Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sticks and Stones

are still the favorite toys of our little boys. A quick drive up the canyon and suddenly we are in our own haven...places to wander, and explore, and find refuge from a messy house, fussy kids, or basement windows. There are more than enough sticks and stones to discover out there. (does this sound familiar? I've probably written these exact words on my blog a billion times.)
I love this place we call home!
We still don't know if we are moving, or what, but we plan on getting out in nature as much as we can this Summer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baby Jonah arrived!



Jonah was born July 25th, at 2:15 am. He weighs 9 lbs, 14 oz, 20 1/2 inches long.

I am waiting for the moment to be able to type up his entire birth story, which is what I have done for both our kids. (They have them tucked nicely in their baby books for someday when they want to read about how they entered this world.)

This labor was so quick, and amazingly uneventful. ( 4 1/2 hours from start to finish!)
Of course it was a life-changing and wonderful experience, and we are, once again, very happy to birth our babies in the comfort of our home.
But gosh, maybe birth is just getting more normal around here, because it all went by really fast and the best part is, we now have this darling baby boy to focus all our energy on.

We love him so much. The moment we swooped him up from the pool, and saw that he was a boy, my heart literally leapt with happiness. I loved him instantly, and knew that he was sent here to teach me so many things. I knew instantly that he needed to be part of our family. I knew instantly that my father in Heaven sent him to us to bless our lives in so many ways. I knew instantly that I would have that daughter one day, just not at this time. And I felt pure love, stronger than I can describe.

I am so grateful for our baby Jonah. I am spending these days snuggling him, and smelling him, and holding him close to me. Our little naps are so precious. Micah is working so hard, holding down everything else, so I can recover, and rest with our new baby. He really is an amazing Dad, and husband. And the boys can't stop loving on lil' Jonah, giving him all the kisses and hugs a baby brother ever needs. We are very happy.

So, I'm sure I will post more details about our awesome birth experience, but for now, I have a little baby that I want to cuddle.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pregnancy Pictures and Waiting

These are our Micah-and-Sally-pregnant-posing-in-a-field-of-tall-grass pictures. And I love them. And they are uniquely ours forever and ever. Thank you again to our friend Sunny for taking time to do this for us.
I have to admit that when I look at them I don't feel so sore, uncomfortable, and constricted. I just look....serene. Maybe this is all part of some master plan to trick me into getting pregnant again. Maybe when I look back on this, my hardest pregnancy, in a couple years, I'll only see happy, calm, blissful Sally, not the I'm-not-getting-out-of-bed-just-shoot-me-today Sally. Hhhhhhmmm....... We'll see.

We will be 40 weeks pregnant this Saturday. Yep--fully fully full term! The thing that always makes me laugh when we start to go into the "past due date" zones, is that we could have our baby right now. If she had decided to come out already, we'd have this big, healthy, nursing baby, with probably lots of hair--right now!! But nope--these Jackson kids like to hold out until the last minute, right when I'm about to go crazy. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
I know that my body will do it's thing. I know that the hormones are being created, which will start the contractions, which will move the baby down and out. I know all this will happen. I also know that each time I am waiting, I build strength, faith, and an enduring love for this unborn baby. Then by the time I go into labor, and they get here, I am sooooooooooooooooooo ready.

Another cool thing about going weeks over, is that you think of all these extra things to get done before the baby arrives. Like last night I finally organized the boys' baby books. Zadok hasn't stopped looking at his, since he realized it was a book about him!

And one last thing that is cool about going over your estimated due date, is that you get to tell people that you are "past due," and they look at you like your nuts because they don't really know anyone that's done that before. Who's doctor is going to let them get past 40 weeks without an induction?? That brings back memories of when I was 42 1/2 weeks pregnant with Zadok, and the doc at the hospital insisted we start the Pit and get-er-done. We waited, and sure enough--my body did what we knew it would do.

So here we are...waiting.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blessingway

The practice of celebrating pregnancy and the birth of a new mother transcends almost all human cultures. Unlike the American baby shower which is usually focused on gifts for the baby, the Mother's Blessing (or Blessingway) is focused on giving positive energy, special gifts, and happy blessings to the mother, which are a powerful way to prepare the mother for labor and childbirth.
Weather a mother is having her 1st, 3rd, or 10th baby, I think the Mother's Blessing reminds her, once again, that childbirth is one of the most transformative events of her life. I was very lucky to have a group of wonderful friends throw me a Mother's Blessing this last weekend. Here's a few pictures that Erika took, which keep reminding me how fun it is to celebrate bringing children into this world.


A warm soak and a foot massage.



Each friend brought a unique bead, each given with a good thought or blessing for the birth.



Tying strings around our wrists, which will remind friends to send positive energy to the baby and mother, each day before she gives birth. String can also represent the umbilical cord, and ancestral ties between birth, life, and death.



Everyone decorated onesies with puffy paints! So cute! Can't wait to wear them!

More pictures of our lovely evening.







Rebekah's blessingway last year was the first I had been to. I wrote about it here. This is definitely a tradition that I would love to pass on for friends and family; for those who think birthing is something special to celebrate. :)

HHhhmmmmmmm......

We think it would be kind of fun if I went into labor and gave birth to twins. Micah described it as having a "free baby." Like maybe when you go shopping and end up with something extra you didn't plan on --a really cool-buy-one-get-one-free deal.
Twins sometimes go undiagnosed, even in hospitals. Sometimes one twin will be hiding behind the other twin. Sometimes the other heartbeat isn't detected........
In our case, since we don't do ultrasounds, there's a possibility that a twin could be hanging out in there, and our midwife hasn't found the heartbeat yet, or detected an extra little body.

Just thought I'd put it out there in the Universe, so in case we have twins nobody thinks it was a total surprise. It's a possibility. Okay, I'm thinking about this way too much.
But, just in case we have twins, and it's not too late, I'd like to put in my order now:

Dear God,

I would like two little girls; perfect and healthy, and adorable.

Love,

Sally

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Co-Sleeping is for Everyone

Attachment Parenting, the Continuum Concept, Creative Parenting......however you want to call it, has become more of a lifestyle-parenting choice for us, than a certain technique we picked up. (Although, these are the various labels most closely related to how we roll around here, and there's some pretty good books out there that speak my language. But to be honest, I don't like that there's a label to describe what parents should be doing instinctively anyways)
I think the real trick to parenting is being flexible and creative, and not letting yourself get stuck within the limitations of any technique. I'm realizing more and more as our boys get older, that watching them and their feelings is more important than any book I've read or technique I've learned. They are such unique, little characters, and each have needs distinctly their own. I've learned to use my intuitive, Mama-radar to read their feelings, and help them feel loved and secure, when they need it most. They are truly happy kids, and I feel a closeness to them that I never imagined. I know Micah feels the same way, and he has been my greatest example in how to raise our children.


I think that if we really wanted to, we could rearrange our entire house, so that our second bedroom was "the boys room," but we don't care to. Sharing a bedroom with our kids was a choice, and having them with us at night, a blessing. We don't believe that babies and kids should sleep alone until they are ready. Plus, it's a lot easier to take care of their nighttime needs when they are right next to you. It all began with little babies nursing in bed, and now there are many nights when our boys have needed a changed diaper, a drink of water, an extra cuddle during a nightmare, words of reassurance when they've felt scared or alone, and of course, those early morning snuggles that I love so much.

I don't think our arrangement is right for everyone. Some couples don't agree on bed-sharing, and what a couple decides together is most important for the whole family. Some people simply can't sleep at night with extra bodies cuddling them, and some people just shouldn't sleep with their kids because they're drunk or on crack, or have narcolepsy, and that's just dangerous. But, for those that want to enjoy the family closeness that comes with the family bed, I think it's the best thing in the world. And no parenting technique existing out there, can tell you that your human intuition wrong.

Our family-sleep room. 3 beds, 4 people, one little bedroom, and a partridge in a pear tree. And when we're not sleeping, you can find our family venturing out for many other fun things in the world......

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Breastfeeding Friendly Initiative


This is the International Breastfeeding Symbol. You may see it around town more, as I've been making a bigger effort as of lately to raise awareness about mothers' rights to feed their babies when, how, and where they need to. The local newspaper ran an article about this tiny campaign 8 months ago, and since then, I have been making my way around town to talk with local businesses about it.
So basically, to be considered a Breastfeeding Friendly Establishment, a restaurant or business needs to hang these guidelines (look below) in a place where their employees can see them, and also hang an International sticker in their window. By having a sticker up they are showing patrons that they not only understand the Utah State laws protecting a breastfeeding mother, but that they sustain and support it in their establishment. The purpose of the symbol is not to segregate breastfeeding, but to help integrate it into society by better accommodating it in public.I feel that the more awareness that is raised, and the more stickers put up around town, the more normalized breastfeeding will become.

I have to tell ya, though, some of the reactions I've received have been outright funny/disturbing, while approaching the various business folks of Cedar City about this issue. For the most part people have been open about doing it, some saying,"Oh yes, we would never ask a mother to leave or cover up during a feeding." This is really nice and reassuring, until I talk to a store manager who says,"Yah I'll hang up the sign and follow the law, but I still think it's indecent to breastfeed without a cover." Or, "Yah we'll hang a sign in the back, but the sticker is unnecessary." or, "Well the law might support breastfeeding in public, but you know most moms feel more comfortable in the car." or, "We don't have that problem in our store so we don't need a paper or sticker."
Of course these responses further validate why I am trying to raise awareness in the first place. These are the people that need to hear first hand that breastfeeding is normal, and a breastfeeding mother needs to feel validated and accommodated in public.
So finally, I get this huge smile from one store owner who sits me down to tell me that she breastfed all 8 of her kids, and thinks it's wonderful what I am doing. She wants two stickers; one for her front window, and one for her back window.

The Breastfeeding Friendly Initiative:

To be designated a Breastfeeding Friendly Establishment, a business must meet the following criteria:

•Understand that Utah State laws protect a Mother’s rights to breastfeed in public.
•Honor these laws and uphold them in your establishment.
•Inform employees of the importance of these laws, and hang this paper in an open area for employees to refer to.
•Have an “International Breastfeeding Symbol,” hanging in an entryway, which lets patrons know you are a Breastfeeding Friendly Establishment.
•Offer a comfortable, non-discriminatory atmosphere for Mothers to breastfeed.
•Support a Mothers’ choice to feed her baby how, when, and where she may, no matter what method of feeding she chooses.

Utah State Law includes:
Utah Code Ann. § 10-8-41

(2) (a) A woman's breast feeding, including breast feeding in any place where the woman otherwise may rightfully be, does not under any circumstance constitute an obscene or lewd act, irrespective of whether or not the breast is covered during or incidental to feeding.

(b) Boards of Commissioners and City Councils of Cities may not prohibit a woman's breast feeding in any location where she otherwise may rightfully be, irrespective of whether the breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Waimea Bay



So this is the beach we lived by, nearly all my life.
On the way right hand side, we would snorkel among the coral and rocks, chasing little fishies around in circles. In the middle of the bay, way out where the ocean gets darker and deeper, is where I would paddle my longboard and sit and wait for dolphins. (In the Summer, you can almost always find Spinner dolphins jumping thru the middle of the Bay, and It's an awesome expereince to swim with them.)
On the left hand side is the large rock where we'd jump off, over and over and over again. Many late-nights were also spent jumping off the rock under the full moon.
The sandy stretch of beach is where I would run laps back and forth to warm up for my morning swims. I would run til I felt hot and sweaty, then jump in on the right hand side. I would swim to the large rock and back several times. I always found the same sea turtle swimming by me, nearly every day. My little dog would chase me back and forth as I swam.
Way out beyond the rocks on the left is where I used to take my kayak. Just me and my little dog would go out to sea and explore the rocks beyond. I would lie down on a big slab of lava rock and sunbathe until I got too hot, then paddle back home.
Near the right side, on the sand, is where I would gather with friends and family to watch the most gorgeous red, yellow, and orange Sunsets. I remember as a little girl thinking," This must be what heaven looks like."
In the Winter months the ocean swells got so huge, that it was too dangerous to swim. We would stand on the right-hand side and watch one of the greatest natural phenomenons ever, as surfers from all over the world came to ride these ginormous waves.
On the far left side is where I last swam at the bay, 6 years ago, with my husband-to-be.We jumped off the rock and collected sea shells. I remember him doing a really long yoga head-stand, and wondering if he'd ever fall down.

So why am I writing about Waimea Bay? Because I just miss it today, and
if I close my eyes, I can still feel the warm, clear water around me. Someday I'll be back......someday.......
And maybe this is what I think about while I'm waiting for our baby to come out.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July and Mamas Day!

Independence Day was never a huge deal for me growing up. I blame it on the large mix of cultures that have accumulated in Hawaii over time, such as Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Samoan, Tahitian, Fijian, Maori, and even Portuguese. Hawaii has a rich history of immigrants and travelers, all settling in the islands for work and a new frontier. Over the years, this mix of cultures have influenced each other, and infiltrated the traditional American holidays with new traditions, as well.

The holiday I remember celebrating the most is New Years Eve, as that is when we had all the big parties and BBQ's, and fireworks were blown up with a loud bang, at midnight. The neighbors would be out lighting red fire-crackers, banging pots and pans, and starting their lawnmowers, to ring in the new year. New years Eve was by far the most celebrated and most loud holiday we had! These traditions were usually influenced by the Chinese New year, which was close by.

So, If we wanted to see big fireworks on America's holiday, we had to go to a Military base, which we never did. I love this free country we live in, but it's funny how every Fourth of July I find myself going, "Oh yah--that holiday. I guess we should do something."
We went and bought some fireworks and sparklers for the boys, and will probably go to a friends BBQ. I still don't own an American flag, and I've never warmed up to citing the Pledge of Allegiance, but like I said, I love living in America, and Happy Independence to all!

And of course, 4th of July has forever been my mom's birthday, which we always celebrated every year! Happy Birthday MOM!!
My mom just left after staying with us for a week 1/2, and boy was I sad to see her go! It was so nice to just be able to hang out, and talk, and do fun things with the boys. Plus, she was a such a blessing by helping me out in so many ways! I am so glad she made the trek out here, just for us. I love you, Mom.
Here we are at the "Green Show", a free, family performance that goes on all Summer.



We miss you--come back soon!