Friday, April 30, 2010

Home Birthing

Here's where I get controversial. Keep in mind I've been up since 3:30 and I told you I get snarky when I'm sick.
I am a fan of home cooking, home improvement, home schooling, and home gardening. But I do not get home birthing. I don't even care about the safety part because a normal healthy pregnancy almost always results in a normal healthy birth. Whatever. Your kid, your choice. The statistics are strongly in your favor so I'm not even going to address that.
I just never seem to hear good home birth story. It's always "magical" and "empowering", like it's an episode of Oprah or something. It's never painful and they always manage to leave out the mess and annoyances.
Seriously, have you had/seen birth before? It's not pretty. There are lots of fluids and there's blood and some of us (not me, I swear) poop while pushing a baby out. Why in the world would you want that on your bed? You have to sleep there still!! I could only mentally be at peace if I had a plastic mattress protector. But have you used one of those? They're loud and obnoxious. I cannot imagine laboring with one of those horrible things underneath me crinkling every time I moved. Plus this is natural childbirth. No one stays in bed for that. We get up and move around and sit on birthing balls and at any moment our water can break and get all over our carpet. Who really wants amniotic fluid in their carpet. And it's not like it happens once. Your body replaces that fluid for your baby so once it breaks you're just leaking all the time. And if you're like me and love to labor in a warm shower/bath you're going to run out of hot water quickly. Then you'll be grumpy.
Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe I'm missing something. Perhaps I take for granted that I live in an area with two hospitals that are very natural childbirth friendly and midwives who are the same. Am I just too much of a neat freak who doesn't want to find blood in her carpet/mattress a week later? Even if I have someone else cleaning it up, the idea of the messy part of birth (and WHAT am I supposed to do with the placenta?!?) in my own house stresses me out.
But what do you think?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Icing on the Cake

So if the itching wasn't enough, now I'm sick. When I get sick I get snarky and more sarcastic than usual. I feel like I'm getting strep only I don't have a fever so it's just a cold. At least I still have 3-4 weeks left before baby is expected to arrive. There's much I want to blog about, but it will have to wait for now. I have 5 piles of laundry that need to be folded (hey, at least I washed them, right?!) and a house that is falling apart. I've barely held it together since the itching started and the sore throat today was like inviting a small tornado inside. It's amazing how quickly things fall apart when mom is sick. I haven't put a cloth diaper on my poor child in a week and we're almost out of diaper rash cream. Sorry Earth. Sorry Gozer. I suppose I should feel special or something. Validated that I really do a lot around here. I don't. I just feel miserable. And whiny. I'll return when I can swallow again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Looking for Answers

So my itching has worsened and I'm getting about 3-4 hours of sleep at night because my hands and feet itch so badly then. It's classic cholestasis. Which I don't have. I called and received the good news about my labs this afternoon. Then what is going on? My sympathetic nurse just said, "I'm so sorry!" (she saw me itching myself like crazy yesterday) I hung up the phone and starting crying. Because I don't have a rare liver disease that could kill my baby....
Seriously, I am glad, so glad that I don't have to worry about my liver poisoning my child. But I am so miserable and so itchy and I just want to know why! Why internet?! Or more importantly, what can I do to stop it?! I can only tie ice packs onto my feet for so long, you know.
My midwife suggested accupuncture. I've never done accupuncture. I have no idea how to find a good accupunturist. My mom and I might try some energy work. Her friend suggested it might be a toxin build up, but I can't really do any sort of cleanse while pregnant.
Meanwhile I get to see my baby once a week for non-stress-tests. Just in case. She didn't cooperate well today, but she looks good and that's all I need right now.
I'm off to buy some more anti-itch stuff hoping anything will help.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Grandma's Homemade Bread

Today my son said those words that I've been dying to hear:
"mom, can I have a slice of your healthy homemade bread and some of your homemade jam?"
Yes, he said the words "healthy homemade bread"!
Some time I'll have to tell about how I screwed up the tastes of my oldest child through my own negligence and laziness. But today I wanted to share my favorite homemade bread. It's been my and my family's favorite so far and it is my grandmother's bread recipe which makes it extra special.

Grandma's Homemade Bread
4 cups warm water about 110 degrees
1 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. dry yeast
1/4 cup salad oil
1/2 cup sugar
7 to 9 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in one cup of the warm water, add the sugar
to help the yeast to soften, mix in rest of water then salt
and oil, then flour. Mix into a soft but sticky dough. Knead
for about 10 minutes.
Let raise to double in bulk in a warm place in covered bowl.
Punch down and form into four loaves in greased bread pans.
Let raise again. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

If you decide to make this whole wheat, I strongly recommend adding vital wheat gluten.

Oh and in case you were wondering, the jam I made was Ball freezer jam. The recipe is on the back of any Ball pectin package. It has minimal sugar so you taste more of the fruit. I made strawberry-kiwi a couple of weeks ago. YUM!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's Getting Harder to Think

So I'm 34 weeks pregnant now and I'm starting to feel it. My back aches, I'm so tired and for some reason I have started itching all over like crazy. I had blood work done to test for this liver disease but it came back normal so meanwhile I'm just really itchy. They'll test again if this keeps up. It's hard for me to think about much else in my life right now. Meanwhile, Mr. Small House is wanting to get rid of more stuff (yay!!! he's on my side now!!!) and is thinking of going on a technology fast: no movies, internet, cell phone....I'm not sure what else. He really wants to clean up our cluttered backyard (I haven't purged kids toys or anything else back there yet) and dig and plant. Now I see how much of a nut I've looked like the past year. I'm trying to get him to post about it on here, but that may be asking too much. I, on the other hand, am reaching that stage where I don't care if the kids just want to watch movies all day as long as it lets me rest. I don't know how some women manage schedules and stay strict on rules when they enter the homestretch of pregnancy. Bravo to you ladies!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Around here we call my 2 year old daughter Gozer (as in the Gozerian). She is the destroyer. He brother was never a toddler. He threw 5 tantrums total up until the age of four. Honestly, he came out of the womb a fully functioning adult, so this is my first experience with toddler behavior. She eats mud, lotion, and chalk. She scratches up grandmas floors with wooden eggs. She produces pens out of thin air and leaves her mark on anything expensive or difficult to clean. Today Gozer had seven complete and total meltdowns.
I don't even know what to write besides that. My day consisted of seven two-year-old meltdowns. The grocery store was the most fun. I was "that mom". The one who couldn't control her child. Who simply stuck her in a cart (because she refused to walk and screamed louder if I dragged her or picked her up) and let her wail and annoy the entire store.
Mr. Small House says God is giving me opportunities to practice prayer. I think I glared at him (even though he's right, I'm sure).
I like the days I feel like an awesome parent. When things work and you feel like you know what you're doing. And some days it's enough just to get through the day without killing someone.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Refined Heavenly Home

One of my newest favorite blogs to read is the Lazy Organizer. She's an LDS homeschooling mom who has got this "simplify" thing down. I don't agree with everything she does (we're keeping the Legos), but I do love most of her ideas and the ones I don't really make me think.
Anyway, she had a great post yesterday about art vs. entertainment and posted parts from this talk. It really hit on some things I've been thinking about lately. As we've been moving toward greater simplicity and making room in our lives for the important things, we've found ourselves gravitating more toward spiritual, rather than worldly things. We've been getting rid of books, video games, and movies that no longer felt uplifting. Lazy quoted a speech which we read over and over yesterday. We loved it. Hubby even took a copy of it to work. Some of my favorite quotes:

"God speaks all languages, and He speaks them properly. He is restrained and modest of speech. When God described the grand creational process of this earth, He said in measured tones that “it was good.”4 We would be disappointed if God had to use “awesome” or other exaggerated phrases in every paragraph."

"Refinement in speech is reflected not only in our choice of words but also in the things we talk about. There are those who always speak of themselves, and they are either insecure or proud. There are those who always speak of others. They are usually very boring. There are those who speak of stirring ideas, compelling books, and inspiring doctrine. These are the few who make their mark in this world. The subjects discussed in heaven are not trifling or mundane. They are sublime beyond our most extended imagination. We will feel at home there if we are rehearsed on this earth in conversing about the refined and noble, clothing our expressions in well-measured words."

"The nearer we get to God, the more easily our spirits are touched by refined and beautiful things."
That's what I'm finding. The less I am surrounded by distracting "stuff" the more I feel God in my life and the more I noticed the beauty that is around me.

Now, lest I sound too preachy or overly perfect, you should know it still only took an hour this morning before I was screaming at my kids. I still have things in my life that stress me out and wind me up. Some can be eliminated quickly, others I need to learn to deal with. I'm still learning to deal with some.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

the "eat-in" kitchen

Mine doesn't look like this one, but I wish it did. We have the same back door and a similar layout. But I look at where the dining table is and can't help but think of all that space that could be storing things like buckets of wheat and #10 cans. Mine is currently holding a gigantic freezer and an octagonal table that really doesn't fit the space.

I have never been able to get our kitchen to look cute. I have a lot of food storage that I rotate through frequently and haven't been able to find a storage method that doesn't take over the eating area. So after some fun internet browsing, I decided what we really need are built in benches. I can store my long term storage, like wheat and rice in them, along with bulkier items like my flour bins, plus it adds a lot more seating. Awesome!
I am determined to build these once I'm done being pregnant (and come up with the money-minor detail)
I love the ones here, but with the colors on this other kitchen below.

You know what I notice the most about small kitchens that look cute? Lighting. We have horrible boob lights that need to be replaced throughout the entire house, but especially in the kitchen. In our last home we learned that good kitchen lighting is an investment. It pays off more than any other improvement.
Just one more thing to add to the list...after we replace the roof, of course.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I had a great weekend. I got to listen to inspired words of spiritual wisdom, celebrate the true meaning of easter (no bunnies were around our Sunday morning), and be with people I love. Then today I just felt blah. My house felt smaller than usual. I'm not sure why, but I think I confused wanting to be better with wanting more. I wanted to have a better routine so I wanted to buy things for that. I wanted a more comfortable, inviting space for my family to eat so I wanted a dining room. I wanted a bigger playroom. I wanted a pantry. I wanted a second car.
My inner Taoist went into hiding and I found myself contemplating the inspired idea of the Buddha, that desire is what causes suffering.
I want good things for my family, but today I don't want to work to get them. I want to snap my fingers and have a beautifully clean and organized home, a finished backyard where every square yeard is producing something, and a life organized enough that I could maybe, just maybe homeschool my kids. I desire nothing bad. But still, that desire is taking me out of the present, out of gratitude, and into suffering.
I'm really good at figuring out what's wrong. It's the "now what?" part I'm feeling stuck on.