Sunday, April 29, 2012

Treatment for pregnancy induced swollen feet

For the past few days my feet have really bothered me. They used to swell late in the day a little bit but nothing a little elevation wouldn't fix. Yesterday and today was a different story. Nothing I did helped. I usually get easy relief when I take a cool bath or just rinse my feet in cool water. Today I needed to take drastic measures. Evan, Eliot, and I busted out the kiddy pool. Cold water straight from the hose worked wonders! The bottom of the pool is soft and it feels so nice. And of course getting a chance to wear my mama swim dress is always a plus....

What's in a name.....

There are so many reasons to change ones name or not to. I have even met moms that have combined their last name and their husbands to invent a new name for their children. Check out a post on Anktangle to see some examples of surnames....

38 weeks

Give or take..... I am 38 weeks pregnant today by my calculations. 2 ultrasounds say a little differently. I don't fully trust ultrasounds for dating pregnancies. When I had my first one though it was at the "best" time for accurate dating. I still will argue at least a week minimum with the date. The US pushed my due date to June 6th. That just does not feel right to me. And now at my last appointment I was told little one was a little small. So if she is small for 35 weeks is she tiny for 38 weeks? Or is she just right for her? I guess time will tell. We will just have to wait and see when she is born whenever that will be. This coming week I go in for my group -B strep test. I guess I can get the nurse to see what is going on down there and check the status of my cervix. I tend to dilate to around 3 centimeters and thin out in the last weeks of pregnancy. The more change maybe the closer I am to delivery. I am curious but I am not overly concerned about the dates...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Evan is almost ready

Evan is getting ready for kindergarten graduation. We are having a private ceremony with friends that home school and have their own children his age.

Strawberry Festival and Danny's early birthday celebration.

Granny and I took all of the kids minus Ben to Calera's Strawberry Festival today. The kids got to ride ponies and horses, eat snowcones, and jump in inflatables. We visited all of the booths and had an OK time. It was a little hot and it was only the second year of the festival. I am sure it will be better each year. Lyn harvested one of her own strawberries today. OK, there was only one strawberry ripe enough to pick. Danny also had a little birthday celebration today. He will be 16 years old on Monday. I cannot believe my oldest baby will be 16!!! he is still very interested in learning Japanese. I gave him sushi (he loves the stuff) and Granny gave him a book on the Japanese language. All in all it was a good day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A baby bird out of the nest

The kids have been watching a robin's nest in their shady tree. One bird left the nest and is still being fed by a parent as it sits upon a nearby fence. This little guy either fell from the nest or was pushed out. Eliot was sweet enough to put her blanket down for it to rest upon. Of course it got a good washing later. It seems to be being ignored. I had Lyn go look up what we should do. The consensus was to wait an hour to see what the parent bird does and then put the bird back in the nest. We waited and then scooped it up and put him back. We will see what happens.

Cutting the electric bill almost in half

We have been having an experiment in savings at our house. I have turned the heater and /or air conditioner off and stopped using the dryer. Our electric bill went from $144.74 to $80.43. Not too bad!! We have used the dryer for a few items when we absolutely needed some dry diapers or a comforter dried. It is getting warmer so I am not sure how long we can do without the air conditioner. The clothes dry fast outside in the hot Alabama sun. What I really need is a real full sized clothes line. I want the old fashioned stretched across the yard line like our grandmothers who lived in the country had. Ahhh, a girl can dream.....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Now that is some good watermelon


New stuff....

I received some new containers to put my herbal and household creations in. This is just a sampling of what I have. Notice the lovely red wool blanket they are sitting on? I found it at alocalthrift store for $3. I plan on felting and lanolizing it and using it as a puddle pad on the sofa. With Ben flirting with the idea of potty training and a new baby on its way we need all the waterproofing we can get.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day

We didn't do much today to celebrate Earth Day except to plant some flowers in the front yard. I guess that is better than nothing....

First blackberry harvest

The blackberries start to ripen here around this time every year. The first ripe ones were ready to be picked today. There is a huge patch all around the parking lot at church. The kids brought a basket and we got there early so they could pick some. Of course after we ate some and shared the rest none came home. There were plenty of red and green ones and even a few blossoms left throughout the brambles. There will be lots more to come....

Ben didn't make it.. he finished his nap while the other kids picked berries. (Yes, I know he is in a pink carseat...)

More diaper covers

A good friend offered to let me borrow some small diaper covers. I am so lucky to have friends and family to help support me in my goal to continue using cloth diapers.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Making stick puppets

When the kids find old tongue depressor sticks left over from my old toddler classroom of course they need to make stick puppets. Eliot's had full anatomy and were "princesses". Evan's were just a shirt on a stick.....

Comfrey (comphrey) is awesome....

This herb just seems to pop up a lot lately. I am going to share my recipe for comfrey oil that I use to make my lotion and salve. It is great for rashes, especially diaper rash. A friend of mine told me recently that it works wonders on cradle cap also. This is the easy version. Comfrey is the main herb I use but I usually add healing herbs to the mix for soothing and extra healing purposes. Comfrey is the herb though that is responsible for speeding the skin and tissue renewal.

I use an 8 ounce mason jar to infuse the oil. I fill a quarter of the jar with dry comfrey leaves, then I put in a quarter of dried calendula petals, a quarter of dried arnica flowers, and then another quarter of dried comfrey leaves. If you want you can throw in some dried lavender flowers for scent and slight soothing properties. Comfrey has a strong smell so lavender can help mask that. I pour almond oil into the jar till it permeates at least half of the jar. I then add coconut oil till the jar is full. It helps to heat the coconut oil first so it will be a liquid when you add it. I place a lid on the jar and set it into water in my crock pot. I heat it on low for 2 days. I then strain the herbs out of the oil and there you go... I add some vitamin E or grapefruit seed extract to help preserve the oil but it is not necessary if it is to be used right away. When I want a salve I add a little beeswax to it. If I want a balm I add MORE beeswax to it. Try and make your own or just head over to my Esty store (Motherly Creations) and order some.... I have the oil and the salve available. I can make up some balm easily if needed.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Going on a picnic

It's a girl day! The public school kids are out of school today for a weather day. The girls have been working hard to clean their room and decided to take a break and have a picnic. They found some wild flowers along the way....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baby is doing fine

Baby girl is doing fine. I went to the maternity clinic today to see the CNP.  My weight is doing what it should be doing. I have officially gained 15 pounds. I have finally started to gain weight at a "normal" rate. This is the first pregnancy that I have gained so little. Even with Annika being born at 28 weeks I had gained 25 pounds. Of course I started out with extra fluff this go around. I know from a fetal developmental and nutritional viewpoint that shouldn't matter. I still need to eat right and gain what I need to gain for the health of the baby. I am measuring a little small according to the nurse today. I am OK with that. Eliot was only 7 pounds at birth and I feel that this little girl will be about the same size. 7 pounds full term is smaller than my average of 8 pounds but I am OK with that. She still has some growing to do. I was told I was measuring small with Evan too and he was my largest baby at 8 pounds 3 and a half ounces. I am not happy with my prenatal care at all. My insurance has limitations and I have no choice. I did get a chance to ask about some of the hospital's policies. My prenatal care providers won't be there at the birth so there is no continuum of care. I am worried that any information I have provided and my needs won't be known at the time of birth. The hospital does accept a written birth plan. I just don't know if they will actually read it. I want minimal interventions for me and the baby. I want to leave the hospital as soon as possible. Hopefully I can leave within 24 hours. I have tried really hard to stop thinking about this birth and having too high of expectations. I wish CPMs were legal here so I could have a home birth safely. This is probably my last birth and the midwife bill is still alive. If and when it passes into law and legalizes midwives in Alabama I may be ready to be a grandmother!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Danny and Annika are my language buffs. Danny will start focusing on a language and try to learn everything he can about it. He is working on Japanese right now. Annika follows right in his footsteps. I have found scrolls written in Japanese all over the house. While Annika was dusting the living room she came across one of the old books I collect just because I like the way they look. It was an old shorthand book. It is like she struck gold. She is trying to figure out how to write in shorthand now.....

Yard Eggs

I get to drive all over the place for my job. Today I was lucky enough to drive into the country a bit. Far enough so that the family I was working with has their own chickens. I was told they lay about 9 eggs a day. I need some chickens!!! I was given 2 dozen to take home. Aren't they beautiful? Eliot helped me set them up for the picture. They are so colorful Eliot called them Easter eggs. Fresh yard or farm eggs are so much healthier than mass produced caged eggs. The kids are eating eggs as I type!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Newest diapers

OK, my mother rocks! She has never made any fitted diapers before till now. She made these out of the fabric from the yard sale I helped out at last weekend. They are awesome. She only had velcro for one so I pinned one with diaper pins to try it out. I can go get more velcro if needed. If the pins work out fine I'll just use them. Ben needs to get up from nap so I can try them out!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

More homemade diapers

These diapers are awesome! Ben will actually let me put them on him. That boy will run around naked all day if we let him. They were made by a friend of mine years ago. She used to make them as a home business. She had these left over and sold them in a yard sale. I was helping her out at the yard sale and I scooped them up. There were about 5 in total. I picked up some scrap fabric at the yard sale too. I gave the fabric to my mother and showed her the diapers. She is going to try to make some for me. They work so well!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

LLL and another day at the library

Lyn, Eliot, Ben and I had a full day on Thursday. We started out at the library. Ben and I joined the La Leche League meting downstairs and Lyn took Eliot upstairs to story time. Eliot enjoyed this story time better than the last one I took her to. I brought toys for Ben and Eliot to play with in a corner till everything started. Ben still gets antsy after about 30 minutes whenever we stay put in one room too long. He didn't last out the whole meeting but I hope I was able to share some experiences and ideas with some of the moms there today. We ran a lot of errands the rest of the day and everyone was wiped out when we finally got home....

Homemade cloth diapers

My mother is the best. She knows how to sew but doesn't do so very often. I have no clue how to sew anything. I can manage to sew a button on and that is about it. I am all about homemade cloth diapers right now as we get ready for the new baby. I asked my mother to try and make me some cloth diapers. I wanted some made by her because they would be special just for that fact and to try and use some recycled material. I found all kind of patterns for her to try out. I really like plain ole prefolds and that is what she made me. I love them. And they even smell like Granny. When I brought them home Evan and Eliot were all over them. I did not know cloth diapers were so much fun. They built castles out of them, made beds out of them, and played for nearly 2 hour with the baby dolls with them. Thank you so much Granny!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Homemade honeysuckle wreath

Oh it smells so good.. Lyn and Eliot collected some honeysuckle vine (it is everywhere around here) and Lyn wrapped it around itself and tied it with some jute twine. It makes a very cute live wreath. It won't last long but it is adding a nice scent to the kitchen.

An herbal bath for ant bites.....

Eliot had a lot of fun playing outside two days ago. She rolled down the small hill in the backyard with her 5 year old brother. Later that night we realized she must have rolled through a small ant bed. She has a lot of bites on her legs and some on her arms. I waited till they were actually bothering her before I treated them. I figured if they did not bother her then they didn't need any attention. Well, they started to itch and swell a little. The first thing I did was make a paste of baking soda and water and let it sit on the bites. That helped a lot. We then moved on to a special bath. I put some more baking soda in the water. I then added some Epsom salt, sea salt, coconut oil, and plenty of dried calendula petals and flowers. The calendula turned the water a nice golden yellow. My daughter felt much better and what girl doesn't enjoy a flower bath!!!!

Eliot holding a handful of calendula petals. You can see the baking soda paste on her leg....

My office...

You have to love Alabama... This is a county maintained road. This is where I get to go to work.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Birth ideals

I have had an easy pregnancy so far except for some migraine trauma early on. But I just cannot get away from some anxiety over this baby's birth. I think I just have too many expectations. I want a natural birth but I am afraid of pushing. I want a home birth but I am afraid a little of postpartum pain without pain medication. I get really strong after pains when nursing. I don't want a lot of interventions for the baby and am afraid the medical personnel will give me a lot of heat for declining some procedures. I wish I could just turn off my brain for a while and not think about things. I am proud of myself that I have educated myself about pregnancy, childbirth, and infant care but knowledge can be a burden sometimes. I am afraid my labor will be really fast  and since it is probably my last labor I will feel cheated of the experience. I know some women really hope for fast easy labors. I am OK with an easy birth I just don't want it to be so fast that it gets away from me.....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Flower Communion

I only took the 3 youngest children to church today. We gathered up the flowers we picked yesterday and picked a few more near the parking lot at church. Ben went to his class and Evan and Eliot and I spent the service listening in the "crying room". They had coloring books provided by the church since they did not have class today. (Well, Eliot did but she didn't want to go.) When we arrived the kids placed their flowers in the communal baskets and toward the end of the service we joined in to pick out new flowers in trade. I was not in the best of moods today. I guess I can just blame it on the pregnancy but I hate to do that. Mama's are allowed to off days too.....

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tomorrow is Easter

Tomorrow is Easter and that means a lot to Christians. The church I attend recognizes that everyone is an individual and may not believe in all of the same doctrine or any doctrine at all. They will be talking about the resurrection some tomorrow but it is also Flower Communion. Each year everyone collects and brings flowers to church to place in a communal collection. At the end of the service everyone is encouraged to pick a different flower to take with them. It is a celebration of renewal and sharing. This afternoon Eliot and Evan went for a walk to collect some wild flowers. Tomorrow we will add to our collection on the way to church.