2.20.2014

Streamlining Life

So I deactivated Facebook, which might be why I am currently blogging on my neglected blog.  Kind of a sad chain of events I know.  But don't see this as a sign that I'll post here more frequently.  Though who knows, I might.

So what started this?  I guess it begins with the drama of Facebook, and social media in general, a drama that I was feeding myself into like a stupid insecure teenage girl.  I'm a 33 year old woman for criminy's sake, why am I feeding into that?  And it really was over something stupid that was bugging the snot out of me and making me into the exact person that I really can't stand, bringing out all of the insecurities of my time as a teenager and twenty-something.  Furthermore, right now, I just don't have time.

In the middle of everything that is going on right now, we are preparing to put our house on the market, I'm trying to sort through and get rid of stuff (a much needed forced dejunking) , I'm awaiting my orders into the IRR where I will likely be for the next few years (while I still have to drill in the meantime) , and I'm raising a very precocious and active two year old girl, along with her nine month old sister who is full fledged walking.  I don't have time for the drama and time suck that is Facebook, which is so easy to get absorbed into that before you know it, three hours have passed and you haven't done squat.  The stress of everything had to be getting to me and causing me to react to stupid trivial stuff in a way that was uncharacteristic of me.

I talked to several people about this, they all basically said the same thing, that I was making a mountain out of a mole hill and it was not a big deal, so don't make it into drama.  My sister suggested I delete Facebook, and when she said it, the spontaneity of it was brilliant.  I just needed to turn off that time suck, delete the app from my phone and use the precious time to get things done around the house.   And if, in the event that my daughter demands my time and prevents me from accomplishing my chores, perhaps I should, I don't know, focus my attention on her instead.  I don't want my kids to remember me as being glued to the damn phone.

The question is, will I return to Facebook?  Undoubtedly, for all of its faults, it's a great way to stay connected with friends and family, though I will undoubtedly streamline it so I am not following so many pages.  We are moving overseas in a few months, and that is one of the prime ways to stay connected with loved ones short of talking to them on the phone, and I don't know how often I will get to do that.  However, I think just sitting down and deactivating Facebook every now and then is good for the soul, just a clean break from social media so you can turn your attention on the important things, namely family and spending quality time with children, watching them grow and trying to build them into becoming responsible individuals.  I see a lot of character traits in my daughter that she shares with me.  I want this to be a positive thing, not a negative.  It took me a long time to get comfortable in my own skin, so to revert back to defensiveness and petty grudges over something that ultimately does not matter is not on my agenda at the moment.  I'm an adult, in this era of perpetual childhood, I really need to act like one.

And right now, my life requires me to focus on the things that matter and not get wrapped up in the trivial matters that come with Facebook.

1.01.2014

Resolutions, 2013/2014

Wow, I don't need to say it, but life has just sort of taken me completely away from computers so I basically live on my iPhone these days, and very rarely do I blog.  But what's a little New Year's Resolution Post going to hurt?  That's right, nobody.  So here it goes, how did I do this year on my Resolutions?

Hah! 

That's a preview.

 1. Grow a garden - Gus rototilled the garden area out, but I successfully grew a lot of knap weed.

 2. Do at least one meal a week by scratch - This one was really hit and miss.  I could say I did pretty well to be honest, I rocked November.  December, well. . .

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables - Another amber resolution.  I think I did better than last year, but I still had far too many veggies go bad in the veggie drawer.

4. Milk Cow Daily - You know, I really did do pretty good for the month that I had her.  But alas, it was proven that she was not bred back and there was no way I could keep her in milk while I had my own baby.  And now that I have two children under the age of three, it was probably a wise idea that I got rid of the cow.  But in the future, when my children are older, I would love to have another one.

4.1 Milk the Goat -I no longer own goats.  And I never milked them when I had them.

4.2 - Learn to make my own Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, etc - Well, I know how to make butter.  But making stuff from scratch, and from absolute scratch, well, when my kids are not so demanding, maybe I'll get on this one. 

 5. Attend church at least twice a month - Gus doesn't really do church, and I can't force him too.  I knew that when I married him.  I still love him, however I can't do church with two kids (and mostly Kaia) and without him.  I don't get anything out of it other than feeling stressed.  So maybe I need to focus on my own personal enrichment.

6. Do More Art - I once considered myself an artist?

7. Learn a new craft skill - My friend recently taught me the basics of knitting.  It looks like a lot of fun.  I want to continue.  But I fear I have already forgotten what she taught me.  Still, I made an effort in the right direction.

7.1 Make more quilts -  Hah!  Ashlyn is still waiting for her homemade baby blanket from me. 

8. Breastfeed through the new year - I actually completed one?  Wow!  Still breastfeeding my little Bean Sprout.

9. Graduate from College - I will blame this one on the sequester delaying my plans by messing with my tuition assistance.  And then I had a baby and never got back on it. 

10. Exercise more - If by more, I mean more than last year, I failed.  I started exercising, but it really didn't last long.

10.1 Complete one full cycle of P90X - I did about three weeks of T25, I'm thinking of ordering P90X3 but, well, I failed big time. 

11. Read one new book a month - Books?  What are those?

So, how did I do?  Um, awful.  But you know what?  I'm not going to let it get me down.  New Year's Resolutions for this year?  Let me see. . .

1. Stay sane -  No, really, this is a legitimate resolution.  I need to remain with my sanity intact, it is going to be a little crazy this year for me. 

2. Try not to get pregnant until after Ashlyn turns one (if we get pregnant at all) - we're toying with this idea of having a third child, because Gus really wants a boy and we have two girls (who we absolutely love)  but I'll be honest.  Kids are work!  It also impacts your body and wears you out.  So, if we do end up having number three in the near future (they have to come before I turn 35 or we aren't having them at all, that's my rule) I need to at least give myself a bit of a break before we start with the whole bun in the oven thing.  So I want to wait until Ashlyn is at least a year.  Preferably I would like the next kid to make it until after Ashlyn turns two, but we'll see where we are at.

3. Learn How to Make Sushi - I got a sushi making kit for Christmas.  I love me some Sushi, so it would make sense if I learned how to actually make it myself. 

4. Downsize - Working on it now, we are getting rid of a lot of stuff.  And I mean pretty much half of what I own.  This will probably be a green resolution because my hand is being forced into it.  I don't mind.

5. See a Foreign Country - If everything goes well, this should be an auto green also.  We are moving to Japan.

5.1.  Don't get Cancer - Fukushima is not the place to hang out or so I'm told.  Hopefully the fallout doesn't affect myself and my family.  Perhaps we will be stocking up on different holistic remedies?  We shall see.

6. Leadman - I'm doing it this year, nobody is going to stop me!  well, something or someone might, but it's the only race I feel like I really can do, that and Bloomsday.  Hmm, that makes a great secondary resolution.

6.1 Bloomsday! -  That settles it.  I'm running this year!

7. Make our Move a Smooth One - Did I mention already we're moving to Japan?  Yeah, about that.  I get to be an Air Force Spouse!   Maybe I need some Japanese Resolutions?

8.  Learn how to read Japanese -  Yeah, that might be a resolution we'll be working on for the next four or so years. . . along with speaking it too.  And not just Sayanara and Kannichiwa. 

9.  Show Greater Patience with my Resident Two Year Old - I'm a mother of a two year old, who seems to have entered the terrible twos about eight months early, only to really demonstrate what the terrible twos are all about when she actually turned two.  I love her to death, but I feel like a perpetual stress case.  I need to work on being more relaxed and patient with her.  And sometimes, I just need to learn how to let things roll off my back. 

10 - exercise more -  Yes, that one is a gimme.  What's a new year's resolution list without the dreaded 'e' word showing its face somewhere?  That, and if I do get pregnant this year, I want to be in decent shape. 

So there you have it.  That's my list.  I'll see you next year.

12.31.2013

2013 Year In Review

I skipped this annual tradition last year.  I still have it saved in my drafts, unfinished, because it got pushed to the side like so many things have in my life. 

 01. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

 Became mother to a two year old.  That is something in and off itself.  I also did a couple trail rides competitively that I hadn't done before.

02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

 I always make them, don't always keep them.  This year I did pretty horrid.

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?

 Well, now that you mention it.  The one and only blog post this year that wasn't centered around new year's was my daughter's birth story.   I also had quite a few cousins give birth. 

04. Did anyone close to you die?

 Tim, my barn cat.  This hit me hard, mainly because it was my fault.  I accidentally ran him over and it made me sick to my stomach. 

05. What countries did you visit?

 None.  No new states either. 

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

 Sanity.  And Time. 

07. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 3.  Take a guess.

 08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Delivering a healthy baby girl in under two hours of labor with no drugs.  That was pretty awesome actually. 

 09. What was your biggest failure?

 Not getting my garden in.  Really, it's been kind of a chill year in that regards.  I can't think of any at the moment.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Does childbirth count?  Though I came out of it pretty well.  I also got bucked off a horse and maybe broke my thumb (sucked it up and didn't see a doctor, but it hurt for a few weeks so I'm guessing it was bruised pretty well at least)

 11. What was the best thing you bought?
A Mini-Van

 12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Whenever Kaia goes to the potty on the toilet, or listens to me, and doesn't destroy my house, it merits celebration.  Yay Kaia!

 13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I try not to let other people get to me, so maybe it is time for this question to be rephrased.  Anyway, Kaia got to me several times, being a two year old (throwing phone into the toilet, smearing poop all over the house, doing a lot of questionable crap with said poop), and in subsequent actions, I get mad and frustrated with myself. 

 14. Where did most of your money go?

To kids and various 'projects'.

 15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

 Gus getting orders out of here. 

16. What songs will always remind you of 2013?

 Wrecking Ball is a guilty pleasure. 

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

 Oh gosh, I think I'm more stressed now.  Just where things are.

ii. Thinner or fatter?

 Thinner, only because I'm not four months pregnant.

iii. Richer or poorer?

 I'd say it's a draw. 

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Ran more, or just did more activities, whether it be races, running, adventures, snowboarding, snowmobiling, things like that.  This was a pretty activity-less year.  Although I did a couple trail rides that were pretty awesome and I wish I had discovered them earlier.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Sat on my ass surfing the net on my iPhone.  The thing eats time.  I told my husband I wanted a basic flip phone with texts when I was ready to upgrade, he talked me into another iPhone and I kick myself.    

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Quietly, at home, with my family.  Very mellow and easy going day.  Christmas Eve was spent at my sister's house playing games and eating dinner. 

 22. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Yes, I have a second child now.  No matter how much they stress you out, you can't help but love them

23. Favorite Month 0f 2013

New Question for this year.  I'll say May.  Because new baby and all, and it had some fantastic weather.  Though I must admit, Spokane really rocked October.  Perfect Fall weather.  September was a pretty great month as well.

 24. What were your favourite TV programs?

  I started getting into Breaking Bad, didn't finish it.  Phineas and Ferb is hilarious. 

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I try not to hate on people.  Really, juvenile question.  Next year it will be rephrased to say something like, Did you have a falling out with anyone that left a particularly bad taste in your mouth?  To which I will reply for this year, hmm, not really.  (I think most of the questions on this little year in review were written by a teenager at the time I found them)

 26. What was the best book you read?

 I didn't really read, but I did a fair bit of writing (its my escape, when I get into a writing mood I have to write my way out of it)

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

 What Does The Fox Say?  Ok, so I totally cheated because my brain is mush. . .

28. What did you want and get?

 A sushi making kit.

29. What did you want and not get?

A knitting kit, but it's all good.  I'll get one later. 

 30. What was your favourite film of this year?

 I think I saw a grand total of five films this year.  I don't sit through movies anymore and the movies I do watch are geared toward families, so I'll say Monster's University. 

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 33.  My husband took me to eat Sushi.  He knows me well. 

 32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having a perfectly content and well-mannered two year old, but you know what?  Honestly I wouldn't trade her for the world, no matter how destructive and rambunctious she is.

 33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Unkept appearance.

 34. What kept you sane?

 I have a two year old.  I am far from sane at this moment.
 
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?

Dr. Ben Carson is up there, though I disagree with him on Gun Control.  Otherwise, argh, I cant think of any!  I'm caught up in mommy world that public figures don't hold my attention these days

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

 Gun Control and ObamaCare.  I am against them both.

37. Who did you miss?
Maybe this should say 'What'.  What did I miss?  Not one, but two weddings, and subsequently opportunities to catch up with many cousins, friends and family.

 38. Who was the best new person you met?

A little girl named Ashlyn

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

 Life's to short to get to stressed out, because when it is all said and done, it doesn't matter, it's just infuriating at the time you are in the middle of it.  You'll laugh about it later. 

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

  Drive me crazy!

5.05.2013

Ashlyn's Birth Story

On May 3, 2013, Ashlyn Sage Donnelly joined our family and brought our number to four.  It was quite an interesting journey!  But let me start at the beginning.

We were wanting to have at least two children, wanted them close in age, and I want to be done with childbearing by the time I hit 35 so we could still be relatively young enough to enjoy raising our kids.  I'm currently 32, so with the possibility of having one more, we wanted to make sure we hit the timing right.  We weren't really trying when Ashlyn was conceived, but we weren't doing anything to prevent a pregnancy either.  It was really just a let things come if they may type situation.

If we had a boy, Gus was done and we would consider our family complete, but a second girl was in our future so we are going to try one more time and take what we get.  After experiencing a pregnancy with a very busy toddler under foot, I have decided that the next one will need to be spaced out a little more, so when this little one gets to be about fourteen to sixteen months old, we'll be looking at getting pregnant one final time.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

My 'Due Date' was May 9th, but I had this sneaky suspicion I wouldn't make it that far from early on, and this being my second pregnancy, with a daughter that was 17 months old, I was feeling it.  I wanted to make it to 38 weeks, so I have been trying to take it easy while at the same time trying to not put my entire life on hold.  As I got closer and closer to my goal, I just felt more and more uncomfortable.  That discomfort kept me cautious, forced to skip two weddings because it was just to close to the end for me to make the trip.  This was especially true about week 36 when they checked me and found that I was already dilated to a 3, though i wasn't effaced.  Something told me from the start that when it happened, it would happen fast.

I didn't have them check me again until this Wednesday, I was one day shy of Week 39, ready to go, but wanting it to happen when she was ready.   My midwife was a little surprised that I was dilated to a 4 and effaced 80%.  She basically told me "As soon as you start labor and you know it's labor, or your water breaks, come in as soon as possible."  This being a second pregnancy, and we living where we did, she didn't want to take any chances for me to wait and labor at home when I was already progressed to where I was at.  She offered to speed things along, but I declined.  I was determined to do this with no interventions.
Ok, so I decided maybe I would do a little bit to speed things along.  I was having Braxton Hicks all day on Wednesday, so family was lingering around after my appointment and helping me get things ready while tracking contractions to make sure they were the real thing or not.  They weren't, they were all over the place.  I have no doubt they were doing something, but labor wasn't progressing.  Yet.  On Thursday, I was still pregnant, for sure it would happen that day, and even jumped on the horse bareback just to see if it would do anything.  I had a couple chickens on stand by for butchering, since that worked the first time (inside joke) but never got around to it.  Took my daughter Kaia for a walk, felt something, but no labor.  

Went to bed Thursday night thinking it could still happen, but Friday might be the day.  I woke up feeling pretty tight and a little sore, but overall, just very pregnant.  My husband left for work and I had my sister and my mother on standby in case I needed them.  It was just me and my daughter and we tried to take it easy while getting some stuff done around the house to prepare for the arrival of this little one.  

Turns out, its fortunate that we were able to wait.  Gus got home, I didn't feel like cooking anything fancy so we threw a frozen pizza in the oven.  We discussed other methods of speeding things along, as  he was feeling a little impatient with the stand by as well.  Nothing quite like being in limbo waiting for a baby to be born.  Me, I've been just focusing on doing what I could around the house.  

Well, about 8:25pm, I felt the first undeniable contraction that felt like 'it'.  I've been having tightness and contractions for weeks, but this was definitely different.  I was still able to move through it, but I had downloaded an app on my phone and when the next one hit a few minutes later, I timed it and gave Gus the heads up that this could be it.  I timed another one and texted my doula to give her the heads up as well that baby might be coming soon.  I wanted to get a couple more timed, just to be sure, and sent a couple texts alerting my sisters while Gus called his mom to arrange for her to pick up Kaia if things continued.  I called my mom and got voicemail.  

By 8:45 I knew this was the real deal and tried to let everyone know while Gus got the car ready and I continued to time the contractions while coordinating with everyone via texts.  I had one sister and my doula heading out for sure, mother in law planning on meeting us at the hospital, getting a hold of the midwife on call and trying to pacify a toddler who was ready to go to sleep and wanted to cuddle with momma, while momma wasn't in the position to cuddle.  

At 9:00, I called my mom again and left a voicemail, letting her know we were heading to the hospital because we were pretty sure this was it.  Gus, being a typical guy, decided that every time I had a contraction he would slow down.  Dork.  I'm not sure he realized that he was taking his life into his hands when he was teasing me like that.  They weren't bad yet, but they were getting a little more intense.  I also noticed the dreaded back and leg labor was back.  Fortunately, my body seemed to realize that it needed to slow down and the contractions went to every five minutes while driving to the hospital.  

We got to the hospital just before 9:30.  One reason we changed hospitals from the first time was because I had to go through triage at the other hospital and I hated triage.  The nurse was horrible, completely discounted my birth plan and it ruined my vibe, but here they took me straight to my room and my midwife was there to assist me.  She had me change into a hospital gown really quick while my support group slowly started to trickle in.  My mom and dad got there first, dad settled on the couch next to Gus and they sat back trying to stay out of the way.  

That's when the contractions really started to hit.  I bent over the bed and tried to endure the contraction, and Gus and Dad were still chatting about whatever, I don't remember.  Dad teasing me about being so serious or something like that, something no man should say to a woman in labor.  I just know when I go through a contraction, I like silence.  That's my thing so I can concentrate.  So the first thing out of my mouth was "Shut up!"  

Midwife noticed that the intensity level had changed and she went straight into supporting me and hitting the pressure points on my back.  After the contraction she quickly monitored baby's heart beat when my mother in law came in.  I went into another contraction while they were talking, and suddenly I'm trying to endure that while subtly telling them to quiet, shushing them but they didn't hear me.  Finally I told them to shut up again a little more forcefully.  

Sister and Doula showed up together and man oh man I was thankful for them as they hit those pressure points while I tried to labor, those contractions were coming up quick with little break between them.  Finally, my midwife asked to check my progress.  This was the one and only time I had been checked since coming into the hospital.  I was dilated to a 7.  I had been there less then thirty minutes.  Things were moving very quickly.  

Ok, sometimes, labor isn't pretty.  A laboring momma isn't really that concerned with otherwise embarrassing factors.  I guess one way to describe one symptom is labor is the feeling that you have to take the biggest crap of your life and you can't.  I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, I started peeing a little bit and felt like I needed to use the bathroom.  Good thing too, I was able to empty my bladder though I had a contraction right there on the toilet.  I finally had my bloody show at that moment, but nothing else, coming out of the bathroom, another contraction hit me hard and I just braced myself again leaning up against the bed.  At that moment, all I could think is "I don't care, I'm just going to take a crap right here, I don't care if everyone sees me."  I tried to take to have a bowel movement and that's when it hit me, nope, this is not a simple poo, things were moving quickly.  I let everyone know that I had to push.  

Midwife asked me what position I wanted to deliver in, and to be honest, i wasn't sure.  I just knew I didn't want to be on my back like before.  That was miserable.  I just crawled onto the bed on my hands and knees and apparently everyone was in for a shock.  My water was not broke and my sack was apparently sticking out.  My midwife didn't have her gloves on, my mom had to get Gus in the room, we weren't expecting it this quickly.  

Next contraction, I eased her out through the coaching of my midwife.  I was told that she was still in the caul (the birth sack) but I think she had slid out of it.  However, the water gushed after her and drenched her as she let out her first cry.  The first thought I had was 'Woah, that was a rush!'  It was a completely different experience from my first birth and it happened so fast.  She was born at 10:09, about an hour and forty five minutes after I started my first contraction.  


I had to reach between my legs to get my baby, who still had her umbilical cord attached, but I delivered her completely drug free with no interventions.  I was able to do it without grunting (last birth I screamed) That was my goal, that's what I wanted, and the fast delivery was an added bonus.  If I could change anything, I would have wanted to hold my baby longer, but because of the shower of amniotic fluid while she took her first breath, they needed to get it out of her lungs so I had to relinquish my baby to the nurse and let them take care of her while I endured the joys of the after birth.  

My midwife commented that I made more noise while she pressed on my belly to get the excess fluids out then the actual delivery.  I guess I was mentally prepared for the former, not the latter.  
My other sister made it two minutes after Ashlyn was born.  Didn't give everyone a whole lot of time, I know.  Gus joked that the next baby will just fall out.  Hey, these fast births are pretty cool, I'll take 'em!

 Little girl has a bit of a temper to her.  She looks a lot like her sister, but I already noticed a few ways where she is her own person.  She has a darker complexion then Kaia and I think she's going to be a brunette.  She also suckles to soothe herself, so i think we have a binkie girl on our hands.  Kaia never took to one.



Welcome to the family Ashlyn, hope your big sis doesn't beat on you to much.  

1.04.2013

Resolutions, 2012/2013 Edition

I'm a little late rolling this one out, but even though my blog is often ignored, I can't break from tradition.  So, I put up resolutions last year, how did I do?

1. Regularly attend church - Ok, I did better this year then years previous, and I was actually doing pretty well at the beginning of the year.  I fizzled out badly toward the middle of the year and then dropped out entirely when I discovered getting up to attend church at 9 was a little harder then I thought it would be.  This year, I don't have to go until 11, so I will likely be shooting for this one again.

2. Get back into shape  - I actually bounced back from having a baby pretty well.  I wanted to get into better shape then I did, and I wanted to be able to continue to work out through a subsequent pregnancy.  Having an infant that is dependent on you can make this task difficult.

2.5 Pass PT test first time out - Passed it, the run by the hair of my teeth, but I passed it. 

3. Run at least 5 races -  I ran two.  Leadman and The Dirty Dash (though the latter wasn't quite a race, more like a fun run where at one point you were forced to just walk in a line)

4. Horse Events - I had plans for this, I ended up doing pattern racing once with Breezy, but getting on the old girl while somebody watched the baby was harder to do then expected.  Would like to do more, but I won't make them a resolution.

5. Meal Planning - I had a couple of months where I successfully did this.  Then Gus changed his schedule to swings and it is harder to meal plan when you are cooking for just yourself. 

6. Breast feed at least 6 months -  Yay!  Smoked this one!  We made it to a year!

7. Agility Training with Scooby -  I no longer own Scooby.  We need a dog that can come indoors, and that requires one that doesn't shed.  I would like to get a dog, but I will wait to get approval from Gus for the next one. 

8. Get a job that coincides with staying home with Baby - .Kind of sort of, but I'll tell you this.  Staying at home with a baby is a full time job!  Plus homesteading, which is what I'm trying to do, also makes it difficult to stay on top of everything.  I have done some stuff with ebay and Craigslist, but it's an on and off kind of thing.  We'll probably continue to do similar stuff this year.  I don't see myself entering the workforce other than Army Reserves once a month. 

9. Get an A in classes while sticking with school -  I did take a couple of breaks, but when I am in class, I do get A's.  I'm not the most reliable student however, and I have been struggling to get my homework in on time.  I used to be able to hold off to the last minute and just wing it out, I have to manage my time better, but hey, I'm still getting As.  If I don't take any breaks, I'll have my degree by June, however i know I will have to delay my last two classes on account of newborn, but that's ok, I should have my degree by the end of the year.

10. Work on baby Number 2 - We're a Go!  She's due in May.

Ok, so I was 3.5 for 10, with 6 partially done resolutions and one flat out not done.  Not bad, not bad.  Could be better. 

So, what does 2013 have in store for me?  Well, only time will tell, but here's an idea of things I want to do...

1. Grow a garden - I had one this year, it was fun and a lot of work, but it wasn't as successful as I would have wanted.  Having free range turkeys didn't help either, especially when they discover your lettuce.  So, we'll be working on another garden this year, and it will be a bigger focus.  Along with fertilizing and all of that jazz. 

2. Do at least one meal a week by scratch - I'm on a goal to get self sufficient, we live on five acres, but with how busy one gets with life, sometimes its easier to just pop a ready made meal in the microwave, as well as those nasty burritos that taste oh so good.  Those ready made meals are not the healthiest things to eat, and baking from scratch is often cheaper and healthier in the long run. 

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables - I guess my list is getting pretty traditional.  The problem with this is it requires you to make multiple trips to the store to get fresh produce.  Getting to the store sometimes can be a challenge.  And i'll be toting around not one, but two little ones.  So this will be a challenge. 

4. Milk Cow Daily - This is going to be one test for the ages.  I have a milk cow.  Can you see a pattern here with my resolutions?  Anyway, I've been milking my cow twice a day since I got her, and using the milk.  So my goal is to get fresh milk for the year.  I've got a lot of people willing to help me in this quest.  She will be going dry for a couple months while she preps for her baby due in May. 

4.1 Milk the Goat - I have a goat, I've had her for almost a year.  I got her as a milking goat, but i never used her as one, so I have to get her prepared to let me milk her.  So I want to get her into milk and use her as one.  Fortunately, when the cow is dry is when I can start milking my goat.  Good times. 

4.2 - Learn to make my own Cheese, Butter, Yogurt, etc - yep, see a pattern?  I'm trying my hand at homesteading.  I might have to get some tools to accomplish this, but with my own milk cow, why not? 

5. Attend church at least twice a month - I'm out once a month just because of Drill Weekends, but I really need to focus on my spiritual needs, and I am more fulfilled when I attend church regularly.  This year, church is two hours later so it should be a little easier.  I also want the munchkins to socialize with kids of like minded values, and I need friends with like minded values too.  I see this as becoming more and more important for myself and my family, so we're going to make an extra effort to attend. 

6. Do More Art - I am neglecting my art, and it is something I really do enjoy, but I never seem to find time for it.  I think if I can find time, I will enjoy this.  We'll settle to once a month, do a painting, or a drawing, something art related.  Maybe get Kaia involved as she gets older. 

7. Learn a new craft skill - I'm thinking knitting or crocheting, something like that.  I finally learned how to use a sewing machine and have made several baby quilts for some family and friends. 

7.1 Make more quilts - This is very enriching to complete a baby quilt.  I have discovered I quite enjoy it.  I made three last year, I know I'm going to make at least one for little Bean, but if I can make several, I can start making it a habit to give them out as gifts.  I love recieving home made gifts, there is something about it, and I think a lot of people appreciate the thought and work put into something handmade. 

8. Breastfeed through the new year - Baby Bean will come in May, I plan on strictly breastfeeding her for the first few months.  The Army might get in the way of my plans, but I hope to continue to breast feed her through her first year.  However, that extends past this resolutions list.

9. Graduate from College - I should complete my Bachelor's degree this year.  I plan to do so, without any breaks I should have my degree completed by this summer, but I know I will be taking at least one. 

10. Exercise more - Generalized, though I should get into specific goals and numbers, as they are easier to judge wether success was reached or not.  Milking a cow does help, but I would really like to work out more even while I'm pregnant.  Right now it's just things that are safe for pregnancy, but overall, just working out regularly, even if its a short walk or a round of yoga or whatever it is, could help with making me feel better. 

10.1 Complete one full cycle of P90X - This will have to be later in the year, so it is later in the resolutions list.  I have to wait until after the baby is born of course, and probably after the six week post partum period, but I think this will make me feel great if I can do it at least once. 

11. Read one new book a month - I used to love to read, still do, but reading much more then this with everything on my plate might be difficult.  Still, would like to try. 

I think that should do it.  Only a year will tell if I succeed or not. 

9.20.2012

#ForAll

I have sworn (for personal reasons) that I wouldn't get to political this election season.  Who am I fooling?  I guess that means I should resort to Twitter and Blogger, and leave Facebook for pics of the kidling and other stuff.  I have lately been ignoring Twitter and Blogger, so I guess I need to find a way to use them for my political outlet. 

First off, the Obama campaign came out with this little number here:


 
Look, hip movie stars and a bunch of random people talking about how Obama is for All of us, as they pledge their vote to Dear Leader.  Looks creepy to me.  It does remind me of an earlier phenomenom that also incorporated movie stars.
 

Not pledging to the country, but specifically Obama.  Nothing creepy about that, if you're into dictators. 

Even more ironic that they made a flag "to say there are no red states or blue states, only the United Obama States" FIFY!

I had to respond, only to discover Gov Perry beat me at my idea. 



 
Well, was looking for a good reason to wear that shirt. 

Stop with the Gas Criticism Already

Yeah, I know, I have been out of the blogging business for a while now.  I guess life has just been getting the better of me. 

However, I want to bring up a point to my fellow conservatives who like to point out that gas was $1.85 when Obama took office on Jan 20, 2009 versus today's prices of roughly $3.85 or so a gallon.  Ok, I am not an Obama fan, I am not defending him remotely, but stop it already. 

You are comparing apples and oranges, the cost of gas is cyclical.  Gas is ALWAYS cheaper in the winter time, if you want to compare prices, you have to compare gas on jan 20, 2009 to Jan 20, 2012, not what gas prices are in the height of their price.  And I don't know about you, but I remember what gas prices were in the summer of 2008.  I remember driving through New Jersey and finding prices at $3.15 a gallon and was amazed by how cheap that was.  A couple of times that summer I did pay near $4 a gallon.  Then they came crashing down in price that fall, i was thrilled when gas was under $2 a gallon again. 

The point, gas was expensive back in the summer of 2008, but they sunk in price that fall and winter.  We have't seen the price that cheap since, but if you are going to leverage criticism of the gas against Obama, at least use comparible time frames.  Meanwhile, when you use criticisms like this that are easily negated by people who actually remember what gas prices were in 2008, they are less likely to pay attention to your legitimate criticisms against the president thinking you are just going to throw blame any chance you get and shut you down.  This is not a legitimate criticism, so please just stop it already.

4.11.2012

Current Baby Trends

So I have a confession to make.  I'm one of those moms.  Yeah, one of THOSE moms. 

I was doing a church activity last night, I think I was the only one there who brought their baby along, and the topic of babies came up and the current trends of mommy hood.  One that was thought of as ridiculous by some of these women was the idea that the baby should only be on formula or breast milk for the first six months.  They were commenting on how they were feeding their babies rice cereal at two months and introducing solids much earlier then that to help the baby sleep.  In fact, my mom recommended that I give Kaia a little rice to help her sleep at night when I was still a new mom (not that I'm an old hat at this now that I've been doing it for a whopping five months).

Well, I just made a casual observation, as Kaia is very healthy and happy, how she's nearly five months old and has only been breast fed.  In fact, I'm pretty proud that everything my baby has digested has come from me.  I may have to introduce solids a little earlier than I would have wanted, the army is taking me away from my baby for three days before she turns six months old and I want to make sure I have other options in case I can't get enough milk pumped, but I am in the camp of giving my baby no solids before six months. 

Yep, I am one of those moms.  The mom that goes through labor with no drugs and a midwife, doesn't want a c-section, and breast feeds as long as possible *though I'm not into the extreme breast feeding gig, I think Kaia will be weaned by two at the latest*.  I think some of the women got a little bashful when they realized I didn't use any of those old techniques they raised their children on that worked for them, and I do have my own mother on board because I think she sees how Kaia is growing and knows I'm doing something right.  Heck, I'm one of those Co-sleeping mamas, I try to get Kaia in the crib for at least part of the night but more often than not I end up in bed with her because we're both happier and we both sleep better when we sleep together.  I hear a lot of women who talk about the lack of sleep with a newborn and I'll be honest, I haven't really had that.  Why?  Because I sleep with my baby, I breast feed her, and I try not to let her cry for long when she gets fussy.  It's just worked.  I have had a couple sleepless nights but I don't feel like a walking zombie like many woman comment on. 

I'm not saying every woman needs to do what I do, I just found that it works for me.  I went by my gut after researching what I needed to do.  I basically fell into co-sleeping because it just felt natural and I like my sleep.  What's interesting is a lot of these birthing trends that are coming to light are not really new at all.  In a lot of third world societies, babies sleep with their mama and it isn't considered the enormously dangerous thing that it is like some people claim it is here, though i admit I haven't told my pediatrician that I co-sleep.  Most of these people in other countries don't have the option of feeding their babies formula, they only have breast available, which is considered the best thing to give your child.  I was watching this documentary recently called Babies that shows four different babies from around the world and how although this one baby is born in very rough circumstances, playing around in the dirt and what not, he is happy and thriving.  He's got his mama there and all of his basic needs are met. 

Kaia is happy and thriving, and I don't want to toot my own horn or anything but I think it's because of how I put a lot of things to the side to make sure her needs are met.  Right now, she has been my primary focus in life and everyone comments what a good baby she is.  Now I have to focus on making sure my husband isn't feeling neglected either.  And keeping on top of the house.

Of course, Kaia has got me lulled into this sense of security that makes me want to have another one, and I'm wondering if they are going to be nearly as easy as she is

3.26.2012

Life After Childbirth

Where do I begin? I think I'm starting to finally feel the need to get out do things, and having an infant that you have to lug around everywhere you go does put a damper on your style. I felt pretty independent and free before becoming a mother and now, not so much, but still, at the same time, I do love my daughter and I love being a mom.
One of the strange things about the whole event, I felt through most of my twenties I couldn't figure out what I wanted to be and now I know. I'm going to school part time, my bachelor's degree is actually accessable for the first time in, well, ever! Going into education and teaching, which I just keep going back too, my other educational endeavours were just going nowhere but now I feel like i might just get something accomplished. It feels good.
Animalwise, I had three chickens and twelve chicks april of last year, every one of those chickens is deceased. It actually makes me kind of sad to think about that I lost all of my chickens, because you grow rather fond of them. I started with fifteen chicks now, though one of those chicks didn't make it. A little adaptation to my chicken coop should keep the predators out. Also we have a haveahart trap to catch anything that might want to munch on chicken flesh. Already got a raccoon with it, and a friend is making a coonskin cap out of its carcus. I love the rural life though. Getting to and from town however, not so much. I also had one of my beloved barn cats disappear. This made me a little sad, so I adopted a couple 'feral' cats that are sweet as can be to replace him.  It's kind of sad that I have to consider my barn cats expendable, because we do have a coyote issue.  The next task, getting my dog an invisible fence so she can help keep the pests away, and hopefully add to the lifespan of my other animals. 

I'm down to two horses, one being Breezy and the other being a pony that is a work in progress.  It should be fun putting miles on him, but I don't know if I'm going to keep  him, otherwise I might try to trade him for a pony that is a little more tame.  He's got some spunk, and it looks like it will be a while before my daughter can use him. 
Working out is a work in progress. We had sun a few weeks ago and I went running for the first time in, well, over a year. I am out of shape. We also started P90X and lasted a whole two weeks.   But weather has been very bipolar, yesterday was glorious son, today is wet and snow.  Bleh.  Husband's work schedule and my life being dictated by an infant has a lot to do with that. That also goes for having time to clean and upkeep house. Not to mention blogging. You mean I have a blog that at one time was semi-successful? Whodathunkit?
There is often issues I want to comment on, but it's just getting to a point where I wonder what my priorities are, and right now, my priorities belong to my daughter.  Having only one child and living out in the boonies makes doing anything kind of difficult, but we'll manage I think.  Just keep an eye on the blog, I facebook much more and when i do blog, I tend to comment on my facebook about it.

Justice and Gun Rights, Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last week or so, undoubtedly you heard about the case of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.  I heard about it through an email petition on behalf of Martin's parents seeking justice for their son's murder, but I didn't know the full details so I didn't bother signing it.  Then it just escalated from there, becoming an issue of race, class and MSM bias.  I couldn't help but follow on the story because EVERYONE was commenting on it, looking at it from both sides and seeing where justice had failed and what not. 

So after remaining mum on the topic, this is what I think happened.  Pardon some errors, this is all pure speculation as I do not know all of the details. 

George Zimmerman is part of a neighborhood watch program.  Trayvon Martin was visiting some friends or family from out of town.  Martin had walked to a corner store and picked up an ice tea and some skittles and was talking to a female friend on the phone on the way back.  Zimmerman was driving along, seeing a 6'2" black kid that he was unfamiliar with walking down the street of his neighborhood. 

And this is where a big fat misunderstanding starts to happen.  In a responsible situation, Zimmerman could have just went straight up to Martin and asked him who he was and what he was doing without being confrontational about it.  Martin could easily explain who he was visiting and what he was doing, if Zimmerman had any questions about it, he could have kept an eye on the kid until he reached the house he was staying at.  No bloodshed would have happened.  Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way.

Zimmerman decided to call 911 to report suspicious activity on a strange kid walking down the street, knowing nothing about the kid.  Meanwhile, Martin notices some guy is following him and relates this to his friend on the phone.  She tells him to get out of there, run or something.  he throws his hood over his head, kind of a defensive posture in my mind suggesting he wants to be left alone.  Whatever action he did, it made him look suspicious to Zimmerman.  Zimmerman, meanwhile, wants to engage the kid in a sort of vigilante nonsense and the police specifically tell him not to engage the kid.  Zimmerman assumes since the cops aren't there that they don't have a good handle on the situation and decides to take matters into his own hands.  Martin is already suspicious of Zimmerman and wondering why he is following him, likely feeling threatened himself. 

Whatever happens at this point escelates the situation.  Zimmerman likely confronted Martin.  Martin, being a seventeen year old kid, probably got defensive.  Both saw the other as a threat, even though there was no threat there to begin with.  I don't know about you, but teens can be volatile, and Martin was likely already on edge, Zimmerman said something to him that got his blood going and Martin likely defended himself by jumping on Zimmerman. At this point, Zimmerman was in a self defense situation and shot the kid. 

Conclusion, both did actions to escelate the situation to the point where it ended where it did.  I don't think Zimmerman went into that situation with the intent to murder Martin, but that's what happened.  Poor judgment and suspicion lead to a tragic incident that could have completely been avoided if the two of them communicated better.  Is Zimmerman guilty?  Hell yeah he is.  Is Martin?  He is not without fault, but he didn't deserve to die, he shouldn't have been shot, and there is that window of time before Zimmerman shot Martin that we do not know for certain what happened. 

The issue of controversy is that Zimmerman was not arrested due to the Florida Stand Your Ground law which provided a loophole that let him off the hook.  Zimmerman was in deed defending himself at that point.  The problem?  So was Trayvon Martin.  The further problem was that Zimmerman was armed with a gun while Martin was armed with an iced tea and a bag of skittles, as well as his fists.  In a case like this, the gun will always win. 

Apparently Zimmerman is feeling a lot of guilt for what happened, as he is still free, but the public outcry on this case while everyone is jumping to conclusions is probably putting a lot of pressure on him.  He should turn himself in most likely, since the New Black Panthers has issued a bounty on his head for $10,000.  Do I think this was a hate crime?  No, Zimmerman over reacted to a percieved threat that wasn't a threat at all, he saw a stranger on the street that looked suspicious and took matters into his own hands.  He instigated it and used poor judgment.  He should have known better.  He should also choose his words a little wiser next time as well, because goon sounds a lot like coon over the phone. 

This case has been getting a lot of attention and people are crying foul that other cases that were serious are not getting half the attention that this one is.  There was an issue of a white kid getting set on fire by two black kids, which was definitely racially motivated.  There was also another case where a white couple was raped and brutalized by a gang of black people, who were later arrested.  To me, they are both horrific and unnecessary, but its not the issue of media under reporting earlier cases, where justice was met because the guilty were arrested.  The case with Martin and Zimmerman is that Zimmerman killed a kid and was released by the police of any wrong doing.  The precedent to me is what this will do and how it will be used against the second ammendment.  Because for every Zimmerman/Martin case, there is the other side where somebody who is actually evil wants to do harm to another.  Channon Christian and Chris Newsom would be alive today if they had a gun to defend themselves.  Zimmerman should have known better and not taken the matter into his own hands, especially since he had a gun.  I am an avid defender of gun rights, but that doesn't give you a license to take the law into your own hands.  The Stand Your Ground law is a great law in my opinion, it has been misused here.

Of course, to bring Politics into it all, President Obama had to weigh in, suggesting that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.  *le sigh*  Why does Obama have to always insert himself into every situation he weighs in on?  The issue was tragic and should have never occurred, but it doesn't matter who Trayvon looks like, if Trayvon had been a Irish kid with red hair and freckles, does that mean Obama wouldn't care because he wouldn't look like Obama's son?  The concern was he was an innocent kid in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I think the issue is communication here, and an incident could have been completely avoided if Zimmerman hadn't decided to play vigilante. 

1.04.2012

2011 - quick rundown by month

I know a few people who do this.  I thought I would start doing it as well.  Here is a rundown of my month to month activities, the highlights and main events.

JANUARY

P90X going strong, trained for UPL with the Military that sent me to Texas for a weekend.  Got attacked by a feral cat and had to get rabies shots.  A couple of weeks of trying to trap cat with no dice.  Cat still at large.  Briefly go back to work at the air port cleaning airplanes.  Husband surprises me with tickets to Hawaii for our one year anniversary.  Snowmobiling!

FEBRUARY

Continuing series of Rabies shots.  Husband leaves for the first time for a week.  Finish working at the airport and put in my two weeks notice for good.  Decide to see if I can make it work as a photographer and work on my portfolio.  More Snowmobiling!

MARCH

Go train to be a Unit Computer Tech in Vancouver, WA for a weekend, spend some time with my Aunt Renee.  Get my first suspicions I am pregnant while there.  Come home, take a pregnancy test, have it confirmed at the hospital.  Because of miscarriage, don't tell anyone about it except for husband.  Get in to see Midwife right away.  No longer snowmobiling, brother figures out I'm pregnant.  A few horse friends figure it out too.

APRIL

Find out last minute that Husband has to go to Military school during the week we are to be in Hawaii, trip gets delayed.  Wait until week 8 to inform the family of pregnancy.  Learn that cat naps are a beautiful thing, also experience Morning Sickness.  Find baby chicks at Big R and bring home six.  Two weeks later, bring home six more.  Spend the next six weeks away from hubby.  Not happy about it but deal.

MAY

Lots of sleep.  Trouble finding things to eat.  Pregnancy continues.  Make the Facebook announcement at 12 weeks along.  feel the baby kick at insanely early.  Husband returns from school at end of month and heads out of town promptly thereafter for work.

JUNE

Husband returns from out of Town, we got to HAWAII!!!  See my cousin on Oahu and then head over to the big island where I meet his extended family.  Tour the big island by Camper Van.  Awesome time!

JULY

Fourth of July in Hilo HI.  Come home and find out we're having a girl!  Husband leaves again.  Balderdash.  Cheney Rodeo, lot's of fun!  Family reunion in Seaside OR where Husband shows off his impressive wind surfing skills.

AUGUST

Helena MT for the Army, I still fit in my ACUs?  Start Hypnobirthing classes.  Start school, since I have nothing better to do.  good friend gets married, Husband best man

SEPTEMBER

Impromptu maternity session.  Husband in and out.  Bleh. 

OCTOBER

Baby Shower!. . . get's promptly canceled when I find myself having preterm labor.  figure baby's arrival is imminant.  Aunt comes and visits.  Halloween is lackluster this year, I dress up as a pregnant girl.

NOVEMBER

Impatince is the story of my life first half of month.  Fed up with Roosters beating up my hens and butcher them.  Baby comes at exactly 40 weeks, right on schedule.  Healthy and beautiful.  Try to go to Portland for Thanksgiving, can't make it.  Decorate for the holidays.  Spend rest of month at home recooperating with baby.  Husband has time off.  I get pampered.  Life is good.

DECEMBER

Holidays are approaching, difficulty shopping for christmas on account of newborn.  Christmas low key.  I feel better.  New Years at Wolf's Lodge with the family.

Maybe next year i'll go into greater detail, complete with pics, but that just about does it.  I guess with a baby, life is just a little more busy for me right now.  :)

Resolutions 2011/2012 edition

This year started with all sorts of hopes and goals, I started with 15 resolutions. Turns out one trumped the rest. How did I do for 2011?

Well, the first four are related.

1. Run Bloomsday at close to an hour - I didn't even run bloomsday.

2. Leadman - A triathlon that is ski/bike/run.  Was tempted to try, glad I didn't. 

3. Pattern Racing - You take a horse and do various gaming events on them.  I have the horse, but other obstacles were in my way.

4. Trail Challenge, Ride and Ties - Another horse related set of events. 

5. Concealed Weapons Permit - Really no excuse, but I think I will have this one written down so I don't forget.  I really need to get this knocked out.

6. Motorcycle License - It will be some time before I get this task done.  I still want to do it.

7. Finish P90X - We made it to week 6.  Then a couple of events happened that put us on hiatus and then ultimately quitting. 

8. Go Canyoneering - We were planning a trip to Southern Utah, this sounds like a lot of fun.  But alas, just didn't happen.

9. Start writing a children's book - have an idea, but it just didn't materialize.  Maybe one day I'll sit down and do it. 

10. Employment - This is amber, because it wasn't a true job.  I worked my graveyard shift for a couple more weeks and than ultimately quit.  I also put my camera to work, though only a handful of jobs.  I didn't actively pursue my photography, but I really would like too.  I do need to look for an actual, steady job.  Still have the army reserves, though that didn't pan out like it usually does.

11. Learn to cook at least one new meal every month, if not every week - I actually was able to learn a few meals this year, but it wasn't as frequent as I would like.  I kept going back to old stand bys. 

12. 24 hour comic - Do 24 comics in 24 hours, from start to finish.  I don't think it will ever happen.  If I do it, I do it.  I'm just not going to do it any time soon.  No use putting it up as a resolution.

13. Get back into painting - I got the paints out, planned a painting, and put paint to canvas.  I then gessoed over what I did because it was awful.  I at least got into my paints.  Maybe I'll do better next year?

14. Organize my studio space - This is a constant work in progress, but it is further along now than it was last year. 

15. Get Pregnant - To explain last year's resolution, let's just write down what I wrote last year.  "Depending on when this happens, this might but make a lot of my other resolutions go red."  Indeed it did.  I got pregnant within two months of writing this list and everything about went red.  But it was worth it.  I got an adorable little munchkin to show for it.

This year will undoubtedly be different from years previous because of my munchkin, and it will actually be more typical of the traditional new years resolutions.  I am realizing I'm older, I'm married, and now I have a child.  Everything changes.  My resolutions are going to be a little more responsible and oriented toward my family then before.

1. Regularly attend church - over the last decade, I've been a bit of a heathen in regards to this task.  The thing is, I feel better about myself when i go regularly, and I can totally use the networking and support it provides especially when my husband deploys and leaves me to myself.  Fortunately i do have my family, but friends are good too, and it's a firm foundation of morals and values I want to raise my daughter in.  I'm off to a good start so far.

2. Get back into shape - Yes, the infamous and infernal 'exercise' resolution that everyone puts on their list and nobody accomplishes.  Well, baby is out of the oven, I did fairly well with my pregnancy but I definitely have some toning to do.  Plus, Army mandates it, and i'll feel better about myself. 

2.5 Pass PT test first time out - I have to take a diagnostic PT test six months after giving birth.  I want to smoke that thing.

3. Run at least 5 races - Bloomsday, mud races, 5ks, half marathons, triathlons, whatever.  This year I want to get into running.  I'm using my sister and my sister in law for motivation.  I just want to get into running. 

4. Horse Events - This is pattern racing, trail challenges and the like.  I'm going to try these with Breezy this year, if munchkin allows.  I will most likely have to have either a baby sitter or somebody to assist in my endeavours.

5. Meal Planning - I actually tried couponing this year.  It ended in an abysmal failure, that and it's just quite time consuming.  I've decided to change gears, and it's just healthier in the long run, and saves money when you don't buy stuff that goes bad because you don't use it.  That's the goal at least.  And it goes with resolution 11 from last year. 

6.  Breast feed at least 6 months - that gives me until May.  I want to shoot for as long as I can, but going for 6 months minimum. 

7. Agility Training with Scooby - this dog was born to do Agility events.  I want to do them with her.  There is a local dog circuit in town that teaches agility training and allows owners and their dogs to compete.  I don't intend on doing it for anything more than for fun, but I would like to learn how to do it and teach her how to do it. 

8. Get a job that coincides with staying home with Baby - I don't want to pay a baby sitter to take care of my baby.  It doesn't have to be anything grand, making six figures a year or anything like that.  Just a little extra to supplement our income while I take care of infant.  likely a telecommuter job.

9. Get an A in classes while sticking with school - I feel I'm pretty close to getting my Bachelors for once.  Army is paying for it.  Why not?  I go to school online, so I hope I can keep up with it and a baby.  So far so good! 

10. Work on baby Number 2 - By years end, I hope to be pregnant again.  We want two kids, and we want them close in age.  Hope it doesn't happen before September, as that's when we'll start working on it.  If it doesn't happen this year, hopefully it will happen early next year.

That sounds like a good list of resolutions for me to work on.  Here's looking at a fabulous 2012!

2011 in review

Despite how little, or how much I blog, I will always do my review of my year. 

This year, I'm going to add a little extra.  A month by month account of how my year went.  Coming in a blog post near you.

01. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

Hmm. . . thinking.  . . :P

Give birth of course, nothing anyone tells you can prepare you for childbirth, and men really can't understand

02. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

One event probably skewed a lot of my resolutions for last year (will detail in a post immediately following) and yes, I have a lot of resolutions for this coming year.

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Hmm. . .

Actually, I know quite a few.  a couple of cousins, a niece and a friend of mine all had babies, but one did come near and dear to me. 

04. Did anyone close to you die?

At this moment, I can't think of any deaths.  I'd feel very foolish if I was wrong on this account. 

05. What countries did you visit?

No countries other than the US of A, however, one more state was knocked off my to visit list, the great island state of Hawaii!  That brings my total to 46!

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Exercise.

07. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

A handful. Of course, one big one, November 15th.  I will write this date down multiple times for the rest of my life I am guessing.

08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Natural Childbirth.  believe me, it is a HUGE achievement.  I wanted to cave in bad, but I managed to do it unmedicated.  I can't take full credit, my friend Pam the Doula and my mother and sisters were a huge help in making me achieve this goal.

09. What was your biggest failure?

This is a tough one.  I guess not getting that stupid possibly rabid cat, which is still at large.  Also, was going to put in a garden.  It didn't happen this year.  But then again, this was a horrid year for gardening, so I have heard.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Child birth, and the consequences produced from baring an 8 pound baby naturally.  And of course, getting attacked by a feral cat. 

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My husband got us a trip to hawaii, definitely the best thing we bought :)

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

No idea, but I'm guessing I can say Yay me for going Natural!

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Multiple Politicians.  I am very disappointed in our current crop of presidential candidates

14. Where did most of your money go?

Towards an infant I guess.  I got into the nesting bug pretty bad.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

For November to come around so I could hold my little munchkin in my arms.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2011?

You know, there are so many stupid songs out on the radio today.  I'm focusing on oldies I think, becuase I've been listening to a lot of soft music to calm infant.  I really like Adele, I guess her music will.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Definitely happier

ii. Thinner or fatter?

Ugh, Fatter.  Granted I just had a baby so give me a break.  Overall I'm doing well, just have to lose a few more pounds and tone!

iii. Richer or poorer?

Poorer financially, (barely) just because we have more things to support, namely an infant, but we're still doing very well.  Richer in all other ways.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

More prepping for the baby, namely in organizing the house and getting my affairs in order.  I would have also liked to have done a garden.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Slept, but it was a necessity when you are pregnant.  I spent the first trimester taking four hour naps and they were spectacular.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas eve with my folks and family, Christmas morning with my husband and daughter, and christmas afternoon with his family.  We just about missed christmas together and almost had to delay it.  Very low key holiday season, it was nice though. 

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?

Yes :)  Madly in love

23. rescinded due to pointlessness (what can I put here in place of this question?)

24. What were your favourite TV programs?

Sister got me hooked on Dexter.  Netflix has been key to introducing us to discontinued shows like My Name Is Earl and No Ordinary Family.  Watched Jericho after I had Kaia.  Been watching Star Trek, The Next Generation off and on when I have some time to kill with the baby.  Still, not much of a TV watcher, especially now that I'm getting my energy back. 

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Juvenile question.  I guess I still despise the cat that maimed me

26. What was the best book you read?

Don't read a whole lot, so I guess The Hunger Games

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

The Lullaby setting on Pandora (though the ads ruin the vibe)

28. What did you want and get?

A healthy pregnancy and a bouncing baby

29. What did you want and not get?

We do want a boy, but I'm absolutely thrilled with my daughter.  Also, a hypnobirth and more time with my husband
30. What was your favourite film of this year?

Haven't watched a lot, but I really liked Limitless, also Harry Potter.  Buck was fantastic. 

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Went to a breast feeding support group with my week old daughter, then went home and my husband made me dinner and gave me a Nook.  I turned 31.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

My husband being home more, but alas, that is part of the hazards of being married to the military.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Lounge Pants and Oversized T-Shirts. 

34. What kept you sane?

There's always something to do.  I can't die of boredom where I live. 
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you like the most?

This is a difficult question for me for some reason.  I'm sure there was one but I can't think of any. 

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

I guess how dumb the GOP field is.  I tried to remain current without getting to stirred up with politics, being pregnant I wanted to keep myself in a mellow easy going mood and nothing gets your blood pumping like Politics. 

37. Who did you miss?

My husband, who was missing half of the year

38. Who was the best new person you met?

A little girl named Kaiana

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Family is what Life is All About

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

"I got You Babe!"

12.15.2011

I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

. A month ago, I ventured into the realm of the one thing that really defines womanhood, childbirth.  Forget feminism movement, the desire to show that women are equal to men, you want to show toughness?  I have to say that this was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and ultimately the most rewarding.  I'm talking about Natural Childbirth of course, with no drugs. 

I never really given childbirth much thought before I found myself pregnant.  Doing research on it, I stumbled on this little documentary called "the business of being born" (ok, my sister recommended it) and I was sold on using a midwife and trying to go natural.  Being married to the military, my expenses were only paid if I went through a hospital, so I had to find a midwife who delivered at a hospital.  I found mine through the same OB-GYN office my sisters used, and they were fantastic!

I'll admit that at first I wasn't sure if I was going to make it without drugs or not, because Triage just about had me.  Later I was told that's how they seperate the girls from the women, and it sucked!  I wanted to kick the nurse in the head!  But alas, I get ahead of myself. 

My labor started four weeks earlier, with my baby shower delayed by some false preterm labor.  I thought my little munchkin's coming was immenent.  Alas, such was not the case, but when you get a false start like that, and your body adjusts to preparing itself for childbirth, you expect it to come at any moment.  I was told I probably wouldn't make my due date, but no guarantees on that.  Well, I didn't make my due date.  I missed it by 57 minutes. 

I tried natural induction methods to spur labor into gear because waiting for baby to arrive was irritating once you are given notice that her coming is 'any moment now', but the induction that ended up working was butchoring a couple roosters.  Poor Ebony and Oreo had it coming, they were tormenting my hens, and I like my hens.  They have a job to do and they are cute.  Roosters are good for meat.  When they start bullying my hens, they have to go.  So off with their heads, and two hours later I was definitely in labor. 

Of course, the stripping of my membrane might have had something to do with it as well.  I wanted to go natural with no interventions, but with me at my current state, and a mild case of gestational diabetes, well, no medicine was involved so we went ahead and proceeded with the stripping of the membranes. 

    I may have mentioned that triage was a pain in the butt.  Well, it was.  I should have labored longer at home but this being my first baby, I wasn't sure what to expect.  So off to the hospital we went, being twenty minutes from town and contractions suddenly coming four and a half minutes apart and lasting for nearly a minute.  It kind of came on quicker then I expected so I felt it was time.  Once we were in triage though, I thought I would give in to the meds, as I wasn't exactly prepared for the leg and back labor I experienced.  Thank goodness for my doula, Pam.  Because my birth plan of doing this gig via Hypnobirthing went right out the window.
    Let me tell you about my friend Pam.  She's a mother of eight with one more on the way, and she has a passion for babies and childbirth.  She was my lifesaver (along with my two sisters).  She's also a Doula, which is a birthing assistant, in a sense.  I had never even heard of a doula before a couple years ago when she helped my sister deliver her daughter, my sisters told me about her and recommended her.  Because she is pregnant, they helped out with all of the nifty little pressure points and so on, but I can't go without giving credit where credit is due.  As soon as I came out of triage, Pam was there, and she was a big support.  If you are pregnant and want to deliver naturally, get a Doula.  They are definitely worth it!
I also mentioned I had two sisters that were there to provide aid.  Having a support network of sisters, close friends, mothers, mother in laws (and the father to be of course) is awesome.  I was so grateful for them to be there.  I had an idea of what I wanted, but like I said, when you get something you aren't expecting, in my case, very intense back and leg labor, things kind of go out the window.  I used my breathing techniques I had learned to get through the process, but hypnobirthing, which is the process of getting yourself into a relaxed state of self hypnosis and having a calm, easy childbirth, well, it didn't really happen for me. 
I labored as much as I could in the tub, walking the halls, Pam played Drill Doula with me and had me speed walking and doing lunges and squats out in the hallway, bouncing away on the delivery ball, anything to relieve the pain.  For leg labor, I'll tell you, walking helps.  Also the little pressure point on my feet that my mom found and relieved instantly.  That little spot was gold!  But when it finally came to a point where i was basically not making any progress, my midwife suggested we speed things up by breaking my water, which had not broken yet.  That did the trick.  But then, the relief I had gotten from soaking in the tub wasn't there anymore.  Well, for that matter, the fact that I had to lay on my back in the tub wasn't helping either.  So I waited until I was ready to bear down and bring this baby into the world on my hands and knees.
I am very grateful for my husband, Gus.  However, when it comes to child birth, he was a little lost, as he went through the hypnobirthing class wiht me and that went right out the window.  He soon discovered that his laboring wife had no sense of humor and didn't want to be touched.  My mom said she was surprised he made it out of the delivery room with his head still attached.  Poor Gus, I appeared to have a lot of patience considering the circumstances with everyone BUT him.  I think it's also related to the fact that he was the odd one out, he was the only guy in the room and everyone else had been there done that.  They knew what to expect.  And he kept joking about jumping on the damn horse to spur labor along.  I was not amused.  

It's amazing how your thoughts go through your head.  You may be the most modest and unassuming person in the world, but when you are in the middle of delivering a baby, you don't care if somebody is livestreaming your crotch on the internet, you just want the baby out!  Once bearing down begins, the mood completely changes.  The lights come out, the scrubs come on, and everyone is waiting for the inevitable arrival of that little someone.  Nobody is more eager for that arrival than you.  And you do what ever feels comfortable to get there.  I bore down on my hands and knees at first, but then transitioned to on my back, and it actually worked quite well for me.  I was actually a little surprised.  I was told it took about twenty minutes of pushing to get that munchkin out.  It felt like a lot longer then that. 

As I was bearing down, what felt right was the scene you see in movies of the woman screaming.   I thought they made it a little dramatic, what do you know, for me it worked!  I had no drugs in my system whatsoever, and being vocal actually helped!  So I went ahead and let it out.  My midwife warned me about the "ring of fire", yeah, that's a good name for it.  I was also apparently a little to eager to get my little bundle of joy out of my womb and into my arms because I apparently tore like crazy.  I was told to reach down and grab my daughter and take her in my arms, and I was still in a state of disbelief that I had actually undergone the transition into motherhood as i stared at my baby and tried to wrap my brain around what just happened.

I may have been in shock as well, as soon as my baby was born I was given drugs and being stitched back up on account of heavy bleeding.

 But in the end, meeting a tiny, healthy, perfect little girl that was a little bit of me and a little bit Gus made the whole experience worth it.  And to say that I was actually able to endure the process until the very end, I can't describe how empowering it actually made me feel to be able to say that I did that.  If you can endure childbirth, you can endure just about anything.  What truly makes a woman a woman?  This right here, the ability to nurture within your womb a tiny little seed of life and bring it to term, then introducing that person into the world.  It is a distinctly female trait, and with modern medicine, to do it naturally (though with the tearing, thank goodness for modern medicine) is even more empowering still.  A woman's body is distinctly built to do this very task, to bring that child to life and nurture and provide for it's needs and I think that is absolutely amazing.  I have never appreciated that fact until i did it myself. 
 It's nice to finally meet you, Babe.  We have the rest of our lives to get to know each other, and I look forward to the adventure.