Monday, May 31, 2010

There's food growing in my yard!!!!

My husband has done an amazing job with our garden. My primary role has been as cheer leader, admirer, and, occasionally, nagging know-it-all (you know, because I read a book on gardening). I've put a few seeds in the boxes, but really, he deserves all of the credit for the fact that there's food growing in our yard!!!!

This is a new and exciting experience for us and we couldn't be more thrilled.

Here are my tomato and pepper seedlings I started indoors several weeks ago. I'm skeptical they'll produce any fruit, but truth be told, I was amazed they even sprouted.

I love this perfect square foot of radishes. It makes me very happy. If only I liked radishes.

This is chard we planted last year that survived the winter under a bed of dry leaves. I've been harvesting it for my breakfast omelets. There's something so satisfying about picking your breakfast from your garden in the morning!

We're big fans of greens around here so we've also got mustard greens, spinach and mixed baby lettuce.

It's not coming in quite as gloriously as what we planted in the boxes, but I love the beans, corn and sunflowers sprouting in our "stump garden." 

Finally, I must admit that I gave my husband a hard time about the money he spent on fruit trees. But there are PEARS AND APPLES growing in my yard! I had no idea what a thrill that would give me!!!

In case anyone is wondering about the one book I read that made me an expert on gardening, it's called Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. He also has a great web site.

And in case anyone is wondering how I came to choose that one book from the thousands available, my dear friend and garden goddess Clea Danaan recommended it. Clea is much more "Zen" in her approach to gardening. If you prefer a more spiritual approach to gardening (as opposed to an approach designed by an engineer!), check out Clea's web site and books.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Belly is in the Eye of the Beholder

I'm in that stage of pregnancy where I can pretty much choose to look pregnant or not. It depends a lot on what I'm wearing, how I'm standing and how well you know what I look like when I'm not pregnant. There's no way I could hide it from close friends and family members, but I'm not "showing" enough for a stranger (at least a smart one) to risk asking when I'm "due."

Yesterday I was enjoying a beautiful morning sitting under a tree with a neighbor while our kids ran around. She commented that I "look great," that I'm still "so thin," and that you can't tell I'm pregnant at all. I appreciated the flattery, of course. Not 10 minutes later, I met another neighbor in her backyard where she asked me, "Did you pop this soon with #2 or is it because this is your third?"

Ah, well. As the saying goes, "flattery is the food of fools!"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Home Birth Elitism

I want to begin this post by saying that I am 100% supportive of and in favor of home birth. I think home birth midwives provide fabulous prenatal care, unbelievable labor support and amazing postpartum services. I believe home birth is safe and I absolutely think it should be legal everywhere.

BUT (you knew there was a "but"), I do not think that having a home birth makes you a superior human being. I also do not think that choosing to birth in a hospital means that you are fearful of the birth process, or that you have been duped by modern society into believing that pregnancy and birth are risky medical conditions, or that you are ignorantly (or willfully) putting your life and the life of your baby at risk by entering into a place where you will be drugged and cut against your will and will likely contract a MRSA infection in the process.

I recently had the privilege of hearing Ina May Gaskin speak to a group of parents and birth professionals about her work at The Farm and the history of obstetrics. She is an amazing speaker, midwife and woman, and it was a fascinating presentation. But what she failed to acknowledge in her talk, and what the audience seemed to fail to grasp, is that there are hospitals where women can receive the care and respect that they deserve through pregnancy and delivery.

We are incredibly fortunate in the Denver Metro area to have several woman- and baby-friendly hospitals. The Center for Midwifery at the University of Colorado Hospital offers skilled midwives who love natural child birth and know how to support women toward that end. You can also have a water birth in the hospital if you want! Also the Boulder Nurse Midwives, who have privileges at Boulder Community Hospital provide supportive, holistic, naturally minded care to women wishing to receive top quality care while birthing in a hospital.                                                                                    

In addition to the hospitals, women in the metro area can choose to birth at a free standing birth center. Mountain Midwifery Center strives to be a "maxi home" not a "mini hospital." Started by a former home birth midwife, the center provides yet another wonderful option for women birthing in Denver.

And, of course, Denver is blessed with a number of highly skilled home birth midwives with decades of experience in providing women with high quality prenatal care and amazing and safe home birth experiences.

The point is, in Denver, women have a lot of really good choices about where to go for prenatal care and  the labor and delivery experience. And women have all kinds of reasons for making the choices they do about where to birth. We should celebrate a woman's right to choose the care that is best for her and her family, not subtly undermine or belittle women who choose differently than we do.

I am so happy, giddy even, for my friends who have had the amazing home birth of their dreams. When I got pregnant for the third time, I once again considered home birth as an option for myself. After a lot of soul searching I realized that I don't want to birth at home.

Before hearing Ina May speak I wondered if I would be thrown back into a crisis about the choice that I've made. But I wasn't. I'm excited about giving birth again. I can't wait for the experience! I was just a touch saddened by the tsk- tsk-ing, the sad head shaking, the judgement I perceived from the home birth advocates when I was one of 2 women who admitted to planning to birth in the hospital.

All women are different. And different women want different things. And as women, we should support and even celebrate each other in the positive choices we make. Even if we wouldn't make the same choice ourselves.
Photo from my first hospital birth

Potty Learning

So, my sweet 2-year-old daughter is starting down the potty learning path. It's going fairly smoothly as I'm pretty laid back about it - and we have hardwood floors. Going through this again though made me think of when my son learned to use the potty a few years ago. We did not have hardwood floors then. So for your amusement, a post I made to my "mommy's board" on June 24, 2008:

Carpet Cleaning and Potty Training

Here are a few tips for those of you who haven't ventured down the PTing road yet.
1. Think real hard about whether you really want to go down this road. Changing poopy diapers really isn't nearly as bad as cleaning poopy carpet. Really.
2. If you're thinking of having your carpets cleaned, you might want to consider waiting until PTing is finished. Unless you want to pay to have them cleaned twice.
3. Try to drill it into your kid's head that s/he cannot hide poop on the carpet by standing on it.
4. If you don't already have one, you may want to invest in a wet/dry vac.
5. Now would be a good time to consider putting in hardwood floors.
And now a few of Murphy's laws that come into play while PTing.
1. The first really major poop accident will happen approximately 2 days after you spend hundreds of dollars to have your carpet cleaned.
2. If you have a baby that won't nap on her own, the afternoon she decides to take a nice long nap will be the same afternoon your toddler decides to poop on the carpet, stand in it, and walk through the house to find you. So instead of sipping lemonade on the back porch, you will spend baby's nap time scrubbing poop out of your son's toenails and cleaning the carpet. Better than cleaning up poop while listening to a baby scream I suppose. . .