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15 Weeks

12 days since I last posted and they have been mostly consumed by a terrible stomach bug.  It was going around our neighborhood like crazy and for most people seemed to be the typical “48 hour” variety, but for me it started Sat. night and only today about 10 days later am I feeling a normal appetite.  In between, it was all puking, crapping, nausea, eating nothing, finally feeling like eating something only to get awful stomach cramps after, being exhausted, repeat, repeat.

And on top of it extra worried because I’m pregnant, of course.  Luckily my midwife said everything is fine and the 4 lbs. I lost isn’t a big deal.

In the meantime I also changed my “really want another girl” stance.  I imagined having two teenage girls ganging up on me, wanting to go to the mall every weekend.  So while I’m still ok with another girl, much warmer to the thought of a boy.

Also watched a lot more tv than usual, particularly Call The Midwife – a pbs show based on a memoir of a young nurse working as a midwife in the 1950′s in the “impoverished East End of London”.  A little cheezy, but was somehow soothing to me when I was so sick!

15 weeks

13 Weeks

One thing I left out about Jane in the last post – she’ll be a big sister in about 6 months:

Trying to show with her fingers how big the baby is (2 in.?)

Trying to show with her fingers how big the baby is (2 in.?)

We got lucky, again, and I got pregnant as soon as we decided to stop being careful.  The rest is the same as with Jane too – some nausea/feeling like I needed to eat crackers all the time, but no puking (thank you thank you thank you).  I do think I was a little more tired in the first trimester than last time, and SO thankful to be able to take a nap in the middle of the day.

Really can’t believe that next week will be the second trimester already!  This pregnancy definitely doesn’t seem like as much as an EVENT as the first one, but in a way I’m even more excited than last time, because I know how awesome kids are and how much I love being a stay at home mom.  Seems like a lot less unknowns.

And, I’ll just come right out and say it, totally hoping for another girl.  I would love to experience having a boy, someday, (even though a third is not in the plans!), but the idea of raising a boy also freaks me out.  Besides, we already have a girl name picked out.  May 9th we find out, hopefully I’ll get around to posting again before then.

Three!

Well, my baby girl is three.

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What to say about Jane right now?  She seems so mature, sweet, funny, and really pretty easy.  Tantrums don’t happen often and when we see one coming we can usually talk her down.

Bedtime is better than ever, 2 books and then I lay next to her for about a minute before she says “Mama, you can go in the kitchen to do your stuff now”.  She sleeps from about 8:30 – 7:00 and still takes a 1 1/2 hour nap too.

She’s potty trained completely during the day and mostly at night too, but we keep a cloth diaper on just in case.  She wipes herself when she pees and even makes sure to get any drips off the potty seat!  I guess that’s an example of how clean she is in general…  not that the house isn’t a disaster after a day of playing, but she will actually do a good job of helping me clean up, sometimes without even being asked.

Lately she’s been really into “telling jokes” which usually consist of some nonsensical thing that one animal said to another, but the other day she said “Why did the chicken cross the road?”  ….  “To get some beer and go to the park!”.  Hahahaa, sounds like my kinda day.

I think the hardest part right now is the constant talking/needing to be engaged, and by the end of the day I’m just done, and then I feel so bad for being annoyed at her sweet little voice.  But if I even suggest that we have a quiet time, or that Mama needs to not talk for awhile, she gets so hurt.  (On the verge of tears: “but, but, but Mama, I just love you and I wanted to tell you something…”)

We had her party the same place as last year, essentially the same party, except more people (nearly 50).  No frills, just snacks, some tunnels, parachute, birthday coloring station, and balloons for the kids to play with.  I did splurge on the cake though, baking even a simple cake was stressful for me last year.

My genius vegan baker friend made this:

janecake

Plus an 11 x 18″ sparkly purple sheet cake to feed everyone!

The party was already 3 weeks ago and feels like forever.  Before that we were in Florida for 2 weeks, and then after the birthday festivities we started watching a new little boy who just turned one.  We had our first 50 degree day here, and today I did a double take while driving because I saw a big patch of greenish grass!  After a winter like this, us Minnesotans are very easy to please.

photo 1

photo 1

Whenever I tell people I put sauerkraut in my salads, I get strange looks.  So here’s the recipe I threw together the other day that was particularly delicious:

-half a cucumber, diced.

-half cup black beans, heated.

-half cup homemade raw sauerkraut

-1/4 an avocado

-tablespoon nutritional yeast

-few shakes garlic powder or cayenne

That’s it!

I’m home alone tonight with Nathan at a guys’ weekend and Jane at Oma’s.  It’s nice but I’m looking forward to having them back.  Jane has been so hilarious lately and so fun to do stuff with.  She’s just getting so big and able to carry on conversations and even tell jokes!  She started imitating my sister (and I guess sometimes me)  who always says “wasssup girlfriennnnd?”

We were getting ready to leave yesterday and I said I needed to pack the chickpeas and a couple minutes later when she was helping me pack she said “Got your chickpeas, girlfriennnnd?”  I told her to say it again for the camera:

 

I’m not sure exactly how it started.  I probably kept reading over and over again how healthy it is to eat fermented foods and sometime last year picked up a jar of Bubbie’s Sauerkraut at the co-op.  Any sauerkraut you find in the non-refrigerated section has been pasteurized and therefore has none of the benefits of fermentation.  But Bubbie’s in the refrigerated section was raw, unpasteurized, and promised all the probiotic benefits.  It was also $6.50 a jar.

I honestly never remember eating sauerkraut before this.  I guess most people think it is just something to put as a topping on a hot dog?  I put it on everything.  It’s amazing on salads or mixed into a simple grain/bean/veggie dish.  I loved the tangy crunchiness so much, and kept buying it.  This surprises me even now, given the price!

Then awhile back I found out about the book Wild Fermentation.  It’s like the ultimate guide for fermenting foods at home.  I started telling Nathan about how I wanted to make my own sauerkraut, and he surprised me with a 2 gallon ceramic crock as an anniversary gift in October.  He said “It’ll be fun to make, but I’ll never eat it.”

Two months and two successful batches later, he is taking some out of the crock every day before we’re even done fermenting, which is a 4 week process.  The most recent batch he made with caraway seeds, I guess that’s a standard kraut flavor.  I wasn’t a fan at first, but now I don’t think I could go back.  There are about 4 heads of cabbage in that crock, he wanted to save the final product to make reubens for a guys’ weekend, but we’re having trouble rationing it.

So if you’re bored this winter, and you like to make your own healthy food, check out this Wild Fermention book, or just google how to make homemade sauerkraut.  It’s so easy, and cheap, and delicious.  I’ve also started making my own Kombucha (HUGE cost savings over buying it!) and next want to try yogurt.

And now we’re officially that weird hippie family who has jars of food covered with cheesecloth sitting around the house, fermenting…  Yum.

Can’t believe it was August the last time I updated this thing.  August seems like SO LONG ago.  Hell, x-mas day seems like so long ago, when I went to a hot yoga class with my sister and felt amazing and then got the flu the next day.

But back up, updates in between.  Nothing major.  September was an extension of summer, lots of hanging out at the park with friends, a sort of magical feeling time in my young stay-at-home-mom life.  I’m always so grateful for ending up in this community.

October I took a solo trip to Seattle to visit old friends who just had their first baby.  A big deal for me to travel alone for the first time in…??  Before I met Nathan anyway…  And first time being away from Jane.  It was wonderful though and I absolutely loved the city, had never been to the west coast before.

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Lots of kid-centered Halloween festivities, we hosted trick ‘o treating at our house again which I hope will become a tradition.  (By “hosted” I mean, our friends arrived, we poured hot adult drinks into mugs and went and walked around the block with all the kiddos.)

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Then at the beginning of Nov. I started a month long unlimited yoga package, perfect timing to ease into the dark cold winter.  It helped SO much.  The month flew by, the early arrival of lots of snow and cold didn’t even bother me, we did lots of x-mas stuff in Dec…

santalandjand xmas

And then BAM the flu.  I don’t think I’ve ever actually had the flu (which is one reason why I haven’t ever gotten the flu shot).

Am I the only one who feels like it is an eternity to be sick for a week?  I’m going a little crazy.

The physical symptoms were bad enough (high fever, chills, sweating so much at night I had to change shirts 4 times…)  but then Jane got sick a couple days after me and the WORRYING.  Being so physically sick already probably just made me more emotional, but I would happily lay in bed with a fever any day if only I didn’t have horrible scenarios running through my head of rushing my child to the ER with a soaring fever.

We’re recovering, sort of.  Jane’s fever went away for a day but came back this afternoon.  I have a persistent cough and can feel the phlegm rattling in my chest.

And I feel suddenly in this dark place of winter, the place most Minnesotans experience at some point where you wonder why we live here, wonder how you’ll make it through until spring, start researching more habitable places to move…

I’m telling myself everything will be better if I’m just well enough to go to yoga again this weekend.  Then next weekend Nathan and I have a hotel overnight, the next he is on a guys weekend and I’m planning a girls night out, then just one more weekend and we’re getting ready to go to FL Feb. 1st!

(I literally stare at my calendar several times a day repeating this sequence of events in my head, trying to convince myself how fast the month will go.)

So yes, happy new year, and happy survival of a Minnesota winter.

static hair

So many scenes from this book are still stuck in my head after finishing it two weeks ago.  I had to keep reminding myself while reading it that it was a true story and not fiction. 

Not only is the family’s personal story of survival unbelievable, but also the larger story of how the Mujahedin toppled the Russian backed government in the early 90′s, only to be driven out by the Taliban (before reading this I didn’t even know the difference between the two groups.) 

At one point I realized that the author was exactly my age when he described what the situation like when he should’ve started high school in 1996, and I cried, thinking of how innocent and oblivious my childhood was compared to the things he had seen.  Cried in total disbelief that terrorists could treat people like this under the guise of “religion”. 

The book is completely heart wrenching and fascinating.  Two things that really surprised me were how nice the city of Kabul sounds before the war, and that the ordinary citizens (including this well off educated family) had little idea of who the Taliban was before they arrived, nor did they know who Osama bin Laden was until 9/11. 

I loved reading about how the families lived in large compounds with a courtyard in the middle filled with gardens where they all ate together with their aunts and uncles and cousins.  The author talks a lot about how important his extended family was in his life – cousins were like brothers and sisters.  It especially struck a chord because I read the book while on vacation with Nathan’s family, with cousins Jane rarely gets to see, and I was saddened by how distant we are with our families in the U.S. in comparison to many other countries. 

My bottom line review for anyone is read it, read it, read it.  The writing is excellent, story is fast paced, and the whole thing will give you a lot to think about. 

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