knows I’m here anyway. 😉

Update on the midwife visit

Well I made the trip to meet the midwife yesterday and boy was it a heck of a trip. I’m a little wary about the trips further along in the pregnancy- its a 65 mile trip one way and I know that’s going to be hard on my various parts. That said, I doubt not one bit that it will be worth it- my midwife is wonderful and we immediately clicked. We talked quite a bit about all sorts of things. Family- she has 6 children ranging from 19 to 15 months which just tells me I’m in good hands since she’s done this a time or two herself :). It turned out that she knows my cousin because their daughters are best friends so that made me grin to find out yet again how small this world really is. She lives on a farm, raises goats, gardens, and is dealing with a recently discovered gluten allergy. All these things just added up to me feeling as though I was talking to a friend and not a stranger and I loved hearing her stories about births, her family, and people’s reactions to the size of said family.

Her philosophies on birth and in general matched mine in so many ways which had me very reassured and her qualifications are excellent. In the state of Missouri, it is a felony for lay or religious midwives to practice, which I guess I understand, but my mother was attended by a very competent “lay” midwife and I feel that there are good ones out there, who have been unfairly persecuted. Do I feel that some sort of certification should be necessary? Absolutely! But I also feel that doctors and hospitals are doing everything in their power to prevent anyone from being able to have an assisted home birth that will cost them patients and money.

When she told me that babies are not taken from their mother, period, I was sold. She said even on the few occasions that she had to resuscitate babies, she worked on them in their mothers’ arms and they responded better for that skin to skin contact. I cannot imagine being separated from my child so soon after birth unless it was absolutely necessary so this is very reassuring to me. Finally, she is well versed in herbs and homeopathy and told me her assistant always makes a cup of traditional Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne to help prevent hemorrhaging that sounds heavenly to me. Can you imagine- birth in your own home with only people you are totally comfortable with surrounding you, holding your baby and no one trying to take it away, and then a cup of hot chocolate when the hard part is over. Or… go to a hospital, maybe have the OB of your choice, but maybe not, nurses, students, visitors coming and going, and they try to take your baby from you to do all sorts of stuff after a few minutes of contact. Now I know I may be exaggerating a bit, and I understand that home birth is not for everyone, but for me it is the only option.

My midwife will have everything she needs for my medical care, with a c-section being the only thing she can’t do. I’m less than a 15 minute drive (going the speed limit, mind you, which my husband wouldn’t be if I were in danger) from the nearest hospital and it takes 20 minutes to prepare an operating room. I know that my midwife will transfer me if the need arises, and I feel safe in her care.

I am so thankful to be moving forward on this adventure with someone I can trust implicitly with both my and my baby’s life.

12 weeks and counting

Hard to imagine I’ve made it one third through this pregnancy. Between the holiday rush and counting the days down til each appointment, the time has already flown past and I’m looking forward to the rest going like that too. I have enough time to enjoy the pregnancy (when not dealing with morning sickness, evening sickness, lunch time sickness etc.) but I really can’t wait to meet this little darling.

As things progress and everything looks good, I am planning for the birth more and more. My plan is to go completely natural with a midwife and a home birth and although that is something that is not necessarily widely accepted, I can’t imagine doing things any differently. If you’re a long time reader or have taken the time to delve into my archives you might notice a trend toward doing things a bit old-fashioned- gardens and home-sewn clothing, knitting and crochet, cooking, preserving, and my goats. All of these things represent the good things in this world to me and a natural, un-medicated birth at home with a midwife who I know and trust to take care of me and my child and get us to a hospital if necessary is also part of that set of beliefs.

In this vein, I am going to meet with a midwife today who I hope will be the one to work with me and I am very excited about this meeting. I remember my mother’s midwife who helped her with both my brothers’ births and being raised with that as the norm rather than the exception and even as a small child I always knew that I would go that route myself when the time came to have my own children, just as I knew I would breastfeed and be a stay-at-home mother with my children. As an adult I am thankful that those desires and dreams are so close to coming to fruition.


Finally Some Pictures

You’d think with me being a photography student there would be more evidence of my chosen profession around here, but lately sitting and laying down are about all I’ve had energy for. Yesterday tho, we sent my brother and his girlfriend back to California after their visit for the holidays and I was able to muster the energy to take a few pictures of them back in our woods before we took them to the airport.

This is E and along with being my brother’s partner in crime, I’m totally claiming her as my newest sister- she’s an absolute sweetheart! She and my brother took care of me while Jarell was in Iowa this past week and we had so much fun learning all the thins we have in common.

K and E

Aww young love 🙂

He was opposed to having pictures taken and the sun was in his eyes so this was the face I got

Love this one the best

All smiles after he made a bunch of silly faces and I got the good shot with a rare real smile from him.

In other (i.e. baby) news, I have learned to truly dislike morning (read: all day) sickness, but I am more than thankful that I don’t actually throw up when I’m sick. The one downside is that I’m losing weight due to having food aversions to almost everything. Its got me and even my husband who’s normally unflappable a bit concerned because the weight lost is visibly noticeable. Fortunately I’ve decoded my latest cravings and there is a pot of gluten free pasta cooking on the stove with homemade crab alfredo sauce all ready to top it.

Guess that about does it for this evening so I’ll sign off and wish you all a good night 🙂