Sunday, January 31, 2010

31....again

This picture: A frightened deer in headlights......or me turning 31? You decide.

I turned 31 this week. I have to remark, however, that besides being excited to be officially in my 30's, I am also really excited about how much use we have gotten out of these #3 and #1 candles!

We originally purchased them when Micah turned 31 (3 years ago). Then, we used the #1 when our 1 year old turned 1. Then, we were able to use them again last year when our 3 year old turned, well, three. We used them for me last year when I turned 30, adding that the #1 was for good luck. (So, obviously, this year I didn't get an extra good luck candle.What's up with that?)
I am pretty sure we could use them when our 1 year old turns 2, explaining that 3 minus 1 equals 2 , but that might be stretching it for a 2 year old.

Anyways, just wanted to let people know that sometimes getting older simply means being a cheap-skate on buying new candles.

p.s. Thanks everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday! I am stoked you remembered!!

This is last year's cake! Don't let the #1 fool you. I was soooooo young back then.

Custom-Laptop bag


I made a Laptop bag. Yes, a bag that holds a laptop computer. Not something I ever imagined sewing, but I am proud of the finished product.
Micah needed a laptop for student teaching, so we broke down and bought one. (thank you, student loans).
However, he was much more inclined to commission me to create a holder for him,than going out and buying a fancy one. So, this bag is a product of Micah's design, and my sewing. It is canvas on the outside with fleece interior, the pattern copied from a smaller bag we already had. Oh- the things we can create together! Two cute kids, and now--a laptop bag!

p.s. Don't you think the dinosaur fabric is perfect for a high school biology teacher?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wendy


One of my favorite people on the planet stopped by this past weekend as she was road-tripping past my town.
I met Wendy my first semester in college and it changed everything. I was starting a new life in a strange place; feeling lonely, home-sick, culture-shocked, and somewhat depressed...and here comes the most free spirited, unconventional, hillariously funny person ever. She was huge breath of fresh air and a light. I don't know anyone that doesn't love Wendy Diehl..I mean Singer.

Here's 17 more things I love about Wendy:

She laughs at everything.
She lived in a tree house...in the middle of Winter.
She broke her arm once, so then she decided to shave her long hair so she didn't have to fix it everyday.
She likes to be homeless.
She painted the hugest Bob Marley mural on her bedroom wall once.
She loves all things Hawaii and spent many nights sleeping on the beach there for fun.
She hates Santa Claus.
She talks about everyone like they're her best friend, even if she only met them once, or hasn't seen them for years and years.
She nurtures and helps those who need her. She's the best child mentor ever!
She finds humor in the normally mundane things of life.
Her family is very important. I think everyone who knows Wendy, knows all her cousins names by now.
She loves her friend's kids, and they warm up to her easily.
She married her perfect match.
She talks a lot on the phone so you have to watch your minutes. But on the other hand, you never want to get off because she is telling you hillarious stories.
She has a unique, funky style and artistic flaire.
She wore the raddest shoes at her wedding. (See below)
She makes you relax and take life a little less seriously when you're around her.

Everyone needs a Wendy.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Medically correct, MD


Every now and then I take little Odin to get his ears checked out at the doctor. For some reason, he gets ear infections about every 6 months. If he's in a lot of pain we'll put him on antibiotics right away. If he seems tolerant of the pain, we'll drop some garlic oil in there and give him lots of TLC, until he seems over it.

This is about the only time I go to the doctors, when the kids are sick. I'm not a huge fan. In fact, we have some family rules about family doctors that have served us well. .

Rule #1. Never, ever, no matter how enticing, let our kids play with doctors office toys. Those little toys may look helpful, but they are tools of germ and disease spreading fun! Zadok asks, "Why do they have toys here if kids shouldn't play with them?" I don't know, man, I don't know.... Last time I broke down and let them play with the waiting room toys, we brought home some nasty virus!

Rule #2 Never allow a doctor to influence our parenting choices.
Doctors are good for one thing: Diagnosing illness. A doctor once told me that I had to start our baby on solid foods at 6 months of age. Ha! On what basis can you know my baby so well to know he is ready for solid foods at exactly 6 months old? Plus, there's no right way for every baby!
You may trust your pediatrician to help you diagnose an illness, that doesn't mean he's now the parenting expert. YOU are the expert on your baby!

RULE #3 Do our own research and make the best decisions for our family, regardless of any diagnoses a doctor gives.
A couple times I came home with a prescription from the doctor,and realized it wasn't right for our child. After doing our own research, we were able to find a better treatment plan. That goes for vaccines, too. The government schedule isn't right for everyone. It's so important to do your own research on vaccines, decide which ones are actually needed, and come up with a schedule you are comfortable with, if any at all.

RULE #4 Circumcision is outdated. Never trust a doctor who says it is needed.
There isn't any medical association in the world that promotes routine male circumcision as a healthy practice. Those who are still doing it are either doing it for religion, or tradition. Before we had our boys we researched heavily on circumcision and found that it was completely unnecessary. Besides not being medically necessary, I couldn't imagine in my heart of hearts bringing a brand, new baby boy into the world, then whacking off his genitals for no reason.
need info?: http://www.nocirc.org/
Would you circumcise a baby girl?

http://www.mothersagainstcirc.org/

http://www.doctorsopposingcircumcision.org/

RULE #5 Take home some of those rubber gloves. Fill them up with water and let your kids have their own rubber glove, water balloons!
Then put them in the freezer and make ice-cube hands and fingers! FUN!


We love our pediatrician! He is a happy, smiley, pleasant man. But, we only have to go in a few times a year, and that is enough for us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our growing baby-week 13

So, we've decided to stay here in Cedar City and have our baby. We both feel really good about this decision, and know that once the baby comes, our minds will be clearer to make all sorts of fun, rational decisions with our lives. Just not ones involving packing up and moving when I'm 8 months pregnant. phew!

Now it's time to start interviewing and choosing a midwife.
Now it's time to start rearranging my whole house, get rid of stuff, and begin the nesting process!
Now it's time to go buy some pants, since I don't fit into any of mine, and have been walking around in skirts and boots for the past month.
Now it's time to start visualizing the beautiful and intimate details of our birth.
Now it's time to start thinking about names, and possible genders, and what our baby might look like.
Now it's time to start getting excited about what's really happening here: WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!!

Did I mention my belly is already huge? At 13 weeks, I am gargantuan! I am really hoping for twinnners, but won't find that out until 20 or so weeks, anyways, when the fetus-scope could pick up two heartbeats.
Anyways, It's probably just third-baby plus eating a few too many bowls of Honey Bunches of Oats-syndrome. You know--that kind.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trivial

There's nothing like watching a whole country of people suffering and dying to make you realize how trivial your problems are. It's almost unbearable to read or watch the news, and then not feel guilt and shame for complaining about trivial things like living in a small apartment, or not having enough money for your favorite foods. My heart goes out to those who have nothing, who are suffering more than anyone should ever have to.
I lie in bed and hold my babies close and think about all the mothers who have lost theirs. They loved their children just as much as I do, and that is a very painful thought.

I think to myself, if this ever happens to us, I hope I have already gained the strength and faith to bare it--that somehow I would be able to go on, knowing that there's rest in the end, or knowing that our family will always be together forever.

Anyways, this isn't really about me right now. But I just wanted to say that I am happy with whatever we decide to do, wherever we decide to make a living, whatever the outcome is...because we are together.


This photo is from the Peaceful Parenting website, and this is the caption:
This photo is both heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time.
Despite all the turmoil around, Renante Taris breastfeeds her son,
Erikson, comforting him in this gentle mothering way like nothing else can. Renante and her toddler are at a
hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

[Photo by Jae C. Hong. Thank you to peaceful parenting mom, Tara Wise Drumm, for passing this photo along.]

Our new Puppy (named Zadok)

Our hilarious child has been asking a lot lately if he can be our pet puppy. "Of course, Zadok, you can be our puppy," I always say. (Why are we asking? I love it!) He then goes on to do a plethora of fancy dog tricks, begs for treats, pants heavily, and lets me scratch his ears.

This kid cracks me up. Seriously. He takes imagination to a whole new level. Thank goodness he hasn't peed on the floor or chewed up my favorite shoes. However, here is one of my favorite conversations, as we were getting into bed several weeks ago. (Micah was at work)

Z: Mom, Can I be your little pet puppy?
Me: Yes, of course, Zadok.
Z: Well, then, Can I sleep at the foot of the bed, rolled up on a pillow?
Me: Sure, Zadok, but won't you get cold down there?
Z: No, I have fur.
Me: But, you don't really have fur.
Z: But I can pretend to have fur.
Me: Yes, you can, but I'm worried you'll get cold. Can you wear a blanket over you?
Z: No, puppies don't wear blankets.
Me: HhhhhMMmmmmmmm....
Z: I KNOW! I could wear my dog costume Grandma sent me!
Me: Okay........

Fast forward to 3am. Puppy has been sleeping at the foot of the bed so far...

Z: MOM!!!!!!!
Me: What? What? Whats going on Zadok?
Z: Get this costume off of me!!!!

Puppy then gets under blankets, cuddles with Mom, and falls fast asleep. ZzzzzzZZzzz.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Looking for a Dream

"Sometimes when you're looking for a dream. you get lost along the way and find another one."

This quote literally jumped out at me as I was walking down the aisle of an office supplies store last night. It was on the cover of a journal and I couldn't help but stand there for several minutes, reading it over and over. It seems to fit exactly how I am feeling right now about moving.

As some already know, Micah finishes school in April and then we apply for jobs. We've been seriously talking about applying for jobs back in Hawaii. When the subject first came up I was so overwhelmed with joy that I cried for hours. It just never occur ed to me that we could make that happen! I had resigned all of our lives to living on the mainland forever, and had already fully envisioned our future plans. I mean it was all perfect: The land, the awesome location, the beautiful desert mountains..raising our kids on a homestead full of animals and gardens........

"But Really?", was the first thought I had. "We could maybe live back in Hawaii? And afford it on your teachers salary? And possibly own a home? And live near the ocean again? And have an eternal summer of beach and sun and sand and surf, and all things seashells and Hawaii culture?" It was like a dream come true to be thinking about moving back to Hawaii again. All those years of suppressing my desire to be back at the ocean were suddenly resurfacing. Oh how I've longed to be back at my beloved ocean! I could suddenly get on FB and look at my friends pictures of beach and surfing, without choking up, because that was going to be us!! I've been counting down the days until I get to be there, imagining myself getting off the plane and being welcomed by the smell of plumerias and jungle rain. Home again!

As we've been knocking down the details of this move, it's been daunting, however, to find that getting a job in Hawaii isn't easy. Because of budget cuts they don't send recruiters to the mainland anymore, and Micah would have to fly there for the interview, if he gets one. Plus, we would be arriving there a month before our babies' due date, and I am worried about finding a house and not having this baby in a tent on the beach. (okay-it wouldn't be that bad...but you know--I need a place to set up my birth tub)
To add to the list, we would be moving on borrowed money, getting rid of almost everything we own, and did I mention I will be 9 months pregnant?

Sometimes I think it would be easier to just stay here--to try a little harder to find a job nearby, even if it means driving a little farther one year to St. George or something, until one opens up closer by.
We've been so blessed in this area, with wonderful friends, neighbors, church callings, many beautiful places to explore and discover, and more to do that hasn't even been done! There are so many things I will miss about this place. It's a beautiful place to raise a family. My heart is torn in two, and sometimes I wonder if this isn't the dream we found along the way.

As I was fervently meditating and praying on this one day I felt a distinct feeling in my heart that the Lord will bless our family, wherever we go. It was the most beautiful, powerful message I've received in a long time, and I was grateful for that loving affirmation.

For me, this means, it's completely up to us (and the department of education) to decide what is best, and what we will do, in the end. I just hope I know what dream to follow.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

3:30 a.m. Pregnant Ramblings

My pregnant body wants to get up almost every morning at 3:30 am and eat. It's awesome! I get to roll out of bed, half asleep, and stare at the refrigerator for 5 minutes trying to think of something that will fill me up, without making my behind even bigger. Right now it's blackberry yoghurt and a banana.
It's been nice, though, because then I get to catch up on emails, write on my blog, check status's on Facebook, and get a little break from the kiddos!

Little Odin-ator is sleeping mostly through the night (thank goodness) for the third night in a row! He's also taking the initiative to pee on his toilet when he feels the urge. Today I finally set the timer for every 35 minutes to remind us to remind him to try going pee again. When it comes to potty training I am usually the lazy one.

I went shopping yesterday and bought some new, cute PJ's so I could start fresh without wearing the ones I was wearing when I was nauseous all the time. I feel great already!
I wore them to the supermarket and an old lady felt inclined to say, "Nice pants! If I ran into anyone I knew I'd be mortified." Thanks old lady--at 80 years old you should have the audacity to wear anything you want! I will. Oh wait--I do!

(I would expect a comment if they looked something like this!)

I had an awesome dream the other night about full-moon surfing. (Not mooning people while I surf, but surfing under the full moon, sillies!) That used to be one of my favorite things to do. The way the moon sparkles on the ocean at night, while riding down a wave, makes you feel like you're gliding down a disco ball. It's a very surreal experience! One time while out surfing a place called Kammie-land on a full moon, it started raining so hard that I could barely see my hand in front of my face. I still remember feeling so scared and totally fascinated at the same time; like the rain was going to engulf me, but the ocean was holding me up. I hope that happens again someday.

One of my other favorite things to do is read books to my kids. We never grow tired of the Little Critter series, by Mercer Mayer. Maybe perhaps because he is so real-He makes lots of mistakes, but he is part of a family that loves him. Just like us!

I am on a crunchy salad-kick right now! The crunchier the lettuce, the better! Micah is busily counting up my protein for the day and making sure I get 80-100 grams. He is constantly asking me if I am doing my kegels, getting my daily exercise, and squatting instead of bending! He knows that I can get lazy, and keeping up on these things will make me happy in the long run.

One of my favorite things about birthing is that it is like getting ready for a marathon. The Bradley Method explains that labor is like an athletic event that requires having energy and stamina. You need to train for this event, just like any other sport. Sitting on my behind for 9 months isn't going to do me any good when I am walking around for 12 hours or so, in labor. I could be walking around for hours, changing pushing positions, bracing myself for many, many contractions, waiting to push this next baby out--I need to stay on top of my exercise! I appreciate Micah for nagging me, even on my couchy days.

Maybe next week we will make our first pre-natal appointment and try to hear little fetus's heartbeat. The fetus-scope won't pick it up until 14 weeks or so, so we haven't tried yet. However, I am feeling very much pregnant. I had another dream we were having twins and I was so excited! Then I woke up. :)

We came home the other day and Micah was shampooing the carpets in our home. I guess he reached his breaking point. It's funny how we both have our breaking points for how far we'll let something go before we HAVE to clean it. I guess he couldn't stand the carpets anymore. They smell so fresh and so clean now, and have a a beautiful orange sheen I never realized!!


Okay-it's been so long now that I have to go back for more food. The life of a pregnant Mama at 3--oh wait--4:30 am now! Yikes!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Night Weaning Adventures!


The time to wean a child from the breast is an intimate and personal decision between mother and baby. Especially after the baby is a year old, a mother will discover that her baby will continue nursing, not just for the nutritional need, but for the emotional comfort, security, and love that he feels, as well. For me, nursing my children is such a special part of being their mama, that I am not ready to give it up, either, and allow them to nurse as long as we both agree.
Our little Odin is 21 months old, and eating a variety of healthy solids and liquids. Yet, he comes to me to nurse everyday when he needs to snuggle, is sleepy, gets an owie, or just in need of a super milkie boost! It sure makes parenting easier sometimes! The look in his eyes while he is nursing is pure bliss; like the world is a peaceful haven, and he is the center of it all. I love it!

This past week, however, we decided it was time to wean Odin from nursing during sleeping hours. Usually I can sleep right through his night time nursings, but being pregnant, I am especially tender, and the night nursings were starting to disturb my sleep. And p.s., disturbing my sleep whilst pregnant equals non-functional daytime mother.
Since Odin sleeps with Micah and I, I feel like he often nurses through the night purely out of habit. Well, I concluded, he is a happy, well-adjusted toddler, and it's not going to hurt him to stop the night nursings!


Now everyone probably weans their babies differently, because each child is different in temperament, maturity, and ability to understand the world around him. Zadok, at 23 months, just lost interest a month before Odin was born. I hear stories of Mamas who introduce bottles, and slowly the baby makes the transition from breast to bottle. I also hear stories of Mothers who cut off the nursing, cold-turkey, leaving the baby alone and confused.. I hear stories of babies who wean because the milk tastes different during pregnancy. Etc...

Well, this is how we do it over here. For us weaning toddlers, we choose to wean by substituting nursing with other measures of comfort--a favorite story, a special game, a yummy snack, a cuddle and a song. I feel it is very important to make sure the weaning process is slow, gradual, and filled with lots of comfort and love. After all, you are subtracting something of much value; it should be replaced with distractions or substitutes that feel good, too.

So, this past week, has been a nighttime weaning adventure for Odin and I! The first night was the hardest. Before bed we talked about how "Milkies" needs to sleep, how when the sun goes down and we go to bed, that Milkies goes to bed, too.
The first time he woke up to nurse he was very upset. I went over it again. "The sun has gone down, Milkies are sleeping. Mama can cuddle you , but Milkies are asleep."
He didn't like this at all. He cried and cried, and my little heart almost gave in--but my instincts told me not to give up--that this was going to be good for all of us. So, I started singing all his favorite songs, and making up stories about things he loved...balloons, ducks, frogs, glittery bouncy balls, the pet store...anything I could think of. It was starting to work.
He slowly went back to sleep. But, woke up 5 more times.....crying for Milkies. And again..I cuddled him, and I went over all the favorite songs, made up stories about balloons and ducks, etc...til he slowly drifted to sleep.

When we woke up in the morning, I made sure he knew that the sun was up and it was Milkie time! Boy did he love this! He smiled so big and went straight to it! I let him know throughout the day that he can nurse as much as he likes.

The next 4 nights were very similar, but waking up less and less times. One night he was really, really upset, crying for his beloved Milkies. So me, half asleep, I started naming all the things that were asleep, too, such as Milkies, the sun, the trees, the cows, the mailman, the dogs, the fish, Grandma and Grandpa, the animals in the zoo, and on and on. I think by the time I got to President Obama and the custodian at church, he was totally asleep. What a relief! Another night I had to get up and dance him to sleep, at 3am. Another night I found myself singing the entire tune of Sinead O'Conner's "Nothing Compares to You." When I finally got to the end there was silence.....then "MILKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIES." So I started all over with another song. It's been a long, exhausting week, but now he is only waking up once or twice. Pretty soon he will sleep peacefully through the night.

This morning we woke up, with the sun drifting through the windows. He turned to me and said, "Sun. Awake! Milkies!" With a big smile on both our faces, I knew we had reached an understanding.



I am so proud of my big boy for taking this big step in his life. He is growing up so fast, and it's often hard to let go of my baby. He is learning and growing every day. I am proud of him for learning to do something hard, so his Mama could enjoy more comfort and peace through the night.

Thank you sweet Odin for doing this for your Mama. :) I hope he knows how loved he truly is.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Bah-Humbug!

I've been feeling like the Winter Scrooge lately, walking around cursing the cold, cursing the snow, cursing anything that reminds me that Spring is still 3 1/2 months away! It's been a real struggle to enjoy this Winter Season thus far, and it's starting to feel disouraging! One day last week it was snowing outside, and through the windows all I could see was gray clouds. I went outside to get a breath of fresh air, and looked up and down my street. It was empty and desolate of any life forms. There were tracks in the snow from a cat that had just passed through, and that was it. I started to cry.

Then it hit me why I struggle with Winter. It's not the snow, or the cold. In fact, I think it's really, quite beautiful, and I have so many fun memories of Winters past! What I don't like is the absence of people. For someone like me, who draws energy from being around other people, it becomes absolute torture to feel so alone all the time. Sure it was easy to get out and about before, but with kids it's a whole other ball game. The parks are empty, the streets are barren. Where there were once children laughing and playing, and families going for walks, is replaced by cold, darkened streets. Playgroups are put on hold, friends are away for the Holidays, neighbors don't come out to say hello, and children don't last very long outside, even when we do get out.
It's pure agony for me! I need Summer! I need long, warm days sitting in the backyard, eating picnics and soaking up the sunshine! I need park dates with friends, and running around the grass all day. I need to enjoy my wonderful kids outside the confines of our house!

So, since I can't make Winter go away, I decided one possibility and three solutions:
1. I could go join a giant, family commune, where people work together in unity all the seasons long. Thus, I will never feel lonely.
2. I will force my friends to feel sorry for me and hang out with me more.
3. I will savor the sunny days and get outside as much as possible; sledding, walking, etc...
4. I will be so grateful that my husband is finally going to be home every day starting today! Woo hoooo!!!!

Just trying to let go of the Bah-humbugs, and enjoy the moments. :)