Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Banana Wheels and Thrifty Deals

I've been browsing the local thrift stores for furniture and odds and ends for the house. I purchased a used couch from Savers, some lamps for the light-less rooms, and two bar stools for the kitchen. Other than that, I don't feel a huge motivation to furnish the apartment. Maybe it's because we probably have to move again in a year, and moving all this crap in was such a pain the arse. Or maybe it's because furniture costs money, and spending money on furniture is the least of my favorite things to do. Anyways, the point is, I am happy living out of boxes for now. There's also a fun game we like to call, "See how long we can go before we get something for free," that that's fun to play. There's always someone trying to get rid of a book shelf or a dresser, or an end-table....you just have to wait.very patiently.and be happy finding your underwear at the bottom of a box every day in the meantime.

Above is a picture of the stack of chaos we created, before we left our last apt. This picture makes me shudder with fear. Moving sucks.

Speaking of thrift stores, I just want to share my most awesome thrifting find ever--a plastic banana slicer. Never have I come across such an amazing contraption as this one. You just put it over the banana, push down, and there you have instant banana wheels!

I wish I could tell you where you can get one, so you could be as excited as me. Here is Odin below, enjoying his insta-wheels. On a side note, we discovered that one cool thing about your name beginning with "O" is that you find O's everywhere you g0--making your name so much more exciting! Odin finds O's in almost everything these days-from oranges to coins to DVD's to pancakes to banana wheels. His little face lights up as he exclaims,"It's an O for ODIN!" So cute!

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Mei-tai

I love soft, fabric babycarriers!! They are an essential part of my whole parenting experience and also, parenting philosophy;
keeping babies close brings happiness, bonding, comfort, security and love between parent and child. Plus, there's nothing like getting to sniff your sweet babies head all day as you're getting stuff done. You just can't do that from a car seat! What I would really love to do is sit down all day and stare lovingly into my babies face----but I can't. Hence, my obsession with babywearing.
This is the mei-tai I sewed for when baby Jonah came. He is snug as a bug in there. When I first started sewing MT's I followed this pattern here. Since then I have a changed a few things around, but not much.

The view from the top is the best.

I recently tallied up the past 4 years of sewing Mei-tais and counted 60. I have slowed down quite a bit with my busy kids, but still love getting behind the machine and imagining the sweet, little baby who's going to be worn by my creation. There's a lot of love that goes into making a babycarrier.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Labor pains

I've had several people ask me recently if I thought labor was painful. One of them being a mother of 6, who underwent 6 C-sections because she had decided long before the labor started that the pain would be too much. I can just imagine her growing up from a young age with her grandmas, aunties, mothers, and all those around her complaining about the woes of childbirth. When people ask me about pain in labor I usually to tell them, "Gosh--it's such a subjective experience, I really can't tell you what you're going to feel. How one person describes pain, can be another person's pleasure." But I realize that's probably not very helpful. I would like to be a more positive influence on girls and women, so they don't have to grow up scared to give birth like that Mom I met. So I've come up with other descriptions like INTENSE. HARD WORK. MASTERING. REWARDING.
Although still subjective to my experience, I think these descriptions are more accurate than painful.

Yes, labor is intense. It's probably one of the most intense physical and emotional experiences I've ever felt in my life. Once those contractions start, you become part of a process that overcomes your entire being. You become totally consumed with each contraction, as it explodes and bursts within your body. It can be a feeling of total vulnerability and loss of control, or you can become in charge of it--the master who controls the intensity of it all, takes on the hard work, and chooses to experience it fully.I opted for the latter, with all 3 of our natural childbirths.

When my contractions began this last time, I started to lose control at first. They came on so fast and so sudden that I wasn't ready for them. I remember putting the kids to bed, then sitting on the couch watching "Dr. Who" with Micah, when all of a sudden powerful contractions overcame me. I started crying hysterically, arching forward in pain. I couldn't remember what to do--I felt overcome.
Micah quickly stepped in and reminded me what to do. I can still hear his soothing words, "Relax your entire body, relax every part of your body, except your Uterus. Let your Uterus do all the work. Just let it work-let it start bringing our baby here. Relax your head, relax your arms, relax your legs, relax your back, and so on...but let your uterus work."

Once I was able to relax my body and realize what I needed to do, I took charge and went to work. I swayed and rocked through each contraction, moaning and sounding as loud or soft as I wanted, saying what helpful words I wanted to. I let my whole body relax and feel the the rhythms of my swaying, but I always remembered to let my Uterus work, so our baby could come out. Sometimes after an especially intense contraction I would yell out, "I can't do this--this sucks!" But of course knew I could do it, and I was doing it. I simply needed to hear Micah say once again, "Your doing awesome, our baby is coming soon." And then I was in charge again.

One more thing that helps me through labor is recognizing that my intense experience is not unique, as far as childbirth goes. My mother, grandmothers, great-great-great-Grandmothers and women throughout history, have all been through the intensity and hard work which brings babies here. Just thinking about my ancestor-mothers giving birth, makes me feel braver and stronger. After all, that is why I am here.

This is me rocking and swaying on my feet, in the living room, during one intense contraction! In between contractions I took a shower, braided my hair, put on my favorite nighty, splashed some essential oils on my neck, and put lotion on my legs. During contractions I completely submitted myself to the job. And what a fine reward we produced:

Baby J, 1 day old.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Silverback Gorilla at Hogle Zoo

Here's a picture from the zoo. We peeked in at the Silverback Gorilla, and he peeked back at us. It was a cool experience, which I've heard doesn't happen too often.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mother of three!

Becoming a mother of 3 hit me kind of hard. It's not that our baby has been hard or demanding on me--he's this perfect, little, angel who lounges in this happy world of contentment most of the day. And it wasn't exactly harder caring for our two, older children, because they've already been keeping me busy for years! (4 to be exact)

Instead, It was this major mental adjustment when I discovered that wow- I have 3 kids and this is really it, i.e. This is what it feels like to be a busy mother, raising children, in the prime of my parenting journey. I suddenly realized that my kids are at the very beginning of their "remembering" experiences, and what I do as a mother, is quite possibly going to be ingrained in their memories the rest of their lives. Zadok is 4 1/2 years old, and Odin is 2 1/2, and they are like two little impressionable sponges, who soak up every bit of information along their paths.

At first panic set in, then prayers. I quickly reminded myself to utilize the power of prayer God has given me; to tap into those divine resources and become the mother of 3 I want to be today. I believe that these past 7 weeks since Jonah arrived, have been filled with transformative experiences and humble answers to prayers, as I've been trying to figure out just what I need to do.

The first thing I realized is that time is my most precious asset. I need time with my kids, time to play, time to explore, time to cook, time to clean, time to rest, time to sleep, time to read, time to research, time with Micah, time to exercise, time to plan, and time to enjoy each moment. So, with time being most important, I realized just how important it is to use my time wiser than ever before. That means eliminating things that may be good, but aren't as important as my family, and making time for what I really want to do right now.

Here is a list I've compiled of what I really want to make time for right now,
as a mom:
*Make time to write in my journal each week, recording all the cute things my kids say and do.
*Make time to plan family home evenings, and have them consistently each week.
*Make time to take pictures and organize photo albums of our kids.
*Make time for special outings and fun activities every day..ie. making memories.
*Make time to cook yummy, nutritious meals for my family.
*Make time to define my ideals and goals as a homeschooling mom.
*Make time to work on being more patient, tolerant, and understanding with my kids.
*Make time to appreciate each of their unique, and wonderful personalities.
*Make time to enjoy every.single.moment, because shoot--this is going by faster than I realized!

This list isn't totally profound, but it is what I want to focus on right now. I feel that if I can't do the things on my list--I'd better make the time, because this is it. My goal is to feel fullfilled each day, and to know that my family is happy because of who I am and what I choose to do. I am the center of my children's lives, and they need to know what is important to me.

I feel happy right now. I feel like I am becoming the mother of 3 I want to be.

Can you tell how much we all LOVE this baby?? Zadok calls him our,"little Pootie." It's pretty funny. He also calls me the "Big Pootie, Bootie Mama." Not so funny.
Odin kisses him all day long--literally. I have to beat him off while Jonah is sleeping. Micah loves to hold him and watch him get stronger and more alert. I love to look into his sweet face and thank God he is ours.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Get ready

Get ready for a huge up-chuck of blog posts coming up! We are settled in, the internet is now hooked up, I found my camera cord, and I have photos and stories to share. Right now I am going to bed, but here's a sneak preview:

Is that not the cutest bundle of love ever??? This is where our little Jonah hangs out a lot of the time. When we were introduced in our new ward last week, I stood up in front of our congregation with him wrapped to me like this. There was an outburst of oooohs, ahhhhs and chuckles in the pews. I don't think anyone can resist the cuteness of a baby bundled up on his Mama.
See ya soon. :)