Friday, November 30, 2007

I had a very clear dream last night

In which I delivered an unassisted footling breech on the back porch in a windstorm.

It was another precip labor, where I had only realized that "this is IT" minutes before. Frustrated that dh wasn't listening to me about it (proof of a dream state-- dh is all over any labor alarm and would never behave that way), and doubting myself too much to call the midwife, I went outside to take a breather. As the wind whipped up, I moved from the yard up to the first step on the porch, cold in a sleeveless shift. I had a nasty contraction, one of those that comes from your thighs, through your back and straight into electrifying your cervix. That's when I felt the baby in the birth canal; out popped one foot, then another.

In the dream, I remember my rapidly cycling emotions, moving from panic to resolve to fear to determination. I remembered reading (during planning my UC-that-didn't-happen with ~N~) about how to deliver in a footling breech situation on Laura Shanley's site, and I tried to adopt the proper posture. I couldn't decide whether to continue climbing the stairs to get some help from my husband, and noticed the neighbor's gigantic bull mastiff crossing from their yard into ours. Smelling the birth situation, he was coming to investigate, and I didn't want him anywhere near me or the helpless, dangling child.

I remember thinking even if she didn't suffocate, she had to be FREEZING, hanging there in the cold wind. By the time the dog got to me, she was free. I reached over to smack him away, and that effort jerked me enough to push her out the rest of the way.

I scooped her up, tucked her into my bodice and rushed through the house (which was not my real house on the interior, but my Grandmother's) to my bedroom, placenta still inside. I clawed my way under the covers and kangarood the baby, layering both of us with too many blankets. She was looking at me with a quizzical "what? what just happened?" expression when my dh came into the room for the shock of his life.


the heck

was that about????????

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ah yes-- A Carol for Our Community

Twas the Night Before Solstice
By Kristie Burns

'Twas the night before Solstice and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even our pet mouse

Knitted wool stockings were hung with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there

The children were tucked in organic cotton sheets,
The air filter blocking pollution from the streets.

While mama stayed up to make handmade gifts
I co-slept with the kids and watched auras shift.

When out in the herb garden arose such a clatter
I sprung out of our futon to see what was the matter!

Away to the solar panels I flew like a flash.
They took me hours to install, I hoped they hadn't crashed.

The crystals we'd laid out to absorb the moonlight
Sparkled like fairydust and blocked my sight.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh without any reindeer.

At that moment I knew that the little old man
Had received my last letter so bold and so grand

Could you stop using reindeer? Last year I wrote him,
And enclosed with the note a PETA pin.

As he neared the house in his all-wooden sleigh
I noticed it was powered by wheatgrass and hay.

Ostheimer! Kinderkram! Stockmar! Fair Trade!
Don't bother landing if the toys aren't handmade!

"Hey Arriana," I called to my wife with chagrin,
"With that body mass do you think he's vegetarian?"

She paused only a moment from her crafting and said,
"One moment dear! I'm shaping this gol-darn Waldorf doll's head!"

On our roof I strained to hear the ole boy
But I'd recently insulated it with soy.

So I drew in my hand and was turning around,
When in through the front door came St. Nick with a bound.

The Advent wreath had caught in his hair
As I said, "Why in the world did you enter from THERE?"

The soot in your chimney contains poisons galore.
You should consider the environment more.

But he was dressed in fur from his head to his foot
So I said, "Look whose talking about my soot!"

A bundle of felt he had flung on his back.
"I hope you like handiwork," he said with a laugh.

His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples were treats!
His cheeks reminded me of when I dye silk with beets.

He must be of the choleric type I mused.
It's a good thing with lavender the stockings I infused.

With his fur boots he slipped on the bamboo wood floor.
I offered him Arnica and then closed the front door.

After all that I'd paid to the energy company this year
I didn't want one bit of that cold air in here.

He had a broad face and a little round belly
I asked him, "Have you seen your naturopath lately?"

He was so chubby and plump I worried for his health
But I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to task,
Needle-felting dragons and weaving a mask.

He knitted a pure cotton sweater and two pairs of mittens,
Then picked up a knife and carved 2 wood kittens.

He finger-knitted an entire nativity scene.
With the most amazing skill I'd ever seen!

When he sprang from his seat on the floor and arose
I yelled, "Arianna - watch - there he goes!"

With the unfinished doll she was struggling to sew,
Arriana went to watch him out the window.

And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight!
"Arriana, my dear, the stiches are too tight!"

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

We had two other families over and the children all ate like racehorses. P-daddy had a bonfire in the back yard and let them look at the craters on the moon through his telescope. It definitely felt like family, and was easily one of my favorite Thanksgivings.

The gravy is the end of it

A pretty, sunny day for friends

A simple setting for a casual Thanksgiving

We didn't plan a kids table, but we ended up with a Mommy's table. Oh, darn.

This what happens when you interrupt feasting children to ask them to say "Happy Thanksgiving!" They had me laughing so hard the pictures are hopeless.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

OMG My house smells so good

This is where Voluntary Simplicity meets CSA meets the joy of the hearth meets the warmth of friends.

My house smells like simmering chicken stock, roasted pumpkin and cooling cranberry sauce. Soon the yeast from the baking bread will waft out of the kitchen. I love times like these. I love making everything from scratch, the whole foods turning into dinner.

P-daddy is home today, so he's on Taxi Duty while I prepare the house for our guests. Tomorrow, he will kick me out of my kitchen like he does every year, so today I have to get in what I need to do ahead of time.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Farm Day Again

And my produce is still in the van. At least the van is in the garage, and it is not so different a temperature from the barn. I can get it in the morning. Another sunny day, after a stretch of grey.

I have lots I could write about, but I am pretty engaged in actually living it all instead of reflecting on it enough to have something germane to say. Even my pictures of late have been boring. Or maybe we're just so busy that I don't focus on them just now. I miss lunch on Wednesdays.

All I want to do is write about the kids' accomplishments and the days we spend with our friends. This week I got to intentionally see three different friends three days in a row. When I was in Toddler Land (the lifestyle ruled by playdates with other Moms with toddlers and babies, no dayplanner required), that was a pretty standard happenstance. In Taxi-Land (Reeciebird has congratulated me on graduating to the time-honored status of Mom-Taxi), time with my friends is much more precious. It has been worth it in the trade-off, though. I am watching my kids bloom yet again, and that's a sparkle I like.

Babies. Maybe I can write about babies. I wrote "sparkle," envisioned G's face, and saw her glowing. Not because she got her third black stripe in karate, or passed her swim test or finally conquered her fear of The Big Red Slide, but because she was holding a baby again. This family desperately misses babies. We love them so. I am really happy where we are in our own family, but I told that Baby's Momma that it was a curious feeling. Before I had the desire to stop procreating, I assumed that once I was done having babies, I wouldn't like babies anymore. That's so not the case. I love them just as much; love rocking, diapering, dressing, singing to them etc. They're just as precious, just as wonderful as they ever were in my eyes. How amazing to me, then, that all the cuteness of my baby and others doesn't set my ovaries to fluttering anymore!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Farm Day!

And a beautiful one at that, albeit cold. I don't want to be home, for some odd reason. I want to be gone already. Maybe I will make an early lunch, stuff them like piggies and just take off. Tuesdays are special days anyway, because the kids get to be dropped off at their classes by Mom and magically picked up again by Dad.

I am feeling very connected today to my friends, even the ones I hardly get to see. There's a lot of transition going on right now; careers, school, pregnancy, health issues of myriad kinds. Over a month away, I already feel the solstice calm growing. I've never felt it this early before, so it's ...interesting.

Of course, now that I write that out, I think it could be just a shadow of last year's solstice. Yesterday we had a storm that knocked out our power for a few hours. We had Y classes so we barely even noticed it. When we returned home we had power again, but we still screwed something up on our woodstove when we decided to have a fire anyway, and had roiling smoke billow into the living areas. Yup, pretty much exactly like last year. :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Another "fruitful" day

Diffendoofer is definitely in session, as are it's affiliate schools in Fall City, Puyallup and Tacoma. Every Momma I talked to today is marveling at how focussed the kids are this week with their manipulatives and studies. It's so much fun to watch, and I am thrilled to finally have peers right here in the experience with me.

Today the children worked mostly without me, studying music and reading. We did some math. The project of note today though, is that we planted a "European Herb Garden Kit" from Jiffy. The kids and I love to garden, and it's horribly out of season, but that in and of itself can be the lesson, can't it? So now Diffendoofer has a windowsill garden, just as every good classroom should.

The bigger note for me is that the D-meister is becoming, as Montessori would put it, "more peaceful." Up until now he has been the "not yet peaceful child," but he's been allowed that as part of the privilege of being a toddler. I have been really satisfied watching him fold into the family in this new way. Grateful, actually! :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Parts of a computer

Long ago my computer "Spot" died. I had two computers networked together so that ostensibly, P-daddy and I could spank each other in Age of Empires. All that ended up happening, however, was that Dalicious and I would sit side by side in my office and chat online with our friends. And sometimes each other. It was sad, yes, but hey we still all love one another.

Anyway, I digress. Spot died. Fido lives. Unfortunately, Spot had two hard drives and the master froze, keeping all my important journals to the kids inside it. Fours years later, I still have Spot's corpse, and any intentions I had of rebuilding it have gone the way of the Dodo. We live in Puget Sound, home of Microsoft and Boeing. I can pick up a desktop at a surplus sale for 25.00 that outsizes, outthinks, out-everythings this old machine.

So what does a proper homeschool Mom do?

She gives it to the kids. "Here's a screwdriver. Want to see what's inside?"

Here's a link to the words list I am using for their follow up:

Montessori and Gatto

Over and again I refer to these guys-- as well as John Holt-- as some of my best influences regarding educational theory. A blogger I read who also espouses Montessori at home has a nice entry on this today:

Montessori for Everyone

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I cleaned my room today

Even more neglected than my desk, my room rarely gets the attention of my domestic focus. The upswing is that unlike my desk, I also spend little time in there. Aside from a few piles of "get to it later" and "omg I get to read tonight," it doesn't actually get messy. It does however, get dusty, and how. When my darling 5 year old son complimented me on my "rockin' Halloween decorations!" upon spying the cobwebs in the corner behind my bed, I knew it was overdue.

The problem with cleaning my room is that I like cleaning my room. The cobwebs in the corner turned into every spec of dust in the back of the house. The dusting turned into the windows, and while I had out the windex, that turned into the mirrors. Have you read, incidentally, the fabulous children's tome If You Give A Woman A Bottle Of Windex? The mirrors (all) turned into the shower turned into the walls. Now my house smells like a bleach bomb and I haven't even turned on the vacuum yet. I am taking a break from this to write while I can because well, I like the computer, too. But my fifth load of laundry awaits and I know that with our new schedule, if I don't get all this stuff done TONIGHT, it won't happen.

Time to move furniture now! See you Tuesday!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Settling into winter

So this is what "having kids" looks like.

While having my first baby be seven acutely shows me that at 2.75, my last baby is still very much a "baby," he is still more a child than an infant and I know it. He's been out of diapers for some time and I think we finally weaned this week. He'll be 3 next month.

Things have changed. I've had a baby for 7 years, in one form or another, and now I don't. And it doesn't bother me. Things are fresh and I can look forward again. This isn't a lament about maternity, because I treasured that period in my life and I have close friends there now; it's just a dawning awareness in me that I have arrived "there." That "next phase" we talk about.

My weekly winter calendar is bonkers full of stuff for the kids, without regard to nap time or nursing or playgroup or diaper changes. We're busy taking classes, engaging in the community, and fully active in the home school community now. My bigger kids tell me jokes we all appreciate, and they actually make me LAUGH on a connected humor level, not just a "oh aren't you cute" level. They give back. They expect different things from me, and I find myself not wanting to disappoint them.

This is a really tedious entry. I know I am not expressing myself well. I will try again later.