Thursday, May 27, 2010

Put Something In, by Shel Silverstein


Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-grumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
'Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain't been there before.

the end

I love his poetry, I have since I was a little girl.
It's simple, clever, and fun.
It makes you feel good.
It doesn't make any sense, but it does.
This poem in particular stuck with me today.
Doesn't it just make you want to be silly?
Even if just for a moment of your day?

There, we just put something in.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Birth Checklist

Everyone has a checklist of things they really want to get done before the baby comes, right? I realized that my mental checklist has been a bit distorted, mostly because the most pressing items at the top of the list are things like: husband find job, pack house, move.
Those just aren't the most fun, practical things you want to think about when planning for a baby. So, let's ignore those distractions and think about this checklist for now!

1. Cloth diapers. I love cloth diapers. With our first baby we lived in the big city and hired a cloth diaper service. Yes-that's right-a service that brings freshly washed diapers to your door every week. But, that hasn't been the case for years, and I admit I can get real lazy with the washing--and annoyed with the poo. But, I love cloth diapering for so many reasons, and I want to be more dedicated this time. We've been using these Pocket PUL diapers for our last two kids. However, When awaiting the arrival of Baby #2, a dear friend of mine taught me to make my own Pocket PUL diapers. Here they are:

I made 14 of them. I will never do that again. (it was painfully hard to sew them)
I think this time we will use the ones I made, plus try something new. Here's a quick demo of what we will be doing this time: snappis, prefolds, and waterproof covers. So, checklist #1 is: start ordering diapers, so when the baby comes we can catch the poo.

2. Finish reading my stack of books. Seriously, I am working on 5 different books right now, with another list of future books I want to read. I need to be at a happy place where I feel caught up. Probably not going to happen in my lifetime.......

3. Organize Photos. I really want to print off all our family pictures we've been taking for the past 4 years, and put them in photo albums! I haven't put a picture in a photo album since Zadok was 10 months old! And why is this important to me? Because I like photo albums. They seem real, family friendly, and fun to look at and hold. The computer makes my eyes bug out, and I don't want to all my nostalgic memories spent looking at a screen.
P.s. I think It's going to cost a couple hundred dollars to print off the pix, so this one might not work right now.....

4. Buy something new for the baby. Even if we don't know if it's a boy or a girl, I still want to go out and purchase a cute, little newborn outfit, just for the baby to wear on his/her first day of life.

5. Finish making baby carriers. I have 2 more baby carriers I am sewing for the new baby. I am trying my hand at a ringsling, and finishing up one last Mei-Tai. Yes, I realize we already own 20 slings, but c'mon, It's for the baby....!!!! And I love imagining myself wearing her around town on all our family walks and shopping trips-- all nuzzled in, soft, and cozy against Mamas or Papas chest.

Kinda like this.

6. Finalize our sleeping arrangement. Since our King-sized bed is a family affair, I wanted to make sure baby didn't get lost in there somewhere between Odins feet and Zadoks cuddles. The thought crossed my mind of trying out a bassinet, but I don't think it would get used, and the baby would just end up in bed with us anyways. Then someone donated a brand new changing pad to the yard sale and I thought, "Perfect!" It is firm enough so baby will be safe, and the pad curves upwards on both sides, so baby can't roll around anywhere. We decided it can go next to me, as a sort of containment area, when we're not nursing. Brilliant! I think I can check this one off, except I wanted to get a cute-looking sheet to fit over it.

7. Keep my house clean and organized. It will be that much easier to keep up after baby is born.

8. Take Maternity photos. I really wrestled with the idea of getting belly pictures of myself. I've never gotten professional prego pictures done, but I know a lot of my friends have, and they turned out quite lovely.
So, when my professional photographer friend offered to take some, I thought "Well, how special would it be if it was just me and Micah!" Micah is such a huge part of our birth, and my pregnancy, and of course, he is the father of our children. In these pictures to come, I hope to portray what an amazing support he is, and how each pregnancy is such a blessing to us. Stay tuned for our couples pictures........

9. More dates with my honey. We need to go to the movies, go on some nature walks, go eat Thai food, go to the Temple.....and we need to do it more often...alone. With Micah's Mom coming to visit, I am hoping we can squeeze in some hot dates.

10. Find peace each day in the little things. My boys bring me so much joy when my mind isn't cluttered with "extras". I hope to really relax and enjoy my family, as we await the arrival of our baby. Little walks to the park, picnics in the grass, exploring the gutter creatures by our house, riding bikes up and down the street--these are the things that keep me happy. Their little laughs and giggles brighten my day.

So that's my checklist! Did I miss anything? Oh yah--figuring out names for the baby might be a good idea, too. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Big Kid Now!

We are parents of a 4 year old! It's still shocking to say out loud. That was always other people, not us. But now, here we are, raising a family with kids that are actually getting older. Weird, I know.
We took our 4 year old to get his haircut this past week , and boy do I think he's handsome.

I sat in the waiting area, watching him sit there in the hairdresser's chair, and eves dropped on their conversation. He was answering questions and talking to her, just like a real person. It really hit me then, that he is really growing up. Man oh man--where did my little Squishy go?

My favorite thing about him, though, is that he isn't all that much different from the toddler I once knew. Or even as far back as the baby I once knew. Some of his all-to-famous character traits are still shining strong, in this big, grown up 4 year old.
For instance:
He still loves to play anything make-believe.
He still needs me to have "cuddle time" with him every day.
He still gets super shy around people we've known for years, and hides behind me, or runs away.
He is still timid when we walk into a busy or crowded place.
He still loves hugs and kisses, and likes to pretend to be my baby.
He still loves to dance, and sing, and be silly.
He still loves to learn new things every day.
He still gets really mad and yells when he's frustrated.
He still wakes up happy in the morning, no matter what.
He still likes eating a very limited amount of foods, in small varieties. (picky)
He still wants to be "just like Micah."
He still loves reading books with Mom or Micah.
He's still excessively whiny when he doesn't want to do something.
He still loves it when I make up stories for him in bed at night.
He still warms my heart every day, and
He still says "I love you" to his Mama.

So, although he is growing up, I feel like I know him so well.

This is him below with his good friend and fellow Jedi Master. These two are so funny together, and I'm really happy that four means having a special friend that likes Star Wars as much as he does.
(BTW, I sewed those cloaks for them. I think they turned out pretty cool. I followed this pattern...kinda)

This is his "special" basket where he decided to keep all things that are important to him. Every once in a while I peak in there to see what he's hording, and laugh out loud..... An old latex glove from the Dr.'s office, a tooth floss sample from a health fair, a toy wallet with nothing in it, and a snorkel and mask that he won't actually try..... to name a few items.

He just really cracks me up, on a daily basis. I was reading back in my journal from 2 years ago, about when we first moved here. Micah was gone for a week at a time, I didn't know anyone, I didn't have any friends, and I didn't have anything to do for a couple months. I wrote about how my little Zadok made me so happy. He was (and is) my best friend in the world, and we had so many adventures together. (Odin was just a wee baby)
I hope that I never let my personal agenda, or extracurricular things, get in the way of building an awesome relationship with Zadok.

Just like any other person in the world, he has his good days and his hard days. Just like me, some days he's happy and some days he's upset beyond reason. I definitely think that raising him, and watching him grow into a person, is making me a much better person... because some days I don't think I know what I'm doing, but he loves me anyways.
Unconditional love is what 4 year olds are all about--and I like it.
Here's to many fun adventures ahead with our big, grown up kid!

Monday, May 17, 2010

30 weeks and counting......

There's just something incredibly happy about being 30 weeks pregnant! Maybe because I know that, in 6 weeks, this baby could be fully cooked and decide to come out! Or.... maybe it's because I can count on ten fingers, how many weeks I have left til full, human gestation. Or...maybe it's because at 30 weeks, we are starting to really plan and visualize this birth, more vividly, and It's starting to become a reality. It's all exciting. I have to admit, though, that prior to our midwife appointment earlier in the day, I was not excited...not a bit. You see, I have been extremely sore lately, and barely able to walk around. I had blamed it on my large body. my huge, growing child. my old, child-bearing years creeping up on me. my demanding toddler wanting to be held every minute. I was so upset, complaining that there's no way I can go on another 10 weeks like this. My body is broken........wah wah wah.

I knew there was something really wrong and abnormal, but I didn't know what.

So our midwife had me lay down to check the baby's heartbeat. As we listened to our healthy baby, rolling around happily, she also noticed that my pelvic bone was completely tilted in. This was my problem! She said something like, "Your pelvic bone is gone!" So she lifted my legs up, and moved my pelvic bone back where it was supposed to be, with a quick lift of her palm.

I stood up to feel the difference and it was like I had my normal body back. No more pain. No more creeks. No more achiness. "Okay," I exclaimed, as I burst into happy tears, "I can do this. Thank you, thank you, midwife, I can do this!!"

Okay...back to being excited about 30 weeks.

Yay for 30 weeks and yay for pre-natal care that makes a difference!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Choosing Today

Personal stress + anxiety + being pregnant + playing with hyper boys all day + extreme hunger = middle of the night insomnia. So here I am, at 2am, typing on my blog again.

I dream of the day when I can just get some rest. Unfortunately, it's not right now. I have to admit, though, that some nights I get an almost solid 9 hours...except for the startling loud, wake-ups from our 2 year olds' nightmares.
His nightmares wake him up screaming and crying, and they're usually about very important things (to a two-year old). Like one night he woke up crying that he dropped his bowl on the ground. And another night it was about his big brother taking his ball away. Another night it was about wanting a!
Poor kid-- I wish I could share the pangs of such (trivial) concerns. A pat on the back and a gentle whisper of, "Mommy's right here," will send him back into sleepland.
But no, my nightmares right now are about finding jobs, and moving houses, and getting to spend more time with my husband.....and on and on. Maybe If I could just sleep it away-but then I have to wake up, eventually.

Anyways, this post is about choosing. I've found that, even though I feel stressed, and I worry, and everything things so chaotic right now, I am choosing to be happy today.

I am choosing to wake up and smile, and hug my kids, no matter how grumpy I feel tomorrow.
I am choosing to be a more encouraging spouse; be more of a giver, rather than a taker.
I am choosing to be nice, even when I feel like being mean.
I am choosing to laugh, even when I want to cry.
I am choosing to be playful and fun, when all I want is time alone.
I am choosing not to yell, (but to gently explain to a two year old that hitting his brother is not good....again and again and again and again)
I am choosing to wake up tomorrow with renewed strength and energy to face the day.
I am choosing to let go of my stress and be happy with the life I have.
I am choosing to trust God more and not worry so much.
I am choosing to have a good weekend.

Thanks for letting me vent. Off to refrigerator....

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Birthing Pool

The birthing pool made an appearance in our living room this past weekend. Micah decided it was time to get her out of storage and make sure she is in proper, working order before the big day. As you can see, it is also fully functional as an indoor swimming pool for the kids, as well. Yeah!

When we decided we wanted a waterbirth, we looked into all our various options, and decided on buying this particular pool, manufactured by Made in Water.
Most homebirth midwives have birthing pools on hand that you can rent, or we even have friends who've opted to buy a cheap, Summertime kiddie pool at Target to birth in. Or, you could simply give birth in your very own (large) bathtub, and that would work fine, too.
But Micah and I felt that buying our own birthing pool would be more personable, and something we could hold onto for subsequent births.

I am really happy we did this. I took a moment to jump into the pool with the kids this past weekend, and got to relive some pleasant birth memories as well. I think my favorite part about this pool is that it has these big, firm, squishy sides. They were just perfect for squeezing every time I had a contraction.

Micah was explaining to the kids that our special pool is for having our new baby in, and that Odin was born in here, too! They loved talking about it--and think it's so cool.It's kind of funny to think that this little piece of equipment has so much meaning for our family. I am looking forward to getting in it once again, and squeezing those sides.

Happy Birthing!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A New Me

I was so nervous last night. We've never hired a babysitter before, and I just wasn't sure how my boys would react to a perfect stranger coming over to "play" with them today. We've swapped kids with friends, but that's about it for leaving our kids!
So here I was last week, calling this 16 year old girl, whom I had never met before, but had been referred to by a friend, hoping that she was the answer to my prayers!

I've been feeling for awhile now, that we need to find someone to come over and give me a few hours to myself once a week. I've been getting really overwhelmed lately, mostly with this pregnancy, and Micah being gone 4 days a week, and with feeling like my empty cup never quite has a chance to fill back up..... Batteries are dead, no ones home, lights are out== equals a very stressed out and psychotic Sally Mom.
Plus, I overall think it will be healthy for my boys to get their needs met by someone else, to interact and play with someone else, to look to someone else for comfort ...for 3 hours a week! And my goodness, we all know I can't let go of my babies for the first two years, so this will give me a moment before newcomer arrives in July.
So, I took the leap of faith and called her, and when she walked in the door this morning, it was like we'd known her for years!The kids warmed right up, and within 20 minutes I was already out the door running errands!

Each week I plan to spend my time relaxing, swimming, meditating, reading, going for long walks, and letting all the stress and anxiety that's been building up, release itself. Just watch as a new me unfolds....... :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Green Soup!

This soup is a favorite around here, so I thought I would share the recipe! Besides their beloved broccoli, our kids won't touch a whole lot of "green" stuff these days. But, everytime we make this soup, they both gobble down a hearty bowlful?? The minds of young children are an interesting thing........

Now, I know this picture isn't that palate pleasing, but here is an example of our green soup. This is also one of my "I-don't-know-what-to-make-for-supper-oh-here's-some-split-green-peas-I'll-make-soup-last-minute" dinners.

Here's the ingredients:
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 cup chopped onion
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
* 12 ounces dried green or yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
* 5 cups chicken broth
* 1 tablespoon curry powder
Click here to go straight to Alton Brown's recipe and directions.