Thursday, February 28, 2008
It is amazing the size difference between the new chicks and the chicks that are a week old. They seem to be getting along fine now, though I am reluctant to put them together and have them sort out a pecking order only to pull 5 of them away to butcher in 8 weeks. This is my first chick experience, and I just want to do a good job.
I just looked, and all 10 are alive and happy, so I must be doing something right.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I bought 2 year grape vines, and put them along one edge of the fence. I built them a bed and filled it with clay and compost mixture. The bed is made out of old bricks that I recycled. I really like them there. I was considering putting some asparagus in with them, but it turns out that asparagus and grapes don't get along very well. I am still thinking about it though!
I am excited about the grapes. I almost want to name them.
I still have some work left to do on the bed though. I need to put bricks in the back to keep the dirt from falling through the fence, and I am hoping to get some mortar to plaster the bricks all together because it is not as steady as I would like. I will get the mortar if it is inexpensive.
What a fun project.
I realized that these are the tell-tale signs that little slugs walked those paths. It was a random and funny thing to think about.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I finally gave in and went to the chiropractor yesterday. He did a really good job adjusting me. I felt a lot better after, but I was definitely sore. Today, I am really sore, despite taking 6 times the regular amount of cal-mag that I take. My back feels better to some degree, but I think I may not be all the way better unless I go back to the chiropractor in a week or so. I hope it improves before then though, because I really would rather stay home and keep my money.
My friend brought her young daughter and a friend in the car, and they spent the majority of the time entertaining her.
When Daphne did something funny, my friend's daughter said, "Mom, mom Daffodil...."
I guess Daphne is easily confused with Daffodil. I think it is a really cute nick name!
About a month ago, I noticed that Daphne had white bumps where her next three teeth would come in. Judging by the way that the other teeth had come in, I guessed it would be no less than a month. They have been moving in and out for some time, but finally one of them broke the skin yesterday to become a real tooth. And so, we now have tooth #6. That makes three on the top and three on the bottom.
What a proud mama am I!
Before I went to New York, I was avoiding giving her grains of any kind, and I was doing a good job. She loved vegetable puree. There wasn't a veggie that she wouldn't at least eat some of.
Now, she has eyes only for crackers and Cheerios. I don't get it. I am going to try to make some more purees so that I can keep introducing her to new foods, but she is being really picky.
There is one exception. She will devour a banana if given half a chance. I find it to be very funny, and I have made it a firm policy that I keep bananas in the house!
She will also eat apples, but in her picky ways, she has decided that she does not like the skin, and she will spit it out if it has skin on it!
Avocados seem to be one of the best foods I have found, and getting her to eat a quarter of one before bed has helped her sleep through the night better!
Monday, February 25, 2008
Note: I wrote this before bed last night, and I am transferring it here now. It is being backdated. This is within the rules of Blog 365. I am still on track here. I can't believe I have made it 2 whole months!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Jared and I discovered some time ago that she thinks that when you like something that you put your forehead on it. She does it to the dog, and it is really sweet.
Tonight, I was showing her the baby chicks. She is fascinated by the chicks, and I was checking them to make sure that they were all OK. I picked the last one up and showed it to her. She used one finger to pet the chick, and it was very loving.
She was really excited dancing around trying to get to them in their box because she thought they were so cool.
After petting the chick for a while, she tried to put her forehead on the chick to let it know that she liked it. It was very endearing. Daphne likes the chicks.
This has resulted in a lot of hand washing, but it is totally worth it.
There are five of them. I got five hoping that three would survive, but it turns out that they are all thriving, so I may just have five chicks on my hands.
They are very cute little balls of fur and feathers.
I have never had chicks before, so this is fun. They still don't have names yet, which is odd for me. I am looking for really good names for them.
I rearranged the bookshelves so that the bottom two shelves are completely empty. I then got rid of the cardboard box that Daphne's toys had been in for so long and I put all the toys on the bottom two shelves of the book cases. This seemed to work very well!
I am excited to see what she gets into next. Maybe she will play more with her own toys!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I recalled this experience, and I thought it was funny.
When Daphne was 4 months old, I was going to the chiropractor because my back was hurting me some, and I wanted to get it sorted out. He noticed that she was not wanting to use her arms when she crawled, and he mentioned that it was probably because she was misaligned. After 1 adjustment, she was up on her hands and knees crawling like a maniac. I hate to think that it was because she was misaligned, but it sure did do her a lot of good.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thankfully, I do have that inspiration stored like a glowing candle deep inside whose flame can never be extinguished.
The flame was lit during the 9 months that I spent in Greece.
Before I went to Greece, I would say that I was almost naive. I had graduated from Delphi, which had also totally turned my life around. It put me in a position where I knew who I was and what I wanted. I also had gained the ability to learn anything, research anything and accomplish what I needed to accomplish. It put me in the perfect position for my next step in life. That step was my time in Greece.
The 9 months I spent on Paros have changed me forever, in so many ways, and I don't even think that I can begin to explain. Firstly, I never thought that I would actually manage to go. I wasn't sure that I was going to afford it, and when I first got on the plane, it was very much so in a make-it-go-right kind of way. I had had a fever for 5 days before getting on the plane, and it was still 103 when I checked before leaving the house (sorry other people on the plane, I HAD to go). I also had 2 college midterms that needed to be done. One of them was in math, and I was sure that I was going to fail. In fact, I ended up not failing at all, I got an A in the class, but the final was done on a plane with a 103 fever. I recall writing down answers that just came into my head with no logic behind them. I must have been more lucid than I thought I was.
You would have thought that the ferry strike that ensued when I got to Athens would have been enough to send me home. I was trapped alone on the mainland with no one to talk to for 3 days with no idea of when it might end. It wasn't. I endured, and I fell in love.
Over the past several weeks, I have been having flash-backs of various things in Greece. They have put me in a place of calmness and peace where I understand where I have been so that I can drawn on my experience to create a more beautiful future.
The memories I have are of the culture, and not necessarily of the fun that I had. I don't think of the time I spent with friends in a bar unless it is the morning coffee I used to have with my photo teacher and my fellow photo students. I don't think of the time I spent four-wheeling around the island unless it was the times I got off the ATV to photograph or explore. I don't think of the trips to the beach to tan unless it was a remote beach and I had my camera with me. I thank myself now for limiting the times that I would not remember, and expanding on the ones that I do remember.
Here are some examples of things that I think about that keep me inspired.
Sitting in Syntagma Square during the ferry strike with my luggage and nowhere to go looking at the orange trees in bloom and realizing what a fabulous culture I have just eaten.
Eating kluloria (sesame rings) for the first time in the bakery. Any trip to the bakery is memorable.
The front of the school, which is made of all marble, and the funny Greek locks that require 2 clicks to ensure that they are locked.
The flooding of the streets after a heavy rain. The streets become a river, and you have to walk up to your thighs in water in some places-what fun.
The time I danced in the rain in St. Peter's square 5 months pregnant.
The love affair I had with a donkey. This is an excerpt about it that I wrote at the time "And I must admit that I have a new love. I have discovered a donkey here that is just wonderful. Every day he is tethered somewhere new around the city I am in, and I make it a point to seek him out. It's actually a fun little game and I have now taken his portrait. I will bring it home for everyone to see. He seems so lonely until I come and sneek him some barley. It's kind of funny to see a donkey tethered in the middle of the city, but because donkeys are my absolute favorite animals ever, it's just good for me."
Learning to make basil pasta with eggplant and zucchini. It was my favorite dish to make while I was there, and I have not been able to recreate it since I came home. It just tastes different.
The bougatsas that I ate religiously. Perhaps I will get a recipe and make some. Maybe I will bring some to my friend's naming ceremony tomorrow.
Being able to pick herbs for dinner right off the hillside. I love this feature. I still have some bay leaves from my last trip, and I use them only when I make a Greek dish. When I run out, I will need to return for more.
Eating lunch with a friend in Pistoia in front of a Renaissance church.
Eating a souvlaki from Zorbas.
The way the bells ring from the church during Good Friday in mourning of the death of Christ.
The wind storms that blow so hard that you can't walk into them with all your strength.
Fisherman beating their fresh-caught octopus on the rocks to keep it tender.
Skinny dipping in the Aegean.
Collecting sea salt from the rocks on the north side of the island.
The tunes the ferries make when they are opening the door.
Need I go on? There are so many memories. They keep me happy and help me understand the ways I have changed since going to Greece. I like the person I have become.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Every 2 months or so, I detail the car inside and out. I did the inside part today, which somehow gives me a sense of satisfaction about life. It is the one thing that Daphne can't really terrorize right now, so it can stay clean and sparkly. I like it that way.
I feel like I am getting really good at knowing when she has to poop, and she does not mind sitting on the potty to do it.
I like this potty training bit. I don't mind changing diapers that are peed in, but the poopy ones are not much fun, especially since I started feeding her solid foods. I am loving this stage!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
We had a disappearing moon tonight. This was the first time I had ever seen one.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I have been trying to put her on the potty various times to try to get her used to it. Today, I knew she was going to poop, so I went and put her on the potty. She had no problem with it, and she pooped right then and there. I don't know if this is a fluke or a big breakthrough, but the cool thing is that she let me know when she had to poop, and I made it to the potty with her. This means less poopy diapers for me to clean up if I can keep it up!
And so, we mark down 2.19.08 as the first time Daphne made a poop in the potty!
Monday, February 18, 2008
Roller skating, apparently, is not my strong suit. The first time I tried it, I fell down the driveway and ended up scraping my leg up really bad. I think I can still see the bruise, and it was a few weeks ago.
This time, I tried it not while it was raining. I managed to head downtown, and I skated for some time, but I think that we are not meant to skate really unless it is on a very flat surface. I am going to try the roller blades the next time to see if that helps any. I will keep you updated.
The weather was beautiful and Daphne and I headed down to the park to play on the slides and things. She was not sure what to think about sliding down the slide, and her hair was standing on end from the static electricity. It was pretty comical.
I ended up walking back barefoot, but the sun was setting and the town was out on the first nice day since winter set in. It really was perfect.
I will try again, but roller skates and strollers really are fun.
There are just some holidays I cannot get behind. President's day is one of them. I just don't see the point other than the fact that postal workers and banks feel that they need an extra three-day weekend thrown in somewhere.
It is SUCH an inconvenience. I have things to mail and doctors to talk to and checks to deposit. None of those things can be done.
The thing is that it is a FAKE holiday. I wont be imparting some cultural tradition to my daughter today in celebration of some cultural tradition, I will instead be inconvenienced by the fact that somewhere someone declared that they needed an extra day off.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I am working hard to make my own food from scratch. I worked hard today to grind the wheat into flour so that I could make some bread with it. It takes a while because my grinder is wonderful, but it is slow. It can get the flour really fine if you have the power and the patience. I don't think I would trade it for an electric grinder.
I just made cookies with the flour. I don't know what will come of them. I am waiting for them to come out of the oven right now, but I am excited. I already worked off some of the calories, and I think they will taste better just because I ground the flour myself!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Unfortunately, we don't live on a farm. We live on a little postage stamp size lot with a TINY front yard (if you can even call it that) and a small backyard. Obviously, we aren't going to be doing any large scale animal farming. Rather than whine until we get a place that I can have goats and a milk cow, I have decided to make the most of what I have.
We live in a very rural area, so I have found someone who has some land who would be willing to keep a goat with their herd. Having a goat like this will allow me to milk a doe and have a fresh supply of raw milk and a way to make cheese for our family. If I get a cream separator, I can run the cream out of the milk and make butter and anything else that would require cream. This is very exciting for me.
In our backyard, I am going to set up a place for some chickens. I will get a few for eggs, and I am going to look into getting some just for our own purposes to eat. I will probably have to have them processed at a farm down the road because I do not know how to process them myself, nor do I have any equipment to do so. I still have to see if someone would be willing to help me process some chickens. Either way, I am going to keep 3-4 laying hens to get eggs. I need to start raising the chicks soon because it takes a while for them to grow up and start laying.
I am also going to start a vegetable garden. I am going to make 4-5 raised beds that are 6' by 6' by 1'. I am then going to head to the local dump where they compost people's yard debris, and I am going to by a unit 7.5 cubic yards of 50/50 compost and sandy loam. I don't have a better place to get this right now. I am going to get it to my house and fill my raised beds. Then I am going to plant some vegetables. I am excited. I just need to decide what I want to plant, and where. I think I will line the beds up in my back yard. I am making them each 6' by 6' so that I can reach the interior without really having to stand in them. Our yard is fenced, with a 6' fence, so it should not be too hard to keep animals out, which is really nice.
In this way, I will do some farming and produce some food for our family. I am going to help Daphne learn to be more self sufficient, and I will get to spend some time outside. I am excited.
We have VERY few tools to do this, and I don't plan to buy any more really except maybe a hand saw, so I will be doing a lot of the work by hand. :)
Friday, February 15, 2008
I am impressed with how smart he is. He can spot letter and numbers with incredible ease. My sister is doing a wonderful job raising him!
I can't wait until Daphne is older and can read. I have a lot of fun ahead of me.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I have been wanting to make napkins. I have enough to make around 15 or 16 napkins. They will be used for many things around the kitchen, so I am happy for them. I even like them even though I paid more for them here than I otherwise would in Portland.
I am going to post photos when I get them done.
I went in with my sister today and checked out the things that they had available. There were a lot of things that I saw that looked like my kitchen would benefit from.
I would like to get some egg rings that are silicone so that I can get rid of my non stick pan that keeps burning me.
I also would like to get a cavatelli roller, but I think I want to try it by hand first before investing in any equipment.
I DID buy some very nice silicone Popsicle molds so that I can make some Popsicles for Jared and Daphne and I, especially for the summer. I am excited because we have been looking for something like this for a long time.
I always look forward to going in to the shop when I come to visit again.
She has learned to wave 2-3 different ways by just looking at us wave at her and trying to make the same motion.
I learned the other day that she knew how to clap after I got excited at something that she had done and started clapping. She mimicked the motion that I made.
She learned how to "jump" on the trampoline after watching Jared exercise on it. She got from watching that the legs needed to bend and try to come off the ground. She now "jumps" when she is on the trampoline.
Today, Eli was sitting on the couch eating an Italian cream soda. He was dipping his finger into the whip cream on the top and putting it into his mouth. After a few tastes of the cream, Daphne decided she was going to do the same. She started touching her finger to the glass and then putting it in her mouth, just like her cousin. She spent about 5 minutes repeating the motion. It was very cute.
It is the simple little things. These things are wonderful. She is becoming an independent personality. I love being her mom.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I am excited.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The drive was long and boring, but at least the snow did not stop me like I thought it would. There was 136 inches across the pass. Now that is a lot of snow!
Monday, February 11, 2008
It looks like the pass will be clear until I get over it, I just hope it will be safe to return next Saturday.
I am taking Daphne with me, and I am taking a lot of things for my sister for her new baby. The car is STUFFED.
See you in Burns.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
My prize was two tickets to the opening night of Rodelinda, which is an opera.
We got grandpa James to babysit, and Jared and I trudged off to the opera in Portland last night. We actually had a great time. He gave me a lot of guff about not wanting to go. Apparently he did not know that 1) operas are typically more than 3 hours long 2.) they are never written in English and 3.) they are 100% singing. He seemed really reluctant to go.
We actually had a REALLY great time. The opera was really nice, and the story was pretty fun. Neither of us really liked the LONG airas that lasted forever where the person said the same thing over and over, but other than that, it lovely. I felt very redeemed at the end.
As a side note, the woman who plays the title role Rodelinda was sick yesterday. Apparently the Portland Opera has people that they have stay with them for 2 years who work to learn roles and fill in when people are ill. The woman who stepped in did a fabulous job for her first performance, and she actually received a standing ovation.
This is the synopis of the opera from the Met opera site.
I TURNED MY LAST MIDTERM IN TODAY!
Truth be told, I wrote more than 30 pages worth of text for these midterms. They were essays, which I had never experienced before. It was a lot of thought, and a lot of hard work, especially considering that I was behind on the reading for the classes by about 200 pages total.
I will be making arrangements to get out of two of the three finals by doing a presentation. Presentations are more fun, less stressful, and don't contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome.
For some perspective, I always refer to something a friend once told me. She said that in 4 years either I will have done it or I wont. Which will I choose? This is apparently what got her through college despite all odds. I DO want to do this, and I will.
Part of my optimism may stem from the fact that I just turned in my last midterm.
Friday, February 08, 2008
The following is a horrendous article attacking homebirth. This is why, even though it is a risk for my life, I would not want to be in their care, they are narrow minded, and downright evil.
Washington, DC -- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reiterates its long-standing opposition to home births. While childbirth is a normal physiologic process that most women experience without problems, monitoring of both the woman and the fetus during labor and delivery in a hospital or accredited birthing center is essential because complications can arise with little or no warning even among women with low-risk pregnancies.
ACOG acknowledges a woman's right to make informed decisions regarding her delivery and to have a choice in choosing her health care provider, but ACOG does not support programs that advocate for, or individuals who provide, home births. Nor does ACOG support the provision of care by midwives who are not certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) or the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB).
Childbirth decisions should not be dictated or influenced by what's fashionable, trendy, or the latest cause célèbre. Despite the rosy picture painted by home birth advocates, a seemingly normal labor and delivery can quickly become life-threatening for both the mother and baby. Attempting a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) at home is especially dangerous because if the uterus ruptures during labor, both the mother and baby face an emergency situation with potentially catastrophic consequences, including death. Unless a woman is in a hospital, an accredited freestanding birthing center, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, with physicians ready to intervene quickly if necessary, she puts herself and her baby's health and life at unnecessary risk.
Advocates cite the high US cesarean rate as one justification for promoting home births. The cesarean delivery rate has concerned ACOG for the past several decades and ACOG remains committed to reducing it, but there is no scientific way to recommend an 'ideal' national cesarean rate as a target goal. In 2000, ACOG issued its Task Force Report Evaluation of Cesarean Delivery to assist physicians and institutions in assessing and reducing, if necessary, their cesarean delivery rates. Multiple factors are responsible for the current cesarean rate, but emerging contributors include maternal choice and the rising tide of high-risk pregnancies due to maternal age, overweight, obesity and diabetes.
The availability of an obstetrician-gynecologist to provide expertise and intervention in an emergency during labor and/or delivery may be life-saving for the mother or newborn and lower the likelihood of a bad outcome. ACOG believes that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate postpartum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets the standards jointly outlined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers.
It should be emphasized that studies comparing the safety and outcome of births in hospitals with those occurring in other settings in the US are limited and have not been scientifically rigorous. Moreover, lay or other midwives attending to home births are unable to perform live-saving emergency cesarean deliveries and other surgical and medical procedures that would best safeguard the mother and child.
ACOG encourages all pregnant women to get prenatal care and to make a birth plan. The main goal should be a healthy and safe outcome for both mother and baby. Choosing to deliver a baby at home, however, is to place the process of giving birth over the goal of having a healthy baby. For women who choose a midwife to help deliver their baby, it is critical that they choose only ACNM-certified or AMCB-certified midwives that collaborate with a physician to deliver their baby in a hospital, hospital-based birthing center, or properly accredited freestanding birth center.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Last night as I was putting Daphne to bed, I heard them talking about a dish called spaetzel. I knew immediately that it was the dish that I have pined for for more than a year.
And so, I found a recipe for it on the food network site (I used Tyler Florence's rendition), and I made it for dinner.
I made a sauce that was hamburger, sausage, cottage cheese in a kind of light bechamel. It was really lovely.
I had steamed broccoli with it on the side. I love broccoli as much as chocolate--I really do.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
I thought it was a rather strange thing for a baby to like to eat.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
It is really cute. She will toddle down the hall and trip and fall and pick herself back up again and walk. She used to have to crawl over to something to pull up on and then start walking again.
Jared insists that this is old news, but I am thrilled with it, and I think that it is wonderful.
Does this mean that she is a toddler now and not a baby?
However, it only lasted for a day. I only got one day of the Frankenstein walk before I got it no more. How sad. She is on to walking steadily by herself with just straight legs and a sway to the side. Maybe this is her Frankenstein walk of her very own.
The down side is that I am having a really hard time in my classes right now. Keeping up with a baby and trying to do college is not easy, not even a little bit.
I got my midterm assignments today, and I have a full 20 pages of reserach that needs to be written by the end of the week-a major pain in the butt.
The good news is that it is all downhill from there, I am just a little frazzled about the whole thing.
So the BS is on again, and I've got to get excited about doing some crazy classes here.
I am starting to find things that were in one room 5 minutes before in a room clear across the house. The funny one I discovered today was that she had pulled a measuring cup out of the dishwasher, and without my knowledge, it ended up in the office.
In summary, applying dry ice to a car dent will cause it to spring back into place. You apply it for some time every 5 minutes until it works. Additionally, if you warm the door with a hair dryer and then use an air duster can held upside down, it will get the same result.
I think that is pretty cool!
Monday, February 04, 2008
I had a "cooking day" today, which basically means that I spend several hours in the kitchen cooking things of all kinds.
Here is what I made
2.) granola (2 kinds, one for Jared and one for me)
3.) almond milk
4.) vanilla ice cream
5.) strawberry ice cream
6.) fresh bagels (as in I cooked, boiled and baked them)
7.) baked potatoes
8.) Basil pea soup
Many of these things are staple items for us that I make on a regular basis, but the bagels were a new experience. I usually make vanilla ice cream, but I took half the batch and put strawberries in it. It was REALLY good just as a base. It is hardening up now, and I will try some a little later.
The pea soup was the highlight. I had seen it on the Food Network earlier in the week. It struck a cord because I had some spare peas lying around that Daphne decided she did not want, and I needed to do something with them.
It was so simple, but it was amazing. I may be making more soon because I do have some more peas. Here is how I did the recipe.
Sweat 1 onion for 8 minutes until it is soft then add 2 cloves of garlic.
Immediately dump in about a half a bag of frozen peas and cook for 2 minutes.
Take the mixture to the blender and add 2 cups of stock (chicken or vegetable). Blend until smooth.
Return to the stove and add 2 cups of milk (you could even do rice milk, and this could be vegan).
Heat through, add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper and serve.
It was amazing!
On a side note, I did start the stove on fire during all of this cooking. No one is perfect right?
Sunday, February 03, 2008
I have written my college counselor, and he is not writing me back. In fact, I have heard nothing since before Christmas from him.
My greatest fear is that I am working my butt off with no real end in sight.
I've got a tough decision. Spend a year driving in to Portland to go to classes to get the degree I want and have been working for since 2002 (NO WAY!) or lose a year and finish a degree that I could care less about, but that I can finish here in Mcminnville?
I really can't decide. I think that I will probably end up continuing on with the degree that I don't want and at least get a BS in Social Sciences. I then plan to apply to the nursing program that I can do in Mcminnville, and spend a year doing the classes that I need to do to become certified as an RN.
At that point, just a little bit more work, and I've got a BSN (BS in Nursing). From that point, becoming a midwife involves a masters degree, but I could do it if I wanted to. The most important thing being that I have a Nursing degree and could practice nursing of some sort.
I really don't know.
For now, I know that I have to make it through midterms next week, which is a real challenge with a baby hanging off one leg.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Turrijata (a taco, burrito, fajita). They were incredible. They had onions and peppers and cheese and meat. Yummm. I am glad there is some left over for tomorrow.
I also had an artichoke. I haven't had one in years. I am so happy that I ate it. Daphne enjoyed chewing on the leaves.
Have you wondered yet why I have not lost all of the baby weight?
Friday, February 01, 2008
Appetizer: Roasted asparagus in lemon and olive oil
Entree: Mussels and angel hair pasta in a reduced cream wine sauce
Dessert: Sliced pear
I drank a glass of Yellow Tail Merlot to go with it all. Needles to say, it was wonderful, and I am satisfied.