Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back

So we're back from our trip. I hope you all liked my Madonna and Child posts. My favorite is the last one because it is obvious that the artist had first-hand experience with nursing children and their mannerisms. That and I totally need to cut slits in all my shirts; why hadn't I thought of it before? And I'm curious if that was an actual fashion when the artist painted that. It's genius. Despite our advances, breastfeeding clothing has apparently gone backwards over the centuries.

That picture actually reminds me of a time a couple of months ago when I was going to the grocery store. I was carrying Margaret from the car to the store and as I put her down into the cart, I realized she had her hands down my shirt and was twiddling the whole time. No nursing, just twiddling. For a split second I wondered if I should discourage that, but I realized that if I hadn't noticed, it was obviously not bothering me, and just like in that picture, it's definitely not something sexual. It happens sometimes, and it's ok.

I'm not sure how I want to go about posting for the next few weeks. I have lots of thoughts about everything: No Pooing, elimination communication, the unassisted pregnancy so far (a couple of posts on that), breastfeeding while pregnant so far, nudity and birth, and I think there's a breastfeeding one in my head, and a couple of general parenting posts maybe. And then tomorrow's the New Year and the obligatory New Year post, right?

And today for myself, I have a lot to do. We made sure we ate up all the perishables before we left, so for breakfast we have 2 slices of bread and an English muffin. There's some quinoa and oatmeal (but no milk). So I need to go grocery shopping, pick up the mail that got held at the post office, balance the checkbook, and get the house back into order. And there's playgroup, too. I miss them and I look forward to seeing them today.

Happy Last Day of 2009! I think McKay and I are ringing in the New Year with some classic N64 playing tonight. W00t!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 9


Madonna and Child
Luis de Mainlu

I love this one because Christ is so human here. I'm not sure why, but babies love to do the twiddle, even if they aren't actively nursing.

Found here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 8


Madonna and Child
Unsigned
Oil on Canvas

Found here

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 7


Madonna and Child in Interior

Sometimes you need a break and spend time socializing during your meal.

Found here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 6


African Madonna and Child
Santamaria
Oil on Canvas

Found here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 5


Madonna and Child
Peter Paul Rubens
Oil on Canvas

Found here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 4


Madonna and Child
Titian

Titian is one of my favorites

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 3


Madonna and Child
Defendente Ferrari
Oil on Panel

Found here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 2


Madonna and Child
Paolo di Giovanni Fei
Tempera on Wood

From here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Madonna and Child: Day 1

I thought I'd google "Madonna and Child" the other day.

I love the eye contact in this one. I find it hard to break eye contact with my own nursing babe sometimes.

Found the image on the Daily Mail, who apparently got it from the North Carolina Museum of Art

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Panties Experiment


For the past while, Margaret has been both ready and not ready for going diaper-less. At home, it's been no problem. The problem is in public. Toilets just aren't sized for 1 year olds (or ever 4 year olds for that matter). She also tends to get a little claustrophobic when we go into a bathroom stall and I lock the little door. She immediately forgets that she wants to potty and starts trying to open the door.

I've been wondering when we should start doing panties in public. Sometimes she remembers to go in public. Last September at the General Relief Society meeting, she said, "potty" and I took her and she had no problem going on the toilet there. It helped her claustrophobia that I chose to use the larger stall, I think. But then there are other times when she just never lets us know that she needs to go.

This week I decided it wouldn't hurt to just experiment with panties and bring along extra pants and underwear when we go out. It's gone pretty well, actually. She's had a couple of misses- one at a friend's house and one at the laundromat, but both times they were my fault. At the laundromat, she had gone into the bathroom and pointed to the toilet, but I thought she was just pointing it out to me instead of asking to go. Then two minutes later...

In honesty, I can't imagine a time when it would ever be her fault. Even at the age of 7 or 8, missing the toilet can be related to all sorts of things: stress, UTIs, simple forgetfulness. Sometimes it just happens.

We've also had great success in public. No misses at the grocery store, at LLL, at the music store, or at the post office. In fact, at LLL, she asked to go potty a few times. One of those times she actually sat on the potty, though I don't know if she actually went. The other times she either panicked when I closed the stall door or really just wanted a drink from the water fountain.

Way's I've helped Margaret feel comfortable on the potty:

  • Using the bigger stall
  • Sitting behind her on the toilet, so that she has support and doesn't have to balance herself. McKay's even done this at church with success.
  • Bringing the potty insert. At home, she has a cushy potty seat that sits on the top of the toilet and makes it easier for her to stay on. It can fit in my basket, so that's what I used at LLL. It's kind of weird bringing her seat with us, but it definitely helps.
  • Leaving the stall door unlocked. This is also something I did while at LLL. There was no one else in the bathroom at all, so I took her to the large stall, used the potty insert, and left the stall door open. It definitely helped her, though the automatic flushing toilet was a little scary for her, as was the hand dryer. Those things are scary.
  • On long car trips (like the Thanksgiving trip) having her little potty was helpful. We could just stop on the side of the road and let her use her potty. We washed it out with water from our waterbottles.
  • At church, we use the single bathroom without stalls. Definitely helpful.

The panties experiment isn't over. My goal was to try it for a week. We still have to make it through today, tomorrow, and Sunday. The biggest challenges will be the company party tonight and nursery on Sunday. It's very nice to only use diapers at night- and in fact for the past three nights, her diaper has been dry in the morning! The only dirty diapers we have are the flats and prefolds we use to soak up her misses. Very nice.

Not sure how next week will go or if we'll continue this experiment. Holidays and stressful times can interrupt potty awareness, so I'm not sure if we'll continue next week or just wait until the new year to continue this experiment.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Options

Last summer I had an interesting dream. In the dream, I found out I was pregnant... 35 weeks pregnant to be exact. In my dream I thought to myself, "Ok. We need a few towels and a new carseat. I'm having a baby in 5 weeks. Time for the panic to set in." But it didn't set in.

When I woke up I thought about it and got the impression that the next time we have a baby it'll be at a time when lots of things are going on- a time where I might normally panic, but I don't need to panic because we'll have a UC.

Then I got pregnant some months later. This baby should show up in the summer. When we first found out I was pregnant, we had no idea what was going on for the summer. Now we know we're going to be going through a major move in the last half of the pregnancy. That doesn't give me a lot of time to prepare for the birth once we get out there.

The Options

Out-of-home birth with an attendant
If I go this route, I get to spend the first chunk of the pregnancy with a provider that I know won't be there for the birth. Would I be upfront about that? Would the provider not give me the same quality of care if they knew they wouldn't be the one profiting from catching the baby? And I'd get to deal with transferring medical records. Then when we move out to California, we get to apply for health insurance. In my experience, the application, underwriting, and approval takes about a month. That means in June, we'll have insurance and I'll get to go on a provider hunt with almost no time to find someone I like. Of course we'll need to apply for insurance with any choice, but this choice is pretty dependent on insurance whereas the other choices are more out-of-pocket expenses.

Home birth with an attendant
This has some of the same issues as the first option: no continuity in care and a rush to find someone at the "last minute" in my pregnancy. Usually homebirth midwives limit the number of births they'll attend so that they can guarantee they'll be there for the birth. This is wonderful if you can find a midwife early on, not so wonderful if you move to a new area just months/weeks away from the end of your pregnancy. On many places on the Internet, I'm seeing that homebirth midwives have been getting booked up early (by 8 or 10 weeks!). That seems to be the trend this this economy. It's true the the Bay Area as a LOT of homebirth midwives, but do I really want to run around finding one at the end of my pregnancy when I should be relaxing and getting myself into birthing mode? Not really.

The UP/UC option
Continuity of care. That is a major plus for me. Not having to find a care provider on a limited deadline? Also a plus. That time spent worrying whether or not I'll be able to find someone can be used to prepare the home for a birth and to help Margaret in the transition from Utah to California and then again into siblinghood. There would be some busyness gathering what I need to file a birth certificate (proof of pregnancy, exemption forms for some newborn tests, etc.). In California, birth certificate requirements vary county to county, and sometimes even city to city within the county. For example, Berkley has extra requirements that the rest of Alameda County doesn't. I won't know what will be required until we settle on a place to move to.

So at the moment we're going the UP/UC route. It'll be fun. I'll blog about it sometime.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Down by the Bay

McKay will be starting an internship at the beginning of May! That's what we were waiting on a week ago: the offer to show up in the mail! It came and he has responded, so I guess all things are "Go."

We'll be moving to the San Fransisco Bay Area. It's really exciting to be moving, but there are a lot of unknowns at the same time. I've been spending some of my free time on Craigslist looking at apartments. I know I can't get any of them, but it's fun to think, "Hmm. We might be able to afford that..." and start imagining what it would be like. Our plan is to rent for the 6 months of the internship and build up (if we can budget in such an expensive area) some money for a down payment so if they offer him a more permanent position, we can move to a more permanent home.

My Dream Apartment

  • 2 bedrooms: one for us and one for Margaret's toys and my yarn.
  • Walkability score above 80.
  • With that walkability score, ideally there'd be a BART station, park, library, farmer's market, natural food store, and yarn store close by.
  • Landlords that let us use some of the yard for gardening.
  • McKay's commute to be less than 20 minutes
  • Bottom floor apartment. I can't imagine trying to carry the huge bed up stairs and I don't think it'll fit in any elevator. Also, I'm pretty lenient about people above me making noise, but I can't guarantee other people will be as forgiving. With Margaret, it would just be easier to not have downstairs neighbors.
  • Non-coin-operated laundry!
  • Maybe a dishwasher. The laundry is more important to me, though.
  • Air conditioning. Of all things, this seems to be the most elusive in the Bay Area, but most needed if I'm going to be having a baby in the summer.
  • Less than $1000/month*.
So if any of you know of this wonderful dream apartment in the Bay Area, let me know. :)

*Laughable, I know. If we double our current rent budget, we can upgrade to... a studio apartment! Woohoo! I always wanted one of those!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Fill-ins

Haven't done these in a while and I didn't feel like posting anything too intense at the moment. This will be a busy day for me: library, go pick up some contacts, buy some cod liver oil and vitamin D, get the Christmas cards out, tidying up so I feel motivation to knit (still need to do our stockings and Margaret's Christmas present and McKay's sister's kids' Christmas presents), and I have a lactivisty project that's ready to be done. Finishing that project is my birthday present to myself.


1. Good times: playing with Margaret and McKay.
2. Working on cleaning my home.
3. Sleigh bells ring but not on sleighs anymore.
4. It's cold here, just a little.
5. Once more we'll start over.
6. Or is it the end?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to feeling accomplished, tomorrow my plans include my birthday and Sunday, I want to relax!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

First Trimester Thoughts

This is the mysterious RSS Feed-appearing post for those of you who don't use feed readers. I've added some stuff to it. :)

We didn't expect to get pregnant. Everything was working against it. The month prior to my getting pregnant I had a 9 day luteal phase. I have been having 9 day luteal phases ever since I started ovulating, so I assumed it was too short to get pregnant. Then I got pregnant the next month. No idea what my LP would have been, but since I've been using fertility awareness, I was much more aware of the changes in my body.

At 9 days past ovulation, I noticed I needed to pee a whole ton more, but I kind of ignored it thinking maybe I was just doing really well at keeping myself hydrated. I was expecting my period any day.

At 10 days past ovulation, I looked in the mirror and noticed, "That's not the face of someone who is supposed to get a period... where's my acne?"

At 12 days past ovulation, we got out a pregnancy test. It claimed to be accurate at 10 days past ovulation, so we figured it should be accurate. Plus, since we had been expecting my period 2 days prior, it was definitely past my missed period date. McKay wanted to be involved with the whole ordeal and so I peed in a cup and he dipped the stick. And we waited.

And within a couple of minutes, there was a second line. It was faint (only 12 dpo), and so McKay was all, "I'm not sure..." But a line is a line is a line. And it was there, and my period wasn't.

The first time around with Margaret, I was going to school, so I didn't really pay attention to symptoms- and symptoms like being tired was normal and not a symptom. Sure, I was peeing every hour at work, but I was drinking 2 cups of water every hour at work.

This time I got "real" symptoms:

  • THIRSTY. All the time. It's due either to pregnancy, nursing, or living in Utah where the air has no water in it. Or all three.
  • Weird de-tox. At around 16 days past ovulation, my acne came and I had some really loose stool. I also got my haircut around that time and talking to my hairdresser, she asked if I was doing a detox. "No. I can't do detoxes, I'm breastfeeding (and pregnant)." But I started wondering. Somewhere out there on the Interwebs, someone said it's not uncommon for your body to do a quick detox immediately after getting pregnant to clean out your system really quickly. Maybe that's what it was, because I can't think of anything else.
  • Tired. Oh my goodness I have no motivation to do ANYTHING. It's a miracle if I remember to eat. (I remembered this morning!)
  • Slight nausea. At around 7 weeks I noticed I was hungry all the time. Then I realized that it wasn't hunger- it was nausea. I've trained my body to respond to nausea with hunger. Usually when you're nauseous, you are sick and need nutrients, so as a teen, I started equating nausea with hunger. With Margaret 8-10 weeks was my big throwing up time. None of that this time (yet). Maybe it's a boy? I've also heard that breastfeeding can lower your pregnancy nausea and we all know every pregnancy is different. Who knows? Maybe it's an odd symptom letting me know it's twins.
  • Sore nipples. I didn't notice this with Margaret either, but I wasn't nursing while I was pregnant with Margaret. It's the worst when she has a cold. She nurses in her sleep and if she can't breathe, she's reposition her head and bring my nipple with her. I don't think that's comfortable for anyone- pregnant or not.
  • Braxton Hicks. I started noticing these at 4 weeks this time, every few hours or so. Go go growing uterus! Last time I didn't notice BH until 30 weeks.
  • One thing I'm finding interesting is the darkening of my areolas. I didn't notice it with Margaret, but when I look at the birth pictures they were definitely darker then than they are now. I've slowly been noticing the changes this time around. Yep. Pregnant.
  • This time around, I'm actually moody. Imagine that! Last time I only cried randomly at The Simpson's Movie (the wedding tape!), but this time I find I'm more prone to it at other times. I wonder if I've traded last time's nausea for this time's mood swings. I'm ok with that. Personally, I'd rather cry than throw up.
  • Heartburn. I had this in my third trimester, but this time it has hit early.
  • Colds. When you're pregnant, your immune system is temporarily lowered so that your body doesn't reject the baby. I've had two colds already. I know this is due to me not taking care of myself. With pregnancy and nursing all my nutrients are going to the little people dependent on me and I'm the one who suffers. I need to up my Vitamin C and D intakes and make sure I go out and buy some cod liver oil. Must do that today. And I probably need to eat more protein and a ton more calories than I'm currently eating. It's hard to take care of yourself when you're too lazy to get dressed.

Inquisition Monday will resume in January. It's too much right now.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

User Error

So yesterday I wrote up a post and dated it for January, but forgot to change the year on it, so it posted. I tried to delete it before the RSS feed caught it, but no luck, and some of you caught that. Darn this fast technology! So here's a post I scheduled for January. I'll put that other post up later this week.


I'm pregnant. The baby should show up some time this summer. It came as a complete surprise because I didn't think it would be possible yet. I have lots of thoughts about this and will blog them all during the upcoming months.


The reason I was waiting until January was so it wouldn't be possible to guess when in the summer. Margaret was due March 8, but came March 29. When you get an estimated due date like "March 8" you think you're safe saying, "I'm due in March." But she was really pushing our luck with that! Had she been due March 12, I probably would have also said, "Due in March" but she would have come in April. "Due Months" don't really work for me.

So this time around I wanted a "Due Season." I'm due in the summer. If it hits the fall equinox, then I'm overdue. You won't believe how depressing it is when you're over 2 weeks "overdue" and you get phone calls, "Have you had your baby yet? So-and-so who was due next month already had hers!" So this is my way of avoiding those. If the equinox happens and I'm still pregnant, feel free to call me up and ask when the baby will arrive. I still won't have an answer. :)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Christmas

I think Inquisition Monday will be on hold until the New Year. We've been going through some major life changes here- good things, no worries! But even good stress is still stress. McKay's been busy with school and job interviews and our plans for after graduation are both coming into view (yay!) and are still elusive as to how it will all happen (not yay). In all this change, I've taken on some of McKay's previous responsibilities and McKay's taken on some of mine, so our house is in a weird limbo. There are things we are waiting on. Dear Postal Service: ignore all the mail addressed to people who aren't us and get us that letter!

Meanwhile, Margaret and I have been cold-ridden. It's not bad a "feel bad" cold. Just a runny nose, cough, and lose your voice cold. Margaret is chipper and happy, but every once in a while, this cough comes out of her that makes you just want to cry. I feel bad that I can't take her out and we just have to sit here boring ourselves with each other.

Anyway, we still haven't decorated for Christmas. And I don't think we will. It's too much right now. I got out our Charlie Brown Christmas playset and I think that's the extent of our holiday. Well, that and the Christmas notepad that's still on our fridge from last Christmas.

Here's my attempt to be festive. I took this from someone's Facebook note.

1. Favorite present ever received: Nothing really sticks out on my mind. Last year McKay got me some knitting books and I've enjoyed coveting the gorgeous yarns and dreaming of the day we can afford to spent $80-$200 on yarn for a sweater.
2. The best thing about this Christmas: Not doing decorations
3. Favorite Christmas food: One year we made gyros (or was that for Easter?) I'll go with gyros.
4. Favorite Christmas Eve activity: Looking at Christmas lights
5. Favorite Christmas movie: It's a Wonderful Life
6. Favorite way to remember Christ at Christmastime: Going to the temple
7. Favorite present you ever gave to someone else: Again I can't remember.
8. Best Christmas ever: The one after we got married. Just us, no where to go, very simple.
9. Favorite Christmas candy: Peanut Brittle
10. Favorite place to go see the decorations: Temple Square (we've done this for a couple of my birthdays)
11. Favorite religious song: Ave Maria
12. Favorite one-stop shopping location: The Internet because I like getting packages in the mail and I can find everything without venturing to stores I boycott or being trampled
13. Favorite Christmas story (other than the story): They are all so cheesy. Probably none.
14. Favorite Christmas dessert: Cherry Pie
15. Favorite Christmas activity: Baking Pies (really, tasting them for poison)
16. Favorite Christmas TV show: A Charlie Brown Christmas
17. What I want for Christmas (NO limits): A spinning wheel
18. If you had to travel somewhere for Christmas, where would you go: We are traveling this year to see family, but if I got to choose we'd go to Italy.
19. Favorite Christmas beverage: water? I don't like hot cocoa, cider or eggnog, so that doesn't leave a lot of choices, you know?
20. Favorite Christmas decoration: The wreath. For the past 3 years, McKay and I have bought a fresh wreath from a local florist, but it's not in the budget this year.
21. Favorite Christmas Album: A Christmas Together by John Denver and the Muppets
22. What I want for Christmas (and might get): Yarn
23. Favorite Christmas tradition: Buying the wreath
24. Favorite Christmas stage production: I've only ever seen A Christmas Carol, so we'll go with that.
25. Favorite non-religious song: Sleigh Ride

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Book Review: Breasts


I was at an Usborne Book party and someone mentioned this picture book. If you're going to name a children's book "Breasts" you might as well name it, "Heather, You Need to Buy this book NOW."

Usborne doesn't make this book, but acquired the company that does. This book was originally in Japanese and is translated into English. It's in the same series of the ever popular, Everyone Poops. The edition we got doesn't have the same cover as the picture here. Ours is orange with four pictures taken from the illustrations in the book.

In general it was pretty factual. It presents breasts as for feeding babies, that women have fully developed breasts even if they don't have a baby, that even some men have large breasts, and that not every baby eats at the breast. I tried really hard to find the page that says "Breasts are sexual objects," but, alas, I couldn't find it. My book must have been damaged in shipping or something. ;)

In fact, there are lots of drawings of babies nursing, holding, gripping breasts. The drawings aren't going to win any prizes for "Best Illustrations" any time soon, but they are simple and nice enough. There's even a simple drawing of the inside of a breast.

It spends a page establishing that we don't remember nursing because we don't remember being babies. However, I know moms who nurse their 4, 5, 6 year olds, so for their situations it's not very accurate. It also says "After a year or so, many babies seem to lose interest in breast-feeding". I haven't found that very true for Margaret or her friends, so I start that sentence as, "Eventually, children..." "Sometime in the future you might..." "Eventually, before going on dates/college/marriage/a midlife crisis..." depending on my mood.

I think the virtue of this book is that it shows you can talk about breasts with children without talking about sex. I've heard an argument against nursing in public that complains, "I don't want my kids to see breastfeeding because I don't want to have to explain it before I'm ready to." Now, I'm not sure what's hard about saying, "Some babies eat milk made in their mother's breasts," but I think it has something to do with the fact that many people never see breasts outside of a sexual context. So suddenly, parents are afraid they have to explain... SEX! But you don't have to have the sex talk simply because your child saw someone breastfeeding. And if you need help with that- here's a book!

My favorite page of the book says, "Babies love to be cuddled by their mothers. And.... love to hold on tight to their mother's breasts.... snuggle up to their mothers' breasts.... suck on their mothers' nipples. These things are important to babies." Aww... But a close second is "Babies love their mothers' breasts because they're round, soft and warm - and they smell nice, too." The onomatopoeia is fun, too: "glug glug glug," "nmmm nmmm nmmm."

This became a favorite for Margaret after just a couple of readings. She really loves it, and for some reason it makes her want to nurse. And she likes to point out that the jogging woman in one of the pictures is wearing shoes. That's vital to the book, you know.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Cosleeping Journey

This past weekend, while sleeping with my husband and little girl on a futon, I thought about how easy bedsharing has made trips. It's wonderful. And while the futon was smaller than what we're used to, we were all comfortable and no one fell off or missed out on sleep because of the smaller space.

It was not always that way. Sure, our cosleeping journey could be summed up as, "Margaret was born, we slept with her that night and every night after that. The end." But it's not as simple as that.

I definitely understand when people say they need their space. That was me.

When we got married, we had different expectations for sleep. McKay expected to cuddle and spoon and such. I expected to be left to my own side of the bed and not touched so I could sleep. Poor McKay.

But he was patient with me. Over time, I eventually got used to someone else in the bed. By "over time" I mean a year to 18 months later, I finally got used to it. Of course, 18 months later I was sharing my body with a little Margaret. Maybe getting used to sleeping with people around me was a result of the fact that you can't really separate yourself from your in utero tenant. But by the time I had Margaret, I was sort of ok with people touching me while asleep.

Of course, this was because I was such a deep sleeper that I didn't notice when I got touched. This worried me; would I notice if my baby stirred?

My labor with Margaret was long. I was tired afterwards. Very tired. I think she was too. And I think McKay was also tired, but I wasn't paying that much attention to him. We went to bed that first night and slept. I slept for 6 hours and then woke up in a panic.

"My baby hasn't eaten in 6 hours! I'm starving her!" I jumped up, picked her up, and attempted to latch a sleeping baby. "You have to eat. You need to eat constantly. It's been so long!"

And the rest of the day continued like that. She slept, occassionally woke to nurse, but slept more than nursed and I thought I was starving her. However, by 48 hours, she was waking more regularly and my panic subsided (yay for calling LLL leaders!)

The next few weeks were interesting. Part of me still wanted my straight sleep, of course, and part of me was getting used to the little person next to me. There were nights that I didn't hear Margaret stir, but McKay did and he would wake me up. I wondered if maybe I was too heavy of a sleeper to wake up for my baby. But slowly and surely, somewhere around 2 and 3 weeks, our sleep linked up and I noticed her more. It was sort of like magic- or more like there was some brain function I had never used before that suddenly came into effect. Something in my brain awoke and said, "There's a baby, it's your baby, be with the baby." Now, over a year and a half later, I'm the one hearing her wake up and McKay's the one sleeping through everything. Just a week ago, she woke up screaming and wouldn't take the breast. I did help her go back to sleep and asked McKay the next morning if he heard that. "No."

Despite my heavy sleeping early on, I didn't worry about smothering Margaret. We kept the pillows away from her, and I trusted that I could sense her presence. I hadn't fallen out of the bed in years, so obviously on some subconscious level, I knew where the edge of the bed was. I trusted that same subconscious level to let me know where my baby was.

Our sleeping got infinitely better at 2 weeks when we bought a night light. I could get up and nurse her without getting completely out of bed to turn on a light. This meant more sleep for me.

Also around that time, I learned to nurse lying down. Also a wonderful development for sleeping with her.

It didn't take long to notice that the longer I stay in bed with her, the longer she sleeps. In fact, it's currently after 9:30 and Margaret is still asleep because I'm blogging this from the bed. If I leave the bed early, she wakes up earlier. I first noticed this pattern when she was 3 months old and it has continued that way (minus teething and illness).

She does kick us sometimes. Last night I woke up once to find her feet at my face, so I just turned her back around and latched her on. Not only does breastfeeding give her lots of happy health benefits, it forces her to not have her feet in our faces!

How long will we continue? I don't know. I've come a long way from rejecting my cuddly husband on our wedding night to sleeping with a wiggly toddler. We'll probably continue when we have a second child. I know she'll get out of our bed eventually. I trust that she'll know when that day is. Until then, we get to wake up to a smiley Margaret.

I wrote this on Monday, which is why there are time differences between posting and when I said I was typing this.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Comment Policy

I turned off anonymous comments over a year ago.

This is why:

You are psycho!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We have diapers for a reason, this is not 1842 it's 2008, so use them. Newborns are not suppose to be going to the bathroom on the toilet. -Anonymous on Unexpected Success


Wow- you're just completely crazy. Did you read what your own FATHER said! Cover up- why are you so freaking wierd??? Nobody- I mean NOBODY want to see your boobs! And your own daughter, please be a better example for her. You really need to think about what you're doing and teaching her now that you're a mother! Come on- get it together! Also, did you know that your blog is getting gobs of attention due to your ridiculous lifestyle?? Having a baby in a borrowed blow up pool in your living room!!! Please re-evaluate your life. -Anonymous on Nursing In Public


I came across your blog and I think this is totally disgusting! How can you sit there and say that it is disrespectful for someone to call a breast "it" yet you are exposing your freakin breasts on public internet for everyone to see. Now that is offensive... How can you represent the church and have naked pictures of your self on your blog, even if it is birth...it doens't matter. Would you be ok with your Bishop or better yet an Apostle looking at this? I didn't think so! -Anonymous on Our UC (I didn't publish this one) And actually, I have no problem with anyone- bishop, apostle, God himself or otherwise- seeing these. I have a post on birth nudity in the making for my reasons why later.
There were more (oy- were there!), but that's a sampling. I'd like to say a thing or two to you, Anonymous, but I won't right now (though I've certainly said them in my head!) All these comments happened within the first 4 months of Margaret's life. I was very postpartum; it was very hurtful to read them all.

I will continue to moderate comments, but unfortunately, I've still been cyber-bullied by a person who knew I wasn't going to post their comment. Knowing I'd still read it, but not publish it gave them the "freedom" to say whatever they liked. I will not tolerate that. If you do so, you will hear from me.

I got rid of anonymous comments to ward off at least some of these hate-filled comments. I'm not as graceful in responding to mean comments as other bloggers. I usually just shut down and hope it goes away. Some bloggers are wonderful at responding. I've seen others openly address the rude comments, which also seems to work. If I get mean comments, I'll try employing these methods (yes, I might openly call you out, so think a couple of times before your submit the comment).

However, I have friends who can't comment because of my "No anonymous comments" policy. In fact, The Organic Sister, has asked me a couple of times if I can put them back on.

And you know what? I think I will. But first, I'm going to have a comment policy.

Here it is:

All comments are moderated. I work to review and approve comments as quickly as possible, but please do not resubmit your comment if it does not appear right away.

Please be kind in your comments. Flaming or use of threatening language is not allowed nor will it be tolerated.

I enjoy reading the links you all put in your comments, but I will not publish comments with spam links. I get to determine what I consider to be spam.

Unless your parents named you "Anonymous" you can't use that name. Type your name it. It takes only a second or two.

I cannot edit your comment. If I'd like to still publish your comment, but edit out a couple of parts, I will write it as my own comment and link back to you. This has only happened once, when someone commented, "Oh! I think I once lived in your ward! Do you live at ______?" I edited that comment and gave the original commenter credit. While I'm pretty open on my blog, I'm not open enough that I'll give you all the opportunity to throw rocks in our windows. Sorry.

You, and only you, are responsible for your words. They are yours and you get to keep them, however, by posting your comments to the blog you are granting me the right, in perpetuity, to use, alter, and/or display them however I see fit.

Once your comment is submitted, that’s it — you’re immortalized.

I also reserve the right to change this policy at any time, and to refuse to publish any comment even for reasons I haven't mentioned. Your freedom of speech does not extend to my blog comments.

One blogger I know put these two quotes on her comment page. I like them:

One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.
-Booker T. Washington

Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
-T.H. Thompson

So there you are. I kind of feel like this will reopen old wounds, and if it does, then I will revoke anonymous comments again. If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. Thanks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Quickie

video

I don't have time for the full blog post I had in my head, so I just video blogged to let you know I don't have time for anything right now. Good thing I didn't get any Inquisition Monday questions this week.

And I mention Shape of a Mother's Thanksgiving week. Love your body, everyone!

If you happen to have extra time on your hands this week, don't forget to get sucked into Girl Genius. I love that webcomic. You're going to need to start from the beginning, though, and it's addicting. Adventure! Romance! MAD SCIENCE!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More advances

In the Elimination Communication front, we're slowly moving forward. Yesterday she initiated and completed an elimination 100% on her own. She said, "potty" went to the bathroom, pulled her little potty out, sat on it, and went. Normally we have to do one or more of the steps: suggesting the potty or bringing her to the potty, but this one time she did it all on her own. Yay!

In the mail yesterday, we got 9 more pairs of training underwear for her. She's now wearing her underwear at home, which is a nice step. She still doesn't initiate 100% of the time, so in order to not have any misses, we have to remember, "Hmm. It's been awhile, let's offer the potty." At her busy toddler age, she doesn't like to stop what she's doing to go potty, so what we've found to be successful is bringing the potty to her. If she can still be in her playing mode while on the potty, she's much happier and inclined to use it.

I wonder when we should move to underwear in public. On an EC forum, there was some discussion about this. In cultures where EC is more common, very often children are out of diapers by 18 months. Does that mean they're 100% potty learned? No. Accidents are common but no one bats an eye. A kid would pee in the grass at the park, no problem. They're babies, sometimes they just pee, you know? But here in America, that's not ok. We have a fear of bodily fluids, so a kid having an accident is a much bigger deal.

Oh funny thing: McKay and I were watching an anime cartoon that had ECing. In the middle of the night a little toddler came up to one of the main characters in bed needing to go potty, so the character picked up the kid, took him outside, and held him in a basic ECing position for him to pee. I was so excited, "Look! They're ECing! Because that's what you do when a toddler needs to pee! He didn't even know the kid, but he knew what to do because that's what you do!"

McKay was all, "Yeah." I don't think he caught the excitement.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Out of Your Life

When I read Homeschooling our Children, Unschooling Ourselves, sometimes little ideas would speak to me, not necessarily about homeschooling. One was about keeping our children in our lives. The author met a homeschooling family who was explaining their transition to homeschooling.

When Mary's children had been in school, she had never felt inclined to include them in the everyday tasks she had to perform as a parent. When she sent them out the door to school, she "sent them out of her life...." After making the decision to homeschool, Mary's attitude toward them changed. When they complained about having to tag along on errands, or demanded attention as she tried to prepare mals, she reconsidered their situation....Now Mary realized that she had to offer them more opportunities to join with her in the day's activities. (page 51)

I go through phases of this. I was really good about involving Margaret in my day at one point, but I've recently been in a "I'll just wait until her nap" phase. And then when her nap comes around, I have quite the list and since a lot of my knitting has due dates (Christmas is coming up!) I do knitting and get nothing else done. Knitting or chores? Is that really a difficult choice?

I involve her a lot on errands. In stores I talk to her a lot: "Should we get this? Or this? What do you want for dinner? The blue one looks nice, right?" But at home, she plays (which is what she's supposed to do) and I don't do anything.

So I've been including her again since reading that section. She helped me wipe down the fronts of the cabinets the other day. I gave her a washcloth and sprayed the cabinets down with some human-friendly vinegar and water. She loved being a part of it and by the end of it was trying to drink the cleaner from the spray bottle.

I just needed the reminder. I'll probably need this reminder a few weeks from now too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Weaning

What is holiday weaning?
From here, which is taken from here:

Holiday weaning is when a baby weans due to the distraction and celebration of a holiday or other special event. There may be visitors from out of town or maybe you and your family are on vacation. Either way, there’s plenty of people, attention, and distraction to keep mother and baby apart. Next thing you know, baby hasn’t breastfed all day or maybe even all weekend....Holiday weaning can happen on vacation, around birthdays or other special events, and even when you’re moving.... Any time baby and mother are busy and distracted, holiday weaning may occur.
According to this month's New Beginnings magazine, small babies are particularly prone to this. I'm probably supposed to look at Margaret and see a child who probably won't fall victim to this, but I don't.

A week ago, we went to a baby blessing for our nephew. Margaret nursed fine during church; it's an environment she's used to nursing in. However at the gathering afterward, she was just too busy to nurse. She didn't want to stop playing and so I got a little bit engorged. This has happened before on outings. When I went to the Great Basin Fiber Arts Festival with her, she barely nursed all day. She makes up for it at night, and I don't normally have supply issues, but the idea of longer trips where she'll be distracted all the time concerns me.

Will Margaret be too distracted to remember to nurse? How will I deal with the engorgement by the end of the day?

When I discussed it with one of my friends who is also an LLL leader, she asked me, "Are you going to be bedsharing on your trips?" Yes, bedsharing has made it really easy to travel with her. She'll probably end up forgetting to nurse in the day and making up for it at night. I keep telling myself that's what'll happen and it'll be ok. I don't want to wean her yet. She's still too small and this isn't exactly the best time of year to wean; she needs the antibodies as cold and flu season rages on. In fact, I had a terrible cold all this weekend and Margaret has shown no signs of it (thank goodness!). Go go gadget magical breast antibodies!

On the LLL of Sandy link, they list a lot of things you can do to prevent holiday weaning. Essentially: don't do too much, ask for help with planning parties and doing decorations and cooking, be with your baby as much as possible. Good ideas. And I think just being aware of the idea of holiday weaning can help you be more aware of how often you're nursing. If you do start to notice your baby going on a holiday nursing strike, try enticing your baby back to the breast as you would with any nursing strike: skin to skin contact, warm baths, taking a vacation from everything else and being with your baby, etc (see the link for more ideas).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Inquistion Monday: Regrets

Heatherlady asked, "Have you ever written a post that you regretted? One that you wish you could take back or that was written a while ago and you've since changed your mind? Just curious."

In short, no. On one level I see my blog like a journal. I grow and change, but what I wrote was a part of me and how I thought at the time I wrote it. It's kind of like my how I'm married now and I no longer have the same crushes I had when I was 12, but I'm not going to take back or re-write my junior high journals just because I've moved on and changed. It's a part of my 12 year old self, you know?

I trust my readers to understand that I'm a growing and learning person. I've not always been the most tactful, but I'm working on it and learning to be. I trust that other people understand that life is a changing thing and so my blog will be a changing thing.

Then there are the blog posts I still stand behind 100%. An example of this is my Modesty and Breastfeeding post. After talking to someone about how seeing breastfeeding actually helped him fight a pornography problem, I wanted to write another post about the topic. But I went back and re-read that post from January and realized everything I wanted to say I already said. Breastfeeding is not immodest, it's not pornographic, no matter how much breast is exposed while breastfeeding. There is a great difference between using your body for nurturing your child and using your body to arouse and stimulate.

So how, as readers, are you supposed to tell what posts I'm still behind 100% and which ones I'd like a little mercy about? I don't know. Guess? Inquisition Mondays? Ooh ooh! Become pyschic! I'm sure there're some radioactive spiders or beetles or giraffes around here...

I think the thing I most regret is how I've handled some comments. When a comment discussion gets particularly argumentative or sensitive, I often just shut down and stop paying attention to it because it gets stressful for me. I really shouldn't do that. I have high esteem for bloggers who can handle angry comments with grace and I'm still working on doing that.

Sometimes when I've "shut down," it stays with me and works in me until months later, I'll post a comment that I should have back when the post was fresh. I did this recently for my Bleeding in the Background post. I wanted to clarify that I don't believe I had postpartum depression, but when Margaret was 1 month old, another blogger attacked the way I handled the birth. I started getting upset emails from all across the country as a result. Part of my worry and anxiety that I was being judged by my ward for my UC and for staying home so long stemmed from receiving many judgmental emails and comments. Had that blogger never posted that post, my postpartum time would have been much less stressful and less burdened with anxiety. I didn't post about that in my Bleeding in the Background post, but I've been feeling like I should clarify that, so I did.

So, in the end, I expect you all to be psychic about what posts represent my current views. Are there some posts that could have been worded differently? Some I don't fully put my weight behind any more? Sure. Am I going to go through every blog post I've ever written and rewrite them? No. I do have to spend some time away from the computer.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WRI Petition

If you'd like to see and sign the petition to support the Women's Research Institute at BYU, head on over to SupportWRI.org

Please sign it. It's important that women's research at BYU be visible and united under a central organization.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves


When I checked this book out from the library I wasn't really expecting an "unschooling" book. I know that sounds silly since "unschooling" is in the title, but our library doesn't particularly have a huge array of homeschooling books, so I didn't trust they'd have such a radical book. I checked it out, but didn't start reading it until a few days before it was due because I wasn't sure it was something I was going to be interested in.

I was wrong. It is a wonderful book. Alison McKee wrote her story of how they found homeschooling, their choice to unschool, and their thoughts. She was a teacher/tutor for the blind and worked with various children who have vision impairments. Through her experiences with one student in particular, Germain, she saw first-hand how the school system destroyed his love for learning and eventually segregated him from his classmates being labeled as a "behavior problem" due to his reactions to a school system that didn't meet his needs. Because of this, when McKee saw the same inquisitiveness Germain once had in her own son, she started to question if sending him to school would also kill his love for learning. They decide to try homeschooling and unschooling for both their son and daughter. The book follows their learning until their son goes to college.

For a lot of the book, McKee reflects on the aspect of trusting their children to learn everything they should. I think that is a concern for a lot of parents considering homeschooling. I went to school from age 5 until 21 and then I spent the majority of the next school year as an instructor at an elementary school. The culture of school is definitely imprinted on my brain as it is a lot of people's. To go outside our own experience is scary. McKee talks about the journey in learning how to trust her children and says it best when she says, "Here we were trying to create something, which we had never experienced - by relying on our past experience! Such a premise was flawed from the start. We realized that the only possible way to rectify our situation was to rely even more heavily on our children to show us the way (HOCUO, 63)."

This is something McKay and I have discussed many times, "How can we be sure our kids will learn everything they need?" Of course, the opposite is a valid question too, "How can we be sure that state regulated curriculum will be everything they need?" Our doubts in our children's ability to learn came from years of being told by our school system, "We won't learn anything unless we're forced to," and then at some point we start to believe that. Even in college when I took classes for the major I chose to study because I found it interesting, grades were a constant reminder that I wasn't trusted to learn the material without an incentive or threat of a bad grade.

This book gave me a lot to think about, and I'll do another blog post about more thoughts related to it. In the mean time, I'd recommend going over to Alison McKee's website. She has some interseting essays there that promise to be good reads.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tarn and Tissues

(cross-posted at Infiknity)

In our attempt to waste less, I've been cutting T-shirts up into yarn, or "tarn." I don't increase my yarn stash without a project in mind, so it will definitely become something in the (hopefully near) future.

On the left and in back, you can see cakes of tarn. The orange tarn isn't wound yet.

When making tarn, you don't use the yoke and sleeves of the shirt. I cut the unused yokes and sleeves into "squares" of tissue. That blue bag is actually a tissue box cover that my high school AP chemistry teacher made for her students as a "going away to college" present. Instead of using boxes of tissues, I'm stuffing the new cloth tissues into it.

While I'm not "looking forward" to the next time a cold runs through the house, I'm excited to use our tissues. They are fairly soft, won't fall apart, and are reusable! Plus it'll be cheaper than buying tissues. Yes, we'll have to wash them, but I can sanitize them with the diapers and they won't take up that much space in the wash.

This is part of my ultimate plan to switch to family cloth. Slowly and surely we will get there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hellfire Heartburn Chickpea Soup

Another recipe from AntiCraft.

2-1/2 cups dry chickpeas
6 cups water
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 can tomato paste
2 links chorizo
1 potato, cut into 1" pieces
Seasonings*

*The recipe called for an envelope of "Vigo Flavoring and Coloring." Upon looking it up, I decided against using it and used my own seasonings.

Soak chickpeas overnight in cold water. Discard the water the next day. Combine chickpeas, water, salt, pepper, seasonings, green pepper, garlic, and tomato paste. Boil and reduce to a simmer. Fry chorizo in a small pan until fully cooked. Drain and let cool. Slice into rounds. Add to pot. Simmer on low for 4 hours or until chickpeas are tender. Add potato and simmer for 15 more minutes.

Garbanzo beans are high up on Margaret's "love to eat" list, so this was a toddler pleaser. McKay also liked it. I thought it wasn't spicy enough. Either I'm no good at seasoning or the chorizo wasn't spicy enough. With a name like "Hellfire Heartburn..." I expected a little more oomph. It would be better named "Barely in the First Circle of Hell" or even "Purgatory Chickpea Soup". If I make it again, I'll add more cayenne.

I was glad to get the experience of soaking the beans. Since canned food often has BPA in it, it's nice to know how to prepare dried beans. We didn't eat many beans growing up, so it's been fun learning how to prepare them.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Inquisition Monday: Birth Plans

Brittney asked, "I have a question for next week: With all you know about birth, and with doing an unassisted birth, what is your plan for the next baby? Do you think you will have someone around to do some "after-care" or more support/pictures during the birth?"

This entirely depends on where we're living and how pro-active I feel at the time. Right now, the basket that holds all our eggs is the "McKay will get a job after graduating in April and we'll move in May/June" basket. Unless we have a micropremie in the next 6 months, it's highly unlikely we'll have another baby while in Utah. And of course, if we were in a premie situation, we wouldn't UC.

I originally thought we might ask a midwife if we could pay a small fee just for being "on call" for things like stitches around the time of the birth: no prenatal care or extra postnatal care. I know of a couple midwives here in Utah Valley that I could discuss that with, but if we're not going to be in Utah Valley, I guess that doesn't matter. Would I be able to find UC-friendly midwives? Possibly.

Last year when I read Rixa Freeze's PhD dissertation, Born Free: Unassisted Childbirth in North America, I became a little more aware of the plight of the midwives. I hadn''t realized that midwives and UCers could be at odds with each other. Many UCers would love a la carte care like I described: stitches, or just an ultrasound, or just rhogram, etc., but many midwives find a request like that to be contrary to what they want to accomplish as midwives: the development of a trusting relationship. Asking for a la carte care isn't particularly relationship-building. I had never considered that side, but it could definitely affect the ability to find a UC-friendly midwife in the future.

However, the place we'd like to move is very very crunchy. Midwives left and right. Would I be able to get a la carte care? It's possible. So I might look for a UC-friendly midwife next time, or I might not. We were very close to not having a waterbirth last time because I didn't really feel like going and finding a tub. We did get one "just in case," but I didn't think we'd actually use it, and we probably wouldn't have if the labor had been less than 12 hours. Would I be just as "on the ball" with finding a midwife? I don't know.

I don't think I'd hire a photographer unless I felt very comfortable with them. I really want to limit the number of people there. Our laptop has a time lapse video feature though, and I thought that would be fun. Maybe we'll do that.

Aubrey asked, After you had a home birth...what do you do with the water in the birthing pool? Where it is in the middle of your living room, how and where do you drain it? Is it safe (legal?) to drain in outside, with it being a bio-hazard?

McKay did an amazing clean-up job. There wasn't a lot in the tub: a little bit of mucous plug and blood. I think we flushed the plug in the toilet. As for the water, during the birth we heated water on the stove in a large stock pot. That stock pot was re-assigned to water removal and McKay took the water out of the birth tub potful by potful and dumped it in the bath tub to drain out. It was tiring for him, but I think it was therapeutic for him to process the long labor and resultant baby. We might considering making a siphoning system next time, but that depends on if I get "on the ball" again and get a pool next time.

Because we live halfway under the ground on the bottom floor of our complex, carrying a tub full of water outside and up the stairs wouldn't have been very feasible for us. If we owned our own house and the ground is level with the birthing place, we might have just dumped it outside.

I think you risk bio-hazard issues only when you throw things away. You shouldn't throw human waste in the dumpster (even inside diapers) because of the possibility of a sanitation worker handling it. I'm pretty sure human organs (including placentas) are included in that. However, I know many people who have buried their placentas in their yard under a tree or bush. Since it's ok to do that, I'm sure dumping some diluted blood (it looks like more than it really is) on your lawn is fine. It's only an issue if it's thrown away and handled by other people.

Thanks for the questions! Heatherlady, I'll answer yours next week!

Friday, November 06, 2009

"Streamline and Strenghthen"


Earlier this week, I read this about BYU closing down its Women's Research Institute. Sara Vranes is my friend on Facebook from 2007 when I went to the International Women's Day Sexual Assault and Rape Awareness demonstration (pics here).

I went to a meeting on this last night. Questions were brought up and we got some answers. The answers that we (feminists at BYU) keep getting are that this will "streamline and strengthen" the program, which is a quote from the press release. Sara Vranes said that "streamline and strengthen" was the automatic answer from many of the administrative people she has talked to.


BYU, what does "streamline and strengthen" mean? Can you give us an example? Right now, a student with a women's studies research project can go to the WRI and find funding, faculty advisors who've done women's studies research. That student can find direction and work with multiple faculty members in multiple disciplines that are brought together through the WRI.

So BYU, when that same student comes to BYU with a women's studies research project in February next year when the WRI is dissolved, how does this new "streamlined and strengthened" system work? How do they find funding? Work with faculty who have done similar research? How is the research strengthened? How is the process of finding advisors and support streamlined? I want to know how you think getting rid of the Women's Research Institute will improve the quality of the women's research done at BYU. Give us concrete examples.

Another answer we got from the meeting tonight is that it's not about the money. BYU, if it's not about lacking funds for the Women's Research Institute, then explain to me why it's being dissolved. If money is not an issue, what is?

Both McKay and I are alumni. Every year we get calls from the alumni association asking for donations to the school. We haven't given yet, but in my imaginings of our future "wealth" I've always wanted to donate our money to the WRI. BYU, you've lost many future alumni donations from us in this decision. Can you tell me how to guarantee my alumni donations go to women's research at BYU without the WRI?

If you are an alumnus, student, concerned citizen, etc., and the dissolution of the Women's Research Institute bothers you, write in. Call in. Let them know that this is a step backwards for women, for men, for the students and future students of the University. Getting rid of a program is NOT "strengthening."

If you'd like to take specific action, go the the Facebook page. The action to support the WRI is being arranged there and you'll get updates on what you can do.


Official Announcement and News
The News Release
The Daily Universe
Salt Lake Tribune
Deseret News

There are also many reactions in the Blogosphere
Square Two: A Farewell Salute to the Women's Research Institute of Brigham Young University
The Exponent II: Save the Women's Research Institute!
You Remind Me of Home: BYU Does it Again
Multicultural America: Is BYU all about Parity?
Feminist Mormon Housewives: Shutting Down BYU's Women's Research Institute
Weightier Matters of the Law: Demise of the BYU Women's Research Institute
By Common Consent: Goodbye Women's Research Institute
Third-Wave Mormon: BYU Eliminating its Women's Research Institute
The Hidden Domestic: The Closure of the Women's Research Institute at Brigham Young University
Dissenting In Part: Another BYU snafu: Women’s Research Institute gets “streamlined”

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Book Review: Simply Give Birth


You'd think I'd have read this book by now; I've had it for a month and I wrote one of the stories! I've even been lending copies of it to friends and recommending it! Had I read it yet? Nope. Like Krista in the ICAN book review, I felt sort of burnt out about birth stories. It doesn't help that I'm in Provo and birth and pregnancy is everywhere I look except my own uterus. I just didn't really want to tackle it right away.

I started it a little, though. A story here, a story there, then it got addicting. To be honest, I mostly skipped my own story because it's weird to see it in print. It's like hearing your voice on the video recorder; it just doesn't work right.

Of course I got addicted to this book. It was sort of like a drug. When Heather Cushman-Dowdee asked us for stories, she emphasized that she just wanted the story. No "So we wanted a UC because..." No "My last birth led me to..." No "My pregnancy was very...."

Just the story.

So what you get is birth: uncut, raw, simple. Yes, a few of us threw in our afterbirth experiences, so you get some of that, too, but it's mostly birth. It's a nice book that you can pick up, open a page, spend 10 minutes getting your "fix" and then close again. Some are more ethereal, some are more straightforward. I loved them all. There's a surprise twin birth, VBACs, and one that happened while on the phone with the 911 dispatch. I laughed at that one, "He (the dispatcher) congratulated us, aked if we still needed them and we said no, thanks so much, and got off the phone." Haha! I enjoyed reading the short births. I got to fantasize about what that would be like. I empathized with the overdue and long births sighing and saying to myself, "Yeah... It was... long." I read about kids at births and wonder if that'll be Margaret next time. I also loved that Heather Cushman-Dowdee put her last two births in it. The birth story of her youngest daughter was one of the ones I read over and over when I was "overdue." It gave me hope.

And I love the comics and pictures scattered throughout. It's quite fitting that the comic before my own story is about keeping the placenta in the freezer. My placenta is still there 19 months later, freezer burned and rock solid in the freezer door. We'll figure out what to do with it later.

As I've lent this book out to various friends, they've all enjoyed it. I usually get the book back within days; that's how addicting it is! And upon receiving it again, I hear praise of how wonderful of a book it is. It's enjoyable and fun. You need to read it. Request it for your birthday or for the holidays. Or just buy it. That's a good idea too.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Inquisition Monday

Holly asked, "Ooh, I have a question! Where the heck do you find room for all those hats in your little apartment! lol"

Actually a pretty good question. When I actually use many as home decor when they aren't being used as head decor. Examples:


I do have 3 walls of hats.

This is not actually recommended for storing hats. I'm ok with these two hats being hung because they both can be flattened and bent for short term storage (think luggage while traveling). Because they are hardy, I'm not as worried about these being warped. The other walls of hats have some of Margaret's hats. I don't worry about them because they are usually dollar store and clearance hats and aren't a big loss if they get hurt.

I keep my wedding hat in its box in the closet. My felt hats are on shelves in the closet too. I have 2 hat boxes without hats in them that I should probably utilize.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Cheesy Lentil Bake

While browsing our local library, I ran into this book: The Anticraft. It's a goth craft book. It had some knitting patterns and I was curious about it, so I checked it out. It's a hilarious read and fun. It also has recipes in it! Who knew? And since I'm the type of person to try recipes from goth crafting books, we tried this one and have a couple more on our "to try" list.

Tonight we had "Cheesy Lentil Bake- The Only Thing Cheesier Than This Dish Is Its Name."

12 oz. dry red lentils
3 cups filtered water
2 tsp salt
black pepper
1/2 teas. cayenne pepper
4 tbsp chili powder
2 zucchini, peeled and minced
3 medium-large onions, chopped
3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs

Rinse lentils well and put the water, lentils and spices in a pan and cook like you would rice: bring to boil, cover and simmer until water is gone. Preheat oven to 375, combine cooled lentils, cheese, and vegetables. Beat eggs in a different bowl and mix them up with the big mixture. Put it into a casserole dish and back 55-60 minutes.

Our changes: Instead of 2 zucchini, we used 1 big zucchini. Also, instead of 3 medium-large onions, we used 3/4 of a ginormous onion. We didn't have enough cheddar, so we used Monterrey jack.

I think the best part is the spiciness. This recipe uses 33% more chili powder than my chili recipe! And it was yum. Any less and I think it would have been too bland. We might mix it up next time and use pepper jack cheese. As far as this moment, this has only been husband-tested. Toddler-testing of this recipe is on hold until Margaret wakes up from her after church nap (going on 3 hours now...)

No pictures because it's kind of boring. We had salad for a side to make our plates look more colorful. Of course, it is from a goth craft book, so that might have been expected.

More goth crafts found here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Changes in Nursing

We've had 2 big changes in nursing in the past couple of weeks. Margaret is in full-blown toddler "I have opinions" stage and you can totally tell.

Big change #1: Margaret's twiddling. Margaret twiddles with the nipple she's not latched on to. I've mentioned before that this doesn't bother me much because I'm not easily "touched out". It can start to bother me in the evenings, so when I nurse her to sleep at night, I try to deter her from doing it. This reminds me- I need to clip her nails.

Anyway, the other night, I was blocking my nipple from her and was on my way to sleep when I noticed that she kept "jumping" at regular-ish intervals. I got up and found out that she was pulling her hair out. If she's not twiddling with my nipple she's pulling her hair out! I noticed it again the other night. So I gave up on the twiddling thing. We waited so long for her to not look bald, I do not want her pulling her hair out. So I gave her my nipple to twiddle. Maybe I'm totally vain about that, but I'd rather her twiddle. She does sign and ask "please" before she twiddles, though. So that's nice. And the extra nipple stimulation is good for my supply, right?


Big change #2: No more layers.
I've mentioned I usually use layers when nursing her. They bother her. It used to be that if I pulled up a shirt or undershirt, she'd grab the shirt and pull it up an extra 3 inches for me. It kind of defeated the purpose of the layers. Anyway, she's decided she doesn't believe in layers at all anymore. When she asks to nurse, I'll lift up the shirt, pull down the bra, and Margaret looks at my breast, waves, and says, "Bye!" and covers my breast again (this is our "no nursing now" signal). Then she'll pull the shirt and all my underclothes and bra up from the bottom so that my entire beautiful torso is showing and she'll latch on. She's ok with pulling down from the top as long as everything is pulled down- no little tank top layers pulled up! I don't blame her- I wouldn't want to eat with fabric near my face either and I always thought it was just easier to pull down anyway. And it's much less noticeable if I just pull down than if I sit there fighting her about the layers. So that's what we're doing now.

So yay. Twiddling and no layers. It's a fun party over here. At least she has her hair, right? :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boo Nestle


This week is the #boonestle effort. We boycott Nestle all the time, but if you don't, please join in for just this week.

Last night we went Halloween candy shopping. We wanted to make sure we could get non-Nestle candies. One thing to remember is that even though Kit Kat is made by Hershey in the United States, Nestle owns the name, so to be safe, we made sure we bought non-Kit Kat varieties of Hershey bars.

It is just not about the unethical marketing of breastmilk subsitutes, but includes how they treat employees and to whom they outsource labor.

Companies won't regulate themselves against their own interest and profits so we as customers need to regulate where our money goes. Please don't support unethical business practices.

Baby Milk Action
The boycott on Facebook
The boycott on Twitter
Products to boycott (UK)
List from Crunchy Domestic Goddess

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hats

No one asked questions for Inquisition Monday last week. Many months ago before I started Inquisition Monday, someone asked about my hats. Here are some pictures of some of my hats. I was planning on taking pictures last night, but it was really busy, so instead you get old pictures.

My first hat was a straw hat. Unfortunately, it got stepped on in the middle of the night and being straw, it didn't survive. Here it is in Germany. I was 17.
The Pin Stripe Fedora.
I went a few years without a nice hat. My freshman year in college, I received a check from my grandad for my birthday, so I took the bus to the mall and found this. This is one of our engagement photos- he's leaning.
Bucket Hat
I got this hat for working at Think Ink, where I worked in the summer after my senior year of high school. This picture was taken around the time I conceived Margaret, actually. We hiked the Y.
The Wedding Hat
My mother-in-law bought me this beautiful hat. Due to the fact that I wasn't as assertive then as I am now and to the fact that I'm also very forgetful, it wasn't worn in any of the pictures. :( I do wear it to church, though. And for maternity pictures, obviously.

DI Hat #1
I get hats at DI occassionally. Here's a little white one.


DI Hat #2

DI Hat #3- one of my greatest DI finds EVER.
Winter church hat. I think I bought this at Dillards.

Santa Hat.
McKay insisted on owning a couple of these.

White cloche. I bought this at a yarn store.
Knit Charlie Brown beanie.
Sometimes I knit hats. In A Charlie Brown Christmas, Linus wears a green hat with a large bobble. I wanted to make one, but also wanted it to be identified as being related to Peanuts, so I added the standard Charlie Brown stripes.
Red Hatter hat.
I got this from my mother-in-law because she was destashing her hat collection. She owns more hats than I do.

Death Hat
This was the hat that killed me in Hat Wars this year.

Well, there you are. Some of my hats. I have more, but these are the ones I had pictures of on hand. I need to get good pictures of them all. If there are any here that you'd like a better picture of, let me know. Next time I do a hat post, I'll repost those shiny new pictures. Inquisition Monday is still in force if you have questions for next week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Too Big

This week I am working on a project that is draining my mental and emotional capacities. I will probably not blog much.

In the meantime, here's a beautiful video. It made me cry happy tears.



Also check out New Zealand's new campaign to encourage breastfeeding.