Monday, December 30, 2013

It's a girl!

Ella Sharon 

Born at home December 28, 2013 at 8:50 PM, in the water

8 lb 2 oz

20.5 inches

Caught by her daddy and adored by her siblings

Ella's first roses, from her daddy

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

the boy who made me a mama

Happy Birthday to my Benjamin, the boy who made me a mama.  It's hard to believe that he is 11 years old today, and yet he shows us more responsibility and consideration every day.  We are so thankful for this boy, and we thank God for him every single day!

If you'd like to read Ben's birth story, click HERE

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

40 weeks

Today I'm 40 weeks along in my pregnancy!  For me, this is when the real countdown begins.  How many days past the EDD will this birth-day be?

Will child #2 continue to hold the record as the earliest baby at 5 days "late"?  I sincerely hope this little one doesn't go for a new record of lateness...

This morning my children sang a rousing rendition of "Happy Due Date to You" (tune of "Happy Birthday").  I hadn't even reminded them (we try to be low-key about due date stuff around this house) sweet!

Monday, December 16, 2013

a few critical updates!

I had my belly drawing last week!

Got my last prenatal massage on Saturday!

After 9 weeks of warranty drama and many tears, we have a new washing machine being delivered today!

The fridge is clean!

The laundry is caught up!

My due date is tomorrow!

All the bathrooms are clean!

The scarf party is tonight! 

The pantry and fridge are stocked  - again!

I've started eating raw dairy again! (I know, it doesn't have anything to do with the rest of this theme, but it makes me a very, very happy girl!)

And perhaps most importantly, after a week of moping and feeling uber-impatient, I am feeling more at peace with the Wait.  I'm okay with a little more time to sleep, work on projects, play with my kids, and dream about my baby.  

Even so, we're ready...just saying.  I would love so much to have this baby before Christmas. Lord-willing!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Top 10 6 Reasons the Baby Can Stay Put (a bit longer) an effort to present a balanced perspective and all, I thought I'd offer my Top 10 Reasons the Baby Can Stay Put.   Sadly I was unable to come up with a full 10, so we shall have to make do with six.  Still, I think my six are fairly compelling.

Top 10 6 Reasons the Baby Can Stay Put (a bit longer)

1)  I still need to clean my refrigerator.
'Nough said.

2)  I enjoy sleep.
Really.  And while there is something sweet and bonding about those dimly-lit nursing sessions, those moments snuggling in the rocking chair...well, sleep is just lovely.  You understand, right?

3)  I'm going to this scarf exchange...
...and it's going to be a lot of fun, and I don't want to miss it.

4)  There are no prepared meals in the freezer.
It pains me to admit this.   Generally at this point in a pregnancy, I have at least, at the very least, four or five meals in the freezer, usually more. But this time?  Nothing.  Oh, I have a lot of grass-fed beef and some pastured chickens, among other things.  I mean, we have food.  But prepared meals?  Nada.  Truly I think it's mostly because with this diet I'm kind of struggling with finding meals that (1) I can eat, (2) freeze well, and (3) my family enjoys.  But I'll think of something.  Besides, I may lighten up the restrictions a bit for those first few weeks postpartum, so we'll see.  Or maybe I'll just freeze a bunch of things that my family can have, and then for myself I'll scramble an egg or something...

5) I'm re-reading my beloved Ina May's Guide to Childbirth...
...and it would be good to finish before the baby comes.  Just in case I've gotten rusty in the past two years, or this birth throws me some surprises.

6)  It's best for everyone if the baby is truly ready.
Maybe it sounds trite, but I believe that it's best to wait until the baby is ready.  Did you know that research suggests that the baby's brain sends out a signal when the time comes for it to be born?  I suspect that it aids in the labor process as well.  After, it seems that if the baby is ready, the mama's body is likely to be "ripe" as well.

There you have it, my 10 6 reasons.  We'll see what happens.  With my track record (all my babies have arrived well past their due dates), I'm not holding my breath for an early arrival...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

stevia-sweetened chocolate bars

Alright, so as I've mentioned before, I've been on this crazy diet since July.  I'm thinking I will modify it a bit when the baby arrives, although I'm still unsure exactly what that will look like.  But back in October I took it upon myself to make a change in what I was allowing myself.  I decided to bring cocoa powder back into my life.

See, on the Body Ecology Diet, cocoa powder isn't allowed, at least not for a long time.  But I know of other anti-Candida diets which do allow it.  For me, after three months without, it ended up being a quality of life issue...of a sort.  So I decided to try it, and I've been a quite a bit more fulfilled since that day, I've gotta tell you!

I played around with some quality ingredients and came out with a stevia-sweetened chocolate recipe I really like.  In all kindness, I decided to share it here with you, on the blog.  Well, kindness, and also so I can find the recipe quickly and easily.  I guess that qualifies as a win-win situation...?

Stevia-Sweetened Chocolate Bars
1 c. gently melted coconut oil
1 T. alcohol-free vanilla
dash sea salt
1 t. milk chocolate liquid stevia or other stevia, to taste
3/4 c. cocoa powder
2 drops pure, food-safe essential oils, optional:  cinnamon bark, orange, or peppermint are nice choices

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Stir well.  Pour into a pan* lined with parchment paper and refrigerate.  The coconut oil gets really hard in the fridge, so you may want to set it out 5-10 minutes before you plan to cut and/or eat it.

*Pan size depends on how thick you'd like your chocolate.  My perfect size is to use two loaf pans, but you could also use just one, or an 8x8 pan too.  Feel free to experiment!

This chocolate is absolutely divine used in my friend Kathleen's Sunbutter Cups recipe!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gabe is 2!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my Gabriel! He charms us, makes us laugh every single day, amazes us and sometimes drives us a little crazy. He is an incredible blessing...and I wouldn't trade him for anything!

Would you like to read his birth story?  Click HERE.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

the belly: a progression

36 weeks

37 weeks

38 weeks

And the latest contribution to our collection:

39 weeks

Monday, December 9, 2013

Top 10 Reasons I'd Love to Have My Baby Soon

1)  I'm tired of relying on my alarm clock to wake up.
It's time to shake things up, to add a little spice to my life.  Alarm clock, schmalarm clock.  I'm ready to be awakened by a tiny, new human.

2)  My house is (nearly) as clean as it's ever gonna get.
With a few exceptions (anyone want to come clean out my fridge??), my home is currently as clean as it's going to get before this baby is born.  I can't make any promises about how it might look three weeks from now, though.  Come one, little person!  Strike while the iron is hot!

3)  I could use a little break from my teething toddler.
Yes, I do realize that this sentence makes me sound like a horrible mother.  But honestly, this child has been an absolute bear lately.  I get that (1) he's a toddler, and (2) he's teething, but...wowsa.  Nursing around the clock might be a vacation compared to this...

4)   I am weary of drinking raspberry leaf tea.  
Not a bit tea drinker in the best of times, consuming this particular beverage on a regular basis is something of a chore for me.  I'm doing it, know, for uterine toning and stuff.  But once the babe arrives, I shall be finished.  Okay, okay, I guess I should drink it during the postpartum period too.  But it will seem like less of an obligation.  Maybe I can get away with a little less of it, anyway...

5)  The suspense is killing us. 
Boy or girl?  The Lord alone knows...

6)  I keep eating into my labor snack supplies. 
When you're on a funky diet like this, the things you are allowed to eat become special, almost sacred if you will.  You protect them fiercely and, when you're really digging them, you want to eat them.  I keep stocking up on legal snacks I suspect might appeal to me during labor, and then...I eat them.  So then I have to make more...  You see?  It's a vicious cycle.

7)  I don't want to have to scrub the bathtub again.
The soaker tub where I plan to birth this baby is scrubbed, shining, perfect.  I've been longing for a bath but don't want the beautiful tub to need another cleaning.  I want it to remain its lovely, spotless self.  So for now I'm abstaining, but not forever. No, not forever.

8)  I'm going to this scarf exchange...
The scarf exchange is the day before  my due date, and I'm really looking forward to it!  But see, I absolutely love the scarf I bought for the party.  So if I have the baby first, I get to keep the scarf...

9)  I'd like to be able to reach stuff again.  
Using the kitchen sink has become a bit awkward.  Things on the floor are difficult to reach.  And as for putting on my shoes...well, I'll leave that to your imagination.

10) There's this Christmas present under the tree...
...and we'd really like to give it to the baby on Christmas.  Although I suppose it will still serve its purpose a week or so later.


There you have them, my Top Ten Reasons I'd Like to Have My Baby Soon.  Even so, since I'm just hitting 39 weeks on Tuesday, I likely have a while yet to go.  The average "lateness" for our five children is 9.8 days past the due date, so I'm pacing myself, settling in for a bit more time.  Still, I've love a surprise...

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I stink.

As a blogger, I mean.  Two months since my last post?  This may be the longest silence my poor blog has ever endured.  And if there's anyone out there who still cares about, much less remembers my little blog...well, God bless you.

I could say I've been busy, but the fact of the matter is that I simply haven't felt like writing.  Not really, anyway.  Sometimes I'll have ideas, or compose little snips of things in my head, but as far as sitting down and putting words on the screen?  I just didn't wanna.   So there you have it, the best explanation I can come up with, the reason why I haven't been blogging?

I stink.

But here's the thing that's always appealed to me about blogging, at least the kind that I do: I am my own boss.  If I am busy, out of ideas or simply don't feel like doing it, I don't have to.  There are no deadlines, no bosses, no stress.  Easy peasy.  And when those creative juices start to flow, when I start to get the urge, I can hop back on and pick up where I left off - assuming I still have any readers out there.

Readers or not though, it's a good outlet for me.  A chance for me to hash things out, focus my thoughts, maybe even get creative here and there.

So here's to blogging, the lazy way. The flakey way.  My way, apparently.