Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Checking In/Up

I know. I know. I usually post at least one something every day and yet, I have not posted anything since last Thursday. Everything is fine here, mostly. It is finals week, which means that my soft heart gets talked into allowing students to turn in late assignments even though the syllabus says NEVER and then I get flooded with emails, assignments as late as "due Jan. 28th", and demands for final grades which are a pain to calculate without the student having finished the FINAL or even half the work assigned (but its sitting in my inbox as a forbidden late assignment). So I am up to my ears in that muck.

Still, later tonight I should finish up and I have been taking LOTS of pictures of the stuff we've been up to. So expect a deluge of posts later tonight and tomorrow.

After that I have a full month off before the baby comes and summer term starts. Whoo Hoo!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

First Beautiful Signs of Spring in Iowa


Raspberry leaves!

Daddy and daughter working hard!

The Story of Our Garden(ing)

Almost 10 years ago our neighbors (back in our old 'hood) gave us as a wedding gift a sweet card with a handwritten note: We will teach you to garden in the Spring.

They did. Well, to be honest, they taught Dearest Husband to garden because I wanted nothing to do with it. Even the thought of gardening made me itch. The most I wanted to do ever was nag Dearest to mow when the grass got too long, but even the thought of that made me itch. I used to have to pull weeds in the wheat field as punishment growing up and I really had my fill of any chlorophyll specimen. I didn't even like eating garden fresh veggies, preferring chemical disinfected store processed muck over what could potentially have a bug or snail slime residue on it.

Anyway, the three of them (Dearest and our neighbors) actually landscaped our tiny yards together to look like one big English cottage garden, complete with an Mexican stone fountain and winding brick walkways. Vegetables were put in with the flowers and nestled back by the porch was a Koi pond. We live near Meredith and August Home magazines headquarters and the garden has since been piecemeal featured by both of them, though it has changed a bit since we moved, the idea is the same.

One of the ways I talked Dearest into moving was the lure of more garden space (I wanted a bigger house and the lure/lust of a 3 story nightmare of a renovation project had hooked me). The house I had settled on had a bigger yard sure, but it had been a gravel/asphalt parking lot for when the house had been nine apartments. Beneath that layer was hard clay (and ants, lots of ants). It also had an empty lot diagonal and across the alley that we could potentially buy (we did) and lots of big trees.

8 years later most of the trees are gone. Our neighbor's spendthrift pruning of the branches hanging over her driveway killed the two Maples, lightening hit the Locust, and my husband fought the Walnut in a Don Quiote style battle and won. Not to disparage my love in anyway though. The tree vs. man battle also involved other male family members and really was a physical manifestation of the post winter stress we endured after spending 4 very cold and expensive months in a house with indoor snowdrifts and wild animals. That's another story though.

We've replanted trees and retained two Oaks, but it is a whole lot less shady now. We've removed a good deal of the debris and gravel and old concrete, etc. BUT our garden beds are raised for a reason. The clay and the gravel are formidable enemies of gardening. We also have lead in the soil, trace, but still there. We (as in Dearest with me watching sympathetically) dug down 12 inches and then built the frames, filled with imported clean dirt and compost, topped with heavy mulch. Even so, we don't do certain root vegetables and we wash thoroughly any harvest before munching. Sometimes that means bring a bucket of clean water out with us when grazing. :) We may live amid the fertile loam of Iowa, but our urban and river areas are not quite the soil of legend.

Oh, and how did I finally get involved in this messy, itchy pastime? Pumpkins. The poet/writer in me couldn't resist the faint murmurings of fairytales and I got talked into helping choose some pumpkin seeds; I picked a packet of smiling jack o' lantern pumpkins. Somehow the magic of those growing, glowing orange babies enchanted me into garden life. The ironic and unfortunate thing is that every year since we have had MASSIVE squash beetle infestations and we maybe get two stunted pumpkins out of our harvest before the little buggers decimate the vines into scorched piles of ashen vine. Does that stop me from trying?

Oh no, never. Perhaps it bugs Dearest that I got involved (re: bossy and domineering) in his hobby but picking up the spade and shovel has changed me in ways that are harder to describe. :)

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Backyard Bugs April 23

Lil'Bug's cricket friend.....

Baby Update 34 Weeks

Our 34 week check up on Tuesday went great. I expressed my fears and talked some things out a bit, asked for some special things (was granted), and made the 36 week visit with one of the doctors. I have to see the docs sometime, this next visit seemed like a good time. My iron count is good, but again they found traces of sugar. I'll track my meals this week and next, counting proteins and see if that helps at all.

Of course, Lil'Bug brought her doctor tools and followed what the midwife did and checked. It was adorable. Then she entertained the nurses with her vast knowledge of animal facts and the sounds those particular animals make when they are happy.

Then, as tradition dictates, Lil'Bug and I headed out for an adventure. We ended up at the zoo with friends and then stayed longer with other friends. We were there like five hours. Lil'Bug found the only huge accessible mud puddle and of course, as her nature dictates, jumped gleefully into it. It was in the 70's and we both, while basking in the sunshine, got sunburned! By the time we were done, our friend M. had to carry Lil'Bug the final stretch. So, too long, really. We made it home before she crashed into a nap, but just. The thing is that in doing so, she avoided the much needed nap all together. She got a second wind just as Dearest came home and that's when we hit the garden. Yay! We planted the first veggie bed of the year, hung new swings on the free swing set, and soaked up more sun.

Too much sun.

Wednesday morning we both woke up sun fried. Lil'Bug's mood was FOWL and we had a play date. Geez was that bad timing. S. and her son seem to get Lil'Bug on her bad days, but I enjoyed the visit at least. Still, Lil'Bug was in tears most of the time and was just plain mean the rest. It was very much out of character for her. My solution? I tried feeding her, thinking it may be hunger. Nope (though she ate and ate and ate). We cuddled and tried to watch a movie. Nope. Finally she asked for alone time and after a bit I ran her a Martian bath (we spent the rest of the afternoon on Mars, making Mars muffins, and exploring the life forms.....). All was much better after that. Still, she's burnt and tired. We canceled our other obligation for the evening.

What a rough day. I am pooped. I must remember that we've been inside so long that the sun needs to get reacquainted with our skin slowly and we both need to slow down a bit while running and playing in it. Spring has come late to Iowa, but we are just so joyful that it is finally here! Saturday we will plant broccoli and flowers and likely Daddy and Daughter will have a "boat day" that they both will enjoy while I take a nap.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

First Planting!

Princess Lil'Bug in the Garden......

Pulling weeds......

Raking the compost smooth......

Finished bed, planted with spinach, spicy greens mix, and romaine lettuce.

Ah, and all I had to do was enjoy the sunshine!

Backyard Bugs April 22

Monday, 21 April 2008

Science Fair Project: Phase 1

Lil'Bug decided to document the bugs in our backyard. I took the pictures, but she found the bugs. She wants to keep doing this so we have a good record of what lives back there. Not all the critters are identified. She also went through our picture archive so we could put together a post of what we found last summer too, but then I realized we've already done that with the GARDEN CRITTERS tag. :) Wow, we found some neat stuff last year!

While a traditional Science Fair has one entry on one day, we are going to continue our project through the warm weather. We'll be buying a bug book to help with identification too. Any ideas on the larva thing in the first picture? Last year my aunt told me not to kill those because they turn into a beneficial bug, but I can't remember which one!

Friday, 18 April 2008

Earth Quaking News?

Our windows rattled just after 10 this morning. Not earth (or glass, rather) shattering news, our windows rattle if a big truck goes by or someone blasts rap music with heavy bass or if the washer is unbalanced in the spin cycle or any number of things......

It occurred to me later that I was not doing laundry. It was an actual earthquake. No really. Yes, here in the Midwest.

I'm not sure what else to add. I'll post more later.

Edited to Add:

Last few days....

Not being able to drive much is not such a bad thing, not when friends are so willing to come visit! We had a lovely playdate on Wednesday and it was sunny and warm (75 degrees!) so the girls played out back while the mamas talked gardening and mothering and lots of other stuff. Good times.

Thursday I had to go out to get dog food so I had to drive. Ouch. It's not the steering wheel now so much as it is the baby deciding to stretch and push in a certain way whenever I am in a moving vehicle. So I suffer as a passenger now too. Still, we got to stop by another friends BEAUTIFUL home and pick up some maternity clothes to borrow and for a short chat. Good times too!

So then we headed to Pawpaw's for lunch and soon after home.

Thursday was a rainy, cold day. The cold worked its way into me and I just felt awful. I still do. At least it's just a physical awful.

So we are here to Friday, still cold and rainy. I'm curled up with the last tiny bit of grading to do for the semester other than finals and a hot cup of tea. If I am up to it, we'll do a bit of kitchen chemistry later and make bread. ;)

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Funny How Things Change

4 years ago I was planning and registering for Lil'Bugs baby shower. I registered for furniture, swings, portables, pack and plays, bedding, clothes, toys.........

I asked Dearest what he thought we should add and his response: diapers. In fact, he thought we should wipe the registry clean and register for nothing but diapers, millions of diapers. Bah, was my reply.

Last summer we sold all of the baby contraptions but for the one swing and an exersaucer. We gave away the crib (we co-sleep).

We don't really need all that stuff. Most of it got used for extra blankets and toy storage (we got rid of a lot of the extras of those as well....)

But this time I decided to start a registry anyway.... you guessed it, for diapers. Nothing but. Ok, that's not true, there's also a diaper pail, a pail liner, and some bibs. Heh. The difference is this time we registered for cloth diapers. I'm also trying to buy local, so it's a mixed registry. I picked mostly handmade products from a local WAHM, and it's all through an Internet store front run by another local WAHM. I hope it all works out and I don't end up hating cloth. I don't think I will.

It is certainly another step in the changes we have undergone as a family.

I don't think we are having a baby shower this time around either. I am undecided. I mean, we've only registered for diapers! However, Lil'Bug really wants to have a welcome baby party. I'm all for that, even considered having an after baby is born party BUT I feel uncomfortable with the tradition of passing the new baby around for all to hold. Once she's older, fine. I was like that with Lil'Bug too, the only exceptions were family and rarely very close friends. Even if people don't play pass the baby, lots of kids and people all together= germs a plenty and that's not good for new mama and baby. I've always held that the first month of the baby's life is precious family bonding time. So I am conflicted as to what to do. I need to decide soon, right?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Tuesday in the Afternoon

Today I feel really warm, from the inside out. Calm.

I went out and examined the Praying Mantis case. It vibrates to the touch, I could hear it humming. Truly amazing. That's how I feel. Buzzing with energy, a sweet hum from the deep inside. Encasing a precious new life.

I am surrounded by friends and love and the green beginnings of Spring. I feel so full of energy, yet I know to take it easy. So Lil'Bug and I are simply enjoying the sunshine. After yesterday, I really expected to feel tired, worried, and tense.

I don't. I feel reassured that my instincts were good. I feel blessed. I feel free of a burden (the fibroid) and relieved/grateful that it has passed. I want to laugh. Dr.s kept telling me that fibroids must be removed by surgery and I've lost almost a full pound of them since Lil'Bug was born, and now the last vestige during a pregnancy! I am blessed, no doubt.

I am wishing you all have a wondrous, happy day as well!


Thank you so much to Needleroozer for help in identifying our weird coccoon! After some early morning research, I have confirmed as best as I could, that it is in fact a PRAYING MANTIS EGG CASE! It is 3 feet from the ground, about the size of a quarter, right color and texture......

Totally awesome.

Photo Challenge 12: The number 7

In honor of TMBG, Seven, this week's challenge is a number. Do what you want with it! Some suggestions: a series of 7, a group of 7 things, someone who is 7, or cake. LOL.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Longest Monday Ever

I woke up to a regular Monday. Fed Lil'Bug breakfast, saw Dearest off to work, blogged a bit.....then, well, then I passed a blood clot.


I calmed myself down enough to call Dearest at work and tell him. He headed home. I called the Dr.s office, but no call back. I called our Doula. She said, "Go, go now." Really, there is no good reason for blood. So we went. Pawpaw came to the hospital to get Lil'Bug who was scared and worried too. I'm only almost 33 weeks.

They monitored, they prodded and poked (which hurt a lot! to the point of embarassment). The ultra sound showed June Bug a perfectly happy and active baby girl, placenta intact, mucus plug intact, cervix tight. My stats were good too. What they didn't find was the fibroid. No confirmation, but the going guess is that it broke, dissolved, and that is what passed. My gut tells me that is what happened. I am relieved, but the scare was a bit much for me and I ended up sleeping for a good deal of the afternoon. And, yes, lots of tears.

Dearest took me out to lunch and then home (after picking up Lil'Bug) and we puttered around for a bit in the garden. Here are some more progress pictures:

And a weird cocoon type thing. Any ideas? It is on a Lilac.

I really need a macro lens. I thought I would end up needing a zoom lens more, but a macro seems like it would fit better with all the close ups I've been doing. Oh, yeah, and the MAGNOLIAS are budding!

Lil'Bug loves mud bugs. Dearest and Lil'Bug also caught a nasty bug, or what they thought might be one. We took a break to look up Emerald Tree Borer. What they caught was NOT one. Whew. We don't have Ash trees in our yard, but still, nasty bug!

Then I went inside and slept. So much for getting laundry done!

Also, as a side note: EVERY THURSDAY SINCE THE WARM UP, IT HAS RAINED OR SNOWED OR BEEN AWFUL OUT. It's not fair. That is our park day! It means we go swimming instead, but still, park days are coveted. I just looked at the week's weather forcast and lo and behold, Thursday 70 percent chance of THUNDERSTORMS but sunny all the rest of the week. Gah. It could be worse; we turned the boiler off for the season so worse would be snowing and frigid.

Also, through some strange act of fate, I reconnected with a friend from high school who is also due in June. Amazing. We had lots in common then, more now. Different things now. :) So that's a happy ending to a very, very long day.

Secret Salad

Lil'Bug and I decided to make salad smoothies last week. It caught on. This week I let her pick and add all the goodies.

Blueberries (lots of blueberries!)
flax seed
food processor
=She drank the whole thing and then asked for seconds, "Delicious!" She's not sure why I am taking a picture of her though. I held up a hand mirror. That's why the "face". Too cute.

Busy Weekend

This weekend we packed, sorted, and threw out things. We are preparing for an upcoming garage sale, but it is more than that.

I threw away things from my childhood that have meant a lot to me for 30 years. They were no longer sanitary to keep around and there was no real way to clean them. Why did I hang on to stuffed animals for so long? They reminded me of refuge in the storm of abuse. They reminded me of people who actually loved me. It was time to release the baggage of those things. My husband reminded me as I cried over it that I don't need cloth and button eyes to remember people who loved me, I have many other things including the fact that I survived and thrived despite what happened. Point taken.

As we were doing this, someone knocked on the door. It was the guy down the street who wants to buy our house and borrowed my thesis. I chatted with him for about 45 minutes, he still wants to buy our house. That's cool. Also, uplifting since I know he would care for it the way I do. That is important to me, even though I know that when/if we list with an agent I won't have a choice. I've just spent 10 years loving this place and I'll admit, I still do.

Update on "the list"

Here are the items on my list to tackle:
  • Put away fake tree and better label ornament boxes.
  • My office/craft room: need more baskets.
  • Lil'Bug's room: need room for all her new loot. Need to change out 2T to 3T clothes, pack and label the 2T crate. Hang her wall art. (Thinking about framing her art and hanging it....)
  • My bedroom: finish painting the trim, find (make?) better window treatments.
  • Paint hallway (fine, this has been on the to-do list since 2004.....)
  • Paint laundry room.
  • Paint hall, bathroom, and laundry room trim. Hang wall art.
  • .......(cue drums of doom) the north bedroom: right now a staging area for pre-packing and all other "stuff". Clean out, set up spare bed. Maybe paint the walls. Maybe. Hang wall art.
  • Then paint middle parlor. Oh yeah, find good colour for that room. Gah.
  • * edited to add * Stain and seal the hallway floor, wash curtains, and bedding.
  • Clean out car
  • Does it ever end? Gah.
(red means done! Blue means in progress)

I thought I had posted another updated list in March, but now I can't find it!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Friday Fun and Movie Review

We had a busy day with lots of driving today. We took Dearest to work, then went to the mall play place (which is AWESOME (empty) at 8AM, mall opens at 10). We met friends and played until almost 11. We then headed to the library and then to lunch with Dearest. Fun stuff. Dropped him back at work and headed home. Too much driving and definitely time to switch vehicles.

Back at home we watched the movies we picked out at the library. I have to say, the one Disney movie picked really surprised me: Cinderella III. It was a neat twist with lots of action, actual character development (which I felt was lacking in the original, save for the mice and maybe the Fairy Godmother), and a great twist at the end. Better animation than most of these sequels as well. We'll watch it again later in the week.

Bah, why kid myself. At the direction of my 3 year old, we will likely watch it 30+ times before next Friday's return to library deadline.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Baby Update: 32 Weeks

Well, 32 weeks is here. I have to say today was one of my most disappointing care visits. There was trace amount of sugar in my urine. I gained 3 lbs, not 2. I have a history of GD in my family, often severe and late onset. Now the OB wants to see me, but not for those reasons. Just because they couldn't let me get away with just seeing a non-attending Midwife. It's not like the Dr. I will see will likely be attending either. Either way, I'll be birthing the baby not them, but the whole hoop jumping thing undermines my confidence. I'm tired and cranky and tired.

I also will likely not be able to drive after this week. Why? Well, I'm 4'10 1/4"- not quite a midget but really, really close. This means I have the seat of our car adjusted so I can reach the pedals and see out and the combination has my belly almost to the steering wheel. Not comfortable but definitely not safe either. Luckily the weather is warming up so we can be outside in our awesome but needs a lot of work back yard, but we will miss park days and that will be very upsetting to Lil'Bug. Looking into another option for driving, we took Dearest's beloved truck in for an oil change and look over........

Right. We had an extra paycheck coming in this month. The repair bill is 13$ off of the entire amount. All are things that MUST be fixed or the truck will catch on fire or the front axel will snap or the steering wheel fly out the window while driving down the interstate. Hmph. And the repair guy said all are things the truck was about due for anyway and it could be worse. It could be. It could have done all of those crashing while on fire things or we could have spent the extra income before finding out the bill all in all a blessing. Right? Now the problem is getting in and out of the truck for me with huge belly is a big deal. If we do switch vehicles I will likely only drive to 1 or 2 park days (weather willing) a week and that's it. Also, we'll save money switching vehicles because of gas prices and me not going out and about as much.

So, today I cried. I am frustrated about lots of things and then I feel guilty because I should be joyful and then I cry some more. I never cry, but the last three days it's been like Alice in Wonderland when she floods the world. It's hormones. Hormones + laundry = tears. Ugh.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Growing Naturally

Growing Naturally (in my sidebar) is just what I needed! Basically, we aren't homesteading yet so we don't quality for the homesteading homeschooler webrings or forums BUT we are steadily moving towards that life and we value many of the same things. We are not alone!

What drew me to this project were these lines:
That being a child who is familiar and fascinated with rocks, birds, mosses,
squirrels, tracks, lizards, bugs, rivers, seashells, frogs, ducks, or mud puddles is a
Grand Thing To Be.
In catching frogs -or trying to- and chasing lizards.
In leaving a couple of weeds in our gardens alone because the beneficial spiders
call them home.
We believe in painting outdoors.
In collecting acorns and pine cones.
In compost.
And earthworms.
Why? This is my Lil'Bug to a T. She is a child of the outdoors, of mud, of barefoot delight in the sunshine. She is my muddy hippo. When the boat was mentioned at breakfast, she lit up and insisted on going tonight. It is raining and she doesn't care. She wants to plant seeds even though the frost date is 40 days away. She splashes in every puddle she can.

I want to honor all of those things, for her to learn from life, and to nurture every joy she has. This project seems perfect for us. :) There will be a new label. There will be new adventures. There will be a gingham "spinning" dress!

The Boat on the Water

Let me just say this: I hate boats. I really do. Maybe I was on the Titanic in a past life or some such, but I have an intense fear of drowning. Not in a pool. I can swim ok, but murky, mucky water and a questionable floating/sinking contraption...... yeah, no. I used to actually carry a window punch just in case I drove off the road into a flood or river and became submerged in a vehicle. I used to insist on owning a vehicle with manual windows so I wouldn't have to use the window punch in same said scenario.

The joy my family gets from it usually outweighs my nervousness. This was not the case last week. I felt queasy and tired and had never been on this boat, the new boat.

Don't get me wrong, I love the outdoors, the sunshine, the woods....just not being on a boat of any kind. It may stem from childhood boat experiences, it may be a physiological balance/motion sickness issue.

Lil'Bug, on the other hand, loves it. She could float and swim in any water all day long. No problem.

Dearest Husband is the same way. He loves it. He'd live on a boat if he could.

This is my view, clutching my camera, hoping I don't vomit or start sobbing. I did both eventually, but not in the boat. Sure, 8 months pregnant, but still. I hate boats. Actually the sobbing happened when he had to back our truck into the water to hitch the boat back on the trailer. Right, truck in water, me and kid strapped/buckled up in truck= lots of tears (and laughter from Lil'Bug, the little stinker.....).

Geeze, they are so cute. I can't wait until they can go without party pooper me. I can't wait until they can go float all day long while I curl up on the shore in the shade with a good book and some chocolate.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Solo Lo Lo

Today I am on my own.

Kiddo is at Grandma and Papaw's house. Dearest is at a Hunter's Safety class. I have the whole day to myself to catch up on bills and my class stuff. Almost done. Crazy. I am grading papers while watching Ocean's 13. Goodness. When that's over, I will be done and I'm heading outside to do something, anything. It's 65 degrees and sunny!

Yesterday when we were out at the state park, the drive out there was foggy. Thick, literary fog, the kind that belongs in 1800's Victorian novels surrounding dark manor houses. Morning fog, swirling off the snow dusting from Thursday. Lil'Bug said it was families of ghosts dancing in the trees.

Then, suddenly, we passed a grove a trees and sunlight burst out over everything, no fog. I stopped the car and looked back.....a wall of fog behind us, clear view in front. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't get pictures of the destination park in the fog, but also happy that our class wouldn't be canceled.

Then today I visited a new blog (soon to be on my blogroll, btw, good reading!) and the quote at the top was this:

If you stand with your left foot in yesterday and your right foot in tomorrow, you’ll pee all over today. (Sandra D.)

Yeah. That's just about what I've been doing as of late with my grumping around, digging up bones of old hurts and hugging them tight. Yes, looking to the future, planning like mad, but ruining our todays. The fog has lifted and I feel so much better. Thank you to all who listened this week.

Comment Spammers

I recently attempted to eliminate the word verification feature on my blog. Why? I moderate comments anyway, what should it matter.....besides, it is really annoying when I get it wrong over and over, why do that to people trying to comment?

Why? Ugh. It matters. I am sorry. Twice now for my post on Nesting have spammers tried to hit me with a virus. A VIRUS! AN EXE! I didn't even go to their stupid link. I went to their blogger profile and attempted to view their blog (that's what I do for all unrecognized commentors, btw, it is how I first found the lovely Christine at Welcome to My Brain and now so many others). Simply clicking on their blog, started a download of something evil.

Lucky for me, my Dearest, IT guru, was nearby. He quickly grabbed my mactop, emergency powered down, then did some stuff so that here I am typing away today.

Friday, 4 April 2008


No, not another pregnancy blog entry! We went nesting today with our local conservation board program. A naturalist met us at a state park and taught our group all about crevice nests, ground nests, and tree nests.

Then he challenged the kiddos to make nests like the birds do, using only their feet and a clothespin beak. Wow.

Lil'Bug took right to it.

Then she found this pile. She very patiently asked the "teacher" what kind of berry it was. Um, honeysuckle. "From where?" she asked. Um, poop. Raccoon poop. It is technically known as scat. Yeah. She dropped her handfuls, because, yuck. Also, really cool.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Intrepid Explorers

Lil'Bug and Dearest Husband set out one lovely morning on an expedition. I do not think she's at any risk for Nature Deficit Disorder! LOL They found all sorts of neat things.

Including a poached deer carcass. Sorry, no pictures of the find, but here is Lil'Bug pointing out the location. She said pirates had done it with swords. Not too far off from the reality, really. And, yes, we have had some issues with the imagery and nightmares. I think we've worked through it though.

Science Fair!

We are participating in an online Science Fair. It is sponsored by an unschooling family out east of us and is a really neat idea. April 19th just post your project on your blog, let the sponsor know, and we'll all be linked together!

It is a very cool idea. I can't wait to be inspired by what others are doing for our summer science here at Chez Podkayne. We have lots of ideas for our own, but feel free to snag one!

So far Lil'Bug likes the idea of studying rockets and building one. Or catching bugs and then finding out what each one eats and attempting to find them food. Each has lots of possibilities and variations. We've also considered baking cookies. Or making our own paint. Or or or.......we'll decide by the end of the week or we will do all of them! ;)


H. had her baby and they are doing as well as can be expected. Little J is in the NICU and H. is recovering. I remember after my C-Section with Lil'Bug feeling like I failed and worried and scared and that definitely led to Postpartum Depression. Couple that with our struggle to breastfeed and I was a mess. BUT she wasn't in NICU.

Families whose children begin their life in NICU have an incredible amount of courage and strength. Such I can only admire and pray for if I will ever need it. H. is a great mom and friend and my best thoughts are with her and her family today.


We don't have a microwave. A conversation earlier today reminded me of that. I miss microwave popcorn, burnt or no. But that's about it.

I don't miss cleaning chili splatters out. I don't miss the evil buzzing or the flickering lights. I don't miss microwave meals.

I could say we did it for high and mighty reasons like the fact that they use a LOT of electricity even when they are not "on" or that the heating method kills proteins and nutrients in food. But neither were our reasons. I've heard of other reasons too, like the radiation can cause x, y, and z. Still, not why we nixed it.

Ours broke. That's it. We just never replaced it. We intended to at first but soon realized that we were living quite well without it. Sometimes thawing meat required extra planning and I couldn't quickly warm up a cold cup of tea, but those didn't seem like good reasons to buy a new one. Our electric bill has gone down about 3$ a day since then (do the math on that one: $1,095 a year!) . Though, I'm not sure it is the only reason for the decrease, that is a nice thought. So our laziness (in replacing said appliance) saved us some cash. That's cool.

Still, people look at us like we have two heads when I say we don't have a microwave. Eh, two heads are better than one?

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Wednesday Smiles


Today. I am much calmer in my heart. This week we had an awesome play date, got the house back in order (mostly and mostly today). We have another tea time scheduled for tomorrow. We joined a virtual Science Fair. I got my DMACC website fixed mostly and caught up mostly. I am so ready for the end of term but also nervous for the start of summer term with new baby in arms. We made butter and through an accident made it better. Whoo hoo!

By another happy accident Dearest left the 8ft ladder in his office and Lil'Bug climbed it to reach the top of the bookcase and is now surrounded by Star Wars "rocket ships" and playing happily with all the little parts and guys. Apparently Jawa's make the best pilots. She overheard us discussing rockets this morning as an option for the Science Fair and it is the idea she likes best, right now. That or bugs and what they eat. She likes that one too.

So right now we are just putting around the house, tidying up, folding laundry, wiping things down with oil or vinegar (depends on the surface) and just generally dancing about. (MXPX cover album is our cleaning music of choice today).

Underneath our merriment is a worry about our friend H. and her new baby. They went in for a C-Section Tuesday morning, a month earlier than her due date. We've not heard how they are doing and there is a privacy thing at the hospital (as there should be). So, a quote has been floating around my head this morning....."Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength." -- Corrie Ten Boom

So today I am praying for blessings for them instead of worrying. She'll update us soon enough, as her priority is her baby and family and not us blogosphere worry warts! :)

Tuesday, 1 April 2008


My mactop keeps sliding off my slowly disappearing lap. My computer "desk" chair broke (under my weight?). All the maternity clothes at the mall have stripper cleavage necklines or are bright zoo prints OR are 80$+ AND summer weight. It snowed this morning.

Brightside? I lost Lil'Bug's new coat at above mentioned mall BUT someone turned it in to lost and found. Whew.

****Edited to Add****
I so did not mean for that to read: Dearest husband go buy me a new desk chair. But he did. AND it rocks. It swivels too. (((((smile))))) Now I have to go clear a space for it in the craft room where there tornado tot set off a toysplosion.

The Last Class and Then......

Monday night was the last class in the Bradley Method series. It was actually 2 classes packed into one since we had class canceled last week.

It was an important class. We went over possible emergencies and emergency procedures. There were several that I did not know about and a couple I wanted to add, but I think that those are all pretty unlikely and it is never good to start listing off possible tragic scenarios in a room full of pregnant ladies (some of whom are due in the next week or so......) so I held my tongue. Whew.

I also remembered things that I had not thought about in a while: the evil nurse who removed my staples not at all gently. She was also the one who came in and gave me the 3rd degree about our no guest, privacy request. She wanted details and pressed me for more when I gave her a simple answer. She also did this when I was alone, no doubt I was most vulnerable.

I felt myself getting tensed up at that memory so I practiced meditation techniques and just as it was kicking in and I was de-tensing, the instructor mentioned post birth shaking. Yes. That was scary, BUT suddenly I remembered the only other time in my life that I shook like that: the first time Dearest Husband and I kissed. So as I think about this this morning over a cup of tea in the quiet hours, I think that the shaking, while having physiological base, is also a spiritual shift. Both moments my life changed so immensely. Dearest Husband's unconditional love and encouragement lifted me out of a life of abuse and led me to shine as the person I was meant to be and the first time I held Lil'Bug in my arms (though the shaking made me afraid I would drop her) was the moment I started the journey of motherhood in earnest, a journey continues to take me places I'd never been able to imagine myself. Both moments were blessed and deepened my faith in ways hard to explain.

We also talked about in hospital vaccines. Dearest and I went through the checklist as each was explained and made our decisions. I won't share each one here, but trust me when I was that our baby will not being injected with things that are unnecessary. We are leaning towards selective and delayed vaccination, now we have to find a pediatrician who will support that. With Lil'Bug we had concerns and reservations but we went along with what was recommended and one time she even got a vaccine that we didn't want her to have.

Our birth plan will be completed this evening. I think I am ready to finish it up. It is one thing to know the facts and figures and another to be ready in other ways.

Then we made bracelets with beads we brought to share, a bead for each family in the class. This way we remember the strength of that circle and community. We are all about to give birth (one family already has, easily too). We can do it too. I can do it too. Since the beginning of humans woman has done this task, as our bodies are designed to do. And as Dearest has a special, expensive IT training session in the middle of May, my money is on that week for the arrival of baby. I'll start a blog pool. ;)