Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Is it bad that both Jay and I forgot that it was our anniversary until just a few minutes ago? Or does it make it OK that we both forgot?

It's number eight. I was going to write a cute post about our wedding day or how we met or something like that. I guess it'll wait until next year. But just for fun, here's a picture of us eight years ago today.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Ain't That the Truth!

I recently read a fabulous column by Carolyn Hax, advice columnist for the Washington Post. I don't know if she has kids or not, but she obviously understands what it means to be a mom who stays at home with kids. She recently answered a question (more like a rant) from a working woman who doesn't understand why her best friend, a stay-at-home mom, doesn't return her phone calls. Carolyn's retort is classic and right on the money.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Small World

In a perfect world I would have this baby at home.

As far as hospital births go, I have no complaints about my labor and delivery experience with Joshua. But I am not particularly looking forward to another hospital birth. I had Joshua at Northwestern Memorial, one of the best women's hospitals in the country. While it is definitely a baby factory, I never once had anyone question any of my decisions about labor, delivery, or aftercare. I'm not so sure how things are going to go here.

I have looked extensively for a midwife willing to perform a homebirth, but the only midwives in the area work for the big hospital and won't do deliveries at home. Heck, I can't even find a doula within 50 miles. But short of a homebirth (in which I envision myself laboring in my own bed, in my enormous tub, even in my yard) I would prefer to make this one work without medication. I feel much more confident in my ability this time around since I will be able to labor at home longer now that the hospital isn't sixty miles away and since I've already been through this once. But just in case I decided to do some more reading on unmedicated birth to supplement my Bradley Birth classes from my pregnancy with Joshua. I searched the internet and noticed that many bloggers had read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

Rewind to Christmas...

My mom, my best friend, and her mom were visiting together at my mom's house. We were discussing scenic routes in Middle and Western Tennessee, and fun, out-of-the-way places like Hohenwald. My mom started talking about Summertown, TN, a commune founded by some California "hippies" in the 1970s who wanted to live in intentional community and create their own utopia. This story surprised me. I've lived in Tennessee for most of my life and had never heard of The Farm, as it is known. It is still going strong, as you can see from their website and they are most well-known for their group of nationally-recognized midwives, led by the co-founder of the commune.

Can you see where this is going?

Yep, the co-founder of the commune and preeminent midwife in the United States is none other than Ina May Gaskin of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. And she lives 120 miles away.

Now my ideal birth is on The Farm with Ina May and the Midwives. But I have a sneaking suspicion I'll probably be in the hospital.

Just for fun, Vanity Fair recently did a story on the Farm. It's fascinating. You can find it here.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to
  • all the moms who always knew they would thrive as mothers and who are in their element when nurturing their children.
  • all the moms for whom the responsibilities of parenting came as a total surprise
  • all the moms who parent those who aren't their biological children
  • all the moms who have had to let go of children because of untimely death, miscarriage, or stillbirth
  • all the moms who have had to let go of dreams of children
  • all the men who mother their children or the children of others
  • my mom!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bad Idea Thursday

  • Bought a box of Kashi TLC Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Cookies (so new they're not even on the Kashi website). Our Kroger just expanded its natural/organic foods section and lo and behold, there they were. The whole box is now gone. Jay had nothing to do with it. But they're good for me right?
  • Watched the pilot episode of Traveler last night. I wasn't quite finished folding laundry by the time Grey's Anatomy was over and it was on so I figured I'd take a peek. One hour later and I'm trying to make sure there's nothing happening next Wednesday night so that I can watch again. And I had just weened myself from TV!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Jay harvested our first batch of broccoli this morning. So far Joshua's the only one that's taste-tested it and according to him it's pretty yummy. Most of it's going on a spinach salad tonight. The rest will be expertly prepared (Ha!) for Jay's lunch tomorrow.

We were all sitting in Joshua's room this morning for our morning briefing when Jay said he had to go so he could cut some broccoli since it was starting to flower. He then looked at me and said, "Do you think you could blanch it and freeze it during the day today?" He might as well have said, "Do you think you could rotate the tires on my Jeep and change the oil sometime today?"

I understand both "blanch" and "freeze," but I'm still not comfortable enough in my domestic skill to be trusted with a gardenful of beautiful fresh vegetables.

Lucky for me, only the above amount was ready to come inside. Guess I'll blanch and freeze another day. Oh goody.

Monday, May 07, 2007


To the third trimester! I can't believe it's here already, although the out-of-control-enormity of my belly (and other parts) would definitely give it away. I felt like time just plodded along with Joshua, and it may still feel that way in a few weeks, so it's amazing to me that I only have twelve weeks to go.

The good news is that I had my gestational diabetes screening last Thursday and it came out normal. Whew! I failed my screening with Joshua and had the joy of the three-hour test. I would've done just about anything to avoid that again, even give up ice cream!

Twelve weeks. Lots to do.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Two Days that Felt Like Two Years (Part III)

At 2:30 this is what our side yard looked like.

The septic tank was pretty deep, which is why our first plumber couldn't find it. But these guys did, and it didn't take long for them to suck it dry. By 3:00 they were finished and Jay and I were left to prioritize our activities for the next half hour. Do we try to wash dishes or do we vacuum the living room (we have a water-filtered vaccum)? Do we just move the dishes into the utility sink in the laundry room or mop the kitchen floor?

We decided to vacuum and clean as much of the kitchen as possible, hoping that the students would be running late. But of course they were right on time with bags upon bags of groceries. So our first project was to move all the dishes to the utility sink (another thing I'm so grateful for), and they started preparing food while I tried to clean the counters around them and point them in the direction of the cookware and utensils they needed.

By the time the rest of the guests showed up for dinner the students had created a very impressive spread and proceeded to play the hosting role masterfully. Dinner was great and the company was outstanding (who knew we could get 20 folks in our humble little abode). Best of all? Jay and I only had to sit back and watch it all happen. The whole event was planned and executed by the students. They just needed a place to do it.

Then the camping fun began: A fire-building contest, two gripping games of Mafia (one of which I won), and a whole evening of having to get used to being called "Mrs. B." The fun apparently continued long after Dr. and Mrs. B. went to bed but we never heard a sound. They made their own breakfast in the morning and were gone by 10:00, exactly when their schedule said they'd be out the door.

Our house was cleaner when they left than when they arrived and, as far as we know, everyone had a fabulous time.

Oh yes.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Two Days that Felt Like Two Years (Part II)

Jay and I were a little lost on Friday morning. We have our morning routine down to an exact science, but with no water we weren't sure what we were supposed to do. Needless to say, it didn't take us long to get ready for the day. I brushed my teeth at the hose, put on some clothes, and pulled my hair away from my face. Jay packed up his clothes and travel kit and headed off to school to shower in the gym (and try to come up with a lecture for his 9:00 a.m. class since he'd been crawling around under the house until 1:00 a.m.).

In the midst of all of this I realized that I did have a lot to be grateful for:
  1. I was sure glad we bought the home warranty. Even though it turns out they don't cover the service we required, it was reassuring to know that someone was going to be on the case first thing in the morning and I wasn't going to be stuck calling plumbers.
  2. I was relieved that I had done every smidgen of laundry in the house earlier in the week so that there was one less thing to worry about.
  3. Another thing to be grateful for? Six acres of bathroom property.
  4. It would take two hands to count the number of friends/neighbors I could've called to watch my kid and let me borrow a shower. I wasn't grody, but showering is a mental health issue for me. I need to shower first thing in the morning in order to feel human. Otherwise I function at about half capacity. I survived without the shower, but it was touch and go for awhile.
  5. It took me until well after noon to tell Joshua I was going to have to throw him out the window. With all that stress (and no shower) I was a little surprised I lasted that long.
  6. Once our water was working again, my responsibilities were over. Our Friday evening event was student-planned and student-executed, so when they arrived they were in charge. All I had to do was make sure my house was somewhat presentable.
Our home warranty company called by 8:00 and we were promised a plumber by noon. He actually showed up at ten! There were a few hitches. First, he didn't seem to be aware that we were on a well and septic despite the fact that our warranty company is supposed to have all the information on our home. Second, he wasn't prepared for the fact that we didn't have a "clean out" on our septic tank, meaning that there was virtually nothing he could do to help us from the get-go. Third, I practically had to go meet him downtown and lead him out to the house because he was pretty clueless on the whole "reading a map" thing.

But, once he determined that we needed our septic tank pumped, he called a local company, explained the situation in detail, and got us a 1:00 p.m. pumping appointment. I added my own plea to the septic guy, put on my best Southern accent, and begged him to come as soon as possible since I was having a houseful of guests who would start arriving at 3:30!

Oh yes.