Once upon a time I was a blogger…

But then I had a baby and things get really busy when that happens. My down time is now spent on showers, cooking, cleaning, and the occasional sewing project, while me-time strongly resembles a trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market.

Today, however, I decided to take another shot at blogging from my kindle and thanks to predictive text, the fact that I’m writing one-handed isn’t quite the handicap it might otherwise be. I don’t know if this means I’ll be back more, because having a very active 11 month old takes most of my brainpower, but I do miss having a place to share. Sooo keep your ears to the ground and maybe I’ll be back again soon.

Sometimes it happens

I wander off unsupervised and forget to come back. Honestly its not a sometimes thing for me where this blog is concerned, its a most of the time thing. I have dozens of unfinished posts hanging out in my draft bin that either are no longer relevant (the most recent one was started the day I was officially 16 weeks pregnant…. 3 weeks ago) or I was passionate about something when I started, but got sidetracked and realized the fervor had worn off, or more often than not, I get started and then forget what I was going to write about and another half post goes into the post graveyard to die a slow and painless death.

Tomorrow, I will be 19 weeks pregnant. My pants are finally getting snug around the belly (thank goodness I have such a love of low-rise jeans!), the baby is VERY mobile, squirming around all over the place, making me giggle at the oddest of times. The new puppy is nearly 10 weeks old and litter box trained, making my life much easier. I’ve only got 3 days left of my current classes and then I move on to something new and hopefully a little easier on this pregnant mama. I have a new and greatly improved garden in the works.

My husband spent quite a bit of time yesterday driving back and forth between a neighbor’s farm about a mile and a half away in one of the big backhoes to bring me 2 year old horse manure that has been composted to the consistency of beautiful rich black dirt. (Hooray for awesome neighbors btw- this guy also gave us some firewood and disced our garden for us!) and I plan to get some of it spread out today so it can be tilled in this week if all goes well. We enlarged the garden from about 20 by 30 to 30 by 60 and 70 (one side is longer than the other) and I’m so excited about growing a much larger variety of veggies this year and hopefully preserving enough to keep us in local healthy food throughout the winter (I know- major undertaking for a gal who’s also preggers, but I’m motivated to take good care of this baby)

My husband is finally nearing the end of two jobs that have engulfed the last year of our lives, spending his weeks in Iowa far away from me and tho I am sad to see the better income come to an end, I’m so thankful that soon I will have him back home with me as I get further along in this pregnancy. Already things like severe round ligament pain have kept me laid up a bit when I really need to be getting things done or, worse had me out hobbling around in a lot of pain to take care of those things.

I’ve had good reason, with all these things going on, to have a hard time getting time to post, but I’ll try to make it back again a bit more often. For now tho, I’m going to get showered and dressed and go play in the garden now that the sun is coming out.

Fairytales

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in one. Honestly, as my pregnancy progresses, I realize that to many women out there, it probably seems that way, and I can see why they would think that. I’ve got the handsome prince, the life, the home, the animals *grins*, and even a less than pleasant stepmother. My prince slays each and every dragon that comes along without ever asking for anything in return which just makes me love him all the more. Our fairytale is modern tho. We had bad rentals, crummy jobs, lots of time with no money, disapproving mothers, and way too many siblings instead of evil queens or angry wizards to face. The trials were along these lines with a few curve balls like the prince constantly being out of town for work and a ghost from the princess’ past who wanted to replace the handsome prince and used all his wiles to seduce her away. They worked through all these things and were stronger for the battles they fought together.

Now we are expecting the successor to our throne- the first prince or princess of our very own and my handsome man has become even more amazing than ever. I’m talking working a full day, washing dishes on his lunch break, cooking dinner when he gets home, cleaning the house, sleeping on the couch with our new puppy (did I mention someone gave us a mastiff puppy?) last night so I could get a full night’s sleep for the first time this week. When I came out at 1 in the morning to find him asleep on the couch, puppy curled up on his chest and kissed him good night, his first words were, ‘hey beautiful’. I seriously don’t know how I could be more in love with this man, my sweet prince, and yet each day I find I am.

As Valentine’s day draws close and I think about all the traditional gifts women expect, I realize that this year, the only thing I want is more of this. More time with my husband, more time to be thankful for him, a way to give back to him and try to show him just how much he means to me. I’m ashamed to think of all the times I’ve been disappointed because he rarely buys me  flowers without hints and outright requests. My birthday is a hard one for him too because it falls exactly one week after Christmas when we’re broke and worn out from the other holidays. He never forgets it, but usually can’t make it to the store to get a present with all the other things he has to juggle. That really used to bother me, but when I stop and think about all the gifts he gives me each and every day of the year, I realize I’ve got the best present of all and I don’t have to wait til my birthday to open it. Coming home to a clean house after being sent to the fabric store to ‘buy something for myself’, his assistance in taking care of our animals without any complaints even when they’re just about the only responsibility I have any more. His wonderful understanding of my insanity as a hormonal pregnant woman and the way he caters to my every need. I couldn’t ask for more and I’m so thankful for everything I have.

I’m going to wrap this up now- the tears and snot are flowing freely because this is a very emotional subject for me, but I wanted to dedicate a special post to my wonderful man.

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.

 

Christmas is coming

I’ve been crafting up a storm getting ready for Christmas, but despite the fact that I’m supposed to be a photographer, you wouldn’t know it because I just haven’t been taking pictures much and the few that I have are taken with my cell which makes for less than quality pics. So because I love you my wonderful (albeit mostly silent *hint hint*) readers, I decided to dig up the camera, find my lenses, and take some pictures. I took pictures of all the hair and jewelry pieces I’ve made and as a bonus, I got shots of our newly remodeled guest room just for giggles. The crafty shots don’t include then knitted items I’ve made, but that’s because the ones that are finished have already been wrapped.

If you’ve seen the show, The Walking Dead, you will appreciate the significance of these ears, but if not, I’ll let you assume that I’m just crazy and decided to make my husband a necklace of ears….

$150 bed from Craigslist equals a beautiful guest room that seems almost too good to be true not to mention nicer than my own bedroom set *sighs*

Pardon the blurry shot- ornaments and paper cut outs hanging in a frame from an old mirror courtesy of my step-mom

Who would want to leave a room with a tv this nice? I need to figure out how to hide the cords, but I love it.

I would so sleep in this room myself if it weren’t for the fact that the paint is still off-gassing and its probably not a good idea given that I’m incubating a tiny being. (I’ve got another ultrasound appointment early tomorrow morning so we’ll be one step closer to discovering if it is a human or alien being)

So the pictures are not even remotely what I’d consider photographer quality, but nevertheless, they are pictures 🙂

Picture day

Working on prototypes for the wedding bouquet.

My colors are red and turquoise and I had some red and blue streamers on hand so I played around with different shapes and styles

No I’m not afraid of the camera… I think I was talking
This dress was a 22 and even in my largest days I’ve never been that big so forgive the gaping back

My favorite dress at the time. Something about it made me want it so bad…

But then again with an $800 price tag, I think I’ll shop around a bit more

Last but never least, the view outside my house ;D

Planning a Wedding

I’ve been busy and gone for awhile. So long that I’m not even going to try and fill you in on everything, I’m just going to pretend I’ve been here all along.

I’m planning a wedding. Actually, in technical terms, its a vow renewal ceremony, but its going to be the wedding I never had so its a wedding.

I never would have realized it until I read around on a few wedding sites, but apparently this is a very touchy subject for some brides to be. I for one cannot imagine what must have happened in their lives to make them so vicious towards other women like me who wish to have what, for whatever reason, they were unable to have the first time around, but I must say I was appalled.

Allow me to say now that if you are one of those people who feels that the idea of a couple having a wedding ceremony and reception for a vow renewal is wrong or a sham, please feel free to go somewhere else right now because that’s what this blog is going to focus on for the next several months leading up to our chosen date. We are not doing this for gifts or attention, but rather to have our friends and family there to witness our union and celebrate with us in the way we had wished to do it when we first got married.

I’m going to be DIY’ing a lot Lot LOT of stuff for this wedding and I plan to share as much of it as I can with my readers (all 3 of you plus the crickets lol). Some projects will be original, some my takes on other tutorials from around the web. I honestly won’t know until I get started, but I figure, hey- its worth a go, right?