Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nice to know...

Tonight, my friend, mentioned my last blog post...from April...and we talked about it some. It's nice to know that I have someone who reads what I feel worthy of expressing in a public forum. I appreciate the support from him. It has been awhile...about 7 months. Our little girl is 10 months. She has done a lot of work, since my last post. She crawled at 6 months, and now is walking. She is such a sweet and patient child. She loves to be with me, but can play independently for a little while too. She expresses much through her eyes and facial expressions. We laugh daily. She reminds me of my grandma, who is no longer with us. I am so thankful that God has given her similar facial expressions. I always feel that she is near, and watching over us. I miss her a lot.

Anyway, our daughter is not much of a book listener. She likes to talk. Our son...on the other hand...loves to be read to frequently. He is quite wonderful, and full of spirit. He challenges me every day, which makes me even more determined to be the best mama that I can be for him and his sister. It is harder and easier in some ways having two children. I'm learning how to help him understand his world and positive ways to express himself.

We suspect that he has a milk allergy. Several months ago, he was tested for allergies. I found out this week that he was tested for environmental allergens and not food allergies like I had previously thought. We have already started him on soy milk, and there is a huge difference. He is not wheezing anymore. His lungs are not crackling anymore. His teachers are giving him soy milk at school. I would like to have a doctor's note proving that he is, in fact, allergic to milk. I am starting to put a lot of past experiences together.

On an other note, I did pass the exam. I am an IBCLC. I'm not sure when or how I am going to use my certification. For now, I am happy that I have it when I need it. I am quite happy at my job. It's nice to have a supportive boss who cares about breastfeeding like I do. I am working on becoming a LLL leader for a local group. I am excited to help mothers nurse their babies everywhere. It is a passion of mine. I'm also quite interested in learning about herbal medicine, which relates very little to breastfeeding for me. I do try to avoid consuming too much peppermint during Christmas time.

Yes! Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that December has been a wonderful month for you. We have enjoyed many traditions, and are about to enjoy another one. We are going to go see The Magic Tree. :) It is quite a sight to see...

So, we are alive and taking it a day at a time over here. We are always wanting to grow and become the people that God created us to be... We say a prayer of thanks every morning for the opportunity to wake up together, our health, and our friends and family.

Have a Happy New Year, if I don't post before then. ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring to Spring

Good morning! It is a beautiful spring day in the midwest. The birds are singing. Red buds are blossoming. Children are sleeping. Yes, it is time to reflect on...little one is just now waking up...the year. There has been quite a lot of growing going on around here. Last Spring, just a little less than a month from now, Borislav and I celebrated our first anniversary as a married couple. It was nice to have some special time for just us. I felt attractive...may not have been...but I did. I wore a beautiful flowing dress to dinner, and later enjoyed a massage. For me, a massage is a rare treat from him. We needed that night together to connect not just as parents but as friends and lovers. Thankfully, our friends were able to watch Ilia. We weren't gone long before we started thinking more about him than ourselves. He had had a wonderful time. Now, our second anniversary is coming up. We haven't really discussed any plans.

Our daughter, Evela, was born on February 4th this year. It seems like Borislav and I really connected that weekend! She will soon be three months old. I can hardly believe how fast her little life is going. She has a wonderful spirit. I found out that she was with us on my birthday last year, which is coming up soon too, May 28. Throughout my pregnancy with her I was working out feelings of guilt, fear, defense, anticipation, and overflowing love. It's amazing how different pregnancies can be... With my son, I was happy almost always. With her, I was sick from the very beginning, and not as happy. I was happy to be having her, but I seemed to find myself feeling guilty about not bonding with her like I bonded with her brother. I also felt guilty that I was bonding with her sometimes when I could be bonding with Ilia. I also felt unsure about what kind of birth I would have with her. Would I give birth in a hospital or at home? We eventually chose a hospital birth. For us, it was more affordable due to insurance. It's sad that I had to forgo a home birth due to money, especially when I had a midwife who was willing to work with me (I didn't want to take advantage of her). Anyway, after we had decided on a hospital birth, my defenses were raised and I was determined to have as natural a birth in a hospital as possible. I put together a 4 page birth plan and went over it several times with my doctor. We had a beautiful birth...I drugs, no IV's, no counting down into my contractions, delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, breastfeeding within the first five minutes. She has latched well from the very beginning. She is such a wonderful baby. We've had so much support from our community of womyn. It was an honor to be part of a Blessingway all in celebration of our journey together and her life. My mother and sister have been so excited this time around, which has been so refreshing. I am so happy that she has such strong women in her life. Now it seems that both children are awake.

I still am learning how to balance time and energy with both of them. My son is still my baby, but somehow he has grown into a little boy in the last few months. His hands are bigger. His cheeks are bigger. I was sad a little for our relationship to change. I liked it where it was...I loved being able to hold him. Now, it seems that he wants less holding and more play. :) I can give that too. I just want to do what he needs. He is offering other challenges like negative attention getting techniques. He doesn't like to listen sometimes and can actually be quite defiant. I feel that this time would have come despite him having a sibling. We are working each other's weaknesses out each day as we go along. Evela is just patient. She smiles and likes to talk in her own way. She is just discovering her feet and my face.

We have been battling sickness this year. Ilia has been sick. He has been on the nebulizer a couple of times since Evela's birth. He's had albuterol treatments. He's been on flovent. He now takes claritin every day. He's gone thru RSV, an eye infection, an ear infection, and has never seemed to be able to clear his lungs. We are taking him to a pulmonary specialist next month. I am concerned about food allergies. I also am wondering if his health issues are carrying over from the years that he had an ASD, Atrial Septal Defect, or hole in his heart. I am not sure, but I am sure that I would rather him not have to use an inhaler if I can help it.

Another development is that I have been on my way to becoming a lactation consultant. From working with breastfeeding mothers for the past few years and attending classes, I can sit (hopefully) for the IBCLE in July. I hope I do well.

We are planning to begin a garden. My husband has turned over the soil, and is sure that we do not need a tiller. I grew up with using a tiller every year, but it seems that we will try it a different way. We have started a landscaping project in the front yard. My mom had cut down bushes that really were not attractive, which left a good size area of just dirt and weeds. We planted sunflowers in the space last year, and will probably do so again this year. We have bought landscaping bricks to build a wall, the wall has been built, but we need dirt. Someday, we will get around to it. :) A lilac was planted alongside its border yesterday. It smells so good.

I think internally what I am missing most at the moment is that found again relationship with my husband. It seems that we don't have enough time just for us. I know there is time in life for us...I just really love him and can never get enough. We are focused on our dear little ones, and really am thankful that we get to be their parents. We want to fill them with so much love.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Washing Winter Away

Winter has been harder this year than it has been in the past, for me at least. It seemed that I had had enough of winter long before the senses of Spring started to penetrate my self. The birds started singing their sweet songs. I remember the songs from year's past with the fondest of memories. They're a reminder that winter doesn't last. Life's troubling situations don't last. The sun always rises. The birds return to sing their songs. The flowers bloom. Nature has a way of awakening onself from a hibernation of sorts. I can feel my spirit rising. I was so surprised to find these little flowers outside our front door. I called them baby flowers for my son. I love how God can grow us through the life outside, if we are just aware. I think of all the poems written including the birds of the air, flowers of the field, swaying trees, ever warming sun, and the guiding moon. Nature has affected so many people in so many ways for thousands of years. What an awesome blessing! We are reminded that Nature is not always a sweet to the touch aspect of our lives, such as in the case of earth quakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and countless illnesses that we have to battle with on a moment by moment basis. Today, we're thankful to nurse in the grey tinted sun light coming through our window. Everything in the house is silent, except for the refrigerator and the ebb & flow of our breaths. Outside, the rain splattered earth is preparing wonders that some of us have never seen before. I look forward to sharing these wonders with my little one. I'd love to plant some myself for his and my own future ponderings. I hope that you've experienced a little taste of Spring. If not, hold will be there soon! Blessings and Wonders to you all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter White

So much has happened in the last few months, yet my mood seems to stay the same. I have been in a state of mild hibernation. Of course, the little man brings me joy on a daily basis. Then, the constant underlying state of neutrality begins anew. The midwest...the city in which I live really...has been covered in snow once again. Whenever I was a child, I lived on an old farmstead that was called home by my grandfather, his father, and his father. My dad spent a lot of time as a child at this place, as well. My brother, sister, and I would build snow men, make snow angels, go sledding, have snow ball fights... We would watch one of our parents build a fire on a nightly basis. It was our only source of heat. Our mom would warm of our pajamas in the dryer, so that we would feel warm after our baths. Winter, in short, was full of fun and comfort. I used to pray that it would snow.

As I grew in years, snow and ice started to mean different things. It was cold to walk to class. It was hard to drive on, and sometimes scary. I would, instead of venturing outdoors, read in the comfort of my four blue walls. As a mom, there's less time for reading. I also feel sometimes that it may be too cold for an almost two year old to be playing outside. I know that his dad feels that way all the time. I almost have to sneak outside play time in our daily lives, which means that we do not have daily outside time. We have built a snow man. We also have made snow balls. The little man likes to pick up the snow ball to throw it again, instead of making another one. At first, he didn't want to have anything to do with the snow, but now it is a wonder for him and wonderful for me to watch. The white stuff doesn't seem so foreign or menacing when the temperatures are above zero!

It's hard to breathe the same air all the time. I feel almost claustrophobic in my house. We are doing well, despite what feels like life's intermission (winter). I am so thankful for the friends that we have in our lives. If it weren't for them, I don't think that we'd venture out at all. It would be goodbye fall...hello spring. The little man is really developing quickly these days. He's imitating, exploring his independence, and talking a lot. Wow! I need to write so many things down! I wish that we had a tape recorder, so that I could record his voice and ideas as he matures. Getting to love him is the best...the very best...aspect of my life.

The sun is shining. We may get outside yet today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Butternut Squash Disaster

Hello all! I'm sorry, no pics. We hope all is well. We have continued to work on the house. It's amazing when you start a task another unfolds right before your eyes whether you like it or not. The basement floor has been scratched, uncaulked, and recaulked. Now, it needs to be washed once more before we can paint and seal it. I would really like to set up a library downstairs. It would also be nice to be able to do some yoga without having to go out of the house and into the coming wintry weather. My husband is most excited to be able to use a garage for the first time in his life. :)

We have also been working on the yard. I've planted two blackberry bushes on the side of the house. I hope they do well. I have dreams of jam and pies. My mind constantly wanders to the future. I'm looking forward to planning and planting a garden, berry bushes, and fruit trees in the Spring. I am, originally, from an area where farming was the way of life for most people. I remember working in the garden with my grandma as a child. I loved planting seeds. I carried buckets to water them. Then, I watched them grow into beautiful spectacles of nature. I was amazed and still am at the work of God's vision. When it came time to harvest, I knew that the vegetables and fruit were locally grown with love. How I want to share these experiences with our son.

Speaking of the little man, he has been doing well. We have settled into our new home and are able to give him more of the kind of attention he so needs. He is working on being potty trained. He's attempting to say words like cracker, apple, done, and yogurt. He is what makes my world worth living. He's such a blessing from God. He helps me see myself more clearly. He is so patient with me and my journey in becoming the kind of mama he needs and the person I want to be. He loves to be outside. He likes to pick up sticks. He give hugs and kisses. He likes to be read to on a daily basis, which the english major side of me just adores. We have been attending a music class every Saturday. He can clap and keep to a rhythm. He dances to music. He likes having private concerts from his uncle and grandpa. He sings. I will sing and then he will sing. Sometimes, he will sing without being prompted. He has a wonderful voice. He is musically inclined and I plan to give him every opportunity possible so that he can deepen his talents and appreciation. He is wonderfully himself and I love every aspect, even his independence.

Borislav is doing well. He is trying to keep everyone happy at the homestead. He works all day in corporate america to come home only to work some more on the projects that mostly I have deemed necessary. I don't like being that person. It's just so hard to get everything done while I have such a willing little helper. He is also an amazing person in my life. He is so patient and willing to help. He listens. We had a delightful Halloween together. We carved a pumpkin for the first time with Ilia. Little man didn't want to have anything to do with the pumpkin guts. Afterwards, I drew out a sun on the pumpkin, which he carved. I really love the moments when we are all present together.

He has graciously turned over his car to Ilia and I to take to work. So, often times he walks to and from work. He would like to save up enough money to buy a car. I want a home birth. No, I am not pregnant. I hope to be in less than a year. Anyway, sometimes we will catch him walking down the street towards the house, and I have an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation for his sacrificial nature. I feel like just as long as we're together the world is balanced in place. Good man.

We have been enjoying the fall and friends. It's amazing how friends become part of your family. It helps me to understand the time when Christ rejected his mother and siblings. He said, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother." I understand more now. Sometimes friends treat you with more respect and consideration that your family. At least, that is my experience. We are all in this world together to help and love each other. We are not to demean and control one another. We are supposed to guide our children in the truth and respect them for who they are as people. I appreciate the life lesson that I have been learning. Can't we all see the light in all of us. Can't we see how similar we all are in reality? Maybe if we loved ourselves, we could love others. Or maybe if we loved each other, maybe then we could truly know ourselves and find love. I don't know. I've been thinking....

So, what's with the title? One of the first squashes that we bought, Ilia just loved. So, I bought two at the local farmer's market inspired by the movie Food, Inc. He does not want to have anything to do with the second one. I've tried a little cinnamonon on some bites, which he ate and found interesting. He's not so easily fooled. Yesterday, he started throwing bits on the floor. I really don't like to clean up messes of food. I really don't like it when food is wasted. I know that I need to get over that as a mom. Kids make food messes. Adults do too. I just don't like the negative intent. He looks at me and knowingly drops the food on the floor after he's been told for months not to do so. Hmm... So, does any body have any recipes that are tasty using butternut squash? We have one uncooked squash left. What to do?