Saturday, 21 March 2015

Garden update: dreams vs. reality

A photographer I am sadly not, but here is the beginnings of my pea plant.
Gardening is as full of the unknown to me as space sometimes: I get the basics, but does it all work that way, really? I mean, how crazy is it that you plant a tiny seed and in a few weeks you have food? It's a miracle. And I am of the black thumbs who believes it would take a miracle for me to actually achieve the status of "gardener." I am trying for the first time this year in real honest to goodness dirt, not just potting soil in a pot.

I keep having this vision of walking out into my little garden and being surrounded by snap peas, basil, tomatoes, and everything else I've planted this year. My own little Hoosier Eden is only a month away, right? So far, the majority of my plants have sprouted. I'm still waiting for the lettuce, green beans, and peppers to make an appearance. Meanwhile I'm still digging up my yard to get rid of all the rocks, dead leaves, and weeds, and hoping I don't find a dead body of some sort in the process. Anyone else watch too many crime shows and have that fear?

Thursday, 12 March 2015

How to start your spring cleaning

The beginnings of my garden. Grow, Arugula. Grow.
It's an adrenaline rush to feel that first hint of warm weather. The heat is already setting into southern Indiana, and I'm ecstatic for my first Hoosier summer.

For some reason the whole ordeal makes me want to throw everything outside and hose it down to wash away the winter muck. Sadly, I have to put on my big girl gloves and do things the "right" way. But I get through spring cleaning with these things:

Better Life cleaning products. I saw them once on Shark Tank and have never looked back. Their floor cleaner smells so good, I honestly feel I look as poised as Cinderella when she mops the floor. Plus, all their products are extremely safe, which is great because my toddler gets into the cabinet under the sink more times than I care to admit and sprays whatever bottle he can get to first. Luckily, it's always this one.

SeedsNOW.com has been so fun to try this year! The $0.99 sampler seeds are perfect for an average-sized garden. They sent some arugula seeds along with my first order, which is something I never thought to try. So far it's in the lead. They have so many fun things to buy. I'm particularly excited about this crazy broccoli.

That's all I've got. That's all I need (not counting snacks and jams, but everyone knows about those). Get ready, folks. Spring is coming.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Getting to know my children


The other day while playing with my baby girl, she responded differently to me. I can't explain the experience well, but it was like an understood exchange between us--a leap in cognitive development. And in that blip I was suddenly reminded, "Oh yeah, she won't always be a baby." It was thrilling. While I love her present baby stage, I was happy to be reminded that I am getting closer to knowing her a little better.

I often think about the future with my children. I get so excited pondering the things they'll accomplish. I'm not talking about being a star of anything but just doing things: tying a shoe, reading a book, taking a hike, cracking an egg, singing a song, etc. It's fascinating to witness my children just being. In that growing body is a person I've created but really have no idea who they'll become. I'm anxious to find out but am enjoying the in between process.


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Her lullaby


I sing this song to my daughter at least once a day. A whimsy aesthetic is always welcome in a lullaby. I love how the tune calms her 90% of the time. It's like magic, and it works for me too. Singing it repeatedly is a good reminder for me to take things in stride: "Whatever will be will be. The future's not ours to see." Oh, how I wish it was, yet so many times I'm glad it is not.

I'm grateful to live in the present. Every day I can find a moment that makes me feel so blessed to be here right now, and then time passes into tomorrow. The moments are fleeting, which occasionally brings paralyzing fear and sadness that I will one day forget them all or have future ones taken away from me. I'm relieved that knowledge isn't unfolded to me so I can revel in the sweet smell of my baby, the laughs of my toddler, and the hugs of my husband, every day but especially today. I need those reminders that today matters and not just what I need to do tomorrow or what I want to accomplish in the next ten years. In this case, ignorance is bliss.

Que sera, sera.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Hi, Baby Girl

Happy birthday, Baby Girl
One of my biggest concerns with birthing baby girl is that I wouldn't arrive at the birth center on time. My first baby came under seven hours from first contraction ever felt in my life to birth. I only pushed for forty minutes. I was told that babies only come faster with each one you have, so I felt justified in my angst.

At a little before four in the morning the day baby girl was born I woke up with contractions. I was able to sleep in between them, and they came every twenty minutes. I did my best to relax and breathe through them. At around six I decided to get up and begin the day. I showered, did laundry, etc. I didn't think I was going to have my baby that day because my labor was progressing slower than my first. I was trying to be patient.

I had an appointment that afternoon at the birth center for a non-stress test since I was one week overdue. By the time I needed to leave, my contractions were so close and strong I didn't want to drive myself there. Luckily my husband had stayed home that day, and we were able to have a family member watch our little boy at the drop of a hat. We grabbed the bag and car seat and headed out the door.

When I got to the birth center, my contractions picked up in speed and strength significantly. The midwife measured me, and I was a ten. Good thing I had an appointment, or else I don't know when I would have made the decision to come in. It was only about a half hour ago that my contractions were still on average twenty minutes apart.

I was escorted to my birthing suite where I stripped down and stepped into the tub. I got on my hands and knees and almost immediately began to push. Baby girl had been quite a mover my entire pregnancy, and while I tried my best to keep her turned anterior, she always preferred posterior. So posterior she came, and it was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. With every push, it felt like my tailbone was being smashed to pieces. I screamed and thought I would pass out from the pain. I clenched my husband and said, "Oh, God."

But in ten minutes it was all over. I was lucky. Baby girl was born, scooped out of the water, and placed in my arms. I sat in the tub and held her with so much relief. There is no feeling in the world comparable to that first moment after birth. Nothing can touch you.

Although it was so very hard, I'm grateful I could have another natural birth. I was really proud of myself for being able to breathe slowly and focus on bringing oxygen to my baby for the entire labor. It helped keep me calm. There's nothing like experience to help things go more smoothly the second time. As always, I feel midwives are some of the most remarkable people on earth. I'm glad they could help me so efficiently, professionally, and lovingly in my time of need. They are wonderful.

It's nice to be done with the waiting game and finally enjoy being a family of four.