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.