Sunday, July 30, 2006


My sweet baby is 1 year old today.

On Friday morning, the 28th, I went to the Farmer's Market and bought sweet corn, in addition to a smattering of other vegetables. Pushing Starbeans in an umbrella stroller, I passed by a vender selling pints of beautiful blueberries and raspberries in little wooden square containers.

Seeing them pushed me into the realm of memory.

Last year, July 28th was on a Thursday. The Farmer's Market is downtown on Thursdays in Minneapolis and I was there after an appointment with my midwife. Before catching the bus, I bought sweet corn at one stand; then I passed by a vender selling beautiful blueberries and raspberries in little wooden square containers - and I stopped and bought a pint of each.

As I sat waiting for the bus, feeling hot and miserably pregnant, I thought about the raspberries, the blueberries, the non-pregnant Mexican woman sitting next to me, and wondered, "When...when...??" When on earth was I going to get this baby out of me? Who would it be? Was this woman feeling sorry for me - because I sure was. What would it feel like to not be pregnant again? What would it feel like to have an actual baby?

I brought all the corn and blueberries and raspberries home, but didn't eat any of it: I planned to savor them over the weekend. I wasn't due until August 8th anyways, and good grief - don't first babies go over their due date by at least a week?

We went out for dinner with my grandparents that night, where I pounded down an enormous hamburger, a giant plate of french fries, and drank glass after glass of water and raspberry lemonade. Very strange, indeed, as I barely drank anything after 6 pm last summer to avoid getting up (literally) 4-6 times a night to pee and I hadn't been able to eat much recently either - the baby was taking up too much room. Odd - very odd.

  • 2 am that night/morning, my water broke.
  • 4 am contractions started.
  • 10 am we went into the hospital.
  • All afternoon and evening we labored through back labor, of all unpleasant and painful things.
  • 10 pm, after being stuck at 7 centimeters for 5 hours, my midwife said, "I know you said that you wanted to go naturally, but if I've ever seen a time where Pitocin would be useful in my 30 years, the time is now."
  • 11 pm, Pitocin administered.
  • 1:17 am, Saturday July 30th, our beautiful Starbeans plunked out with nary a cry. The midwife brought him to my chest and I looked at him with utter amazement. He made little squeaking noises and suckled at the breast.

By the time we got back to our sweet corn, it has lost some of its juicy vibrance. We brought the raspberries and blueberries to the hospital with us, but got lost in all the excitement; and, they too, lost some of their umph.

It was strange to walk by the same vendor selling the same beautiful berries, only this time my sweet little munchkin was known to me - sitting in a stroller in front of me and smiling up with his 4-toothed grin. The last time he was snuggled up in my womb, pinching my sciatic nerve, and waiting for his soon-to-be grand entrance.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Lord of the Flies kept me on the edge of my seat to the very last page. I honestly had no memory of the ending, so it was pretty intense.

Very good read.

Starbeans is 1 year old next Sunday. AMAZING. He has been eating solids regularly, so his poop is starting to change and get more stinky. Gone are the days of inoffensive yellow poop - hello, chunks!

It was interesting - today was the first day of his life where he pooped and felt upset about it. As in, he wanted that crap out. I thought that he had pooped, but I burnt my thumb and was nursing it with ice; so because of that, he was sitting in it for awhile (maybe 5-10 minutes). It got to the point where he was fussing and pulling on his diaper, looking up at me in a helpless way. Poor thing.

Another first: Today, I asked him where our cat Tootsie was. He looked over at her and put his hand out in her direction. My child is a genius! Seriously though - we were so proud. It is a lot of fun to watch his cognitive development.

On a side note: The best way to take the heat out of a burn is to ice, then apply lavender oil. It takes the pain right out.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

L of the F

I'm almost done reading Lord of the Flies.

The book before this, Don't Know Much About History, took me almost 4 months to read. Granted, it was probably 600-700 pages and my reading time has been squelched by the more important task of mothering; but I'm flying through Flies lickety-split.

It is really good.

I read it the first time in late junior high (I think I ran into a paperback that my dad had); my main memory of it was at the end of the book when Piggy was pushed off a cliff and dashed against the rocks - and a graphic description of his brains splayed out. I can remember being upset and confused by it. However, reading it again, I can't believe I wasn't more upset by the entire story; perhaps I was too young to understand at the time.

The inside jacket says it perfectly: "Golding's aim [was] to 'trace the defect of society back to the defect of human nature'".

Yo. This speaks to me: I feel like I've had a front-row seat to view all the unsightly defects in my own person, especially within this last year. It has been rough - and I must admit, I don't know how all this junk built up.

Confronting my own ugliness has given me fresh insight into some of the reasons behind our societal ills. I've been thinking about a lot recently. If I have nagging faults that impede my interaction with others, how much harder, then, is it for someone who is truly starting with less? I would say I've had it pretty easy, and yet - there is plenty of hideousness within myself to address.

Human nature.

Yes - it is easier to understand the group as a whole through the rough task of sifting through my own garbage. It has to be done, but crap - it ain't pleasant.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Diddle Diddle

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.

The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Edith 'n Archie

We've been cooped up in the house the last several days due to an oppressive humidity-laden heat. It has been like walking in a thick soup. Thankfully, we have what Minnesotans call "air" - meaning central air conditioning.

Where I grew up (in WA), no one has air conditioning. Seriously. No one. It just isn't needed.

The midwest is a different story.

While we've been trapped inside, we've watched a lot of All in the Family.


Has anyone seen much of this show? I hadn't seen much of it, if any - but we got Season 3 on DVD(s) from the library and have been watching it for a week. It is amazing! All the fighting stresses me out a bit (it's just too realistic), but it is extremely water-proof. The writing is tight; the content is gripping; the characters are endearing; and it is funny. How do they do that?

Seinfeld and All in the Family belong in the same class of biting humor. Well-written, a force to be reckoned with, and something to makes us re-examine ourselves.

I like it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Earache Remedy

My sweet little one was sick for 3-4 weeks this past January with RSV at the age of 6 months. He was so ill that he actually had to be hospitalized at Children's in Minneapolis for 4 days. (We were sick the entire time as well, but that is a different story).

I was completely unprepared for dealing with a sick baby - nay, an extremely sick baby. Aside from giving him cooling bathes and propping him up while he was sleeping, I didn't really know what else to do. We took him to Urgent Care on a Saturday after he had been sick for several days and all the doctor really did was offer us acetaminophen.

Not good enough.

By the time we took him to the ER on Monday, he was severely dehydrated, sleeping 18-20 hours of the day, and when he wasn't sleeping, he was wailing or coughing. He also wasn't getting enough oxygen. We called a Nurse's line and were urged us to take him to the ER - his legs were blue from the knees down when he woke up from his nap.

He hasn't been sick since, aside from a couple of small colds. However, I've been stocking my brain and daybook with an arsenal of home remedies so I will not be so helpless next time. I especially want to avoid antibiotics; and I fear ear infections the most.

I found a handy earache remedy from Natural Family Living - The Mothering Magazine Guide to Parenting. This book also contains excellent advice for the home care of fevers, colds and flus, and general first aid. I'm a big fan of Aviva Jill Romm as well and plan to buy Naturally Healthy Babies and Children: A Commonsense Guide to Herbal Remedies, Nutrition, and Health soon, as I can't find it at the library.

Garlic Oil eardrops:

  • contains antiviral and antibacterial properties
  • add 4 crushed garlic cloves to a jar with a quarter cup olive oil and let stand for 1-3 days -strain and refrigerate for up to 6 months
  • add a few drops mullein, St. John's Wort, or calendula to the oil
  • to administer - run hot water over a spoon until warm, add a few drops of the oil to the spoon, have the child lay dow, ear up, and drop 2-3 drops in the ear
  • plug loosely with a cotton ball
  • repeat 2-3 times a day for no more than 4 days

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might;
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky;
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand--
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A Pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach;
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said;
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat;
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low--
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need;
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?"

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but,
"Cut us another slice.
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but,
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said;
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Shake it, baby

Last Saturday, Starbeans - now 11 months, entertained himself by shaking the three young birch trees in our backyard. One-handed, two-handed, two trees, one tree. He was all over them; watching and listening to the leaves shushing above.