Archive | August, 2010

Negativity

31 Aug

Today is hard.

Discouraging.

Disheartening.

Overwhelming.

Very emotional.

I’m trying to shrug it off, let it go, and not let it dictate my day. I’ve decided to focus on the good. What brings me joy. Because negativity can’t dominate my day or my life. It’s simply too heavy of an emotion to be on the top.

So instead, it’s the small joys that are bringing smiles to my face. Like the joy found in digging your naked toes into dirt and playing with abandon.

Dirty dirty children

Meal Plan Insanity

30 Aug

It was like the children’s book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”…

At first, my plan was to list out all the meals we eat regularly so that it would lessen my hate of meal planning. Then I decided to link up to recipes I had online. Before I knew it, it seemed like a fabulous idea to type up all the recipes in the cookbooks so that I could quit splattering them while I cooked.

But why stop there?

I’m now going to turn the master list of meals into as many weeks worth of meal plans as I can. After that, I’ll write up grocery lists for for those weeks on an editable spreadsheet so that I can add or subtract items with ease.

Oh, it’s color coded as well.

Yes, I’m crazy but I really hope that at the end of all this, I’ll have a much easier time of meal planning. I can recycle all the meal plans until the weather turns hot again when soup and baked oven dishes aren’t welcome.

How about you? Do you meal plan?

Wordless Wednesday

25 Aug

Scenery

Walking memory lane. *sigh*

Another Refashioned Shirt

24 Aug

Refashioned shirt

I refashioned another piece of clothing today! Not as successful as the blue dress, I think, but I’ll wear this new creation more than the awkward fitting original. That equals good enough for me since the whole point is utilizing my wardrobe more.

Refashioned shirt

This is the original shirt. Not sure WHAT I was thinking (or thinking at all???) when I got it. I’m sure it looks cute on someone but that someone was not me. Not my style at all or flattering in the slightest.

Refashioned shirt

First, I cut out the neckline, sleeves and shortened the overall length. I then took the trimmed length and pinned in as a small collar, pleating as I went.

Refashioned shirt

I also simply turned the sleeves the opposite direction after removing the dark blue band and reset to create a flutter sleeve. The arm/bust was gaping, so I added bust darts as well.

Refashioned shirt

To finish it off, I added a narrow bias tape to cover the raw seam edge along the collar.

In the end, it isn’t really what I was envisioning. The neckline is a bit awkward, but I hope some careful pressing with an iron tomorrow will fix it.

Amazing Naan

23 Aug

IMG_9123

We love love LOVE naan. This fabulous flat bread just melts in the mouth and you’d be hard pressed to come up with a meal it didn’t go well with. We particularly love it with soup or hummus. Yum!

Amazing Naan

* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 1 cup warm water
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 3 tablespoons milk
* 1 egg, beaten
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 4 1/2 cups bread flour
* 1/4 cup butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

2. Punch down dough. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

Personal note: I’ve found that I like the bread better if I cook it indoors in a hot skillet. I’m able to keep a lid on it while it cooks, which allows the bread to maintain a more tender texture.

In Which I Talk About Ella

21 Aug



Ella meeting Miles

Originally uploaded by Dallas Ann

A lot of things strike me in this video. Her hair, her little voice, her laughter. The almost shocking change in her little self when compared to who she is today.

But what stands out the most is her love and desire to take care of her baby brother. To this day, if her love could kill, he would be dead daily. She coos after him, asks if he’s okay when he’s crying, and tells anyone who listens how much she loves her “very small brother”.

Of course, they have their moments. Daily moments, in fact. Screaming, yelps of pain, shouts of anger. But in the end, I hear a little voice say, “Oh Miles. I’m sorry. Here’s a kiss”.

A Birth Experience

21 Aug

Let me begin by saying this isn’t about spreading a fear of birth, this is about talking about experiences. That everything isn’t always what it seems. Wonderful outward appearances don’t always mirror what the actual reality is for the participant. I had no idea that my experience was so common. It happens in home births, unassisted births, and hospital births.

No one talks about it, though. It’s like there’s a stigma attached to having negative emotions in regards to an ideal birth.

I chose to give birth in a hospital. That’s the only place my beloved midwife can legally attend births. She hand picked the nurses who were in the room with me. Everyone was respectful, nothing was done against my wishes, and I wasn’t talked into anything. My husband was my rock, my doula was my strength, my midwife was my faith. Lights were kept dim, talk was at a low murmur. Words were always encouraging, conversation light. I was respected and supported in every way a birthing woman could want.

This is what was seen in the birth photography, what was read in my birth story, what others expressed to me when I asked them about their perspective of the birth.

But I felt nothing but betrayal. Anger, pain, distress, and bitterness. I couldn’t talk about the whole thing without crying for weeks. It took me longer to be able to think about it without wanting to cry.

I felt betrayed by my body. The enormous, ferocious pain I experienced during the pushing stage was beyond my wildest imagination. It blew me away because it was not what I had been expecting. Ella’s birth was an almost euphoric experience. Pushing gave me relief from pain and was something I looked forward to. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed her birth experience. I was not prepared, in any way, for the vicious, bone shattering pain that ripped through my body and actually intensified as I pushed.

It really messed with my mind and emotions to choose to inflict such incredible pain upon myself. There’s more to it than that, but I can’t find the words to delve into it. I’ve been angry, sad, overwhelmed, hurt, gasping, and a myriad of other emotions off and on for the past year.

I had no idea that such emotions could be tied into a normal, natural birth. I had always assigned those reactions to unwanted medicalized births. Never, ever to a “perfect” hospital birth.

I’ve nit picked my birth over and over again. There was absolutely nothing I could have done to alleviate the pain. I did nothing wrong. For those of you who are knowledgeable about birth, perhaps not pushing on my back would have relieved pain, perhaps not. Unfortunately, pushing on my back is how I was able to progress with Miles. I have some physical deformities that caused him to get stuck no matter what position I tried, until I reluctantly tried sit ups while pushing. That is what got him out without forceps, a vacuum or an episiotomy.

I’ve been healing, bit by bit. I can’t lay my finger on any one specific event, but rather it’s been a compiling of small happenings here and there. I cried with my doula a week after Miles’ birth. I wrote and wrote and wrote for myself, expressing my emotions and treating them as valid. I talked about what I experienced with friends and was shocked to discover I wasn’t a ungrateful freak, but rather one of many who was working through a similar flood of emotions.

Most recently, I emailed a small circle of friends and asked them to come over the night of Miles’ birthday. To talk to me and listen to me while I verbally talked through Miles’ birth. To cry with and receive validation from women who had been at my birth and who had also worked through similar emotions.

Sending the email and hearing back from them all saying that they would come was exactly what I needed to work through the last lump of pain. Healing and soothing emotions have replaced senses of betrayal and anger. So much so, that I emailed them all back 10 days later saying that I was all right. I didn’t need to cry and I was healing well. I’m sure that more emotions will surface and need to be sifted through when I am pregnant again, but that is in the future. It is not now.

Right now? I am okay. No, I am more than okay. I am at peace.

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