Today, my nephews came over for the day. While they and Jackson were playing Batman in the back yard, my weeds with flowers were subjected to many vicious slashes and chops with their swords. Bummer.
From inside I heard a very upset Jackson telling his cousins to 'stop killing his Mommy's flowers!'
What a sweet boy.
Bribery is ok, right?
And now for the food news. Archer LOVES food. I let him try green beans, spinach, banana, apple, and watermelon. He loved all of it. I was so excited for him.
My Archer is growing so fast, in 3 days he will be 5 months!
Another activity that my family enjoys is a good debate. I sometimes participate, but it's usually a discussion that involves my Uncle Irwin, Uncle Bill, Aunt Peggy, and my cousin Kevin. You would think that after all these years they have already said all there is to say about their opinion on abortion or war or WHATEVER, but they have not. These debates will go on until the end of time! Sitting down to listen to them is another one of my favorite things.
This year was a little more hectic than prior reunions; we had a FULL house! To give you an idea of the insanity I just endured, I will list off who stayed in the house and where. My mom and her husband stayed in her bedroom, my brother slept on a blow up mattress in the sun room by the deck, an Aunt and Uncle stayed in my brother's old room, my cousin and his girlfriend stayed in the living room, John, Jackson, Archer, and I stayed in the front porch area on another blow up mattress, and upstairs in my old room were my cousin and his wife with 2 little ones, and my other Aunt and Uncle. Oh my GOD was it crazy! But, it was fun and wonderful to see how the family has grown.
Now, I am back home getting our lives back to normal. John is on a business trip and won't be home until Friday. So, I'm trying to keep busy and sane with my boys before he returns. I am going to attempt to get groceries soon. That should be a good time ... or really stressful! I could wait for other family members nearby to get off of work to watch Jackson while I shop, but we are out of so many necessities, that I can't wait.
It looks like a "no no", but actually this girl initiated the boxing, and my sweet Jackson held back his rough side for this lovely lady. What a guy!
Anyway, hooray for 'The Arch'--as he's known around here--you are a big boy! It's been in the last 2 weeks that he has surprised me everyday with how much he changes. He's not my little newborn anymore. It's awesome to see him grow, but a little sad to see his baby days race by so quickly.
You can get to my Etsy shop with the link on the right side margin or by the link below. Make sure to bookmark us and check back periodically--new inventory is on the way!!
Another totally wonderful thing was the fact that both of my boys allowed me to get some weeding in the garden done today. I've been over a few times to get some gardening done, but it usually ends up with me taking care of the boys instead. Not today! Archer fell asleep and Jackson amused himself with bubbles and digging for snail shells in part of the garden for a good half hour.
More good news! I got my tags in the mail today! So, I will be adding those to the pieces I will be taking to the craft show.
Yay for productive days!
Anyway, this is my first effort to get the info out about the baby fair. It will be awesome! If you don't believe me, check out the events and vendors in the day's agenda.
If you are a parent, you should go!
I really need to apologize to my first born baby Jackson. He has not made it into my posts recently as much as his little brother. Well, Jackson, those days of uneven offspring posts are over. Blog readers need just as many updates about you as they do your brother!
So, today we visited Horticultural Park. John and I love this park for a few reasons. I have fond memories with friends from this park and both John and I share the bittersweet memories of playing fetch with Rockie there. To add to this, the park is just gorgeous with zillions of trees and beautiful plants. It has taken quite a few visits to this park to convince Jackson that it's a cool place to be. He sees no play equipment and wonders why we are there, and why are we referring to this boring place as a park? Well, today he had a wonderful time at this so-called "park". We took a walk through the woods. This was Jackson's chance to take his family on an adventure of monster fighting. He had magic sticks for us to combat these monsters, as well as secret paths to either sneak up on or avoid these monsters. He had such a good time. I love that his imagination is growing. I've always thought it to be very important to have a large imagination. It's like exercise for the brain. My Jackson is a smart little boy. He's amazing.
This is how old Archer is as I begin this post. I can't believe he is (or almost is) 3 months old already! (Not sure whether to count weeks or go by dates) Archer is such a sweet baby. He has recently discovered his amazing hands. He has found that they are VERY fun to suck and chew on, and has also used them for batting at toys. Another discovery is conversation. He usually has quite a bit to say, and is extremely excited to tell me his stories. Archer really is growing so fast.
I am ready to create! My ideas are:
-adding funky fabric to cloth diapers for either diaper or burp cloth use
-adding elbow and knee patches to baby pants and shirts
-large purses/diaper bags
"such rapid improvement in eczema and infection symptoms that the researchers stopped the study early, so that children in the placebo group could get the same amount of relief."
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm never a big fan of using chemicals on skin, especially my child's. While it's great these kids are getting some relief, I wonder what side effects or problems down the road will sprout from these chemical baths.
You definitely won't catch my kids in a study like this.
strawberries (for my first attempt at making a pie: strawberry rhubarb)
and ... !!!
When we got home John was grilling chicken legs. So, with my appetite that so closely resembles that of a pregnant woman, I went ahead and gave in to my cravings and thoroughly enjoyed a fudge pop, 3 chicken legs, and another fudge pop for good measure.
Today, is said to be (by me) the best Saturday ever. We have plans to finish prettying our yard, clean house, and then go over to some friends' house for gardening and probably some wine.
Yay for warm weather!
Last Saturday we woke up WAY too early for my taste, and went to an Easter celebration at John's place of work. It was really nice. There was a catered breakfast, games, an egg hunt, an art station, and time to spend with the Easter bunny. Fun was had by all. *smirk*
After that we came home to get ready for the bug bowl at Purdue. Archer took his first stroller ride and Jackson spit his first cricket! Of course I didn't get a picture of the actual spitting of the cricket; only pictures of before and after--thanks to slow cameras. Jackson also had the chance to try out fencing with his daddy. It was a fun Saturday.
One thing that encouraged me today was when the speaker was talking about the 3 things that young babies do--eat, sleep, poop. So, if they aren't satisfied with eating or sleeping, your next option is the potty. Babies are born with the ability to voluntarily eliminate, and they naturally do not enjoy sitting in their own pee and poop. What we do is train babies to get used to sitting in their pee, and then at the age society has chosen to be the time to start using the potty, we are essentially telling them to un-learn what we have been teaching them since they were born. I think it will be easier using EC than potty training my 2 year old. And, after becoming aware of the fact that babies can control their bowels and would prefer to not sit in them, I don't feel right about letting Archer sit in his wet diaper. I would much rather respond to his needs by letting him potty somewhere other than in his pants.
In other cultures using EC is the norm. Our 3 and 4 year olds running around in pull-ups is ridiculous to mothers in many other counties. Of course, in third world countries this is what they do and have always done. They wear their babies and are close enough with them to pick up on their cues for when they need to eat or potty. Fortunately, I am able to stay at home with Archer. I'll have the time to bond with him and respond to his elimination needs.
To me, this is just another way to give my son everything he needs to be happy and healthy.
Prayer Flags: Inspired by Tibetan prayer flags, these are strips of cloth that are cut about 3" X 18" (or any other size you choose). They are handed to each guest to write a birth blessing or positive message on it. When the guests are through the mother is given the flags to read and take with her to her place of birth. Messages can be anything. Some examples include: "You are a strong woman." "You can do all things through God." "Your baby will be born at the right time."
I love it!
When John and I were talking about this, we could not resist referring to it as 'A blessing, wey!' As if we were Mexicans casually discussing a blessing. We are silly.
Every morning I wake up to feed Archer. So, while I'm waking up I watch TV for a bit before I start the day. I've been stuck on watching a couple of shows on TLC--Bringing Home Baby and A Baby Story. My Bradley Method teacher always told me to stay away from these shows, but I can't help watching. The shows are getting better. I'm seeing less of the births with interventions and more natural drug free births. Hopefully this is a sign that American women are waking up.
One thing that drives me crazy in these shows is the mothers' efforts to breastfeed and the insane amount of misinformation they are all getting about it. Most of the moms desire to breastfeed, but the first few days they are feeding the babies formula because they think either they should wait for their own milk to come in or that they don't have enough milk for the baby. Each show is then concluded with mothers of 10 week old babies being fed with formula and mothers who are disappointed they couldn't breastfeed due to lack of milk. I am one of these moms that was misinformed as well. With my first son the lactation nurse never told me actually how big the baby's stomach is the first few days and that the baby will get what he needs with persistent feeding. I was never told that the first 6 weeks you will be breastfeeding ALL THE TIME. I was told the baby will eat every 2-3 hours for about half an hour per feeding. This was way off! I think that moms assume they don't have a sufficient milk supply because the babies aren't as quickly satisfied as with feeding with a bottle. Nursing takes much longer. And also, a newborn is used to being fed constantly in the womb; a switch to only eating every 2-3 hours is quite drastic.
Women need better information and truth about breastfeeding. It usually will start out with struggles. We need to get the message out that we as mothers really do have EVERYTHING our babies need, including enough breast milk. We need not get so discouraged. While breastfeeding is natural, it may not come to the moms and babies naturally. It takes some work, but after the feeding has been established, it is more than rewarding and very easy.
After doing my normal internet 'rounds', I looked at John's bookmark folder and found a really cool blog.
PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people
mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.
I loved this particular confession:
I work in a college admissions office at a preppy private college as a student worker. Whenever I stuff the rejection letter envelopes, I slip in a piece of paper while my co-workers aren't looking that says, "you will be amazing wherever you go. I believe in you." I hope that the people who get them know I mean it.
Thank you for emailing us. Carter's has an active social compliance function that regularly audits the factories we contract with. We do not own any of these factories, but we do review the audit results of all factories we contract with. We also ask that these factories comply with the legal requirements set by their governments.
Carter's / Oshkosh B'Gosh
Nice. Not only did they avoid telling me where the clothes are made, the only regulations they have for the production of these clothes are made by these mystery countries. Sounds a little fishy to me. And if a company did have clothing made fairly, I think they would take pride in this and give a much less vague response.
Anyway, yesterday was the day I truly fell in love with being a stay at home mom. I've got what seems like endless quality time with my kids, time to pursue my many creative ideas, time to get the house work done, time to garden, time to grow my business, time to get done whatever it is that I'd like to get done. I am very lucky to be able to do this.
Archer was given a beautiful blanket that was hand-made by my wonderful friend Annie. Now that Archer has been around for 5 weeks, (wow) this time has allowed me to fall in love not only with my new son, but this blanket! First of all she could not have picked better colors. And I need to remember to ask her if she was even aware of the sex of our babe when she started this project. Second, the size is perfect. It's pretty big for a baby blanket, but now that I've used it, all the others we have seem too small. Thirdly, it's soft. I've become so fond of this blanket, that I really don't use any others. (This may change as the weather gets warmer) I wait until it's had one too many spit ups on it, wash it, and return it to it's rightful owner--Archer.
Thank you Annie!
Archer is officially 1 month old as of yesterday. Yay! He and I are doing well, and finally adjusting. I've had some ups and downs getting used to being a mother of 2. Things are slowly becoming normal and routine for all of us now, though.
Breastfeeding was an issue to begin with, of course. I told myself not to get frustrated if there happens to be a difficulty with breastfeeding before Archer arrived. Inevitably, we did have a tiny issue, and I got a bit frustrated. But, now we have both learned how to "master" this nursing thing, and I couldn't be happier that it's becoming so easy. And, like all the breastfeeding advocates say, it really is rewarding and brings a special bond to you and your baby.
Jackson has had a hard time as well. He's not getting the attention he deserves, so we have decided that we will make it our mission to be more conscious of the attention we give him. Negative attention is one thing he's been getting a lot of--we need to change that. Otherwise, Jackson is being a wonderful son and big brother. He loves his little brother, and he is the best helper his mama could ask for.
John, of course, has had no trouble at all adjusting. He's been there to encourage me when I'm feeling down. He's was there for me when I called him to come home on his first week back to work. He's there for Jackson when I've got Archer to feed. He is wonderful.
My new family is wonderful!
I woke up earlier and perkier than normal on Wednesday February 10, 2009. I was having contractions much lower than normal, and it seemed that they were coming regularly. So, I lay in bed for the next hour waiting to see if they would subside. They didn’t, so I got out of bed to watch the news, check my e-mail, and clean up the kitchen. Still, the contractions were regular! I was so excited. I assumed that I would be way overdue as I was with my first baby. This time I was early! I also never had the chance to experience normal natural labor with my first. I was induced with Pitocin. Yuck. Anyway, I took a shower, ate some breakfast, and called my husband. The contractions were strong enough that I really didn’t want to stay at home alone with my 3 year old all day. I was afraid I wouldn’t be as available to get him what he needed, so John agreed to come home. I also wanted John to be with me during the whole thing.
John came home and we decided to go out to eat and to the park. The weather was abnormally warm for February. And also there had been a full moon. Anyway, we went to Route 66 and I ordered a Double Steak with Cheese and fried potatoes. Yum. After this, we went to Happy Hollow Park. I had to stop every 6 minutes or so for a contraction. We met a couple friends there, and had a nice time. I was tired, so we went home so I could try to get a nap in. After getting home I took another shower to try to calm down for a nap. After trying to nap for an hour, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. So, I gathered John and Jackson to go on a walk with me. By this time the contractions were pretty painful. We only made it for about 15 minutes on the walk and then came home.
After being home for only an hour, I decided that my 3 year old needed to go. I was having a hard time getting through a contraction with him running around yelling. So, Grandpa came to pick him up. After he was gone, John went around the house lighting candles and turning down the lights. At this point I called our Midwife. When I got on the phone with her I started crying because I wasn’t sure how far I was into the labor, and I wasn’t sure if maybe it would be possible to stall out the labor with a bath so I could get some rest. Our plan prior to my going into labor was to stop the labor (if possible) if I labored all day. We wanted to avoid exhaustion. When the Midwife arrived we started filling the birth pool. It was taking much longer than I preferred to get that thing filled! Our hot water heater is miniscule, so we had to boil tons of water to get warm water in the pool. The warm water was supposed to either stall out the labor, or speed it up. After getting in, my labor slowed down.
When my contractions stayed at the slower pace for a while, my Midwife and the attendants decided to go out for some dinner. They thought that maybe I would get some rest while they were gone, or speed labor up due to not being the center of 5 people’s attention. When they left things definitely got going. I was yelling for HELP and telling John that I needed to go to the hospital so I could get an epidural and go to sleep. He stayed strong and told me no. He knew that wasn’t really what I wanted. I would have been very disappointed if we would have gone to the hospital. After yelling so loud that the neighbors were probably wondering, ‘who the hell is being tortured next door?’, I told John to call our Midwife. I was definitely in hard labor. I got back in the birth pool and stayed there until Archer arrived. John laid behind me to support me while I moaned and yelled some more. I was very attached to one of the attendants. Later I found out she has been a doula and has been attending home births since I was born. She just gave me a lot of comfort and encouragement. Every time she would leave the room I would yell HELP!
By this point there was no conversation and the only thing you heard was me moaning. This lasted for only an hour and a half and all of the sudden I felt a snap, and I assumed it was just my water breaking. Then came the urge to push. So, I yelled, ‘I gotta push’! And I did. I pushed maybe 2 times through that one contraction and Archer was out! He came out in the water sac with it perfectly intact. He surprised everyone with how quickly he came. We all were in a bit of shock. He went right on my chest and it was all over! He was beautiful! He cried shortly after laying with me and stayed with me for the next few hours. He was born at 1:09 am on February 11, 2009, also my birthday! He is by far the best gift I have ever gotten on my birthday!
Our experience with having a home birth was wonderful. It was better than we expected, and even though it was rough for a little while, I am so glad we did it. This was much more of a natural way to welcome our new baby to our family. It seems that at the hospital the doctors and nurses take control of the labor and birth. For us, we were in charge, and we made the experience what it was—absolutely wonderful.
So, we first went to our family doctor to ask for this prescription. You would think this would be easy considering that fact that if I don't have this antibiotic there is a chance of death to the baby. No, not so easy. Doctors today are more concerned with politics and protecting their selves before putting the health of a human being first. Once a patient transfers care to Midwifery, they are usually on their own. Docs want nothing to do with them. (At least in our area, this has proven to be true)
Our next stop was our prior OB. He was wonderful and very supportive of our choice for home birth. I am healthy, my Midwife is very experienced, and we have done our homework on all that goes into creating a safe and healthy birth at home. He actually made a few comments that discouraged us even more from delivering at the hospital. That was VERY unexpected. But very re-assuring to have a doc back us up. But with all is support, he could not write the prescription. Something to do with who he works for.
After freaking out and considering a delivery at the dreaded hospital our Pediatrician returned my phone call. I told him the situation and he immediately agreed to write the prescription. 'This is for safety and health of the baby, so of course' is what he said. I thought 'No shit, that's what any doc should have said!' We are talking about a precious new life here! Anyway, this wonderful man also gave us prescriptions for the drugs the babe will need following delivery and any precautionary drugs I or baby would need should something go wrong. I want to kiss my Pediatrician! More docs should be like him. I'm sure they all started out this way, but so many have lost touch with what is really important; caring for the human life.
The basic principle of Homeopathy is based on the Law of Similars. This means that any symptoms that the body is showing is an indication of what kind of treatment the body needs to utilize its immune defense to heal. So, the body is telling us exactly what it needs. If you have fever and chills, you need a medicine that would have those affects on the body.
This might be a very simple idea to most, but I am totally amazed. I love finding all these little clues that we can use to stay happy healthy people. Just another point that we really should listen to ourselves.
This point leads to one show in particular I was very intrigued by. The topic was 'Centering Your Pregnancy'. Dr. Peter Bernstein, Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health was the guest speaker. Centering Pregnancy is a new model of prenatal care that was developed by a midwife. The model of care is rapidly becoming popular among midwives as well as OBs. The way it works is a provider, whether it be a doctor or midwife, forms a group out of the clients he or she has that are about the same length into their pregnancy. So, after your second individual prenatal visit, you would meet with your provider and the rest of the group for your monthly visits. Each visit will have a different topic--breastfeeding, nutrition, etc. And each topic is catered to the stage in pregnancy that the group is at. The meetings are also slightly free form. If a few women have something they are concerned about, they can bring up that topic for discussion. So, in a way the group leads the class. In this way topics that one mother may have never thought about get introduced. Another plus is the advice is not only given from the provider, but from other experienced mothers in the group.
This has got to be better than your typical visit to your OB. I know from experience that I never learned a thing from my doctor. My midwife, on the other hand is wonderful. Our visits are longer than 5 minutes, and we actually talk and I learn things.
So, check out this podcast!!
So, my baby is breech...or at least he was a few days ago when my Midwife checked. So, tonight we have our first home visit with her, and she will check me once more. If he is still head up, then we look into the External Cephalic Version option. It seems like something worth trying. I've also been doing lots of crazy stand-on-your-head stuff at home to coax my little one to turn. Basically, you want your pelvis elevated above your head to use gravity to your advantage. So, I either lay in bed with 3 pillows under my toosh, or when I'm feeling super hard-core, I lay on an ironing board that is propped up on the couch. It's lovely. Actually, it takes your breath away, and it's not comfortable at all. But, if all this means we can birth at home, so be it. I've also tried moxibustion and a Homeopathic remedy, Pulsatilla. So, at some point ONE of these things should convince him to turn. Or not...whatever. At this point I am just ready to hold him. So however he arrives into this wonderful world, it's cool with me.
And here is a picture of enormous me at almost 36 weeks!
Well, it's official. As of January 16th I will be a stay-at-home mom. I submitted my 2 week notice at work today, and notified the daycare that J would be leaving soon. I can't believe how things are finally happening. I'm FINALLY leaving the job I have stressed about for the past two years. And most importantly, I am now only 5 weeks away from the due date of our next baby! It seemed like this time would never get here, and now it's here.
So now, I wait. I wait for the new babe. And after he's here, I have to get together a game plan. I want to make lesson plans for J and somehow balance the time so the new babe is getting all that he needs as well. And then there's me. I've got school and our business to focus on when I have time. It sounds a little overwhelming, but knocking this 8 hours a day at the job thing out of the way has got to make room for me have time to be productive.
On to a new things!
I learned quite a bit from this class about herbs and ways to use them. There is so much to remember and learn about each individual herb, I am glad I have these two wonderful books to reference in time of need. The books for the course are The Way of the Herbs and New Age Herbalist.
I just ordered my books and study guide for my next class, Introduction to Homeopathy. I have a vague idea of what homeopathy is, so this class should be pretty interesting.
Not sure what I will do with this degree when I finish, but I will at least learn how to keep my family naturally healthy. Hopefully I will gain enough knowledge to teach others.