Thursday, December 20, 2012

In the WEEDS

I'm beyond behind this season. I've finished about 2 of the girls gifts, wrapped stuff from their grandparents to them, and that's it. No baking, no photos, not even a tree up yet :(

I may be slow the next few days.....or I may have a huge post to vent. We'll see :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Holiday Homeschooling Backpack - When We School on the GO!- MAM December 2012

It is completely unsurprising that the Holiday Season can really throw a wrench in the schedule and routine of most children. There are parties to attend, trips to take, photographs to shoot, and general schedule changes caused by longer and longer to-do lists. As a preschool homeschooling family, our school schedule has been off since the week of Thanksgiving. Travel, cooking, cleaning, and seasonal errands have made our daily safety net almost nonexistent.  I’ve come up with a plan on how to keep schooling during the holidays and it all fits nicely into Miss Moo’s backpack.

The Pack

Moo has a backpack from her preschool days and she’s still proud to put it on and wear it about town. She has become aware of our altered school schedule and now tends to ask for school when we are trying to get things done during time she’s used to doing an activity. Drawing on the idea of what I packed for our Thanksgiving journey, I’ve set up a traveling “school” on her back. She loves the notion of something to be responsible for as well as taking pride in her autonomy . We packed it together with items we both chose to include to incorporate her interests as well as the skills and concepts that we have been building and those that we need to work on.

Monday, December 17, 2012

You're delivering WHERE?? - Do Your (Home) Birth Research

When we made the decision to switch from the birth center to home birth midwife, I knew we'd get some questions and apprehension from some friends and maybe even some family. Both our girls were born under the care of very capable midwives who practiced in connection to either a hospital connected birth center or in a hospital. There was "emergency" care immediately available,  MD's in the facility at all times, and countless amounts of any and all drugs under the rainbow.

Miss Moo's birth was amazing, calming, swift, and everything I had imagined first my birth to be. Miss Roo's labor was a bit forced and had interventions - my membranes were prematurely ruptured and I ended up augmented with pitocin. Her birth was lightning fast - a full 10 cm to born in 2 minutes. Both girls were health, exactly the same size, and I was fine - merely a skid mark from their fast exits.

But there's something about the mere mention of giving birth at home that makes many people uncomfortable, even a bit scared. Truly, there's no reason to be either of those things. Home birth midwives aren't scary. They don't practice witchcraft or any kinds of sacrifices. They are extremely educated, experienced, and intuitive when it comes to the pregnancy and birth. They have families, lives, and interests outside of birth. They spend copious amounts of time with their clients, treating each woman as a person with a life and a family - not just a uterus that is occupied and needs to be checked on a routine basis.

Anyone considering home birth has done their homework. There are risks associated with a home birth, just as with ANY birth, even those in a hospital. Home birth is best suited for women with normal, low or no risk pregnancies.  Any high risk factors, such as preeclampsia or placenta praevia, should be weighed heavily and discussed with your midwife to determine if you are a good candidate for home birth. Home birth means no immediate access to pain medications or emergency medical interventions. This statement does not mean that any emergency that might occur cannot be addressed and treated - midwives are certified in neonatal resuscitation, can handle a maternal hemmorage to mange, control, or transfer the problem, etc. They are also aware of signs and indications of possible problems before they become emergencies for proper discussion and transfer, if necessary, before they become emergencies. However, home birth carries with it some risk that you and your partner must assess and be comfortable with.

There are tons of wonderful resources, both online, in your area, and in book form.  You can start at the website for the American College of Nurse-Midwives The North American Registry of Midwives, or Mothers Naturally to find out more about midwives, state laws and regulations in your area, and registries of midwives.  There are tons of  helpful websites about birth in general and home birth. Some of those to use as a resource are:
Bringing Birth Home
My Best Birth
Birth Without Fear

Most of the resource websites out there also have resource pages full of links.

For the bookworm crew, like myself, here are a few books I highly recommend:

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
Birthing from Within
Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care
The Birth Partner
The Doula Book
How Big is a Placenta Bowl?
Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside of the Hospital

Reasearch. Ask questions. Do more research. You are your biggest advocate and ally. Choose your birth no matter where that birth is or what it looks like. And respect all the various births that are out there. We are all women who carried children and brought them from our bodies. What a miraculous thing we women can do.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meal Plan : Week of December 17-23

Sloppy Joe's, brussel sprouts, sweet potato wedges, cornbread

Shrimp and Grits

roasted red potatoes
green beans
sauteed onions and mushrooms
apple sauce

Cobb salad with chicken

Catfish Nuggets
Macaroni and Cheese
Fruit Salad

Saturday and Sunday:
We will be out of town to celebrate the holidays with Drew's family.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Recipe Collection: Real Food Adapted Baked Spaghetti

I must confess, I'm addicted to spaghetti. I have been pretty much since birth; Nana can attest to that. Miss Moo has received this gene from me and would eat pasta of any variety every day if I'd let her. I've been on a quest for the perfect baked spaghetti even since this pregnancy began. I've made some that were decent, but I haven't had much luck with gluten free noodles staying, well, noodle like.

Tonight I adapted a recipe that I found on All Recipe to make it GF and full of Real Food. This dish was on our Meal Plan for Wednesday but circumstances of time, or lack there of, moved it to tonight. I was very satisfied with the end result and will make it again with the following tweaks. The recipe below is my adapted recipe from the original that I linked. (I haven't made all the changes below to this batch, so yours will look slightly different from the photo.)

Real Food Baked Spaghetti

Preparation time:
30 mins

 Cooking time:
1 hour

Total time:
1 hour 30 minutes

Dairy (Casein), egg

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 1 lb. grass fed, ground beef (ours is local)
  • 1 organic yellow onion, diced
  • 2 jars homemade OR organic tomato basil pasta sauce
  • 3 tbsp organic Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Real Salt

Ingredients for the Noodles:

  • 1 package (16 oz.) Trader Joe's corn spaghetti (although I am skeptical of corn, this is the ONLY noodle that comes close to holding it's texture)
  • 2 eggs (ours are local, free range)
  • 5 tbsp organic salted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Additional Ingredients for Layering:

  • 5 cups freshly shredded, whole milk mozzarella
  • 2 cups organic, whole milk, small curd cottage cheese

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop onion, grate cheeses, and divide cottage cheese evenly.
  3. Grease lasagna dish or 9 x 13 inch dish.
  4. Add chopped onion, ground beef, and Italian seasoning to heated pan and cook, breaking up meat and mixing thoroughly until the onion is translucent and the beef is completely browned.
  5.  Add sauce to meat and onions and stir until completely combined.  Remove from heat.
  6. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with warm water to stop the cooking process.
  7. Beat the eggs.
  8. Melt butter over medium heat just until it has melted completely.
  9. Combine butter, eggs, and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl. Add the noodles to the egg solution and toss until the noodles are completely covered.
  10. Place 1/2 the noodles in the bottom of the greased dish. Place 1 cup of cottage cheese upon the noodles. Spread evenly.
  11. Add 2 cups of Mozzarella on top of the cottage cheese.
  12. Spoon 1/2 the meat sauce mixture on top of the Mozzarella.
  13. Repeat the layering with the other 1/2 of the noodles, remaining cup of cottage cheese, 2 cups Mozzarella, and remaining meat sauce mixture.
  14. Cover with foil and bake for 40 mins.
  15. Remove foil, add remaining 1 cup of Mozzarella, and bake for 20 mins or until the cheese is browned.
  16. Removed from heat and serve.

We all loved this dish. Roo ate 3 plates ;)

I served this dish along with a salad of organic: spinach, cherry tomatoes, avocado, egg, bacon, and goat cheese topped with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Festive Traditions Winner!

Thanks for checking out Festive Traditions! Our winner is Kristin S.! Congratulations!!

Stocking Stuffed with Care (And Fewer Toxins!) - Modern Alternative Heath December 2012

Image by dbtelford 
Each year as Christmas grows closer and closer, I dread a trip to search for one thing: Stocking Stuffers. While sometimes they can be inexpensive, stocking stuffers are generally plastic, unnecessary junk full of toxins that we are trying to remove from our home. This year I am attempting to make or purchase stocking stuffers that carry less chemicals, practical use, and maybe a little but of fun. The goal is for each to carry no more than 4-5 ingredients that I am completely aware of and use in my house.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Books on my Nightstand - 12.13.12

Here's a little look into what I am currently reading:
Sharing Nature with Children

Simplicity Parenting

The Write Start

The Doula Book

Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan  (The title of this book had me so perplexed that I couldn't help but order it. I think women should be free to choose whatever birth they want, I just HAD to see what these folks had to say about it being "natural".)

The Birth Partner

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth  - I don't know how many times I've read this one!

I'm waiting on How Big is a Placenta Bowl? to arrive.

And always close at hand I have:

The Rhythm of Family 

The Creative Family

Playful Learning

A Few Pregnancy Tips

Unsurprisingly, this pregnancy is completely different that my first two. I'm craving savory instead of sweet, I have a LOT of water retention, I'm not constipated, and I still occasionally feel yucky in the afternoons.

I had a jump in weight gain over the last 6 weeks in numbers, but not in how my clothes fit or what I look like (other than the belly). My midwife wasn't terribly concerned, she just asked me to drink more water and pregnancy tea (mine comes from Totem Herbal ) and to keep an eye on it.  When I got home I asked Drew if I looked bigger. We both decided I didn't I just looked, well, puffy.

So, the water drinking began. Wanna know what happened? 9 lbs GONE in 2 days. NINE!! Guess I need to drink more water, huh?

I've also been having a lot of leg cramps and general sluggishness this time around. I know that I'm caring for two girls full time and keeping a house going (can anyone hear Drew snicker at that one?) but I feel worn out even past that. I've done some research and here are some things I've learned.

  • I need more sleep - I'm not getting much more than 6 hours a night and my body and my baby need rest.
  • I need more water - Other than the retention realization of this week, I have been really lacking in the water department. 8-10 glasses, DAILY - at least.
  • I need to snack - I need to get protein rich snacks in when I can and not stuff myself to misery at meals.
  • I need more potassium - This particular need is a difficult one because most people use bananas as a go to and I really, REALLY dislike them. A lot. So, I looked up some alternatives and I'm adding them to my routine and shopping list. My top 5 right now are: avocado  spinach, yogurt, brussel sprouts, and tomato juice.

Do you have any tips for pregnancy fatigue and water retention? What are your favorite snacks?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Miss Moo is much more aware of my pregnancy this time around. When I was carrying Miss Roo, she was VERY young and only could comprehend that there was a baby in my belly. This time she wants to feel him kick, know what he eats, how he moves, etc. She's interested in who my midwife is and what she does when I visit her. I tell her what she does and how she checks on the baby. I've also told her she can earn a solo visit with me after Christmas - she's getting a stethoscope from NanaPop so I'm sure she'll be excited to go.

We are always very clear and honest with our children when it comes to anatomy and biological processes. We talk about bodily functions openly and clearly so that we know what is going on with them and to teach them how to properly identify their parts and tell us of any problems. Given all the educating that we do with regard to our bodies and their cycles, I should have been ready for the inevitable question she asked me the other day. I SHOULD have been ready but I didn't let myself think she'd  "get" it that well. I had also hoped I would have been better prepared to answer it and in a better setting - not driving on the interstate.

"Mommy, how is my baby brother going to get out of your belly?"

I didn't want to lie to her and I didn't want to scare her. I also had to think fast. So I told her a brief version of the truth.

"You know how you and mommy have vagingas* that make us special? Well it is even more special because it lets babies come out of Mommy's belly. That's how you and Roo came out and your brother will come out the same way. Some Mommies have problems or really big babies and they need help - so they make a cut in their bellies and get the babies out. But Mommy is blessed to have you all with the help of her vaginga."

I glanced in the rear view and could see the wheels turning. Slowly she asked, "If I have a baby - it has to come out my vaginga?"

"Well,yes, but you don't have to worry about that until you are much older, Baby Girl, and we can learn more about all that then."

"Otay, Mommy."

So, now - faced with our planned home birth - I must enter a new level of education with regard to pregnancy and birth. I must decide what involvement she'll have in the prenatal learning as well as the birth. And, I need to find resources to help educate her gently. Although I think the Birth Doll is cool, I don't want to spend the money and I'm not sure we "need" it. There are several books I've seen mentioned around the web that I am considering purchasing for us - specifically We're Having a Homebirth!

But mostly, I'm just going to talk to her. I want her to feel excited about our new family member, her role in his life, and how special and loved she will be by him. If I want to openly communicate with my daughter, I have to do it at every age level and for every situation. I have to talk when she wants to discuss things and educate when I have the opportunity. And above all, I have to make her feel comfortable, listened to, and loved.

*Vaginga is what we have always called vaginas since she started pointing to body parts and naming them - she couldn't get the pronunciation right and we found it endearing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Festive Traditions: A book review, AMAZING food and a GIVEAWAY!!!

I love the sounds and smells of Christmas time. I also love the food. Really LOVE the food. But as we are becoming more and more aware of what we eat and promote real food living in our lives, holiday festivities and food become stressful. Now there's Festive Traditions.

 Jill Marks, an incredible blogger and the editor of Modern Alternative Kitchen, forged the effort to create a Real Food holiday ebook this year.There are some great contributors from MAM and MAK.  My mouth waters just as I look through the table of contents. Nuts, soups, salads, desserts! I can't wait to try them all! Here's a look to get your taste buds excited:

Appetizers and Drinks
  • Spinach Artichoke Dip
  • Spicy Nuts
  • Pumpkin Pie Nuts
  • Marinated Goat Cheese
  • Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Bacon Wrapped Figs
  • Coconut Hot Chocolate
  • Pastured Eggnog
  • Christmas Punch
Main Dishes
  • Roasted Turkey
  • Salmon with Probiotic Dill Sauce
  • Chicken and Rice Soup
  • Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger Cream
  • Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
Side Dishes
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Cheesy Potatoes
  • Autumn Stuffed Squash
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Christmas Salad
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
  • Crock Pot Stuffed Apples
  • Chocolate Creme Pie
  • Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce
  • Traditional Buckeyes
  • Gingerbread Muffins
  • Potato-Crusted Quiche
  • Soaked Oatmeal Pecan Waffles
  • Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
  • Lemon-Poppy Seed Biscuits

Yesterday, Miss Moo and I took a stab at making Chicken and Rice Soup. I got us started by dicing and slicing up the carrots, onions, celery, mushrooms, and chicken to get things going. ( I love having Moo's assistance but knives for things that easily roll we haven't graduated to yet ;) ) Moo helped me place all the fresh ingredients in the dutch oven and stir it to cook. Who doesn't love the smell of fresh goodness cooking up in some REAL butter?? Then we measured out all of the dry spices - thyme, tarragon, salt, pepper -and added those with some chicken broth.  Mmmnnn -  it started to smell like Christmas! I whipped up the milk and arrowroot  to create a little cream concoction to slightly thicken the base and add just the right about of creaminess. All these flavors blended with the wild rice to make a soup fit for a King. We all enjoyed it for lunch - Miss Roo had 3, that's right 3, bowls!!

I can't wait to try the other recipes in this book for our holiday. This book isn't one I've bought, downloaded, and glanced at once. I keep coming back for ideas, meal, planning and holiday preparation. I am so thankful this year especially as I manage the girls, a pregnancy, and daily life to have this book as a reliable and genuine way to cook festive, real food for my family.The recipes are all well written and simple to follow. Ingredient lists are concise and clear, processes are uncomplicated for those of us still on a learning curve, and all the recipes are clearly marked to indicate what allergens are not present. For our Gluten Free household, that feature is a lifesaver! I know before I read the recipe if I am going to have to adapt anything. I can't say enough good things about this book.

I have good news for you! From now until Thursday, December 18th, you can get you very own copy of Festive Traditions at a special rate! My readers can save 25% by using the code EVOLVE25 at checkout!

Now I have GREAT news for you - we're having a giveaway! That's right - you can win your own copy of Festive Traditions! Through Thursday, December 14th, you have the opportunity to win your own copy! Simply do one (or more) of the following!

  • Leave a comment on this post saying what recipe you'd like to try and why.
  • Like Tryin' to Evolve on Facebook.
  • Share the giveaway on Facebook ad post on my wall letting me know!
I will select a winner with after midnight on the 15th and post the winner on Thursday's post.

Enter away, like some pages I've mentioned, and enjoy some REAL food this holiday!

We're Bringing Birth Home

 My previous two pregnancies and birth experiences were completely different. Miss Moo was born in a birth center attached to a hospital in Northern Virginia and Miss Roo was born on the L&D of a local hospital. They were completely different and both attended by midwives. I wouldn't change the outcomes of either of my births - two healthy girls delivered vaginally with no complications.

This time around, however, I wanted more control. I wanted discussion, options, support, and peace. We began our pregnancy at the free standing birth center here. The midwives there are great and the staff is exceptional. But I still felt that something was missing.

Friday I met with a fantastic midwife and her assistant. We talked birth, testing, options. We discussed what I wanted birth to look like and what their role is during labor and birth. We spoke about Doulas, placentas, and time. And I felt peace wash over me.

My third child, my son, will be born at home. I can't think of a better place for him to come into my arms and  into our family. I'm grateful to have the opportunity, support, and love to begin this journey and I can't wait to see where it ends at the crossroads to the next.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Meal Plan : Week of December 10-16

Getting back to normal means getting back to planning! Here's our plan for the week.

Green beans
Mashed potatoes


Hoppin' John Soup
Spinach Salad with champagne honey vinaigrette

GF baked spaghetti
Spinach Salad
Homemade bread?!?!

local, grass fed steak
green beans with garlic
fruit salad

Italian sausages on GF rolls with sauteed onions and peppers
French fries

I don't have to cook! Either Andrew will or we'll go to our local good food place :)

Pork chops
broccoli with cheese
baked apples
GF mac and cheese

Our Little Announcement....

Just when we think we have parenting figured out, God throws us a curve ball.
We can't wait to welcome our son in the spring!

So, I've been MIA...

It's true. I have had NO time to devote to myself or blogging. Or myself. And, honestly, I'm starting to go a little nuts. I've been busy with holidays, a pregnancy, a house, and a family. And, somehow, I've kept it all together - except for the me part.

So, I've decided I AM taking time for myself each day to write. I find myself settling down at night to slip into a brief slumber (before I'm up for the first time to pee) and things/articles/posts start running through my head and I wish that I would just get up and write. Perhaps I need to get a little tape recorder to sit by the bed so I can capture my thoughts in those moments.

But I digress. I'm back and I'll try to get some stuff up today. Thanks for checking back in....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Modern Alternative Health - October 2012

It’s Flu Season And We DON’T Hand Sanitize

Image by iEatYanYans'.
Image by iEatYanYans‘.
Prior to Miss Moo’s birth, I thoroughly stocked our then town house with hand sanitizer. She was born during the H1N1 flu season and the hospital attached to our birth center had managed to terrify us about that strain of flu beyond belief. As the flu season carried on and no one we knew got sick, I began to relax about the plastic bottles stationed around the house and pondered exactly what slathering my hands with their contents was doing to us.

So, What’s In The Stuff Anyway?

Most hand sanitizers are essentially hand soap diluted in a large amount of alcohol – somewhere between 60 and 90 percent depending on the brand and size of the bottle. An alcohol content that large can lead to serious health hazards, particularly for children; levels that high can easily cause alcohol poisoning. Small children are at greater risk due to their size and propensity to place toys and their hands in their mouths.
Having the bottles accessible to children also pose threats. Many are  brightly colored and scented to please the user and in turn, interested little hands grab them to use in play. Using hand sanitizers frequently with children may mean they have no fear of it as a chemical and feel they can responsibly use it in correct amounts. Amounts over the size of a pea could lead to alcohol poisoning  in young children. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning can include nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Alcohol poisoning is a serious condition that must be treated to immediately to avoid long term health effects.

Wordless Wednesday - Fire Prevention Week

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Modern Alternative Mama October 2012- Fall Activities for Your Family or Little Homeschoolers

Fall is our favorite time of year. The colors are spectacular, the weather is joyfully pleasant, and the opportunities to get out and do things with the girls never end. Here are a few ideas at no cost/low cost that you can do to celebrate and enjoy the season.

Treasure Hunting

Pine cones!
Miss Moo and Miss Roo LOVE to gather treasures outside. We always take a bag of some sort with us on our adventures so that we can carry our treasures home. Moo actually made a treasure bag with an old tote that lives in our van.
Finding treasures in the fall is simple and fun. It's also a great way to get a solid hour of walking and exercise in without you or your kids noticing!   Our collection usually contains:
  • Leaves of all shapes and sizes for pressing and decorating.
  • Sticks to use in crafts and activities. (Sometimes we use sticks to make letters rather than write them.)
  • Acorns and tops.
  • Pine cones.
  • Rocks and pebbles.
  • Remaining wildflowers.
  • Feathers.
Now that you have a wonderful collection of natural treasures, what can you do with them? We usually do a few simple things that the kids love.

Head on over to Modern Alternative Mama to read the rest of my article! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Miss Moo is THREE!

We spent yesterday celebrating the 3 amazing years that Miss Moo has walked this Earth. We had presents, goodies, a party, and cupcakes! I'll try to resume to normal posting soon, but for now I'm taking advantage of the extra hands and help from NanaPop!

Moo's Birthday Sign.

She added a balloon.

Doll made just for her.

"My Dream Lite!"

Covering her eyes for her BIG surprise!

"my bicycyle!!!"

Trying it out.

Pirate party.

Pirate Moo!

No tears during the song this year.

My sweet girl.

Enjoying her GF cupcake :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Having two little girls has been the greatest blessing God has ever given me. As they grow, I can really see their relationship becoming one that will last a lifetime. It makes all the work seem worth it, even on the really tough days.

On Friday, Miss Moo, Miss Roo, NanaPop, Daddy and I ALL went to Lewis Ginter  to see the Butterflies one last time before the exhibit closes. Last night I was going through the pictures of our adventures and came across this one:

What a pair! Partners in everything. And the owners of my heart.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Don't Do ALL The Teaching....

It's been an adjustment for everyone this year not doing Preschool and trying our hand at homeschooling. We haven't done as much organized learning as I'd planned, but we're making our way through things daily and Miss Moo seems to be learning more basics, broadening her vocabulary, and comprehending and applying many more concepts than I thought possible.

One objection that many people have to homeschooling is the lack of socialization that my child, or any child, will suffer by staying at home all day. There are many myths here that evolve from this belief, one of them being that we stay home ALL day EVERY day. We go to the park, we go to the library, we go to the grocery store, to play areas, and other general errands. My girls see other people AND children at all those places and Miss Moo has NO problems having a conversation with any of them.

But we also do other things for our girls, like gymnastic. Moo goes to gymnastics for an hour every Tuesday morning. It's wonderful because she is such an active, physical child and she can channel that energy and learn along the way.

She also learns other things in her fabulous gymnastics class.

  • She has to form a line and stay in it.
  • She has to follow the leader.
  • She has to listen to instructions.
  • She has to be able to repeat instructions given to her.
  • She has to FOLLOW said instructions.
  • She has to wait her turn.  
  • She has to try things on her own after being shown once.
  • She has to do things as a group that require working as a team.
  • She has to interact with other children her age.
  • She has to listen to other adults as authority figures.
I could go on with this list, but I think the benefits of her experiences are clear. I don't do ALL the teaching- I've never professed that I could. I firmly believe that it takes a village to raise children and I'm blessed to have found such a wonderful, nurturing place like River City that is teaching my daughter all I had hoped and so much more.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Moo's Birth Story from 10/13/09

As we enter the last week of having a 2 year old, I've been going through a lot of things to take a trip down memory lane.

I came across this email form of Moo's birth story and thought I'd share it with you, even though it isn't very well written or well thought out, I think it carries the excitement and awe of a first time Mommy one week after giving birth.

I was starting to get a little discouraged because I went overdue and I (along with all my family) thought that our due date of Oct. 5th was wrong and I'd have her late September or very early October. When my due day came and passed with nothing eventful changing, I began to get a little down. I had a good check on the 6th with some pretty intensive membrane stripping and the midwives went on and scheduled an induction for the 16th if needed but assured me that day and in a follow up call that they didn't think I'd need it.

Around midnight on the 8th I started feeling weird. I told Andrew that I was going to go to bed because I thought I might be in labor- something I had said before. I left the dishes from dinner in the kitchen because even though I felt different I didn't think that really meant anything and my Thursday would go as normal. I woke up around 2 am uncomfortable but not really in pain- I was having stronger cramping but there wasn't a lot regularity to it. I eventually go up and went to the living room to watch tv -  I was thinking too much and not sleeping. Around 5:30 I finally felt tired and went to bed b/c the cramps were spacing out.

At 8 am, I woke up with a start and thought that it was the garbage trucks clanking around outside our bedroom that got my attention. Then five minutes later I had what I knew HAD to be a contraction. I laid in bed until around 8:45 and was having then at 5 minutes consistently. I woke Andrew up and told him what was going on and that I was going to get in the bath to see if that stopped it. After 25 minutes in the bath, there was no change. We paged the midwife on call, Paula, and talked to her. She suggested that I come to the office that morning for a labor check so we could all see what was going on. We got everything completely packed and in the car just in case and ate a little breakfast just in case this was it.

We arrived at the midwives' office around 11:15- at this point I had 3 contractions from getting out of the car to getting in the office and Margie walking in my room at 11:25. She started to check me and my water broke ON the table. It was very comical b/c Margie is talking as she checks, " Okay, well, the head is now at a +1, you're 4 cm, 90% effaced, so I think AND THERE'S YOUR WATER!! Okay, I didn't do that! We're having a baby today!"

They sent us on over The Birthing Inn and took me right to my L&D room. They got me monitored, etc, and Paula arrived. I got in the tub around 12:30-12:45. I got down to 2.5 to 3 mins apart and got out. It was 2:15 and Paula did a check- 7cm 100%! I got a little sick at that point b/c she was starting to move down the birth canal and my cervix couldn't keep up. Transition kicked in and I felt no break in pain b/c there was so much pressure from her pushing down against my cervix. At 2:50 she checked me again and I was 9 cm. Paula thought she could help my cervix complete to 10 since the baby was coming whether my cervix agreed or not. I started pushing at 3 p.m. Andrew was a TROOPER!! He was guy on left leg, fanning me the whole time, and had to hold her head as she came out at one point b/c Paula had to get gown and gloves on! 

At 3:25 pm- she was born! She weighed in at 7lbs 7.4 oz  -  20.5 inches long  - and RED hair!!! Who would have thought! We were overjoyed that we were finally able to meet Maisie :) 

So, as far as I consider it, labor was 8 am to 3:25 pm, with the worst part that hurt being the 4 HOURS from 11:25 until birth. 4 HOURS! For a first baby - they called me their rock star.  :) I was able to do it naturally and I had 1 "skid mark" up close to my urethra but no internal or external tearing and no stitches at all. Looking back, I can't believe how blessed I was for a labor and delivery like that!

I can't believe she's almost 3!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dinner Meal Plan - October 1 - 7, 2012

I'm trying .....really get things together. One place I am starting is a weekly meal plan.  I set up a simple spreadsheet on Google Drive  so that Drew can see it and help me fill in gaps. This week I'm trying to plan for all meals, but I still have a few gaps ;)

Our dinners this week should look something like this:

MONDAY: sloppy joe's, sweet potato chips, cornbread

TUESDAY: Mexican pizzas, rice, and fixin's

WEDNESDAY: Hamburger steaks, fries, beans, broccoli

THURSDAY: baked ziti or spaghetti, salad

FRIDAY: chili, rice, cornbread

SATURDAY: roast chicken, peas, mac and cheese, corn

SUNDAY: Hilton Head Island gumbo

I'll do my best to get the best recipes loaded as soon as I can. I hope you had a peaceful Sunday and your hearts are full of blessings and love. Enjoy the last night of the Harvest Moon!

Friday, September 28, 2012

A New Recipe!

I've been secretly hoping for weeks that Kate, the wonderful Modern Alternative Mama, would post her Soaked Apple Crisp recipe.  Yesterday, she DID!

Today I made some apple pie filling in the crock pot. I just set up the apple crisp crust and it's soaking on the stove top.

I can't wait to see how breakfast turns out!! I'll let you know tomorrow!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Modern Alternative Health September 2012

Yesterday marked my first article at Modern Alternative Health.  Enjoy and Happy Thursday!!

Back To Stress Again – Simple And Natural Stress Relievers

Image courtesy of 55Laney69 via
Back to school (or homeschool) can also mean back to stress time for many. Schedules become hectic, sports are in full swing, and parents and children have a lot more on their mind than sprinklers, fireflies, and playing outside until dark. Stress can manifest itself in many ways. Often it leads to anxiety and panic for many people. Here are a few ways to treat and reduce stress and anxiety in your daily life, no matter what the cause.

Monday, September 24, 2012

You get a line, I'll get a pole...*

Growing up, we lived out. By "out" I mean we could get to a grocery store in about 5 minutes, but our house was at the end of a driveway .2 of a mile long, in the middle of 12 acres, with our closest neighbor at the other end of the driveway. I remember wishing to live near other kids while riding my bike up and down the driveway however I wanted. I remembering thinking how cool it would be to walk to a friend's house while playing on the swing set we could move whenever I wanted a different view of the mountains. I recall thinking we lived in the boonies when we'd have to plan our trips to "town" because it would take 20 minutes or more to get to the mall, Wal-Mart, etc.

Now that I'm grown and a Mommy, my perspectives have changed. When we come to NanaPop's my girls can PLAY. They can just play. There aren't cars to watch out for, roads they aren't allowed to use in play, dogs that aren't ours, neighbor's to consider, or toys to chase down from other yards. I sit on my parents deck watching my children run, squeal, go on adventures, collect treasures, and make their own way.They can play without me right on top of them. They leave their Tonka trucks in the driveway overnight without a second thought.

 I look up at the mountain and realize how flat our neighborhood is in comparison. I hear of insects from my childhood that I don't recall listening to from my own porch. I smell fall - really smell it. I show Miss Moo places that I played when I was a girl and give her my toys to use. I see Miss Roo clambering after her and recall chasing after my brother because he was so awesome.

I think I've mellowed.

 Or perhaps I have come to understand what is really important to me in the way we raise our girls. I do love the conveience of living 5 minutes from everything we could ever need, but I would much rather spend days playing outside with my girls than finding places to take them for those same opportunities. I'd like them to experience the "Bloo Mountatains" (as Moo calls them) daily rather than as an exclamation as we travel home. I'd like to drive around more with the windows down, two giggling girls, and country playing on the radio. I guess Kix and Ronnie were right after all.

So what am I to do?
 Come home as much as I can? Definitely.

 Let my girls get as much of the country as they can? Absolutely.

Accept and celebrate the rural-ness of my life and my heritage(including my accent)?  Without a doubt.

And perhaps, somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm thinking of ways to follow the siren song home.

*We'll go fishing in the crawfish hole
 Five card pocker on Saturday night
Church on Sunday mornin'
Little Big Town, Boondocks

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Happy Fall!! - Our Little Trip to the Farm

To celebrate the first day of fall, the girls and I went with NanaPop to Jeter Farm for some pumpkin picking, farm livin', and fun! Happy Autumn!!!

Corn Pit.

"Milking" a cow.

Farm Girl.
And Jr.

Getting so big.

Pony rides.

For all!

Nana fun.

Pop fun.



Picking pumpkins.

And carrying them.


The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.
- Henry Beston