Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I'm nestled under four blankets. One satiny light brown sheet, one densely woven cream sheet, one thick cotton comforter with a delicate white and beige pattern, and one Christmas colored quilt.

My toes are still cold. Silence dances around me, welcoming my wound up mind to unfold her wings and take refuge in the dimly lit stillness. My children are all asleep, and my spouse is out. And it's very late.

Beside me lays a tiny chubby angel. A princess. A wise looking miniature queen, with sweetly pursed lips with a sweet dribbly ribbon of her mother's milk still resting between them at the corners. Her hands are like soft fluttery butterflies, and every now and again, some naughty dream startles her and the warm velvet fingers search until they come to rest on my side, and then relax back into a sweet slumber. I revel in the glorious ability to bring such total and instant comfort. Delicious happy tears pour into my heart, and my soul becomes dizzy, intoxicated with the power to bring such a perfect being this kind of comfort.

I'm away from the persons who would suggest that my hands are too full, or that I should be terribly stressed out. Tucked into a cozy dream, we're safe from the fussy business of the daytime. I needn't pretend to be less happy than I am to fulfill some silly social contract. I'm happy. I'm blissfully happy. Deliriously intoxicated and in love with the perfect soft breather nestled against my side. My only worry is that I may never be able to sustain this kind of bliss, and that the rest of life will be bittersweet in the light of this recollection.

I love being a mother. With every fiber of my being, even in my moments of greatest failure, I'm so very happy. Even if it tests my limits and rends my heart in ways I'd never before imagined, I'm hopelessly addicted. I only wonder how I got so lucky as to have strayed into such happiness; I who once vowed I never wanted to give birth or take a child to my breast. Motherhood has turned me into such an awe-stricken and joyfully humble servant of humanity, and all I can do is weep tears of happy gratitude at it's feet.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Miss Eva is now 9 months old, and is such a relaxed, happy, curious, friendly little cuddler. She totally steals our hearts every day!

She can crawl now (started at 7.5 mo), and has almost 6 teeth! :oO The teeth are a total shocker to me, as her sisters didn't have a tooth until they were 10mo. :P She loves to dance to music, and is pulling up on the furniture. Today, I found her climbed up on the first step of her sister's bathroom stool! She loves pulling all the tupperware out of my bottom cabinet, and banging on my metal mixing bowls with a spoon. She adores my parent's West Highland Terrier, and tries to follow her around with her mouth open to get puppy kisses...ewwie! She has a steady, easy going spirit, and is really into trying new foods these days. Carrots and mung beans are big favorites, as are bananas and tangerines.

She's a solid sleeper, and is such a good natured little punkin, even while she's cutting 3 teeth at a time. She tends to wake up in the morning with a big grin on her face, ready to explore. She hates being deterred from something she's trying to reach, and doesn't like waiting for the next bite of food, either, hehe.

Evie loooves to talk! She signs "hungry" and "puppy" and waves byebye. Her words are just astounding me...

She can say: mama, dada, sisseh (sissy), hungry, "hi dada", "is good!", good, byebye, puppa (puppy), beh-beh (baby), hnn-guh! (hungry), E-deh! (Esther), dis (this, what's this) and ball. :O)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Article about Delayed Cord Clamping

Good article about why the cord should not be clamped/cut until it stops pulsating after birth.


"Delayed cord clamping in very preterm infants reduces the incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage and late-onset sepsis: a randomized, controlled trial(7)
Randomized 72 VLBW infants (< p =" 0.03)" p ="">
The Influence of the Timing of Cord Clamping on Postnatal Cerebral Oxygenation in Preterm Neonates: A Randomized, Controlled Trial (8)
Randomized 39 preterm infants to immediate clamping vs. 60-90 second delay, and examined fetal brain blood flow and tissue oxygenation. Results showed similar blood flow between groups, but increased tissue oxygenation in the delayed group and 4 and 24 hours after birth.
Effect of timing of umbilical cord clamping on iron status in Mexican infants: a randomized controlled trial(9)
Randomized 476 infants to immediate or 2 minute delayed clamping and followed them for 6 months. Delayed clamped babies had higher MCVs (81 vs. 79.5), higher ferritins (50.7 vs. 34.4), and higher total body iron. Effects were greater in infants born to iron deficient mothers. Delayed clamping increased total iron stores by 27-47mg. A follow up study showed that lead exposed infants with delayed clamping also had lower serum lead levels than immediate clamped infants, likely due to iron mediates changes in lead absorption.
A randomized clinical trial comparing immediate versus delayed clamping of the umbilical cord in preterm infants: short-term clinical and laboratory endpoints(10)
Infants delivering at 30 to 36 weeks gestation randomized to immediate vs. 1 minute delay. Delayed group had higher RBC volumes (p = 0.04) and hematocrits (p < p =" 0.03)">
Immediate versus delayed umbilical cord clamping in premature neonates born <>

Randomized 60 infants to clamping at 5-10 seconds vs. 30-45 seconds. Delayed clamping infants had higher BPs and hematocrits. Infants <>
And that’s just some of it. I’ll be happy to send you an Endnote file with a pile more of you’d like it. If the burden of proof is on us to prove that immediate clamping is good, that burden is clearly not met. And furthermore, there is strong evidence that delaying clamping as little as 30 seconds has measurable benefits for the infant, especially in premature babies and babies born to iron deficient mothers.

So basically, we should be doing this. I’m going to try to effect some change in my department, but there are a lot of things that need to happen for us to change as a general culture. It can’t just be the OBs. L and D nurses and pediatricians need to buy in as well.

Some people will argue that premature babies need to be brought to the warmer right away for resucitation. I don’t know the answer to this, but it’s worth study. One might think that it is important to intubate a very premature baby right away, but I have to wonder if that intact cord will be better at delivering oxygen to the baby for 30-60 seconds than the premature lungs. Particularly in cases of fetal respiratory acidosis, there is strong logical argument that a baby might be better resuscitated by unwrapping the cord and letting it flow a bit than trying to oxygenate it through its lungs. Until that placenta is detached, you have a natural ECMO system. Why not use it? Certainly there are exceptions to this logical argument, abruption being the biggest one, and perhaps even severe pre-eclampsia and other poor feto-maternal circulation states.

I wonder at times why delayed cord clamping has not become the standard already; why by and large we have not heeded the literature. It is sad to say that I believe it is because the champions of this practice have not been doctors, but midwives, and sometimes we are influenced by prejudice. Clearly, midwives and doctors tend to have some different ideas about how labor should be managed, but in the end data is data. We championed evidence based medicine, but tend to ignore evidence when it comes from the wrong source, which is unfair. It is fair to critique the research and the methods used to write it, but it shouldn’t matter who the author is. In this case, Mercer and other midwives have done the world a favor by scientifically addressing this issue, and their data deserves serious consideration.

To quote Levy et al (12) “Although a tailored approach is required in the case of cord clamping, the balance of available data suggests that delayed cord clamping should be the method of choice.” We ought to heed this advice better. Like episiotomy, this change in practice may take awhile, but we should get it started. I’m going to work on it myself. How about you?"

Friday, December 4, 2009

We made our advent wreath today!

We collected some rosemary, pine and cedar today and tied them to an antique embrodery hoop to make our little advent wreath. (We went small this year, maybe we'll be more ambitious next year!) The rosemary was blooming little purple pretty! <3 The girls wanted to paint their faces in celebration, so Esther was a bird and Nomi, of course, was a cat.

We'll have to do double duty on the candle lighting each Sunday, since we got to a late start this year, but I think they'll enjoy it a lot. We also got our Christmas tree up! I'll have to post pictures of that later. :O)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In Retrograde

I'm watching her grow young.
She's finding wonder in the simple things
Finding newness in the familiar,
Unlearning all the things she once taught me

She's traveling backwards at the speed of light,
With snowy hair and vertigo,
Dizzy and unnerved as the past shrinks small out of sight,
With familiar ground re-appearing beneath her feet

She's learning how it is not to coordinate her limbs,
How not to be in charge,
How to be dependent
And to wonder what comes next.

She's reclaiming peace with the unknown:
Afternoon naps,
Loving hands buttoning her down and caressing
As she blushes at her new-found ignorance.

Unsettled, unfocused, unsure,
But never unloved
She's whizzing in reverse
Growing older and younger.

I'm happy to hold her hand.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Recycled baby hoodie

Twice a year, my mom and I hit the consignment sales for the girl's clothes for the next two seasons...I'd say it was completely out of frugality, but I have to admit that along with being able to clothe 3 girls for $150 dollars or so, it's one of the dizzingly happy perks of raising kids on a reasonable budget. :D I get a wonderful high out of it. My nerdy theory is that is hearkens back to my hunter/gatherer roots. (I'm envisioning some ancestor coming back into her family tent with a basket full of nuts and berries and roots on her head, silly with glee over the great bounty she found, with her husband nodding and grunting with a bemused glint in his eyes...but I digress.)

Anywho, I'm in the habit of looking over the sleeves and collar of baby items for stains, and tossing basic items into my bag if they're under a dollar, which is exactly what I did with this happy little mustard colored hoodie.

I failed to notice the spectacularly mass-produced look of the glittered rainbow/butterfly combo, and when I spotted it at home, I blinked in consternation. And then remembered some fabric I'd picked up at a secondhand store a month ago, and realized it would be a cute match. Whee! I spent the evening stitching and entertaining baby with left hand while watching Arrested Development.

Butterfly/rainbow glitter paint explosion:


With the panel of fabric sewed on:


and a crocheted flower


tada! B'Eva likes it. Photobucket


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So, recently, as I was laying down baby Eva for a nap, I heard the suspicious sound of sticky giggles floating down the hall from the kitchen.

It suddenly occurred to me that after a breakfast of waffles, I had forgotten to put away the bottle of maple syrup. Crud muffins. After a quick effort to quietly run down the hall, managing mostly to sound like a sneaky elephant, my suspicions were quickly confirmed. Big puddle of maple syrupy goodness, with my delighted little toddler dipping her fingers into the sparkling amber lake and licking the sticky trickles off arms happily.

I did what every good mommy would do to keep from completely losing her cool. I grabbed the camera and made a happy, gooey movie.

(she's saying..."I poured maple syrup on the floor, just for funsies!")

I'll be the first to admit that I wanted to say some choice words and react in anger, initially. It's adorable to read about, and even charming to write about, but in the moment,I was mightily tempted to blow a fuse. Maple syrup is an expensive treat that we use sparingly, it's a pain in the back end to clean up off the floor, and it was the third thing my 2.5 yo had dumped in the past few days. I wanted to grind my teeth and shout at her, and scare her to death, honestly.

As luck would have it, something she'd said earlier that day stopped me. She'd been watching a mild "bad guy" movie with us this weekend, and afterwards, while talking about it, she snuggled down on the couch and said contentedly:

"There are no bad guys in our house. Our home is a safe place. I love my home!"

That little statement really stuck with me. Home is a safe place. A simple observation that rings true on so many levels. A good home is safe for it's occupants. A place where it's OK to mess up, where it's alright to cry, where a person can try their wings and crash and get up and try once more. There's a marvelous shortage of bad guys who might tell you you're not capable, tear you down, or hurt you spitefully.

In light of this, I'm making an effort to help our children take responsibility for their mistakes, and to also make home a safe place to learn that lesson. Correcting without shame is a learned skill for most humans, I think, but I'm in the midst of trying to learn how. If I can make a habit of gently correcting without sarcasm, shaming or intimidation, I think I'll be thrilled to find that I've tapped into the heart of "home".

Undoubtedly, it's going to take some time to fully get there, but I do believe that eventually, one maple syrup success with follow another, and eventually, we'll have a string of successes consistently following another like a pearl necklace. The language and tone of gentleness with start to feel less like marbles in my mouth, and I'll learn to speak "good guy" quite fluently. Hopefully, as it becomes habit for mama and papa (well, especially spouse is already quite good at it), gentleness will be set as the default tone of the home. As a lovely ripple effect, I suspect that kindness and laughter will drizzle on down the ladder of authority like golden honey. Correction will become sweet, as rebukes are much more precious from the lips of a safe person.

It's a super cool thing to be able to say, "My house is safe. There are no bad guys here." I'm all for that. <3

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Placenta....Not for the Sqeamish of Stomach

I'll warn you...unless you're committed to alternative birthy crunchiness, you might get a little ill over this one. :P I'm trying to spare you, so you can reconsider and not scroll down if you don't wanna. If placentaphagy gacks you out, turn away, dear reader. Laaaa dee da, dootie do: filling up the page so you can click away if you must...

No? OK. Here we go.

This weekend, I had several doula friends at my house, and, at my request, we all had some fun with the placenta from Eva's birth (which, until Sunday, had resided in my freezer). Wheeee!
;OP It was actually really cathartic for me to examine it and marvel at the miracle of life, after the whole retained placenta drama. A friend helped me examine it and try to find the spot where the retained piece had been, and then we dehydrated it for encapsulation.

my friend L helps unfold it, while Essie is very interested. She's striking a pose here...silly willy.

Essie's words were, "This is SO. COOL. I'm going to be a midwife or a SURGEON when I grow up, because I'm a *lover* for how the body works!"
She asked us over and over to explain the order of how nutrition gets to the baby. Her original theory was that the placenta carried milk directly to baby's tummy, and when she found out that the nutrients and oxygen went from one bloodstream to another, she was over the moon. She asked us to draw us a diagram: mommy to placenta, placenta to cord, cord to baby's belly button.

We first thawed it with lukewarm can see the cord (white) still attached

The water bag membrane was tough and wicked cool, if I do say so myself. :P All that vitamin C payed off, apparently, because it was beautifully flexible but super, super tough. It was so very smooth and supple, the perfect home for a tiny baby in utero. God's seriously smart. That bugger was STRONG. No wonder my water stayed intact until the pushing phase! That's the way mama likes it. ;oP

When it finally thawed and we could unfurl it completely, my friend Jen pointed out small patches of white calcification, on par for a 41 week baby. :O) Baby's side was smooth, while the side that had been attached to the uterine wall was wrinkled, and the wrinkles fit together like a puzzle piece. It was really amazing to see how functional, comfortable and miraculous this temporary organ was for my baby girl...her very first "home".
Jen shows me how the wrinkles line up. It look oddly pale after rinsing, as I'm used to seeing them very red right after birth.

There was literally an odd, small rip on the very edge of mine on the side where the piece had been retained, and it was exactly the length of the piece my midwife retrieved and showed me. Bingo! Little booger. That was the trouble maker. :P There was a bit of strangeness going on at the cord attachment site, AFA how the membranes were attached to it. I need a midwife opinion on that one.

The actual separating of the membrane and the placenta was the trickiest part of the whole deal, really. My friend J did that bit, and I'm forever took quite a bit of doing. Then I (forgive the gory detail) chopped it into little chunks and we blended it to a pate consistency witha ridiculously funny shot taken by my Lindsay...placenta bead provided by another sweet, funny friend. Oddball humor abounds.

some ginger (ginger optional ), spread it thinly into dehydrating trays and dehydrated it. I left the dehydrator on 150 or so for probably 12 hours, and probably it would have been safe with less...but we went to bed.

(At this point in the process, I suggest cooking something that smells rather strong, or sticking the dehydrator on the porch. My dh made curry for us that evening, and the scent of the dehydrator was pretty much completely masked. No earthy icky weirdness, unless you just stuck your nose into it. MUCH better than I'd imagined.)
Me and baby Eva...cuter than her "wombmate", eh?

It's broken into dried wafers and stored in my fridge (sorry, dh).

I have some pics of the dehydrated bits for anyone who's fact I'll go ahead and commit to posted them later. This afternoon, I'll do the actual encapsulation and post that, too. :O) Thanks for looking, and HTH if you're intested in your own dehydration! It's much, much simpler than I'd originally supposed.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Alrighty then. :shifty: I've been doing some digging, and I actually got some really decent advice from some non-parents who share dd's personality type, by asking what they wished their folks had known about them. They provided some really helpful insight.

I pulled out my "Nurture by nature" book, and, as far as I can tell, in the Myers-Brigg personality theory , she's an ENTP "The Innovator". Obviously, this could evolve and change over time, and I don't want to pigeon hole her, but, for practical purposes, this is amazingly accurate assessment and info. On this site , ENTP children are described by this quote:

ENTPs are lively children who question established truths and norms, dream and scheme, and develop unusual ways of doing traditional childhood things. The ENTP child is oriented toward doing the unique, which may mean taking risks and outwitting parental, school, and societal authority. They enjoy creating projects and following interests that are unusual and different.

ENTP children enjoy inventing new toys, dances, and languages. Because they are outgoing in their personality style, they often engage other children in their projects and assign them particular roles to play. ENTPs rarely accept things just as they are. They like to test or explore to see new meanings and relationships. When things do not go as they want, they use their ingenuity and cleverness to bring people and situations around to their point of view.

A few quotes from Nurture by Nature (Paul & Barbara Tieger) describe preschool ENTP children thusly:

ENTPs are also not as motivated to comply with orders simply because they are told to ir in order to please...adults. Even as small children, they have the courage to stabd up to adults and will challenge their parents whenever they see fit. Since youn ENTPs actually derive great energy from arguing, it is usually better for parents to decide on what their position is, [b]state the reasons behind their limits..clearly and logically[/b], and then stick to it.
(It goes on to suggest entering respectful bargaining, but only on strategically chosen points.)

Becoming gentle or nurturing is a learned skill for young ENTPs...As (they) begin to learn that feelings are the logical and natural effects of actions, they will better understand and even be able to predict what effect their behavior will have on others (pg 140)

That's my daughter to a "t".

Here are some (paraphrased) thoughts from adult ENTJs I've conversed with:

"I hated it when my parents tried to force me to be "nice" like everyone else. They always seemed convinced that I lacked something emotionally that others had, like I didn't have a soul."

"I wish they (parents) would have taken the time to explain things to me, rather than getting angry whenever I broke their rules. All I wanted was to know why."

"I hate feeling that my opinion didn't matter."

"I felt demonized."

Many have mentioned, even as adults, sadness for being rejected because they don't follow rules for the sake of rules. :o/

Stepping back and thinking about it, in many ways, dd is a very, very reasonable little girl. If you take the time to explain things to her, 9/10, she'll cooperate with you. It's the taking time to explain WHY it's not OK to do something to the length she'd like to take the conversation that gets me running screaming for the hills. (I'm more of an INFJ)

Dh shares some of her personality traits, and suggested this script for moments when I absolutely *can't* take the time to explain: "You're a very smart girl, and I think you'd understand most of my reason if I could tell you. Right now, I can't do that, and I need you to trust that I want the best for you." Very wise.

Someone else suggested identifying the source of their struggle (wanting to create something, needing to feel capable, needing independence, etc) and then helping work a solution together that speaks to that. Very gentle discipline. Rock On.

For an ENTP, that sort of empowering and confidence building might look like: DD takes my chapstick to create a robot. I point out that she's taken it without asking, explain how that effects me, and involve HER in problem solving-what might be acceptable for robot material, and how to work to pay restitution for the chapstick.

Here's a couple more quotes I found helpful from Nurture by Nature and You Can't Make Me, But I can be Persuaded (Cynthia Tobias):

Real and lasting self-esteem for ENTPs comes from seeing themselves as the creative, competent, and resourceful people they are. (Nurture by Nature, pg 148)

Standing firmly behind ENTPs in all their high energy and flamboyance communicates a lasting appreciation for the bright and fresh originals they are.

SWC's (strong willed children) would rather have a compelling problem to solve than just a list of chores to do. Try soliciting my input regarding the chores. (Cynthia Tobias, "You Can't Make Me", pg 50)

The more I hear from these personality types, the more I realize that, mostly, they want to be treated with respect. Not just non- punitive (though many of them have pointed out to me that corporal punishment was an especially embittering violation of their person ), but actually valued for their ideas and capabilities. If a parent of a willful, creative thinker has even a *shred* of the "I'm the parent and you will follow me blindly because you're a mere CHILD" paradigm in their thinking, they're going to attack the problem from a totally wrong angle and make life a living hell for both themselves and the child, and likely destroy lifelong relationship in the process. :(

I think, for me the biggest obstacles to overcome have been (and continue to be):

-Loss of the "small child" ideal. From the moment she was born, she was like a critical, observant, opinionated *adult*. Rather than the usual childhood stuff, I find myself answering questions about the function of white blood cells (and the white/red ratio), the laws of entropy, and the concept of alliteration. She'll even argue whether my explanation is accurate. :rolleyes I feel rather intruded upon intellectually...for the next. 14. years....nothing gets by her undetected.

- My own intuitive introversion. I'd rather spend most of my time in my own head, and trying to constantly train an extroverted problem solver is exhausting for me. It's a prolonged daily foray into the "outside" world, and that is VERY counter intuitive for me to have to describe my thought process out loud while simultaneously trying to stay two mental steps ahead of her (and parent two other unique children).

-Defeating my own "children should be subservient" background, and combating that attitude from others for my child.

May post more later...those are my general thoughts for now.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I thoroughly appreciated this article and this one. Thought provoking stuff...really, you should read them. **nodding fervently**

Not reading them yet? ;OP I'll summarize. The new parenting trend, especially for mothers, leans heavily on applauding one's self and others for being a "bad" parent, in reaction to past generations' push to both be and present one's self as the perfect parent.

I love how Heather points out the subtle nuances of parenting differences, and how those nuances can make a huge difference. Being an "attached" parent doesn't make one a hovercraft. A desire to impart morals doesn't make a parent free from wildness and whimsical magic. I appreciate someone articulating that idea so clearly. :) Every parent has their own unique manifesto.

I breastfeed my two year old. I also let that same two year old climb trees unassisted, rock walls and have free reign of our big backyard. (Mostly because she has the skill and will to do so) Two of our children still sleep in our room. And two of them are allowed to make and clean up their own lunch on a fairly regular basis. I don't spank my children. And I expect them to help out with the laundry and let my 4yo make pancakes. They watch some tv.

And, when the weather's nice, they're outside catching bugs and eating blackberries several hours a day. They listen to me pray honestly for patience and curse when I'm really, really mad. We're choosing to school at home for now, and we also enjoy *gasp* Harry Potter. **dun, dun, dunn*

I refuse to be called "good" or "bad". Those terms fall in and out of vogue so darned easily. I've never been much good at towing the party line, anyway. How about loving and available? I like that much better.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My two month old daughter and I love to talk with each other. With this being my third baby, I've been amazed at how much more I understand what she's saying to me than I did with my firstborn. After the crazy struggles we went through with our firstborn, who was a high-needs child, I greatly credit learning about attachment parenting for my growth as a parent. I can easily tell what my squirming infant needs 98% of the time, to my great surprise and delight. Going down the usual checklist of changing, feeding and checking for itchy clothing tags is no longer a constant necessity.

Connection certainly wasn't a perfect science when we first started out. It took practice, and lots of it. Babies, I found, take effort and getting to know, just like every other person in the world. I'm not the perfect mother by any stretch of the imagination. I think I'm just a normal mama who was lucky enough to have been made aware that babies really are miniature little people with relational capabilities and very real emotional needs.

It astounds me how many of her cues I'd likely not even be aware of if she'd been left repeatedly to cry until she falls asleep, or if I had let her become completely distraught before responding to her every time she needed something. I used to view infants, to my embarrassment, as cute but rather vacant vegetables who cried mysteriously from time to time. Now I know better. Learning to watch her carefully before she began to wail like a hot tea kettle taught me a great deal about miniature humans.

She tells me things with her face, the nuances of her body language and tone of voice. She mimics my faces, and I mirror hers. She gets excited and pumps her legs and grins when I ask her, "Hungry?" When I can tell she's overheated in the damp, southern summer air by her serious baby grunts, I strip her extra clothing and she grins with gummy relief. She gurgles at me flirtatiously with raised eyebrows, asking me to echo her favorite noise, and squeals with pleasure when I indulge her. My daughter talks to me. I'm so thrilled to not have missed it.

Edible necklaces, chocolate banana bread, bookshelves

Can it get any better than necklace beads made from fruity cheerios? They don't think so. I had one, too, but I ate mine before the photo op, lol. :oP I was surprised at how long it held their attention. N did hers all by herself! And, somehow, rare fruity cereal gets cleaned up (*cough* eaten *cough*) off the table and floor better than their usual wooden beads. I wonder why....

Speaking of "fruit" cereal: I thought this was an amusing article.

Noni helped me bake wheat banana nut chocolate bread today (what a mouthful, in more than one way), while we all watched the Philosopher's Stone. The bread was seriously delicious, hence the link (only modified by using whole wheat flour, which didn't detract from the taste at all, in my humble opinion).

licking the bowl

It was a well deserved treat after everyone working so hard doing the weekly cleaning of the playroom. It was scary in there. :P Supervising children cleaning is much harder than doing it one's self, in my thinking. Two year olds in particular have an extraordinary ability to stray from
any given task, a fact I always forget about once they get older.

The playroom was extra messy this morning because *drumroll*:

Nate build their bookshelves into the wall cubby! I'm pleased with the result. He's so cool that way. They fit there nicely, I think.

There's one big box left in the garage with the rest of their books..they have far more books than toys, methinks.

We'll paint them evetually, but for now, they're storing all the kid's books au naturale. :D

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Finally, Eva's birth montage

You'll forgive if this post is disjointed, won't you?

I'm not yet fully awake. I seriously need to consider starting a coffee habit, it seems. A shame, too, having made it 26 years without one. I'm currently eating a piece of quiche. (A friend brought us some after Eva's birth, and I haven't been able to kick the habit since. That, and homemade tomato soup.) Maybe I'll start a morning cup of quiche tradition, seeing that I detest coffee and all.

Eva had her first ped appointment this week- my attempt to sort of get her on the grid, for "just in case" reasons. ;OP

She's 24.4 inches long and 14lbs 2oz! Gooooooooo breastmilk. ;OP Comically enough, I'm down 14lbs since my initial baby/fluid/extra blood volume loss at her birth. We'd better not keep up this pound for pound thing long, though, or I'll be lugging around a 50 lb 1yo in 10 months, lol.

This morning, Eva and Noni were snuggling together on Noni's mattress beside our bed, and naturally, I had to snap a few pics. ::mush:: Noni has decided not to "give Evie to pirates who will chew off her arms" or "put her on a floating iceberg" she's simply toned the maledictory statements down to adding the following verse to The Wheels on the Bus: "the Evie on the bus goes far away, far away, far away..." I'll take the improvement. I'm also impressed by the clever play on words. (She might gotten have my dark sense of humor...poor kiddo.) She now loves her baby sister, and all accounts of pirates stealing her are ended with Super-Nomi saving Eva and bringing her back.

We are a family of dreamers...apparently, my girls inherited my ability to remember a great deal of what they dream. Recently, Essie dreamed about our friend Brian standing at our front door, eating a hotdog. It's become quite popular; now every morning, both girls have to repeat the hotdog dream during the morning dream-report session. So, our morning so far has gone something like: wake up with five people piled into my bed, our youngest giggling, our eldest air-trumpeting revelry in our ears, and our 2yo cheerfully recounting the hotdog dream. My husband groaning, pillow over head. Good times.

I suspect I've become a lawn widow. Nate now must spend considerable time mowing. I hear bigger yards do that. If you see my husband, tell him I have quiche for him. The in-a-cup part is optional.

Esther's starting to become concerned with honesty and being trustworthy, and, of course, this makes me smile. This morning, I stumbled into the living room (in search of aforementioned camera), and noticed her playing CandyLand with herself. "Mom, look! I got all the way to Candy Castle! I won!!" (wait for it......) "**sly grin** I may have cheated a little." (snicker)

Now. If you'll forgive me, I'm fairly certain I've just been pooped on.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We Love to Talk...

with each other. I have to say, with this being baby #3, I've been amazed at how much I understand what she's "saying" to me. After the crazy struggles we went through with our first HN babe, I totally credit AP (and it's older child counterpart, gentle discipline) with my growth as a parent. I easily can tell what she needs 98% of the time...which I find very cool. (Not just "chocolate covered peanuts" cool, but happy-tears cool.)

Connection certainly wasn't a perfect science when we first started out, but you know what they say about practice. ;) Babies take effort and getting to know, just like every other person in the world. I'm not the perfect mother by any stretch...I think I'm just a normal mama who was lucky enough to have been made aware that babies really are miniature little people with capabilities and very real emotional needs.

It astounds me how many of her cues I'd likely not even be aware of if she'd been left to cry until she falls asleep repeatedly, or if I let her reach fever pitch before responding to her every time (the way I used to think babies should be raised). She *tells* me things with her face...nuances and body language and tone of voice. She mimics my faces, and I mirror hers. She gets excited and pumps her legs and grins when I ask her, "Hungry?" I'm so thrilled to not have missed it.

anyway...I found this photo sequence of a conversation of ours hilarious, and thought I'd share the giggles. Excuse the just rolled out of bed look. ;P





Monday, May 11, 2009

The Other Side of the Glass

A new documtary, The Other Side of the Glass. A birth film for fathers, discussing (from daddy's perspective) the effect of modern birth on the family. I'm so excited someone finally picked up that ball and ran with it! :D There appear to be some great interviews, including Micheal Odent. I can't wait to see the whole thing.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Said Essie to Mama in the car:

"When I grow up and get married, I'm going to name my husband Cookie Man.

Then, our family will be called the Cookie Family! Our last name will be Cookie.

My children will get to eat cookies all the time, and they'll love cookies so. much.

I'll still even love cookies, just like I do now. I'll get to eat as many as I want."


Also, Mama Is (love her, love her, love her...formerly known as Hathor Cow-goddess)'s new breastfeeding cartoons are so fitting for me right now: