Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Once upon a time (2 years ago) I was rock hard, awesomely ripped, fit. I did P90X, I ran for miles barefoot, I ate an almost pristinely healthy diet. I was not planning on having another baby. But I did. She is marvelous. Our life is fantastic and crazy all at once. And my not-so-ripped abs are very stretched out. Almost 9 months after her birth and I have lost all but 7 or 8 pounds, I'm back in my jeans (slightly tighter perhaps) and I look pretty good. My diet is healthy, but certainly not perfect. I have found other areas of wellness not known to me before, and I have let some lapse. I don't have time to work out heavily for 2 hours a day. I don't sleep enough to fuel that sort of thing (though I certainly wish so)! So what do I do? For a while I did nothing. But I also didn't heal, didn't feel good, didn't function well. Then I decided every day after dropping my boys off at their 2 different schools, I'd put my 2 year old in the stroller, strap the baby in a wrap and walk to a park- one that wasn't so nearby. Sometimes it was 1 mile, sometimes it was 3. Then I got even busier, and the weather got colder, and I gave up on that and did nothing again. (Nothing except for running around like a mad woman trying to keep all my plates in the air and spinning.) Today, this is my fitness regimen. I have an alarm set on my phone for 10:00. It tells me to do 25 twist lunges NOW! And I do. I picked a time when I would generally be home and doing things that could pause for 3 minutes, and I picked an exercise that was fairly total body and that didn't take any special equipment or clothing. I do 50 alternating lunges- so 25 on each side. I twist my torso in the direction of the forward leg, as far as is comfortable, then switch sides. It takes less than 3 minutes. Sometimes that is all I get in the way of purposeful exercise. Sometimes I hit the floor and do 25 pushups afterward. Sometimes I do ab flexes or belly dance moves or squats while I brush my teeth at night! What counts is doing SOMETHING. I don't have to be an athlete right now. I'll have time for that.... when I have time for that. :P- Someday when I'm not covered in tiny ones that want to either "help" me with everything or eat me alive. For now, I am covered in those mommy-eating helpers. I can't do a lot of organized exercise without driving us all mad. And that's okay. It's just a season.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rock me some doTERRA

I swore i would never fall prey to MLM. Yet here I am a doTERRA Independent Product Consultant. Mostly because I can seriously get behind a solid, amazing product like their Essential Oils. I love them so much! Besides that, their business model is solid and no pressure. It can be as little as a Costco-like membership to buy wholesale myself, or as much as I want it to be- teaching classes, advertising, sending out samples and information. It's hard not to share when a product is this good. Hop on over to my Barefoot doTERRA blog for my doTERRA discoveries, recipes, home remedies and more!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Coconut Curry Veggie Noodle Soup

Coconut Curry Veggie Noodle Soup

2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/2 sweet onion, diced
3 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
about 2 tsp cinnamon
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
3-4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock (add a little more if you like it really brothy)
about 3-4 cups kirkland signature frozen stir fry vegetable mix
about 1/2 package thai rice noodles
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add curry powder, cayenne and cinnamon. Sitr in and cook for about a minute. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, and stock and bump heat up to medium-high until things start to simmer. Add frozen veggies and stir occasionally until soup is almost to a boil. Add rice noodles (stir them in so that they are covered), remove from heat and cover. Let sit for about 10 minutes, stir. Salt and Pepper to taste and serve! So yummy!
I wish I'd had time to make
naan to go with it. I can only imagine the culinary bliss!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Homemade Deo!

I am loving my Homemade Laundry Detergent. We've used it for over 2 years now. It is saving us money and I love that my laundry smells like nothing (as long as I don't forget about it and leave it in the washing machine overnight- oops!). And so for my next adventure- Homemade deodorant! I'm excited to try it! I am loving the Little House in The Suburbs Blog. Those ladies crack me up!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


My life is insane. Raising 4 young children is hard, especially while trying to singlehandedly get a house ready for market and prepare photos and videos for my brothers upcoming wedding. I find myself constantly praying for peace. I ran across this quote the other day and it has been quite helpful in helping me to alleviate some of my own stress.

“Tension is who you think you should be.
Relaxation is who you are.”

I am trying to be who I am and afford others (people and inanimate objects alike) the same privilege. For when I allow things to be what they are, I release myself from tension that, in reality, I created in the first place with my silly illusions of control and the mistaken notion that I know better that anyone else how things should be. We all do it. And when you think about it, it's just ridiculous.
Ahead of me (in the next year) I have at least 2 moves- residency changes. They are a good thing. We'll be getting out of debt and staying that way. We get to co-habitate in the castle on the hill at some point (I'm quite pleased about that). They do, however necessitate some serious simplification. I am forced to look at my belongings and consider very seriously why I keep them, and if I should continue doing so. I am buying simplicity with my belongings... and I am kind of loving it. The less I own, the less I am responsible for. Maintenance, storage, protection of such things, it's all just more worries skittering about in my already crowded head. Clutter is leaving, the DI is getting hefty donations, yard sales are being contributed to. Best of all, my home is becoming more spacious, and though not audibly quieter due to the small people running about, it is in many ways more still- more peaceful. I have less to worry about. I'd say that sounds like a fair arrangement.
My brave cohort has dreams of whisking us away to far off lands in the nearish future. And because yes, we will be out of debt, but no, we will not be wealthy as of yet, that will require further simplification. As in 'what you can fit in a suitcase' kind of simplification. I find myself intrigued and enamoured with the idea of taking only basic needs and starting fresh. (My spellcheck says the 'u' is not welcome in 'enamoured', but I say U is always welcome in my house. I can always go for more of U.) Simplification is becoming a way of life- for survival sake. Our meals are more simple- often a salad and roasted potatoes, a yam and some steamed broccoli, or fish and a veg or two. Because if I don't simplify- we get to bed late, I don't notice my children except to brush them out of the way, and my cohort and I are far too befuddled and exhausted by the end of day to do anything but sit around and feel downtrodden and resentful at every one and everything (including each other). It is truly amazing. I am slowly getting the hang of letting go of my weights... and I feel lighter. Imagine that.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A personal triumph- The Birth Story of Siri Skye

I've decided to share with you 4 of the most poignant and spiritual hours of my life. I share this because the world, and especially the US is forgetting what real natural birth is and can be. Women are dismayed and discouraged by the thought of what it has become and my story is proof that it is still possible and so amazing. Every woman's birth story is her own- a deep part of her being. Each of my births has had a roller coaster of emotions attached to it and I am grateful for each and what it has taught me. I was determined to make this one beautiful. I read Ina May and Jennifer Block. I found a brilliant Certified Professional Midwife through an amazing friend. I did my research. I made my body the healthiest and best it could be. Here is what happened on Monday March 1st, 2010.

I went to a midwife appointment Monday morning at 9:00- 5 days overdue, in pain and discouraged from a good month of on and off false and prodromal labor. I felt like I'd been waiting forever and my body was just falling apart (all my other 3 were born 1-2 weeks early). After a good long cry to my husband and Heather (my MW) she asked what I wanted to do and I asked if she'd strip my membranes. She agreed that it was probably best to try to get things going and took her time to make sure it would take. On the way home we stopped at a local market to get some castor oil and I began to have irregular contractions. I cooked some scrambled eggs in a small amount of oil (Heather had a feeling it wouldn't take much) and within and hour (around noon) the contractions started coming on more intense and got regular. I sat in the tub for a minute and didn't even bother getting dressed. I put on the sleep bra I planned on giving birth in and wrapped up in a big cushy towel and told Aaron to call his sister to come get the kids. I called my mama and my sister since they each had a 40 minute drive and we started filling the birth pool.

The contractions were getting really intense and within 3 minutes of each other, so I called Heather and told her things were really happening. She asked if she could finish up with an appointment and I told her she could. My last labor had been a drug-free 24 hour long stressful labor in the hospital, so I was sure I had a while. My mama arrived and began assisting Aaron in some loving support and getting things ready. They took turns making preparations and rubbing my back and shoulders while I stood and leaned on the bed. Once everything on our end was ready, I sat on my birth ball with Aaron behind me in his cushy chair doing light touch massage and whispering sweet nothings in my ear. I was able to relax and laugh and enjoy between contractions and let go and let my body open during them. I never knew labor could really be like that. There was pressure and hard work but never what I would call pain. I felt so loved and supported. The birth pool finished filling and I felt the need to use the bathroom before I got in. I peed and had a couple of contractions on the toilet and then moved in to the pool. It was HEAVEN!! I honestly thought for a few minutes that I had relaxed all my contractions away. I leaned forward on the edge of the pool and laid my head on my arms and just floated away through the waves. My sister, Heather and her assistant (her sister) arrived just after I got in. After kisses and greetings and no more than half an hour of relaxing through contractions, the work became harder and took more concentration to take myself away and let my body go. Heather intermittently monitored the baby with the doppler under water and always found her happy and healthy. I found myself taking a suggestion of another natural birthing mama and counted as fast as I could when contractions started to pull me back in. My sister kept reminding me quietly to blow horse lips to help myself open and relax and Heather breathed deeply with me and whispered "Open" through my breaths. I found my thoughts turning to my baby girl and how she was almost here and then I was smiling through my contractions because that was the happiest thought ever! I actually smiled through transition! I very shortly started to feel a little "pushy" and Heather told me to listen to my body. I started nudging a little at a time as I felt the need and softly chanting "Come down baby.". I was shaking with the intensity, smiling at my husband (who had his eyes locked on mine when they were open) and crying quietly all at the same time. It was so intense and hard and amazing. God was in that moment. I pushed with my body's urging on my hands and knees and felt my water break. A minute later what was left of the castor oil effects entered the one side of the pool and Heather wanted me to get out, but it was too late. "She's coming!" I whispered. I put my hand down to support my own perineum and felt her head. I paused to let myself stretch and with one more nudge her head was out. "Head," I said aloud to let them know. One more nudge and I pulled my own baby forward between my legs, out of the water and into my arms. All I could do was look in her face and say, "Yes, yes, yes, yes!" There she was all covered in vernix and perfect as could be! I did it! We did it! 3:37 pm. Around 4 hours of labor- less than 4 minutes of pushing. I could hardly believe it! Heather had everyone help me out of the tub for cleanliness sake and sit on some chux pads while we got Siri breathing. She was so relaxed she kept taking one breath and then falling asleep! It took about 4 minutes, a little suctioning from Heather and some oxygen to get her consistently breathing on her own. Everyone was calm through it except my husband who later said he was pretty freaked out. The rest of us knew she was moving and still attached to me through her cord and placenta so she was still getting oxygen through there. The placenta came out about 5 or 10 minutes later. After that everything is just a cozy, relaxed blur of snuggling and bonding, cleaning up and finishing. My dad arrived about 30 minutes later and sometime after an hour or more Heather convinced me to go shower off with Aaron's help. Heather checked me for tearing (there was none) and bleeding (really minimal). After I was clean, comfy and cozied with my sweet little, Heather did all of the checking, monitoring and weighing (8lbs 7 oz, 21.25 inches long) and Aaron finally cut the cord (the placenta had been put in a chux and gallon ziploc til then and kept near her).

Heather and Janell finished cleaning up while the rest of us took pictures and had family time. It was hours before everything quieted down and everyone left, but I was so happy and energized that I welcomed the company.

It was the birth I always wanted and never truly thought I could have. I am so grateful!!

I had this quote on my wall through my labor and I feel it more strongly than ever:

"There is a secret in our culture. It’s not that birth is painful, it’s that women are strong.” -Laura Stavoe Harm

Monday, January 18, 2010

In Simple Terms

A quick and excellent lesson on how to find some physical balance...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Try, try again! Cloth Diapering-Take 2

When I was pregnant with my first daughter (my third child), I became interested in cloth diapering. I researched like crazy and came to ambitious conclusion that I would make my own all-in-one waterproof cloth diapers. I spent the money to order all the special makings. I got to cutting and sewing and only got 6 made. I used them here and there, but ended up with not enough time or energy to finish the rest of them, and was still reliant on disposables. So much for saving us money! I still have stacks of fabric waiting to be used. Now that girl #2 is on the way (less than 5 1/2 weeks left!), I find myself researching again. And coming to a similar conclusion- I want to cloth diaper. I like the environmental side of it. I like the money-saving aspect. I like the health aspect of it. I am however, much more realistic about my time and energy limits in raising 4 children. I have therefore just dropped $350 on a marvelous little bumGenius one-size cloth diapering kit! I am so excited! (And slightly nervous.) It's official- I am cloth diapering this baby. With the one-size diapers, they should last me a full 2 years or more (and if she's anything like my other girl, she'll be potty trained long before that). And if needed I should be able to supplement with the homemade diapers that I have. Wish me luck!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

As I come into my last months of this (my 4th) pregnancy I have learned that while some things you learn about your body you can count on happening again, but in general, every pregnancy and every childbirth is so different. Years ago my sister recommended that I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. I was pregnant with my 2nd at the time I think. I thought, "Oh that's great. I've done this natural birth thing once before (in the hospital) and I have a great midwife that I love. I'm good." I dismissed it without another thought. My 1st birth had been a water labor with an amazing nurse who, along side my husband had coddled and protected and supported me through a beautiful experience- marred only by my cold doctor breezing in last second to give me an unwanted, unneeded episiotomy and leave me to a painful and shocking recovery period. My 2nd birth ended up being a pitocin inducement in the hospital (after 2 weeks of exhausting and unprogressing early labor), and while I didn't have an epidural, my birth experience was not exactly what I wanted it to be. 3 years later and pregnant with my 3rd child, I studied Hypnobirthing hoping I could improve on what I'd experienced the last time. I still had my same CNM (whom I loved) and was planning on birthing in the same hospital. My personal awareness and philosophies about birth were slowly changing and my situation (without me fully realizing it) was not ideal for my wants and needs. I started labor naturally 2 weeks early (just like my first). I labored at home for a good 9 hours before heading to the hospital. I wasn't sent home, but was at the mercy of the Dr. on call and was not admitted until I could "prove" that this labor would progress (which ended up not happening until 5 the next morning- 8 hours later). I spent that time in horrible fear of being sent home, resentment that my terribly sick husband was sleeping in the corner and not supporting me every second, up in arms that every nurse that came through was cold, indifferent and had not read my birth plan and trying amid the loneliness to practice my hypnobirthing exercises while desperately willing my contractions to keep going. I finally demanded to see my midwife and at the sight of someone trusted and supportive labor began to progress in earnest. I had done everything on my own to try to have the birth I wanted, and despite my best efforts I ended up with a miserable, unfulfilling 18 hours, followed by 6 hours of the birth I'd wanted in the first place (except it included a hep-lock that equaled much pain for no reason at all thanks to that awful doctor on call). I had my sweet daughter- drug-free and with minimal pushing (just like my others), but I vowed that if there was a next time, it would be what I wanted of it. I had learned that no- I can't control exactly what happenes with my body, but I can give myself the environment, the knowledge, the support and the best chance of getting what I want.
When I was surprised with the news of my 4th pregnancy, I immediately called my sweet friend who had gushed about her amazing home birth and got the information of her midwife. I began to plan my birth- to give myself the chance at the birth I wanted so badly. I took my stresser (the hospital) out of the equation. I began to hungrily read all I could find about home water birth. I found I adored my new midwife Heather and her philosphies. I trust her immensely. I feel bold, respected, trusted and cared for. In my ravenous inhalation of information, I came across Ina May's Guide to Childbirth once again. As I read, I found myself exclaiming out loud, "Yes! Why didn't I know that before?!" I was touting the book to others before I could even finish it. So much vital information- statistics, instructions, suggestions, answers, knowledge, science, spirit! I devoured it. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I feel that my feeling of trust and boldness are now accompanied by knowledge and pure confidence. I recommend it not only to the pregnant woman in preparation, but to the woman who's birth was good but who wanted more, the man who wants to support fully, the mother who wants more for her daughters, the friend who would act as doula, the person who just needs to understand. If you have skeptical questions or doubts and you want numbers and statistics on safety and the sanity of natural birth/ home birth- this book is for you. If you are natural minded and wanting affirmation and reassurance and education- this book is for you as well! If you are somewhere in between and trying to make up your mind for the most fulfilling experience for yourself- READ IT!
I could go on forever. I could analyze my own past births and lay out every specific that I felt would have improved with the knowledge Ina May provided. I will spare the everyday blog reader those details, but I beg of you for your own sakes- arm yourselves with the education to give yourself the birth experience you deserve.