It's the 15th!

It's the 15th of December. To most that means 10 days until Christmas but for us we celebrate, because it's Jerrel's birthday! He said last night he felt old. I told him mind over matter. He will spend his day sleeping for he has to work tonight-bummer but I will still manage to have a nice day for him and fix a nice "breakfast" before he heads off to work at 6. The woes of being a night nurse. Thankfully he likes his job. 

So Happy Birthday to my husband, my best friend, and my baby daddy. You are my forever favorite.



A Little Christmas Decor

Things around these parts have been a little word heavy. But I'm sorry- I love to write. Between writing though I have been decorating for Christmas and besides wrapping presents I think the place is done. It's warm, cozy, and just festive enough. So I've snapped a few unprofessional photos to share with you! Here's the Christmas tour of our house. 

What's the old saying? "Necessity is the mother of invention." Well we didn't NEED Christmas decorations but if we wanted things up I was going to have to do some shopping or creating. I opted for minimal shopping and much creating. First on the list was the cinnamon applesauce ornaments. Our house still smells great because of these babies. 

 I also made enough to give to my kids on my last day of teaching. They loved them. I  just hope they didn't eat it. 

Then I bought some apples for a project that will be revealed in just a minute. Add to the yummy smells.  

The first stop is our chalkboard wall. I love that I made the decision to paint a wall in my rental with chalk board. It is so fun to redecorate. Please don't mind the mess in the bottom left corner. I blurred our address. I have it written then to aid in my memorization. It's not really working though. 

Now we will peek at our dining room. See the wreaths on the windows? Those apples were glued to embroidery hoops and then hung with rope. A pine cone garland made by yours truly is gracing our "mantel." See that brick? I'm still trying to work up the courage to paint it. Either make the faux bricks and mortar all white or try and make them look real and reddish. Any suggestions? Anyway, besides looking at our tree, I like being in this room. It's cheery and Christmasy. 

Our stockings. The middle one was bought for me by my Momma from this Crafter. I made the other two, because I had the burlap and the time. But they were stinkers so I wouldn't blame you if you bought yours. Burlap can be tricky. But they turned out cute, now just to decide whose is whose. 

Another reason I love the dining room. It has the most "old stuff" I bought a Hoosier this summer and quickly filled it with my collections. For Christmas I got out these little figurines my Grandma passed down to me. Aren't they cute? They were my Great Grandma's. The rolling pin was another Great Grandma's piece. If you look closely by the handle it was her name written in marker. "Elda." so sweet.

Now for the tree. I really wanted to have a real tree. I've never had one before. But it just didn't work for us to get anywhere. So mom had an extra so we snatched it up. Jerrel is amazed by the amount of ornaments we have. Well dear, that's what about $4 at the thrift store and a few donations from your mother will get you. We made popcorn and cranberry garland and tada! Total tree cost, maybe around $10-we had to buy lights and a other few supplies.
Disclaimer- Some presents may or may not be props.

But we had no tree topper. Mmmm, I've got a tree in the backyard, hot glue, and twine. I googled a few things and decided to just go with it. And I LOVE my star. It turned out to be the perfect finishing touch. The trick was finding the straightest twigs and then making them proportional. I arranged and rearranged them until I had the right shape of star. 

But my favorite ornament is our Mackinac Island ornament. Such a fun trip. Second favorite? The weird green ones I bought at the thrift store. Everyone needs some whimsy. 

So that's our basic Christmas tour. Once again my collecting/hoarding skills have came in handy. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Season from our home to yours. 

Christmas Blessings! 


Ramblings of a Pregnant Chick

People seem to forget basic social skills when they find out you are growing a human.
"Hey, I can finally tell you are getting bigger!"
"Look at that belly!"
"Oh WOW you are getting bigger" 

Words like "fat" "big" "belly" "tummy" etc, are suddenly totally acceptable to use when referencing a pregnant woman who is already a bit raw and wrapping her head around her new body.

Or maybe it's just me.

Either way I have hair that I (maybe) fixed, a smile that I (probably) shared with you, and a day that I'm dealing with wether good or bad. Lets keep the comments on the bump, the baby, and my body to a kind and caring level. How about we talk about this and the other things happenin' in the world shall we? Not just my size.

I get this is a wonderfully special time and that I'll never experience anything like this again-it's seriously a miracle. However, about 90% of the references I hear have negative undertones even when people don't necessarily mean them. It's the way culture communicates about pregnancy. And as you can tell-it grates on a girl. I was told by a woman that I looked beautiful last week-I wanted to hug her for her word choice.

Pregnancy brain is real.
I lost my phone twice. In one hour. Found it-in the same spot each time.
I opened the mayonnaise. Found a spoon in the jar. We all know Senor Smarty Pants would never do such a thing!
I don't remember what I asked Senor Smarty Pants to do for me. Oh yeah it was to take out the trash.
I tried to unlock my house with my remote for my car.
Then I tried to unlock my parents house with said remote.

Having books and an iPad jump while sitting on your bump is entertaining.

The baby likes citrus. Lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit. Whatever, just give us some and we will be happy campers.

Overall we are having a good experience. Just needed a little outlet to write. Thank you for your time.



It's a Choice

Jerrel and I have made a different type of choice in choosing our healthcare provider during this pregnancy. To us the choice didn't seem new or odd, for we had been reading about and researching midwives, birth centers, home birth, and varying other options for almost a year. We read these things out of personal and educational interests. While we hadn't ever actually met with a real life Midwife when we did, it honestly felt like a breath of fresh air.

I only wish I could get that feeling across to people when they ask the loaded question, "Who are you doctoring with?" It sounds irresponsible to say "We actually aren't doctoring." and they usually are equally confused when I explain that we are seeing a midwife 4 hours away, at a birth center-not a hospital, and they generally don't know what a birth center is exactly. Once I cover that I tend to get this awkward silence, sometimes it's simply them processing information that they had no clue they were walking into, sometimes however it's a silence filled with an odd emotion. It feels like a mix of judgmental questioning. 

I think people also wonder why. Even though I can explain a midwife is an actual expert in birth. Real-live expert. They see birth as normal and natural. But more than that, midwives actually see normal and natural births- because they let them happen. Midwives aren't concentrated with speeding the process up if it is progressing safely. They aren't concerned with starting the progress if it hasn't started naturally with healthy mom and baby. The vast majority of midwives don't control where and in what position you give birth.  Midwives aren't focused on you following their rules, because generally, you make the rules. They are a guide-a medical professional, yes. But midwives understand the power of women and the God-given right they have to choose their birth and progress through the process naturally.

I also know people around here think we are weird-but I've always been ok with that title.

I think some people may feel like their doctor wasn't good enough in my eyes, like I'm somehow condemning them for their birth choices (If you want to call them that.) But I'm not. There are instances where a doctor is very necessary and thank God we have them. Some women feel more comfortable in a hospital setting, and that's ok too. However, through our research and then Jerrel's rotations we learned so much. We didn't read about and he didn't see choices, empowerment, respect, or honor. Rules, protocol, pressure, disrespect, lack of education, and sometimes very scary situations were the norm. However in the end they all said "All that matters is that you have a healthy baby." With that comment we are just supposed to move on, because how can a mother feel like she can question that phrase when you are talking about her child. And while healthy babies are always top priority I think it's perfectly acceptable to expect and demand more from our providers. 

What I get from some women is that they have no choice. I really wonder if they understand that they have a choice on their healthcare provider, or is it whomever was available for the time slot. I get that from more than just women. You aren't actually working for the doctor or midwife-they are working for you. And if you don't like how they do their job you can fire them. Not see them again, and share with people why they were a crappy employee.

I read once that birth and birth options were the final frontiers women have yet to explore and stand up for their rights. Now I'm far from feeding into and agreeing with the feminist mentalitly-that's a whole other post, but I am agreeing with that fact. We tend to just let it happen to us. We go with what the culture has decided is right for birth. We hunt out the OBGYN or Family Practitioner that all our friends, family members, and colleagues have used, never once questioning their episiotomy rates, induction rates, epidural rates, c-section rates, policy on movement during birth, fetal monitoring, philosophy on birthWe don't care to find out that these things are even options most of the time, not necessities. We just seem to trust the system blindly and if we do make a decision it's out of fear. I refuse to live that way. 

I am not a sick woman, I am a pregnant and soon to be birthing woman. 

Don't get me wrong, if a red flag appears I will be the first to see a specialist-that's what they are there for. But for a normal, naturally progressing, healthy pregnancy and childbirth I will have my specialist of choice-my Midwife.

"Giving birth should be your greatest achievement not your greatest fear." ~ Jane Weideman

“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change." ~Marie Mongan, Hypnobirthing

"If I don’t know my options, I don’t have any." ~ Diana Korte



What I Learned in the 2nd Grade

I've spent the last 4 months in the 2nd grade again.

I've learned so much about teaching, about kids, and about people. It's been another horizon broadening experience. I've loved my class and honestly I'd be pretty dang sold on this whole full-time teaching thing-if you could guarantee that I'd get them again, or their clone.  Just call me Mr. Feeny. I just loved them so much!

So I've complied a list of things I've learned in the 2nd Grade this time around

-When editing, that line over the period has a very official name: loop-de-loo. And that is what it must always be called. 

-Moms are still Mommy's and Momma's and Dads are still Daddys. It's cute. 

-Lesson plan books are your friend. And making check marks in those silly little squares is oddly satisfying.

-Don't take yourself too seriously, for life is not as much fun when you aren't willing to giggle a little-or a lot. 

-Some kids' parents stink. It's not a nice thing to say but it's the truth. There are some kids in school I want to take home. Because they never asked for nor deserve the crap they go through. 

-Having Art, Library, and Music/PE on the same day is a gift from above. 

-Asking a little boy to spell "lady" is just hilarious because "You should really ask a girl 
to spell lady." 

-Pochontas' dad had 15 wives and that's just an amazing fact! We love getting cultured

-Lice happens. 

-Having a superior educator as a mentor makes all the difference. Mentors are a good thing. 

-Sometimes on a Tuesday you just feel like wearing a crown.

-Kids have the biggest hearts, love the most, and I think should probably run the world. Especially 2nd graders. It would be a lot happier place. Us adults just tend to mess things up. 

If you ever have the chance to go back to the 2nd grade, I'd highly recommend snatching that opportunity up.



We Met A Midwife

We have chosen to see a midwife.
"Because we believe in witchcraft." -Jim Gaffigan

But that's sometimes how I feel people see it when I bring up the topic sometimes.

I have written about the lack of options in Nebraska when it comes to actually having an option in providers and the lack of knowledge surrounding the need for a choice. It's something I'm very passionate about and could probably write for weeks on the topic.

But today I'm going to try to focus on us. Which is actually hard to do when talking about this topic. In Nebraska when you search for Certified Nurse Midwives you will find a pretty short list. Then try narrowing the search down to Western Nebraska? I'll tell you what you get- Nada, Zilch, ZERO. But then there was another criterion. I don't want to give birth in a hospital, Lord willing. I'm not kidding, my first choice would be home. I know, call me a hippie, or from um...the beginning of time? Do it. I'll like it. Anyway, when you add that stipulation-the preferably no hospital stipulation in western Nebraska-you basically go to negative numbers.

That left a midwife in Hastings whom I've heard is wonderful to work with in the hospital setting and the only free standing birth center in Nebraska, (i.e. a place where you go to have babies with Certified Nurse Midwives, Nurses, and possibly a Doula) The Midwife's Place in Bellevue, Nebraska. We felt for us, the Midwife's Place was the first logical step. Take a visit. We couldn't NOT check it out. So we did. Jerrel had to work the night before so I braved the interstate for the first time while he sawed logs and I managed by the Grace of God to get us there in one piece.

First impressions? It's in a strip mall.

Second impressions? It's beautiful, calming, welcoming, relaxing, comforting.

We met with a nurse she asked us some questions, we asked her some questions and I felt like I had come to the right place.

But back to the practitioners. Afterall they are what everyone seems to be extra curious about. The nurse I met with that particular day was funny and I instantly felt like I made a connection with her. And Heather, the midwife, the same. Everyone so very kind. In no rush, you and baby are their priority.

I heard this phrase more than once. "We are here to give you the best information and be your guide. Not tell you what to do." Ah, music to my ears. I didn't have to be worried about my choice in no ultrasound unless there is an issue. I didn't have to worry about being confined to a bed during labor. I didn't have to worry about feeling like a number, adearing to someone else's timeline, following their rules, guarding my beliefs, needs, and desires for my baby and I.

The biggest sign that I didn't want to go anywhere else? I left feeling calmed. I'd been having a wide array of emotions about this whole thing and seeming to have one thing narrowed down-that I wanted to see them for real, and have the baby there put my heart at ease.

So glad we were proactive and made a choice, that we ventured out. No default decisions for us.