Thoughts on Home Birth
Well, the baby is too young yet to hear the heartbeat. We'll hear it next time for sure.
It was very exciting having our first midwife appointment, and I love that the midwife comes to our home for the visits. It is very comfortable to sit on my own couch while discussing such a personal matter. It is much better suited to me than a doctor's office - I feel so uncomfortable, and quite frankly, irritated when in the doctor's office. Uncomfortable with the 15 minutes of time alloted, the fact that the doctor never remembers me from appointment to appointment, that they are always late and I am kept waiting (as if my time is less valuable), and the lack of quality, personal care. This is not to say I don't appreciate doctors or their training. If I needed to seek medical attention at anytime in the pregnancy or birth process I would - in a heartbeat.

We have always clung tightly to the belief that how you choose to have your babies is a deeply personal choice - one where another person might be equally as uncomfortable having their child birthed at home as I am with the thought of birthing in a hospital. I absolutely respect that. I would never push my opinion on anyone else.

But I do love having my children at home. Stress is removed when I labor at home -it's the place I am most comfortable. The list of why I love home birth is endless but here are a few reasons: I love how I can step out of the birthing tub with my new baby and lay on our couch, eat the food my Mom prepared for me out of my kitchen, take a shower in my own clean shower, but mostly how I never have to let go of my baby until I am good and ready to.
We certainly set up the important and critical steps for safety - our midwife has the medical equipment she needs, our birth plan is in place should we need to be transported to the hospital, and the ambulance will be notified when labor starts with our address etc. should they need to come in a hurry.

Having my babies at home brings many surprised looks from people who have uncovered that fact about us, but I have never been ridiculed or thought less of. It is an amazing time and I feel blessed to have been able to experience it on two occasions. I look forward to it again, just not the whole "feel like I want to die" pain part......

We have had a busy last few days! Friday we hosted a BBQ for Daniel's co-workers and boss, that evening we were invited to dinner with a guy Daniel put in the Air Force along with his parents(really sweet people- no one has ever done that for us before!), Saturday was the parade, Sunday was church with a quiet afternoon, and then today we had some friends from church over for dinner. We are usually not this active so I am totally tired!! Tomorrow we have our first midwife appointment,(hopefully we will be able to hear our baby's heartbeat!) but afterwards the prospect of a quiet day. I am looking forward to the peace and rest as I hate facing a new week already drained from the weekend.

Random question:

Does anyone have a suggestion on a product to unclog a clogged sink? My friend shoved a bunch of egg shells down the garbage disposal, and now we have the lovely predicament of a clogged kitchen sink. Usually we use Draino, but does anyone have anything they think is better? Thanks in advance!!

Because one at a time just won't cut it
Parade - Rest

This morning found our little family sitting on the side of the main street of town watching the Memorial Day parade. The parade is the big event for the year and they sure do a good job! Eve was brave and waved at the plethora of costumed creatures and only covered her eyes for the clown, Judah waved like he was in the parade.

Eve had been invited by a friend to ride in her personal firetruck for the parade - Eve did awesome, waving at all the people and ringing the bell. She was even invited back for another parade on the Fourth of July! I love watching as Eve's life is filled with different exciting experiences. What a privilege it is to be her mother.

Judah was whooped! He has food, a bottle, his sheepskin, and his (very tired) Momma; at this point in his life that is all he needs. He's a happy boy. (Well, if you don't count the teeth coming in. Does it ever end?!)

It was a fun day! Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!
Some things I heart right now

I love that Apple sells refurbished iPods. I saved $50 dollars when buying a 30gb off their site, a substantial savings the way I see it. It also comes with a one year warranty, and free shipping.

MegaFood's Iron supplement has probably saved my life. I was continuously blacking out every time I got up from a sitting or laying position. This can be really dangerous, especially when you are as klutzy as me. This is a food based supplement so it's very easy on the stomach.

I am in love with my dreamer design stroller. I use it every day. I would lose my mind if I didn't have it.

I love this Recharge; it's fruit juice sweetened and helps my queasy stomach settle a bit. Delicious too!

It's cheap, smells good, and makes my skin really soft without being greasy.

I just found this in my co-op catalogue yesterday. I was out of this world excited. Ever since Brown Cow sold their soul and started using evaporated cane juice to sweeten their yogurt, I haven't been able to enjoy a delicious cup of yogurt. Sweetened exclusively with fruit juice, and fat free - this yogurt is a winner in my book. I bought 5 different flavors.

I devoured these books. There are 5 in the "boy" series and 5 in the "girl's" series. Loved them!

These candles are my favorite. I pretty much have one going all the time. They last a long time, and have a nice strong scent. Really cheap too!

This is a great resource for crafts, and learning supplies. I love that I found a great 40 piece play dough set here for Eve. It looks to have a fantastic variety of tools for her to play with. I have ordered from this company before and was really pleased. Tons of very fun stuff!

This brand of tea is so amazing. My favorites are the Decaf Earl Gray, and the Black Tea. It's organic with good strong flavor, and they are a solid company. Not cheap, but worth every penny in my book.

Anything in particular you are really diggin' right now? I'd love to know! I am easily influenced....
Chili's To GO
Daniel was so thoughtful tonight, not that he isn't often, but this time his thoughtfulness pertained to food. Food goes a long ways with me. Along with the fries he brought out to the car (we utilized the "curb-side" feature) was a huge bag of tortilla chips...that were still warm. They are so delicious and the salsa isn't too shabby either. No heat to speak of, but I'm good with that. Apparently, if you have the Chili's phone number in your cell phone, and you show them, you receive a bag of chips for free. Heck yes people. Bring on the free, delicious chips and salsa!
The fine art of Dandelion blowing
We were finally able to go outside for a bit this evening. It has been raining constantly the last few days, and while the grass and flowers are beautiful, green, and growing, us humans have been a little stir crazy. A certain little boy has been beating on the front door screen saying: "Peas!, Peas!" Tonight, I actually could say "Yes!, Let's go Darlin'!" It was short but sweet, a perfect evening for blowing dandelion fluff.

Yesterday was a good day...for food

I don't know what it is about pregnancy and tater tots, but it's always the same story. I have to have them. It's not an option. I only eat them when I am pregnant, and just for a couple of days. Thankfully, I can eat them (almost) guilt- free as they are organic, and trans-fat-less. The chocolate chip cookies I ate yesterday were not so guilt free, but I did enjoy every. single. bite. To top off my really delicious day, I had a decaf coffee from the health food store. It would've been perfect except that it was full of coffee grinds. Bad Healthy Living, bad!! I know you Mamas have some interesting things you just had to eat when you were pregnant, so share away. I love food; talking about food, making food, buying food..... tell me your pregnancy food stories! Pretty please, with a cherry on top!... as I do love me some cherries!!
One year

Today is the one year anniversary of Daniel leaving for his deployment. Last year, this day was one of the hardest days of my life. I truly felt as though I was never going to stop crying. My heart had been broken into a million pieces. Watching him walk away from us to go through the gate was awful; trying to leave the airport was gut wrenching. A baby on my hip, and a three year old clinging to my hand asking me why Daddy was leaving us. Coming home was a terrible experience. I felt like he had died; his clothes were where he had left them, the house smelled like his cologne, dishes in the sink that he had used, but he was not there.

I can't say as it got any easier over time. The sharp stabbing pains dulled, but loneliness was my constant companion. I remember walking through the health food store on one of the first days of Daniel's deployment, seeing a box of wine with a couple laughing on it, and feeling really angry at them. Like I wanted to kick the box. Irrational, I know. But, that was how I was feeling. I felt so out of place among my friends. It hurt to see happy couples, whole families, children with their fathers.

I was, and still am, proud of Daniel for volunteering to deploy, but it was really hard. I felt angry with him for choosing to leave us, angry with myself for feeling angry. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to handle all of the stuff life throws at you, by myself. It was tough not having military support around me, or family close by. I definitely found my true friends in the process. It was interesting to see who really supported our family. It wasn't necessarily the people I thought it was going to be.

We made it. Not even just made it, but it was victorious! I found out just what I was made of. It wasn't always pretty, but I found, in the end, that it is good stuff. Solid. Our marriage thrived; Eve hopefully won't remember that Daniel was even gone; Judah, he was only ever worried about his next meal.

I do have to say that I am really happy Daniel will be here with us this summer. We missed doing summer life together. I am thrilled that tonight, while laying in our bed, I will reach out my hand and touch his warm body. The empty space that pierced my heart this night, last year, will be filled with my beloved.

You know, we'd do it again, in a heartbeat. May God bless America, and all those spouses out there missing the other half of their heart.
Number 3
These are a few thoughts I have on a child being formed in my womb for the third time:

It never gets old. I am just as excited this time as I was being pregnant the first time.

Morning sickness sucks the third time just as bad as the first and second times.

I think I am having a girl. I have every time, but I was only wrong once.

I am going to "show" a lot quicker with this baby than either of my other pregnancies.

I have the reoccurring, terrified thought of "How the heck am I going to do three children!"

My sense of smell is incredible.

I find life a lot more precious now than I did even when I was pregnant with Judah.

My fear of labor is gone. I am not so sure that is a good thing.

Eating carefully, and exercising religiously are far more important to me than ever before.

I don't feel guilty any longer for bringing another child into this world.

I am afraid of getting stretch marks.

I cherish my sleep much more; I feel that clock loudly ticking down to those sleepless nights.

I am not excited about maternity clothes. At all. ( I do love those shirts, Kim)

Chocolate, and coffee are my chief cravings. I rarely indulge. I will hate myself later, when I am nursing, for not.

I am so excited to see who this baby looks like, perhaps a little more me? Curly hair would be amazing!

I realize just how quickly nine months flies by. It is a fairly concerning thought to me.

I am quite worried what my body will look like after this baby is through with it. Vanity, vanity.

My hormones are far less out of control than I thought they were going to be.

I'll wrap up this list. I am sure there will be many more of these thoughts as the days go by. We are really excited about our child. This baby is so desired; I find it incredible how my heart could be changed. There was a time when I made Daniel swear he would never, never let me tell him I wanted another baby.

My only wish is that I could see the hand of God as He forms our child's innermost being. Sometimes, it just overwhelms me to think of God shaping our child's little body. How incredible, how loving, how awesome He is!

A will of steel
We can fly to Bermuda for $99 each way, but can we find a place to stay for less than $250 a night?


Bummer dude.

Where there's a will there's a way.

We will go on vacation.

To somewhere warm.

Without children.

We will.
Shelburne Farms
What a fun time we had this afternoon! We headed over to Shelburne Farms where we saw every single animal they had. Eve was even brave enough to milk "Eliza" the cow!

We are so proud of her courage - such a change from last year. She even pet the chickens, the baby pigs, the calf, and the baby lambs. Last year she wouldn't get near any of the animals. Judah loved the chickens, and the donkey. He also enjoyed the sawdust, and taste-testing the rocks. It was an afternoon without a nap, but what fun we had! Next time we'll shoot for a warmer day though. I am thankful for the relief of hot coffee, and the warm bakery. Otherwise we may have frozen.

Life stuff

I have been at loose ends lately. I just can't seem to get a grip on life right now. I feel like I have been waiting for THE answer for so long now. It's been 6 months since the Air Force said that they might extend our 3 year tour to a 4 year tour. Not happy news when you are in a job that you want to be done with really badly. I've blathered on enough about how I feel about recruiting, and actually these last 6 months have been not so bad recruiting wise. Although, I'm betting a lot of that came from knowing that we were suppose to be signing out of the It hurts a little to look around my house and see all of our belongings still in their places; no movers have come, and Daniel is working out of his office today.

We received the news that we were extended until May of '08 a couple of weeks ago. It was rather anti-climatic really. It came in an e-mail. I looked at it, my stomach flopped and I felt sad. Looking back it is a little surprising that I didn't feel more. It could be because we were, and still are, waiting on an answer of whether or not we will be moving to Europe to recruit out of there.

Three weeks ago we received the offer. We had to seriously talk about it, and look at all the information we could; three more years in recruiting is a really big deal for our family. From his research, it seems to be as good as recruiting could get for Daniel. To be in Europe at either one of two awesome bases sounds pretty great to me. The lure of base living is very strong. My dream of putting Eve in a Montessori school seems like more of a reality over there, than over here; and the travel that we could do! The kids and I have never met most of Daniel’s family in Germany. That, along with all the other places we could visit, sounds wonderful. I am pretty much up for an adventure anytime, and after 3 years in Vermont I really need some change.

We should know by now whether or not we got the job. But, we don't. Truthfully, I am so tired of waiting. It exhausts me; it throws my whole personality off. I lamented to Daniel last night how we still don't know whether we should just get on with regular life, one more year here, or start preparing for a move. I just need some answers. And when I say need, I really mean need. Simply for my sanity. Besides, December will be here before we know it, and I'd like to have my midwife in place long before then. Ah, the military life. It never stops refining a person. Nothing else in my life has grown me more than this military life. I can be very thankful for that.

We have been enjoying our smoothies outside these last few days. It is amazing how fun it is to drink a smoothie outside, you can even drink it while going down the slide!

A single red tulip
What a gorgeous day! We Northerners sure do know how to enjoy warm weather. It's been in the 50's lately with winds, but today - today was stunning. Eve was so excited to not have shoes on her feet, and no coat! Judah was just plain thrilled to see the door he'd been banging on all morning open up for him. I had decided this morning, way before coherent thoughts should be forming, that I was going to open all the windows I could today and let the breezes blow. For me, there is nothing quite like watching my curtains swirl around, filled with fresh, warm air.

(I knew it was going to be warm today because I have this strange addiction to the NWS. I have to check it every night right before I go to sleep. Daniel laughs at me , but he let's me be my crazy little self, and loves me all the more for it.)

Today we had our first picnic, and it was really a first for Judah. He hadn't yet learned proper picnic etiquette. Such as - leave other people's food alone. It was the cookie that got him. Why could he not have Eve's cookie? It nearly put him over the edge. He finally resorted to longing looks but Eve had a heart of stone, no sharing her cookie. He got over it.

What a beautiful day. I sat on the sidewalk letting the sun beat on me, listened to my children laugh, watched them play together, looked at my little red tulip, and I was happy. Spring can be wonderful in Vermont. What a fickle woman she is, though.
Fun Times
She said it so cheerfully too, as she handed me the little plastic cup.

"Just go right in here and have her pee in the plastic cup."

Riigghht. I admit, I have slight germaphobic tendencies now that I have children, especially seeing as I have one who sucks his thumb. But seriously, point to a cubicle sized bathroom with a toilet, a kiddie toilet, a low sink, and a garbage can at your pediatricians office and tell me to make my four year old pee in a cup while I somehow keep my 18 month old hands away from everything! It just about put me into orbit. She never did go, by the way. Somehow we all survived. Too bad about that nurse though.
4 going on 16
Oh, be still my heart!

It's like the future flashed before my eyes today. I'm pretty sure I inherited a gray hair or two this morning watching my children drive around Tarrah's yard.

Lord, have mercy....I am not ready for this yet.

I want bubbles to captivate my children for many, many more years. Not vehicles that move when you press a pedal. It was fun to watch them have fun though.
Love is....
I have always loved the "Love is..." comics. Ever since I can remember I would scour my Dad's paper for the little rectangle of love. I would cut it out if it really made me smile, tucking it away in my treasure box, dreaming of having someone to love. He walked into my life when I was 15 years old. At that time I couldn't even stand him. Thankfully, he was very persistent and won me over. At 20 I became his bride. Now I see his face when I read that small comic.

This was my husband tonight, except it was the dishes that he did. He does them quite often, along with many other wonderful things. He makes me feel so loved.

Does anybody else like these little comics? Here is a place to go to read the archives. If you have someone to love, they will make you smile. If not, you'll probably gag a little. The sap factor is out of control.

I remember watching "I Love Lucy" with Daniel one night, it was a long time ago. There was a certain line from the show that we have remembered ever since then, it was: "Don't say adieu, just say Good-Bye!" That line certainly didn't apply to when my parents and brother left today. We had a really great visit, Eve loved every second of it. Judah, not-so-much.
My stove is sparkling, my freezer defrosted, and my basement cleaned and organized. The Salvation Army really appreciates us. The feeling is quite mutual.

It was a good weekend, but the good-bye part wasn't so fun. Four year olds have a hard time with good-byes. 26 year olds aren't so swell with them either.

'Til next time!
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