Monday, January 25, 2010

He's beautiful

He's here and he's beautiful. I'm working on his birth story, but I don't want to leave any little bit of it out. Any part of Colin Henry's birth.

I can tell you this much. I didn't expect for him to be born in the water, but he was. And it was wonderful.

Welcome to the world, Little Squeak. Your mama has fallen in love with you already.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

To the tune of Morning Has Broken

So I'm not going to live blog this birth or anything, but I'll probably Tweet it. Or at least update my Facebook status. That's just how it rolls these days.

Apparently, I have a method to giving birth. A method which involves my water breaking before contractions actually start. Boo hiss. If you Google some stats on that, I'm in a low 8% of women who that happens to.

Of course, last time, we were under the care of an OB and hospital who told us that it was a "worst case scenario" and to have some Pitocin.

Meh. Maybe we'll end up at the hospital again, maybe not. This time, we are under the care of midwives and have several things that we are doing to get those contractions going. In fact, I'm bouncing on my birthing ball as I type. Go, me.

Funny story, or at least mildy amusing, we were in Border's today because I realized I hadn't bought my littlest a baby book yet. I'm wandering around, trying to find the parenting section, when my water breaks. I guess I really waited until the last possible minute to buy that baby book, didn't I?

I'm so predictable. My water broke with Little Bird the day before his due date, and he was born the day after his due date. Hopefully though, this little dude will show up tomorrow, right smack dab on his due date. I wouldn't mind being in that low percentage there.

Wish me luck. I'm going to walk the stairs now.

Water has broken
Like the first labor
I hate Pitocin
It's evil stuff
So I'll just bounce here
Drink tea and do squats
Stimulate nipples
And walk the stairs.

It's a new folk song hit, people. Just wait.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The silence doesn't mean much. It's just me turning inward a little, focusing on the job I have to do in the next couple of weeks. Focusing on the tangible now.

There was drama on the interwebs, and I knew that my emotional state and my big mouth needed to take a break. Step away for a little bit so that I could not waste my energy on fighting a battle that would soon dissipate into thin air as people simply moved on from it.

Besides, I have a job to do.

Week 37 presented with contraction after contraction. My face broke out, my tummy was upset, and I felt ready. So ready that I almost said "yes, come on" to my heart friend who I would love to be here for the birth. I'm glad I didn't though, because my littlest is still tucked warmly inside my belly, waiting on just the right moment to appear.

Week 38 presented with hardly any contractions and the energy to get some things clean around here. Kevin helped me with the kitchen, even cleaning off the bookcase which until now was simultaneously displaying my favorite Gail Pittman pieces, his favorite power tools, and a pound or two of dust. I am so happy to have it back to being pretty.

Week 39 is here. My littlest is a little less active; he tends to squirm most when I'm trying to sleep of course. I am peaceful. He will get here, one way or another, and within the next three weeks. I'm comfortable with all of the midwives. I have my bags packed. I have wonderful friends who are standing by to help us.

I'm into savoring.

Savoring each nursing session with Little Bird, as I don't know when it will be his last time not to have to share me. Savoring each morning that I get to roll over and lay on Kevin's chest while we snuggle and listen to the chit chat over the baby monitor. Savoring each turn and stretch that I feel inside me as I remind myself that this is what life is about now. No matter what parts of me remain - musician, arts advocate, teacher - the parts I love most are wife and mother.

The last days as a family of four are precious to me. I'm savoring them as best I can because once we become that family of five, I know that it will immediately replace these days as the best days of my life.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dear Asshole Who Just Stole My Purse

Dear Asshole Who Just Stole My Purse,

Really? You take purses from the parking lot of a nice city park where families take their children to play? Did you happen to notice that I'm 39 weeks pregnant and toting around a 2 year old? Did it occur to you that carrying a purse too was just too much for me today?

I guess you did, since you stole it right out of my car.

All the cards and checks are canceled. The phone too. I don't carry cash. There is nothing for you there except my address. Which, if you had any decency about you, you would just drop off my favorite bag intact some time tonight. At which point I will forgive you and we'll call things even.

You took the pictures of my son that were on my phone. You took my day planner and all the information on my son's upcoming surgery. You took our evening. You've certainly tested my ability to hold it together.

I hope that you found my blogging business cards and come by for a peek. There was nothing for you to gain by taking my purse. If you happen to be the little shits who were throwing mulch all over the place where toddlers were trying to play, then yay for you. Maybe you feel some vindication because we asked you to stop.

More than likely, you're just some asshole who ruined our afternoon and took my most favorite Holly Aiken bag. Congratulations. I wish I had the pleasure of being around when karma comes back to you and gives it to you good.

The sucker who forgot to lock her car today

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A little holiday magic

Right before Christmas, Kevin and I took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge. It was a great way to get away with them before the new baby comes, and it was a great way to get me to slow down and not worry about everything I thought HAD to get done for the holidays.

I admit, it is a cheesy place. But it's supposed to be. It's for the kids to have fun and the parents to have fun watching them. That's exactly what we did.

I got my picture of the kids with Santa, and I didn't have to fight the mall to do it.

I got my Christmastime snowfall, and I didn't even have to wear a coat.

I got my time with my family, away from any schedules or hurry.

I got a lovely vacation only a couple of hours from home, and I got to don a swimsuit while 35 weeks pregnant. Mmmmmm, belly.

It was so very lovely. Honestly, it was a little magical. I think we could add it to the "tradition" list with just a little coaxing.

And no, Great Wolf Lodge did not compensate me for this post. They did send me a coupon code after I badgered them on Twitter endlessly. And we did go there on their dime in April which was also lovely, but not what this post was about. So there.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Microwave Smores Maker

This past holiday season, my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I pointed her to my Amazon wish list. She replied, "But it's the same as last year. You haven't updated it."

Well, that's because I didn't get anything off of it. Ahem.

I retold this anecdote to Kevin, my wonderful husband who had NO time to shop this year, and voila! My Amazon wish list appeared under the tree.

Minus a Kindle. But that's because I never use the iPod he bought me two years ago. Well, not never, but rarely. He's deemed me unworthy of new technology. I can't disagree I suppose.

Anyway, along with a Tom Waits TRIPLE cd set, an immersion blender, a book called Weekend Sewing, a pastry scraper, and a digital picture frame - was THIS:

A microwave smores maker.

I married the most wonderful man in the world.

A few essentials from the store:

Set up of the high tech machinery. The little arms hold the smore together since the marshmallows go CRAZY in the microwave.

The finished product in the microwave:

Kevin tries a bite:

Kevin declares them to be quite lacking:

The overall result was lacking. The marshmallows don't have the chance to char over an open flame, which is my favorite part of smores. Kevin was definitely not sold on them. Me? I'm headed into the kitchen to give them a second chance. After all, melty chocolate goodness can never be far from wrong.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Split Pea Soup

Kevin and I have tried to marry our very different family culinary traditions during the winter holidays. I have loved learning to make pirogi, and tolerated learning to eat pickled herring. My favorite recipe of his mother's that we've adopted though is split pea soup.

Never in a million years did I imagine loving a thick green soup with barely any spices in the recipe, but I do.

Split Pea Soup

16 oz package of green split peas
3 qts of water or enough water to cover
1 small ham shank or bone (with plenty of ham left on it)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced potatoes

In a large pot combine peas, water, ham shank or bone and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove ham shank or bone. Stir in carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery. Simmer an additional 1 1/2 hours or until soup reaches desired thickness.

Of course, by now you know that I've got some "but I do it this way" to add to any recipe. This one is no different.

First of all, we cut up even more ham and add it to the soup at the half way point. We use big chunks of potatoes. And of course, I use stock instead of water. Usually I have plenty of turkey stock left over from Thanksgiving, and I'll just use that.

However, this year, my fabulous brother and sil sent Kevin a rack of ribs from Dreamland. They were delicious. We ate them for lunch the day we made the soup, so I collected the rib bones and made stock from them.

Let me tell you. There is no other way to make pea soup now. That stock was amazing, and lent the perfect marriage of our southern and northern roots to an old recipe.