Friday, September 18, 2009


I posted this a while ago on my other blog. I thought it deserved a posting here as I created this one so my rambling can go here instead of amongst my family photos. Hope you enjoy it and that you read the book!

I just finished the best book about birth I have ever read, Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern maternity Care by Jennifer Block. I've read a lot on birth, pregnancy, and postpartum so for this book to stand out so much to me is amazing. I think that this book should be read by every woman who has had children, plans to become pregnant or is pregnant, and even women who don't plan on having children. It is wonderfully written and covers every topic from the episiotomy to the cesarean to homebirth and VBAC. It speaks of a womans right to choose to have a elective cesarean to those that are denied their basic rights by being denied a VBAC. It tells the history of birth and how things have so drastically changed yet in 2006 our maternal mortality rate has risen.

While other books such as How To Be a Good Patient, Uhh I mean What to Expect When You Are Expecting, have nice little monthly charts about your growing baby they gloss over the major issues we as women are facing when we enter a labor and delivery unit. Pushed gives evidence based information on topics. We need to hear that cesareans can cause hemorrhage and infections. That your layers of skin can stick together causing adhesions and that adhesions can cause pelvic pain and infertility. That having a cesarean if you want more children may not be the way to go. That in subsequent pregnancies your uterus can rupture and the scar can interfere with the placenta. Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancies are more common in women with with scarred uteri. That placental abruption is twice as likely after just one cesarean. That placenta previa, accretia, increta, and percreta are horrible complications that can result in blood transfusions and sometimes hysterectomy and that such complications have risen 30-fold in the last 30 years. In the 70's the cesarean rate hovered around 5% in 2006 the rate was 31.1%. Coincidence?

We need to hear that inductions have side effects. That Pitocin can cause hyperstimulation of the uterus. It also does not cross the blood-brain barrier so the emotional release that oxytocin gives us during birth is not there. It also signals the body to stop producing oxytocin. That cytotec is not labeled for use in pregnant women. It can cause uterine rupture in women with unscarred uteri and the FDA issued an alert about its use with pregnant women. Yet physicians have used and continue to use it off label because it is a quick and cheap way to induce labor.

That due dates are a guess. They are not set in stone. 38 to 42 weeks (sometimes longer!) is normal. The average length of pregnancy for first time mothers is 41 weeks 1 day. The average, which means many women went past 41 weeks. That ultrasounds are not 100% accurate at estimating size and can be off on dates later in pregnancy.

We need to hear this information and much more because our doctors sure are not telling us. These are our bodies and our babies.

From Pushed:

"Our country has created a mythology of women who are irresponsible and don't care," says Paltrow. "We talk about welfare queens, and crack moms, and murderous women who have abortions." A culture that allows such language to permeate our national subconscious inevitably dehumanizes all women, including mothers. Lyon argues that this thinking perpetuates a phrase often invoked in exam rooms and delivery rooms: The goal is to have a healthy baby. "This phrase is used over and over and over to shut down women's requests," she says. "The context needs to be the goal is a healthy mom. Because mothers never make decisions without thinking about that healthy baby. And to suggest otherwise is insulting and degrading and disrespectful."

What's best for women is best for babies. And what's best for women and babies is minimally invasive births that are physically, emotionally, and socially supported. This is not the experience that most women have. In the age of evidence-based medicine, women need to know that standard American maternity care is not primarily driven by their health and well-being or by the health and well-being of their babies. Care is constrained and determined by liability and financial concerns, by providers licensing regulations and malpractice insurer. The evidence often has nothing to do with it.

Because I feel the need to post this I am. LOL. I have read this article so many times I cannot even count. I think everyone should read it. Birth is such a major life changing experience we as women have. It is our birth into motherhood. Our births should be wonderful, joyous experiences yet so many women get far from that. Studies show that women remember their births years and years later. We should be allowed our feelings no matter what they are and no matter what the outcome of the birth. A healthy baby does not guarantee a healthy (physically and emotionally) mom. You Should Be Grateful.

Next I think I will read Born in the USA: How a Broken Maternity System Must Be Fixed to Put Women and Children First. It has been sitting unread on my bookshelf nestled between Spiritual Midwifery and Silent Knife for too long.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No waste: Salmon

A few weeks ago a friend gave us 2 freshly caught salmon. They were beautiful and fresh with perfectly clear eyes. I was so thankful as we love salmon and lately its been out of our budget. We will not buy farmed. Come on you don't buy farmed fish do you? I have family in Alaska, I was born in Alaska (though I left young), eating farmed fish is not an option for me! Look it up, its gross.

Back on topic. We gave one of them to another friend and Joe tackled the job of filleting this monster fish. I wish I had taken photos of the process but sadly I did not. He did a pretty decent job and we will get many meals from this. As I watched him cut the fish I saw the pile of bones and fins and parts of things growing. I saw so much meat that we were not going to be using and it felt so wasteful to me. As I thought about this I decided I was not going to waste any of this fish! Determined I was, yes the woman who will not eat meat off a bone. It grosses me out, don't know why. Started with my first pregnancy and never went away. I get nauseous when I see oh I am not even going to go there. So we called up the friend we gave the other fish too and asked if I could have his bones and head. Yes I said it the head, ewwww a fish head. I was determined and the next day said friend brought me a bag of fish parts and pieces. His fish was in a bit worse state than ours. We had a good laugh over it. So into the pot went all the pieces, a bit of vegis, and some salt. I cooked it for a bit less than an hour and then strained it. When the meat had cooled I picked off as much as I could to go into some soup. I was able to freeze 6 quarts of fish stock with the bones of those two fish. Never having made fish stock before I don't know how it will taste but I did it! I will even do it again next time. Though next time I know the process and Joe will be doing more of the washing and rinsing and chopping that I had to do before it went into the pot. lol Fish heads, ewww. The chickens enjoyed some of what was left after I was done with it as well.

August Update

Not so much to post this month. Majority of the month was taken up by illness and the Skamania County Fair which I posted about earlier. Lots of photos taken by the kids in this one.

We made pasta sauce with our garden tomatoes!
One morning bright and early, or should I say dark and early, someone woke up and decided to take self portraits, hundred of self portraits. Also photos of chairs and carpet fuzz. Here are a few of the ones I kept.
I did a trade with a mama friend of mine. A sewing machine that was not working out for Madeline for some knitting. The yarn was supposed to be longies but it did not want to be longies. I don't knit so I can't really tell you how yarn can do this but L tells me it happens. The yarn decided it wanted to be a dress. The most beautiful little dress that will double as a shirt when it gets too short. We love it!!

I could just eat her up.
Joe went on a Daddy play date. They took the max to the zoo with some friends. I stayed home with a napping baby and sewed. It was wonderful! They had fun too.

That's it, I will try and take some more photos this month! See you then. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Skamania County Fair

Last month Madeline participated in the Skamania County Fair with her 4H group. They camped for 5 days. It was originally supposed to be Joe and the two older kids but stomach flu hit the first night and Michael came home so Joe took Marah. Once Michael was better we traded again and then me and the little girls at home got sick. Oh it was an interesting week.

Chickens had to have a bath. I guess it strips their feathers and then stimulates them to produce oil which will make them nice and shiny for the fair. They were not enjoying themselves.
"What are you guys doing?"
We had to be careful not to get the water in their faces so only dunked and swished from the neck down.
A soppy wet Goldie. She was not happy and proceeded to dust bathe after an hour long grooming session to get all her feathers back in place.
"Poor chickens"
The carnival at the fair.

Kids had a blast on the rides.
Michael did NOT enjoy the zipper.
Best slide ever
Madeline's show chicken Little Bo Peep.
One of her other chickens won Reserve Champion
Another won Champion.
All dressed up for showing her chicken
All lined up for the judges.
Blue ribbon
On the last day Michael was stepped on by a cow. He is fine and I thank God. 1200 lb cow plus Michael's foot could have been a lot worse than the bruise he recieved.

Maddy and one of her 4H buddies.

And I will leave you with this. There was a playground at the park and this tree was in the center. Do you see it? Very fitting as I sat and nursed Naomi right here.

A Great Giveaway

A great giveaway over at Hip Mountain Mama of natural art supplies. Click on the photo to go to the actual giveaway.

Art Supplies Giveaway!!

A great giveaway over at Hip Mountain Mama of natural art supplies. Click on the photo to go to the actual giveaway.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This and That


and even some of these

plus some of this

equals yum!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What's in the Garden

cherry tomatoes



Michael spent a good 20 minutes chasing this frog around the garden and apple tree with the camera

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I had to get up really early a few days ago and when I went outside this is what greeted me from the backyard. It was a double rainbow and sadly the camera would not pick the other one up. The clouds were the prettiest pink in real life. I may just get up early more often if this is what I get to see.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home Management Binder

As promised here is more about the home management binder we use. I love using this binder. It adds a bit of sanity to our ever crazy and un-scheduled days. We are constantly going from one project or topic to another. The flow of our days is ever changing and having a few lists of what should be accomplished each day really helps me to actually get it done. As much as our days change so does our binder. It is a work in progress and one that I think will never actually be completed. As the kids grow so do our needs and wants. I would eventually love for this to one day be the central binder that everyone uses. But for now I am content to be the main user with a few helpers now and then.

The front of the binder. Its just a 3 inch white binder from Costco. I buy these in bulk. We go through a lot of binders.

Inside front cover are the weekly menu's I tried out a few months back. I like them but prefer the monthly plan better. I may try to combine the two when I get a bit of time.
This zippered holder has pens and wet erase markers. It should also hold my scissors and a calculator. If anything goes missing in this house its scissors and calculators. Hey kids give me back my stuff!!
First page is a contact sheet. Ours needs updated as I noticed Joe's old work cell number on there. I found this sheet here. You could easily create your own or find another to fit your needs online. I have found that typing printable before what I am searching for usually brings up many different choices.
A monthly calendar. Look how wide open the month is. As I look at it I can fill in 3 different weekends all ready. Must get on that. lol

At one point I decided I wanted a daily schedule. A loose version of our day. Yeah that never was filled out. I don't even know how to begin to plan our days. 4 kids, 1 mom, 3 meals, and lots of interests that lead us down many paths. We tend to take what the day brings us. But meals yes those can be put on this sheet, those are consistent. I do feed the kids, every day even.
Look it even has half hour increments. I am just laughing at myself here. This will most likely be taken out unless I can find another use for it.
Well someone other than me must use the book. This looks like a note of the three year old kind. Must say 6:07 am wake up mom, 6:10 am yell at mom to change me, 6:11 am whine that I want to do it all by myself, 6:15 collapse on couch in exhaustion because mom just does not get that the pink diaper is not okay she must go find the long lost green diaper.
This is the first page of the household chores section. You can click on the pictures to see them bigger. First page is daily chores. On a good day (and I mean really good day) I get most of this done but not always. I'm a Stay At Home Mom not a Stay At Home Maid. The kids help out with clean up time twice a day and I ask them to pick up after themselves but its a work in progress. I'm guessing I will not be picking up their underwear at 18. Right?
Each day of the week I have weekly chores and focus cleaning that I would like to get done. Again these things may or may not get done depending on the day and what we have going on. Each day is given a room or two rooms. As you can see I have things that are done each week in these rooms. I also have (on the right side) the focus cleaning. These are larger chores that I only do one of each week for that room. So you can see that on week one on Monday I would wash the blinds in the bedrooms. The focus cleaning chores help the larger cleaning stay maintained. These are also excellent paying chores. :) As I complete chores I cross them off with a wet erase marker and leave it there until the following week. This way I can come back to it later (See the weekend) or make sure I get that item the following week.

Tuesday's list. This one has two rooms so I color coded the room names and the chores that correspond with those rooms. It looks like a lot of things to do but if I stay caught up on everything it really is not. It has just been done the week before, or 4 weeks before for the larger cleaning jobs, so it really is just maintenance after the initial 4 weeks at the beginning. It feels like it takes forever at the start but once you go through one cycle you notice a difference.
Saturday and Sunday are light days. No focus cleaning at all. Sometimes I will catch up on things missed during the week. These two days are also the only days I have a car during the week so I have to get any shopping and errands done these days.

A stain removal guide. You can find a lot of these online. I liked this one but find that I need another one with other kinds of items on it. I'm not drinking a lot of red wine during the day and the kids well they are not either. I like this but its not in a chart form.

This is in there just because it was neat. I can't find it anywhere but here.
Next up is the meal planning section. This consists of a pocket with all of the old meal plan calendars and a pocket with the blank calendars. I print out a few months worth every so often.

Coupons is next. I have three coupon sections. Food coupons, household coupons, and restaurant coupons.

After this there is some blank paper for note writing and list making. I want to add a section for the kids paying chores. We all talked and they are going to start getting paid once a month. Currently we write it on the marker board and try to remember to go to the bank or dig through the change jar. This way it will become part of our monthly budget and they will get something kind of like a paycheck. It will be cash but as they do chores they can write them down and at the end of the month we will add it up together. Another section I am adding is a budget section. We currently use the envelope system and need a place for those as well as the budget we write out every paycheck.
So there you have it. I hope you are excited about making yourself a home management binder. I would love to see pictures of your binders and links to the items you have chosen to put in them. Feel free to leave them below in the comments section.