Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Star for my Star!

A little incentive for Ms. Serafin to do certain "big girl" things, . . . aren't stars fun! We haven't decided wether or not she will get a prize once she fills on all the blanks, we want to see how she reacts when (if) she manages to complete it. She seems to be warming to the idea that if she washes her hands or goes potty she will get a star, at dinnertime, however, forget it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Amazing Women of Wombservice Midwifery!

Yesterday , we had our final postpartum visit with the beautiful ladies of Wombservice Midwifery. I was sad to see them go. My experience with them was amazing and empowering and I felt the need to spread the word. They are well-educated, sincere and trustworthy women and if you are in the market for a midwife, I recommend these ladies hands down!

In the nine months that I worked with Ellen, Jamie and Hannah, I always felt safe. During their visits to our home, my questions were answered and I felt I could always express myself. Pregnancy and childbirth is an emotional ride and I felt supported and loved by these women throughout. I look forward to continuing our work together with the well-women care that they provide.

Womb Service provided all the tests we needed, including blood tests with blood with-drawls right in our home. They taught me about my body, teaching me how to palpate my belly during pregnancy, showing me how to do breast exams properly and even how to feel for my cervix (which I have always had difficulty doing). They always had suggestions for whatever issues I brought up and worked on each other's strengths to come up with a good game plan for me. They were on time and respectful of our space. They always seemed happy to come to our house and put up with our crazy dogs and noisy birds without a single complaint. They addressed all my fears and made space for them, I never felt disregarded or shamed. They are truly amazing women! Thank you for a wonderful experience ladies!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My X-Mas Angel

I've been slightly melancholic these days, not in a bad way, just feeling the ebb and flow of life. Winter is a time to go inside, to hibernate. This will be my second x-mas ever without my mom around and I'm definitely feeling the loss of her. This holiday was very special to my mom and she always planned it out practically to the minute. Last year when we had the first real x-mas celebration at our home (we usually did it at mom and dad's house) I asked Dad for the "x-mas angel". My mom had embroidered this angel that would sit on top of the family tree every year since I can remember. Then one evening while we were enjoying some x-mas spirit Gary pointed out that the Angel actually kind of looked like my mom. It so made me feel like my mom was standing on top of the tree watching over us. And once again, this year, I put the angel on the tree and my mom is shining down on us. Miss you mom, love you. xoxo

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Home for the holidays!

(Sweet Serafin getting into the Christmas spirit. I made some stuffed felt stars and she is decorating them to give away as gifts, . . . I love being a mom!)

Happy Holidays to everybody!

This year has been very different. With a newborn in the house it has been hard to really think about doing much besides breastfeeding, eating, sleeping and changing dirty diapers! That said, I have managed to pull out the x-mas decorations and jazz up the house. How could I not? Serafin is enjoying the festivities and I think X-mas day will be fun. In fact, I think mostly I will get joy out of watching her wonder and awe at everything. She is amazing. Before I know it we will have two crazy kids running around! Here is a brief holiday tour of our crazy house!

The hearth, . . . it's a family tradition to have handmade stockings. My mom made mine when I was little and I've made one for each of the rest of my family. Silas' isn't quite finished yet (note the bear is missing his head!), but I figure I have a little while before he wonders what's going on! On top of the fireplace is our snow-globe collection! We probably have about 8 or 9 Christmas snow-globes, the ones up there are mostly the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade globes. This is the first year that Serafin has been intrigued by them, she wants them to "play" and sits there pointing out all the charters she sees. They will be hers and Silas' one day.

The Tree!! (and the munchkin!)

Snowflakes in California??

Friday, December 2, 2011

Homemade Massage Oil

(My jars of steeped lavender flowers just itching to be made into massage oil.)

I FINALLY got around to pressing out my herbs to make my massage oil (just in time for christmas presents)! I used to do this on a regular basis, but since I became a mom it has not been on the top of the list of things to do.

I have made oils from a number of plants, but the ones I go back to frequently are Lavender, St. John's Wort (wonderful for strained muscles and depression) and Calendula (great for any skin conditions as it's filled with vitamin E).

In brief, here's a quick outline of my oil making process, . . .
When you clip your flowers, be nice to them, don't butcher the plant, take what you need and that's it. Dampen flowers in a bit of pure grain alcohol or (90 proof vodka if you don't have the other) and place in a large jar. Poor in organic olive oil just so oil covers the top of the flowers. Clean a river rock and place it in the jar over the flowers so that the flowers stay pressed into the jar. Leave jars for a few months in a dark place.

When the jars are ready strain oil into a ceramic (heatable) pot being sure to keep plant material out of oil. Heat oil on low heat to burn off alcohol, you know your finished when the smell of alcohol disappears. Slowly pour oil into an appropriate jar. Sometimes you will notice a fluid collecting underneath the oil after it has been heated, try to avoid adding this to the jar. Let jars cool and add a few drops of benzoin to preserve. When you're ready to give some away, find a nice container to pour it in and jazz it up with some pretty ribbon!

(Now, . . . go get yourself a massage you deserve it!)