Archive for December, 2009

In which I make some resolutions for 2010

I like resolutions; I like the idea of having a specific starting point for changes. I make good resolutions. You’ll never see me resolving to stop biting my nails (HA! ha ha ha ha. That will never happen!) or stop eating chocolate or start working out (I did not have painful weight-loss surgery so I could get sweat in my eyes.) I try to make them achieve-able and positive and fun.

Spend more time with my family. I have LOVED this vacation with Dustin off work for over a week. We haven’t accomplished as many cleaning tasks as I’d like to (ever), but it’s been very relaxed and I’ve had a lot of time with Dustin and the kids. And I’ve enjoyed it.
This isn’t really “fun,” but I love water so it shouldn’t be hard.
Finish Orientation. Move on to my normal course work. Work regularly — lately I go in spurts of stop and go. I’ll work every day for a week and then not open my binder for the next four days.
Cook! I have a dream of one day getting sharp knives, a Cuisinart, and maybe even an apron! Also, I kind of want an electric can-opener and a bread-maker. And I want to make my own cheese.
Continue working with Maizey. Our Beginner Obedience class starts next week and I’m excited. When we finish that, we’ll probably move on to rally. Also, work more on handling — the last time we attended class Maizey barked, chewed her lead, dragged me around, and generally ignored all humans in favor of canines. I’m sure the other competitors will LOVE that when we’re in the ring.

December 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm Leave a comment

In which I write an open letter

Dear Maizey, please stop trying to disembowel the vacuum cleaner. It is not going to literally suck off your fur. Believe me, if it could, I would have tried that already, just like they suggested in Reader’s Digest (complete with a picture!)

Dear Dustin, I know you love making cold coffee drinks — or, as I see it, something that resembles iced diarrhea — and I know you have to leave for work early. I also appreciate that you want to save time and money by NOT purchasing them from Starbucks. But, for the love of God, must you use the blender at 5am and wake up the entire house?!?!? (I only know this because Dustin is on vacation and therefore not crushing ice at 5am and — surprise! — the kids wake up at the much more reasonable hour of 7am. And now, God help me, I just said that 7am is reasonable.)
Dear Sydney, or as you are now officially known, Brute. Please stop being so fickle. I know that it’s a definitional characteristic of a 2yo, but you’ve always been preternaturally sweet and I get enough demands from your three older siblings. Wanting to wear panda-bear pajamas with feet all day? Fine by me. Insisting on rolling in mud followed by tromping through my just-vacuumed house? Not fine by me, and to prove it, I will out-tantrum your two-year-old ass when it happens. Got it?
Dear Allegra, You melted my heart when I took you for a haircut and you asked the stylist to make you look “just like mommy.”
Dear Photoshop, You’re fun. I like you. Let’s be friends!
xoxoxo, Erika

December 28, 2009 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

In which I briefly discuss a very non-brief birth

I’m just back from attending a birth; I am very tired but I want to get this out.

Leigh told me I will learn something from each birth I attend, and to write it down fast after the birth otherwise I’ll forget. So here goes: I learned patience and trust.
This birth was long. Not totally-outside-the-realm-of-normal long, more like the kind of long that as a doula you hope your client doesn’t have, because you’ll be gone so long that your kids will forget your name and you’ll forget your own phone number, not to mention go into credit card debt paying the babysitters. It was that kind of long.
This client wanted to stay home. She didn’t want a home birth, but she is a very natural-minded person who had no interest in labor augmentation, pain medication, or intervention.
So we stayed home.
Honestly, part of me was dying to “do” something — listen to the baby with a fetoscope, get mom’s blood pressure, something. But I purposely didn’t bring anything with me, because it wasn’t my role. I was just there to support.
The dad very strongly believed that his wife could do it. She believed she could do it, but she had moments of doubt, as most laboring women do, and moments of realization that she’d been awake for 48 hours and contracting every 5 minutes of those 48 hours and was very very tired. But he was a real rock for her. Sometimes she would say, “Let’s go to the hospital,” and he would gently tell her that going to the hospital wouldn’t change anything (a concept that is completely foreign to most women. Or, as Leigh says, “They don’t have any magical baby machines in the hospital.”) I agreed, but it was still hard for me, especially as I became increasingly tired.
But we stayed home — not until the last possible second, not so long that there was a chance she’d have a car-birth — but long enough so that I had watched her body go from closed to open, and her baby from high to low, without any assistance, and it was incredible. It was amazing.

December 23, 2009 at 8:35 pm Leave a comment

In which I discuss my other hobbies

(Other than birth, breastfeeding, childbirth education, and car seat safety, that is.)

j’aime manger les hamburger
J’aime mon chien
j’aime faire cuire
You would think that since I love to eat, I have always loved to cook. You would be wrong.
Dustin used to do all the cooking. (Yes, after he worked a 9-hour day followed by an hour commute home, including crossing the border from Mexico back into the States. We also used to have a cleaning lady. I, who weighed nearly 300lbs, sat on the couch and watched TV and ate bon-bons, perpetually pregnant. I was THAT wife.)
But now that I’ve had my intestines re-arranged, I can’t eat bon-bons, there isn’t much good TV anymore except for Modern Family and Lost, four children is enough, and I like to cook. Here are a few of my recent pleasures, all courtesy of my favorite website,
I have to give some credit to Leigh, who taught me that any “hydrogenated” ingredient is bad, and took me to Trader Joe’s; my therapist for suggesting I watch Food Network; and Dustin* for putting a premium on raw milk, grass-fed beef, and organic chicken and eggs. Thank you.
*At some point I will make your Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Cake that I owe you for your birthday.

December 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

In which I meet Ina May

INA MAY! Or as I kept calling her, “Ina Effing May!” (Her reply: “Yes, that’s me. I’m here!”)

She was amazing. Really, her statistics on The Farm are amazing. They have so little incidence of complications, transports, and c-sections. Their c-s rate over thousands of births is 1.5% — up for .5%! This is from a place that does breech and VBAC and twins regularly.
She credited a good diet. She was all about vegetables (local) and protein. She is a vegan. Also, I’m certain that the woman who go to The Farm are really really committed to natural birth.
She seemed patient and wise — and obsessed with poop. She talked a lot about Americans having constipation and how our diet is to blame, and how satisfying it feels to have a good poop. Um, yeah. It does, I guess. But other than this blog, it’s not something I’m sharing with the world!
However, since she was into talking about poop, I decided to ask her about my particular tummy troubles, to which she replied, “Eat more cheese.” No problem, Ina Effing May! She also said that if I get sick, to stop eating until I feel better — something the gastro doc told me, only after I saw him about 7 times (and paid 7 co-pays) and he explored my colon with a tube.
See? Ina Effing May is WISE, I tell you. She told me all that without going NEAR my colon!
I feel like I’m getting into a groove at the Birth Center. Leigh and I see patients every Wednesday, which is a nice way to break up the week for the kids. They have a day with the sitter, and I have a day not wiping butts — or, at least, wiping adult butts.
I am thankful for good babysitters. A wonderful woman who lives about 6 minutes away from us watches the children every Wednesday. I also have several back-up sitters, including one woman who homeschools.
Meanwhile, when I’m with the kids, I’m also with 6A, a huge assignment for AAMI. I have worked on it at Plaza Fiesta, Discovery Place, and today I may take it to the library.

December 17, 2009 at 8:06 am Leave a comment

About Mommy Soup

Wife and homeschooling mom of five, including my Christmas Day homebirth baby. Not Catholic, Amish, or quiverfull; we just like to... you know!

Writing about my interests: natural pregnancy and birth; attachment parenting; cooking; baking; homeschooling; green living; human rights; child passenger safety; dog training, and life after weight-loss surgery.

In my free time I try to figure out how I can promote world peace while wasting time on Facebook.

NaNoWriMo 2010

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