Friday, December 26, 2008

Kauai... a little trip run down

Okay, so it is a month late! It has been a busy month (which I will try to get into in posts to come in the next week)! I did want to give a little trip run down though so you can all see some of our beautiful vacation! Enjoy!

On the plane and ready to take off! Excited to say the least!

Our good little man watching WALLE on his new portable DVD player (our savior on 3 flights each way- a total of 8 flying hours and many more spent in airports! Thank you Grandma!) now, if only mama had handled the flights as well- WARNING: Pregnancy and flying DON"T mix! Especially if you are already prone to motion sickness! I left the contents of my stomach in many a paper bag- awful!

Roman and I at our poolside breakfast the first morning in the rain! Jer and his parent's went ziplining on the northside of the island but Roman enjoyed our low-key first day together exploring the groungd of the resort and looking at the ocean!

The view from our condo- yes, you can see the ocean over those buildings! It was beautiful! Our bedroom slider opened out onto our balcony and we left it open every night to listen to the ocean! So peaceful!

All gussied up for church (he is pretending to play a remote like a guitar)! We attended Kauai Christian Fellowship where some friends of my in-laws go. It was a nice service and Roman did great in the children's ministry. We went in to introduce him to the teacher before service but told her we would like to keep him with us during the worship. She told Roman it was pretty rock'n'roll and asked if he would like that. His response (with a completely straight face): "I like to move it, move it." It was priceless!

First time dipping our toes in the ocean (Grammy/Jodie my mother-in-law is the one next to Roman).

A night out! My in-law's treated us to a date night that was lovely! We had dinner at the Beach House at sunset- an AMAZING restaurant with service you can't imagine! Oh, and my 14 week baby bump was finally starting to show!

The view of the sunset from our table was breathtaking! You could literally watch the son slip beyond the horizon!

We also went to the Spouting Horn that evening (or the Sprouting Horn as my father-in-law refers to it). The water shoots up from a hole in the rocks 20 feet or more!

Here we are on a boat tour up one of the rivers to a place called Fern Grotto. The tour was cheesy (hosted by some guy who was in Blue Hawaii with Elvis in the 60s) and it was filled with a busload of elderly people from a cruise, but hey we got to see a few movie locations and it was just one of those tourist experiences you have to have!

Here we all are and the Fern Grotto is behind us.

Diggin' in the sand at Poipu Beach!

There were frogs (well toads I guess) and geckos everywhere in the evening hours- much to Roman's delight! He never wanted to touch them (thankfully) but he loved looking at them! I actually partially stepped on one one evening as we were heading back to our room, right after I had told Roman, "Watch for frogs!" I screamed! It was comical! The other thing in large supply on the island were wild chickens! EVERYWHERE! Crazy!

I spent an AMAZING morning at the Grand Hyatt Anara Day Spa! It was like nothing I have ever experienced or probably ever will again. Service you wouldn't believe and amenities to completely leave you in awe! This was the garden bungalow I had my massage in. From there I went for a pedicure and manicure in the salon- it was bliss! Merry Early Christmas to me!

The pool at our condo was great- you could wade in like walking into the ocean. The hot tub was also more of a luke-warm-tub so although it frustrated everyone else I was happy because I was actually able to go in! One evening they set up a large screen next to the pool and played Kungfu Panda- Roman loved swimming and watching one of his favorite movies at the same time!

One of our favorite restaurants was Duke's Canoe Club- they had suculent fish dishes, a great salad bar and Hula Pie to die for! They also had huge koi fish which Roman loved! My in-laws took this picture of us the night before they left.

Thanksgiving day we drove up the West Side of the island and found this amazing beach in the Polihale State Park- it is 17 miles long (the longest uninterupted beach on any of the islands) and has been the site of many a movie, including South Pacific.

From the beach we headed inland a bit to drive up to the Waimea Canyon (quite possibly the most curvy road I have ever been on in my life, which once again didn't help out the motion sickness!), but it was beautiful! Oh, and by the way, Roman is showing off his muscles in this picture!

Thanksgiving dinner was a fun luau at the Grand Hyatt, complete with shell leis and fire dancing! Roman loved the show and the food was delicious!

Here is Roman sticking a flower from his punch in my hair- yes, his idea!

Our last day we drove up to the Northside on the island where we found an amazing fish taco restaurant (they made their own corn tortillas to order- they were incredible!) along with a few caves...

...and waterfalls. It was a nice drive, even though it was pretty stormy, and it gave Roman a chance to nap since we had already checked out of our room.

We arrived at the airport at about 6:30pm after our final dinner at Duke's and awaited (or dreaded rather) our 9:30 flight. I was literally ready to either move their or swim home before boarding another airplane (I have found that my fear of sharks is far less than my dread of aerial decent while pregnant!), but I was told that that option was not viable so I eventually, and reluctantly made my way onto 3 more returning flights. We flew all through the night and got back around noon on November 30.

Our trip was wonderful- much needed and long awaited... and we can't wait to go back!

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's been a while...

But much has happened in the last couple of months that has caused me to stay away so long- both tragic and hopeful, but none the less busy. A quick run down:
September 13- I found out that I am pregnant!!
October 4- Attended my first birth
October 5- The beautiful baby died of what is believed to have been a lung condition
October 9- Attended the baby's viewing with the family
October 10- Spoke at the baby's funeral and later that evening attended my Second birth
October 16- Found out that I received a scholarship from CAPPA for my Certified Lactation Educator Training
October 17- Found out that we are going to Hawaii with my in-laws for Thanksgiving
October 31- November 2- Attended my postpartum doula training through DONA
November 8-9- Attended my birth doula training through DONA
November 11- Had an ultrasound and sure enough there is a baby in there with a heart beat of 146!
November 13- Found out that a dear friend attempted suicide the night before

So, needless to say, there has been a lot going on and it has been emotionally draining. Thank you all for your understanding and I hope to be returning to posting very soon! However, next week I am looking forward to a much needed tropical vacation on the island of Kauai where I intend to at least take a small break all to myself at the Grand Hyatt Spa! It is much needed!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

September already?!?!

Alright, I can't believe that September is already here! I kept thinking it was farther away than it really was and that August was going to last longer- but it didn't and September is here! This officially marks the beginning of me getting VERY busy!! Check out my fall:

Doula Stuff:
  • Will attend my first birth (a UC) as an assistant doula next week- I will also be the postpartum doula for this client
  • Will attend an infant adoption education seminar next weekend to supplement my doula work
  • Apply for a scholarship for my Lactation Educator training
  • Acting as back up doula for a client due in early October
  • Doing a TON of doula reading before October 31!!
  • Going to my postpartum training workshop (and hosting it!) October 31- November 2
  • Getting my CPR certification November 6
  • Going to my birth training workshop November 8-9
  • Sometime at the end of November, beginning of October I will be attending my first official solo-doula births and postpartum doula-ing for those clients
  • Oh and the 3rd Saturday of each month I will be attending our local doula network meetings!

Do I sound crazy yet? There's more!

  • Sewing somewhere between 30-50 stockings for my parent's home decor shop (Labor of Love Creations) and customizing some with stenciled names and sayings
  • Knitting booties and a hat to match the sweater I posted here
  • Finishing a larger version of the hat I posted here for a friend's daughter's birthday (which was at the beginning of August! Oops!)
  • Knitting my father-in-law this winter hat (he saw a similar one at a local street fair we went to and has been begging me everyday since!)
  • Finishing Roman's Ditto Daddy training pants (although I don't think we will need them anymore since he is doing so well wearing normal big boy boxer briefs- they are hysterical!)
  • Oh, and I recently found some fabric at the local fabric shop that I fell in love with and am desperate to make a quilt out of!!
  • Plus I want to do a few projects as Christmas gifts, probably bath teas, bath salts and knitted wash clothes!

Hmmm... on top of that we are trying to get pregnant, figure out Chic & Savvy Mamas (and try to expand), do TotSchool with Roman and be a better wife and housekeeper than I have been lately! Okay, deep breaths... I work better under pressure... I WILL be more productive this way... I can do this... pray for me and wish me the best!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What a great morning!

Tot School

Well, I can genuinely say that Roman and I had a wonderful morning with lots of Tot School learning and activities going on! It all began at breakfast when, of his own accord, he began lining up his grape slices and counting them! I was so proud!
"See Mama? Two!"
From there we did our morning Bible reading in Matthew and then I did some work on the computer while he sat under the computer table looking at alphabet flash cards and books. I decided it would be fun to do some more hands-on crafty activities today (especially since our weather took a turn for windy and rainy today). So, upon Roman's request to play with play dough I decided we should make some again, since the batch we made in January has long since molded and been thrown out! We went with Red this time and thoroughly enjoyed squashing it through our fingers and making a variety of shapes out of it! Roman also requested that I make a spider (spiders are on the brain lately since we have had too HUGE ones in our downstairs bathroom since Sunday! Both of which, might I add, I had to kill! They are the cartoon character looking kind, with the big hairy bodies and spring-like legs that appear to be ready to jump at your face on a moments notice! Horrible! I refuse to shower downstairs until we can bomb!). For the complete directions on how to make this playdough you can check out this post.
From there, we thought it would also be fun to make some finger paints! I have been wanting to buy some for quite a while but have been hesitant about Roman smearing chemical-laden paint all over his arms just for a little artistic fun! This morning, however, it dawned on me, "Why don't I just make some finger paints?!" So, I went online and googled Homemade Finger Paints, and found this great site (along with many others). We went with this recipe, and although a bit gloopy (kind of like thick jello) it worked quite well and Roman LOVED it:

Cornstarch Fingerpaint
4 cups water (divided)
1 cup cornstarch
food coloring

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Dissolve cornstarch in a separate bowl with 1 cup water. Remove boiling water from heat and add cornstarch mixture. Return to heat, stirring constantly. Boil until the mixture is translucent and thick (about 1 minute). Remove from heat.
As the mixture is cooling, divide into separate bowls and add food coloring. Let the child(ren) carefully mix in the coloring.

1. Add 1 tbsp of glycerin to make the mixture shiny. You can find glycerin in most drugstores or pharmacies.

(these are the paints, pre-food coloring!)

See our Beautiful Masterpieces!

All in all, we made 8 different colors (since the recipe yielded quite a large amount of paint)- Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Purple, Orange, Black and Brown! Although when asked what color something is Roman without question answers, "BLUE," he is much better at picking out a certain color that you tell him to look for, making this the perfect color-identifying activity!
After we had tidied up our finger painting adventure, Roman helped me fix a scrumptious lunch of Turkey, Bacon, Ranch Wraps: ...which we both gobbled up and then headed downstairs (luckily, without any more spider encounters... yet) to do a little reading before Roman went down for his nap and I came up to work... and blog! Last week we took our first (successful) trip to the library, where we got a few books that Roman simply adores! His favorite new selections are Slithery Jake (a whimsical rhyming book about a little boy who looses his pet snake) and The Oak Inside the Acorn (which I think Roman really only likes because there are numerous trucks throughout the book). If nothing else, it has just been nice to mix some new titles into our reading times since we are trying to read an hour a day in order to complete our Library Summer Reading Program by the end of August (we signed up late and have to read 15 hours! Oops!).
So, here's to a terrific morning and hopes that Roman will wake up in an equally well-tempered and enthusiastic mood this afternoon!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I have said it once and I'll say it again...

I adore The Business of Being Born! This morning a friend and client of mine (oh, and did I mention wonderful mama to an adorable little girl) came over and we watched the film together. She is already signed up for Bradley classes that start next month and is so committed to having a better birth experience this time around- I am so proud of her! I could tell that the documentary just solidified everything I have been talking to her about! I love The Business of Being Born for so many reasons- most of which is it's ability to inspire mothers to want something better in their birth and work for it! I have seen it so many times now I have lost count, and yet each time it still moves me and reaffirms my decision to become a doula!

Lately my life has been seemingly consumed with all things birth and doula! Between training, interviews with potential clients, meetings with current clients, reading, writing my contract and doula meetings I barely have time for anything NOT related to being a doula! Funny how in the midst of all this I seem to be dealing with mild postpartum depression from my miscarriage. While I was speaking with my midwife on Saturday at a meeting, she gently pointed out that fact. It makes a lot of sense, and in a strange way is oddly comforting- I finally have a reason for feeling such a lack of motivation in my daily life, for these odd panic attacks and unwarranted fears I keep suffering from (particularly that of never being able to have any more children and of loosing Roman), and for my inability to get pregnant in the last year.

Yes, a year. We are officially at that point- I conceived Micah a year ago in September, and for many months now have been plagued with the overwhelming fear that no more babies are in my future- that I will never be able to experience pregnancy again, or that homebirth that I so dream of, to give Roman a sibling, or be able to put into practice everything I have learned since having my first. But you know, as I was talking to my midwife, and telling her those fears, and how desperately I want to be able to have a birth with her as my caregiver, she told me that she looks forward to attending a birth with me as well- as if she was sure that she will. She said it without any inkling of doubt in her voice that it will happen. It was a simple statement, but I went to sleep Saturday night for the first time since I can remember, actually believing that it is possible for me to have another baby. It's a small step, but a step none the less. A little glimmer of hope in an otherwise bleak outlook. Just keep praying. Just keep praying...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Things I love!

Tonight I thought I would blog about some things I love!

First of all, I love my long lost friend Brooke, who I recently reconnected with (via Facebook of all crazy things) and who brought me a wonderful bounty from her parent's garden on Monday before she moved back to Michigan (sad :( ). Tonight we ate the green beans in a teriyaki/garlic/chili sauce and we had some of the zucchini and yellow squash in a teriyaki/sesame sauce over sticky rice! It was delicious! So thank you Brooke! You can all check out her cute blog @ This Ship Will Never Sink.

Next thing I love- beautiful fabric!! I just received my Pink by Post newsletter from Pick Chalk Fabrics and I want practically all of the new fabrics so badly! I can just picture a beautiful and trendy quilt, or an awesome table cloth, or even some beyond cute diapers (if I had a little girl!). The My Folklore fabrics and Mendocino are especially stunning- in my opinion! Anyway- I will try not to let myself get carried away, but man- I just love 'em!

Next thing I love- free movies!! Roman and I had a little mother-son date this morning at the Garland Theater for a free kid's showing of the Veggie Tales Movie- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. It was very cute- entertaining even for adults, and Roman LOVED it! He was so cute- totally absorbed! It was the first movie he has gone to in the theater that he has actually sat through and watched! I have heard a rumor that Horton Hears A Who will be playing in a couple of weeks, so hopefully we will be able to catch that one too!

Okay, another thing I love- the Library Summer Reading Program! It has really lit a fire under my butt to read more with Roman! I signed him up online and, as I have heard, once you complete 15 books or 15 hours of reading you get a prize that includes a pass to Mobius and a free book- both of which Roman would adore! Wish us luck as we aim for 1 hour a day of reading! I think I am going to drop by the library tomorrow for a fresh stack of books to keep both of us interested (although I am sure Roman would be perfectly content with reading Thomas and the Great Race and Millie's Secret over, and over, and over- I don't think I could keep my sanity!).

Alright, one more thing I love- The Word of Promise audio Bible! It is a dramatization of the word (but doesn not stray from the actual NKJV text) and is read by amazing actors, including Jim Caviezel and Jesus, Kimberly Williams-Paisly as Mary Mother of Jesus, Richard Dreyfus as Moses, and MANY more! It is so wonderful to have on in the house during the day- just being surrounded by the word instead of having the TV on as background noise. It is currently only available in the New Testament, but they are working on the Old Testament and it is very reasonably priced! I encourage you all to look into investing in a copy for your family!

Well, those are just some of the things I love! I would love to hear about some of the things that you love too! Leave a comment- or better yet, write a post and then leave a comment with your blog address in your comment! I look forward to hearing about the goodies you have to share!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Just one of those days!

Actually- I think I should start with last night. You see we went out to the Coeur d'Alene Street fair yesterday afternoon with Jer's parent's (where my parents also had a booth for their business- Labor of Love Creations). It was lots of fun to look at all of the booths (both good and bad) and of course to eat the food that can only be found at such events! My favorite was the chicken artichoke crepe with basil cream sauce- can you say YUM?!?! Anyway, when we got home, Roman insisted on washing his feet off before he went to bed, so I thought it would be fun to let him use my foot bath- compete with jets, Epsom salts, and Lavender Essential Oils. He loved it and what started out as a foot bath quickly became a full body endeavor! As he puts it "Mama, I washin' my hairs!" How can you resist that?!

Now onto today- aww yes, today! Well, to begin with- check out Roman's faux-hawk! Isn't it adorable?! I couldn't resist! Anyway, the day started off with lots of phone calls and general craziness and quickly became ridiculous as I ran my errands. First, at the bank drive through, I dropped the little container that you send your checks through with, which of course rolled under the car! So in front of rows packed full of cars I had to get out and crawl under my car to retrieve it! Just a little embarrassing, to say the least!

Next we went to JoAnn Fabrics to pick up a few supplies to make Roman some Ditto Daddy training pants (really cool training pants that look like boxers or boxer briefs- you can buy them pre-made or just the pattern- check them out here). With Roman's help we found some Cars fabrics to add to the stash of fabrics we had already picked out for his trainers. I am hoping that the combination of having underpants like daddy's, PLUS having his favorite characters on them will give him the motivation to make the final push into using the potty full-time! Just to reinforce our need to get the potty-training taken care of, Roman peed as soon as we got to the parking lot and of course his diaper decided to repel that pee and send it flooding down his leg and into his new shoes (which Grammy got him yesterday, by the way, and he loves! Check out the guitar and Lightning McQueen!)! As Roman calmly explained "Peepee mama. Keen up," I tried to use the wet wipes, I luckily hand in my bag, to the best of my ability so we could try to complete our errands before returning home.

Eventually we were able to relatively quickly get through the grocery store and go home. I gave Roman some lunch and tried to get some much needed work done on the computer while he was eating. I should have known by the intermittent sloshing sounds and otherwise silence that something less than wonderful was happening. Wouldn't you know it? Roman decided to wash those hairs again AND "wipe" down everything else is sight, with yogurt of all things! After a short but thorough bath I got him down for his nap and tried to knit as fast as I could to complete the hat for our friend's daughter's birthday party that we attended tonight, which of course I was not able to finish! But hey- I made a noble attempt and one woman can only do so much!!! When it came right down to it, I just didn't think that I could really finish off my day without letting all my friends out in the blogosphere share in my craziness and maybe even relate to it! Ever had a day such as this? If you have kids, I have no doubt!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Cars TotSchool

Tot School

Just in the last week or so Roman has been soaking things up like a sponge and seems to all of the sudden be interested in learning his colors, numbers, shapes and letters. In an effort to foster this new interest, I have been trying to do more TotSchool activities. We made this Cars Totbook a month ago but it is just now that he has fallen in love with it! He keeps telling Jer and I, "I show you! Cars!" He loves pulling out all the number cards and looking at the letters of his name!
He has been counting numbers all by himself and even has about the first four letters of the ABC song down! He tends to think that EVERY color is Blue, but hey, we're working on it! I am just glad to see that he is interested!

Dad even got in on the action and read to Roman this week. Roman loves reading, but I think it is extra special when dad is the one with the book!
I am now in the process of figuring out our fall TotSchool curriculum. I am hoping to do a sort of walk through the Old Testament with some main stories and end up at the New Testament by Christmas. His Easter Lapbook was a big hit this year so I think we are off to a good start. This week we will be doing the Ratatouille book off the TotSchool site, however, as we finish out the summer. If any of you need great ideas for teaching tots, you MUST go to the TotSchool site! Carissa is brilliant when it comes to teaching tots!

Pieces of Art

Well, Roman and I both expressed our creative sides this week, just in different ways.
A knitted sweater for a friend's baby shower.

Crayon masterpieces using the back of our couch as a canvas! Sadly, this wasn't the first time he has deemed this spot as a perfect location for his creations, but luckily he used crayon instead of ball point pen (like last time) and it came out pretty quickly (you can see I had already begun scrubbing when I decided to take the picture). I became aware of the situation when things got very quiet and then Roman ran into the office squealing, "Mama! I write AND color!!" Uh-oh! Not a good combination, especially with that bright green crayon poised in his victorious fist! Oh well- he's two! At least he didn't brake something! And hey, I think he has a future as an artist- don't you?!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Just the 3 of us

The other day Jer had an interview over in Coeur d'Alene, so we decided to make the most of it and spend a little time together as a family at the lake. It was a beautiful day and a nice break from all the stress we have been under lately. Check out the fun we had!
Funny how the mama never ends up in the picture! Maybe one of these days someone else will be behind the camera!