Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Goals and Such

Inspired by a friends comment, I have decided that I need to reassess why I do what I do. In order to be successful in life, I need to have goals and not just slog through each stage of life hoping to survive. These goals are just the beginning and not comprehensive by any means, just some that I threw together before my daughter wakes up.

I stole many of these goals below from another blog... but carefully edited out certains ones that didn't fit my personal credo, such as "eat healthier", and "try a new board game every month". I am a committed Dominion player. Don't even mess with me. Unless you are Jenn K. Then you will destroy me.

  • Go on a family outing every month this year.
  • Have family prayer every day.
  • Go camping two times this year.
  • Read a book every month.
  • Play a new game with your family twice a month.  (Good thing we post new games every Friday!)
  • Count to five and think about what you are doing before you get angry.
  • Call a good friend each week.
  • Make someone in your family smile every day.
  • Clean the house every Thursday so I don't have a panic attack.
  • Go hiking each month as a family.
  • Walk the dog. Anywhere, for any amount of time.
  • Eat less.
  • Spend less money.
  • Commit to less busyness.

  • Are there any I forgot?

    Tuesday, September 24, 2013

    Monday's Top Ten

    In no particular order:
    1. Woke up to Coral yelling "Mommy, Up! Mommy, Up! Mommy, Up!" and so on and so forth
    2. Coral peed in her pretend toilet
    3. Emptied pee from a pretend toilet into a real toilet
    4. Bought underwear in size 2-toddler for the first time
    5. Got peed on
    6. Baked 3 loaves of bread at 11pm-midnight
    7. Went for a drink with a husband that was too tired to do anything but nod and squint at me while I rambled on about my thoughts
    8. Bought some bitchin' Rachael Ray orange ramekins 
    9. Got pooped on
    10. Got 3 filled punch cards at Dutch Bro's when I bought my pumpkin spice latte!
    Wow, no wonder I haven't done one of these in a while. Parenthood can be depressing. The show Parenthood is for sure depressing, I was talking about my life though...

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Dear Uncle Jake

    This past month, my great uncle Jake died. He's shown above here on the right. I mostly just interacted with Jake as a child during family reunions at this camp in Oklahoma. Our extended family would gather at this remote lake and choke on the southern humidity while Jake cooked up 2000 calorie meals for us and told outrageous stories. He was a kind man that loved to make us kids laugh. I was pretty young the last time that I saw Jake but here's what I remember.

    • He was hilarious
    • He didn't put up with any of the mean older boys bullshit
    • He killed a diamondback snake in the shower house by crushing it's head and tried to keep it on the DL
    • He was a freakin' hero to us kids
    As a child, that's about as good as a hero gets, but as I grew up, he continued to be a hero in my mind. Right before his passing, he received the medal of Knight in the French Order of the Legion of Honor. That is the greatest honor that France can give someone and was established by my favorite Frenchie, Napoleon in 1802. It was great to know that France has a similar opinion of my uncle as I do.

    Jake was a paratrooper in WWII and led an elite demolition unity called the Filthy Thirteen. Hollywood adapted the story into the Dirty Dozen, one of the most popular WWII movies, and had Lee Marvin play uncle Jake as seen here:
    More can be read about that here as it was of course, a longer story.

    I am so proud of uncle Jake, as he meant so much to our family and the world. He was a lovely and humble Man.

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    2013, I think we are going places...

    Now that it's near the end of of January, I'm reflecting back on my unintentional new years resolutions. I say unintentional because my iron resolve to not let my muffin top mock me in the mirror and my 20lb weight gain evidenced by my new drivers license photo came all right after Christmas. Oh, Christmas! with your shortbread packed plates and your ceaseless offers of spirited beverages. Not to mention the traditions that bind you to a chair/couch/bucket seat with family in stress-eating inducing scenarios. By the time January 1st came along, the 1st circle of Dante's Inferno, (which if I recall correctly, is a slightly neglected post-baby body) had seared through the hardened arteries of my heart and penetrated my soul.

    Now, my sage body-management advice (after loosing 4 to 6 pounds) comes down to this: Every time I want to eat something when I'm not hungry, I lift up my shirt a little and look at the glorious work that time and sin have done to my belly. That's all. It cures my craving every time. Take that, Cosmo and Weight Watchers! I'm cruising down Weight-loss Highway in the carpool lane with my middle finger up to Crossfit and Curves. Ahhh... I love the smell of arrogance in the morning. Smells like, binge eating in a dark closet.

    In addition to that morsel of good news, I have high hopes for this year. I put a lot of significance in a calendar year. For example, if I ever see 2009 again I'm going to knock it's teeth in. 2011 was a year of wondrous metamorphis where I not only changed physically and gave birth, but I lost many of my fears. 2013 feels good to me. I think I'm going to get out of debt this year(Dave RamseyFinancial Peace Revisited (Revised Edition) by Ramsey, Dave [Hardcover (Google Affiliate Ad)).
     I might have to sell dog-hair pillows on the street corner, but if my goal is acheived, I will shave my head. No I won't, but I might shave my dog. Well, I might HAVE to shave my dog for the pillows.

    In conclusion, may your 2013 be just as furry and balanced on a new digital scale as mine. Cheers, dear reader!

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Journey from Backyard to Freezer.

    (the original six, before we gave three away)
    There are quite a few veggies that have made the before mentioned journey, but today is the first day that some animals made this trip. Don't worry, I didn't tackle the blue heron that was eating our koi. Our three feathered ladies have gone to the chicken coop in the sky. This morning I got some large cardboard boxes and trudged through our bamboo forest to the coop. The chickens eyed me warily and even more so, Jackie. I scooped up Fat Flo who came along willingly until she realized what I meant to do with the box. She hopped out of the box, punched me in the face, and went running for the open gate. Jackie lived up to her reputation and chased her down for me. Parker Jr. was easy to move. The last one was Frida, the little one. She quickly darted around the coop but I used my ninja skills and snatched both of her legs out of the air as she was hopping to an upper bar in the coop. I was just as startled as she was at my sucess but was repeatedly slapped as I crawled out of the coop with an upsidedown chicken in one hand.

    It took me 40 minutes to drive Coral and the three death-row-chickens out to the butcher. It was my first time in this neighboring small town and it met my expectations with it's gravel driveways and wild packs of tom cats. I handed over the birds and got Coral out to walk around and wait. The smell was so similar to my time in rural Mexico that I half expected a Tamale cart to wheel by. It was only 9am and already about 80 degrees. Between the cats gnawing on giblets and the smell of the water being flushed down the gravel driveway, I was glad that I hadn't eaten any breakfast. Even though I live in a small town, I totally felt like a city slicker in my "new" 2000 Volvo wagon that carried me and my 3 chickens in cardboard boxes. I watched four old beat up trucks come and go while I waiting, each carrying over a dozen birds or rabbits in large wire mesh cages. These people were obviously professionals.

    We are safely home now and the bags with chopped chicken are cooling in the freezer. We will have wonderful chicken soup this fall. Thank you, chickens. That was a good run.

    Thursday, August 2, 2012

    Story of a Fairly Normal Birth

    It has been eight months since I gave birth but I felt that it was important for me and for Coral to get this written down. I ran this story by Matt and my midwife to check for accuracy and they said I got an A-. I'm happy with that.

    Coral’s Birth Story 11-12-11

    It has been 8 months since Coral was born but I still want to write down what I remember about my experience. I should say “our” experience because it was a remarkable experience for myself as well as Matt and Coral.

    Leading up to Corals due date of 11-11-11, I was indifferent about when she was born. I was just excited to meet her. When I woke up on the morning of the 11th, I was overwhelmed by the desire to give birth that day. I didn’t have a name picked out yet, but I felt that I needed it to happen.  It was a Friday and I had a Dr appointment to get my fluid level checked. I wasn’t as good as I should have been about hydrating so I was getting being monitored for amniotic fluid levels. Matt picked me up and went with me to the Doctor that afternoon and while I was there one of my midwives said that it would be so great for everyone if the baby came that day since the fluids were a little bit of an issue and we were all just ready. She swept my membrane as a gentle way to induce and sent me on my way. I wasn’t sure what kind of feeling to watch for since I had no idea what a contraction felt like. I knew that I felt strange the rest of the day, as if my muscles and sinews were grumbling and rearranging themselves in confusion. Matt made me a wonderful steak dinner that night and I even had a little red wine in our celebrating. We then went to the store to walk around and buy some receiving blankets for the baby and distract myself from the twisting and pulling in my abdomen. When we got home it was about 8pm and I told Matt that if we were going to be up all night, I wanted to go to bed then so I would be rested. Matt and I had just dozed off when I felt my first contraction. I woke up with a start and started shaking. I went to the bathroom and lost all my amazing dinner and was shaking uncontrollably. Matt came in and helped me get off the floor because my muscles and nerves seemed to all be confused and panicking. We came downstairs and Matt ran hot water over my back in the shower while I was leaning over the side of the tub like a sea sick sailor. It was about 9:00 when I dried off and knelt in front of the couch and rested my arms and head there while we tried to figure out how the heck to use the contraction counter on my phone. I knew to start the timing from the beginning of each contraction but they were so quick and short that I wasn’t sure if it was one contraction or 5. We gave up for a while and Matt just talked to me a bit while I zoned out and moaned and rocked. I directed all of my pain sound through my deepest hum which is supposed to help relax and release the pain. It seemed to help and it kept me calm. We were convinced that the labor would be a long arduous one and were determined to stay home as long as possible. I think it was around 10:30 and I was still on the couch/floor and I realized that these were not one long contraction but many short one and I had been at 2-3 minute intervals for a while. That is when you are supposed to be at the hospital already, or reading to give birth wherever you are. I told Matt to call my parents and get me down to the birthing center in which I had pre-registered. It was only a 5 minute drive but I was in so much pain sitting in the cold seat. My contractions were hammering me into a stupor at that point. I felt like I was the town drunk as Matt led me staggering towards the birthing center door. I stopped right in front of the automatic slider and threw up on the loveliest Japanese maple. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand and we got inside. We were buzzed in and the nurse at the desk asked me how I was doing, I told her not very well and she escorted me into the exam room. After what seemed like 2 years, she was done checking my cervix and said I was at 4 centimeters. They checked me in to my room at 11:11 pm and got an IV placed just in case they needed to give me some fluids but I told them I wanted minimal intervention. My midwife got there shortly after the nurse had turned the back of my hand into Swiss cheese trying to get the needle placed.  I felt like someone should be as astounded as I was that I was about to have a baby but my midwife calmly greeted me with a cup of tea in her hand and talked with me about how I was doing and what might help. I was sitting on a yoga ball with my head resting on the edge of the bed doing my deep humming. I couldn’t stand being touched. Everything hurt when it touched me. The band they put around my stomach to hold the round disk that listened to the baby’s heartbeat was like a torture device. I took it off a few times and the soft spoken nurse kept putting it back on while mumbling words of encouragement. I wanted to punch her. Sam suggested I get in the hot tub and rest. My mom and Holli arrived from Eugene by then. It was probably midnight.  They helped me get in the tub while my midwife cleared the room so that I could have some calm. There were fake candles and bird chirping sounds that may have annoyed me if I wasn’t so focused on the pain. The strange thing was that I could control the pain if I concentrated on it and let it wash over me. If I lost concentration I started to lose control of myself. That happened a few times when the soft spoken nurse was telling me to do something and I couldn’t hear her over my low humming. From here on out I will refer to this nurse as “Mumbles”. I snapped at Mumbles a few times as I was fighting the panic.

    While I was in the tub Matt and Holli took turns holding my hand. The contractions got harder and faster quickly while I was soaking. After about an hour, so 1am I panicked a little because I was convinced that I was going to pass out in the tub so I jumped out and Matt helped me to the bed to stand near it. I was convinced that I didn’t want to get in the bed because the contraction would be unbearable but I was really tired. My midwife suggested trying to hang my weight on Matt’s shoulders while she supported my hip bones. I was told before that this helps relieve pressure as the baby descends. This did not help at all and I started to lose it a little as the pain got ahead of me. I was so tired at this point that I laid down on the bed because I thought I might fall down. I was correct about the contractions being worse while in bed and I did lose control at that point and started to wail and writhe in the bed. Matt lowered the bed railing and got into the bed with me and talked to me. He told me I was doing great and he was so amazed with me. I wasn’t able to acknowledge him but that did help. My midwife helped me get propped up with some pillows and Matt was laying right next to me talking to me. I started to focus on the contractions again and they became manageable again. My midwife checked my cervix and said I was already at 10cm and we should start pushing after she broke my water. I think Coral must have heard her because her head started to move and broke the sack. I was starting a contraction about that same moment and my abdomen seized and I went from humming to a full out groan when my body started pushing. I was confused for a second and then realized it really was time to push just before my midwife started to talk me through the pushes. Matt kept saying how amazing I was and I kept thinking how amazing my body was, that it was doing all of this on its own.

     It was 1:20am and my mom was holding one knee up for me, Mumbles was holding the other and my midwife was telling me I was making good progress. I was so tired that I would feel a contraction coming and fear it, then I would push with all my might through it, and then feel like I was going to pass out after it. I kept saying, I’m so tired, I can’t do this, and then another contraction would come. I started to be afraid that I really would pass out and they would cart me in to the OR and cut me open. This fear made me push even harder during a contraction and I would stubbornly be pushing even though the contraction was over. Mumbles and my midwife started telling me to relax between and save my strength. I had my hands behind my knees so that I could hold on to something. After a few pushes they were just stuck there from all the sweat and pressure from my knees being bent. Mumbles kept telling me to relax my hands and I was too tired to tell her that I was relaxed, they were just stuck so after a few times I just yelled it at her. The pushing fell in to a pretty good rhythm and as I pushed I was thinking about the baby working her way down and I would say “come on baby”. It was half encouragement, and half pleading. I’m not sure how the onlookers interpreted it because I’m pretty sure I heard snickering. My midwife was so encouraging that I started to get a false sense of progress and after 10 minutes I asked if she could see the head. She said “no” and I was so disappointed. I had no concept of time. After a few more pushes she said she could see it. A few more and the baby’s soft furry head was nearing the cervix. I got to feel her head and it was kind of creepy but amazing.  It gave me the last bit of energy I needed to push her head out. I think they sucked some fluids out of her nose and mouth and my midwife said “push” so I pushed like crazy and thought that the body was out. It was not, so I was again so disappointed when I was told to push again. The baby didn’t move and my midwife could feel that the baby’s hand was stuck by her face so she wasn’t going to come out very smoothly. She told me not to push but I had to. There was no way to fight it. There was a little bit of tearing and a sharp pain and the baby’s torso was mostly out. One more push finished the job at 1:48am and I didn’t even think about the pain when they pulled a purple crying baby up towards me and laid her on my chest. She had one eye winked closed and a soft little whimper as she moved her little hands around my neck. Her hair was dark and soft.  I had been so focused on pain and pushing that I was a little shocked when they handed me a baby. I said “Oh, thank you God. Baby, I’m so glad you came out”. I just watched her as they cleaned us both up. My midwife gave Matt some scissors and he cut the cord and helped wrap the baby up in a blanket on my chest. I was told to push one more time so the placenta could come out. I asked to see it and it was huge. I had to get stitched up but it was easy to forget about it with a baby to look at.

    They wiped her face and head with a cloth and put a hat on her. Everyone was ushered out of the room for a bit so Matt and I could bond with her and name her. I asked Matt what we should name her and he said, “you did so great, I think you should name her.”  So I named her Coral.

    The family that had been waiting patiently came in to greet the new baby and then left us for some more alone time and some resting time for me.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    Restore, Revive.

    Since I have so much time on my hands, I'm thinking of doing dome work for our local Habitat for Humanity's Restore. They have recycled home building supplies and whatnot for those of my dear readers who don't know. I was mulling this idea over while Matt and I were making a mini greenhouse out of some old windows that we have had for 3 years. Blessing on Matt who has moved them twice as we've changed addresses that many times. I decided that as I grow some winter veggies this year, I'll need appropriate accomodations.

    My winter peas will be growing happily in this new house by fall. As we were building this I told Matt that I loved doing things like this and if I could have a little shop and sell oddities that I pieced together, I would be so excited to do more of it. Matt suggested the Restore as a place where I could try it out and see how it goes. I'm thinking that I would love to try some more repurposing projects like this little night stand below. Who knows, maybe I'll hate it, but it's worth a try and they might get some more sales at the old Restore.