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Category Archives: Friends

Lately

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Adoring:  Alba Kukui Nut Cream

Still Listening To:  Midlake

Proud of:  my husband’s latest woodturning art

Never Leaving Home Without:  Jason’s Mineral Sunbrella

Appreciating:  Dr. Polo Shirt

Nostalgic:  my dad cooking breakfast for me–the same breakfast he always made on Saturday mornings when I was a kid

Re-reading:  The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta (don’t let the title fool ya–it is not joyful)

Buying:  Baby legwarmers

Drinking:  Zhena’s Gypsy Earl Green Tea

Working on:  prenatals, classes, and a new birth project soon to be revealed

Wishing:  that I could make a salad as yummy as my mom’s

Giddy About:  my sister’s growing belly

Feeling:  nervous about the grace-based discipline study group I’m facilitating (what was I thinking??)

Missing Terribly:  dear friends who have returned to the north lands

Tie-Dye for Bonaire

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I’m terrible at tie-dye.  My friend, Hippie, is fantastic at tie-dye.  A real live professional tie-dyest (?).  And he is currently dyeing for a cause.  Yeah, I know, that sentence is awkward.  I’m sorry, it is late and I’m so very tired. 

Let me put it this way. 

Buy his stuff.  Money will go to people who need stuff. 

Here is Cedar sporting Hippie’s threads (why yes, she is enjoying her first taste of Barley’s pizza):

Spring Fever

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The amazing Tracie Birch is doing Spring Mini-Sessions at the Clemson Botanical Gardens.  Have I mentioned how much I love her photography?  And her way with children?  And altogether how much I love Tracie?  Here are the details.  I bet the slots will fill extraordinarily quickly…

Whatcha waiting for?

Auntie Harriet

Did you know that the first American city to celebrate Mardi Gras was Mobile Alabama?  Who would have thought?  And it continues to be the place to celebrate family-friendly Mardi Gras.  Is this a well known fact and am I simply out of the loop?   

My husband’s sweet Alabaman, Alabamian, er,  friend from Alabama is named Harriet.  And she sent some of Mobile’s Mardi Gras joy to us this week. 

Norah, Cedar, and I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Auntie Harriet but we’ve made her an honorary member of the family.  I’ve heard she’s the grandest outfitter in all of Alabama.  If you’re in the area, stop in at Fairhope Boat Company and say hello to Harriet.  I don’t know this for certain but my gut feeling is that Harriet gives good hugs and fantastic hospitality.  I sure hope I’m in the area one day.

Oh, and the gift I got?  A hand-made reversible bag.  I love it!!  Thanks Auntie Harriet!

A postpartum snapshot

I keep flashing back to this one moment after Cedar was born.  It was afternoon the next day.  I’m in bed wrapped in a sarong.  Scott is in the kitchen cooking something yummy for me and Carey just brought me some Mother’s Milk Tea. 

My dear friends are here.  Abby is one on side of the bed.  Carey is at the foot.  Cassandra is giving me an acupuncture treatment.  My Aunt Helen is meeting Cedar for the first time in another room.  Norah rushes in, sees the needles in her mommy and worries we’ll put them in her. 

We laugh and chat while the needles do their thing.  I, of course, do something clutzy.  I run my fingers through my hair forgetting there is a needle in my scalp and pull it right out. 

I don’t know why this moment stays with me so vividly.  The sense of community, perhaps?  A gift that motherhood has given me beyond my children is this new community of women. 

A rich icing on the cake.

Good Tidings

We received the BEST box of treasures from Norah’s friend, Abe.  Abe lives in Vermont and we miss him terribly.  For Norah’s birthday, he gathered some precious gifts to send her way.  They will absolutely be featured on our December nature table.

And I love the birthday card.  It is a balloon.  When we blew it up, we could read Abe’s message.  How creative!

 

Thanks Abraham and Abby!!!

Googly Eyes

placentateddy

The things I googled today–

  • postpartum hair loss
  • “the language of the brag”
  • placenta teddy bears (because people have totally lost their minds)
  • postpartum hair loss prevention
  • acorn squash recipes
  • drops like stars
  • Great Lake Swimmers

Highlights of the day–

  • Celebrating with Natalie at her blessingway
  • Getting to eat a piece of cake by Makesha
  • Visiting with friends
  • Lunch with my parents
  • Eating crusty bread with butter.  Loads of butter
  • Having a sweet, sleeping baby tied to me
  • Driving 10 miles without Cedar crying (she likes B93.7 so I cranked it)

Lowpoints of the day–

  • Cedar screaming as I sat down to lunch with my parents
  • Crying as I unsuccessfully try to calm Cedar
  • Being jealous of everyone who doesn’t have a baby tied to them
  • Thoughts of simply driving away toward the mountains as Scott drove home with the girls
  • Listening to B93.7

I want my village

I had a sneaking suspicion.  Now I know for certain:Women_at_the_Well1892

WE ARE NOT WIRED TO BE ALONE WITH CHILDREN ALL DAY LONG.

Or even half of the day.  A two hour playdate doesn’t cut it for adult support, encouragement, and relief.  A one hour phone conversation with a friend isn’t enough. 

I want my village.  I want my women who go to the well with me every morning.  The isolated nuclear family is a failed experiment.  I want a shared community.  Not a virtual community–though I would waste away without this online connection. 

I want geographic proximity.     

On my street, there are eight houses.  Of the people who are home during the day, I can choose from:  the old man who smokes while pulling his oxygen tank, the 98 year old woman, the Alzheimer woman who never leaves her house and once accused the neighbors of stealing her underwear, the third shift police officer, and the people who shoot guns at fake deer targets in the backyard.

Where are the mamas?

See, I have a 3 year old with unbelievable energy.  I read somewhere that age 3 is the biological peak for energy levels.  And then I have a 6 week old who cries when I put her down.  So I wear her and sleep beside her and nurse her.  And I love it.  I do.  It is amazing to care for this little one.  But I could use some relief arms occasionally.  My back could use some relief arms! 

Who wants to start an intentional community?  It might be a yurt community since houses aren’t selling and money is tight.  I could live in a yurt. 

As long as I have a village.

Postpartum: the good, the bad, and the ugly

Having survived my first day alone with a 3 year old and a newborn, I am–if not settling into–at least, accepting my new normal. 

Here are some highlights from my first two weeks:

Husband:  Aside from being the best birth partner on the planet, Scott played host to our visitors, cleaned house, had special daddy/daughter dates with Norah, brought me 156 million cups of Mother’s Milk Tea, made delicious breakfasts, and was the all-around hero of the story.

Family:  My family is incredible.  They have fed me, cleaned my house, and picked up strange items I needed at obscure places (my mom went all over Greenville searching for myrrh, no-sugar added coconut water, and vegetarian capsules).  And check out the wonderful cloth wipes my mother-in-law sewed.  Yes, she embroidered “Cedar” on them.  I bet I have the only personalized bum wipes in town. 

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Friends:  I knew my friends were wonderful but wow!  First, this food chain idea is the best.postpartum.gift. EVER.  Period.  We’ve been supplied with a delicious meal every night–beginning with mom bringing our traditional Sunday feast over after the birth.  I’ve had friends drive 45 minutes to an hour to bring a meal!  It has blown me away.  And Cassandra drove from the far side of the world to give me a day-after acupuncture treatment!  Spoiled.  Utterly spoiled.  And Scott keeps saying, “Wow, you have great friends!”  Yes.  Yes, I do.

Placenta:  When Carey heard I had more bleeding than expected, she swooped into action to arrange for my placenta to be encapsulated by our friend Crystal.  I had wanted to do this but felt I would be too busy with my “galactagogue plan” to take time to do it myself.  The placenta is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and hormones that can assist the body in recovering.  And many people believe that it can prevent or lessen the effects of postpartum depression.  In some studies, it has shown an 86% success rate in increasing milk supply.  So bring on the placenta. 

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Diapers:  Having never cloth diapered a newborn (we started late with Norah), I have been pleasantly surprised at how smoothly that has gone.  She hasn’t worn any disposables.  I was worried the meconium would stain.  It didn’t.  I had two grassy green stains (from the chlorophyll supplement I’m taking) that disappeared after I put the dipes in the sun for a few hours.  Magic.   

Breastfeeding:  This one is a day-by-day.  I had breast reduction surgery 12 years ago.  There have been days I supplement an ounce or so with donated breastmilk based on signs from Cedar and her weight.  I’m using a syringe and feeding her with it while she is latched and actively nursing.  I prefer this method to the SNS.  I weigh her almost daily with the same scale we used at birth.  I definitely have more milk than I did with Norah.  It takes two weeks for domperidone to reach maximum effectiveness so I’m hopeful my supply will continue to increase.  I increased my domperidone dosage from 90mg/day to 120mg/day this week.  Unfortunately, the domperidone causes horrible headaches and the only thing that helps is a cup of coffee.  Do I give my child caffeine so that I can continue to make milk?  Yep.  I’ve been reading that the headaches fade with time.  So we’re still in a wait-and-see place.  But I’m hopeful.  And regardless, I know I’ve done everything I could.  I feel really positive. 

Babywearing:  Hoorah for wearing babies!  Cedar loves being worn.  So far, the Maya ring sling and the Moby wrap have been her favorites.  I didn’t expect to use the ring sling much since I prefer wraps.  I would have gotten a prettier sling.  I’m disappointed that she doesn’t like the My BabyNest.  But that is why I have so many products–she might like it next week…

In other news, I’ve been pooped on 4 times and peed on 3 times.  I’ve realized I need more nursing tanks.  I spend most of my day nursing.  I’m writing this blog entry with a sleeping baby snuggled to my chest in a Moby wrap.  I love it.

Maternity Pictures

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My snazzy friend, Abby, gifted me with a photo shoot with her snazzy friend, Erin O’Neil.  Erin is a talented photographer in Greenville.  It was fun, kinda awkward, and flattering all at once. 

Interested in more of Erin’s photography?  You can check her website for more info.