Friday, February 28, 2014

okay, more about our cabin!

it is one of the historic ccc cabins built during the great depression. it has a beautiful fireplace. one of the glass panes in the fireplace doors was broken when we got here, but they have since replaced it with a new set of doors. i can’t even believe how hard it must have been to make this fireplace by hand. the stones look hand carved! and we have learned that fireplaces are not energy efficient. the old thing whistles when the wind blows. when the glass pane was broken, it would blow into the room. needless to say, the heat (they have rigged the house up with electrical baseboard heating) was up very high in that room. i even went downstairs and turned the heat on low to help the cold air that was raising up through the floor boards. 

i love the old fixtures! i love the old hardwood floors. i even love the old, single pane windows. it’s pretty genius actually. they have made the single pane windows double pane by adding in a glass panel. and then the screen goes on top of that! a little side note about our windows. apparently, bats like our windows. in our bedroom, there are two different windows with dead, squished bats in them. it sort of gives me the creeps, even though i know they are dead. but the little fingers of the one that are stuck on the inside of the window give me the heebie-jeebies. i guess i really don’t like bats! oh, and they were squashed and dead long before we ever arrived. 

the shutters on the windows have the evergreen trees carved into them and each room has log walls and wood paneled ceilings (except the kitchen and bathroom). the curtains may be the “most beautiful curtains” i have ever seen. but i am thankful we have something to cover the windows with. our cd player does pick up a couple stations so we are able to listen to music throughout the day (which happens to be when i also get my weather for the area… or i ask josh to check at work).  the kitchen has a modern fridge and electric stove but an old ceramic sink and no dishwasher. the cabinets are probably the originals as well. there is a breakfast nook which is my favorite part of the house. it has windows on two sids and is bright during day. with all the wood in the cabin, it does tend to make the place feel a little… dim? drab? but this nook is wonderful. i am currently sitting at the table, looking out those windows at the trees, the snow, and drinking a cup of coffee. i can see when people arrive to go snowmobiling, snowshoeing, or cross country skiing from this vantage point. it overlooks the brush creek parking area. the little table and benches are perfect for our little family. the benches are even the old forest service benches with the same carved evergreen trees as the shutters outside. and sweet penny’s high chair is strapped to an old forest service chair. i wouldn’t mind having a set up like this in our future home. 

the bathroom is pretty dated. it has an old ceramic tub which is in pretty good shape but the walls around it are disgusting. i cleaned them and scrubbed them and you can’t even tell (though they still look better than when we first moved in). the original cabinets are intact and functional which is pretty neat. the old medicine cabinet and lights may be original? or at least, dated pretty far back. the toilet is not a low flow and we have to hold the handle down the whole time it flushes. it also has a commercial toilet seat on it. that does make it a little difficult for lily to get up on it. and the inside of this thing, i thought it was stained rust. well, i cleaned the toilet… nope. not stained. it just hadn’t been scrubbed clean in a very long time! i’ll just light my lavender, eucalyptus, sweet orange candle and pretend i’m somewhere fancy. 

(stay tuned for the second part of this post! and once again, when i have better internet, i will include pictures!)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

beautiful north carolina and beautiful friends

alright! i recently got back from visiting my best friend in north carolina. she had a little baby so, of course, i had to go meet her! plus, lily wanted to go play with brooke (her older daughter). it’s sort of perfect. brook is 10 months older than lily. and penny is 6 months older than baby fiona. she is the one that i referenced in my breastfeeding post and i’m happy to say, nursing is going well this time around. the trip was wonderful. it was so nice to see my dear friend and her little family. it had been quite a while since we had seen one another. we talk almost everyday and have “coffee” with one another over the phone but having coffee in real life was one of my favorite parts.

we didn’t do much while we were there which was just fine with me. brooke and lily played and lily got to do a few things she had never done before. she jumped all by herself on a little trampoline. she tried gelato (which was a big hit). she even learned to drive! she was such a champ and tried so many new foods like avacado-chick pea and red onion sandwiches! she also got to watch her first movie in the theatre. we went and saw frozen and it was wonderful! lily loved it so much, we now have the soundtrack and she sings all the songs (which started with brooke, in the car. those girls really are too cute!) she really loved playing with her friend.

penny did a few new things as well! she started crawling on our trip and sitting up all by herself! she also tried lots of new foods. and her and baby fi would just smile at one another. she really wanted to play with the baby, but of course, fi just isn’t ready for that quite yet. but the smiles she would give penny were simply precious!

while i was there, it snowed. in north carolina! it was crazy! i must have brought the weather with me! but there were a few nice days where the girls got to play outside. i flew with both girls which was a first for me. thank God for my double stroller. it was a life saver in the airport. and my dear penny cried for much of both flights (those poor people trapped in the plane with us). actually, there was a guy on the flight out that commented before all the crying started. i was talking with the sweet woman we were sitting by and he asked me to quiet down because our voices were carrying over to him. i had to giggle at that. in my mind i was thinking: just wait, sir. i knew penny wouldn’t do well. it was a 3.5 hour flight and penny only likes to nap in a bed or wrapped up on my back. 

we also attended church with shalane and david. manna church in fayettville is quite large but josh and i have been watching their “to love life, and see good days” series on blessing and curses and we have really enjoyed it. their church has special parking for new guests and a “welcome” packet that includes a free item from their coffee shop. i thought that was a nice way to welcome new people to their church. they also have a nursing mothers’ room with rocking chairs and changing pads where mothers can nurse their babies and watch the service on televisions. it thought that was nice too. i have no problem nursing penny in public, but she is at that age where  she gets super screechy when my milk doesn’t let down quick enough. it was nice to take her little distractible self somewhere to nurse where her little voice wouldn’t distract those around us. 

anyway, for my first trip alone with the girls, i would say it was a success. and as soon as i left for the airport, i was already missing my dear, sweet friend. i hope we don’t have to wait as long to see one another again.

(and ftr, once i have better internet, i will include some links to the sermon series and whatnot)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

our new adventure!

i have decided to revive our little blog. so much has happened since the last time i wrote. the biggest thing being that we added a new little to our family (penelope iris). the most recent news, we have moved to wyoming for the next 3 months.

this move is our next big adventure and we want to keep you all in the loop with the goings on here in the great wide somewhere. we have headed here to follow josh’s job (forester for the forest service). he is working a detail here and we are blessed enough to be able to join him. we did have to pull lily out of preschool and gymnastics, but i’m doing homeschool time with her and i plan on starting our own gymnastics soon (once i figure out what to do…. i guess i need to do a little research). we are living in the small town of saratoga. i think at the last census, the population was around 1,900 people. there is no stop light in town but the downtown area is very quaint. we are staying in a forest service cabin outside of town at the brush creek workstation. the biggest adjustment has been the lack of…. technological amenities.

that’s right. there is no internet at our house. let that sink in. not only is there no internet, our phones are roaming so we have no 3g which means no data. i can’t even send a photo message. what an adjustment. for the past week we didn’t have a tv and haven’t even had a radio. world war iii could have broke out, and i would have no idea. the office did eventually send josh home with a big box television with an attached vhs player. but we don’t own one vhs tape! josh’s sister was nice enough to bring a cd player and some vhs tapes for us to borrow. i figured it would be good to have an fm radio so i could know if there are any crazy weather warnings. there is a ton of snow here and as i don’t have any access to the internet or any antenna/converter box for our tv, i had no way of knowing what the weather held except to look out my window and know “it looks cloudy. and windy. i think it might snow.”. not only that, but we always listened to music on pandora or spotify. i really have no music on my laptop so our days have been pretty quiet. i’ll be thankful for even a little music. i have yet to plug it in to see if we can get anything out here…. 

there is so much more i want to tell you! but right now, i need to go to bed. i am at josh's parents' house for the night and tomorrow leave to visit my bestie and her new little. once i get back from that little trip, i might have a couple days where i will have access to the internet and i can finish this little installment on the beginnings of our saratoga adventure (and maybe even include a few pictures)!

until then...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"so, i breastfeed my toddler..."

this article in TIME magazine has me.... torn. and my friend over at "little froggy feet" has written and wonderful response to the uproar and i wanted to add my 2 cents.

i have no room in my heart to judge others on their parenting choices. it is not my place and i think that holding hostilities towards women we have have never met takes far too much energy. instead, i am going to share the story of my breastfeeding journey.

my story actually began before i even became pregnant. the only women i had ever known (or remembered) to breastfeed were my good friend tattney and my loving sister in law, becca. these women had easy easy stories and and i am blessed to have seen that side of the issue. but the woman who forever shaped my role as a "lactivist" was my best friend, shalane.

she did not have an easy go. it was not simple for her and my words will never be able to convey how hard she worked to nourish her baby with the best thing she could provide, which happened to come from her own body. her baby did not latch on right away. her suck was weak. but shalane was determined. she was blessed enough to have her baby in a hospital in northern colorado that had a breastfeeding clinic held from 10-2 every day in the week. my dedicated friend went in multiple times a week to work with lactation consultants to check brooke's latch, to see how much she consumed in one feeding and to get help with using a nipple shield (and eventually weaning off of that shield). she had bloody and cracked nipples. they were in constant pain. and her baby was NOT getting enough milk. the nurses at the clinic encouraged her and she pumped to help up her supply (while simultaneously taking supplements). her husband was supportive and knew that breast milk was best for their baby and so he never pushed formula and never suggested the easy way out. if i remember correctly, my friend had to nurse (which took almost 45 minutes on each side as brooke did not have a strong suck) and then pump afterwards to stimulate milk production for 3 months. for over 90 days. with each session taking at least 2 hours. and doing this 8-ish times a day! my friend just continued on her path of determination. i admire her more than she will ever know for this. because of her, i knew that breastfeeding was not easy. i knew that i would hit snags in the road. but because of her i knew that i could do it. not matter what lay in the way.

as it goes, my journey was not nearly as difficult as shalane's. lily was born via emergency cesarean section and while i was in recovery, my husband went with our baby to the nursery and let her suck on his finger until i could come up and latch her on. thankfully she was still awake when i got back to the room. and the latch was successful. her lips were exactly how they should look but it hurt. i had no idea what i was doing and even though the nurses said i was doing great it was shalane's kind words that reassured me. of course it hurt. lily was learning to nurse. until she got it, it was going to hurt. and my boobs would hurt when the milk came in. and i was going to smell like milk all the time. and i was going to feel like a human pacifier. and i would have this baby tied to me for a long, long while (during which time she has bit me more than once and even went on a nursing strike that we eventually worked through).

and none of that mattered. i was so utterly in love with this new little bundle that i had only known from inside my belly. every pre-conceived notion of how i would parent went out the window while i was holding her for  the first time. she was perfect. and our love was perfect. and i was terrified but i knew i would figure things out. my parenting style developed over the next few months. i had no name for it at the time. all i knew was that i was trying to do everything that everyone else had suggested for me. and i loved all of these people and wanted their approval. and was drowning in the lack of my success. finally josh grabbed hold of me and said "lesley. if you were on an island with just me and lily, how would you do it?" and that question has guided everything else. my friend holly broke it down even further. she said "remember the holy spirit? yeah, God gave us that so we can listen to his promptings. God gave you lily. He knows you are the best mommy for that baby. and of course, she is the best baby for you. you need to listen to that intuition because it is there for a reason.

and isn't that so true? shouldn't women be listening to that intuition more often instead of listening to media? and to what society claims is normal or acceptable? it is extremely difficult to parent outside of societal norms but as i have been listening to the holy spirit, and to my gut i have naturally developed a parenting style that many now call "attachment parenting" (this term is coined from dr. sears, whose whole line of books have been wonderful and i now consider my parenting style guru). and to be honest, before i was pregnant, i had heard the term and thought these parents were cah-ray-zee. i had no intention whatsoever of becoming "that kind of parent" but like i said, holding lily for the first time caused a major paradigm shift. and as i have done more research on everything related to parenting, it has only further affirmed our belief that the way we are parenting is the best for our little family. it works for us and it feels right (and of course, i am a big advocate for intuitive parenting).

the question i get all the time now is "so when are you weaning?" and this question makes me sigh. if you had asked me while i was pregnant i would have said "around a year." but that time has come and gone. so to this, i have no answer except: when lily is ready. we currently are doing the "don't offer, don't refuse" method to nursing and will continue to do so until lily doesn't want it anymore. i could go into the scientific reason why this is okay. and go on and on about how breastfeeding an older kiddo is normal and our bodies are actually made to do so, and how the united states has one of the lowest breastfeeding ages in the world. but this is not a statistical post. you know these things already. and if you don't, before you judge me or you judge the mom on the cover of time magazine. please do your research. and i won't get on my soapbox about the sexualization of breasts either.

i will leave you with this. before you get up in arms about the picture or judge attachment parenting, ask yourself "why does it matter?" "how does it effect me?" we all are just trying to parent in the best way we know how and shouldn't we support one another when we are doing right by our children? and if you are a breasfeeding mother, "how can we foster a community where breastfeeding is the new norm? how can we create an environment where it is the new desirable goal? how can we support other women who do not have a network of other nursing moms to lean on?"

and by all means. send me statistics and new studies. i am not one to sit in my ways simply because "that's how i did it with my first one." i am always up for trying something new if research shows it is better.

Monday, March 26, 2012

a button for the blog

look! i have a button now.

just had to share. :)

and if you add it, let me know.

the pecks too (and 3)

Friday, March 23, 2012

little toes

i have been feeling.... blah lately. i may blog about this later when i am in a better place. but for now, i have decided i need to do some creating. i think this will help, immensely.

wanna see what i have been working on?

{those are lily's toes. not mine ;) }

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

cloth diaper washing routine

on to routine.

if there is poop in the diaper, that must be scraped off before the diaper goes into the diaper pail, unless it is exclusively breastfed poop. this poop is very water soluble and diapers soiled with ebf poop can be tossed directly into the pail. we were actually lucky to start cloth diaper at this stage. it made it easy because we didn't have to think about what to do with poop. we could just concentrate on getting used to using cloth. as it is now, i just scrape poop off with toilet paper, into the toilet. some people have diaper sprayers (but poo can fly when these are used) and some keep a bucket with a spatula by the toilet to do the scraping). others use a bucket and the shower head. for really messy diapers, this is what my husband likes to use. i just dunk them in the toilet. you just have to find what works for you.

we have our large wetbag in the diaper pail. i bought a cheap 13 gallon trash can with a lid to use. i have one wetbag in the pail, and one that can be in the wash. i prefer a wetbag with a drawstring so i can travel with cloth but that is personal preference. i usually sprinkle baking soda and a couple drops of essential oil in the bottom of the pail. we really don't have an issue with stink though. i try to wash every 2-3 days, which helps keep those stinkies at bay. when it is wash day, i grab the bag out of the pail, and take the whole thing to the washer. i dump everything in (first emptying the wetbag, and then throwing that in as well). i don't add soap yet. i run a prewash on cold. this gets rid of the poo nasties and the cold water helps with stains. if i need to strip because my diapers stink or are repelling, i add the dishsoap here (only a tsp). i also like to add tea tree essential oil here.

once that is done, i add the soap and wash on hot with an extra rinse. if i am still having repelling issues (which sometimes happen even after a strip), i add rlr now. this would also be the time to add ammonia drops/tabs if you are having issues with ammonia smell. but keep in mind, i do not need to do these extra things all the time. only when my diapers leak, or smell awful, which is rare.

then, i do one more rinse for good measure (unless stripping, then you must rinse, rinse, rinse until there are no more bubbles).

last, i dry my diapers. i prefer to hang them outside to soak up the sun. however, in the winter, they freeze (which is fine) but then must be dried in the dryer. or, it may be raining or snowing, or too windy to put diapers outside so they must be dried in the dryer (or hung in the basement). i never dry the covers and only dry the diapers on medium heat. a dryer is very hard on diapers.

that is it.

i know that seems like a lot. but i assure you, it's like second nature now and i do all of these things without even thinking! as you gain experience, it gets easier. if i can do it, anyone can.

are you feeling brave now?